Anti-Trump protesters burst into jubilant scenes in Philadelphia on Friday afternoon, dancing in the streets to the president’s campaign rally favorite ‘YMCA’ as Joe Biden pulled further ahead and looked likely to win the state and with it, the presidency.
Protests erupted outside the election center in the City of Brotherly Love on Thursday after the count was temporarily halted there and in Pittsburgh as a result of a legal row when Trump sued over the way in which the vote tally is being carried out.
A judge intervened and dismissed the federal motion yet protests continued on Friday as Trump supporters descended on the Philadelphia Convention Center to demonstrate over the president’s seemingly unsubstantiated claims of fraud.
They were joined, however, by counter-protesters and Biden fans, who launched into a dance party and poked fun at the president by using his campaign’s favorite song as the National Guard stood by in case the situation escalated.
The celebrations in Philadelphia were offset with tense protests in Arizona, where far-right radio show host Alex Jones riled up the large crowds of Trump fans gathered outside the count center in Maricopa County.
The district, which includes Phoenix, has also become contentious as despite an early Biden lead, the president clawed his way back into the running as mail-in ballots were counted. His supporters began to surround the building from Wednesday night as they urged the count to continue, hopeful Trump can still take victory.
Elsewhere, ‘Count the Votes’ protesters in D.C. carrying a large Trump balloon marched on the White House as the country anxiously awaits an election result after three days.
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PHILADELPHIA: Protesters gather outside of the Pennsylvania Convention Center as Americans await election results in the 2020 Presidential Election on Thursday. Biden fans began to perform the ‘YMCA’ poking fun at Trump
PHILADELPHIA: National Guard is deployed for possibly unrest after the election results by Philadelphia convention center
PHILADELPHIA: Biden fans were in good spirits on Friday afternoon as their candidate pulled ahead in the commonwealth
Back at the Philly convention center, where it¿s celebration vibes this morning. ¿it¿s time for this administration to surrender for democracy¿ declared a speaker at the count every votes protest. ¿if you come for Philadelphia, we¿ll come for YOU¿ pic.twitter.com/iBJJ4yFqVz
— Amber Jamieson (@ambiej) November 6, 2020
PHILADELPHIA: Trump fans also gathered outside the Philadelphia Convention Center to protest on Friday
PHOENIX, ARIZONA: US far-right radio show host Alex Jones (pictured cemter) arrives to speak to supporters of US President Donald Trump as they protest in front of the Maricopa County Election Department in Arizona on Friday
PHOENIX, ARIZONA: Alex Jones was pictured riling up the crowds of Trump fans in Arizona as votes were counted
PHOENIX, ARIZONA: Trump supporters prayed as the gap between the candidates closed in Arizona
D.C.: A balloon depicting U.S. President Donald Trump is seen, as protesters march toward the White House Friday afternoon
In Philadelphia on Friday, the Trump and Biden protesters were separated by barricades as one side preempted their candidates victory and the other raged that their own candidate’s win was being stolen from them.
Police lined the barricades to keep protesters apart as the atmosphere became more tense.
The joyous celebrations from Biden fans came just hours after dramatic scenes when two heavily-armed men were arrested overnight after driving from Virginia to attempt to launch an attack on the count center.
The men have net yet been named but the truck they drove in has been pictured, showing a sticker endorsing the QAnon far-right conspiracy theory that Trump has failed to dismiss, despite the FBI labeling it a potential domestic extremist threat.
Police were tipped off at around 10pm Thursday, possibly from a concerned family member of one of the men, who had driven the 300 miles from Virginia in a Hummer, according to CBS Philadelphia.
PHILADELPHIA: Police separate President Donald Trump supporters and pro-vote counting demonstrators outside the Philadelphia Convention Center three days after the presidential election polls closed as they await tabulation results
PHILADELPHIA: Two men were arrested after driving from Virginia on Thursday to the Pennsylvania Convention Center
PHILADELPHIA: Police were tipped off about the men who had driven the 300 miles from Virginia to launch an attack
PHILADELPHIA: One of the men was caught on camera as he was arrested by Philadelphia police
PHILADELPHIA: It’s believed a weapon was found when the men were being placed under arrest
It’s thought the plan was to possibly carry out an attack at the convention center where mail-in ballots from the election are still being counted as of Friday afternoon.
Cops found the men’s vehicle unattended on the 200 block of North 13th Street in Center City and the armed men were stopped a few minutes later on the street.
The men, who identified the guns as their own, did not have a license to carry in Pennsylvania and were placed under arrest. Another firearm was found in a search of the vehicle.
The exact details of what the men planned to do have not yet been revealed and it is understood they have not yet been formally charged. Their vehicle has not been moved but has been ticketed as it was parked in a three-hour zone.
The investigation is being carried out by local police and the FBI.
PHILADELPHIA: Trump supporters gather outside of the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Friday afternoon to protest after the president made unsubstantiated claims of fraud in the tallying of the votes in the state
PHILADELPHIA: Trump fans called for the vote count to stop in Pennsylvania as they alleged fraud
PHILADELPHIA: Protesters gather outside of the Pennsylvania Convention Center ensure the vote count continuea
PHILADELPHIA: A party atmosphere erupted among Biden fans outside the count center on Friday afternoon
In Arizona on Friday, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones returned to address the crowd of hundreds who have gathered in Maricopa County, where shouts of ‘count the votes’ are this time coming from the Republican side.
Trump’s supporters have expressed anger that media outlets, including the conservative Fox News, called the state in Democrat Joe Biden’s favor when counting was ongoing on Wednesday.
Biden’s lead in Arizona dropped to less than 40,000 votes Friday but the state still has another 270,000 ballots to count – mostly in Maricopa County – and say they may not finish tallying them up until Sunday.
Jones could be seen leading a crowd in the battleground state with chants of ‘count the votes’ – in stark contrast to other states where Trump supporters have called for officials to stop counting.
Addressing the group., some of whom were armed, at Maricopa County voting center in Phoenix on Thursday night, the Infowars founder repeated Trump’s unfounded allegation that ‘big tech’ has conspired to ‘silence us’.
He was then accused of inciting violence as he shouted to loud cheers: ‘We don’t know how this is gonna end, but if they want a fight, they’ve got one’.
Whereas conflict between protesters in Philadelphia was avoided with barricades, Maricopa County Sheriff Deputies were forced to intervene in Arizona to escort a Biden supporter away from an harassing crowd of pro-Trump supporters.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA: Maricopa County Sheriff Deputies escort Biden supporter Ron Russ of Peoria away from an harassing crowd of pro-Trump supporters who have gathered in the parking lot of the Maricopa county elections building
PHOENIX, ARIZONA: US far-right radio show host Alex Jones speaks to supporters of Trump as they protest in front of the Maricopa County Election Department in Arizona as the president makes headway in the state’s election
PHOENIX, ARIZONA: Several of the Trump supporters were armed as they chanted ‘Count the Votes’
PHOENIX, ARIZONA: Alex Jones greets supporters during a protest against the election results at the Maricopa County Elections Department in Arizona. Biden was ahead in the state but Trump is clawing his way back as the count continues
PHOENIX, ARIZONA: A child makes her way through the crowd during a protest against the election results at the Maricopa County Elections Department. Hundreds have gathered outside the building since Wednesday night
In Washington D.C. ShutdownDC began a protest from 11.30am on Friday where they aimed to ‘[shut] down business as usual in the nation’s capital’.
‘Count every vote’ demonstrators also marched on the White House with flatbed trucks carrying banners reading ‘count the votes’ and ‘long live go-go’.
‘We have been very, very active in making sure that voters, especially Black and brown voters, get to vote this election. Not only that they get to vote, but that every single one of their votes is counted,’ said Kathryn Paul with CASA In Action, one of the organizers.
They were joined by Trump supporters who also gathered on Black Lives Plaza in support of the president.
A temporary security fence outside the White House has been covered in signs, with many calling President Donald Trump a ‘loser’ and demanding he leave the Oval Office.
One section of the fence has seven posters that make up a rectangle with the word ‘loser’ written in different colors and different fonts on each one.
Another section has a pink sign that reads: ‘Eviction Notice’ next to another stating: ‘Count Every Vote,’ referring to President Trump’s efforts to stop votes from being counted in states where he was ahead.
On Friday, Trump’s Democratic rival, Joe Biden, opened up a narrow lead in the critical battleground of Pennsylvania as the president threatened a ‘lot of litigation’ to decide the White House race.
D.C.: People march to Black Lives Matter Plaza during a demonstration organized by Refuse Fascism, near the White House
D.C.: Protests continued in Washington D.C. for the third day as the country anxiously awaits election results
D.C.: A balloon depicting U.S. President Donald Trump is seen as protesters march toward the White House on Friday
D.C.: Biden supporters celebrate near the fence a Lafayette square next to the White House
D.C.: A doll with a cardboard cutout depicting U.S. President Donald Trump is seen as supporters of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden gather at Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House on Friday afternoon
D.C.: People dance to Go-go music during a demonstration organized by Refuse Fascism at McPherson Square on Friday. Protests continued around the country as several states continue to count the votes that will decide the election
As it stands, Biden has 253 electoral college votes. He needs 270 to win which is realistic in two ways today. If he wins Pennsylvania, he takes 20 points and no longer needs either Arizona or Nevada.
But if he wins Arizona – which has 11 – and Nevada – which has 6 – he no longer needs Pennsylvania. All three states are still working through their remaining ballots and it’s unclear when exactly they will finish tallying them up.
STATES STILL IN PLAY
PENNSYLVANIA – 20 electoral college votes
Result expected Friday, approx. 76,000 votes to count
49.5% BIDEN – 3,315,538
49.3% TRUMP – 3,301,002
Biden leads by 14,536
ARIZONA – 11 electoral college votes
Result expected Friday, approx. 250,000 votes to count
49.9% BIDEN – 1,564,883
48.6% TRUMP – 1,525,114
Biden leads by 39,769
Fox and the AP called Arizona for Biden on Election Day, but others held back as mail-in votes are counted. Mail-in ballots are trending towards Trump in Arizona.
GEORGIA – 16 electoral colleges votes
Result expected Friday, approx. 5,500 votes + 8,000 mail-ins to count
49.4% BIDEN – 2,455,433
49.3% TRUMP – 2,451,170
Biden leads by 4,263
NEVADA – 6 electoral college votes
Result expected Friday, approx. 130,000 votes to count
49.7% BIDEN – 627,104
48.1% TRUMP – 606,967
Biden leads by 20,000
While the country and the world wait for the results, an agonizing three days after the polls closed, Trump is digging his heels into the Presidency, alleging widespread voter fraud and claiming he is the victim of a conspiracy.
Yet the Pennsylvania’s Republican Sen. Pat Toomey gave an unprompted slap-down of Trump’s election fraud claims during a Friday morning ‘Today’ show interview.
‘I saw the president’s speech last night and it was very hard to watch,’ Toomey told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie. ‘The president’s allegations of large-scale fraud and theft of the election are just not substantiated. I’m not aware of any significant wrongdoing here.’
Pennsylvania is among a handful of battleground states Trump and Biden are narrowly contesting as they seek the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
Trump, who held a 675,000-vote lead early Wednesday, prematurely declared victory in the state.
‘We’re winning Pennsylvania by a tremendous amount. We’re up 690,000 votes in Pennsylvania. These aren’t even close. It’s not like, ‘Oh, it’s close,’ ‘ Trump said during an appearance at the White House.
But by early Friday his lead had disappeared and Biden stood in front by more than 14,700 votes, as mail-in ballots from across the state continued to be counted.
The late counted ballots were overwhelmingly in Biden’s favor.
One reason for the tightening race: Under state law, elections officials are not allowed to process mail-in ballots until Election Day. It’s a form of voting that has skewed heavily in Biden’s favor after Trump spent months claiming – without proof – that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.
There’s a possibility the race won’t be decided for days.
If there is less than a half percentage point difference between Biden and Trump’s vote total, state law dictates that a recount must be held.
A recount has already been issued in Georgia where the difference in votes between the candidates is only 1,500.
Democrats had long considered Pennsylvania a part of their ‘blue wall’ – a trifecta that also includes Wisconsin and Michigan – that for years had served as a bulwark in presidential elections.
In 2016, Trump won each by less than a percentage point.
Biden, who was born in Scranton, claims favorite-son status in the state and has long played up the idea that he was Pennsylvania’s ‘third senator’ during his decades representing neighboring Delaware.
The former Voce President will address the nation on primetime TV Friday, his campaign confirmed – pointing to their overwhelming confidence he is about to win the presidential election.
The speech will be delivered regardless of whether the election has been called in his favor, which now appears certain to be either Friday or over the weekend.
The Associated Press said the address would come in primetime, with the exact time so far still flexible while the campaign waits to see if the election will be called in his favor by TV networks and the AP.