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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign said Tuesday that it believes it has at least an 8-point advantage in battleground states after analyzing the nearly 100 million ballots that were cast early.

Why it matters: The campaign is arguing that it will be mathematically difficult for President Trump to close the gap with in-person voting on Election Day, and it's working to create the impression that a Biden victory is most likely.

  • The Biden camp also believes the former vice president can win 270 electoral votes even without Florida and Pennsylvania.
  • "That allows us to continue to have these multiple paths to victory," Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s campaign manager, said in a briefing with reporters.
  • "Florida is a coin toss without a doubt," she added. In the Midwest, she said the campaign believes it is "ahead significantly — by 10 points or more coming into Election Day. "

The big picture: Both campaigns are girding for post-election legal fights on contested ballots, but Bob Bauer, a former White House counsel and current Biden adviser, said that "voting is proceeding smoothly."

  • The Trump and Biden campaigns have not coordinated any potential phone call between the candidates for a concession conversation. "We’ll let the logistics play out," O’Malley Dillon said.

What we're watching: While the Biden campaign thinks it may have a good idea about the outcome, officials stopped short of saying that Biden will declare victory when he speaks this evening.

  • "You're going to hear the vice president speak as he has every single day of this campaign about leading this country forward, about unifying this country," O’Malley Dillon said.
  • But if news organizations declare Biden the mathematical president-elect, he plans to address the nation as its new leader, Axios' Mike Allen and Margaret Talev reported.

The other side: Trump has also told confidants he'll declare victory on Tuesday night if it looks like he's "ahead," Axios' Jonathan Swan reported.

  • But while Biden would rely on news organizations making a call before any declarative statements, Trump may say he won even if the Electoral College outcome still hinges on large numbers of uncounted votes in key states like Pennsylvania.

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.

Young people want checks on Big Tech's power

Data: Generation Lab; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The next generation of college-educated Americans thinks social media companies have too much power and influence on politics and need more government regulation, according to a new survey by Generation Lab for Axios.

Why it matters: The findings follow an election dominated by rampant disinformation about voting fraud on social media; companies' fraught efforts to stifle purveyors of disinformation including former President Trump; and a deadly Jan. 6 insurrection over the election organized largely online.

Clarence Thomas says Supreme Court could be "most dangerous" branch

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Justice Clarence Thomas on Thursday, during rare public remarks at the University of Notre Dame, warned against politicizing the Supreme Court.

Driving the news: Thomas, the court's longest-serving member, said that the justices do not rule based on "personal preferences" and that politicians should not "allow others to manipulate our institutions when we don’t get the outcome that we like," per the Washington Post.