Joe Biden expresses confidence in winning the 270 votes while Trump battles him with lawsuit
The Democrat flagbearer Joe Biden has expressed confidence in winning the 270 votes to snatch the presidential seat from the Republican leader, President Donald Trump after he falsely claimed victory.
According to Mr Biden, he was optimistic that the outcome of the results will favour him once all the votes are counted.
In the Senate races, Democrats faced an uphill battle to claim a majority.
President Trump won a series of key battlegrounds early on Wednesday morning, including Florida, Ohio, Texas and Iowa, as Biden expressed confidence he would ultimately prevail across key Northern states and Arizona as the presidential contest turned into a state-by-state slog that could drag deeper into the week.
Addressing the Democrat around 12:30 am Mr Biden called for calm and said his party is on track and once the result is declared he would lead the race.
“We believe we are on track to win this election,” he said.
No full states had yet flipped from their 2016 results as of 1 a.m., but several key states had huge portions of ballots still to be counted.
Mr Biden did flip a single Electoral College vote that President Trump had won in 2016, carrying Nebraska’s second Congressional District, which includes Omaha.
With millions of legitimate votes still waiting to be counted, President Trump declared that he won the election.
Appearing at the White House, he pressed for more vote counting in Arizona, where he is behind, and called to stop the count where he is ahead as he declared the election “a fraud on the American public.”
President Trump’s campaign threatened legal challenges after its path to victory narrowed, with Joe Biden winning two critical states in the upper Midwest.
The undecided presidential election entered a new phase on Wednesday as former Vice President Joe Biden was declared the winner of Michigan and Wisconsin, two key swing states that President Trump won four years ago.
The Trump campaign, whose path to victory was narrowing, said that it would seek a recount in Wisconsin while it announced that it had taken legal action seeking to halt the vote count in Michigan, one of a flurry of lawsuits that included joining an action challenging the extension of ballot deadlines in Pennsylvania and filing another seeking to segregate late absentee ballots in Georgia.
In an unprecedented move that drew bipartisan condemnation, the president said he intended to go to the Supreme Court to intervene to halt the legitimate counting of the vote.
The Trump campaign’s string of challenges came as the president found himself with few paths remaining to winning the 270 electoral votes needed to be re-elected.
By Wednesday afternoon, Mr Biden was holding leads in several key states which, if the trend continues, could propel him to the critical Electoral College threshold and the presidency.
The lingering uncertainty of the 2020 campaign was perhaps unsurprising in an election with record-breaking turnout where most ballots were cast before Election Day but many could not be counted until afterward.
President Trump’s chances of winning a second term depended on his ability to hang on to his leads in states like Georgia and in Pennsylvania, where his close tender has been narrowing the gap as vote counting progresses.
If he could not hold some key states, the former vice president could win the election even without Pennsylvania, which has long been viewed as a must-have battleground state.
“I am not here to declare that we have won, but I am here to report that when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners,” Mr Biden said in a speech on Wednesday afternoon in Wilmington, Del.
Even before the Wisconsin race was called, the Trump campaign said that it would request a recount.
Under Wisconsin law, a recount could be requested if the margin between the top two candidates was less than one percentage point.
The campaign manager of President Trump, Bill Stepien in a statement said “the president is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so.”
Mr Stepien later claimed that the Trump campaign had not been given “meaningful access” to several counting locations in Michigan, and that it had a filed suit in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until access was granted.
He later announced that the campaign would intervene in Pennsylvania while he claimed in the evening that they were filing suit in Georgia seeking to get counties to separate late-arriving ballots from the rest.
Taken together, the legal actions threatened to slow the counting in states where President Trump was projected to lose or in danger of losing.
Meanwhile, a source close to Joe Biden’s revealed that some votes which were in favour of Mr Biden were mail-in ballots, stressing that the Democratic Party spent months promoting the message of submitting votes in advance, while President Trump encouraged his voters to turn out on Election Day.
In Pennsylvania, many of the uncounted votes were from populous urban and suburban areas that tend to vote heavily for Democrats.
Four years ago, Michigan provided one of Trump’s most surprising victories and helped him take back the Northern industrial states that had favored Democrats in presidential elections since the 1990s.
In the 2020 elections, President Trump’s popularity took a serious hit with the coalition of white voters, independents, those who had an unfavourable view of him but supported him anyway, people with and without college educations who helped secure his win in Michigan in 2016.
Even in Pennsylvania, where President Trump had run up a daunting lead of roughly eight percentage points as of Wednesday afternoon, Mr Biden had a plausible shot of catching up.
Pennsylvania’s secretary of state noted that there were more than 1.4 million mail-in ballots still to be counted, and those votes were expected to heavily favour Mr Biden.
Meanwhile, President Trump held leads in North Carolina and Georgia, and his campaign expressed hopes that his early Pennsylvania lead could withstand an influx of mail-in ballots for Mr Biden.
If President Trump was able to retake the lead from Mr Biden in Arizona or Nevada, which has gone Democratic in recent elections, he would have a path to a second term.