Joe Biden edged ahead of President Trump in Georgia overnight as vote counting continued there and in the other critical swing states of Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada and North Carolina. Officials in Clayton County, which was part of the congressional district of the late civil rights icon John Lewis, said Biden had added 1602 votes and Mr. Trump 223, leaving Biden with a remarkably thin statewide lead of 917 votes.
Earlier, President Trump spoke as network evening news broadcasts were beginning and falsely claimed victory. He also baselessly accused his political enemies of stealing the election from him.
“If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” the president falsely claimed. “If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us. If you count the votes that came in late, we’re looking at them very strongly.”
CBS News projects Biden has so far secured 253 electoral votes — just 17 shy of the 270 needed to win the presidency — and Mr. Trump has won 213 electoral votes.
The race now centers on Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, following projections on Wednesday that Biden will win Michigan and Wisconsin. Biden holds slim leads in Nevada and Arizona, both of which are still considered likely to go to Biden in CBS News’ estimation.
Results continue to trickle in from Arizona, and Maricopa County officials said they expected more votes to come in Friday morning. As of Thursday night, Biden led by 46,257 votes in Arizona.
Biden expanded his lead in Nevada in new results from mostly Democratic counties, with his margin more than doubling since Wednesday.
At the same time, Mr. Trump has been looking beyond the ballot box to the nation’s courts in his efforts to hold onto the presidency, with his campaign filing a barrage of lawsuits in several battleground states.