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More Good News for Biden

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Joe Biden had another good night in the vote counting and appears close to clinching the presidency. But the race is not over, and more ballots will come in today. Here is the latest:

In Georgia, Biden took the lead over President Trump just before 5 a.m. Eastern. It’s the slimmest of margins — fewer than 1,000 votes, as of 6 a.m., out of about 3 million cast — and is not guaranteed to hold up. But Biden appears to be a slight favorite in Georgia. If he wins the state, he has won the election.

In Pennsylvania, Biden still trails, but Trump’s lead shrunk throughout Thursday. It’s now below 19,000 votes, out of about 7 million cast, and election analysts say the remaining votes — perhaps 163,000 or so — appear to be heavily favorable to Biden. Pennsylvania officials have said they will announce more results today. If Biden wins the state, he has won the election.

In Arizona, Biden holds a narrow lead — just above 47,000 votes, out of about 3 million — but his situation looks weaker than in Pennsylvania. The Times’s Nate Cohn says the remaining ballots could favor Trump by enough to put Trump ahead, although the batch released last night was arguably good news for Biden: They did not close Trump’s deficit at quite the rate he needs. If Biden wins Arizona and holds on in Nevada, where he is in stronger shape, he has won the election.

In North Carolina, Trump remains favored to hold on to his lead.

To put this all together: Biden is a strong favorite to win the presidency because he remains a strong favorite in Pennsylvania. He doesn’t need Arizona or Georgia but could win either, as well.

Why is the vote count taking so long? In several states, including Pennsylvania, Republican legislators blocked attempts to allow election officials to begin counting mail ballots before Election Day, as Jamie Dupree of Cox Media Group has noted. States that did so, like Florida, were able to announce their results much more quickly.

In other election developments:

  • Trump, speaking at the White House last night, again lied about the results of the election and repeated several debunked internet rumors, as BuzzFeed News reported.

“A presidency born in a lie about Barack Obama’s birthplace appeared on the edge of ending in a lie about his own faltering bid for re-election.”

Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman write in The Times.

Many Republican officials declined to echo Trump’s claims, suggesting they may see his cause as hopeless. Will Hurd, a Texas congressman who is retiring after this term, wrote on Twitter that Trump’s comments were

“not only dangerous & wrong, it undermines the very foundation this nation was built upon.”

Others, though, repeated the falsehoods, including Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

  • More than 150,000 ballots were caught in U.S. Postal Service processing facilities and not delivered by Election Day, The Washington Post reports. As a result, some ballots could arrive after their states’ deadlines.

  • A dual runoff for Senate seats in Georgia is now likely, giving Democrats a narrow but real hope of regaining control of the Senate.

  • House Democrats yelled, swore and traded blame in a three-hour caucus phone call after their predicted gains in the election yielded to losses that weakened their majority.

“We need to not ever use the word ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again. We lost good members because of that.”

said Representative Abigail Spanberger, who narrowly won re-election in Virginia

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