UPDATE: CBS News & AP Project Biden Winning Election
ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10/CNN) -- While the votes are still being counted in Georgia, both CBS News and AP project that Former Vice President Joe Biden will become the 46th President of the United States.
In Georgia, Biden jumped ahead of Trump just after 4:30 a.m. ET Friday and leads by 7,000 votes, as of 10:11 a.m. Saturday. The former vice president's strength in Georgia stemmed from huge turnout from Black voters in Fulton County and other suburbs around Atlanta -- which have become increasingly young and diverse in recent years -- and a decade's effort to boost Democratic registration in the state.
No Democratic presidential nominee has won the state since Bill Clinton in 1992. Clinton narrowly defeated former President George H.W. Bush in that state in part because he and Bush were in a three-way race that included Ross Perot, an independent candidate for the presidency.
The race tightened Thursday night not only in Georgia but also in Pennsylvania, another state the President cannot afford to lose if he is to keep alive his hopes of a second term.
The momentum of the race has shifted in Biden's favor -- putting him on the doorstep of the critical threshold of 270 electoral votes needed to become president -- as he has racked up huge margins among mail-in ballots favored by Democratic voters. As the drama unfolded across the country, the President's allies launched legal challenges, while Trump tweeted "Stop the Count!"
Tight races are also going into overtime in two other states that could influence the destiny of the race, Nevada and Arizona.
Biden so far has 253 electoral votes and the President has 213, according to CNN projections.
Pennsylvania, the state that could take Biden over the 270-vote threshold, could complete most of its outstanding counts on Thursday or Friday, officials there said. The former vice president is only behind Trump by a little more than 26,000 votes in the Keystone State after having trailed at one point by more than half a million ballots in the hours after polls closed. Election officials still have tens of thousands of votes to count. Most of them are from strongly Democratic areas, including about 50,000 from Philadelphia, City Commissioner Al Schmidt told CNN Friday morning.
Trump cannot find a route to 270 electoral votes without Georgia and Pennsylvania, so his chances of securing reelection will hinge on developments in the two states in the coming hours.
Biden emerged in Wilmington, Delaware, for a short speech meant to project optimism, urge patience in the vote counting and to apparently create a picture of a presidency in waiting.
"In America, the vote is sacred. It is how the people of this nation express their will," he said, calling for calm and patience as the vote counting process unfolds.
The President's team, in contrast, had earlier insisted that the President would win Pennsylvania with some room to spare. "Donald Trump is alive and well," Trump's campaign manager Bill Stepien said.
But a Trump adviser told CNN's Jim Acosta that Biden's growing momentum in the commonwealth is causing increasing worry in the campaign, conceding the margin would be "tight." The adviser stressed Trump's future is riding on Pennsylvania.
"Pennsylvania matters," the person said, before adding, "they all matter," conceding the President can't really afford to let any of these remaining states slip away.
In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper Thursday afternoon, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said "counties are furiously at work" and 'it's looking like we are ahead of schedule." In several interviews on CNN, Democratic Sen. Bob Casey said he believed that Biden would eventually prevail in the state by up to 100,000 votes.
The story was reversed in Arizona, where several tranches of votes from Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, narrowed Biden's lead to just under 68,000 votes, with Trump's team insisting the President will eventually prevail and keep his hopes of a path to 270 alive.
There is also a close contest in Nevada, where Biden's lead increased to nearly 12,000 votes by midday Thursday. Democrats had the state down as a likely win, but it is closer than expected. The result will come down again to mail-in votes, which could favor Biden since thousands are outstanding in Clark County, located around Las Vegas and usually Democratic territory.
If Biden holds leads in Arizona and Nevada, he will get to 270 electoral votes and become the next President, regardless of what happens in Pennsylvania and Georgia.
Trump mounts legal campaign to contest results
Trump's team, seeking to keep his slim path to victory alive, has launched a flurry of legal challenges, demanding vote counts continue in states where he is behind and wanting them shut down in those where he leads.
As one piece of his legal strategy, the Trump campaign plans to ask the Supreme Court to intervene in a case challenging a Supreme Court decision that allowed Pennsylvania ballots to be counted after Election Day. The justices had refused to expedite the appeal before the election and are considering whether to accept the case.
Trump and his campaign team also sought to raise doubts about how Biden made a late surge to victory in the vital state of Wisconsin, where the Democrat rose on the strength of mail-in and early votes that were counted after most of the ballots cast in person on Election Day.
The Trump campaign said Wednesday that it will demand a recount in Wisconsin while mounting legal challenges in Michigan and Georgia.
The campaign's state-by-state approach revealed its strategy: it appears to be trying to stop vote counts in states where Biden is trailing, like Pennsylvania and Georgia, while demanding that all the votes are counted in states where it believes the President has a chance of catching up to Biden, like Arizona and Nevada.
Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon has called the legal suits "meritless" and emphasized "our data shows that Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States."
Trump offered a less-than-enthusiastic endorsement of his team's legal strategy in phone calls with some of his allies on Wednesday, sounding resigned to the plan falling short and questioning why his team hadn't successfully challenged voting rules before the election, even as he remained willing to see it through, CNN reported.
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.
OTHER CBS NEWS:
- Positive COVID Vaccine Trial Causes Stocks To Soar
- Georgia GOP Lieutenant Governor: 'No Credible Examples' Of Voter Fraud
- 'There Will Be A Recount': Georgia Secretary Of State Gives Election Update
- Raphael Warnock To Face Sen. Kelly Loeffler In Jan. 5 Runoff Election
- Tampa Gift Card King Scam Generates Over $10M In Proceeds Before Bust
for more features.