good day, i'm ari melber anchoring msnbc special election coverage in a pivotal time. three days after election day here and the vote tally has now put joe biden on the cusp of winning the presidency. here's why, as the votes are tallied biden has taken the lead in several key states. he now leads in pennsylvania. that satate alone would put him over the 270 electoral votes for winning the presidency, and the remaining votes are coming from areas that have been building that lead, including this final batch of outstanding absentee ballots. officials in philadelphia telling the world that they have about 40,000 ballots left to count there. those updates will continue throughout today, and we'll bring them to you. moments ago, we also saw results come in from pennsylvania that pad biden's lead. to be clear, this is a lead. this is not a final resolution because at this hour, the nbc
news decision desk characterizes pennsylvania as just too close to call. then there's georgia, another key remaining state where biden leads with a razor thin margin. no democrats have won this state since 1992. i can tell you that the top elections official there says today they're already heading towards a recount in georgia. so while neither candidate has clinched this electoral college, the picture coming into view overall you see it right here, it's pretty dire for president trump. biden leading in most remaining states including a growing but tight lead in nevada. the nbc decision desk has changed its characterization of nevada as too close to call. president trump is gaining ground on biden in arizona. we're awaiting an update out of nevada this hour where the largest county is working on some of the last remaining votes today. take it all together, and you can see when both campaigns see at the end of this tense week. the door appearing to close on the president. joe biden building in places
that could clinch it all, and the surest sign that donald trump sees this picture that i'm showing you, this reality actually comes from the white house and donald trump himself. facing bad news at the ballot box, he's talking about going to court, asking judges to somehow change what the voters said, and filing several thin lawsuits in states before the vote tallies are even final. now, as we've reminded you here throughout our coverage, nothing is final until it's final, whether it takes the rest of today or even this weekend or even next week, we will continue to bring you the facts and the numbers no matter what. if the president were to regain leads in any of the states i just showed you, of course we would report that too. but we know a lot more today right now than we did on tuesday, and so do the candidates. we know biden is up where it matters and gaining. we know trump needs more than luck. he needs to reverse some outcomes. that's why one candidate is focused on counting while the other is already suing. and the bar for getting courts
to do anything that actually overturns final state counts is so high, i can report for you it's never happened in a presidential race. right now we're going to dip in live in clark county, nevada, where there is another update on the vote count. >> however, the universal ballots that i communicated yesterday are still accurate. the only thing you need to do is take it down approximately 20,500 from the 51 to the 30,000, but the 63,000 ballots that i reported yesterday are in the state, in the system in various stages, so those still will be expected to be reported. beginning today, we will begin to report our results two times a day, so you've already seen the update for this morning, and the afternoon we will be putting up a fresh report on the mail ballots that have been read into the system sometime before 4:00.
we're required to report to the secretary of state first. once they've indicated to us that they received it and it's verified, we'll be able to post on our end. so rather than giving you a specific time, i'll just tell you that it will be sometime before 4:00 p.m. now, one more time i'd like to go through the ballots that are separate from that universe that i reported. we still have the provisional ballots. all of our laptops from election day have been downloaded so all of that information is available to my staff. today we will start in earnest reviewing provisional ballots. there are 60,000 of those to go through in various categories. now, i want to remind you that we have to coordinate with the secretary of state because, again, we are not a top down registration state. we work from the bottom up, so all 17 counties have to report to the secretary. they still have not given me the instructions. i know they're on the way, but at some point they'll let us know when to send our report up,
and that will be the tool that they use to match against the other 16 counties in nevada to make sure that nobody's duplicated a vote in one county to the next because we want to prevent that. once we do that, we can begin to release the provisional ballots into count. however, that won't happen until the secretary of state verifies that report. a reminder that the i.d. required voters, their deadline is today at 5:00 p.m. for those who are required to provide an i.d., that has to be sent to us by 5:00 p.m. today. we have a line available at 702-455-6552 where we have staff available to assist those individuals with getting that in to us. the u.s. mail update for this morning, we received 241 ballots in today's mail that will be added to that number that i'm calling my universe of ballots
to be counted. it's looking pretty clear that the number of ballots is going to continue to go down. however, i wanted to ensure the general public, we have been working very close with our regional supervisor at the postal service, and they're doing an excellent job of reviewing all of the post stations here in clark county. in fact, they have been sweeping regularly more than once on a daily basis and if they identify anything that needs to be delivered to the office, they get it to our office within three to four hours. it doesn't even go through the process of having set up for us to pick up there. they are physically dlifg those. so we appreciate their effort. they're making sure just as we are that we're counting every ballot that's eligible to be counted. so our thanks to the u.s. postal service locally. the cure process is another group of ballots that we need to process. they have until thursday, the 12th of november to cure that. my staff will not leave this
facility until we've counted all of those ballots that have been identified as curable. ab 4 was very clear in the legislative special session that we have to have all ballots counted by november 12th and with that i'll open it up for questions. remember you need to be at the mic. >> good morning right there. right there. >> we have been listening to an update here in nevada where they are going through the last of the ballots. i want to go right to steve kornacki at the big board. we're going to start with nevada, but he's got updates on everything. steve, one number that jumped out on there was 241. that is the trickle of mail ballots arriving, it would seem to be good news for joe biden if he's up and there's almost nothing else coming in. >> yeah, the confusion here in nevada today, too, was yesterday i think i was on with you this hour, we had the same update from out there, and there were these 51,000 votes that we were told were going to be coming out
at this time today, and they only put out 30,000. >> and steve. >> yeah. >> steve, let's not pretend that either of us remember anything that's happened days ago and this week. >> it was yesterday, right? >> no, it was. >> that's about the level i'm at right now, but yes, the trajectory here, you know, in nevada is all about clark county. it's heavily about mail-in ballots. there's also provisional ballots. there's a fair number of provisional ballots, and they may not break as heavily democratic as the mail is, but the differentiator here is there are clearly tens of thousands of ballots left in clark county, las vegas area. democratic kind of area to begin with. a lot of them are mail ballots. i think we've established with the votes that have been coming out so far from clark county, biden seems to be winning the mail ballots there by a two to one margin and he is now ahead statewide by 20,000, thanks largely to votes from clark county that were released today.
that's why, of course, our decision desk sort of changed its characterization of this race a while ago from too close to call to biden leading in nevada. so that's a step toward potentially at least biden winning the state, and i think basically what's happening now, just has to keep happening for biden to win the state. right now this a bit like we're talking about pennsylvania, just sort of an abrupt unforeseen change in the pattern of the ballots. >> and as you say from yesterday's morning briefing to today's, you are not seeing -- again, we're not making calls. you're just not seeing anything in nevada yet that would move things away from the trend line where biden builds this lead? >> yeah, i mean, the main thing was with that 51,000 ballots we were expecting and were told yesterday would be coming today ended up only being 30, and i just was texting with, you know, jacob soboroff, it sounds like
they made a mistake in saying it was 51 today, but they did not make a mistake in saying the total number of mail ballots that were out there. so our understanding of the nuc number of mail ballots that exist to be counted in clark county doesn't change, nor does our understanding so far at least of how those ballots are breaking, which is two to one biden. so if biden is winning the mail votes two to one, and there's the same number of mail votes that we thought before, then i think our general sense of this remains the same. >> correct. steve i was just talking to our control room. we want from you what i think everyone in america wants from you now, which is to go back to the bigger prize. what is the latest in p.a., in pennsylvania? >> let's take a look here. we did get an update a few minutes ago. i was just seeing if there were any more. this is about ten minutes ago, joe biden expanded his lead, he's now over 10,000 statewide. he leads by 12,390 votes over donald trump. where did this latest batch of
votes for biden com from? it came from lehigh county, that's where allentown is. they came in today with about 10,000, they say, about 10,000 uncounted absentee ballots, mail ballots. they just released a batch of about 7,000 of them, and joe biden got 69% of those votes. again, this is just the pattern we've been talking about, you know, pretty much wherever it is in pennsylvania, when you get a batch of absentee, a batch of mail votes, biden is winning them by wide margins. so therefore, from that, biden adds to his lead, goes over 10,000. there was also that press conference in philadelphia city officials where they said -- and in fact, let me just check this, they said in the next few minutes they might have an update, and i'm seeing if there is one here on their website. they did say that they've got 40,000 ballots remaining, 40,000 uncounted absentee ballots in philadelphia. and again, the thing we know about the absentee ballots in philadelphia is they've been
breaking for biden p by a nine one margin and there's also 35,000 out in allegheny county, too. another place that's heavily biden. just seeing a lot of math that works in biden's favor here. >> and the green circle we're looking at there on that number, on biden that you just did, steve, if i'm united nationside right, you're telling us 1:12 p.m. on the east coast, that is the largest lead biden has had yet in p.a. >> yes, that is correct. >> that's pretty big as we continue to go through this. i don't mean big in the sense of the largest lead ever. i mean big in the news sense that right now he's got a bigger lead in p.a. than he's had all week and you just told us the numbers of why that is growing. you also mentioned that you might get an update, please flag us in the control room whenever you do. we're on the ground with rehema ellis in pennsylvania, we also have ali vitali, and peter
alexander at the white house. >> reporter: a couple of things to tell you about in terms of the numbers here in philadelphia. as steve was saying, according to city officials here, they have that 40,000 mail ballots still to be counted. the question is what about those, they call it segregated. i call it separated, those ballots that came in, were legally post marked as of 8:00 p.m. on election night, they have up until 5:00 p.m. today to come in. are any of those part of the 40,000. city officials a few minutes ago behind me in this convention center would not say exactly if the ballots they have that came in after election night are part of that, so it could be another number. we're not sure yet. but the mayor of philadelphia, a democrat, he was saying there jim kenny, congratulating people on what they've been doing. there's been some criticism about process here from members
of the trump campaign as to whether or not there's fraud or they're hiding the counting here. he dismisses that outright, and he dismisses all of those, including the president, who has been critical of this process. he said he would say put your big boy pants on, do like jimmy carter and al gore and respect the process. >> strong words, we'll be coming back to you throughout the day. we turn to our campaign reporters, first ali vitali with the biden campaign. ali. >> you make the point that he's not yet at 270, but in talking to some -- to a biden campaign aide just now, i asked them how they felt about this moment, they're confident and they say it's just an eventuality at this point. to that end we do expect to see the democratic ticket tonight in prime time. we're told that kamala harris is going to speak first, give short remarks before we see the former vice president take the stage, and frankly, we're seeing signs of life here in this parking lot in wilmington that we have been staked out in for days now.
we're seeing more cars be pulled in, some mic checks, some tinkering with the lights. it's clear that they're preparing for something. i would also note that it's pretty unusual for a vice president to give remarks on a night like this, but kamala harris, if they get to 270 and are the president-elect and vice president-elect would be historic. she would be the first person of color vice president and the first woman of color vice president ever in the nation's history. so clearly making history here, and it comes after a democratic primary where you had more women running and more people of color running than ever before. i remember covering back in march the day elizabeth warren dropped out of the race talking to women and girls who were dropping cards and flowers off at her front door worrying this would be another year where they would not see a woman in the white house. now that fear seems to be assuaged as this campaign starts moving into a more aggressive posture. we know they were already feeling confident. everything we've seen them do on the map so far, all the updates
really do fit into the calculus that the biden campaign has been expecting for several days now, ari. >> your reporting suggesting that biden and harris speak tonight even if there is no 270 call? >> reporter: and that is the caveat there, right? this campaign team is really bullish, but at the same time we also know that former vice president joe biden is patiently watching these results. they have really been clear that they want to get to 270, but i think it sort of speaks to the dam breaking here in terms of this group of people feeling really good about where they're at. they're watching the vote totals come in, and they feel confident that they could see happen don't. of course, we're not on their time line. our decision desk is on our own time line, but that's the mood right now in biden world. >> great, and ali, because we've been just going back and forth so many days in a row, i'm curious, no tom petty today? >> no tom petty today, i think i would go more j.lo waiting for tonight. >> waiting for tonight, oh, oh. >> i was thinking more oh, i was
thinking more beastie boys, no sleep until philadelphia. >> not a bad choice. >> yeah, well, this happened. thank you as always, ali, our friend and colleague. we go out to the white house, peter alexander has been monitoring a trump team that seems to have two different tracks. i'm wondering, peter, if you can walk us through what people inside the white house think of what the president did last night. we fact checked it. you fact checked it. we've dealt with that. that's one track. and everyone else who works for him, many of whom are talking more legally, more grounded about, well, we could try to get a recount. sure, that's their right. that's very different than the falsehoods the president shared. >> i think you're right, depending on who you're talking to, there is either dejection or defiance. a short time ago we saw the marine guard out in front of the west wing, a white house
spokesperson told us that the president was in the oval office. the guard was only there for ten minutes. the president has now left the oval office. we know he's been paying close attention to all the coverage. i want to talk to you about the inconsistency in the message and the different views when you speak to folks behind the scenes here. one of the president's latest tweets within the last 30 minutes or so, the president was complaining about what he described as the missing military ballots in georgia. right now there are no missing military ballots in georgia to this point. the secretary of state there, a republican within the last hour or so said there were roughly 8,900 of those ballots still outstanding, they could arrive by law as late as today if postmarked by election day, and if they do, they will be counted. ari. >> peter alexander, thank you, and thank you for the facts as always. we're deep into this hour here, coming up, we're going to go to several of the other key states. that includes arizona. the latest on the legal
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welcome back, i'm ari melber with our special election coverage. we're following several aspects of this story including something interesting and frankly a little unusual. the biden campaign, like everyone waiting on a potential call, but they say we should expect to hear from the former vice president tonight. of course we don't know if there will be a call by tonight. when we heard from biden yesterday he was urging patience and short remarks. when we heard from president trump last night, he blatantly questioned the integrity of the election and made false claims about fraud. >> if you count the legal votes, i easily win. if you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us. >> that is false. the legal votes are what's being
counted. i turn to a senior staff writer at "politico" who's been following donald trump and reporting the ins and outs in all of this. thanks for being here. >> greetings. happy friday i guess. >> happy friday. big week, we're all having an interesting time as a nation. i think a lot of people are doing great with patience and letting the numbers and the facts lead us. we'll continue to follow that. obviously they didn't lead the president last night. we fact checked that. he is behind in the legal votes or the votes, but it's a lawful process in each state, and for those who are political, many of these states, of course, have a range of both parties involved in that processing, and there's transparency. having dealt with that, i want to turn to your reporting on where the president and trump world goes from here. >> so we are on the precipice of a first. donald trump has lost before, he's lost tons of money. he's lost lawsuits. he's lost opportunities, but
he's never lost with finality. he's never been stopped, even in the early to mid-90s when he was so deep in debt, lenders did not stop him. they did not very materially make him leave his trump tower triplex, so the situation here is eventually the process is going to play out, votes have to be counted, but president trump is going to be made to leave the white house. his brand for decades, obviously, has been in a word winner, and for the first time he will be in this indelible way a loser, and that is -- >> it's interesting the way you put it so physically and trump is someone who understands symbols, right, wall, whether it exists or not is a physical thing, you can get your head right around it. and you just raised the spector of relocation or eviction, that
donald trump was literally hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, that's documented. most americans are evicted far before that, and he got away, and he got away, and he got away, and the "new york times" reported he got away with the taxes, and he seemed to get away losing the total vote but finding an electoral college path last time. you're pointing out if he were to lose this race, which many are bracing for, then he is finally forced out, evicted from the white house, moved off that stage. do you have any sense from your reporting and the people close to him that that now on this friday, which is different than tuesday night, that any of that prospect is sinking in for him? >> for sure. and i think it has been sinking in. over the weeks leading up to election day, it's interesting, he started using a word he hasn't used as much in the past, a lot at rallies in news conferences, at the white house, and that word was immunity.
in the context was the coronavirus, was his recovery at walter reed and how he was now, quote, unquote immune but what i was hearing and what people who have known him for a long time were hearing was a fear that his immunity, in some sense the immunity he's enjoyed these last four years, immunity he didn't even have before that, even if he felt immunity, his immunity is dwindling away. he can see the end of an actual kind of immunity he's enjoyed over these last four years. he is scared, and frankly he probably should be. >> michael cruz, appreciate your report today and also some of the poetic themes you're sharing with us much to cogitate on. we want to turn to arizona, we have our nbc news colleague vaughn hillyard. vaughn. >> reporter: ari what we're looking at right now is the next batch from maricopa county that is not slated to be released until 9:00 p.m. eastern, but what the new numbers out of the
state here showed this morning was the fact that joe biden essentially was able to dilute the margins that donald trump was gaining in this latest batch, and we expect that the numbers out of this morning should pretty closely reflect the remaining 140,000 ballots that are outstanding in maricopa county. and if, in fact, like the numbers this morning those hold for the remaining 140,000 ballots in maricopa county, that is incredibly difficult here in arizona for donald trump to overcome because there's only 70,000 non-maricopa county ballots outstanding and donald trump would have to win 75% of them. and so far the numbers that have been coming in in recent days from those counties that trump would be relying on haven't hit the mark that it would take in order to make up for those deficits that he is now facing in maricopa county. you also got to note mark kelly now projected by nbc news to be another u.s. senator here from the state of arizona, the second democrat to be elected by
arizonians in just two years. if joe biden's lead holds, this could be a defining moment, the year 2020 for arizona politics. ari. >> great context including on all those important senate races, vaughn, thank you very much. up next, we're going to turn to nevada, a small state with big impact right now. jacob soboroff here, much more decision 2020 coverage right after this. ♪ we made usaa insurance for veterans like martin. when a hailstorm hit, he needed his insurance to get it done right, right away.
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welcome back, i'm ari melber. we're taking a look at where things stand in nevada. we just got new vote updates within the past hour, and joining us on the ground is our nbc news colleague jacob soboroff. you are in the thick of it, what are you seeing? >> reporter: hey, ari, so let me just tell you where we are. this is inside of the clark county election center. this is where i think it's fair to say those electoral votes from this state are going to be coming out of. the ballots are counted in here, to be honest with you, they're not being counted right now. that's the area, those things that kind of look like printers, i don't know if you can see them in there, white on the bottom, grayish up on the top. those are the scanning machines. there's one, two, three, four, five of them that i can see with my own eyes right now, and that area in there is as quiet as it looks. that's where the scanning is supposed to be going on. these folks here are election observers. that gentleman is a republican observer. there are some other observers
over there talking to one of the staff folks from around here, and i tell you all this just for so you understand sort of what's going on in this facility. the numbers are what's important. yesterday the difference between vice president biden and vice president president trump was about 8,000 votes. that advantage did grow to around 12,000, and now it's up around 20,000 at this point based on some returns that came in this morning, the tabulations that came in this morning. what was i guess curious about all of this was that we expected 51,000 ballots to come in. there were a lot of outstanding ballots. i want to tell you exactly. 63,262 remaining mail-in ballots. 60,000 provisionals, over 120,000, plus what are called cures, signature verify kicatio and what comes in the mail before the 10th of this month. unfortunately that number from this morning that we were going to get 51,000 was incorrect. i guess a staff member made a
clerical error is the simplest way to describe it and we only got about 30,000. there are quite literally tens of thousands of ballots that are remaining to be counted here, and so for the first time, the registrar here joe gloria has said we're going to get a second update today in clark county, nevada. clark county, nevada, of course is where las vegas is. it is by far the biggest election jurisdiction in this state. when we get that information, we'll have more numbers this afternoon. we expect if the trend lines hold for joe biden's lead to grow. we can't say for sure until those come in. that's the scoop from here. >> well, jacob, part of what you're reporting for us does illustrate one of the kornacki rules, which is he says the number of hours a county tells you it will take to count, you double or triple, the number of votes you say you're going to get is sometimes lower. >> no doubt. >> from yesterday morning, all of us were doing this together yesterday morning to now, as you say we got thousands of votes but not that initial full number. we'll keep tracking it. you're on the ground. i would just remind folks what
you walked us through just now is a good reminder of why there is a lot of faith in the process. you're there as the independent, representatives of both parties are there. the cameras are on. there's transparency to that to what we're watching, which is why people say it's taking longer. what's going on? nothing nefarious. what's going on is this. we can all see it. thank you as always for being our part of our team of reporters, sir. >> you got it, man. >> absolutely. i want to turn right now to nbc's pete williams and matt sanderson, a former attorney for the mccain and romney campaigns who's also an nbc news election law analyst. pete, you know your way around so many of these issues and what it takes to get voting or potential alleged voter fraud issues up to a court, up to a higher court and then to change potential outcomes. i'm just curious big picture to hear from you your view of the legal framework to help understand the context or the fact checking of what the president asserted last night. >> okay.
so there are really only two kinds of lawsuits that could change the actual vote totals that we know of. the first one we've talked about before is the u.s. supreme court case. that is the republican challenge to the decision by the state legislature to extend the period by which mail ballots would be counted if they came in after election day. so that's the sort of overtime period between 8:00 p.m. on tuesday night and 5:00 tonight. so depending on how many votes are there, whether that could make a difference, the republicans would go to the supreme court and say now will you please take our case. their argument is that the state supreme court had no authority to extend the deadline that only the state legislature could do that. the second category that could actually affect ballots, and there's just been a development in it just before we came on here, just less than a minute ago, this is a challenge in state court, state appeals court in pennsylvania that challenges the decisions by at least two
counties that we know of, montgomery county, which is the third largest county in pennsylvania, and north hampton county where officials gave notice of defective mail ballots. they didn't have a signature. they had some problem with them, and gave voters a chance to come in and fix the problem and cast a provisional ballot. the republicans say you can't do that. state law doesn't allow it. the democrats say, well, state law doesn't explicitly provide for it, but it doesn't prohibit it either. so just a moment ago the appellate court in pennsylvania, this is what's known as the commonwealth court in pennsylvania issued an order saying that all provisional ballots that were cast on election day where the elector's absentee ballot or mail-in ballot was received have to be segregated until basically we can decide whether the provisional ballot can be counted. so it's telling all the counties, even though this
directly from the president himself, we'll share that with you in part. it sort of presents a different tone than we have heard from him and from frankly his remarks yesterday and his all caps tweets 24 hours ago. he says in effect that this fight right now is for full transparency. he says it's no longer about any single election but about the integrity of the entire election process so no longer trying to say it's about, you know, i don't know, these feuds that many viewed as small and self-interested but something bigger than him is what the statement is trying to suggest right now. he says we want to pursue the process. we will pursue the process through every aspect of the law. i will never give up fighting for you and our nation. so those are the new words of the president today, the first real full public comment we've heard from him today and the first full one since those widely panned remarks we married from him, anti, undemocratic comments he made at the podium
yesterday where he suggested, claimed there was widespread voter fraud despite providing no evidence of that. this message, while he does say he wants legal votes to be counted not the illegal votes to be counted is more about transparency, and as he tries to cast it, something bigger than him about the american democracy at large, which is notably different than his comments yesterday that were criticized by all sorts of folks, mitt romney coming out with criticism, adam kinzinger saying, quote, this is insane on twitter. it was only some of the president's closest allies and loyalists like ted cruz, lindsey graham and kevin mccarthy the top house republican who came out basically echoing the president's own woerrds aftered president's son called on all republicans to stand by his side. >> pete alexander, brand new statement as you emphasized, it's certainly different in tone and content than some of what we heard last night. i know you're busy at the white house. i want to bring back in pete and matt who have been discussing
some of the local issues here legally. matt, i'm going to go to you first because i actually want to ask the intersection of politics and law and then i'm going to go to pete on the law, but on the political side of this statement, i'm going to reread a little ending of it, quote, we will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee the american people have confidence in our government. it does sound politically less strident and certainly less misleading than the president's rather unusual remarks at least by the standards of history. matt, your first reaction to this? >> well, hopefully this represents turning the page, the president's obviously talked a lot about law and order this year. he should embrace it here as well. we have laws. we have state laws that dictate how the process should unfold, how these votes should be counted, and frankly, up until now, the main -- the main cause for uncertainty in this whole
basically what these lawsuits claim. you're using automation to verify ballot signatures in nevada. you shouldn't be doing that. you're letting voters cast provisional ballots to fix their mail-in ballots. you shouldn't do that. that is the status of where things stand right now, and then of course it's a big -- but the u.s. supreme court case, if there's enough votes there to make a difference, you know, could decide potentially who wins pennsylvania if it comes down to that, but you're right, it's not -- these are challenges to, you know, and it's odd, ari, and i'm curious what matt thinks of this -- you know, it surprises me, every time there's an election and some question comes up about state election procedures, and i say to myself you mean they haven't figured that out yet? they haven't figured out whether somebody can fix a mail-in ballot with a provisional ballot. i think one of the reasons why is because in the past there were so few mail-in ballots.
once the state said anybody can file a mail ballot, no excuse, no need to be absentee to prove you're going to be out of state on election day, that obviously compounded the problem and raised a lot of new questions. >> yeah, we'll turn it back to matt for one final thought, pete has weaved together the legal intricacies into the bottom line, which is we're not saying it doesn't matter at all how you resolve some of these questions -- and there are more novel legal questions because of pandemic voting this year, which we all expected. there is not as of tuesday night or through the week or now with a new statement from the president, i mean, the deadlines are here. they're approaching. if you want to do something big and legal, there is not, matt, a kind of legal actual cases and controversies that would widen out and overturn the margins we're seeing in several states, best as pete and i and others can track it. >> yeah, that's right, and it stho should be noted that i think
they've spent a lot of time in these first few days filing a lot of lawsuits that allege some form of impropriety by election officials, and i keep hearing this idea that the trump legal strategy is to throw spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. but i don't think that's quite right. this isn't throwing spaghetti at the wall. this is slinging mud at the election system with the intent to leave a stain, and that's matching the president's rhetoric over the last few days for the moment, the legal strategy and the red rick aheto coming together. that's what's happening. >> matt, to extend that allegory, the question is whether that tomato sauce stain on the legitimacy of our democracy will stick to the country or to donald trump, and that remains to be seen. pete williams, matt sanderson, thanks to both of you, really great breaking legal analysis. we've got to fit in a break, but we then will go to fgeorgia. we'll be right back, you're watching msnbc special election coverage.
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out of approximately 5 million votes cast, we'll have a margin of a few thousand. as we are closing in on a final count, we can begin to look toward our next steps. with a margin that small, there will be a recount in georgia. >> news from georgia's secretary of state there saying that he does expect based on the count and the law a recount because of that razor thin margin. joe biden took a slight lead over president trump there just early this morning, the number of ballots to count, though, remaining is dwindling. joining us now from georgia is our nbc news colleague, blayne alexander. blayne. >> reporter: yeah, absolutely, ari, so let's pick up when we talk about that recount what this does. one, is it confirms something that we knew all along. we knew that this was a thinner
than thin razor thin margin that you saw a difference, that you saw joe biden's lead over president trump, and with more than 4,000 ballots still left to be uploaded, still left to be processed, we know that that number is going to fluctuate i. it was almost a foregone conclusion. the state has to certify by november 20th. the state can only certify it earlier, but let's say that it goes up into the deadline. if you pull up a calendar it takes us about a week from start to finish of that rekountt pcou process. that takes us to thanksgiving likely. let's talk about the ballots that we're still expecting to get. a little more than 4,000 left for the counties, but there are several pools on top of that.
one, the military and absentee pal lo ballots. they have until the end of the day to arrive and be counted. as long as they're marked by election day they will be counted. still quite a few ballots to be counted here. >> i'm just curious what does your reporting suggest about the kind of margin that could shift out of a recount? >> so in gleorgia it takes 0.5% of a difference. a candidate has to request a recount into 0.5%. as for right now the candidates are both sitting at 49.4%. so they're right at the same per sen tamg. that is why we have been looking at this saying it's a fore gone conclusion that there would be a recount.
again confirmed today by the secretary of state. we're talking about a difference of 2,000 votes. we're talking about the size of a school, if you will. so a difference that small. it is definitely certain there will be a recount, ari. >> it is truly remarkable. blain blayne thank you for your reports as always. i'm really curious, as we wrap up this hour of coverage, you were a well placed republican, is that fair? >> yes, i think so. i hope so. >> i think we have just visually on the screen for folks mcconnell, romney, and others comes out last night and very clearly just a whole battery of tweets here, i will tell people the bottom line, it is strength in numbers. it's prominent republicans that
are completely breaking with druch's claims last night. what does that tell you. >> it tells me that everyone can read the polls and the numbers. they know which way the wind is blowing. there will be more shouting. the president despite his statement this afternoon i think is not ready to be done fighting yet, but all of the smart republicans it seems are sensing which way the wind is blowing and giving statement that's are perfectly reasonable. let's count them all. let's make sure there isn't any fraud. at the end of the process i believe they expect joe biden to be the president of the united states. >> you put it correctly that these are not political statements in a democratic sense. they're prodemocracy. and donald trump comported himself in a mat near is so anti-democracy that the leaders of his own party feel the need to say this, yes?
>> yes, there is trump fatigue here. you see it in republicans, conservative media. there is a lot of exasperation. he is not acknowledging the reality that his leadership lead to losing the white house. >> michael, you identified as trump fatigue, is that treated through civic unity or caffeine? >> i think we have been trying a lot of caffeine this week so maybe civic unity for the end of the week. >> walk us through where you see this going politically in the next couple days. we heard from the biden camp today that they're gearing up for a big night. they plan to have the vice president speak. we're the independent press, that doesn't impact when and how a call is matt, but they see that as basically something they could do coming out of a
potential call. the president was unusually quiet for two days, and a new statement attributable to him where he sounds much more like a boring rnc lawyer than what we heard last night. >> exactly. this is a trump version of a unity message. what you will probably see is many of the news organizations calling this race and the president will, perhaps never concede publicly in his own words that he lost, but i think we will see the beginnings of a peaceful transition of power, at the appointed time. >> it is really interesting to get your point of view. thank you very much. i want to tell everyone i enjoyed being with you in this hour of special coverage. i will, probably be back on
tonight at 6:00 eastern for "the beat" unless i'm just part of our larger special coverage. we'll take it as it comes. don't go anywhere, this round of special coverage continues with chris hayes right after this break. but westop there. we made a cloud flexible enough to adapt to any size business. no matter what it does, or how it changes. and we kept going. so you only pay for what you use.
good afternoon, i'm chris hayes. we are continuing our special coverage of the 2020 election. i was sitting at this desk just 12 hours ago and i'm back. we'll be joined next hour by katy tur. so far joe biden has taken the lead. when last i was speaking to you he had not yet done it, but a victory would clinch him the presidency. biden also holds narrow leads now in georgia, arizona, and nevada as well as a four million vote lead in the popular vote. a dozen of his tweets were flagged on twitter for false approach. a