Wilmington, Delaware/Washington – Democrat Joe Biden held a narrow lead in Wisconsin on Wednesday after officials completed their vote count within the pivotal state, a serious boost in his quest to win the US presidency from Donald Trump despite the Republican incumbent’s false claim of victory and unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud.
Biden also led in another critical Midwestern battleground state – Michigan – as he and Trump raced to urge to the 270 electoral votes within the state-by-state body needed to win the White House. Trump won Wisconsin and Michigan in his 2016 election victory.
Wisconsin officials finished their tally at around midday after an all-night effort, showing Biden with a lead of just over 20 000 votes, or 0.6%, consistent with Edison Research. The Trump campaign immediately said it might seek a recount, which is permitted under state law when the margin is below 1%.
A Biden victory in Wisconsin would significantly narrow Trump’s path to a second four-year term, though the result remained unsure with Michigan and other closely contested states including Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina still counting votes.
Trump led within the two Southern states, Georgia and North Carolina, also as in Pennsylvania, where quite 1 million ballots were yet to be processed. But if Trump loses Wisconsin, he would need to win all three also as either Arizona or Nevada, where Biden was leading within the latest vote counts.
At the instant , not including Wisconsin, Biden leads Trump 227 to 213 in body votes, which are largely supported a state’s population.
In duelling conference calls with reporters earlier on Wednesday, officials from each campaign insisted their candidate would prevail.
“If we count all legal ballots, we win,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said, potentially setting the stage for post-election litigation over the counting of mail-in ballots.
Biden campaign manager Jennifer O’Malley Dillon told reporters the previous vice chairman was on target to win the election, while senior legal adviser Bob Bauer said there have been no grounds for Trump to invalidate lawfully cast ballots.
“We’re getting to defend this vote, the vote by which Joe Biden has been elected to the presidency,” said Bauer, adding that the campaign’s legal team was prepared for any challenge.
Biden was expected to deliver an address afterward Wednesday.
Trump continued to form baseless attacks on the vote-counting process on Twitter on Wednesday, hours after he appeared at the White House and declared victory in an election that was faraway from decided. Both Facebook and Twitter flagged multiple posts from the president for promoting misleading claims.
“We were preparing to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump said before launching a unprecedented attack on the electoral process by a sitting president. “This may be a major fraud on our nation. we would like the law to be utilized in a correct manner. So we’ll be getting to the U.S. Supreme Court. we would like all voting to prevent .”
Trump provided no evidence to copy his claim of fraud and didn’t explain how he would fight the results at the Supreme Court, which doesn’t hear direct challenges.
Voting concluded as scheduled on Tuesday night, but many nations routinely take days to end counting ballots.
The uncertainty only added to the anxiety many Americans were feeling following a vitriolic campaign that unfolded amid an epidemic that has killed quite 231,000 Americans and left millions more jobless. The country has also grappled with months of unrest involving protests over racism and police brutality.
Jeff Brower, 48, a registered independent in Atlanta, stayed up past midnight fretting about the vote count in Georgia, where officials are still tallying ballots.
“I awakened feeling as anxious as ever,” said Brower, who owns a general contracting business and voted for Biden. “This election is crucial to the longer term of America.”
In the nationwide popular vote, Biden on Wednesday was comfortably before Trump, with 2.6 million more votes. Trump won the 2016 election over Democrat Hillary Clinton after winning crucial battleground states albeit she drew about 3 million more votes nationwide.
Biden’s hopes of a decisive early victory were dashed on Tuesday evening when Trump won the battlegrounds of Florida, Ohio and Texas.
Biden led in Arizona, a battleground state with a high Latino population, which might make him only the second Democratic presidential candidate to win the state in 72 years. Trump won the state in 2016.
In Pennsylvania, officials said they were slowly working their way through many mail-in ballots, which were seen as likely to profit Biden. Across the state, there have been about twice as many ballots left to count in counties that backed Hillary Clinton in 2016 than within the counties won that year by Trump.
“The delay that we’re seeing may be a sign that the system is functioning ,” Democratic Governor Tom Wolf said at a press conference .
In Michigan, where officials said they expected to end counting by day’s end, Biden was ahead by 30,000 votes out of quite 5 million ballots by midday.
Among other undecided states, Nevada doesn’t expect to update its vote count until Thursday, state officials said.
TEAMS OF LAWYERS
It was not clear what Trump meant by saying overnight that he would ask the Supreme Court to halt “voting.” The supreme court doesn’t hear direct challenges but instead reviews cases that have worked their high from lower courts.
However, legal experts have said the election outcome could get caught up in state-by-state litigation over a number of issues, including whether states can include late-arriving ballots that were mailed bye election Day.
Even before Tuesday, the 2020 campaign saw a historic number of lawsuits across dozens of states, because the pandemic forced election officials to organize for an election like no other. Both campaigns have marshaled teams of lawyers in preparation for any disputes.
The Supreme Court previously allowed Pennsylvania to maneuver forward with an idea to count ballots mailed bye election Day that arrive up to 3 days later, but some conservative justices suggested they might be willing to reconsider the matter. State officials planned to segregate those ballots as a precaution.
Ahead of the election, Trump had said he wanted his latest U.S. Supreme Court appointee, Amy Coney Barrett, confirmed by the Senate just in case the court had to listen to any electoral dispute. Democrats had criticized the president for appearing to suggest he expected Barrett to rule out his favor.
Trump has repeatedly said without evidence that widespread mail-in voting will cause fraud, although U.S. election experts say fraud is extremely rare.
The election also will decide which party controls the U.S. Congress for subsequent two years, and therefore the Democratic drive to win control of the Senate seemed to be falling short. Democrats had flipped two Republican-held seats while losing one among their own, and 6 other races remained undecided – Alaska, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina and two in Georgia.
Trump’s strong performance in Florida, a must-win state for his re-election, was powered by his improved numbers with Latinos.
Edison’s national poll showed that while Biden led Trump among nonwhite voters, Trump received a rather higher proportion of the nonwhite votes than he did in 2016. The poll showed that about 11% of African Americans, 31% of Hispanics and 30% of Asian Americans voted for Trump, up 3 percentage points from 2016 altogether three groups.