Trump-Biden: what now?

The outcome of the US presidential election will depend on a handful of states where ballots could take days to count.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump once again displayed their radical differences, on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, the evening of a hotly contested presidential election. The Democrat, first to speak, called for the counting of all votes, while expressing his optimism. The Republican, speaking from the White House, proclaimed himself the winner of the election and denounced the fraud of which he claims without proof that his opponents were guilty. While millions of votes have not yet been counted, Donald Trump demanded: "We want the voting operations to stop!"

The president's remarks widely rejected. Democrats and Joe Biden's entourage did not give in after Donald Trump's dubious victory proclamation. In a statement, echoed among others by the "Washington Post", the campaign manager of the former vice-president, Jen O'Malley Dillon, described the presidential accusations as "outrageous, unprecedented, false". It is, she says, "a not even disguised attempt to deprive American citizens of their democratic rights." “The counting will not stop (...) before each vote is counted. Because that's what our laws demand (...), ”she wrote. Conservatives and Republicans are not left out: “Stop. Really stop. The votes will be counted and you will lose or you will win. And America will accept it. Patience is a virtue, ”tweeted Adam Kinzinger, elected Republican in the House of Representatives. Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey who helped prepare for the debates with the president, said on ABC: "I disagree with what he did." Ultra-conservative Rick Santorum, on CNN, said he found the president's comments “very disturbing”.

Trump wants to "go to the Supreme Court", but what for? The president announced Wednesday his intention to make the high court the arbiter of the election. He had already sketched out this possibility before the election, congratulating himself that Judge Amy Coney Barrett, appointed and confirmed in an expeditious manner after the death of progressive Ruth Bader Ginsburg, gave the court a conservative super majority. At this stage, however, nothing justifies entering the nine "wise men": the votes are not even counted in full. Even in 2000, in the much criticized Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court did not intervene until much later in the process, to stop the appeals and the new accounts in progress.

Millions of votes pending

Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania are long overdue. Donald Trump's victories in Florida and Biden's likely victory in Arizona narrow the range of possibilities for both candidates. Georgia, a Republican stronghold, could fall into Biden's purse, allowing him to do without one of the three key states which will make the election: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The authorities of these states, controlled by Republicans, refused that the count of the early votes can be done before the closing of the polling stations. A large quantity of bulletins therefore remained to be analyzed on Wednesday morning. Thus, several large cities in Wisconsin had not counted advance ballots at the time of writing this article. In Pennsylvania, where Trump has a 677,000-vote lead, 1.9 million ballots remained to be counted. In Michigan, according to figures from the "New York Times", the situation is similar: Trump has more than 220,000 votes in advance ... but 1.4 million ballots were not counted.

Joe Biden on course to win a majority of votes, but ... Tuesday morning, Joe Biden's lead in votes over Donald Trump at the national level seemed to be increasing (more than 2.2 million votes). But the American electoral system being particular, it is quite possible that Trump will find himself in the situation of 2016: clearly winning the presidential election with a large majority of large voters, but a minority of votes.

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