Associated Press reporter Jonathan Lemire said President Donald Trump shouldn’t be surprised that mail-in ballots are killing his chances in Pennsylvania, because his campaign has worried about that possibility for weeks.
The White House correspondent told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the president’s attacks on the election and the vote totals were even more malignant because he knew which states would pose a challenge to his re-election chances, and he should have understood why.
“The president of the United States took to the podium of the White House behind the presidential seal last night, and one that’s shattered every norm of the office, he went out there and urged the vote — the very pillar of American democracy — to stop being counted,” Lemire said. “He trolled in unsubstantiated theories and conspiracy theories and made baseless accusations of fraud, undermining the very integrity of the ballot.”
“There’s seemingly to this point little teeth and no evidence to his claims,” Lemire added. “So here’s where we are right now.”
Lemire said the campaign has long feared they would not be able to turn out enough same-day voters on Election Day as huge numbers of mail-in votes were banked for Joe Biden in the weeks before.
“The Trump campaign, of course, is watching these numbers like everyone else,” he said. “They see how tight things have gotten in Georgia, they are worried about the outstanding ballots in Pennsylvania. That has been their fear throughout, that Pennsylvania would be — they knew they were running close, they knew they had a strong ground game in the state, but they were concerned they might not be able to turn out enough votes in the last days and particularly on Election Day to overcome the mail-in ballots being sent in by Democratic counties.”
Biden, on the other hand, was feeling increasingly confident that the votes will go his way once they’re all counted.
“In terms of the Biden campaign, they feel really good,” Lemire said. “They feel on the precipice of victory. A stage was erected yesterday for the former vice president to give a speech. Whether that’s today or tomorrow, they’re prepared to win. They’re not prematurely talking about the win. He said all votes need to be counted but they’re preparing for a victory they hope will come soon, and now President Trump has put the Republicans in a bind again with the accusations of the voter fraud and challenging electoral misconduct.”
“Some were already tossed out, Michigan and Georgia, [where] federal judges ruled against the Trump campaign,” he added. “Will Republicans at this moment continue to tie themselves to Donald Trump as he makes these accusations? We saw a few break with him last night. [Larry] Hogan, governor of Maryland, denounced what Trump said, and Mitt Romney said the counting must go on. Where will other Republicans stand as the president continues to go forward with the baseless accusations as he sees the path to victory all but disappear?”