US President Donald Trump said he will go to the Supreme Court to dispute the election count and proclaimed victory over Democratic challenger Joe Biden despite incomplete results from several battleground states that could determine the outcome of the White House race.
“Frankly, we did win," Trump told supporters at the White House.
But election results from some battleground states, including Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Georgia, were still not clear and projections from major networks showed Trump is still short of the 270 electoral votes need to win re-election.
The Republican, who according to initial results, is in a neck-and-neck race with Democrat Joe Biden, said he would go to court and “we want all voting to stop." He appeared to mean stopping the counting of mail-in ballots which can be legally accepted by state election boards after Tuesday’s election, provided they were sent in time.
The president has long charged, with no evidence, that mail-in ballots are a way to cheat in the election.
Mail-in ballots, sent due to health concerns during the Covid-19 health crisis, are expected to favor Biden and in some states were being counted later.
US media is projecting wins for the Republican incumbent so far in 23 states including big prizes Florida and Texas, as well as Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Ohio — all states he won in 2016.
Biden has captured 18 states including his home state Delaware and big prizes California and New York, as well as the US capital. As with Trump, so far, all states claimed by Biden were won by Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.
So far, that gives Biden a slender lead over Trump in electoral votes, although a number of key battleground states are still up in the air, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
The magic number of electoral votes is 270.
The attention has increasingly shifted to three Northern industrial states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — that could prove crucial in determining who wins the White House.
Trump had earlier tweeted that he expected a “big win" and accused Democrats of trying to steal the election after rival Joe Biden also predicted victory. He appeared to be responding to Biden, who moments earlier told his supporters to be patient.
Biden, briefly appearing in front of supporters in Delaware, said the election “ain’t over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted." “It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare who’s won this election," Biden said. “That’s the decision of the American people."
“We believe we are on track to win this election," Biden said to honks of approval in his home state of Delaware.