Trump faces 'elimination tests' in state after state to keep Biden from collecting early victory: MSNBC's Kornacki
Steve Kornacki (MSNBC)

MSNBC's Steve Kornacki broke down the electoral map, and he predicted what Americans might know about the results by Election Night.

The "Morning Joe" contributor looked at polling in the final days of the race and found that Joe Biden seemed to have an easier path to 270 electoral votes than President Donald Trump -- and he said that picture might be clear relatively early.

"What this sets up in the first three or four hours of Election Night are a series of make-or-break tests for Donald Trump in states he carried in 2016," Kornacki said. "States where the polling, as you have been talking about, is very shaky for him, if he's unable to flip any blue states from 2016, and if he's unable to pull off a hail-Mary pass in a Wisconsin or a Michigan, then all five of the states, any one of them would be an elimination contest."

Biden would likely cross the 270 threshold if he won Florida, Georgia or North Carolina, Kornacki said.

"It's elimination contests essentially for Donald Trump in the early hours," he said. "Now, if he can fight his way through those early hours and win the states we're talking about here, the next big test for Trump -- well, two big tests come. One is the second congressional district of Nebraska. It is essentially Omaha, metropolitan Omaha. This is an area that Trump won by three points in 2016. Remember, they give them out by congressional districts in Nebraska. Democrats have felt very, very bullish about this district because of the demographics. The next test then would become Arizona, and if the Democrats are getting Nebraska, too, and if Trump has survived all five states we talked about here, Arizona is an elimination contest. Because that, plus Nebraska, would also get Joe Biden there."

"So you see it, tonight Trump has got to win state after state after state to stay alive," Kornacki added. "If he's able to bring it down to Pennsylvania, that's the state where we expect to have the slow count, the mail-in ballots that could take days. It could take a while, but Donald Trump's got a lot of work to do before he can get there."