The exciting US elections were on the verge of final victory. Democrat Joe Biden cemented his lead over President Donald Trump and the crucial state of Pennsylvania, which will publish the results.
Two days after the most tense elections in decades, the painstaking process of voting, hampered this year by a flood of postal ballot papers due to the coronavirus crisis, reached the final.
77-year-old Biden was only a battlefield state or two away from the majority to take the White House. 74-year-old Trump took an increasingly unlikely combination of victories in multiple states to stay in power.
The Republican, who shocked the world when he won the presidency for the first time in 2016, spent another day campaigning for the election, claiming fraud, and demanding an interruption in the counting of votes.
“IF YOU COUNT THE LEGAL VOTE, I WILL JUST WIN THE VOTE!” he claimed in a statement sent by his campaign with no evidence. “IF YOU COUNT THE ILLEGAL AND LATE VOTES, YOU MAY STEAL THE VOTE FROM US!”
Biden, who has promised to heal a country hit by Trump’s extraordinarily polarizing four years in power, stuck to his signature message of calm.
“Be patient folks. Votes are counted and we feel good about where we are,” he tweeted.
All About Pennsylvania?
In Georgia, a general republican state, Trump had a wafer-thin and steadily slipping lead of less than 13,000. With 98 percent of the ballots already counted, the President and Biden were on their way to a photo finish.
In Arizona and Nevada, Biden held onto lean leads. If Biden wins both states, he would win the presidency too.
But the biggest piece of the puzzle was Pennsylvania, where Trump’s early leadership continued to wane as election officials looked into processing postal ballot papers, which are more likely to be submitted by Biden supporters.
Democratic Hope currently has 253 of the 538 votes spread across the country’s 50 states – and 264, including Arizona, which Fox News and Associated Press have called in its favor.
If Biden took Pennsylvania, he would get 20 more votes – which would immediately put him above the 270 votes required for overall victory.
Pennsylvania official polling officer Kathy Boockvar told CNN that a winner there would be “definitely” determined by Thursday’s close of business.
Approximately 550,000 ballots have been counted and “it looks like the vast majority are counted to date,” she said.
Boockvar was due to hold a press conference at 5:15 p.m. (2215 GMT).
Trump knocks out
Trump’s campaign continued to insist that the president has a path to victory, citing pockets of Republican support that have not yet been counted in such close races.
But Trump’s overwhelming focus was on claiming without evidence that he was a victim of mass fraud.
Trump declared victory ahead of schedule on Wednesday and threatened Supreme Court intervention to end the vote count, but it continued anyway.
Since then, his team has spread across battlefield states, contesting the results in court, holding a series of press conferences at which supporters have raised allegations of irregularities.
“STOP THE COUNT!” Trump tweeted Thursday, citing his allegation that the mail-in ballots in particular were fraudulent.
STOP THE COUNTING!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 5th November 2020
But while Trump demanded that counting be stopped in Georgia and Pennsylvania – where he leads – his supporters and campaign insisted that it continue in Arizona and Nevada, where he lags.
The campaign has announced lawsuits in Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Michigan – where it has already been dismissed – and called for a recount in Wisconsin, where Biden won by just 20,000 votes.
Bob Bauer, a lawyer for the Biden campaign, dismissed the numerous lawsuits as “unfounded”.
“All of this is supposed to create a big cloud,” said Bauer. “But it’s not a very thick cloud. We’re looking through it. So are the courts and the election officials.”
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)