Donald Trump, Joe Biden sweat out vote count as presidential contest hangs in the balance


President Trump and Democratic challenger Joseph R. Biden were jockeying for position in key states early Thursday as the battle for the White House hung in the balance.

A handful of states, including Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina and Alaska remained uncalled two days after Election Day.

In Georgia, Mr. Trump led Mr. Biden by a 49.6% to 41.1% margin, or about 23,000 votes, with about 95% of the expected votes reported.

Mr. Biden has been cutting into the president’s margin there as votes from the Democratic-leaning Atlanta area get tabulated.

In Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump was leading by about a 50.7% to 48.1% margin, or about 164,000 votes, with 89% of the estimated votes in.

The president had been leading by about 600,000 votes on election night, but Mr. Biden has gained ground as more votes from the Democratic-leaning Philadelphia area are counted.

Officials in Arizona continued to tabulate ballots in populous Maricopa County and elsewhere, which helped shave an approximately 100,000-vote edge for Mr. Biden on Wednesday down to about 68,000 as of early Thursday.

Percentage-wise, Mr. Biden held a 50.5% to 48.1% lead without about 86% of the estimated votes reported. The next release of Maricopa ballots wasn’t expected until later Thursday.

Fox News and The Associated Press had called Arizona for Mr. Biden, but Mr. Trump’s team says they’re on track to overtake the former vice president based on the outstanding ballots that have yet to be counted.

Election officials in Nevada were expected to start announcing more results at around noon eastern time. Mr. Biden held a 49.3% to 48.7% lead, or about 7,600 votes, with an estimated 86% of the total in.

Mr. Trump held a 50.1% to 48.7% lead in North Carolina, a margin of about 77,000 votes, with 95% of the estimated total reported.

Officials there indicated that the final tabulations might not be finished until Nov. 12 or Nov. 13. Mail-in ballots are accepted in North Carolina until Nov. 12 as long as they’re postmarked by Nov. 3.

Mr. Biden’s team said Wednesday that it looked like North Carolina was leaning toward Mr. Trump.

Multiple networks and the AP called Michigan and Wisconsin for Mr. Biden on Wednesday. The two states were critical for Mr. Trump’s path to victory in 2016.

Mr. Biden said in a speech in Delaware on Wednesday afternoon that he’s confident he’ll have enough votes to win once all the votes are counted as he declared victory in Wisconsin and Arizona.

Mr. Trump said Wednesday afternoon on Twitter that he’s claiming Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and potentially Michigan as wins. The president did not make any live remarks in public about the election results during daylight hours on Wednesday.

He addressed supporters at the White House at about 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday when it had appeared that he was much better positioned in some of the key states.

But his legal and campaign team, including personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, vowed a legal fight in Pennsylvania, saying the narrowing gap there between Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden was looking fishy.

The Trump campaign has taken legal action in Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania and says it will push for a recount in Wisconsin.

Mr. Trump’s team says that late absentee ballots might have been illegally mixed in with others in Georgia and that they want better access to observe the vote-counting in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

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