US Democratic candidate Joe Biden has secured a razor-thin lead in the state of Georgia, another state that incumbent Donald Trump cannot afford to lose with its 16 electoral votes.
Biden has taken the lead in Georgia with 99 per cent of the state vote counted, and a majority of around 900 votes.
Biden is currently closer to securing the 270 electoral college votes needed for the keys to the White House. Currently, he holds 253 votes vs Trump’s 213.
Currently, there are six pending races that are too close to call: Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Workers in these states continue to count ballots, despite calls from the Trump campaign for vote-counting to be stopped in the states where he is trailing.
He has argued that through mail-in voting and absentee voting, there has been voter fraud. He is therefore arguing that the vote-count should be stopped pending action taken, and has repeatedly falsely claimed victory saying that he emerged as a clear winner from the votes “legally cast”.
In addition to the majorly tight race in Georgia, much attention is being devoted to the state of Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes. Biden securing the state would bring him the 270 votes needed to secure victory.
CNN reports that most of the outstanding votes in Pennsylvania could be counted by Friday, while Biden currently trails behind the incumbent by around 18,000 votes. At one point, shortly after the polls closed, Biden had been trailing behind Trump by a staggering half a million votes.
Particular attention is being paid to the state as US media report that the tens of thousands of votes still to be counted mainly hail from strongly Democratic areas, including around Philadelphia.
Both Georgia and Pennsylvania are critical for Biden to secure a victory.
The President has mounted an aggressive legal strategy with the intention of retaining his slim path to victory alive. His team has launched what has been described as “contradictory and scattershot legal challenges, without offering evidence of irregularities, demanding vote counts continue in states where he is behind and wanting them shut down in those where he leads”.
Trump stunned the world during a press conference on Thursday night, where he falsely claimed victory and signalled his intention not to leave power without a fight if he winds up losing the election.
At his own press conference, Biden urged patience and tried to project an image of a president in waiting. He first announced that himself and vice-president candidate Kamala Harris discussed grave COVID and economic related updates, while continuing to urge supporters to remain calm and wait for every last ballot to be counted.
Global stocks retreat as US election looms over markets
On Friday morning, global stocks appeared to be running out of steam as the world and investors await the result of the US elections
• Dow futures fell 281 points, or 1%
• S&P 500 futures were down 1.2%
• Nasdaq futures fell nearly 1.4%
• The FTSE 100 was down 0.7% in early trade in London
• Germany's DAX off by 1.5%
• France's CAC 40 down by 1.3%
• China's Shanghai Composite fell 0.2% on Friday
• Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was little changed
• Japan's Nikkei was the region's best performer, rising 0.9%