Hi. welcome to On politics, your daily guide to national politics. I am Lisa Lerer, your host.
register here to get On Politics delivered to your inbox every day of the week.
ATLANTA – What the President of the United States did tonight was not complicated, but it was amazing, even after four long years of extraordinary politics.
President Trump has attacked democracy.
In his remarks tonight from the White House, Mr. Trump lied about the vote count, smeared his opponents and tried to undermine the integrity of our electoral system.
“If you count the legal votes, I win,” he said, before ticking off a litany of baseless claims about how his campaign would have been cheated by his opponents, non-partisan election officials and a vast conspiracy of tech companies and big business.
But nothing is “rigged”, “stolen” or “illegal”. Nobody “does a lot of bad things.”
Donald Trump is simply losing.
And he apparently decided to try and take down our system with him.
Joe Biden has taken over Mr. Trump’s leadership, or expanded his own, in three of the four states that will decide the next president: Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada. Notably, in the state where Mr. Trump appears to be making gains – Arizona – the president appears to have little problem with the vote count.
Votes that Mr. Trump calls “late” and “illegal” were obliterated on election day, making them valid. In Pennsylvania, the Republican-led state legislature did not allow election officials to begin counting mail-in ballots until election day. So now they are numbered.
Instead of letting the process go, the president is calling on election officials to stop counting ballots, potentially depriving hundreds of thousands of voters. As James Baker, the former secretary of state who led the Republican legal and political team during the 2000 Florida recount battle, told my colleague Peter Baker today: “This is a very difficult to defend in a democracy.
There’s also a pragmatic question regarding the president’s claims: If the Democrats wanted to rig an election, why didn’t they do a better job of it? After many Democrats nearly predicted a landslide, the party has so far lost seats in the House and faces a steep path to gain control of the Senate. Mr. Trump touted these Republican victories in his comments tonight.
On social networks, his family members and allies called on Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham to back the president’s claims – even trying to make the issue a litmus test for the 2024 campaign. (We’re not even done with 2020!) Of course, Republicans who back Mr. Trump could question the validity of their own victories.
So with some exceptions, they have largely returned to the position they often adopt with the president: silence. But it can become increasingly difficult to remain silent.
As he has been doing for months, Mr. Trump has indicated that he will not accept the election results and encourage his supporters to do the same – a dangerous game in an already heated political environment. And at least a few voters are listening.
In Arizona, it’s hard for Carla Livak to believe the president could lose her state, where supporters have flocked in the tens of thousands for her rallies, and car parades in her honor have stretched for miles.
“It’s just hard to believe that everything is so close,” she said. “I just don’t believe it.
The 70-year-old Tucson resident said she thought something suspicious was going on with the vote count.
“It feels like big tech is banding together to censor things, that there are invisible tentacles of power,” she said. “He has enemies who are so great, it is not beyond the realm of the possible.”
One thing is certain: Win or lose, Mr. Trump’s conspiratorial thinking and influence over his supporters will be part of his legacy.
Hank Stephenson contributed reporting from Tucson.
We want to hear from our readers. Have a question? We will try to answer them. Do you have a comment? We are all ears. Write to us at email@example.com.
What happens in undecided states
Here is the latest, at 9 p.m., on the situation in the remaining battlefield states. For the latest numbers, go to our results pages.
Electoral votes: 16
Asset directs Biden, 49.4 percent to 49.3 percent, with over 98 percent of the estimated vote.
Difference: Around 3,500 votes.
Keep in mind: Thousands of ballots are due to be counted in Georgia, an official in the secretary of state’s office said Thursday afternoon. Most of them are in countries with democratic tendencies. The state intends to complete its count by the end of the day.
Election votes: 20
Trump leads Biden, 49.8 percent to 49.0 percent, with about 94 percent of the estimated vote.
Difference: About 53,000 votes.
Keep in mind: The state’s top electoral official said Thursday evening that counties “still count” and gave no direct answer as to the number of ballots still pending, estimating it to be “several hundred. thousands ”. She offered no timetable as to when the in-state count would be completed. Most of the votes to be counted are in counties where Mr. Biden leads, including Philadelphia, the most populous county in the state.
Electoral votes: 6
Biden leads Trump, 49.4 percent to 48.5 percent, with 89 percent of the estimated vote.
Difference: About 11,000 votes.
Keep in mind: Nevada still has about 190,000 ballots to count, the Secretary of State said Thursday afternoon. Ninety percent of them are from Clark County, where Mr Biden currently leads by eight percentage points. All Election Day votes were counted, leaving only the late Democrat-leaning mail and provisional ballots to compile.
Electoral votes: 11
Biden runs Trump, 50.3% to 48.3%, with 88% of the estimated votes.
Difference: Around 57,000 votes.
Keep in mind: Mr. Trump must win around 60% of the remaining votes to capture the state. Further results are expected to be released Thursday evening.
Election votes: 15
Trump leads Biden, 50 percent to 48.6 percent, with 95 percent of the estimated vote.
Difference: Around 77,000 votes.
Keep in mind: With most of the votes now counted, Mr Biden would need to win about two-thirds of the rest to get ahead. Ballots postmarked on polling day will be accepted until Thursday, November 12.
Thanks for reading. On Politics is your guide to the cycle of political news, bringing clarity to chaos.
On Politics is also available as a newsletter. register here to have it delivered to your inbox.
Do you think we are missing something? Do you want to see more? We would love to hear from you. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.