Editor’s note: This is a developing story that will be updated as more results become available. This story was first published Nov. 5 at 4:37 p.m. This most recent update occurred Nov. 4 at 7:33 p.m.
Arizona is closing in on counting all the leftover ballots with no real changes so far in who is leading and who is not.
But there are signs that the votes that continue to be tallied are trending toward Republicans.
As of Thursday afternoon the Secretary of State’s Office said counties were reporting approximately about 300,000 ballots left to be tallied. But some of those figures were already two days old and had not been updated.
The lion’s share are in Maricopa County.
What makes that significant is that Biden has been running marginally ahead of Trump in the state’s largest county, tallying 944,285 against 880,347. And in Pima County, where there were about 46,000 ballots to be counted, the Democrat had nearly 100,000 more votes than the president out of more than 492,000 that already have been counted.
Statewide, while Biden’s lead has declined in the past day, he still had about 46,300 more votes than Trump. So that means the president needs to pick up something north of 55% of the uncounted votes statewide to catch up.
Meanwhile Republicans were looking at the possibility of judicial intervention if the numbers do not appear to be going their way.
“All options are on the table,” said David Bossie, a senior campaign advisor to the Trump campaign said at a press conference Thursday afternoon at state GOP headquarters. “But we’re not there yet.”
But separately the Donald J. Trump for President committee and the Republican National Committee have intervened in a separate legal fight over the use of Sharpies to mark ballots. And the Arizona Democratic Party also decided to get involved in that fight. (See related story.)
The Thursday event at GOP headquarters was more of a pep rally for the president featuring two of the state’s Republican members of Congress and Kelli Ward who chairs the state party.
“We have the momentum, we have the activist community that is not going to allow this race to be stolen from President Trump or from Republicans all the way down the ballot,” Ward said. She also blasted Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes.
“I have some concerns about the (county) elections department and about Adrian Fontes himself,” Ward said. She accused his agency of relegating GOP poll watchers to a corner where they could not actually view the computer screens that are being used to verify signatures on ballot envelopes.
Fontes, however, said his office has been following the same protocols for poll watchers since the counting started. And he said the staff at the election department works out the details with both political parties.
Bossie also took a separate blast at the media, including what had been conservative favorite Fox News, for calling Arizona for Biden on election night.
“This has not been a mistake, folks,” he said. “They have been against the president, they’ve been against your president, from the very first minute, four years ago.”
The focus on Arizona is not surprising with its 11 electoral votes which could be enough to put him over the top of the 270 he needs to clinch victory. Counts were still going on during Thursday afternoon in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada.
Aside from the GOP press conference, Trump supporters have been showing up for the past two days outside the offices where Maricopa County officials are counting the ballots.
On Wednesday evening the building was protected only by a handful of sheriff’s deputies, with protesters right up against the building. By Thursday the county had installed temporary fencing to keep people away from entrances, designating areas outside the fence as the “free speech zone.”
In other races, the margins between apparent winners and losers were larger, meaning a greater hurdle to change the outcome.