Donald Trump’s re-election campaign offered its first reaction to inconclusive Election Day results by citing potentially fortuitous news for the president’s supporters.
The campaign noted that turnout was especially high in certain “Trump counties,” including cases in which officials ran out of ballots and had to print more, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
“We feel very good”
Trump 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien explained the development in remarks to reporters on Tuesday.
“We see Republican precincts matching and exceeding 2016 turnout, while Democrat precincts are lagging behind,” he said.
Two areas specifically mentioned as having high Trump turnout were Michigan’s rural Upper Peninsula and southwestern Pennsylvania’s Dawson County — both of which were won by Trump in 2016.
“We feel very, very good about our ground game; we feel very good about where we’re turning out,” senior Trump adviser Jason Miller said.
Of course, Election Day turnout is just one measure, especially with a massive increase in early voting and mail-in ballots amid an ongoing pandemic.
“Millions and millions of people voted for us”
Nearly 100 million mail-in ballots and early votes were received prior to Election Day this year, and those ballots are still being counted in some battleground states. For his part, the president has sought to sound the alarms regarding possible fraud within that early-voting process.
Trump led in a number of battleground states on Election Night but ballot counting continued into the next day. Michigan and Wisconsin have since been projected as Biden wins, with the Trump campaign filing recounts and lawsuits there.
In Pennsylvania, Trump led by more than half a million votes on Tuesday, but that advantage has diminished to less than 150,000 with more ballots left to be counted.
Teams of lawyers are unraveling the process of counting absentee ballots in several states, including an exploration of allegations that large numbers of absentee ballots were recovered after the counting stopped and that observers had been prevented from effectively watching over the counting process. Furthermore, irregularities have been reported in as many as 33 Michigan counties due to software reporting problems.
It all adds up to optimism for the Trump campaign, as the president expressed on Wednesday: “I want to thank the American people for their tremendous support. Millions and millions of people voted for us tonight and a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people and we will not stand for it. We won’t stand for it.”