NEW YORK, Nov 07 (APP): Former US Vice President Joseph Biden Friday swept into the lead in the state of Pennsylvania, where a victory would give him the presidency, and was ahead in three other critical battleground states as his campaign focused on a presidential transition process and officials worked to tally the remaining votes.
“We don’t have a final declaration of victory yet, but the numbers tell us a clear and convincing story: we’re going to win this race”, Biden said to a socially distanced group of supporters gathered in vehicles in a parking area in Wilmington, Delaware, predicting that he’d wind up with “over 300 electoral votes,” when 270 votes are required to law claims on the White House.
The former vice president spoke as three days of ballot counting has yet to produce an official victory. Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign is suing in multiple states to halt or modify tabulation policies, claiming potential fraud. His running mate Senator Kamala Harris did not join him for the speech, as originally planned if his victory had been declared by major news outlets. A planned fireworks display was also canceled.
Biden leads in current vote counts in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania. If those leads hold, he would win the Electoral College in a decisive 306-232 vote. Biden is ahead of Trump by 27,130 votes in Pennsylvania, 29,861 votes in Arizona, 22,657 votes in Nevada and 4,020 votes in Georgia. But the margins are thin across the battlegrounds and many ballots remain to be counted. The Associated Press and major networks have not declared a winner, though some smaller news outlets have projected a Biden win.
The president claimed in a defiant Thursday night press conference that “if you count the legal votes, I easily win.” Trump’s adviser and 2016 campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said in a Fox News appearance on Friday night that Trump has no plans to concede. “I did speak to the president. He is ready to fight until every last little vote is counted,” Lewandowski said.
In his remarks, Biden also claimed a “mandate for action” to begin work on issues that included the coronavirus pandemic, the economy, climate change and systemic racism. But he also urged patience and calm as the results came in. “We have to remain calm, patient, let the process work out as we count all the votes,” he said. In Philadelphia, some Biden supporters started dancing in the street outside the convention center, in front of a banner declaring “The People Have Spoken.”
In Georgia, Biden’s lead was initially so narrow that state officials said a recount was inevitable. But by Friday evening it had grown to about 4,000 votes. In Arizona, Biden maintained his lead as election officials continued to plow through tens of thousands of ballots from Phoenix and its suburbs. His advantage shrank slightly, but not by as much as Republicans had hoped. In Nevada, Biden nearly doubled his lead Friday to around 22,600 votes. Biden’s appeal to let the process play out contrasted with that of Trump, who took the lectern in the White House briefing room on Thursday to falsely claim that the election was riddled with fraud, as part of an elaborate coast-to-coast conspiracy by Democrats, the news media and Silicon Valley to deny him a second term.
As the number of outstanding ballots slowly dwindled, Trump was left increasingly with only legal challenges to forestall defeat, while Biden was betting on the steady accumulation of postal ballots to keep him on top in Pennsylvania.
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