The United States remains on Thursday without knowing who its next president will be: two days after the election, Democratic candidate Joe Biden maintained his advantage over Republican President Donald Trump, who denounced fraud and announced several lawsuits questioning the vote count.
Former Vice-President Barack Obama approaches the White House after being declared vencedor in Michigan and Wisconsin , and advance in Pennsylvania and Georgia, although it has lost ground in Arizona. These states, all won by Trump in 2016, are the key to victory in the election.
Biden has 253 or 264 votes in the electoral college, and Trump, 214. To get to the White House, it is necessary to obtain 270 of the 538 votes from the Electoral College, according to the American system of indirect universal suffrage. The difference of 11 votes in the electoral college for Biden is due to the fact that on the night of the election, the AP agency and the Fox News network gave him the victory in Arizona, but other media guarantee that the result remains undefined.
Depending on the two scenarios, Biden only needs six or 17 votes in high school to reach the magic number, which he can obtain in Nevada (6), Georgia (16) or Pennsylvania (20) perhaps this Thursday. “I think it will be a very positive day,” said Democratic campaign manager Jennifer O’Malley Dillon.
Biden, 77, led in Nevada with a minimum advantage of 8,000 votes with 86% of the votes counted. In this state, where Hillary Clinton won in 2016, many of the pending votes come from areas that tend to vote for Democrats. Trump, 74, led the race in Georgia and Pennsylvania, although Biden has narrowed the gap in the past few hours.
Georgia has been a traditional Republican stronghold, but it may fall into the hands of Democrats for the first time since Bill Clinton’s 1992 triumph. In Pennsylvania, Biden’s home state, Trump led with 91% of the vote, but it is estimated that postal votes that still need to be counted will go mainly to Democrats.
At the request of the Trump campaign, a judge ordered local officials to allow Republican observers to enter the Philadelphia convention center where ballots are counted.
Trump, who hours after the polls closed on Tuesday declared himself the winner and threatened to go to the Supreme Court to prove what he considers a “fraud”, called on Thursday for the ballot to be closed. “Any vote that comes after election day it will not be counted! “, he tweeted, winning a new hashtag of” misleading “content from the social network.
Trump announced legal action in several contending states as Biden’s leadership at the Electoral College increased. The president’s re-election campaign said it would challenge the count in Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania and will require a recount in Wisconsin, where Biden won by just 20,000 votes. In two of these states Georgia and Michigan, the American court denied the suspension request, alleging, in both cases, that there was no evidence to support the alleged fraud allegation.
Without declaring himself a winner, Biden was confident and insisted that “all votes must be counted”. “I am here to say that when the count is over, we believe we will be the winners,” he said on Wednesday, seeking to project calm and unity in a country marked by the polarization and scourge of the Covid-19 pandemic. “We have to stop treating our opponents as enemies,” he said in a brief speech at his home in Wilmington, Delaware.
Protests on both sides
Trump supporters insisted on Wednesday that the poll must continue in Arizona and Nevada, where the president is losing. “Count the votes!” They shouted in front of an election office in Maricopa County, where Phoenix, Arizona’s capital, is located. “Stop counting!” They shouted in Detroit, Michigan’s main city, where Biden’s victory had already been shown.
In Portland, Oregon, one of the epicenters of the wave of anti-racist and anti-police violence protests this year, a tense anti-Trump demonstration has left at least 10 detainees. “We want Trump out,” shouted one of the protesters. In New York, thousands of Biden supporters marched peacefully down Fifth Avenue to demand “every vote count”.
The count is delayed in particular due to the record number of more than 100 million early votes, mostly sent by mail, due to Covid-19. The United States has not experienced this uncertainty since 2000, when the Supreme Court ended up ruling in favor of Republican George W. Bush in the dispute with Democrat Al Gore.
The world watches
The still uncertain outcome of the elections in the United States fascinates and worries the entire world. “It’s a sight to behold!” Tweeted the Iranian supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, in a message in Spanish, mocking what he considered to be mutual accusations of fraud by the two candidates. Relations between Tehran and Washington, in conflict for more than 40 years, deteriorated with Trump’s coming to power.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), accused Trump of “flagrant abuse of power” and warned against limitations on the right to vote. Russia also expressed fears that a disputed election could generate unrest. However, Trump has already received congratulations from the Prime Minister of Slovenia, the first lady’s country of origin, Melania. “It seems clear that the Americans elected Donald Trump,” said Janez Jansa.
Biden, for his part, promised to include the United States again in the Paris Climate Agreement, from which the country officially left on Wednesday by order of Trump. He said he would do so “in exactly 77 days”, in reference to the date of the presidential inauguration, on January 20, 2021.