Biden pushes closer to victory as Trump presses legal moves

Democrat Joe Biden pushed closer Thursday to the 270 Electoral College votes he needed to win the White House, securing victories in the “blue wall” battlegrounds of Wisconsin and Michigan and narrowing President Donald Trump’s path to reelection.

With just a handful of states still up for grabs, Trump tried to press his case in court in some key swing states. In spite of the aggressive Republican move, the flurry of court action did not seem obviously destined to impact the election’s outcome.

Two days after Election Day, neither candidate had amassed the votes needed to win the White House. But Biden’s victories in the Great Lakes states left him at 264, meaning he was one battleground state away—any would do—from becoming president-elect.

Trump, with 214 electoral votes, faced a much higher hurdle. To reach 270, he needed to claim all four remaining battlegrounds: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Nevada.

With millions of votes yet to be tabulated, Biden already had received more than 71 million, the most in history. At an afternoon news conference Wednesday, the former vice president said he expected to win the presidency but stopped short of outright declaring victory.

“I will govern as an American president,” Biden said. “There will be no red states and blue states when we win. Just the United States of America.”

Trump, in contrast, was escalating his efforts to sow doubt about the outcome of the race. A day after falsely claimed that he had won, he voiced support Thursday for ceasing the tallying of legally cast votes in a tweet, saying, “STOP THE COUNT!” He later falsely asserted that ballots received after Election Day “will not be counted,” a move that if implemented would affect military ballots, as his campaign propagated unsupported allegations of fraud.

Elections are run by individual state, county and local governments and Trump’s public comments have no impact on the tallying of votes across the country.

Trump’s campaign engaged in a flurry of legal activity to try to improve the Republican president’s chances and cast doubt on the election results, requesting a recount in Wisconsin and filing lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. Statewide recounts in Wisconsin have historically changed the vote tally by only a few hundred votes; Biden led by more than 20,000 ballots out of nearly 3.3 million counted.

Biden had an edge nationally over Trump after victories in Wisconsin and Michigan, key Midwestern battleground states. Contests in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada and North Carolina were tight with votes still being tabulated.

The Trump campaign said it was confident the president would ultimately pull out a victory in Arizona, where votes were also still being counted, including in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous area. The AP has declared Biden the winner in Arizona and said Thursday that it was monitoring the vote count as it proceeded.

“The Associated Press continues to watch and analyze vote count results from Arizona as they come in,” said Sally Buzbee, AP’s executive editor. “We will follow the facts in all cases.”

For four years, Democrats have been haunted by the crumbling of the blue wall, the trio of Great Lakes states—Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania—that their candidates had been able to count on in presidential elections. But Trump’s populist appeal struck a chord with white working-class voters and he captured all three in 2016 by a combined total of just 77,000 votes.

The candidates waged a fierce fight for the states this year, with Biden’s everyman political persona resonating in blue-collar towns while his campaign also pushed to increase turnout among Black voters in cities like Detroit and Milwaukee.

It was unclear when a national winner would be determined after a long, bitter campaign dominated by the coronavirus and its effects on Americans and the national economy. The U.S. on Wednesday set another record for daily confirmed cases as several states posted all-time highs. The pandemic has killed more than 233,000 people in the United States.

Trump spent much of Wednesday and Thursday in the White House residence, huddling with advisers and fuming at media coverage showing his Democratic rival picking up battlegrounds. Trump used his Twitter feed to falsely claim victory in several key states and amplify unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about Democratic gains as absentee and early votes were tabulated. Aides did not say when he next planned to appear in public.

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said the president would formally request a Wisconsin recount, citing “irregularities” in several counties. And the campaign said it was filing suits in Michigan and Pennsylvania to halt ballot counting on grounds that it wasn’t given proper access to observe. Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller said additional legal action was expected in Nevada.

“We will literally be going through every single ballot,” he said of the hotly contested state.

At the same time, hundreds of thousands of votes were still to be counted in Pennsylvania, and Trump’s campaign said it was moving to intervene in existing Supreme Court litigation over counting mail-in ballots there.

Despite Trump’s claims that he was taking fraud claims to court, most of the lawsuits demand better access for campaign observers to locations where ballots are being processed and counted. A judge in Georgia dismissed the campaign’s suit there less than 12 hours after it was filed.

Biden attorney Bob Bauer said the suits were “meritless”

“I want to emphasize that for their purposes these lawsuits don’t have to have merit,” he said. “That’s not the purpose. … It is to create an opportunity for them to message falsely about what’s taking place in the electoral process.”

In other closely watched races, Trump picked up Florida, the largest of the swing states, and held onto Texas and Ohio while Biden kept New Hampshire and Minnesota.

Beyond the presidency, Democrats had hoped the election would allow the party to reclaim the Senate and pad its majority in the House. But while the voting scrambled seats in the House and Senate, it ultimately left Congress much like it began—deeply divided.

The candidates spent months pressing dramatically different visions for the nation’s future, including on racial justice, and voters responded in huge numbers, with more than 100 million people casting votes ahead of Election Day.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell discounted the president’s quick claim of victory, saying it would take a while for states to conduct their vote counts. The Kentucky Republican said that “claiming you’ve won the election is different from finishing the counting.”

Vote tabulations routinely continue beyond Election Day, and states largely set the rules for when the count has to end. In presidential elections, a key point is the date in December when presidential electors meet. That’s set by federal law.

Dozens of Trump supporters chanting “Stop the count!” descended on a ballot-tallying center in Detroit, while thousands of anti-Trump protesters demanding a complete vote count took to the streets in cities across the U.S.

Protests—sometimes about the election, sometimes about racial inequality—took place Wednesday in at least a half-dozen cities, including Los Angeles, Seattle, Houston, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis and San Diego.

Several states allow mailed-in votes to be accepted after Election Day as long as they were postmarked by Tuesday. That includes Pennsylvania.

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36 thoughts on “Biden pushes closer to victory as Trump presses legal moves

    1. It’s not cheating to count all the legally cast votes, which is what all these states are doing.

      It’s been known for months this is exactly how the election would play out, especially in the states where counting was not allowed to start until after Election Day. Republican margins from in-person voting would slowly be reduced as the mail-in/absentee ballots are counted.

      And it was also known this was exactly what Trump’s response would be – claim victory before all votes were counted, allege fraud with no evidence, fill the right-wing echo chamber of Facebook and Fox News with disinformation, and throw a million lawyers at it.

      Please keep reminding me of the dangers of supposed socialism while staying silent about the danger to democracy that Donald Trump actually is.

    2. What she means is, there’s that one guy in NC who said he voted twice. (He was a Republican.)

    3. “It’s all over social media and other news sources”. I never knew social media even was a news source!!

  1. Take off your blinders! How do you explain the ballot dumps, the ballots cast for dead people, the media suppression on this topic, the refusal to allow others to view the process, the ballot counter caught throwing out a ballot?

    1. Easy, I follow actual news sources instead of instantly believing every social media post that is designed to make me angry. Take a brief and expand your sources. If you are angry and fuming right now, the sources you follow don’t have your best interest in mind – they are just using you to circulate more outrage. Don’t let them weaponize you. Take control of your mind and stop living in fear and anger.

    1. Largely, it’s called “fake news”. Facebook and Fox feed it to their viewers because it makes them more money when you’re so angry that you have to keep clicking and refreshing.

      But a reminder than voter fraud rarely happens and is prosecuted when it does. Remember Charlie White?

      Also, a reminder that after 2016, Donald Trump put together a commission to look into voter fraud. They quietly disbanded after … not finding any.

      Is it likely there’s something prosecutable out there? Probably on a small scale. Enough to change who won the election? Doubtful. Enough to make a bunch of people think that Donald Trump was cheated out of re-election? Depends on where you get your information.

  2. Joe B. You are clueless with regard to where I get the news so don’t even attempt to think you know something about me. You have recited a narrative I’ve heard before. Biden has a lot on the line, like life in prison and you think for a minute that he won’t do every corrupt thing in his power to win the election to save his ass? You must be narrowly focused on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and FOX, the fake news. There is likely something prosecutable on a large scale and as a true American I believe in justice and there will be prosecutions.

    1. Wait, are we locking up Biden before or after we lock Hillary up? I get SO confused…

      And what about Obama? When are we locking him up?

    2. No one has prison time on the line more than Donald J Trump. The SDNY is salivating right now. He wants to win re-election to avoid prison time for those financial crimes…….not because he wants to do anything for you, the environment, or world peace. LOL

  3. You, Joe B. are clueless with regard to where I get the news so don’t even attempt to think you know something about me. You have recited a narrative I’ve heard before. Biden has a lot on the line, like life in prison and you think for a minute that he won’t do every corrupt thing in his power to win the election to save his ass? You must be narrowly focused on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and FOX, the fake news. There is likely something prosecutable on a large scale and as a true American I believe in justice and there will be prosecutions.

    1. Debbie obviously doesn’t want to reveal her new sources. Might be Trump’s rallies and tweets.

    1. Debbie, get better sources. Find the media bias chart online and only consume news from the sources in the top middle – the reliable ones. There’s a lot of them. Make sure some of those reliable ones tell you what you don’t want to hear. Make sure a couple are international for outside perspective.

      But if you don’t like any of that news and perspectives, don’t label it all fake and run into the arms of the people who will take your money/attention and tell you what you want to hear and make sure you stay angry and keep giving them money/attention. What you might need to do is re-evaluate your positions and realize that perhaps… you need to re-consider them. It’s hard to accept that one might be wrong, but it will make you a better American with time.

      I’ve been there. I grew up Republican. I listened to Limbaugh and read his books. I voted Republican up until they lost their minds about 10-12 years ago… so I figure I’ve voted Republican more than I’ve voted Democrat across my lifetime. It’d be better for America if we had two sane parties offering solutions for ALL Americans.

    2. Joe B. —- well stated points throughout this string.
      Debbie L……….. bless your heart…… brainwashed by Fox News. I have a dear friend the you remind me of. We can’t talk politics because he becomes a crazed lunatic that has been brainwashed of any common sense by non stop listening to Fox. I actually thought he was going to hit me durig one conversation. The division completely fueled by Trump has to end, hopefully with this election.

      Looking forward to a president we can actually respect that returns dignity to the office and regains world respect and will seek bi-partisanship, regardless of the crap Mitch McConnell has pulled.

    3. Jay, the Republican Party hasn’t stood for bipartisanship since Obama took office. They decided to put themselves before the country and have been rewarded repeatedly, and just about everyone who was “bipartisan” was branded a RINO and tossed overboard. There won’t be a return to bipartisanship until the Republican Party has new leadership.

      I loathed Pat Bauer when he led the Indiana Democrats and frequently only had “no!” as the alternate option to what the Republicans wanted to do during the Daniels administration. I loathe the current Republican Party with the same feelings because they don’t have any alternatives for America, they just want to pack the courts to protect their donors as long as possible. They act like they know the jig is up for them, and if they destroy America in the process, so be it.

      We’d be a better country with two political parties with two sane visions of the future of America. I may not like everything the Democrats have to offer, but it’s a far bit better than the nonsense Republicans have to offer.

  4. Biden actually attended a meeting on COVID-19 today. While Trump watched Fox News in the oval office, tweeted, and threatened more law suits in states where he is not winning.

    1. Susie, Trump’s supporters can’t even keep their line straight. They insist on counting all the ballots in Arizona, but counting should be stopped in Pennsylvania and Georgia. I’m sure the fact that Trump’s behind in AZ but ahead in PA and GA has nothing to do with that. it’s plainly obvious that when Trump says “legal” ballots, he only regards votes for himself as legal. Again, remind me about how dangerous socialism is while Donald Trump sits here and attacks democracy. Sure seems like the America that Donald Trump wants isn’t a democracy in which folks like you or I have a voice.

      If you think fraud has been committed, you’re right. You’re the aggrieved party, because you’ve been led astray.

  5. Funny thing is, the Dems who spent the last for years complaining about election interference in the 2016 election suddenly claim there couldn’t be any in 2020!

    1. I’d say the start was the point where they decided to not vote for the ACA and proclaim it was evil even though it was their plan to begin with… and lie that they had a better plan. (Ten years on and they still don’t have a better plan.) They decided it would be better to reject all the overtures from the Democrats for bipartisan health care reform because it was better for them politically to claim that it was rammed down their throats. All lies.

      But what did they learn? To double down on the hatred, because turning Democrats into “the enemy” got them back the House and Senate. Little wonder their hatred machine got out of control and they ended up with Trump as their candidate – he’s the personification of all the hatred that Republican voters have been consuming for years. Again, great for the party, bad for the country.

      Why the Republicans didn’t tell Trump to pound sand when he wanted in their primary, I have no idea. Everything he’s touched in his life dies, and he’s killed the Republican Party. It’s now a personality cult, and he’ll be controlling it for another 4 years. (Wait until he gets the idea that Don Jr. or Eric or Ivanka should be the candidate in 2024. Sorry about your luck, Mike Pence. You were always expendable.)

      Speaking of election interference, man did Putin ever get his way. Russia can’t top America, but they can sure drag it down a level or four.

  6. Susie, Indiana is done, we were the first to fall to Trump thanks to Holcomb and all his rich backers. Good points Jay C. and Joe B.
    I am ashamed of of both Parties. All they both do is point fingers and fight back and forth among themselves.
    Meanwhile, the American people suffer. Where is the stimulus Americans need? They are still fighting and holding out while America suffers. I ponder the thought of a third party. I am Independent, I vote for whomever I feel is the best person, regardless of Party. This election, anyone is better than Trump. America needs to heal and as Joe B. said, we have a lot of damage to repair.
    I can’t believe we are stuck with Mitch MCConnell!! The old goat needs to retire to a rocking chair!

  7. If you listen to the spokesmen, the representatives of the States who are still counting they dispel some of the falsehoods being spread Debbie L.
    A ballot has to be requested to be sent, and dead person, dog, or 3 month old can’t do that so there is one myth
    you can exclude. Don’t be so gullible.
    May this all be over soon so we can stand together and fight this virus, heal, and start to repair the damage.
    Be safe Everyone! 😷

  8. You have voted Kamala Harris into the presidency. You are motivated by hate rather than Trump’s many marvelous accomplishments despite everything Dems did to block his positive domestic and foreign policies. So you don’t like his personality? And, I take it you don’t like cops. Great reason to vote for cackling Kamala.

    1. Susie D…….
      1. What are some of Trump’s supposed accomplishments? He has kept Obama’s successful ecomony alive, but that’s not really Trump’s accomplishment….. What has he done for the environment? What has he done for bi-partisanship? What has he done to demonstrate character and integrity for youth?
      2. Biden supporters like cops. Please don’t believe the fear mongering of the right wing nut cases and Fox.
      3. It’s so funny to observe how women turn on each other over small things like another women’s “cackling”….

  9. Susie no one talks about hate, but you. Trump is a pitiful person. Personality? No Susie, it is a matter of character. Trump lacks character, empathy, and lacks the common decency for fellow human beings. Trump is egoistic, cares only about himself unless it benefits him to care about others, and is paranoid. You see the paranoia now as he lashes out in his immature, big baby behavior.
    Trump lacks CHARACTER, a lack of respect for others, how to treat others. Look at all the people, Allies, dignitaries, constitutes, peers, he has destroyed simply because they did not agree or do what he wanted. His reign of fear, intimidation, suppression, and domination are over.

  10. Maybe if at anytime during the last four years trump had at least acted like he cared about the half of the country that didn’t vote for him, he would have won this one easily. Or maybe if during the last four years he had not shown his anger and vengefulness through avenues like twitter, interviews, and campaign speeches, he would have won easily this time. If he loses, the margin will be so little, I have to believe if he had acted Presidential, rather then like a spoiled child, he would be an easy winner now. He turned a few too many away with his behavior and likely caused many people who didn’t vote at all last time, to vote against him this time.

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