Donald Trump is reportedly fuming as his path to reelection has narrowed significantly after Joe Biden flipped Arizona on Wednesday and pulled into the lead in Wisconsin and Michigan. Georgia, another pick-up opportunity for Biden, remained in play, as well.
Trump could still secure his reelection by winning Wisconsin and Michigan, where final counts are hours, or even days, away. But with his win in Arizona, Biden could now lose Michigan or Wisconsin, states where he holds narrow leads, or Pennsylvania, where vote-counting is expected to take days, and still win the presidency.
Biden’s campaign came into Wednesday expressing growing confidence about the results: In addition to pulling out wins in Arizona and Nebraska’s 2nd District, he’s running strong in the Midwest states as well as in Georgia and Nevada.
Biden officials said they expect Wisconsin and Michigan to be called in their favor and pointed to the large number of outstanding vote-by-mail ballots in Philadelphia that would cut into Trump’s advantage in Pennsylvania.
“Joe Biden is on track to win this election, and he will be the next president of the United States,” campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said.
Meanwhile, Trump officials projected a narrow victory in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Arizona for the president, and suggested they would request a recount in Wisconsin given how close the margin will be. “If we count all legal ballots, the president wins,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said.
Trump came into the day leading in two of the three key Great Lakes states — the president was already trailing in Wisconsin — but that was expected because the states counted Election Day ballots first, which favored the president. Democrats cast larger numbers of mail-in ballots, which are taking longer to tally and in some states are counted only after Election Day votes. The shifts in Michigan and the Atlanta area in Georgia reflect that trend.
But despite the trend in Biden’s favor across the key battlegrounds, Trump issued a reality-defying statement in the wee hours of Election Night that he will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene before ballots are fully counted in the remaining swing states.
It is unclear how Trump would mount such a legal challenge to stop remaining ballots from being counted. But the threat — combined with the lengthy ballot count — pointed to an unsteady day or days ahead as both candidates remain well short of the 270 electoral vote threshold.