(Update 5: Adds info, changes headline)
Washington, Nov 4 (efe-epa).- The campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced that on Wednesday afternoon he will declare victory in the Nov. 3 election because internal data indicates that he has won the states of Wisconsin, Nevada, Michigan and Pennsylvania, states where an official final result is not yet in the books because all the votes have not yet been counted.
“Joe Biden is on track to win this election and he will be the next president of the United States,” the former vice president’s campaign chair, Jen O’Malley Dillon, told reporters Wednesday after an anxiety-filled election night that ended – as many expert observers had expected – with no clear winner.
“We believe we are on a clear path to victory by this afternoon. We expect that the vice president will have leads in states that put him over 270 electoral votes,” O’Malley Dillon said.
“Let’s be extremely clear about something: If Donald Trump got his wish and we stopped counting ballots right now, Vice President Joe Biden would be the next president of the United States,” she added, referring to Trump’s earlier claim that he had won the election and wanted “all voting to stop.”
No voting is actually ongoing at this time, with all the polls having closed last night, but millions of mail-in ballots are still en route to election offices around the nation and have yet to be counted and many ballots cast in person or by mail on or before Nov. 3 have not yet been tabulated either.
At present, Biden holds a lead over Trump in both the popular vote and in the all-important electoral vote total with 238 electoral votes to 213, according to projections by the main US media outlets, but in a handful of key states the winner is still unknown.
O’Malley Dillon said that the campaign believes Biden has won the state of Wisconsin, but the Trump campaign announced Wednesday that it will request a recount in that state, which has a provision for an automatic recount when a candidate’s margin of victory is below a certain level.
In addition, the Biden campaign is expecting Michigan to declare on Wednesday that Biden has won that state, but the country will have to wait another day to learn the definitive results in Pennsylvania and Nevada, in the latter of which local authorities decided not to make public the results until 9 am Thursday.
Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are states that catapulted Trump into the White House in 2016 and which he is depending on to win reelection.
O’Malley Dillon admitted that there is a good possibility that Trump will win Georgia, a traditionally Republican state that a Democrat has not won since 1992, and also North Carolina, where the recount under way since last night points to a possible win by the president.
The campaign chief said that Biden would address the nation “later” on Wednesday, but she did not provide a time for his remarks.
Meanwhile, Trump said Wednesday morning that it was “very strange” that during the latter stages of the recounts in certain key states he had lost the apparent advantage he had held after the polls closed on Tuesday – although at that time only a partial count of the votes had been made.
And his campaign chairman, Bill Stepien said that “If we count all legal ballots, the president wins.”
Trump reiterated his doubts about the legality of the recount in a tweet, saying: “Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled. Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the ‘pollsters’ got it completely & historically wrong!”
In an appearance at the White House on Wednesday morning, Trump was more emphatic in his remarks, complaining without providing any evidence of electoral fraud, threatening to resort to the Supreme Court – where conservatives hold an overwhelming 6-3 majority – to resolve the election and declaring himself to have won the election even though, as noted, millions of mail-in votes remain to be received and counted.
Stepien said repeatedly that the Trump campaign trusts its mathematics, adding that the president had won the state of Arizona, where projections by assorted media outlets give Biden the win by a wide margin.
The Trump campaign chief said that they believe they will win Arizona by some 30,000 votes when the vote count is completed.
In Pennsylvania, another state in which the recount has been delayed by the massive number of mail-in votes that must be processed, the president’s campaign expects that counting the ballots from “Trump counties,” where he has shown strong support in voter surveys, will allow him to overcome the inflow of votes from the state’s big cities, which are favoring Biden.