Joe Biden maintains lead over Donald Trump as Arizona, Michigan vote-counting centres swamped by US President’s supporters
What’s happened so far today
Hours of counting later and the winner of the US presidency is still in doubt – although Democrat Joe Biden has a much easier path to victory than the Republican candidate, President Donald Trump.
Here is the latest on the vote count:
- Wisconsin and Michigan were called for Biden early today, leaving just Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania in contention. If Biden wins any of these states, he wins the presidency. Trump needs to win all to achieve the same feat.
- Trump’s lead in Georgia and Pennsylvania has shrunk massively throughout the day as the mail-in ballots are counted- there is now only 0.6 percentage points in it in Georgia and less than 3 in Pennsylvania, a state which had a 10-point lead to Trump yesterday. It is possible, although not guaranteed, that a call will be made for Georgia tonight with some centres vowing to work through the night. Pennsylvania still has many more ballots to count so a call soon is less likely.
- Although we – using the calls provided by the Associated Press – have called Arizona for Biden, some other outlets are holding off as the Republican vote surges in the state’s final ballots. Biden is still ahead, but his lead is shrinking. If Arizona ends up swinging Republican, it is a lifeline to Trump, although he will still need to win Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania (he can afford to lose Nevada).
- Speaking of Nevada, we won’t be hearing any results from Nevada until 3am Friday AEDT, as the state likes to report its ballots in big batches.
As for the other news:
- The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits in Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania, challenging the vote count. They’ve also applied for a recount in Wisconsin. Speaking on Wednesday afternoon, US time, Eric Trump and Rudy Giuliani called the Pennsylvania vote “illegitimate” as they announced legal action there although it is unclear on exactly what grounds they have made this claim.
- “Count the vote” protests have occurred in progressive cities including New York, Chicago and Portland. Trump supporters are out protesting, too, although their motives are split: in Michigan, groups have crowded outside a voting centre telling them to stop the vote but, in Arizona, supporters have been shouting for them to do the exact opposite.
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said Australia will respect the US’s “great democracy, and trusts it will take its course. Opposition leader Anthony Albanese and former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull have been more critical of Trump.
‘As long as it takes’: all-nighter for Georgia vote count
The race for the traditional Republican stronghold of Georgia is still very close. This is one of the states that US President Donald Trump needs to win to secure a second term, and also one of a trio of states in which his own campaign has launched lawsuits to halt the vote count.
Democratic Party presidential hopeful Joe Biden doesn’t need to win Georgia to clinch the presidency, but the state offers 16 Electoral College votes. At present, he needs just six votes to exceed the 270-vote mark to win the election, and snaring this state would seal the deal.
Fulton County, Georgia, said it expects to finish counting votes tonight, and that workers would stay “as long as it takes.” The county, which includes most of Atlanta, is a key to deciding Georgia’s 16 electoral votes. pic.twitter.com/olZBPdbGCQ
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 5, 2020
Georgia’s Fulton County will be reporting its results later on Wednesday night, US time, and the county’s elections director Richard Barron expects workers to keep counting “for as long as it takes”.
“We’re bringing in some more fresh people,” Mr Barron said. “We’re going to finish tonight. That’s why we’re bringing in fresh bodies.”