Washington / Wilmington:
President-elect Joe Biden will win the battlefield state of Arizona, Edison Research predicted Thursday, and deal another blow to President Donald Trump’s efforts to scrap the results of the November 3 presidential election.
Biden’s victory in Arizona gives the Democrat 290 votes in the state electoral college that determines the winner, more than the 270 it takes to win. Biden also wins the referendum with more than 5.2 million votes, or 3.4 percentage points.
With some states still counting votes, voting math is daunting for Trump. The Republican president has repeatedly claimed the election was marred by widespread fraud, with no evidence to back up his claims. He would have to overtake Biden in at least three battlefield states, where Biden is currently leading by varying degrees.
The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits against the number of votes in individual states, although some have already been dismissed by judges. Legal experts said the litigation had little chance of changing the outcome, and state election officials said they saw no evidence of serious irregularities or fraud.
Hand census exams in more than six Arizona counties, including Maricopa County, where the majority of the state’s residents live, revealed only minor inconsistencies, the secretary of state reported earlier Thursday. The audits include hand counts of a random sample of ballot papers.
So far, most Republican officials and lawmakers have publicly supported Trump’s attempt to challenge the election results and refused to recognize Biden as elected president.
But a handful of Republican senators called on the Trump administration Thursday to allow Biden to get intelligence information, implicitly implying that he could eventually occupy the White House despite refusing to recognize his victory.
The President-elect traditionally receives such information from the intelligence community to learn about threats to the United States before taking office.
“I don’t see it as a risky venture. I just think it’s part of the transition. And if he does win in the end, I think they need to be able to take the first steps,” said Senator John Cornyn told reporters.
Other Republican senators also said Biden should have access to secret briefings, including Lindsey Graham, a vocal Trump supporter, as well as Ron Johnson, James Lankford and Chuck Grassley.
The House’s top Republican, Kevin McCarthy, was against the idea.
“He’s not currently a president. I don’t know if he’ll become president on January 20th,” said McCarthy.
Biden continued to focus on preparing the government. The former vice president, who is slated to become America’s second Roman Catholic president after John F. Kennedy in the 1960s, spoke to Pope Francis on Thursday, thanking him for his “blessings and congratulations” and pledging to work together on issues such as climate change and Poverty, said his transition team.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)