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Biden sees path to 270; Trump attacks election integrity

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is testing how far he can go in utilizing the trimmings of presidential energy to undermine confidence on this week’s election towards Joe Biden, because the Democrat gained floor in tight contests in some key battleground states.

With his pathway to re-election showing to shrink, Trump on Thursday superior unsupported accusations of voter fraud to falsely argue that his rival was making an attempt to seize energy. It amounted to a rare effort by a sitting American president to sow doubt in regards to the democratic course of.

“This is a case when they are trying to steal an election, they are trying to rig an election,” Trump stated from the rostrum of the White House briefing room.

The president’s remarks deepened a way of tension within the U.S. as Americans enter their third full day after the election with out realizing who would function president for the subsequent 4 years. His statements additionally prompted a rebuke from some Republicans, significantly these trying to steer the celebration in a distinct path in a post-Trump period.

Neither candidate has reached the 270 Electoral College votes wanted to win the White House. But Biden eclipsed Trump in Wisconsin and Michigan, two essential Midwestern battleground states, overtook the president in Georgia and was inching nearer to doing the identical in Pennsylvania, the place votes have been nonetheless be counted.

It was unclear when a nationwide winner can be decided after an extended, bitter marketing campaign dominated by the coronavirus and its results on Americans and the nationwide financial system. The U.S. on Wednesday set one other file for each day confirmed circumstances as a number of states posted all-time highs. The pandemic has kil-led greater than 233,000 folks within the United States.

Biden spent Thursday making an attempt to ease tensions and venture a extra conventional picture of presidential management. After taking part in a coronavirus briefing, he declared that “each ballot must be counted.”

“I ask everyone to stay calm. The process is working,” Biden stated. “It is the will of the voters. No one, not anyone else who chooses the president of the United States of America.”

Biden’s victories within the higher Midwest put him in a robust place, however Trump confirmed no signal of giving up. He was again on Twitter round 2:30 a.m. Friday, insisting the “U.S. Supreme Court should decide!”

It may take a number of extra days for the vote rely to conclude and a transparent winner to emerge. With thousands and thousands of ballots but to be tabulated, Biden already had obtained greater than 73 million votes, essentially the most in historical past.

Trump’s inaccurate claims in regards to the integrity of the election challenged Republicans now confronted with the selection of whether or not to break with a president who, although his grip on his workplace grew tenuous, commanded sky-high approval scores from rank-and-file members of the GOP.

Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, a possible 2024 presidential hopeful who has typically criticized Trump, stated unequivocally: “There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process. America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before.”

But others who’re rumored to be contemplating a White House run of their very own in 4 years aligned themselves with the incumbent, together with Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who tweeted help for Trump’s claims, writing that “If last 24 hours have made anything clear, it’s that we need new election integrity laws NOW.”

Trump’s marketing campaign engaged in a flurry of authorized exercise to strive to enhance the Republican president’s possibilities, requesting a recount in Wisconsin and submitting lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia.

Judges in Georgia and Michigan rapidly dismissed Trump marketing campaign lawsuits there on Thursday.

Trump held a small edge in Georgia, although Biden was gaining on him as votes continued to be counted. The identical was true in Pennsylvania, the place Trump’s lead had slipped to about 22,000 votes – and the race is destined to get tighter.

One motive is as a result of elections officers weren’t allowed to course of mail-in ballots till Election Day underneath state legislation. It’s a type of voting that has skewed closely in Biden’s favor after Trump spent months claiming with out proof that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.

Mail ballots from throughout the state have been overwhelmingly breaking in Biden’s path. A remaining vote whole is probably not clear for days as a result of using mail-in ballots, which take extra time to course of, has surged because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Trump marketing campaign stated it was assured the president would in the end pull out a victory in Arizona, the place votes have been additionally nonetheless being counted, together with in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous space. The AP has declared Biden the winner in Arizona and stated Thursday that it was monitoring the vote rely because it proceeded.

“The Associated Press continues to watch and analyze vote count results from Arizona as they come in,” stated Sally Buzbee, AP’s government editor. “We will follow the facts in all cases.”

Trump’s marketing campaign was lodging authorized challenges in a number of states, although he confronted lengthy odds. He would have to win a number of fits in a number of states so as to cease vote counts, since a couple of state was undeclared.

Some of the Trump crew’s lawsuits solely demand higher entry for marketing campaign observers to places the place ballots are being processed and counted. A choose in Georgia dismissed the marketing campaign’s swimsuit there lower than 12 hours after it was filed. And a Michigan choose dismissed a Trump lawsuit over whether or not sufficient GOP challengers had entry to dealing with of absentee ballots

Biden legal professional Bob Bauer stated the fits have been legally “meritless.” Their solely goal, he stated “is to create an opportunity for them to message falsely about what’s taking place in the electoral process.”

___

Weissert reported from Wilmington, Delaware. Associated Press writers Jill Colvin, Colleen Long and Alexandra Jaffe in Washington contributed to this report.

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