Trump campaign falsely claims victory in Pennsylvania with hundreds of thousands of ballots not yet counted

  • President Donald Trump's campaign falsely claimed on Wednesday afternoon that the president had won Pennsylvania, even as hundreds of thousands of ballots had yet to be counted in the state.
  • "We are declaring a victory in Pennsylvania," Bill Stepien, the Trump campaign manager, told reporters on a call.
  • The president had a 6-point lead in Pennsylvania on Wednesday afternoon, but Gov. Tom Wolf said that as of midday about 1 million mail-in ballots still needed to be counted.
  • Mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania were disproportionately cast by Democrats this cycle.
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President Donald Trump's campaign falsely claimed on Wednesday afternoon that the president had won the key battleground state of Pennsylvania, even as hundreds of thousands of ballots had yet to be counted in the state.

"We are declaring a victory in Pennsylvania," Bill Stepien, the Trump campaign manager, told reporters on a call.

On the call, Jason Miller, a campaign advisor, appeared to slightly walk back the campaign's claim, saying it "believes" Trump will win Pennsylvania. Trump needs the state's 20 electoral votes in order to win reelection.

The White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, and Trump's son Eric also echoed Stepien's false claim on Twitter.

The president had a 6-point lead in Pennsylvania as of Wednesday afternoon, but Gov. Tom Wolf said that as of midday about 1 million mail-in ballots still needed to be counted. Democrats have expressed optimism about taking the state, but Joe Biden doesn't necessarily need Pennsylvania to get to 270 electoral votes.

Because many more Democrats requested mail-in ballots than Republicans this cycle, Biden is favored to win most of the remaining mail-in votes.

In remarks early Wednesday, Trump wrongly announced himself as the winner of the presidential election. Trump also said he wanted states to stop counting votes and baselessly claimed that the election was a "major fraud in our nation."

Wolf, a Democrat, insisted on Wednesday morning that his state would count all the ballots and condemned the president's claims.

"I promised Pennsylvanians that we would count every vote, and that's what we're going to do," Wolf said. "Let's be clear: This is a partisan attack on Pennsylvania's elections, our votes, and democracy. Our counties are working tirelessly to process votes as quickly AND as accurately as possible. Pennsylvania will have a fair election, and we will count every vote."

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