Posted: Wednesday, November 4, 2020. 9:53 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Twenty-four hours after it first began counting votes, the United States is only a little closer to knowing who its next president is, as the top contenders each press their claim.
Democratic challenger Joe Biden has claimed the states of Wisconsin and Michigan, widening his lead over Republican incumbent Donald Trump.
But each man still has a path to victory with several states still counting votes and both sides ramping up for legal action.
The BBC says the Trump campaign is challenging vote counts in the key states of Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Winning all three of the so-called “Rust Belt” states, or any two in combination with Arizona and Nevada, would hand Biden victory; Trump is counting on at least Pennsylvania along with Georgia, North Carolina and either Arizona or Nevada to hold his post.
Biden stopped short of declaring he had won, but Wednesday afternoon told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware: “When the count is finished we believe we will be the winners.” He added: “I will govern as an American president. The presidency itself is not a partisan institution.”
Overall turnout in Tuesday’s election was projected to be the highest in 120 years at 66.9%, found the US Election Project.
Biden had the support of 70.5 million voters, the most won by any presidential candidate ever. Trump has pulled in 67.2 million votes, four million more than he gained in 2016.
The Trump campaign said the president would formally request a Wisconsin recount, citing “irregularities in several Wisconsin counties”.
Incomplete results indicate the margin between Trump and Biden in Wisconsin is less than one percentage point, which allows a candidate to seek a recount.
The campaign also filed a lawsuit in Michigan to stop counting there because it contended it had been denied “meaningful access” to observe the opening of ballots and the tally. In Detroit, Michigan, police were called on Wednesday afternoon to guard the doors to a vote-counting facility as some protesters outside demanded access to monitor the process. According to the Detroit Free Press, there were already some 200 people observing the vote inside the building.
The Trump campaign also filed two lawsuits in Pennsylvania where he leads by three points, to halt all vote counting “until there is meaningful transparency”. Trump is also suing Georgia, where he leads more narrowly, to halt the vote count there. His campaign said a Republican poll observer in the southern state had witnessed 53 late absentee ballots being illegally added to a pile of votes in Chatham County.
In the early hours of Wednesday, he announced from the White House that he had won his re-election bid and was prepared to take the matter to the Supreme Court.
Exit polls showed Trump doubled his support among black voters to 12%, compared with four years ago. He also boosted his vote share among Hispanic men to 36%, according to the exit polls, compared with 28% in 2016. African Americans and Latinos are usually two vital electoral blocs for Democrats.
The president shed votes, though, among white men, the demographic that propelled him to the White House four years ago but also increased his support significantly among white women (55% on Tuesday versus 47% in 2016).
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