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(LEAD) (US election) Biden continues to expand lead over Trump in Pennsylvania for imminent victory

All News 12:59 November 07, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with reports of scheduled press conference by Biden, latest vote counts in key battleground states, more information and minor edits throughout)
By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 (Yonhap) -- Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden continued to close in on winning the White House on Friday as he further expanded his lead over President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania, a state that alone could land him the presidency.

As of 10 p.m. the former vice president had 27,130 more votes than Trump in Pennsylvania, one of six battleground states that were all won by Trump in the 2016 election.

The race, however, has yet to be called, with potentially more than 300,000 ballots still left to be counted in Pennsylvania.

Biden came from more than 600,000 votes behind to overtake Trump in that state.

The captured image from the website of U.S. cable news network C-Span shows Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaking at a press conference in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov. 5, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The former vice president was projected to have secured 253 electoral votes, 17 votes short of the 270 needed to win, against Trump's 213 votes. Both numbers remain unchanged since late Wednesday.

Biden was scheduled to soon hold a press conference, the third of its kind since polling closed Tuesday, in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.

He was not expected to declare victory, at least until the race has been called.

"The count is being completed, and we will know very soon," he told a press conference on Thursday that was also attended by his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California.

"We have no doubt that when the count is finished, Sen. Harris and I will be declared the winners. So I ask everyone to stay calm, all people to stay calm," he added.

He has expressed confidence in winning.

"It's clear that we're winning enough states to reach 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency," he has said.

So far, Biden is projected to have won two of the six battleground states -- Michigan and Wisconsin -- and is leading in Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Trump is projected to have taken Florida and North Carolina.

The race, however, has largely come down to Pennsylvania, which carries 20 electoral votes that, if won, could push Biden over the finish line with a total of 273 electoral votes.

Anyone who wins a majority of 270 electoral votes out of the total 538 wins the presidency.

Vote counting was still under way in four other states -- Alaska, Arizona, Georgia and Nevada -- in addition to Pennsylvania.

While Trump is widely expected to win in Alaska, Biden's win in any two of the remaining three states will carry him over the finish line.

The image provided by Yonhap News TV shows U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. American voters began hitting the polls on Nov. 3, 2020, to elect the next U.S. president. (Yonhap)

Trump, on the other hand, will lose all chance of winning the election if he loses either Georgia or Pennsylvania.

Biden has come from behind to overtake Trump in both Michigan and Wisconsin.

Election watchers here have largely attributed the last-minute flip to Biden in the key states to a record number of mail-in ballots that they said are "heavily skewed toward the Democrats."

They noted that Democrats had urged their supporters to vote early and by mail if possible, partly to avoid the danger of contracting the new coronavirus, while Trump had encouraged his voters to show up in person, partly by repeatedly raising questions over the validity of mail-in ballots.

More than 101 million Americans are reported to have voted early either by mail-in ballots or in person, marking the highest number in the country's history.

Many states also accept mail-in ballots for days after Election Day, as long as they are postmarked on or before the election day.

Trump's Republican Party on Friday asked the federal Supreme Court to block late-arriving votes from being counted in Pennsylvania.

Trump earlier called late, mail-in votes illegal and vowed to launch lawsuits against states that accept them.

"If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us, if you count the votes that came in late," he said in a White House press conference on Thursday.

The captured image from the White House website shows U.S. President Donald Trump holding a press conference at the White House on Nov. 5, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Trump has made clear that he has no intention of conceding his defeat, while accusing the Democrats of "dumping" ballots in key battleground states that he claims made his earlier lead in such states "magically disappear."

"I had such a big lead in all of these states late into election night, only to see the leads miraculously disappear as the days went by," he tweeted.

He has filed lawsuits in Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania to have their vote counting halted.

He has also warned he would launch "numerous litigations" against states that he claims included "illegal" votes in their vote counts.

"Perhaps these leads will return as our legal proceedings move forward," he said on Twitter on Friday.

The president had called for a halt to vote counting in the states where he had a lead over his Democratic rival, including Michigan and Wisconsin, while prematurely declaring victory only hours after polling closed.

"Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President. I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning!" he tweeted Friday.

bdk@yna.co.kr
(END)

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