US Election: Biden approaches 80 million votes in historic victory

those races aren’t nearly narrow enough to be considered
Joe Biden

The winning tally of President-elect Joe Biden is approaching a staggering 80 million votes as Democratic bastions continue to count ballots and turnout records are cracked in the 2020 elections.

For a winning presidential nominee, Biden has already set a record for the largest number of votes, and President Donald Trump has also notched a high-water mark for the most votes for a losing candidate. According to reports from The Associated Press and the U.S., turnout stands at 65 per cent of all registered voters, the highest since 1908, with more than 155 million ballots cast and California and New York still counting. Project on Elections.

The rising Biden count and his popular vote lead, nearly 6 million votes, come as Trump has increased his false insistence that he has actually won the election, and his campaign and supporters are stepping up their uphill legal challenge to block or postpone certified results, possibly nullifying Americans' votes.

“It’s just a lot of noise going on, because Donald Trump is a bull who carries his own china shop with him,” said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University. “Once the noise recedes, it’s going to be clear that Biden won a very convincing victory.”

Biden has an Electoral College lead of 290-232 at the moment. But that doesn't include Georgian voters, where Biden leads Trump by 0.3 percentage points as officials tally their hands. The AP did not call the race, but if Biden holds the lead, he would take the Electoral College on a vote of 306-232, the same margin Trump won in 2016. It was described as a' landlide' by Trump back then.

With 77,000 votes across three swing states, Trump sealed the victory, although Biden's margin would be marginally smaller, around 45,000 votes across Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin.

That slimmer win, however, is still decisive by-election law standards, notes Rick Hasen, a professor at the University of Irvine and an expert on voting.

While Biden’s margins in states like Arizona and Wisconsin seem small — between 12,000 and 20,000 votes — those races aren’t nearly narrow enough to be considered likely to flip through a recount or lawsuits. Recounts typically shift total votes by only a few hundred votes. In 2000, the Florida recount and legal battle for the White House were prompted by a 537-vote margin.

“If you’re talking about it being close enough to be within what those of us in the field call the margin of litigation, this is not within the margin of litigation,” Hasen said.

Biden's still growing popular vote and Electoral College margins have been compared by Timothy Naftali, a presidential historian at New York University, to those of any presidential election winner since 1960. His conclusion: the victory of Biden was right in the centre, closer than landslides such as the 2008 win of Barack Obama or the 1984 wipeout reelection of Ronald Reagan, but wider than the 2016 victory of Trump or either of the two wins of George W. Bush.

Obama's reelection, which he won by almost the same margin as Biden now has, was the nearest comparison.

“Did anyone think 2012 was a narrow victory? No,” Naftali said

Nevertheless, in a long-term effort to deny states the right to seat electors endorsing Biden, Trump and his supporters continue to try to avoid certifying the election. Such attempts are very unlikely to succeed, but this week they reached a new pitch when two Republican members of the canvassers' board in Michigan's largest county managed Tuesday night to block the vote certification there. After an uproar, they allowed certification to continue, but it was a sign of how deeply the false accusations of widespread fraud by Trump have permeated.

Michael McDonald, a professor from the University of Florida who monitors voting counts for the U.S., actually argued. The relatively narrow Biden wins in swing states tell a different story to the one the president is promoting, the Election Project.

Democrats have worried that the gap between the popular vote and the Electoral College tallies is growing as Democratic voters cluster on the coasts and outside of battleground states. That dynamic could make it difficult for Democrats to win congressional races, creating a lasting disadvantage when it comes to advancing policies.

“If there’s anything in the data here, it reveals how the system is stacked against the Democrats, not stacked against Trump,” McDonald said.