Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has pulled ahead of President Donald Trump in the contested states of Pennsylvania and Georgia.
Biden currently leads Trump with 253 to 214 electoral votes. A possible win in Pennsylvania with its 20 electoral votes is enough to give Biden the required 270 Electoral College votes and the presidency.
Georgia and Pennsylvania are must-win states for Trump to have a chance of keeping the White House. Trump won both in his run against Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Biden leads Trump by more than 5,000 votes in Pennsylvania and by more than 1,000 in Georgia. The leads are expected to increase for Biden as more mail-in ballots are counted.
Across the nation, Biden has received more than half of the votes that have been counted. He has more than 73 million votes, a record amount in American elections. Trump has about 69 million votes.
On Thursday, as the votes continue to favor Biden, Trump wrote on Twitter, “STOP THE COUNT!”
The president then came out late in the day claiming that he had won the election before officials started counting the mail-in ballots. He said, "If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us."
Trump did not provide evidence of the existence of illegal votes or other claims of wrongdoing.
Larry Hogan is the Republican governor of the state of Maryland. He denounced Trump’s comment on Twitter, “There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process. America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before.” He added, “No election or person is more important than our Democracy.”
Earlier in the day, Biden told supporters in Wilmington, Delaware to be patient and to stay calm. He said, “We have no doubt that when the count is finished Sen. Harris and I will be declared the winners. So, I ask everyone to stay calm — all people to stay calm.”
Trump maintains a lead in North Carolina and Alaska. And Biden is ahead in the western states of Arizona and Nevada.
Trump’s campaign also opened legal actions in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia and wanted a recount of the votes in Wisconsin. Judges in Georgia and Michigan quickly dismissed Trump campaign lawsuits there on Thursday.
Hai Do wrote this story for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.