Biden’s Popular-Vote Advantage Passes 6 Million: Election Update
(Bloomberg) -- President-elect Joe Biden’s advantage over President Donald Trump surpassed 6 million votes. Biden is asking for donations to fund the transition. And a coal miners’ union calls on Trump to call it quits.
There are 18 days until the deadline for states to certify their results, 24 days until the Electoral College meets, 47 days until Congress certifies the results and 61 days until inauguration.
Biden’s Popular-Vote Advantage Passes 6 Million
Biden’s popular-vote margin over Trump surpassed 6 million votes, as ballot counts from the Nov. 3 election continued to trickle in from states including Georgia, which certified its vote Friday.
As of Friday evening, Biden had 79,725,663 votes, or 51.06%, compared with 73,732,744 votes, or 47.23% for Trump. High turnout and demographic growth helped both Biden and Trump shatter the record for most popular votes obtained.
But the spread between the two candidates, 3.83 percentage points, is far from unusual in U.S. politics. Many presidents have won by higher percentages and with more votes. For example, in 2008, Barack Obama beat John McCain by 7.27 percentage points, or 9.5 million votes, while Richard Nixon won by 23.15 points, or almost 16 million votes, in 1972 over George McGovern.
Trump, meanwhile, had a margin of negative 2.09 points in 2016, having lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by 2.86 million votes, though he still won the Electoral College.
The Associated Press and networks have declared Biden declared the winner of the 2020 election, even though Trump has refused to concede and has repeatedly said he won. -- Max Berley
Biden Asks for Donations to Fund Transition (4:24 p.m.)
With a Trump appointee still declining to release the millions of dollars set aside for a transition, Biden is asking his donors to make up the difference.
In a tweet Friday, the president-elect asked his supporters to donate to the “Biden-Harris Transition.”
“Here’s the deal: Because President Trump refuses to concede and is delaying the transition, we have to fund it ourselves and need your help,” he wrote.
The fundraising page on the Democratic platform ActBlue says the money will be used to help “lay the foundation to lead a just and equitable recovery.” Suggested donations range from $15 to $5,000.
Once Biden is officially recognized as the president-elect, his team will receive more than $6 million set aside by Congress for transition-related expenses. The acknowledgment, which must be given by the administrator of the General Services Agency, will also allow Biden to be given national security briefings and information on the coronavirus pandemic.
Coal Miners’ Union Calls on Trump to Move On (11:42 a.m.)
Support from coal miners helped Trump win the presidency four years ago. Now, the leader of the nation’s top mining union is calling on Trump to “move on,” warning that efforts to challenge vote counts and pressure state elections officials are a “threat to our entire form of government and the American way of life.”
Trump’s campaign is on a path to subvert “the very foundation of what actually does make America great -- government of, by and for the people,” United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil E. Roberts said in a statement issued Friday.
“The cockamamie notion that there was some plot launched in a failed state in South America that somehow affected the count of millions of voters is just absurd,” Roberts said. “Whether you like the outcome or not, the American people have spoken, and their will must now be placed ahead of everything else.”
The union, which represents some 80,000 mine workers, did not endorse a presidential candidate this year. The statement comes as more right-leaning business and interest groups begin urging Trump to concede the race. -- Jennifer A. Dlouhy
Bipartisan Group Airs Ads Calling for Transition to Begin (10:23 a.m.)
A bipartisan group of former elected officials, Cabinet secretaries and military and civic leaders is running an ad calling for the formal transition to Biden to begin.
With Trump continuing to deny that he lost the election, the National Council on Election Integrity is spending $2 million on an ad arguing that lack of a transition is hurting national security, the coronavirus response and the economy.
“The American people have spoken,” the ad says. “The result is clear. It’s time to move forward and get to work.”
The group’s members include former Homeland Security Secretaries Janet Napolitano, who served under Barack Obama, and Michael Chertoff, who served under George W. Bush; former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Bill Owens (retired) and two former members of the 9/11 Commission.
It has previously run ads saying the election had been run well.
Biden turns 78 Friday, meaning he will be the oldest person sworn in as president when he takes office in January.
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