U.S. President-elect Joe Biden won the Arizona state battlefield, according to U.S. networks, delivering another blow to President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the November 3 presidential election results.
Biden’s victory in Arizona gives the Democrat 290 electoral votes at the state Electoral College that determines the winner, more than the 270 needed to claim victory. Biden is also winning the popular vote by more than 5.2 million votes, or 3.4 percentage points.
With some states still counting votes, electoral math is daunting for Trump. The Republican president has repeatedly stated that the election was marked by widespread fraud, with no evidence to support his claims. He would need to overtake Biden in at least three battlefield states where Biden currently leads by varying margins.
The Trump campaign opened lawsuits questioning the vote count in individual states, although some have already been rejected by the judges. Legal experts said the litigation had little chance of altering the outcome and state election officials said they saw no evidence of serious irregularities or fraud.
Manual count audits in more than six counties in Arizona, including Maricopa County, where most of the state’s residents live, found only minor discrepancies, the secretary of state’s office said on Thursday. Audits involve manual counting of a random sample of ballots.
So far, most Republican officials and lawmakers have publicly supported Trump’s attempt to contest the election results and have refused to recognize Biden as the elected president.
But a handful of Republican senators on Thursday urged the Trump administration to allow Biden to receive intelligence instructions, implicitly acknowledging that he could eventually occupy the White House, even if they refused to acknowledge his victory.
The president-elect has traditionally received these instructions from the intelligence community to learn about the threats that the United States faces before taking office.
“I don’t see it as a high-risk proposal. I just think it’s part of the transition. And, if he does win in the end, I think they need to be able to start running,” Senator John Cornyn told reporters.
Other Republican senators also said Biden should have access to confidential briefings, including Lindsey Graham, a Trump vocalist, as well as Ron Johnson, James Lankford and Chuck Grassley.
The House’s top Republican, Kevin McCarthy, opposed the idea.
“He is not president now. I don’t know if he will be president on January 20,” said McCarthy.