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Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in Wilmington, Delaware, today. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

In brief remarks this afternoon, Joe Biden urged Americans "to stay calm" because the "process is working. The count is being completed, and we'll know very soon."

The red mirage in action: President Trump's 625,000 vote lead in Pennsylvania Wednesday morning has shrunk to less than 100,000, and its secretary of state says "we definitely could" know the winner by as soon as tonight.

Why it matters: Losing Pennsylvania would close off any path for Trump to win re-election.

Biden emphasized that every ballot must be counted:

  • "Democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience, as well. But that patience has been rewarded now for 240 years with a system of governance that's been the envy of the world."

The rundown of what's left:

  • Georgia: Trump's lead over Biden has shrunk to about 13,000 votes, with tens of thousands more ballots left to be counted.
  • Nevada still has 60,000 provisional ballots left to count in Clark County, and Biden leads by about 11,000 votes.
  • Arizona: Biden's lead has narrowed and Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs promised a "much more clear picture" Friday. The AP and Fox have called Arizona for Biden, but other networks have yet to project a winner.

The big picture: Trump and his allies are setting the stage to claim a Joe Biden presidency would be illegitimate.

  • They are baselessly questioning everything from how ballots are counted to whether "fake" polls suggesting blue waves that never came are tantamount to voter suppression, as Axios' Alayna Treene explained in an Axios AM Thought Bubble this afternoon.

The bottom line: Don't hold your breath waiting for a result, because this might drag on long after one of the candidates reaches 270.

Go deeper: Axios Re:Cap digs into what happened in Arizona, including why Biden underperformed Democratic Senate candidate Mark Kelly and the supposed "Sharpiegate." Listen here.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

GOP fights itself on shutdown politics

Reporters question Senate Minority Whip John Thune before the Republican Party's weekly lunch on Tuesday. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

GOP leaders on Capitol Hill are scrambling to reach a deal with a bloc of 15 Senate Republicans threatening a government shutdown to force a fight over the Biden administration's vaccine mandates.

Why it matters: The push to defund the mandates — by holding the short-term government funding bill hostageis largely symbolic, and highly controversial within the Republican Party. A shutdown as early as midnight Friday could trigger everything from national park closures to delays in receiving Social Security checks.

Stacey Abrams launches second campaign for Georgia governor

Photo: Eze Amos/Getty Images

Stacey Abrams, voting rights activist and former 2018 candidate for Georgia governor, is running for the position again in 2022. Abrams would be the first Black female governor in the country.

Why it matters: Abrams caught national attention in 2018 by narrowly losing an election to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in a state held firmly by the GOP for nearly two decades.