All eyes are on Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona Thursday afternoon as former Vice President Joe Biden inches closer to an Electoral College win in the race against President Donald J. Trump.
Biden is currently leading in the popular vote by nearly 4 million.
Without calling Arizona, preliminary results have Biden at 253 electoral votes versus Trump’s 214. Ballot counts out of Arizona shortly after 4 p.m. have Biden leading the state with 50.4 percent, giving several major news outlets reason to believe the 11 electoral votes are his to claim, which would bring him within six electoral votes to hit the 270 goal. However, only 86 percent of the state’s votes had so far been counted.
Biden is in good shape to officially take not only Arizona, but he’s also leading in Nevada, where another six electoral votes are up for grabs.
A large share of the remaining ballots in most states are those that were mailed in, and they heavily lean toward Biden. Trump is currently leading in Georgia and Pennsylvania, but the margins are decreasing rapidly as mail-in ballots are being tallied and reported out.
As of Thursday afternoon, just one-tenth of a point separated the candidates in Georgia. In Pennsylvania at the same time, that difference was less than one point. Georgia’s winner will net 16 electoral votes and Pennsylvania offers up 20.
It is possible but in no way guaranteed that results will tilt assuredly to Biden by the end of Thursday. Those four states are under the nation’s microscope.
In a strategy seemingly more focused on suppression than democracy, the Trump campaign has attempted legal assaults on the election process in each of those four states and several others, alleging fraud in large part due to mail-in ballot counting. Judges have quickly tossed out most of those cases as they come based on lack of evidence. Cases in Georgia and Michigan were dismissed by judges Thursday.
Still, Trump is sticking to the narrative, claiming again Thursday during a White House press briefing that he has already won if only “legal votes” are counted. Stoking tumult among his supporters, he’s accusing Democrats and the Biden campaign of trying to “steal” the election.
His rhetoric is spilling out into the public realm. Trump supporters were seen protesting outside election offices around the country, demanding officials stop counting legally cast ballots. Police in Brentwood Thursday morning found a hanging mannequin effigy with a sign that read “Sleepy Joe (Cheater)” hanging from a two-story home.
In opposition to the president’s demands to stop the process, people have rallied in several U.S. cities, including in Oakland Wednesday, demanding that officials “count every vote.”
The Biden team is urging people to remain patient. Despite a solid lead, he has declined to claim victory. The former vice president spoke earlier Thursday, saying:
“I ask people to stay calm, everybody to stay calm. The process is working.”