Biden Makes Positive factors in Georgia, Pennsylvania as Nation Anxiously Awaits Winner
Joseph R. Biden Jr. gained ground in Pennsylvania, Nevada and Georgia on Thursday as the slow vote in these embattled battlefield states brought him closer to gaining an electoral majority and defeating President Trump.
As a fearful country waited to find out the winner, the two contestants showed up towards the end of the day to make remarks that differed dramatically in tone and content.
In a brief appearance to reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, Mr. Biden said he remained confident that he would ultimately prevail but had not made a claim on the White House.
“Democracy is sometimes chaotic,” said Mr. Biden, who stayed ahead in Arizona on Thursday night but lost some ground there. “Sometimes it also takes a little patience. But this patience has been rewarded for more than 240 years with a system of government that the world envies. “
He urged calm and stressed that “every ballot must be counted”.
Hours later, in a stunning appearance in the White House briefing room, Mr. Trump lied about the vote count in multiple states, invoking a conspiracy of “legal” and “illegal” ballot papers tabulated without claiming to be states acted trying to refuse him re-election.
“They are trying to steal an election, they are trying to manipulate an election,” said the President from the White House briefing room. He also suggested shameful behavior for no reason in Philadelphia and Detroit, cities he called “two of the most corrupt political places”.
Mr. Trump’s remarks, mostly read-out notes, were at times more appreciative than defiant. Far from insisting he would stay in power, he used much of his looks to complain about pre-election polls, demonize the news media, and try to put the best face on Tuesday’s results and trumpeting his party’s profits in Congress. He didn’t take questions from reporters.
For all of his grievances, Mr Trump has only himself and his own party to blame for the late number of votes in a number of states.
State and local Republican officials in some states declined to have municipalities count mail-in votes before Tuesday. And because of Mr. Trump’s months of assaulting postal ballot papers, more Democrats than Republicans voted this way, which allowed Mr. Biden to pick up the majority of the votes that came in the mail.
In his speech, Mr. Trump expressed no concern about the lengthy vote count in Arizona, a state where he has taken the lead from Mr. Biden, as more ballot papers are tabulated.
Republican leaders did not offer an immediate response to Mr. Trump’s remarks, but a small group of lone fighters in the party condemned his comments to reassure voters that there was no reason to believe that the integrity of the elections had been undermined.
Republican Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois and frequent critic of Mr. Trump, gave the sharpest rebuke: “This is going to be crazy” and urged the president to “stop spreading exposed misinformation”.
Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor and advisor to Mr. Trump, said on ABC that “we haven’t heard about evidence today,” adding to the President’s actions, “All it does is ignite without informing. “
However, there were also Republican lawmakers who rushed to Mr. Trump’s defense and sided with him to falsely claim that the vote count was illegal and that the Democrats were trying to defraud.
Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, called Trump’s allegations that ballots were mistreated in Pennsylvania as “earthshaking” and told Sean Hannity of Fox News that he plans to donate $ 500,000 to the president’s legal defense Funds.
“You’re just trying to get an outcome – damn the law, damn the outcome,” Graham said of Democrats.
As the world watched as one of the most unusual presidencies in the country’s history came to an end, America’s patchwork of electoral laws created a confusing and fearful day for both parties, not to mention millions of Americans, eager to complete the campaign.
Mr. Biden’s advantage in Arizona, a state that The Associated Press has already called for the former vice president, diminished when thousands of votes were tabulated. But in Georgia and Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump saw his early advantage wear off as the postal vote was counted.
He hadn’t appeared in public until Mr Trump’s remarks on Thursday night, as he appeared in the middle of the night on Wednesday to insist that he had already won. But he posted angry Twitter messages and did so on Thursday too.
“All of the states recently alleged by Biden are being challenged by us for electoral fraud and electoral fraud,” he said in a message, without going into what exactly that would mean. “STOP THE COUNT!” he exclaimed in another tweet.
Twitter reprimanded the president, calling some of the messages “controversial” and saying they could be “misleading about an election or other civic process”.
In either case, stopping the count would only ensure that Mr Biden wins the presidency, as he leads the way in Arizona and Nevada – states that together would give him 270 votes.
The presidential competition wasn’t the only close race that caught attention. A major Georgia Senate race to rule the Chamber was even closer when Republican Senator David Perdue saw his vote drop below 50 percent in his race against Democrat Jon Ossoff. If neither wins a majority, the race would lead to a runoff election in January and the prospect of a hotly contested battle for two seats in the Senate in Georgia. A runoff is already planned in the special elections for the other seat of the state.
On Thursday, some of Mr Trump’s political representatives gathered in some of the disputed states to rally his supporters. And the president’s lawyers filed lawsuits in several states challenging the integrity of the vote in hopes of slowing the process down.
Nov. 6, 2020, 12:30 p.m. ET
He suffered two legal setbacks Thursday when judges in Georgia and Michigan ruled against his campaign. But Mr Trump scored a small win in Pennsylvania when an appeals court granted his motion to force electoral officials in Philadelphia to give his election observers better access to areas where workers count ballots.
With the census moving slowly in the west, Thursday’s focus was mostly on Pennsylvania, where a victory would bring Mr Biden to the presidency regardless of the results in the other states. The state’s chief electoral officer said Thursday night that the counties “are still counting” and did not provide a schedule for the census to complete.
Mr. Trump’s lead in the state, roughly 26,000 votes as of 10:50 p.m. East, shrank as postal ballots were counted in the heavily democratic cities and suburbs.
The two parties held dueling press conferences early in the day in Philadelphia, with Mr Trump’s supporters insisting his leadership persist nationwide and the city’s Democrats, led by former Representative Robert A. Brady, revealed an analysis of the remaining Number of votes that Mr. Biden would convincingly win Pennsylvania.
In Georgia, the counting of ballot papers in numerous counties continued to undermine Mr Trump’s advantage in the traditionally republican state: on Thursday evening he led with around 1,800 votes out of almost five million votes cast.
Tens of thousands of ballot papers had to be counted late in the day in the state, including many in Chatham County, a Democratic county on the Georgia coast that is home to Savannah, and many thousands more from Democratic counties also in the Atlanta area.
The Republican Party of Georgia has announced that it will bring up to a dozen lawsuits in the state.
In Arizona, Mr. Biden’s lead was about 46,000 votes, significantly less than on election night. There are over two hundred thousand ballots left, many of them from Maricopa County, Phoenix.
Officials in Maricopa said they would release another report on Friday morning.
“We’ll join in and make it happen,” said Adrian Fontes, the Democrat who oversees the county’s elections.
However, the number of votes in Maricopa has been tense since several armed demonstrators appeared at the district office on Wednesday evening. About 200 supporters of Mr. Trump gathered outside the Republican Party of Arizona headquarters Thursday afternoon after some 50 Trump supporters were dispersed outside Phoenix City Hall earlier that day.
Some in the crowd held signs saying “Steal Elections,” “Shame on Fox News,” and “Recall Fontes.” (Fox News called Arizona for Mr. Biden Tuesday night, inflaming Trump supporters.)
Mr Biden led with just over 11,000 votes in Nevada, but local Las Vegas officials announced Thursday that 51,000 Clark County ballots will be counted and will be announced on Friday. Mr. Biden won the county by about eight percentage points. If he wins the majority of the new votes, it would make it nearly impossible for Mr Trump to take over the state, since about 70 percent of Nevada’s voters live in Clark County.
As part of an effort to sow doubts about the state’s election, Trump’s state director in Nevada posted a letter to supporters Thursday, urging them to “review the issues they faced in this election to go the camera ”to“ uncover problems ”We look at polling stations / office workers. “
Publicly and privately, the Biden campaign spent much of Thursday dampening expectations for certainty of results in individual states, though its supporters were nervous when it found margins far closer than many expected.
In a briefing with reporters, Mr. Biden’s campaign manager Jennifer O’Malley Dillon admitted that his leads in Arizona and Nevada may be tightening or otherwise wavering. It was a departure from her position the day before when she spoke of a “historic victory in a place like Arizona,” although she was still optimistic about victories in both states.
“Similar to Nevada, we expect part of the margin to continue to close today,” she said of Arizona, a state she has been focusing on for months. “The story of Arizona is one where Joe Biden will win, but it will take time and patience as we go through the count.”
“Today’s story,” she said elsewhere, “is going to be a very positive story for the Vice President, but also one in which people need to be patient and calm.”
The coverage was written by Catie Edmondson in Washington, Nick Corasaniti in Philadelphia, Richard Fausset in Atlanta and Jennifer Medina and Simon Romero in Phoenix.