President Donald Trump’s campaign on Wednesday declared victory in Pennsylvania, though hundreds of thousands of votes are still to be counted.
Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien told reporters the campaign is “declaring a victory in Pennsylvania,” saying they had won the battleground state “based on math” though the Associated Press and other outlets have said the race is too close to call.
Bill Stepien on press call: “We are declaring a victory in Pennsylvania. This is not based on gut or feel. This is based on math.”
— Tessa Berenson (@tcberenson) November 4, 2020
The campaign also revealed it had filed lawsuits Wednesday in Pennsylvania and Michigan to temporarily halt counting of ballots. In Michigan, the campaign contended it wasn’t given “meaningful access” to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process.
The announcement comes shortly after the AP projected Democrat Joe Biden had won in another battleground state, Wisconsin, giving Biden 248 electoral votes to Trumps’ 214, with 76 yet to be called, per the AP. To claim victory, a candidate will need to reach 270 electoral votes.
Trump’s campaign said earlier Wednesday it would demand a recount in Wisconsin citing “reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results.”
“The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so,” Stepien said.
Twenty electoral votes are up for grabs in Pennsylvania, which the president won four years ago by 44,292 votes, or less than 1 percentage point. His 2016 victory made him the first Republican to win Pennsylvania since 1988.
The last Democrat to lose Pennsylvania but win the White House was Harry Truman in 1948.