Jen O’Malley Dillon, Joseph R. Biden’s campaign manager, said Monday there is “no scenario” where President Trump will be able to legitimately claim victory on Tuesday.
“It was reported yesterday that President Trump believes that if he wins the east coast battleground states – Florida, North Carolina and Georgia – he plans to go out and declare victory,” Ms. O’Malley Dillon said at an election briefing. “And we want to be clear with you: if he tries to do that, that will not be true.”
She said that simply declaring victory without actually having won is basically like trying to say “COVID is over – even though we know it’s not.”
“Under no scenario will Donald Trump be declared a victor on election night,” she said.
Earlier Monday, the Trump campaign said Democrats were bracing for defeat by talking up the idea of a “Red Mirage” where Mr. Trump would be leading on election night in key states with a good number of absentee or mail ballots remaining to be counted.
Ms. O’Malley Dillon said the campaign is feeling good about where they stand heading into Tuesday and that they’ve banked a good base of early votes that will make it difficult for Mr. Trump to make up enough ground to win.
“At the end of the day, we believe we are going to win this race,” she said. “We believe we’re going to be able to do that with our pathways to victory regardless of what Donald Trump says.”
She said no election is ever completely counted and verified on election night.
“We do not expect that to happen in 2020 and we know that all the ballots aren’t going to be reported on election night,” she said. “That’s not just our supporters – that’s going to be his supporters, too. It’s also going to be our military overseas who have turned in their ballots.”
Mr. Trump denied on Sunday that he’ll jump the gun in declaring victory, but said his team’s lawyers are planning to go in “the night of” the election on Tuesday to start challenging the counting of mail-in ballots.
Bob Bauer, an adviser to the Biden campaign, said Mr. Trump is displaying an “increasing level of desperation.”
“I think it’s very telling that President Trump is focused not on his voters but on his lawyers, and his lawyers are not going to win the election for him,” Mr. Bauer said. “We are fully prepared for any legal hijinks of one kind or another. We’re not worried about it.”
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