Even as the world anxiously awaits results from several battleground states, US President Donald Trump early Wednesday prematurely declared victory against Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
“We were getting ready to win this election, frankly, we did win this election,” Trump told supporters at the White House, less than a day after he said he will declare a victory only when there is a victory.
Trump further vowed a Supreme Court fight over the election – a move he has telegraphed for weeks – saying “we want all voting to stop.”
“We don’t want them to find any” additional ballots, he added, even as several states grapple with a deluge of mail-in votes, some of which were not legally allowed to be counted until Election Day.
Trump later on Tuesday also said that he does not have a concession or acceptance speech prepared.
The Biden campaign immediately slammed Trump’s remarks early Wednesday, calling his bid to stop vote counts “outrageous, unprecedented and incorrect.” Biden team added that their lawyers are also ready for a legal battle.
Earlier, Biden told supporters in his home state of Delaware he is “on track” to win the race for the White House, urging people to be patient until the whole vote count is done.
“I am here to tell you tonight, we are on track to win this election,” said the former vice president.
“We are going to have to be patient until the hard work of tallying votes is finished. And it ain’t over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted.”
Earlier in the evening the president accused Democrats of trying to “steal” the election – echoing a string of similar remarks in the runup to Nov. 3 – saying his administration would “never” allow this to happen.
According to The Associated Press, Trump has so far captured the swing state of Florida along with most of the South and the country’s West and Midwest, including South Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio, Texas, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Utah.
Biden, for his part, won big in the East/Northeast and the US West Coast, including Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Washington state, Oregon, and California, as well as in Minnesota, Illinois, Arizona, Hawaii, Colorado, and New Mexico.
Several races are too close to call, including in the key states of Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Alaska is too early to be called, but its 3 electoral votes are likely to go to the president.
Trump is currently trailing Biden 238-213, as the candidates seek to accrue at least 270 Electoral College delegates – the number needed to win.
Trump, however, has already claimed victory in Georgia, North Carolina, and Michigan, all three without any official outcome, although leaning the president.
Turning to Congress, the compositions of the GOP-led Senate and Democrat-led House of Representatives look unlikely to change, as both sides secured a majority in races in the respective chambers so far.
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