Washington, Nov 4 (efe-epa).- Democratic challenger Joe Biden led Republican incumbent Donald Trump 237-213 in Electoral College votes based on media projections of the outcomes in most of the 50 states in the US presidential election, but the president was ahead in Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, which together represent 77 electoral votes.
A candidate needs 270 Electoral College votes to win.
In remarks to supporters around 12:45 am (05.00 GMT) Wednesday, Biden expressed confidence.
“We feel good about where we are,” he told a drive-in rally in Wilmington, Delaware. “We believe we’re on track to win this election.”
He emphasized that it was not his place – or the president’s – to proclaim the winner of the election.
“We’re gonna have to be patient, and it ain’t over till every ballot is counted,” the 77-year-old former vice president said. “We’re feeling real good about Wisconsin and Michigan. And it’s gonna take time to count the votes, but we’re gonna win Pennsylvania. I’m optimistic about this outcome.”
Trump, 74, took to Twitter after Biden spoke.
“I will be making a statement tonight. A big WIN!,” the president tweeted.
“We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election,” Trump added, invoking his oft-repeated but unsubstantiated claims about fraud in mail-in ballots.
Estimates showed the president winning Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Kentucky, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Biden carried Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
Trump’s triumph in 2016 was built on narrow wins in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, seen until then as part of the “Blue Wall” of reliably Democratic states.
Like virtually every aspect of life in 2020, the presidential election has been marked by the coronavirus pandemic. With 9.3 million confirmed cases 232,000 deaths, no country has been hit harder by Covid-19 than the United States.
Early voting in this election cycle has broken records, as more than 100 million voters cast their ballots prior to Nov. 3, including 64.8 million mail-in votes, according to the U.S. Elections Project at the University of Florida.
With reports of robust turnout at the polls on Tuesday, it is expected that participation will handily exceed the 136.6 million ballots – corresponding to 55.7 percent of the electorate – cast in the 2016 election.
Coronavirus also intruded directly on the first presidential race in US history between two septuagenarians, as Trump contracted Covid-19 and was hospitalized for two days.
Having the illness did not deter the president from mocking Biden, 77, for wearing a mask and eschewing mass gatherings.
Besides the president, Americans are choosing all 435 members of the House of Representatives, a third of the 100-member Senate and thousands of state and local officials.
The consensus among analysts was that Democrats would retain their majority in the House, but fall short of snatching control of the Senate from the Republicans. EFE