Biden prepares for victory
Democrat, Joe Biden stood on the verge of winning the U.S. presidency on Friday, as he expanded his narrow leads over President Donald Trump in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Georgia, three days after polls closed.
Biden has a 253 to 214 lead in the state-by-state Electoral College vote that determines the winner, according to Edison Research.
Winning Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes would put the former vice president over the 270 he needs to secure the presidency.
Biden would also win the election if he takes two of the three other key states where he held narrow leads on Friday: Georgia, Arizona and Nevada. Like Pennsylvania, all three were still processing ballots on Friday.
As Biden inched closer to triumph, he was expected to address the nation on Friday evening, according to two people familiar with his plans. That may be a victory speech, given that his aides say Biden appears on the cusp of winning.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Trump showed little sign he was ready to concede, making clear in a statement on Friday he would continue to press his unsubstantiated claims of election fraud.
“From the beginning we have said that all legal ballots must be counted and all illegal ballots should not be counted, yet we have met resistance to this basic principle by Democrats at every turn,” he said in a statement released by his campaign.
“We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee that the American people have confidence in our government,” Trump said.
The statement came a day after Trump levelled an extraordinary attack on the democratic process by a sitting president, appearing at the White House on Thursday evening to claim the election was being “stolen” from him.
In both Pennsylvania and Georgia, Biden overtook Trump as officials processed thousands of mailin ballots that were cast in urban Democratic strongholds including Philadelphia and Atlanta.
The surge in mail voting has slowed the counting process in numerous states, a fresh reminder of the pandemic that will remain the next president’s most formidable challenge.