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Biden takes lead in Georgia, makes gains in Pennsylvania

Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit Protect our world: How the Biden administration can save lives and economies worldwide MORE has taken a lead in the vote count in Georgia and is gaining on President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE in Pennsylvania, inching him closer to a win in the tight race for the White House.

In Georgia, Biden took a lead of more than 900 votes at about 4:30 a.m. Friday morning. The lead has since grown to 1,096 votes.

His lead initially came after Clayton County in the Atlanta suburbs reported a bucket of ballots. Biden had been winning a huge proportion of the votes in that area. Other Atlanta suburbs are still reporting some votes.

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In Pennsylvania, Trump’s lead stood at 18,229 votes at 6 a.m. and was steadily shrinking. More mailed-in ballots, which Biden is winning by a healthy margin, are still expected to be counted — many of them from the heavily Democratic city of Philadelphia and its suburbs.

More mailed-in ballots are also set to be counted on Friday in Allegheny County, where the city of Pittsburgh is located.

Biden also retains leads in the states of Nevada and Arizona, where ballot counting is also ongoing.

But, all eyes are focused on Pennsylvania, the biggest remaining prize on the map.

Every major network has Biden leading with at least 253 electoral votes, meaning that if he were to win Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes, he would have more than the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House.

Fox News and The Associated Press have both called the race for Biden in Arizona, projecting him as the winner of that state’s 11 electoral votes. Other major networks have not called a winner in that state.

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If Biden were to win all four states, he would end with 306 electoral votes. 

A recount seemed almost certain in Georgia given the tightness of the race. The Trump campaign has already requested a recount in Wisconsin, where Biden was projected as the winner on Wednesday. Biden led by less than 1 point in the Badger State.

Trump’s campaign has also launched legal challenges to the vote count in several states.

The president on Thursday evening offered a statement from the White House attacking the electoral process in the battleground states and blaming Democrats, local officials, pollsters and the media for his situation.

“If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us. If you count the votes that came in late, we’re looking at them very strongly,” Trump told reporters. 

Trump offered no specific evidence of fraud or of illegal votes having been cast, but his remarks echoed arguments that had been made earlier in the day by some of his family members and associates.

Trump's comments were widely condemned, including by a number of Republicans.

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerGOP lawmaker says colleagues 'waiting' for Trump to come to terms with loss GOP lawmaker: Trump implementing a 'loyalty purge' amid firing of top cybersecurity official House GOP lawmaker: Biden should be recognized as president-elect MORE (R-Ill.) said Trump should either take the evidence he has of his claims to court or “stop spreading debunked misinformation.”

“We want every vote counted, yes every legal vote, of course," Kinzinger said. "But, if you have legit concerns about fraud present evidence and take it to court. Stop spreading debunked misinformation. ... This is getting insane.”

Biden made a public appearance late Thursday afternoon as well, urging calm and projecting confidence about the election’s result. In Wilmington, Del., it appeared stagecraft was being set up for a potential Biden victory announcement in case there was a projection of his victory at some point on Friday.

This story was updated at 6:09 a.m.