Salem Radio Network News Saturday, November 28, 2020


Biden victory in Arizona puts Trump’s longshot challenge further out of reach

By Simon Lewis and Steve Holland

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del./WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state of Arizona expanded his electoral vote margin over President Donald Trump, placing any hopes of Trump reversing the outcome through the courts or recounts even further out of reach.

Biden was projected to win Arizona and its 11 electoral votes on Thursday after more than a week of vote counting from the Nov. 3 election, Edison Research said. He becomes only the second Democratic presidential candidate in seven decades to win the traditionally Republican state.

Biden’s win there gives him 290 electoral votes in the state-by-state Electoral College that determines the White House winner. Biden had already cleared the 270-vote threshold to win the election, setting him on course to be sworn in on Jan. 20.

Biden also holds a lead of more than 14,000 votes in the uncalled state of Georgia, a margin that is nearly certain to survive a manual recount. Adding Georgia to Biden’s win column would amount to a resounding defeat of Trump in the Electoral College similar to the margin that Trump beat Clinton by four years ago.

Although the national popular vote does not determine the election outcome, Biden is winning that by more than 5.3 million votes, or 3.4 percentage points. His share of the popular vote is now up to 50.8%, slightly higher than Ronald Reagan’s share of the vote in 1980 when he defeated Jimmy Carter.

Trump, a Republican, has claimed without evidence that he was cheated by widespread election fraud and has refused to concede. State election officials report no serious irregularities, and several of his legal challenges have failed in court.

To win a second term, Trump would need to overturn Biden’s lead in at least three states, but he has so far failed to produce evidence that he could do so in any of them. States face a Dec. 8 “safe harbor” deadline to certify their elections and choose electors for the Electoral College, which will officially select the new president on Dec. 14.

In Michigan, where Biden won by 2.6 percentage points or more than 148,000 votes, two Republican state senators have asked the state’s top election officials to audit the results before certifying them.

They cited a “glitch” in vote-counting software, allegations that ballots were mishandled and impediments to poll-watchers.

“These claims deserve our full attention and diligent investigation to ensure fairness and transparency in our election process,” Lana Theis and Tom Barrett said in a letter to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

The state has said that the canvassing process, which is a county-by-county review of the vote count, is in itself an audit.

Biden’s legal advisers have dismissed the Trump lawsuits as political theater.

Federal election security officials have found no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, “or was in any way compromised,” two security groups said in a statement released on Thursday by the lead U.S. cybersecurity agency.

While Republicans in the United States have questioned the outcome, U.S. allies around the world have recognized Biden’s victory since Saturday. Rival China on Friday became the latest country to congratulate Biden, leaving Russia and Mexico as conspicuous holdouts.


Biden was set to meet with transition advisers again on Friday at his Delaware beach house as he maps out his approach to the coronavirus pandemic and prepares to name his top appointees, including Cabinet members.

Trump’s refusal to accept defeat has stalled the official transition. The federal agency that releases funding to an incoming president-elect, the General Services Administration, has not yet recognized Biden’s victory, denying him access to federal office space and resources.

Biden’s pick for White House chief of staff, Ron Klain, told MSNBC on Thursday that starting the transition is particularly crucial now, as the Biden administration will inherit a coronavirus vaccination campaign as soon as he takes office.

Regardless of the impediments, Biden will sign a “stack” of executive orders and send high-priority legislation to Congress on his first day in office, Klain said.

“He is going to have a very, very busy Day One,” Klain said, citing a return the to Paris Accord on climate change, immigration reform, strengthening the “Obamacare” healthcare law and environmental protection as issues Biden would address on Jan. 20.

Most Republicans have publicly said Trump has a right to pursue court challenges and declined to recognize Biden as the winner. But more signs of dissent began emerging on Thursday.

Party figures such as Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and Karl Rove, a top adviser to former President George W. Bush, said Biden should be treated as the president-elect.

Trump has other motivations for prolonging his fight. His campaign is working on retiring its debt and contributions to his legal fund can also be used for that purpose.

He also may be positioning himself to retain his grip on the Republican Party – and his tens of millions of supporters – to benefit any future political endeavors, including another run for president.

(Reporting by Simon Lewis in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and Steve Holland in Washington; Writing by James Oliphant; Editing by Frances Kerry and Alistair Bell)


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