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There Are Signs We Could Be Getting Closer To A Presidential Winner


If you're just waking up on the Pacific coast or elsewhere, the electoral map at npr.org is different than it was when you went to bed. Pennsylvania and Georgia are both tinted blue now. That means Democrat Joe Biden leads the vote in each state. In Georgia, Biden's lead is very narrow. And officials talk of a recount, as we're about to hear. In Pennsylvania, many votes remain to be counted, mostly mail-in ballots that are believed to favor Biden, but his lead has gradually expanded throughout this morning. Either state would give Biden the presidency, as would Arizona and Nevada. We begin with NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith, who's on the line. Tamara, good morning.


INSKEEP: What are the numbers in Pennsylvania?

KEITH: Well, at this moment - and these numbers are a moving target because they are counting ballots as we speak. At the moment, Biden now leads with about 6,900 votes - a lead of about 6,900. In Georgia, the number for Biden is now up to about 1,500. That swapped from him being behind, him leading at around the 4 a.m. hour. Just worth noting that these aren't new ballots. These are ballots that were cast on or before Election Day, and they are just now finally being counted.

INSKEEP: So we're just looking at that. And, of course, there's also Nevada, where Biden took a lead yesterday, and I guess we have no results there.

KEITH: No new update.

INSKEEP: But he's still ahead. And then there's North Carolina, which is also undecided.

KEITH: Right. And North Carolina, though, President Trump has a pretty solid lead of about 77,000 votes. And that seems to be durable. It seems to be holding steady. Another state, Arizona, Biden's lead has been eroding a little bit there. It has already been called by AP and Fox News. The Trump campaign disputes that. And I will say that in a statement this morning, a top lawyer for the Trump campaign said this election is not over. The false projection of Joe Biden as the winner is based on results in four states that are far from final. That said, the numbers seem to be moving in Biden's direction.

INSKEEP: Now, of course, the president also spoke last evening at about 6:30 Eastern Time from the White House, made a variety of false claims about the election, didn't even himself bother to offer any evidence to back up his false claims and then changed the subject to polls. But he is not the only person on the Republican side talking about this. What kinds of comments are you hearing about the president's approach and about the reality of the numbers?

KEITH: You know, it's a mix. You had Texas Senator Ted Cruz fall in line behind President Trump last night after the president's adult sons tweeted that Republicans didn't have backbone and weren't supporting him strongly enough. Then Ted Cruz went on Fox.


TED CRUZ: By clouding the vote counting in a shroud of darkness, they are setting the stage to potentially steal an election, not just from the president but from the over 60 million people across this country who voted for him all across this country. It is lawless, and they need to follow the law.

KEITH: To be clear, there is not a shroud of darkness. You can watch the vote counting on livestreams on video. I will just add, though, that the president's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, was on CNBC this morning. He was asked, if the president loses, will there be a peaceful transfer of power? And he said yes and was talking about it like it was going to happen.

INSKEEP: And, of course, there are other Republicans who've been very critical of the president's remarks and said that the vote count should be respected and that if there is any evidence of some kind of fraud, the president should bring it forward.

KEITH: Yeah. And in fact, the president's campaign has put out a hotline asking people to call in if they have any evidence of this fraud or this theft. And thus far, it hasn't been presented in court. That's for sure.

INSKEEP: Yeah. So that's claiming fraud and then asking for evidence after. Tam, thanks very much.

KEITH: You're welcome.

INSKEEP: Very revealing timeline there from NPR's Tamara Keith. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.
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