President Donald Trump was leading former Vice President Joe Biden on Long Island in early returns Tuesday night, with a wide lead in Suffolk but a more narrow margin in Nassau, according to the counties' board of elections.
Trump, a Republican, was ahead of his Democratic challenger in Nassau 263,858 to 262,082 votes as of 1 a.m., according to unofficial results.
In Suffolk, Trump was leading Biden 331,979 to 256,625, according to unofficial results as of 1 a.m.
Still, there were at least 317,400 absentee ballots still to be counted on Long Island, including 196,600 in Nassau and 120,800 in Suffolk, as of Monday.
Democratic presidential candidates have won Nassau in the last two cycles, with President Barack Obama winning Nassau in 2012 and then Democrat Hillary Clinton winning it in 2016.
Suffolk has become more of a swing county in presidential elections. Trump won Suffolk in 2016, but Obama carried Suffolk during his reelection in 2012. In Suffolk the play was for large turnout on Tuesday, a big "fourth quarter push" to combat Democrats' early voter advantage during a nine-day period before Election Day, Suffolk Republican chairman Jesse Garcia said in an interview Tuesday evening. Garcia said he believes the Democrats' early voting edge was "wiped out" on Election Day.
"On presidential races in the last 20 years, it’s been a swing county," Garcia said.
Jay Jacobs, state and Nassau Democratic chairman, said earlier Tuesday evening he was confident "Biden wins Nassau big."
"At the end of the day, I feel really good about where we are," Jacobs said.
In 2016, Clinton won Nassau over Trump 50.8% to 44.7%, with 332,154 votes Trump's 292,025. In Suffolk, Trump had more votes than Clinton, 350,570 to 303,951, or 51.1% to 44.3%, according to state board of elections data.
In 2012, Obama won Nassau 53% to 45.4%, with 302,695 votes to Republican Mitt Romney's total of 259,308.
In Suffolk, Obama led Romney 50.7% to 47.1%, with 304,079 votes to Romney's 282,131.
In Nassau, Democrats outnumber Republicans 394,565 to 306,554, according to state board of elections statistics as of Nov. 1. Another 248,017 voters are not registered with a political party.
In Suffolk, Democrats outnumber Republicans 359,710 to 321,966, according to the state data. Another 284,516 voters are not registered with a political party.
With Jesse Coburn