President Donald Trump’s campaign manager declared a victory in Pennsylvania, despite votes still being counted. As of the time of publication, no other source had called the state for Trump. Decision Desk’s map shows Trump currently in the lead in the state, but the race has not been called, and mail-in votes are still being counted.
Trump’s Campaign Manager Said the State Was a ‘Victory’ for Trump
During a press call, Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien said they were declaring victory in Pennsylvania, reported Tessa Berenson, the White House correspondent for Time.
Bill Stepien on press call: "We are declaring a victory in Pennsylvania. This is not based on gut or feel. This is based on math."
— Tessa Berenson (@tcberenson) November 4, 2020
On the call, Stepien said, “We are declaring a victory in Pennsylvania. This is not based on gut or feel. This is based on math.”
Berenson noted that the votes hadn’t been counted yet and no major organizations had yet projected a winner in the state.
On Wednesday, Stepien also told reporters that the campaign believed they would win the entire race, New York Post reported. Stepien said, “We are confident in our pathway. We are confident in our math. We said all along we are viewing some of these races as math equations. If we count all legal ballots, the president wins.”
Eric Trump & the White House Press Secretary Also Declared a Pennsylvania Win on Twitter
Around the same time that Stepien made the announcement to the press, others associated with Trump took to Twitter to make similar proclamations. The president’s son Eric Trump tweeted, “We have won Pennsylvania!” His tweet included a warning from Twitter that official sources had not yet called the race.
We have won Pennsylvania!
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) November 4, 2020
Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, also declared victory in Pennsylvania on Twitter. Her tweet included the same warning from Twitter.
VICTORY for President @realDonaldTrump in PENNSYLVANIA ‼️
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) November 4, 2020
Trump Is Leading Pennsylvania, But Millions of Ballots Still Need To Be Counted
Decision Desk’s map currently has Pennsylvania as “leaning” Trump, with Trump showing 52% of the votes compared to former Vice President Joe Biden’s 46%, as of 3:45 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday.
You can view the map below, courtesy of Heavy’s partners at Decision Desk HQ:
The Associated Press also currently has Pennsylvania leaning red but has not called the state.
CBS News reported that millions of mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania still needed to be counted as of late Wednesday morning. Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said in a press conference that there were millions of ballots that still needed to be counted, even though about 50% of the mail-in ballots had been counted so far.
Pennsylvania received almost 10 times as many mail-in ballots as usual, CNN reported. Officials weren’t allowed to process the state’s mail-in ballots until Election Day in Pennsylvania. Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, was negotiating with the Republican-led legislature to try to allow mail-in ballots to be processed before Election Day, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. But negotiations did not work out, and Republicans adjourned the General Assembly without reaching an agreement. The Philadelphia Inquirer also reported that Pennsylvania House Republicans had passed a bill to allow mail-in ballots to be counted before Election Day, but the bill also allowed poll watchers to work in counties where they weren’t registered, a measure that Democrats did not want.
In Philadelphia alone, 350,000 mail-in ballots were received and hundreds of thousands of those still needed to be counted on Wednesday, CNN reported.
Boockvar said that every ballot would be accurately counted. The state was given a three-day extension to count mail-in ballots after Election Day by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign said it would sue to halt a vote count in Pennsylvania, CBS News reported.