The US presidential race was coming down to close contests in five states. Biden held narrow leads in Nevada and Arizona while Trump was watching his slim advantage fade in must-win states Pennsylvania and Georgia as mail-in and absentee votes were being counted. Trump clung to a narrow lead in North Carolina as well, another must-win for him.
Trump had to win the states where he was still ahead plus either Arizona or Nevada to triumph and avoid becoming the first incumbent U.S. president to lose a re-election bid since fellow Republican George H.W. Bush in 1992.
Edison Research gave Biden a 243 to 213 lead over Trump in Electoral College votes, which are largely based on a state’s population. Other networks said Biden had won Wisconsin, which would give him another 10 votes. To win, a candidate needs 270 votes.
– Trump supporters protest outside Arizona vote centre
A crowd of Donald Trump supporters, some armed with rifles and handguns, gathered outside an election centre in Arizona on Wednesday night after unsubstantiated rumours that votes for the Republican president were deliberately not being counted.
Chanting “Stop the steal!”, and “Count my vote”, the mostly unmasked protesters stood in front of the Maricopa County Elections Department in Phoenix, as Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden held a razor thin lead in the critical battleground state. Some news outlets have called Arizona for Biden, but Trump’s campaign says it is still in play.
A victory for Biden in Arizona would give the Democrat 11 electoral votes, a major boost in his bid to win the White House, while severely narrowing Trump’s path to re-election, in a state the Republican won in 2016.