Savannah Behrmann USA TODAY
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We’re two days past Election Day and USA TODAY’S coverage of the 2020 election continues as states work to finish counting the ballots.
All eyes on are the battleground states that will ultimately decide the election. Be sure to refresh this page often to get the latest information on how things are going.
Republicans criticize Trump after his attack on election integrity
Republican lawmakers were quick to criticize Trump on Thursday after the president made a series of baseless claims that people are trying to ‘steal’ the election from him.
After the remarks, which the president gave from the White House, Republicans urged for patience as votes were counted and pleaded for the president to stop attacking the integrity of the election.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill. and an Air Force veteran, has repeatedly criticized the president for his attacks on the election process but after Trump’s speech, said, “this is getting insane.”
“We want every vote counted, yes every legal vote (of course). But, if you have legit concerns about fraud present EVIDENCE and take it to court,” he wrote on Twitter. “STOP Spreading debunked misinformation…This is getting insane.”
Fellow Republican Rep. Paul Mitchell, of Michigan, similarly stressed the need to maintain confidence in the country’s election process, writing on Twitter that if a candidate “has proof of wrongdoing, it should be presented and resolved.
“Anything less harms the integrity of our elections and is dangerous for our democracy,” Mitchell said. “I have experienced both losses and victories in elections. Losses hurt deeply – I know that personally. But our nation demands that its political leaders accept both wins and losses with grace and maturity. Let the voters decide.”
Sen. Mitt Romney, the Utah Republican who frequently clashes with the president, also chimed but didn’t explicitly criticize the president, stressing for Americans to “have faith in democracy” and the Constitution.
“Counting every vote is at the heart of democracy. That process is often long and, for those running, frustrating,” he wrote on Twitter. “The votes will be counted. If there are irregularities alleges, they will be investigated and ultimately resolved in court.
— Christal Hayes
Trump decries election as fraudulent with zero evidence
In his first address since his post-election speech in the early hours of Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump appeared to shrug off his Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s growing lead in the presidential election and made baseless claims that the election was driven by fraud and corruption..
‘If you count the legal votes I easily win. If you count the illegal votes they can try to steal the election from us,” Trump told reporters in the White House briefing room, repeating a statement his campaign sent out earlier Thursday on his behalf.
Trump also dismissed polls showing that the U.S. was bracing for a “blue wave,” pointing to GOP successes in both the Senate and the House.
“The pollsters got it knowingly wrong, they got it wrong,” he said. ” They thought there was going to be a big blue wave. That was false. It was done for suppression reasons but instead, there was a big red wave.”
The president’s comments came as his lead in several states including Georgia and Pennsylvania continued to shrink as more ballots were counted, narrowing his path to victory as Biden inched toward the majority threshold of 270 electoral votes needed to win the election.
He acknowledged that a few states had yet to be decided in the presidential race but said they the elections were run “by Democrats.” Georgia and Arizona, two states that still have outstanding votes, are run by Republican governors.
“We were winning in all the key locations by a lot, actually. And then our numbers started miraculously getting whittled away in secret,” Trump said.
There has been no evidence of voter fraud. Several states have experienced delays in counting a surge of mail-in ballots – legally cast – this year due to the pandemic.
The president’s campaign has mounted several legal challenges in states that could tip the election in favor of Biden, undercutting the validity of the election system. Two lawsuits in Michigan and Georgia were dismissed earlier on Thursday.
“Our goal is to defend the integrity of the election,” he said. “We will not allow the corruption to steal such an important election.”
Trump has been out of the public eye since early Wednesday morning, when he prematurely declared victory even as hundreds of thousands of ballots had yet to be counted. . He also threatened to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the counting of legally cast absentee ballots.
Trump, without providing any evidence, also accused Democrats of trying to “steal” and “rig the election. He refused to take questions about his claims after the 17-minute speech.
Earlier on Thursday, Biden urged Americans to be patient as votes were counted but said he had “no doubt” that he and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris would win the White House.
“It is the will of the voters, no one, not anything else, that chooses the president of the United States of America,” he said. “Democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience as well. But that patience has been rewarded now for more than 240 years with a system of governance that’s been the envy of the world.”
Trump’s remarks drew swift criticism. Republican strategist Doug Heye called it “dangerous rhetoric.”
Yet again, dangerous rhetoric from the President. Appalling. Proactive and self-serving irresponsibility,” he said. “These dangerous lies are not improv, these are prepared remarks. A team effort. Shameful.”
— David Jackson and Courtney Subramanian