Trump Path to Victory Goes through PA, NV and AZ

Trump camp eyes Arizona and Pennsylvania, signals legal challenges ahead in MI, WI, GA & NV

by Brett Samuels

Top Trump campaign officials on Wednesday projected confidence about President Trump's path to 270 electoral votes as ongoing ballot counts put him in perilous territory, with aides signaling they are prepared to challenge certain votes in court.

Officials predicted Trump would carry Pennsylvania by 40,000 votes and Arizona by 30,000 votes when all is said and done. The two states would give Trump the electoral votes needed for reelection, even if he loses Michigan and Wisconsin.

That scenario would require Trump to also hold onto Georgia, a once reliably red state Democrats have targeted this year. Trump led by less than 2 percentage points with 92 percent of estimated votes reported, according to The New York Times.

But The Associated Press and Fox News have projected Biden will win Arizona, and more than a million ballots still have to be counted in Pennsylvania, which are expected to shrink Trump's advantage there and potentially put Biden into the lead.

"We feel like the president is in very, very, very good position this morning," campaign manager Bill Stepien told reporters.
"If all legally cast ballots are counted, the president will win," he added.

Stepien and senior campaign adviser Jason Miller argued that Trump is likely to over-perform among minority groups in Pennsylvania and have a strong enough showing in certain GOP-leaning counties that he will retain a lead even after Democratic strongholds around Philadelphia and Pittsburgh report a flood of uncounted votes.

In Arizona, the campaign dismissed projections that Biden will win the state, arguing that Election Day votes will break heavily enough for Trump that he will erase the former vice president's roughly 100,000 vote lead.

Miller indicated the campaign still believes Nevada is in play as the state prepares to count mail ballots and Biden holds a lead of 8,000 votes.

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But the campaign made clear that its case for Trump winning hinged at least partly on certain ballots being ruled invalid. Stepien and Miller repeatedly referred to counting "legally cast ballots," but they did not specify what would constitute an illegally cast ballot, and they did not take questions.

States are still counting ballots that were cast on Election Day or via mail prior to or on Election Day. The GOP has filed numerous lawsuits challenging certain types of votes in Nevada and Pennsylvania in particular, and Miller signaled they were likely to continue the court battle in the days to come.
"As we've seen, Nevada is a state that's very ripe with corruption," Miller said. "We're concerned about the efforts, some of the moves that were made there. So we feel good about our prospects in Nevada."

"We are obviously leading a full court press to make sure that we have all of our legal teams that are in place," he added. "We want to make sure that all legally cast ballots are counted. We also want to make sure that illegally cast ballots are not counted."

In addition to Arizona, Trump is trailing Biden in Nevada, Michigan and Wisconsin. Meanwhile, he holds a lead in Pennsylvania and Georgia. All six states, which are likely to determine who wins the presidency, were still counting votes Wednesday.

Biden pulled ahead in Michigan and Wisconsin overnight on the strength of absentee and mail ballots in urban and suburban areas, and the former vice president's campaign projected confidence a similar scenario would play out in Pennsylvania as the state continued counting votes.

Trump has worked to sow doubt about the validity of the results, claiming during an address at the White House in the early morning hours of Wednesday that he had already won those states. He tweeted later in frustration that his lead would "magically disappear" when mail ballots were counted.

Biden officials also dismissed threats of a court battle. "We're fully prepared for it because it's almost as if they handed their strategic playbook to us and read it to us out loud," Biden adviser Bob Bauer said on a call with reporters.

Experts have repeatedly cautioned that final results would likely not be known for a few days after Election Day, particularly given the crush of mail ballots cast amid the coronavirus pandemic.


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