🔒 Trump claims win ‘if you count legal votes’ as Biden advances in crucial states – With insights from the Wall Street Journal

Official results suggest it is increasingly likely Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States, but incumbent Donald Trump refuses to throw in the towel. The Trump camp remains convinced the early calling of Arizona for his rival was a mistake. The count on late votes are, indeed, mostly for Trump, with the once comfortable margin for Biden contracting dramatically. There is still a tenth of the total to be tallied suggesting Trump may yet prevail in Arizona. He also has a chance of winning Nevada. But in the counting of outstanding votes in both Georgia and Pennsylvania, momentum is very much with Biden. Click on the graphic below for the latest on the US election from our partners at the Wall Street Journal. – Alec Hogg


Trump lashes out over vote count as Biden gains ground in key states

By Catherine Lucey, Eliza Collins and Alex Leary of the Wall Street Journal

Former vice president is six electoral votes shy of victory with Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina still undetermined.

US presidential election

Vote counting continued in the closely fought presidential race Thursday as Joe Biden was inching to the presidency and President Trump blamed the media and public polls for his position and pursued legal actions in key states.

Mr. Biden stood six electoral votes away from the 270 needed to win the presidency after scoring key victories in the Midwestern battlegrounds of Wisconsin and Michigan, according to the Associated Press tally.

The AP has declared Mr. Biden the winner in Arizona, which has 11 electoral votes. The Trump campaign is disputing that call, arguing that mail-in ballots yet to be counted there would ultimately deliver the state to the president. In Arizona, Mr. Biden’s lead continued to shrink and stood at about 46,300 votes Thursday night, with roughly 350,000 more votes left to count.

Mr. Biden briefly appeared before reporters in Delaware on Thursday afternoon, saying he had no doubt he would prevail while appealing for calm. “Each ballot must be counted, and that’s what we’re going through now,” Mr. Biden said. “Democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience as well.”

Mr. Trump spoke from the White House shortly before 7 p.m. and boasted of wins in key states, saying a Democratic “blue wave” never materialized. He assailed public polls for overstating Mr. Biden’s advantage, saying they suppressed the Republican vote.

“If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” he said. “If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.”

Mr. Trump attacked the vote-counting process in a handful of closely contested states where he initially had stronger margins that have since shrunk as the counts continued. He didn’t raise concerns about the vote-counting process in any of the states he has won.

There has been no evidence of widespread fraud. Mail-in votes, many triggered by election law changes due to the pandemic, weren’t immediately counted in certain states, which led to counting delays, as did the historic turnout. Mr. Trump, who had for months attacked voting by mail, said Thursday the delays were “by design.”

He promised more litigation and said it could end up before the Supreme Court.

Later, Mr. Biden tweeted, “Donald Trump is going to court to stop votes from being counted. We have assembled the largest election protection effort in history to fight back.”

On Thursday, Mr. Biden’s lead grew slightly in Nevada—which has six electoral votes—to over 11,400 votes, according to the AP, and officials said more results are being released Friday. The AP reported Thursday at 11 pm that Mr. Trump’s lead in Georgia was less than 1,800 votes and his lead in Pennsylvania hovered around 26,100 votes. All three states were continuing to count votes Thursday.

Both sides exuded confidence about their prospects and began raising money for the possibility of an extended legal fight. The moves cap a bitter campaign and a race conducted amid a deadly pandemic that has been closer in some key states than polls suggested.

Mr. Trump’s campaign was contesting the process in several states. Judges dismissed Trump campaign lawsuits in Georgia and Michigan over the handling of absentee ballots. The campaign also called for a recount in Wisconsin and planned to file a suit in Nevada over mail-in ballots.

In a win for one of the Trump campaign’s recent legal challenges, a Pennsylvania appeals court ruled Thursday that poll observers must be allowed to closely observe the vote-counting process.

Trump and Biden’s Paths to Victory

US presidential election
Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal

A federal lawsuit filed Thursday afternoon by the Trump campaign was resolved this evening when the campaign and Pennsylvania election officials agreed before a judge that Democratic and Republican poll watchers would have equal access to the ballot-counting operations in the battleground state.

The Trump campaign has asked the Supreme Court for permission to intervene in a pending GOP appeal that asks the justices to pull back Pennsylvania’s three-day extended deadline for accepting ballots mailed by Election Day. The Supreme Court previously declined to disturb extended ballot deadlines in North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

After the president spoke, several Republicans issued critical comments, though party leaders were silent.

“Elections are an essential component of the American experiment, and I trust in the process,” said Sen. Todd Young of Indiana, who oversees the Senate GOP campaign effort. “I urge patience as all legally cast votes are tallied. Every legally cast vote will be counted, the rule of law will be upheld, and we will accept the final result.”

Rep. Paul Mitchell, a Republican from Michigan, tweeted: “Every legal vote should and will be counted—as they always are. Where there are issues, there are ways to address them. If anyone has proof of wrongdoing, it should be presented and resolved. Anything less harms the integrity of our elections and is dangerous for our democracy.”

The Biden campaign expressed optimism Thursday that it would win several states where counting continues, with campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon telling reporters: “Our data shows that Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States.”

A top Biden adviser, Bob Bauer, said that legal challenges mounted by the Trump campaign were without merit. He said the lawsuits “are intended to give the Trump campaign the opportunity to argue that the vote count should stop. It’s not going to stop.”

The campaigns were closely watching Arizona, where Mr. Biden’s lead has steadily declined.


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More counting is under way Thursday in Arizona. Maricopa County remained the biggest source of outstanding ballots, but there were still votes to be counted in smaller counties where Mr. Trump has stronger support as well.

Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s Democratic secretary of state, said Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that it was unlikely that the state would be done counting before Friday.

In Nevada, mailed ballots will continue to be accepted until a week after Election Day, so long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3, meaning there won’t be a final tabulation this week.

Joe Gloria, the registrar of voters in the state’s largest county, said Thursday in Las Vegas that he expects more than 50,000 additional Clark County votes to be reported by Friday morning. “We are anticipating to have the bulk of our mail ballots that have been received into the system by Saturday or Sunday,” he said. “We won’t complete until Nov. 12.”

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said the count would be largely finished by Friday.

As of Thursday morning, Mr. Biden had won 73.4 million votes across the nation, according to the AP tally, breaking the previous record held by former President Obama in the 2008 election. Mr. Trump has so far won 69.6 million votes.

A nation on edge watched the vote counting, with strong reactions evident on both sides. Some supporters of the president protested outside ballot-counting sites in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Detroit along with demonstrators calling for a full count. Gatherings were tense, but largely peaceful.

In Phoenix, officials set up a “free speech zone” away from the elections center ahead of expected evening protests “which will allow protesters the ability to be seen and heard while also ensuring that our elections staff can do their jobs and leave the building without the threat of intimidation,” the Maricopa County Elections Department said.

The fight for control of the U.S. Senate now is centered on Georgia, where the state’s close election has pushed at least one, and possibly two, of its Senate races to Jan. 5 runoffs. Republicans also were on track to shrink the Democrats’ House majority.

The results in much of the nation were decided Tuesday night and early Wednesday. The president won Ohio, Iowa, Texas and the key prize of Florida, while Mr. Biden flipped Wisconsin, Michigan and an electoral vote in a Nebraska congressional district and was declared the winner by AP in Arizona, the first time the state has gone to a Democratic presidential candidate since 1996.


—Ken Thomas, John McCormick, Corinne Ramey, Alexa Corse, Rebecca Ballhaus, Sabrina Siddiqui and Michael C. Bender contributed to this article.

Write to Catherine Lucey at [email protected], Eliza Collins at [email protected]. and Alex Leary at [email protected]

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the November 6, 2020, print edition as ‘Trump Lashes Out as Biden Gains.’

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