Bill Stepien, President Donald Trump’s campaign manager, insisted the president was on track to win Nevada and Arizona as of Wednesday morning, despite Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s early lead.
“When we look at Arizona, we believe that President Trump will win somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 votes,” Stepien said in a call with reporters. “We think anyone who’s called this race is just plain wrong, that they don’t understand how this state works with the ballots that are coming in, and they don’t understand the dynamic that our people were voting on Election Day.”
Biden led Trump in Arizona by about 93,000 votes as of 11 a.m. Wednesday, with a little less than 90 percent of the state reporting. Votes in the state became the subject of heightened scrutiny on Wednesday as a result of a data error that led news organizations to believe as many as 98 percent of ballots had been counted. Adding to the controversy was a decision by Fox News to call the state for Biden on Tuesday evening, as early returns were still rolling in, even as most other news organizations declined to do so. Several hours after Fox called the state, the AP followed suit.
Outside Arizona, Biden was leading in Nevada on Wednesday morning by less than 8,000 votes, with 67 percent of that state reporting. He was also leading in Michigan and Wisconsin, while Trump was ahead in Pennsylvania, making it possible that Biden would prevail in the presidential election with 270 electoral votes to 268 for Trump, unless Trump manages to win either Nevada or Arizona.
Stepien said the campaign’s estimates suggested Trump could win Nevada by more than 5,000 votes — and that he was being conservative with his projections.
“If we count all legally cast ballots, we believe the president will win,” Stepien said. “We know there are outstanding ballots yet to be counted in Pennsylvania. We know there are upwards of 500,000 in Arizona … These are not just realistic estimates of vote shares that we expect the president to achieve. These are conservative estimates of vote shares we expect the president to achieve. This is a math equation. When we count the remaining ballots in a legal fashion, apply realistic and conservatives estimates to those remaining ballots to be counted, the president can win.”
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