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Joe Biden On Cusp Of 2020 Election Victory As Swing State Vote Counts Trickle In



Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden entered Thursday with an increasingly clear path to the presidency, with vote totals released late Wednesday appearing grim for President Donald Trump.

The Biden campaign said Thursday morning that it believes “victory is imminent,” as it wrote on a slide in a video briefing.

“Our data shows that Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States,” campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said.

Questions remain around five states.

  • Arizona: The Associated Press and Fox News both projected a victory for Biden on election night, but no other network has since. The gap has narrowed during continued vote-tallying, but Biden still leads by nearly 70,000 votes.
  • Georgia: Biden has eroded much of Trump’s lead, with an estimated 96% of votes counted.
  • Nevada: Biden leads by about 12,000 votes. The state is expected to release the bulk of its remaining vote total on Thursday morning local time.
  • North Carolina: Trump leads by more than 75,000 votes, with an estimated 95% of votes counted. He appears to be in a strong position to win the state.
  • Pennsylvania: Biden still trails by more than 130,000 votes. However, he closed the gap considerably as counting continued in the populous state Wednesday. Given current trends, many observers expect Biden to ultimately win the state.

Trump’s path to a second term has become increasingly narrow. To hold on to the White House, he would need to win Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. In only one of those states — North Carolina — does he appear strongly favored to win.

Biden, on the other hand, can secure the electoral votes to win the presidency in numerous ways: A victory in Pennsylvania would put him over the top, as would wins in any of the two other remaining states.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to supporters in Wilmington, Delaware, early Wednesday. Since election nig

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to supporters in Wilmington, Delaware, early Wednesday. Since election night, his path to the presidency has become increasingly clear as President Donald Trump’s has narrowed. 

The current Electoral College tally is complicated by the fact that news outlets have not agreed on whether to call Arizona. The AP, which HuffPost relies on for its projected results, and Fox News called Arizona for Biden on election night. However, some outlets still have not done so. It’s possible that Biden will get to 270 votes per AP projections without a formal concession from the Trump campaign or an end to legal challenges.

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In a call with reporters on Thursday morning, Trump campaign officials pointed out that data journalist Nate Silver, who founded the FiveThirtyEight website, has publicly disagreed with the decision to call Arizona for Biden.

“The race in Arizona is getting closer and closer every day,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said.

The Trump campaign, as it warned it would, has filed multiple legal challenges in swing states. In Michigan and Pennsylvania, the campaign wants election officials to stop counting ballots until it receives “meaningful” access to ballot-counting sites and a review of ballots already counted, according to the AP. And in Georgia, the campaign is demanding that state law regarding absentee ballots be followed.

As Pennsylvania vote tallies began to stack up for Biden, Trump tweeted “STOP THE COUNT!” on Thursday morning.

However, the Trump campaign has also said its chances of victory depend on more ballots being counted. The campaign said on a call with reporters Thursday morning that it expects that yet-to-be-counted votes in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia could ultimately decide those states in the president’s favor.

Campaign official Jason Miller said Trump’s tweet on Thursday morning was only referring to “illegal” ballots, such as those mailed after Election Day.

“What the president is pointing out is something that we have driven here at the campaign and reiterated time and time again: that these states and localities should not be counting ballots that are mailed in or magically appeared in a sack of ballots after Election Day,” Miller said.

Miller’s comments are part of a broader strategy by the Trump campaign to baselessly suggest that the election has been the subject of illegal fraud and tampering.

Campaign officials on Thursday again referenced unspecified claims of voter fraud that they had received from across Pennsylvania. Prior to Election Day, however, the only Pennsylvanian formally charged with election fraud was a registered Republican and Trump supporter in Luzerne County who allegedly tried to send in an absentee ballot for his dead mother.

The campaign also sought to discredit Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, the Democrat overseeing the administration of elections in the state, because of a critical remark she made about Trump in 2017.

“She is a partisan hack running elections in Pennsylvania, and she is a disgrace,” Trump campaign attorney Justin Clark said.

On Thursday’s call with reporters, Trump campaign officials celebrated a ruling from a Pennsylvania judge that forces the city of Philadelphia to permit both campaigns to observe ballot-counting, provided they adhere to public health guidelines such as social distancing.

“We’re going to demand that we’re able to review all the things that they’ve done to date,” Clark said. “This is typical ― it’s typical of left-wing political machines in these big cities that are trying to steal a vote from the duly elected president.”

Biden, meanwhile, has urged Americans to be patient and wait for officials to complete their counts.


  • Paige LavenderREPORTER
    Have questions about the presidential race? Ask our politics editors. Read more here:

  • Hayley MillerREPORTER
    Facebook has removed a group called “Stop the Steal,” which was spreading baseless conspiracies of voter fraud to its hundreds of thousands of followers. “In line with the exceptional measures that we are taking during this period of heightened tension, we have removed the Group ‘Stop the Steal,’ which was creating real-world events,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “The group was organized around the delegitimization of the election process, and we saw worrying calls for violence from some members of the group,” the statement continued.

  • Sara BoboltzREPORTER
    Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Bookvar said on CNN that officials are “ahead of schedule” and she expects the “overwhelming majority” of votes will be counted by the end of Thursday. She previously estimated the count would be mostly complete by Friday.

  • Paige LavenderREPORTER
    A judge has tossed a lawsuit brought by Trump’s campaign in hopes of halting vote-counting in Michigan, Reuters reports. Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens made the ruling during a court hearing on Thursday. She said she planned to issue a written ruling on Friday.

  • Paige LavenderREPORTER
    Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas, will count about 51,000 ballots today and report on those results tomorrow, Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said during a press conference. Gloria said Clark County is aiming to count the majority of mail-in ballots by Saturday or Sunday.

  • Sarah Ruiz-GrossmanREPORTER
    The board of elections chair in Alleghany County, Pennsylvania, said that the approximately 35,000 ballots that remain to be counted will be processed starting Friday at 9 a.m.  “We want to make sure that every vote is counted,” Rich Fitzgerald said at a press conference, noting state law requires the counting process to start three days after the election.  With dozens of election workers preparing for tomorrow’s count, Fitzgerald reminded people that this was a “normal process that happens during every election, every year.”  In response to a question on lawsuits from Trump’s campaign in states that remain to be called, including Pennsylvania, the Alleghany County executive said: “At this point they’re probably gonna throw a lot of things at the states remaining” and that he’ll “let the courts fight that out.” “Our goal is to make sure that every single vote is counted. Every single vote that somebody has cast and they’re a registered voter and the vote was done right, we’re gonna process it,” he said.

  • Paige LavenderREPORTER
    Have questions about the 2020 down-ballot races? HuffPost’s politics editors are answering them today. Read more here:

  • Hayley MillerREPORTER
    A new batch of results from Nevada shows Biden expanding his lead from about 7,600 votes to about 12,000 votes, with 87% of the estimated total votes reported, according to the AP.

  • Hayley MillerREPORTER
    A judge in Chatham County, Georgia, has denied the Trump campaign’s petition seeking an order to ensure absentee ballots that arrive after the state’s Election Day deadline aren’t counted. A GOP witness conceded that he did not know whether a stack of 53 challenged ballots were received on time. The county’s lawyer argued there was no evidence of late ballots being counted.