13 Nov Biden cements victory by winning Arizona, but Trump still refuses to concede
Biden was projected to win Arizona 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 in Arizona gives him 290 electoral votes in the state-by-state Electoral College that determines the winner.
Biden had already cleared the 270 vote threshold to win the election, setting him on course to be sworn in on Jan. 20. Arizona’s 11 additional electoral votes put any longshot challenge by Trump even further out of reach.
Biden also holds a lead of more than 14,000 votes in the uncalled state of Georgia, nearly certain to survive a manual recount. Nationally, Biden is winning the popular vote by more than 5.3 million votes, or 3.4 percentage points.
Trump, a Republican, has claimed without evidence that he was cheated by widespread election fraud, but his legal challenges have failed in court and state election officials report no serious irregularities.
In order to stay in office for a second term, Trump would need to overturn Biden’s lead in at least three states, having failed to find evidence that 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.
Trump’s refusal to accept defeat has stalled the process of transitioning to a new administration. The federal agency that releases funding to an incoming president-elect, the General Services Administration, has not yet recognized Biden’s victory.
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.