JOE Biden was on the cusp of winning the presidency on Friday as he opened up narrow leads over President Donald Trump in the critical battleground states of Georgia and Pennsylvania.
Those victories put Biden in a stronger position to capture the 270 Electoral College votes needed to take the White House. The winner will lead a country facing a historic set of challenges, including a surging pandemic and deep political polarization.
The focus on Pennsylvania, where Biden led Trump by more than 9 000 votes, and Georgia, where Biden led by more than 1 500, came as Americans entered a third full day after the election without knowing who will lead them for the next four years. The prolonged process added to the anxiety of a nation whose racial and cultural divides were inflamed during the heated campaign.
Trump’s campaign, meanwhile, was quiet, a dramatic difference from the day before, when it held a morning conference call projecting confidence and held a flurry of hastily arranged press conferences announcing litigation in key states.
With his pathway to reelection appearing to greatly narrow, Trump was testing how far he could go in using the trappings of presidential power to undermine confidence in the vote.
Trump’s campaign engaged in a flurry of legal activity, saying it would seek a recount in Wisconsin and had filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia.
But judges in the three states quickly swatted down legal action. A federal judge who was asked to stop vote counts in Philadelphia instead forced the two sides to reach an agreement without a court order over the number of observers allowed.