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in-focus

Biden takes lead in count in Pennsylvania and Georgia


Joe Biden overtook President Donald Trump in the count in Pennsylvania just before 9 a.m. as the state's Democratic-leaning counties reported additional vote count totals.

President Trump departs after speaking in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on Thursday. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford, The count is ongoing. But Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes would put Biden over the 270 votes needed even with a handful of other states still too close to call.

Biden also took a small lead in Georgia early Friday, though vote counting is not yet complete. Thousands of requested overseas and military ballots may arrive by the deadline Friday, and there are provisional ballots left to count.

In Pennsylvania, Biden pulled ahead with the release of the vote count of mail-in ballots from heavily Democratic Philadelphia.

With the update, Biden leads Trump by more than 5,000 votes. If Biden win the state's 20 electoral votes, he will have enough to claim an electoral college win.

Before the latest release, Biden had been trailing Trump by about 18,000 votes in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania was among the most hotly contested states of the cycle, with both Biden and Trump making regular trips to the state for most of the campaign.

Both candidates spent considerable time there in the final days of the race, with Biden holding a final rally in Pittsburgh the night before the election and making an additional two stops on Election Day.

The Trump campaign indicated Friday that it will continue to press legal challenges in four key states, despite losses in court a day earlier as two judges rejected its claims.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Friday released a list of 12 political, legal and communications staff who will focus on Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania. All but one person already worked for the Trump campaign, the RNC or state Republican parties, according to their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles.

"We will not give up on this process until every last issue has been resolved," McDaniel said in a statement.

The Trump campaign has run into legal setbacks to its aggressive push to stop vote-counting in Michigan and Georgia. Judges in those states rejected the campaign's lawsuits on Monday, and in Pennsylvania, a request to stop the count in Philadelphia was denied after a deal was struck to allow 60 observers from each party to watch the process.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., advocated Friday that the election process continue to play out and that courts resolve disputes.

In a tweet, McConnell echoed Trump's refrain about not counting illegal ballots but was silent on baseless conspiracies that Trump has pushed alleging widespread election fraud in states where Biden has picked up votes in counting since Election Day.

"Here's how this must work in our great country: Every legal vote should be counted," McConnell said. "Any illegally submitted ballots must not. All sides must get to observe the process. And the courts are here to apply the laws & resolve disputes. That's how Americans' votes decide the result."

U.S. stocks were poised for an opening bell slide Friday as investors grapple with a maelstrom of uncertainty: record coronavirus infections, a weakening economic recovery and a yet-to-be called presidential race.

After mounting their sharpest rally since April, all major U.S. indexes were pointing lower in premarket trading as investors awaited October job numbers and the outcome of the presidential election. 

After unleashing a tirade from the White House briefing room Thursday night that was filled with falsehoods about the U.S. electoral system, Trump continued to air grievances overnight on Twitter and demanded that the U.S. Supreme Court intervene in the election.

One of Trump's predawn tweets drew a warning label from Twitter for disputed and misleading content. In it, Trump falsely asserted that campaign observers were not allowed to do their job "in any way, shape, or form."

"I easily WIN the Presidency of the United States with LEGAL VOTES CAST," Trump claimed. "The OBSERVERS were not allowed, in any way, shape, or form, to do their job and therefore, votes accepted during this period must be determined to be ILLEGAL VOTES. U.S. Supreme Court should decide!"

There is no evidence of widespread fraud in this election. Officials in several states are still counting ballots that were legally submitted by mail and in person.

In his White House appearance on Thursday, Trump baselessly claimed that there was widespread fraud in states in which he was losing, but not in those he was winning. There is no evidence for his statements.

Trump's broadsides have exposed tensions within his party, splitting GOP officials who spoke publicly on Thursday night into warring camps: those who defended the president and those who defended the U.S. election process. Many others, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have stayed silent.

Trump's loyalists, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, echoed Trump's evidence-free claims of widespread fraud in Pennsylvania and other swing states that have been trending toward former vice president Joe Biden as more votes are counted.

 

 

 

 

Published : November 06, 2020

By : The Washington Post · John Wagner · NATIONAL, POLITICS