Democrat Joe Biden was on the cusp of winning the presidency on Friday as he opened up narrow leads over President Donald Trump in the critical battlegrounds of Georgia and Pennsylvania.
Those put Biden in a stronger position to capture the 270 Electoral College votes needed to take the White House. The winner will lead a country facing a historic set of challenges, including a surging pandemic and deep political polarization.
However, in Texas, Trump led with 52.2% (5,860,560) of the votes compared to Biden’s 46.4% (5,211,719).
“This election proves that Texas and more specifically Parker County firmly rejects the European style socialism promised by the Democratic Party,” Parker County Republican Chair J Scott Utley said. “As of election night, Parker County voter turnout soared to 72% with almost 82% of voters choosing President Donald Trump and throughout Texas the so-called Blue Wave hit a huge Red Wall of conservatism.
The focus on Pennsylvania, where Biden led Trump by more than 9,000 votes, and Georgia, where Biden led by more than 1,500, came as Americans entered a third full day after the election without knowing who will lead them for the next four years.
Aledo resident Julie Johnson Bryant said she’s not bothered by either person becoming president.
“It was more important to me that the conservative view would be strongly represented and I think it was,” Johnson Bryant said. “I believe the Democratic Party have alienated their base as indicated by the gain of Republicans in the House. Socialism and the New Green Deal rhetoric isn’t working. If Biden lives long enough to serve four years or not, we’ll see another great battle in 2024 regardless.”
Biden was at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, as the vote count continued and aides said he would address the nation in primetime. Trump remained in the White House residence as more results trickled in, expanding Biden's lead in must-win Pennsylvania. In the West Wing, televisions remained tuned to the news amid trappings of normalcy, as reporters lined up for coronavirus tests and outdoor crews worked on the North Lawn on a mild, muggy fall day.
Trump's campaign, meanwhile, was quiet -- a dramatic difference from the day before, when it held a morning conference call projecting confidence and held a flurry of hastily arranged press conferences announcing litigation in key states.
“Trump, if you can look through his abrasive personality and other issues, has done some great things with job creation, tax relief and economics,” Johnson Bryant said. “His personality is his biggest issue. He’s just not likeable and people want to like their president. But that’s what politicians are good at - shiny on the outside and no substance on the inside. He was the exact opposite, which got him elected in the first place, but in the end might have been his biggest downfall.”
With his pathway to reelection appearing to greatly narrow, Trump on Thursday advanced unsupported accusations of voter fraud to falsely argue that his rival was trying to seize power in an extraordinary effort by a sitting American president to sow doubt about the democratic process.
"This is a case when they are trying to steal an election, they are trying to rig an election," Trump said from the podium of the White House briefing room.
The president pledged on Friday, in a statement, to pursue challenges "through every aspect of the law" but also suggested that his fight was "no longer about any single election." Biden spent Thursday trying to ease tensions and project a more traditional image of presidential leadership. After participating in a coronavirus briefing, he declared that "each ballot must be counted."
"I ask everyone to stay calm. The process is working," Biden said. "It is the will of the voters. No one, not anyone else who chooses the president of the United States of America."
Trump showed no sign of giving up and was was back on Twitter around 2:30 a.m. Friday, insisting the "U.S. Supreme Court should decide!"
“When every vote has been counted, Joe Biden will have won this election,” Parker County Democratic Party Chair Kay Parr said. “If there is anything criminal in this year’s election process, it is the attempts of a failed Donald Trump to try to stop the counting of votes and to mislead the public about the legality of the processes that are being followed to complete the election results.”
Utley said he is confident in Trump’s chances.
“I am confident that when all legally cast ballots are counted, President Donald Trump will be reelected and we will enjoy four more years of his job creating America First agenda that continues to unify the United States,” Utley said.
Weatherford Democrat reporter Autumn Owens contributed to this article.