NEW YORK, Nov 06 (APP):Former US Vice President Joe Biden took the lead over President Donald Trump in his home state of Pennsylvania, whose 20 electoral votes would put him past the threshold for victory.
Biden, who was winning the popular vote by more than four million votes and has already won 253 electoral votes, pulled ahead of Trump in Pennsylvania by about 9,000 votes on Friday morning. If his lead holds — and it is expected to — the state’s 20 electoral votes to lay claim to the White House. In Georgia, his lead was so narrow that state officials said a recount was inevitable.
In Arizona, Biden maintained his lead as election officials continued to plow through tens of thousands of ballots from Phoenix and its sprawling suburbs. His advantage shrank slightly, but not by as much as Republicans had hoped. In Nevada, Biden nearly doubled his lead Friday to around 20,000 votes.
News networks have yet to call the race in either state, but the new counts suggest that Biden is on pace to win both Pennsylvania and Georgia, which would seal off Trump’s path to reelection. Biden would capture the election outright if he wins Pennsylvania, but he does not need the state in order to win the election if he also maintains leads in two of the three states of Georgia, Arizona and Nevada.
Biden, the Democratic nominee, will give a prime-time address at some point on Friday, a campaign official says.
The campaign has not provided further details about the nature of the address but Democrats are hopeful that the networks will call the race for Biden soon and that he will be addressing the nation for the first time as president-elect.
Meanwhile, the former vice president had already begun to project the image of a man preparing to assume the mantle of the highest office, meeting with his economic and health advisers to be briefed on the coronavirus pandemic.
He also urged the public on Thursday to show a little patience as the vote counting in battleground states continued. Democracy, he said, it can sometimes be messy.
So far, he has kept a low profile, but outside the Westin Hotel near his home in Wilmington, signs of celebration were afoot. Someone passed out Biden-(Kamala)Harris signs and attached them to a security barrier near a stage bedecked with American flags where Biden was expected to speak.
His appeal to let the process play out contrasted with that of Trump, who took the lectern in the White House briefing room to falsely claim that the election was riddled with fraud, as part of an elaborate coast-to-coast conspiracy by Democrats, the news media and high tech companies to deny him a second term.
As the number of outstanding ballots slowly dwindled, Trump was left increasingly with only legal challenges to forestall defeat, while Mr. Biden was betting on the steady accumulation of mail-in ballots to keep him on top in Pennsylvania.
Biden’s wins in the Midwestern battleground states of Michigan and Wisconsin put him in a strong position, with multiple paths to victory, depending on what happens in the states yet to be called. Trump needed a victory in Pennsylvania.
The process was agonizing for partisans on both sides, though for the most part, fears of widespread unrest did not materialize. Officials reported few instances of problems with the voting-counting process.
The candidates differing reactions hinted at how they are likely to handle the coming days and weeks as the counting gives way to legal challenges, calls for recounts and a potentially turbulent transition.
Biden’s pivot to policy issues seemed intended to create an air of inevitability about his victory. His briefing on the pandemic was a reminder that the United States reported a record 121,200 new infections on Thursday.
After the 17-minute speech, some of the Republicans — Trump’s own party officials — swiftly … (Editors: here pick up earlier story)