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Joe Biden waves to a crowd outside The Queen theater in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden has nearly insurmountable math on his side, as the stunningly close count continued all day.

The state of play: Network morning shows stayed live as long as 1 p.m. ET, with the nation's news machinery poised to resolve Election week.

  • Pennsylvania, where Biden is ahead by just under 15,000 counted votes, could be the ballgame: If he wins there, he's president-elect.
  • NBC's Chuck Todd gave a window into decision-desk thinking when he said on the extended "Today" show, just before 11 a.m., that the network had over 90% confidence Biden would win Pennsylvania — but needed to be at 99.5%.

After multiple decision desks call the race for Biden, expect him and Sen. Kamala Harris to appear and publicly establish themselves as the victors — no matter what President Trump is saying, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports from Biden HQ in Wilmington, Del.

  • The two were expected to speak as soon as 8 p.m. ET tonight.

The event site — a Wilmington parking lot bedecked with American flags — buzzed with microphone checks and Secret Service activity.

  • Harris will introduce Biden, and aides said she'll keep it short — this is Biden's moment, after his third presidential run.
  • Biden is expected to hit familiar themes from his campaign: uniting the country, restoring the soul of the nation and moving past partisanship.

Trump stayed out of sight, with a few tweets. His campaign released a statement in his name that sounded like a concession, although past performance suggests that tone may not last long.

  • "We believe the American people deserve to have full transparency into all vote counting and election certification, and that this is no longer about any single election," Trump said in the statement. "This is about the integrity of our entire election process."
  • "We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law," he concluded. "I will never give up fighting for you and our nation."

The Trump campaign said it's confident the president will ultimately pull out a victory in Arizona, including in Maricopa County, the state's most populous area, AP reported.

  • But he would also need to win most of the other remaining battlegrounds.

Go deeper

Jan 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

Updated 3 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

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