Washington: Former Vice President Joe Biden is just short of 17 electoral votes from claiming the presidency by winning the important state of Michigan, a CNN projection said on Thursday.
While Joe Biden made important breakthroughs in some of the swing states, by narrowing his opponent’s lead President Trump’s campaign launched a flurry of lawsuits in several states in order to stop the former Vice President from crossing the finish line, including challenging Pennsylvania’s vote count at the Supreme Court.
The suspense tightened in Georgia, a must-win state for Trump, and Pennsylvania. On Wednesday night, the country was awaiting fresh batches of vote tallies in Arizona and Nevada announced it would not report its newest batch of results until midday Thursday.
Victory in Michigan has given Biden two-thirds of the vaunted “blue wall” in the Midwest and Pennsylvania that allowed Trump to win the presidency in 2016. If Biden manages to hold on to this lead in Nevada and Arizona, where counts have yet to be completed, he will have enough Electoral College votes to enter the White House in January 20121 as the 46th president. The Biden camp is also confident of overtaking Trump in the key battleground of Pennsylvania, where hundreds of thousands of mail-in and early absentee votes, which are expected to favour the Democrats, are still being counted.
Trump campaign on the other hand was planning to approach the court to ask it to intervene in a case challenging a Supreme Court decision that allowed Pennsylvania ballots to be counted after Election Day. The justices had refused to expedite the appeal before the election, and are considering whether to take up the case.
Biden holds a 253-213 lead in the Electoral College. A candidate must reach the 270 mark to win the presidency. Races in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania are too close to call. In many cases, the tight races could depend on the counting of absentee and mail-in ballots, which tend to disproportionately favour Democrats.
In a brief statement on Wednesday afternoon, Biden said his campaign was on track to win 270 electoral votes but that he was not declaring victory until the count was completed in key states. He said he was encouraged by the extraordinary turnout in the election and dismissed Trump’s attempts to undermine the results.
Trump had declared victory on Wednesday and said that only fraud could deny him the presidency now.