Politics

Biden wrests lead from Trump in Pennsylvania; Georgia headed for recount

Washington, Nov 6 (efe-epa).- Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden on Friday morning grabbed a narrow lead over incumbent President Donald Trump in the crucial states of Pennsylvania and Georgia, although the vote counting is continuing and no official winner has yet been declared.

In the southeastern US state of Georgia, the difference between the two candidates is so slight that its secretary of state, Brad Raffensberger, said in a press conference Friday that there will be a recount.

Voting results released by Pennsylvania’s elections authority showed Friday morning that a batch of 30,000 mail-in ballots had been counted. A whopping 87 percent of those votes went to Biden, giving him a lead at that time of 5,587 votes over his Republican opponent.

Percentage-wise, Biden currently leads Trump in that state by an extremely narrow margin of 49.4 percent to 49.3 percent, but his advantage is expected to widen as more votes are counted from the heavily Democrat city of Philadelphia and its suburbs.

A victory in Pennsylvania would give Biden an additional 20 electoral votes and put him over the threshold of 270 electoral votes needed to become president-elect.

Other states, however, are still in play, including close races in Georgia, Arizona and Nevada.

Media tallies show Biden with 264 electoral votes, although Trump supporters say Arizona (11 electoral votes) was prematurely called for the Democrat. Trump has tallied 214 electoral votes thus far.

Pennsylvania is one of several states where Trump had a seemingly secure lead on election night.

But those advantages evaporated as mail-in votes – favored by Democrats who are generally more concerned than Republicans about maintaining social distancing during the pandemic – have been gradually counted.

Trump’s lead in Pennsylvania rose to around 750,000 votes on election night.

Vote-counting has been slower in Pennsylvania than in other states because its laws state that mail-in ballots cannot be processed until Election Day.

Authorities in that state estimate that around 200,000 votes remain to be counted and say they expect the process will be concluded on Friday.

In the 2016 presidential election, Trump took Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes when he edged Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by a margin of just over 40,000 votes.

Biden also wrested the lead from Trump in Georgia early Friday, although a recount will take place there given that the Democrat’s edge is just over 1,000 votes.

“With a margin that small, there will be a recount,” Raffensberger said Friday morning. “The final tally in Georgia at this point has huge implications for the entire country.”

But despite Trump’s lead having evaporated in key states, the general counsel of the incumbent’s campaign, said in a statement that Biden is being considered the inevitable winner based on states that are “far from final.”

“Biden is relying on these states for his phony claim on the White House, but once the election is final, President Trump will be re-elected,” Matt Morgan said.

In his statement, the campaign general counsel said the Trump campaign is confident the recount in Georgia will show that ballots were “improperly harvested.”

Morgan also cast doubt on the integrity of the vote counting in certain Democratic areas of Pennsylvania, alleging that “our volunteer legal observers (were prevented) from having meaningful access to vote counting locations.”

The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits to demand access for its campaign observers to ballot-processing sites and raise concerns about mail-in voting in key battleground states.

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