Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden moved ahead of President Donald Trump in the battleground state of Georgia and Pennsylvania on Friday morning, putting him one step closer to the White House as states continue to count ballots.
Biden has 264 Electoral College votes and Trump has 214, according to the Associated Press. Both candidates need 270 votes to secure the presidency.
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Friday morning, Pennsylvania officials are expected to make an announcement about the vote count in the state. Currently, Biden is leading there in the state with 5,500 votes.
The Associated Press has projected Biden to win Arizona, meaning a victory in Georgia, Pennsylvania, or Nevada would push Biden to the 270 vote threshold.
Trump’s likeliest path appears narrower — he needs to hang onto both Pennsylvania and Georgia and also to overtake Biden in either Nevada or Arizona.
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Georgia turning blue?
While the state has not been called for either Biden or Trump, the Democrat was able to close the gap over the last few days and is now ahead by 1,097 votes in Georgia, where counting continued early Friday.
The shift in Georgia came hours after Trump appeared at the White House to falsely claim the election was being “stolen” from him.
Trump had seen his lead steadily shrink in Georgia, a southern state that has not voted for a Democratic presidential nominee since 1992, as officials worked through tens of thousands of uncounted votes, many from Democratic strongholds such as Atlanta.
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The Georgia secretary of state reported late on Thursday there were about 14,000 ballots still to count in the state.
The state also will have to sift through votes from military personnel and overseas residents as well as provisional ballots cast on election day by voters who had problems with their registration or identification.
Pennsylvania getting close
Biden has been steadily chipping away at Trump’s lead in Pennsylvania. Many of the remaining ballots to count were cast in Democratic areas, like Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania officials expressed optimism they would finish counting on Friday, while Arizona and Nevada were still expected to take days to complete their vote totals.
Biden has maintained slim advantages in Arizona and Nevada.
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The Trump campaign said it was confident the president would ultimately pull out a victory in Arizona, where votes were also still being counted, including in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous area. The AP has declared Biden the winner in Arizona and said Thursday that it was monitoring the vote count as it proceeded.
A Nevada election official on Thursday said votes were still being counted and should be finished by the weekend.
Trump complains about fraud
On Wednesday, Trump’s campaign has threatened to request a recount in Wisconsin and filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. Some of the lawsuits demanded better access for campaign observers to locations where ballots are being processed and counted.
Judges in Georgia and Michigan quickly dismissed Trump’s campaign lawsuits there on Thursday.
Offering no evidence, Trump on Thursday said the election was “rigged.”
“They’re trying to rig an election, and we can’t let that happen,” said Trump, who spoke for about 15 minutes in the White House briefing room.
Biden, who earlier in the day urged patience as votes were counted, responded on Twitter: “No one is going to take our democracy away from us. Not now, not ever.”
Trump fired off several tweets in the early morning hours on Friday, reiterating the complaints he aired earlier at the White House. “I easily WIN the Presidency of the United States with LEGAL VOTES CAST,” he said on Twitter, without offering any evidence that any illegal votes have been cast.
Twitter quickly flagged the tweet as “misleading” and deleted it.
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— With files from the Associated Press and Reuters
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