US election results: Trump and Biden each claim victory as lawsuits brew

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-us-2020-54818992

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    US election 2020

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media captionThe story of the night so far…

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.css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}Donald Trump and Joe Biden are each claiming victory in Tuesday’s White House race, even as the final outcome hangs on a razor’s edge and both sides ramp up for legal action.

The Trump campaign is challenging vote counts in the critical states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

The BBC projects Mr Biden won Michigan. US media forecast he has won Wisconsin. No result has emerged in Pennsylvania.

Winning all three of these Rust Belt states would make Mr Biden victorious.

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What are the campaigns saying?

On Wednesday afternoon, Mr Biden said in Wilmington, Delaware: “When the count is finished we believe we will be the winners.”

He added: “I will govern as an American president. The presidency itself is not a partisan institution.”

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The Democratic challenger said his campaign was feeling “very good” about Pennsylvania.

Not so fast, said the campaign of Republican President Trump.

“We are declaring victory in Pennsylvania,” said campaign manager Bill Stepien on a press call. “This is not based on gut or feel. This is based on math.”

Senior Trump campaign aide Jason Miller said: “By the end of this week it will be clear to the entire nation that President Trump and Vice-President Pence will be elected for another four years.”

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Can Trump still win?

The incumbent president still has a narrow path to victory. He has a one-point lead in both North Carolina and Georgia.

His campaign is also hopeful they still can take Arizona.

However, Mr Biden has a three-point advantage in that sunbelt state with nearly 90% of votes counted, and CBS has categorised it as a “likely” win for the Democrat.

The two candidates remain neck-and-neck with most votes counted in Nevada.

What legal challenges are afoot?

The Trump campaign said the president would formally request a Wisconsin recount, citing “irregularities in several Wisconsin counties”.

The campaign also filed a lawsuit in Michigan to stop counting of ballots there because it contended it was denied “meaningful access” to observe the opening of ballots and the counting.

In Pennsylvania, Mr Trump has a five-point lead, but hundreds of thousands of votes remain to be counted.

In the early hours of Wednesday, Mr Trump announced from the White House that he had won and said he would take the election to the Supreme Court.

The Trump campaign is asking Republican donors to help fund legal challenges.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said: “The fight’s not over. We’re in it.”

Mr Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, tweeted asking supporters to contribute $5 to help pay for a fight that could “stretch on for weeks”.

What were the other key results?

Mr Trump held several important states, including Texas, Ohio and Iowa, fending off a strong Biden play.

He also comfortably won his adopted home state of Florida, the most hotly fought battleground of the night, despite two visits there by his ally and former boss, ex-President Barack Obama.

But Mr Biden fended off his rival’s attempts to pick up New Hampshire and Minnesota.

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