In the battle for the key state of Pennsylvania, Joe Biden continues to catch up. On Thursday evening (local time) he was only about 50,000 votes behind Donald Trump. On Wednesday morning he had led with more than 600,000. About 94 percent of the ballot papers have been counted and the election commission expects to announce the result on Friday. If Biden wins the “swing state”, the election victory can no longer be taken from him.
+++ 03:00 Trump’s voters also consider the declaration of victory to be premature +++
Donald Trump claims again that he won the election – but even his own voters consider that to be premature. In a poll by Ipsos for the Reuters news agency, only 30 percent of the Republican supporters questioned said they already believed Trump to be the winner of the election. Among the supporters of the Democratic Party, it was seven percent. A total of 16 percent of those polled believed Trump’s declaration. The 84 percent majority, on the other hand, felt that candidates shouldn’t claim victory until all votes are counted. Two thirds also said they trusted the work of their local polling station.
+++ 02:05 Several stations interrupt broadcasting of Trump’s speech +++
Not only Twitter is taking action against false claims by Donald Trump. In the evening, several news channels, including ABC, CBS and MSNBC, suspended broadcasting of the President’s address from the White House. “Now we are back in the unfamiliar position that we not only interrupt the President of the United States, but also correct it,” said the moderator at MSNBC. Trump had again spoken of “illegal” votes and that the Democrats would try to “steal” the election. There is no evidence of this.
+++ 01:18 Trump claims victory again and announces wave of lawsuits +++
Donald Trump continues to see himself as the legitimate winner of the US election. “If you count the legal votes, I win with ease,” said Trump in the White House in his first public appearance since election night. “If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal our vote.” He also announced that he would massively defend himself in court against defeat. “There will be a lot of lawsuits,” said Trump. He also criticized the fact that, to his detriment, the poll results were knowingly published before the election. So far, he has provided no evidence to support his claims that there was massive election fraud. The Republican lags behind Democratic challenger Joe Biden in the running count.
+++ 01:01 Pennsylvania’s result announced for Friday +++
The authorities in Pennsylvania expect a result for the state on Friday. Then most of the votes will be counted, said Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar at a press conference in Harrisburg. At the moment there are still over 300,000 absentee votes. Trump currently leads Biden with around 75,000 votes. Among the postal voters, the supporters of the Democratic Party have a majority, so that the incumbent’s lead is likely to shrink further. According to the Secretary of State, most of the remaining votes come from urban areas, especially the metropolitan area of Philadelphia and the city of Pittsburgh. Regarding the postal votes that came in after the polls closed, Boockvar said she did not expect them to have any significant impact on the result. She also stressed that there was no evidence of attempted election fraud, apart from one case several weeks ago. Everything is done to guarantee an absolutely reliable count. “Our voting systems and databases ensure that no voter can cast more than one vote.”
+++ 00:35 Trump’s son wants “total war” over the election +++
President’s son Donald Trump Jr. emulates his father, at least rhetorically. He called on him via Twitter to start an “all-out war” around the election. Donald Trump must “reveal all the fraud and cheating,” writes Trump Jr. This includes the votes of voters who are dead or no longer live in the respective state, claims the Trump son. “It’s time to clean up this mess and stop looking like a banana republic.” Twitter provided the posting with a note that the content could be misleading. So far, no significant cases of election fraud have been reported in the USA.
+++ 00:09 Trump announces another speech +++
Donald Trump will speak again publicly. The President’s position in the White House has been announced for Thursday evening 6:30 p.m. local time (00:30 a.m. CET). In a first appearance after the election, Trump claimed election victory on Wednesday night, although no winner had yet been declared in a number of states. He had also announced legal action against the counting of ballot papers up to the Supreme Court. The president currently has only 214 of the 270 electors needed to win. As things stand, Joe Biden has at least 253 voters.
+++ 23:54 Result for Arizona will probably not be known until the weekend +++
The vote count in Arizona could drag on until the weekend. State Secretary Katie Hobbs told CNN that around 450,000 votes still have to be counted. Around 300,000 of these are still outstanding in the Maricopa district, which includes the capital Phoenix. Around 140,000 votes were counted there on Wednesday. “Most of the counties” should be through by the weekend, Hobbs said. Fox News and the Associated Press (AP) announced Joe Biden as the winner in Arizona in the hours after the election. Other media, such as CNN and the “New York Times”, consider the race too close to be able to make a binding statement. According to the current count, Biden is about two percentage points ahead of President Trump.
+++ 23:19 Trump’s lead in Pennsylvania melts to less than 100,000 votes +++
Joe Biden is catching up in the key state of Pennsylvania. In the afternoon (local time), Biden was not even 100,000 votes behind Donald Trump. On Wednesday morning he still had a comfortable lead of more than 600,000 votes. About 92 percent are counted.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro confirmed in the state Supreme Court that he objected to Trump’s campaign team attempting to challenge a decision allowing ballots to be counted for up to three days after the election. That affects a good 10,000 ballot papers. In any case, it will only depend on them if the race is extremely close.
+++ 22:25 Biden urgently asks citizens to keep calm +++
Joe Biden made a short speech to the public. He reported having informed himself about the Covid situation that morning. At the election he said: “I ask you to remain calm.” The electoral process works, even if it is sometimes chaotic, it takes patience. He and his runner-up, Kamala Harris – “We continue to feel very good.” – continued to expect to emerge victorious in the end. Trump didn’t mention Biden by name. “He seems very confident that he will win,” commented Republican politician Rick Santorum on the performance.
+++ 21:58 “New York Times” explains why they think Arizona is a draw +++
The Associated Press and Fox News announced Arizona victory for Joe Biden on Wednesday – to the horror of Donald Trump. Other leading media did not follow this assessment. The “New York Times” now explains in detail their motives. “The biggest reason we haven’t adopted the Arizona proclamation yet? We don’t think there isn’t enough solid data on the votes left to be counted after election day.” It is also said that in Arizona there are traditionally a large number of postal voters who are automatically sent their postal voting documents. While the Democrats were in a hurry to vote by mail this year, there is no way of knowing what the large number of registered Republicans are doing in the state. Many of their voices could still be in the boxes with letters that have not been counted. The Times estimates that around 400,000 postal votes have not yet been evaluated. Trump would have to get 17 percent more of these votes than Biden in order to pass him. That is not unrealistic.
+++ 21:24 The fight for Georgia becomes a hanging game +++
The Democrats are surprisingly successful in the state of Georgia, even if Donald Trump is still in the lead there. Joe Biden is only 12,835 votes behind the incumbent and the majority of the remaining votes should go to Biden. But an official final result should be a long time coming. As election supervisor Gabriel Sterling said in the afternoon (local time), around 47,000 votes are still not counted. For the first time in 20 years, the state is using paper instead of voting computers. Ironically, the counting is stalling in Biden-related districts, including 17,000 votes in Chatham County. Sterling recalled that Georgia would still accept absentee votes 12 days after the election, for example from US soldiers deployed abroad. However, a broadcaster or news agency could announce a winner beforehand – if not all votes have been counted, but a candidate can no longer be computed. But that is all the more difficult to estimate the closer the race is.
+++ 21:04 Nevada does not deliver new counting data until Friday +++
In the state of Nevada, where Joe Biden leads with 11,000 votes or 0.9 percentage points, nothing will be decided on Thursday. According to various media reports, Nevada, where 89 percent of the votes are counted, will not deliver new counting data until Friday. In Clark County alone, 51,000 more votes will be counted by then, reports Fox News. The majority of these postal votes is expected to go to Biden.
+++ 20:34 Everything points to a victory for Joe Biden – at the moment +++
It’s still the middle of the day in the US, but before you move on to your after-work series or reading, here’s a quick recap:
- In almost all open and major states, the pendulum swung in favor of Joe Biden on Thursday.
- In the states of Georgia and Pennsylvania, Biden is catching up massively the more postal votes are counted. In both states, he could just pass Trump. If he succeeds in Pennsylvania, he will become the 46th President of the USA.
- The state of Nevada seems to be no longer available for Biden. With a lead of more than 11,000 votes and almost only postal votes to be counted, Nevada is likely to go to the Democrats because its voters in particular used the instrument of postal voting.
- With Nevada and Arizona together, Biden would also have the presidency secure. The AP news agency and Fox News have already attributed Biden to Arizona. But because it has become surprisingly tight there, no other US media have so far joined and are waiting.
- Donald Trump’s plan to stop or at least torpedo the counting process by means of lawsuits has largely failed so far. His team was able to gain additional access to the Pennsylvania counting centers and postpone the counting of 29,000 votes in the state – but nothing more.
- In the US media, various White House correspondents report that the mood in the Trump camp is bad. That would also explain why Trump lashes out in increasingly wild tweets and speaks of election fraud. Prominent Republicans, on the other hand, have so far been reluctant to make public statements.
+++ You can read what happened before here. +++