President Trump’s belligerent promise to fight the election outcome in court on Friday crashed into skeptical judges, disheartening mathematics from the Electoral College and a lack of evidence for his fraud claims.
On a day that began with the vote count in Georgia and Pennsylvania shifting in favor of Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Trump campaign said, “This election is not over,” as the Republican National Committee announced that it had activated “court challenges teams.” in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Trump’s forces have also appointed a new general to lead the effort, hardened conservative political fighter David Bossie.
But none of the dozens of lawsuits they had filed in battlefield states seemed to be gaining ground in court. And none seemed likely to give Mr. Trump the edge he would need in the vote count in the states that will determine the outcome.
In seeking to sow widespread doubt about the legitimacy of the election, Mr. Trump and his surrogates seemed less focused on substantive legal arguments that might hold in court, and more on strengthening the president’s political narrative, unsupported by the facts, that he was somehow being deprived of a second term.
The most high-profile milestone of the day came when Republicans in Pennsylvania asked the United States Supreme Court to step in and demand state election officials to separate ballots that arrived after the day. of the ballot and not to include them for the moment in the totals of the votes in the largest. and the most critical of swing states.
On Friday night, Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. accepted the request.
But the decision was almost entirely for the show: Pennsylvania is already separating those ballots, by counting them separately and without including them in the announced vote totals. The secretary of state, despite objections from Republicans and Mr Trump, said they could be counted if they arrived at 5 p.m. on Friday, in accordance with a state court ruling that the Supreme Court left open the opportunity to reconsider again.