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Biden his time: The former VP emphasizes every ballot be counted

In brief remarks this afternoon, Joe Biden urged Americans "to stay calm" because the "process is working. The count is being completed, and we'll know very soon."

The state of play... The red mirage in action: President Trump's 625,000 vote lead in Pennsylvania Wednesday morning has shrunk to less than 100,000, and its secretary of state says "we definitely could" know the winner by as soon as tonight.

Why it matters: Losing Pennsylvania would close off any path for Trump to win re-election.

Biden emphasized that every ballot must be counted:

  • "Democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience, as well. But that patience has been rewarded now for 240 years with a system of governance that's been the envy of the world."

The rundown of what's left:

  • Georgia: Trump's lead over Biden has shrunk to about 13,000 votes, with tens of thousands more ballots left to be counted.
  • Nevada still has 60,000 provisional ballots left to count in Clark County, and Biden leads by about 11,000 votes.
  • Arizona: Biden's lead has narrowed and Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs promised a "much more clear picture" Friday. The AP and Fox have called Arizona for Biden, but other networks have yet to project a winner.

The big picture: Trump and his allies are setting the stage to claim a Joe Biden presidency would be illegitimate.

  • They are baselessly questioning everything from how ballots are counted to whether "fake" polls suggesting blue waves that never came are tantamount to voter suppression, as Axios' Alayna Treene explained in an Axios AM Thought Bubble this afternoon.

The bottom line: Don't hold your breath waiting for a result, because this might drag on long after one of the candidates reaches 270.

Go deeper: Axios Re:Cap digs into what happened in Arizona, including why Biden underperformed Democratic Senate candidate Mark Kelly and the supposed "Sharpiegate." Listen here.

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