Biden campaign says victory is ‘imminent’
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign says victory over President Trump is “imminent” as votes continue to be counted across four battleground states where the candidates are separated by only razor-thin margins.
In a conference call with reporters, campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said the campaign’s internal numbers indicate that Biden will win a large enough share of the outstanding votes in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona or Nevada to be able to declare victory soon.
“Our data shows Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States,” O’Malley Dillon said.
One of the campaign’s presentation slides said: “Victory is imminent – we are on the verge of winning 270 electoral votes.”
Both campaigns are blustering about their chances as the nation sits on pins and needles for the final tally to arrive.
Votes are also still being counted in North Carolina, where Trump leads, although the Biden campaign is not as bullish about their chances there.
Still, Biden could win any number of combinations in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona or Nevada to reach 270 electoral votes, while Trump must win in Pennsylvania and badly needs victories in Georgia or Arizona to keep his hopes alive.
It’s possible that the picture will become clearer throughout the day, but also possible that the results could drag into Friday and the weekend.
“The story of today will be a very positive story for the vice president but one where folks need to stay patient and calm,” O’Malley Dillon said. “The count is happening and will take time … we’re confident we’ll come out ahead and are absolutely confident Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States.”
Still, O’Malley Dillon said they expect the race will tighten over the next few hours in Arizona and Nevada, where Biden has small leads at the moment.
O’Malley Dillon said that based on where they expect votes to be reported early in the day, that Trump might post some gains, but that Biden will pull away as the final tally includes counties that are more favorable to him later tonight or tomorrow.
In Nevada, Biden is clinging to a lead of about 7,000 votes.
In Arizona, Biden leads by about 69,000, although the state has been shrouded in controversy since Fox News and The Associated Press projected Biden to be the winner on the night of the election. The broadcast networks have held off on calling the state.
The Trump campaign insists that the late votes coming in will take Trump over the top. Officials in both states will be releasing additional results throughout the day, but it’s unclear when the final tally will be in.
The campaigns are pouring over the data to see where the late vote counts are taking place and whether the ballots are mail, in-person, early or day-of, to determine their chances of breaking for one candidate or the other.
“In Arizona and Nevada there will be a bounce throughout the day and the margin will tighten, but that’s what we’ve been expecting all along,” O’Malley Dillon said.
Trump has a lead of just over 100,000 votes in Pennsylvania, although Biden has been gaining fast as absentee ballots from big urban centers are counted.
Some election analysts view Biden as the favorite in Pennsylvania, which would guarantee him 270 electoral votes.
And Biden has pulled to within 15,000 votes of Trump in Georgia, where about 60,000 ballots still need to be counted.
“This race [in Georgia] is a true toss-up,” O’Malley Dillon said.
The Trump campaign is flooding the states with lawsuits alleging irregularities or outright fraud. There will be a recount in Wisconsin and potentially in other states that are headed for the wire.
Biden campaign lawyer Bob Bauer dismissed the lawsuits as an effort to kick up uncertainty around the results.
“They’re doomed to fail, it’s background noise about fraud and irregularities and the like and it’s all for the purpose to confuse the public about what’s taking place,” Bauer said.