Joe Biden Projects Patience as Vote Count Continues


As votes continue to be counted on Wednesday, the Biden campaign asked Americans to stay patient, but projected confidence about the outcome for the Vice President in key battleground states and the Electoral College.

“We believe we are in a clear path to victory,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said in a press briefing Wednesday morning. “By this afternoon, we expect that the Vice President will have leads in states that put him over 270 electoral votes.”

As of mid-morning on Wednesday, Florida and Ohio had been called for Trump, while Arizona and Colorado had been called for Biden. Votes were still being counted in the key battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina, and Georgia. A Biden campaign official said they expected results in Wisconsin and Michigan by midday, and anticipated votes in Georgia and Nevada to be counted by tomorrow.

The Biden campaign said Wednesday that they saw their path to victory as winding through Nevada and the upper Midwest. With his win in Arizona, Biden needs to carry any three of four outstanding states where he currently has a reasonable shot at victory: Wisconsin, Nevada, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. O’Malley Dillon said the Biden campaign is on track to win them all.

“We believe that we have already won Wisconsin,” she said, adding that “We expect to win Michigan.” In Nevada, “we are already in the lead,” and she said she believes that Biden will win Pennsylvania when the absentee votes are counted.

“We’re on track to win in Michigan by more than Donald Trump did in 2016, to win in Wisconsin by more than Trump did in 2016, to win in Pennsylvania by more than Trump did in 2016,” O’Malley Dillon said.

Campaign staffers say the mood inside Team Biden is tense but optimistic, with top advisors saying the results are coming in largely as expected, and roughly on track with their internal polling. The campaign says they never expected to win by as wide of a margin as was reflected in national public polling, and that states like Florida and Georgia were always considered a reach. Campaign staff always expected it would be a long process, as they would have to wait hours or even days for major states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to be called.

“People just didn’t want to wait for it to happen how it was supposed to happen,” says one Biden senior advisor. “Everyone knew that Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin would not be called last night and somehow everyone, including the press, decided that it was some weakness in the Biden campaign.”

Democrats in Pennsylvania say they are optimistic Biden will come out on top in the Keystone state, but are also reassured that the Vice President has several paths to victory. “I think the math is on our side without a doubt,” says Pennsylvania Lieutenant GovernorJohn Fetterman. “Nothing would make me happier if we were irrelevant. If Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada drop, it’s ballgame.”

“We have been abundantly clear that we thought that this could be a very close race in most of our states,” O’Malley Dillon also said during Wednesday morning’s briefing. “We worked hard to be very transparent about the fact that we did not believe that the race was in that wide margin that we were seeing in the national polling numbers.”

The campaign also addressed President Trump’s comments late Tuesday night, in which he falsely claiming victory and called for vote counting to stop. The campaign pledged to fight any legal challenge to counting absentee votes. “We’re winning the election, we’ve won the election, and we’re going to defend that election,” said Biden senior advisor Bob Bauer. “We don’t have to do anything but protect the rights of voters and to stand up for the democratic process. If it’s attacked, as the President suggests it will be attacked, we’re going to successfully repel that attack.”

“The American people get to pick their President, the President does not get to pick the people whose votes get counted,” O’Malley Dillon also said Wednesday. “But let’s be extremely clear about something: If Donald Trump got his wish, and we stopped counting ballots right now, Vice President Joe Biden would be the next President of the United States.”

Write to Charlotte Alter at charlotte.alter@time.com.



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