More than a week after Nov. 3 elections, the campaign of President Trump has yet to accept results, particularly from battleground states where his opponent, Joe Biden, has been projected to be the winner.
An ABC News analysis shows that Biden’s total lead in those states ensures that any of the strategies employed by the campaign to hold off the inevitability of a Biden administration, or even flip the results completely, are a long shot.
Trump has repeatedly made claims of mass voter fraud in states like Michigan, where Biden led considerably during the election, while providing no credible or damning evidence of such activity. State officials and judges have acknowledged this lack of evidence.
Lawsuits headed nowhere
A dozen or so lawsuits filed by the campaign have been summarily thrown out by judges who have noted that the campaign’s claims are meritless. The campaign has provided anecdotal evidence and witness testimonies, including claims of rigged vote machines and votes cast by the deceased.
“Look, what we are asking for here is patience,” White House press secretary and Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany said at a press conference on Monday, asking for time to substantiate their claims.
Experts who have reviewed the lawsuits have told ABC that they were puzzled over the ultimate objective of the cases because they did not seem destined to find the president significant numbers of votes or change the election’s outcome.
Even the Republican Secretary of State of Georgia, a state which is headed towards a hand-counted recall, has said that even if there is evidence of illegal voting, it’s unlikely to be widespread enough to change the outcome of the election.
“Was there illegal voting? I am sure there was. And my office is investigating all of it,” Brad Raffensperger said in a statement Monday. “Does it rise to the numbers or margin necessary to change the outcome to where President Trump is given Georgia’s electoral votes? That is unlikely,”
So far the legal strategy of the campaign appears to be disorganized and centering on vote counting observers. In Pennsylvania, the campaign argued ballots arriving by mail should not be counted if they arrived after Election Day. That dispute seems to be headed towards the U.S. Supreme Court.
But the Pennsylvania Department of State announced Tuesday evening that “approximately 10,000 mail ballots” were received during the extension in a state where Biden’s currently holds a 53,580 vote advantage over Trump.
The campaign did win a case on Thursday over the state’s decision to extend the deadline for voters to provide proof of identification if it was originally missing from their mail-in ballot, but the number of votes that case impacts is also vanishingly small.
In Georgia, a judge dismissed a campaign lawsuit, citing a lack of evidence that ballots were received after the state’s filing deadline, as alleged by the campaign.
In Michigan, a judge threw out a lawsuit filed by the campaign a day after the election that asked for counting to be suspended, alleging that poll watchers were being denied close-up access to observe.
The campaign filed another lawsuit on Wednesday in Michigan, alleging wrongdoing and asking for a temporary stop of the certification of election results. Attorney General Dana Nessel maintains that the allegations are baseless, and that the lawsuits unfairly attack Black voters and election workers in Detroit.
Nessel also said none of the claims in any of the lawsuits are true, but even if some were true they would not change the result of the election in the state due to Biden’s overwhelming total vote lead (146,000). Michigan results are expected to be certified by Nov. 23.
Not enough outstanding votes
Biden is currently leading Trump by more than 5 million votes nationally. Many elections desks at major news outlets have projected Biden as the winner, due to his lead in battleground states, even with some ballots still left to count. This is a common practice for media networks every election year.
An election analyst told ABC that the networks had in fact been conservative in their projections this year. Trump had no problem with those networks projecting the election for him in 2016.
The few hundred thousand votes still left to be counted are not enough to be give Trump the lead in key battleground states where a historic turnout put Biden in the lead.
Recounts not likely to give Trump lead
Historically, recounts yield little difference in vote counts to flip results of elections.
ABC reports that in 20 years of recounts, there have been 31 recounts in 5,000 statewide elections since 2000, and only three of them resulted in election reversals. In those three, the original margin of victory was less than .05 percent.
In states like Wisconsin, where Trump is looking to pay $3 million for a recount, Biden leads by roughly 20,000 votes. In the past, largest shift experts have recorded in two decades from a recount changed the margin by roughly 2,000 votes.