Tuesday. 28.03.2023

Biden all but declares victory as votes turn sharply in his favour

 As he has done repeatedly in recent days he said people should remain calm and patient as election workers tabulated every last ballot.
November 06, 2020 - Wilmington, Delaware, USA. - Screen grab from the MSNBC coverage of Democratic candidate for president, Vice President JOE BIDEN, delivering a progress update and expressing confidence concerning the vote count in the six states not yet called for either presidential candidate.(Credit Image: © Msnbc/ZUMA Wire Photo: Msnbc/dpa.
Screenshot from the MSNBC coverage of Joe Biden delivering a progress update and expressing confidence. Image: Msnbc.

Democrat Joe Biden stopped just shy of declaring victory in the US presidential race on Friday, saying votes were still being counted, but ballot counts in swing-states all pointed in his favour.

"We are going to win this race with a clear majority and the nation behind us," Biden said in Delaware, his home state. As he has done repeatedly in recent days he said people should remain calm and patient as election workers tabulated every last ballot.

"Let the process work out," he said. He closed his brief speech by saying that he hoped to make another address the following day, a hint that he expected the race to soon be called in his favour.

US media networks have been hesitant to declare a winner, amid a tight race and sharp pushback from President Donald Trump, who shows no sign of being willing to concede, even as the odds stack up against him in the remaining uncalled states.

"What is becoming clearer each hour is that record numbers of Americans, from all races, faiths, religions, chose change over more of the same," Biden said.

He took a moment out of his speech to express particular concern about the coronavirus pandemic, noting that the country was seeing record daily caseloads and stressing the need to get the outbreaks under control.

His tone and rhetoric, calling for unity and an end to domestic political warfare, starkly contrasted with Trump's.

The Republican has claimed, without proof, that the vote count is being rigged, that there is "major fraud" and that an apparent coalition of "big media, big money, and big tech" was whittling away his early lead.

Numerous election officials, including members of both major parties, have said bluntly that there is no widespread fraud. The changes in the race and the slow count are largely attributable to mail-in balloting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As more votes are counted in Pennsylvania, Biden had pulled ahead by nearly 30,000 votes as of Friday night. Both campaigns spent significant time rallying supporters in the north-eastern state in recent months, as they recognized early on its decisive role.

Georgia and Nevada

Biden also has a very slim lead of a few thousand votes in Georgia, and is leading in both Nevada and Arizona out west.

If the tabulations hold in his favour, he would have more than enough electoral votes to pass the critical 270-vote mark in the Electoral College and take the presidency.

Trump appears to be flailing, drifting back and forth between tactics. He is now indicated his strategy is shifting from contesting specific election results to questioning the entire process, as he raises cash from supporters to launch more lawsuits.

"This is no longer about any single election. This is about the integrity of our entire election process," Trump said in a statement from his campaign, pledging to "never give up" the fight.

Trump's lawyers have filed a number of failed court actions, most getting tossed out by judges for lack of merit.

However, the Supreme Court will likely hear more on Pennsylvania on Saturday. There is confusion in that state on what to do about legal ballots that were received after Election Day.

A justice on the top court ordered that those ballots be counted separately until a full conference could convene to consider further steps.

Despite Trump's rhetoric, his top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, told broadcaster CNBC "there will be a peaceful transfer of power."

Every vote counts

Three days after polls closed, election officials in several states said staff were diligently working to count every vote, realizing that any county might be the one to end the wait and see a president-elect declared.

Workers, many effectively volunteers, are working late hours while wearing masks to stay safe, as they count the ballots.

On top of court cases, there could be other issues, such as legally mandated recounts in tight races, such as in Georgia, in the south, a state that has not gone for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992.

"Georgia remains too close to call ... With a margin that small there will be a recount," Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said.

Another top election official said the state may not be able to certify its results until the end of November.

"We are literally looking at a margin of less than a large high school," Gabriel Sterling said, giving a sense of size, while also stressing there were no signs of widespread fraud.

Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah who was the party's presidential candidate in 2012, had sharp words against Trump's allegations.

"He is wrong to say that the election was rigged, corrupt and stolen - doing so damages the cause of freedom here and around the world," Romney said.

Biden all but declares victory as votes turn sharply in his favour