With just five states left to be called in the US presidential elections, there's an uneasy kind of quiet at the White House. Sometime around 5.30 pm on November 4, the Trump White House confirmed a lid, which means we wouldn't be hearing from Trump that evening.
Coming from the Trump White House, an official lid is uncommon, at best. The pattern extends to social feeds. The White House official handle hasn't tweeted since a fluttering flag video on November 3, while Trump hasn't posted for more than 11 hours.
The Trump campaign reportedly got chills after two news media outlets called Arizona for Biden, putting the Democrat well past the 250-mark with Trump still trying to snap out of the 214-mark. The White House lid came soon after.
270 - The Magic Figure
- Both sides know that Arizona going blue means Biden may not need Pennsylvania to get to 270 electoral votes.
- Arizona in the Biden column takes the party's total to 264. Without it, the number is 253.
- If it's 264, Biden needs just 6 more to seal the deal. A Nevada win will do it for the Democrats.
- If it's 253, an Arizona and a Georgia or a Nevada will seal the deal, all running close right now.
Arizona updated its total at around 3 am EST and Biden is ahead by 68,000 votes statewide. The Trump campaign said the Arizona calls are premature and should be pulled. The Arizona-for-Biden scenario puts a giant pin in the Pennsylvania balloon. The Trump campaign is now confronting the real possibility that Penn State's 20 electoral votes may not matter at all.
White House insiders, although they must play along for now, are reportedly growing increasingly frustrated with Trump's scattershot strategy of suing to stay in the game. Trump has filed ballot-counting lawsuits in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia. Live visuals from all three states show that counting is continuing at a steady clip.
State officials have already brushed aside the lawsuits, saying that it makes no difference to the process of counting. The first signs of Republicans breaking with Trump are surfacing as it becomes increasingly clear that the Trump strategy now is going in precisely two opposite directions from the math: Filing lawsuits, and lobbing rhetorical bombshells.