Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for US president, continued his slow but steady march to the White House on Wednesday as President Donald Trump launched a multi-pronged effort to drag out the outcome through demands for recount in Wisconsin and lawsuits to halt or challenge votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania and, just as the race looked tightening, Georgia.
Biden picked up Michigan, the second of the Blue Wall states Trump had won in 2016, taking up his tally of electoral college votes to 264, just six shorts of the threshold of 270, to Trump’s 214. He was ahead in Nevada and trailed the president in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia on AP’s tracker.
The Democrat was placed well to wrap up the race if he only picked up Nevada, with six electoral college votes. Or he could just wait for Pennsylvania to count all its early votes, bulk of which were Democratic and were in sufficient numbers to overtake the president, whose lead in Georgia was also shrinking, presenting Biden with yet another pathway to 270.
“After a long night of counting, it is clear we are winning in enough states to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency,” Biden said in a brief speech in Wilmington, Delaware, with vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris by his side. But he added he was “not here to declare that I have won.”
“Once this election is finalised and behind us, it will be time for us to do what we’ve always done as Americans. To put the harsh rhetoric of the campaign behind us, to lower the temperature, to see each other again, to listen to one another, to hear each other again, to respect and care for each other.
Power can’t be taken or asserted, it flows from the people, and it is their will that determines who will be the president of the United States, and their will alone. I’m not here to declare that we’ve won. But I am here to report that when the count is finished we believe that we will be the winners. “
The Democrat also made clear he was not going to shrink from a fight with Trump to ensure every vote polled was counted. “Now every vote must be counted. No one is going to take our democracy away from us. Not now. Not ever.”