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U.S. Presidency: Biden edges closer to victory

Trump launches lawsuits, says ‘he’s alive and well’

Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, has edged closer to winning the United States presidential election with unofficial results from several states in the country declaring the candidate as a potential winner. The former vice president was declared the winner in Wisconsin as President Donald Trump moved on multiple legal fronts to get votes recounted. The Trump campaign is contesting counts in the key states of Nevada, Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Winning all three of these Rust Belt states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania would hand Biden victory. According to the U.S. Election Project, the overall turnout in the November 3 election was projected to be the highest in 120 years at 66.9 per cent.

Biden had the support of 70.5 million voters, the most won by any presidential candidate ever, while Trump has polled in 67.2 million votes, four million more than he gained in 2016. Joe Biden’s campaign manager, Jen O’Malley Dillon, last night, said she is confident that her candidate will win the U.S. presidential election. “Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States,’’ she says, projecting victory in a number of swing states where votes are being counted.

As at last night, there were projections that Biden was ahead with 264 electoral votes against Trump’s 214. As at press time in Nigeria, ballots were still being counted in the battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Biden, as at last night, continued to cut into Trump’s leads in Pennsylvania and Georgia while holding on to slim margins in Nevada and Arizona. Attempt by the Trump campaign, through a lawsuit, to halt the counting of votes in Michigan, was dismissed on Thursday by a state court judge.

The Trump campaign had asked for an immediate halt to the vote counting in Michigan until its representatives had “meaningful” access to ballot counting and adjudication. Judge Cynthia Stephens was highly sceptical throughout a virtual hearing on Thursday about the lack of admissible evidence in the case and whether the campaign had sued the right party (Secretary of State, Benson).

“What I have is, at best, a hearsay affidavit that addresses a harm that would be significant,” said Judge Cynthia Stephens. “We’ve got an affidavit that is not first-hand knowledge.” The lawyer representing the state, Heather Meingast, said the case was essentially moot because the counting had already concluded.

“The ship has really sailed on the relief that they’re requesting in this case.” The judge said that the Trump campaign’s request is going to be denied in a written order. The judge ended the hearing by saying she adjourns the matter “where everyone here seeks to have a full and fair election process.” Biden campaign spokesman, Jen O’Malley Dillon, also held a briefing with reporters, where she accused the Trump team of “continuing to push a failing strategy” of lawsuits. She called the legal challenges “nothing more than an attempt to distract and delay what is now inevitable – Joseph Biden is going to be the next president of the United States.” She claimed victory in Michigan and said Biden was looking good in Pennsylvania.

President Trump and his supporters continue to try to raise suspicions about fraud and the vote count. Trump’s campaign predicted victory, with campaign manager, Bill Stepien, saying “Donald Trump is alive and well” in the election. Meanwhile, renowned public opinion pollster, John Zogby, has said that the “The U.S. polling industry is at a crossroads and these are methodological problems, not ideological problems. “Many of us were expecting to not know the winner for at least a few days.

The best guess was by the end of the week. It is shocking that after all these people, perhaps a total of 150 million people who have voted, that we don’t have a clear answer just yet. “Some polls did the same this time (regarding trend). But some of the major pollsters really got it wrong. I don’t cast aspersions on them, but I do think oversampling of Democrats was indeed a problem,” he said.

Zogby told a select group of journalists at a virtual media briefing organised by Washington Foreign Press Centre, as part of a virtual reporting tour of the election process that: “No matter who wins, does not have a strong mandate, either Biden or Trump will directly face half of the people who didn’t vote for them.

For the most part, it will be people who can’t stand either candidate or what he stands for.” Disclosing findings of the exit poll he conducted, the pollster said President Trump performed better than expected because, among the voters that considered economy as the number one issue, 80 per cent of them favoured him. They felt that “we should focus more on rebuilding the economy than handling and treating the coronavirus.

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