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Biden time?

Media project Joe Biden will be 46th president; Trump campaign continues legal action in close contest


In this file photo, presidential candidate Joe Biden hugs his wife Jill after his speech Democratic National Convention in Wilmington, Del., in August AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, file

Biden time?
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Church bells rang out in Washington, D.C., on Saturday after most major news outlets projected Democrat Joe Biden will be the 46th president of the United States. CNN, ABC, NBC, the Associated Press, and Fox News called the race for Biden just before noon.

The outlets said a projected win in Pennsylvania would propel Biden past the 270 electoral votes needed to secure the presidency.

But President Donald Trump said the race isn’t over. The proverbial bells will ring again on Monday, signaling another round of legal sparring in the razor-close presidential contest. A half-hour before media outlets declared Biden the winner, Trump tweeted: “I won this election, by a lot!”

It could lead to a punch-drunk moment for America: Whom did voters choose?

It’s likely the courts will officially settle it. The Trump campaign has legal challenges pending in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, and Wisconsin. (North Carolina hasn’t been called, but Trump led the Tar Heel State by about 1.5 percentage points Saturday.)

Pennsylvania may be the most consequential contest: If Biden’s lead in the other swing states stands, a victory in Pennsylvania would deliver a knockout blow to Trump’s campaign.

But the contest is razor-thin: As of midday Saturday, Biden held a 0.51 percent lead in Pennsylvania. The state’s law requires an automatic recount if the margin is 0.5 percent or less.

A candidate isn’t allowed directly to request a recount, but he can appeal the orders or decisions of boards of elections in individual counties. Courts would determine if those appeals merited a recount.

The pressing question: Would a recount change the outcome? There’s no way to know for sure without allowing the process to play out, but it’s relatively rare for a recount to change the outcome of a statewide election.

According to a report by the group FairVote, over the last 20 years, 31 out of 5,778 statewide elections went to recounts. Three of those recounts reversed election outcomes: The governor’s race in Washington state in 2004, the state auditor’s race in Vermont in 2006, and the 2008 Senate race in Minnesota. In all three cases, recounts handed the election to the Democratic candidate.

While the possibility of a reversal may seem slim, the Trump campaign may see the ultra-slim margins as a reason to pursue the process. The bigger legal hill to climb: proving claims of electoral fraud.

In a handful of states, the Trump campaign or state Republican parties are filing court claims of irregularities, and those hearings will continue next week. Some could end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, speaks during a news conference in Philadelphia, Pa., on Saturday.

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, speaks during a news conference in Philadelphia, Pa., on Saturday. AP Photo/John Minchillo

At a press conference in Philadelphia on Saturday, Trump legal adviser Rudy Giuliani said Republicans would file a lawsuit challenging thousands of ballots in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, where some 50 Republican poll watchers say they weren’t allowed to inspect mail-in ballots in those cities. Giuliani told reporters: “Networks don’t get to call elections, courts do.”

The burden of proof will remain on the Trump campaign and Republicans to provide specific, credible evidence of fraud. The process will require patience, even for those who see the outcome as inevitable.

For now, Biden’s position is clear: He changed his Twitter bio to “president-elect,” and he issued a statement saying: “The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a president for all Americans—whether you voted for me or not.”


Jamie Dean

Jamie is national editor of WORLD Magazine. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and previously worked for The Charlotte World. Jamie has covered politics, disasters, religion, and more for WORLD. She resides in Charlotte, N.C.

@deanworldmag

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Tim Miller

Steve, if there is large scale corruption, I want it discovered and ended. I haven't heard any serious, founded allegations of large scale fraud in this election yet. (I've heard plenty of allegations, but they haven't held up so far.)

I stand by my statement. Trump is throwing spaghetti at the wall, trying to delegitimize Biden's election for personal and political gain. It's wrong, and Christians should not be going along with it.

Tim Miller

Only one party is suing to disqualify my vote, and it's not Biden's. This election was not stolen; it may be, but I think the courts will rule against the totalitarianism of the right.

And, no, I didn't vote for Biden. I may wish I had before all this is over.

Salty1

It sounds like you are talking about Biden. He is arrogant and wicked where he will reverse all of Trump's executive orders - especially the born alive order.  The pro-abortion crowd really didn't like Trump and are glad to see Biden in office - assuming he does get confirmed the winner.

NHAS3908

You said, "If Biden’s lead in the other swing states stands, a victory in Pennsylvania would deliver a knockout blow to Trump’s campaign."

By my math* Biden doesn't need PA. Without PA, a Biden victory in GA would also be a knockout blow (270). So would a victory in WI and NV together (270). The only scenario that could change the election is if three of four swing states flipped, including Pennsylvania. 

*I counted all races that have been called, and the races not yet called count toward the leading candidate. That results in Biden having 306 EC votes.

Tim Miller

The damage that Trump has done to confidence in our system is one reason many of us could not conscientiously support him. He lost this election because he lacks the character and discipline to lead well. His response to this -- to deny reality and encourage his supporters to believe that the system is corrupt -- has revealed that the emperor has no clothes.

Leeper

I believe President Trump will win if only legal votes are counted. Hope the courts rule on the facts.

CherylQuilts

I agree that WORLD has done a great job of reporting with integrity and not "jumping the gun" and calling Biden the president-elect. The electoral college must certify and then declare the winner. So thankful and comforted that God is in control.

Hawkdriver

Thank you World for waiting to see what happens. God is sovereign. 

Salty1

You don't let an election be stolen from you by evil men! We should let the legal action continue and see what falls out.