Biden Overtakes Trump In Pennsylvania

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Eric Heyl
·6 min read
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Last updated at 10:07 a.m.

PENNSYLVANIA — Joe Biden overtook Donald Trump in Pennsylvania early Friday during the ongoing ballot count. Biden now has 3,297,487 votes to Trump's 3,290,747 according to the Associated Press.

Biden pulled ahead as vote tallies were released in Philadelphia. Later numbers from Bucks County increased his lead. There are still more than 100,000 mail-in ballots to be counted statewide, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

As of 10 a.m. Friday, here are the counties with the most outstanding mail-in ballots, according to information from the state:

  • Philadelphia: 58K

  • Allegheny: 36K

  • Bucks: 9,701

  • Lehigh: 9,559

  • Crawford:4,577

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said on Thursday that most of the county's outstanding votes could not be counted until at least Friday because of legal reasons.

***

Previous update

As ballots that could determine the outcome of the presidential election continue to be counted in the state, Gov. Tom Wolf Thursday morning issued a strong statement against what he termed attempted voter suppression.

Ahead of planned efforts to disrupt election officials from counting votes in Philadelphia, Wolf released a statement saying no amount of intimidation will stop election officials from performing their duties.

"The planned attacks on our elections this morning are undemocratic and all elected officials must denounced them, " he said. "Pennsylvania will be prepared to protect our election workers and our votes."

The statement was released as a pro-Trump protesters appeared at a Count Every Vote rally mingled outside the Philadelphia Convention Center, where votes are being counted.

Democratic observers believe Biden ultimately will prevail, The New York Times reported.

The Trump campaign on Wednesday claimed victory in Pennsylvania despite the number of votes that remained to be counted. On a call with reporters, campaign manager Bill Stepien said, We are declaring a victory in Pennsylvania. "This is not based on gut or feel. This is based on math.”

The president’s son, Eric Trump, tweeted “We have won Pennsylvania!" without citing any data.

While claiming victory, the Trump campaign on Wednesday sued to try to stop the counting of votes in Pennsylvania.

The campaign says it's suing to halt the counting of votes over concerns about "transparency," attempting to intervene in existing Supreme Court litigation over Pennsylvania's three-day extension for mail-in ballots and filing suit to challenge an extension of the deadline for mail-in and absentee voters to provide proof identification.

Mail-in ballots received as late as Friday can be counted in Pennsylvania, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month, upholding a September state court ruling. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to rule on a lawsuit filed in June by Trump's re-election campaign, the Republican National Committee and several GOP Pennsylvania congressmen asking the state to be barred from permitting mail-in votes.

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The Keystone State's 20 electoral votes are tied for fifth-most, and Pennsylvania was one of three traditionally blue states that propelled Trump to victory in 2016.

Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate to win Pennsylvania since George H.W. Bush in 1988. But Trump's margin of victory over Hillary Clinton was minimal. More than 6 million votes were cast in Pennsylvania and Trump won by 44,000 — or less than 1 percent.

Trump and Biden zeroed in on the critical battleground state last week, with Trump and his daughter, Ivanaka, making multiple appearances in the state, including four on Saturday alone. Biden, with a large lead in polls in Pennsylvania, made one.

Biden last week marked the moment of the 200,000th coronavirus case in Pennsylvania to blast the president's handling of the worst American health crisis in a century.

"The news that Pennsylvania has passed the grim milestone of 200,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases is a tragic reminder that President Trump has failed at his most basic and essential duty, to keep Americans safe," Biden said.

"Rather than working to contain the spread of the virus, President Trump continues to peddle the lie that America is rounding the corner on this pandemic. President Trump's actions have cost thousands of lives and hundreds of thousands of jobs."

The election brought former President Barack Obama to the campaign trail for the first time in Philadelphia recently to condemn Trump's tactics. Obama excoriated Trump for his handling of the pandemic, his racial unrest response and his lack of fitness for the office and urged people to vote for Biden.

"This election requires every single one of us to do our part. What we do these next days will matter for decades to come," Obama said at a drive-in rally of about 300 cars. "The fact that we don't get 100 percent of what we want right away is not a good reason not to vote."

Recent polling had Biden with a substantial edge over Trump in Pennsylvania and two other battleground states, Wisconsin and Michigan. The poll was conducted by YouGov and was overseen by the University of Madison-Wisconsin Elections Research Center in collaboration with the Wisconsin State Journal.

A Franklin & Marshall University poll released last week showed Biden with a 50 percent to 44 percent edge over Trump among likely Pennsylvania voters.

After returning to the campaign trail following his contraction of the coronavirus, Trump campaigned in Pennsylvania and pleaded for women to vote for him. "Suburban women: Will you please like me?" he asked during an October rally in Johnstown. "Please. Please. I saved your damn neighborhood, OK?"

His pleading with women voters came after a recent survey in The New York Times indicated that Biden had a 15-point lead among females.

Regarding the integrity of the ballot count, Pennsylvania Department of State officials said recently that the commonwealth works with all 67 county boards of elections, the Pennsylvania National Guard, the Center for Internet Security and other key partners to maintain and enhance the security of Pennsylvania's election process. Pennsylvania uses a layered set of defenses to protect its voting systems, which are never connected to the internet or permitted on internet-facing networks.

"Elections are the cornerstone of our democracy and therefore safeguarding their integrity is critical to the health of our Republic. Pennsylvanians can rest assured that their federal and state officials are working together — as they should be — on this shared mission," U.S. Attorney William McSwain of Philadelphia recently said. "As President Lincoln once put it: 'elections belong to the people.' We will work tirelessly to give meaning to that simple but profound statement."

View all Pennsylvania-related election coverage here.

Additional reporting by Max Bennett and Justin Heinze.


This article originally appeared on the Pittsburgh Patch