Joe Biden has pulled ahead in the key swing state of Pennsylvania in a move that brings him within touching distance of the US Presidency.
The Democrat candidate overturned Donald Trump ’s lead of more than half a million votes after winning the vast majority of mail-in ballots – which are counted later.
If Mr Biden retains his lead – which stood above 5,000 votes at 2pm GMT – he will win Pennsylvania and its 20 Electoral College votes.
That would be enough on its own to guarantee Biden the Presidency, even if he loses all three of the other swing states where he is now favourite – including Arizona, which Fox News called for Biden on Wednesday.
It comes hours after Biden pulled ahead in Georgia, which would also all but guarantee him the Presidency on its own.
It marks an astonishing turnaround for the Democratic candidate since election night – when some feared Trump might win.
Biden reversed Trump’s leads in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia since election night as mail-in ballots – which can only be counted after on-the-day votes – began being counted.
Trump has demanded officials “stop the count”, claiming with no evidence that mail-in votes are fraudulent in a bizarre rambling 17-minute White House statement.
The US President claimed the election was being “stolen” from him. Yet mail-in ballots are legitimate and valid, and most pundits point out Democrat voters were more likely to vote by post because Donald Trump urged his supporters not to do so.
America woke up with Joe Biden just 18,000 or so votes behind Trump in the key state of Pennsylvania.
That then flipped the other way after more than 30,000 extra mail-in votes were reported from Philadelphia.
Of those late-counted ballots, 27,396 went to Joe Biden and Donald Trump won just 3,760.
The move leaves around 20,000 outstanding mail-in ballots still to be counted in the city.
Biden is in the lead in four swing states – Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada – all of which will report more votes today.
Each state has a stack of ‘Electoral College’ votes, all of which go to whoever who wins in that state – no matter how slim the margin.
Biden is either on 253 or 264 of the 270 Electoral College votes he needs to become President. The discrepancy is explained by Arizona (11 votes), which was called for Biden by Fox News based on early voting and projections, but which other networks say is still in doubt.
Assuming Biden has not yet won Arizona, there are still multiple paths to victory.
If he were to win Pennsylvania, that would be enough on its own to win the Presidency – bringing him to 273 electoral votes.
He would also win the Presidency if he won any two of Arizona, Georgia or Nevada.
Biden said last night: “Democracy is sometimes messy, so sometimes it requires a little patience.
“But that patience has been rewarded now for more than 240 years with a system of governance that has been the envy of the world.
“We continue to feel very good about where things stand. And we have no doubt that when the count is finished, Senator Harris and I will be the winners.
“So, I ask people to stay calm. The process is working. The count is being completed. And we will know soon.”