President Trump and Democratic challenger Joseph R. Biden were jockeying for position in key states early Thursday as the battle for the White House hung in the balance.
A handful of states, including Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina and Alaska remained uncalled two days after Election Day.
Mr. Biden had a 264-214 lead over Mr. Trump in the Electoral College tally, according to The Associated Press. It takes 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.
Mr. Trump said he would “easily” win the election if the “legal” votes are counted, while Mr. Biden preached patience but said he was confident about where he stood.
“Donald Trump is alive and well,” said Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien.
In Georgia, Mr. Trump led Mr. Biden by a 49.5% to 49.2% margin, or less than 15,000 votes, with about 98% of the expected votes reported.
SEE ALSO: Joe Biden nears victory after Wisconsin, Michigan wins
Mr. Biden has been cutting into the president’s margin there as votes from the Democratic-leaning Atlanta area get tabulated.
In Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump was leading by about a 50.3% to 48.5% margin, or less than 117,000 votes, with 92% of the estimated votes in.
The president had been leading by about 600,000 votes on election night, but Mr. Biden has gained ground as more votes from the Democratic-leaning Philadelphia area are counted.
Officials in Arizona continued to tabulate ballots in populous Maricopa County and elsewhere, which helped shave an approximately 100,000-vote edge for Mr. Biden on Wednesday down to about 68,000 as of early Thursday.
Percentage-wise, Mr. Biden held a 50.5% to 48.1% lead without about 86% of the estimated votes reported. The next release of Maricopa ballots wasn’t expected until later Thursday.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said Thursday morning on ABC that the final count might not be known until at least Friday.
Fox News and the AP had called Arizona for Mr. Biden, but Mr. Trump’s team says they’re on track to overtake the former vice president based on the outstanding ballots that have yet to be counted.
In Nevada, Mr. Biden held a 49.5% to 48.5% lead, or about 12,000 votes, with an estimated 87% of the total in.
Jen O’Malley Dillon, Mr. Biden’s campaign manager, said the margins in Arizona and Nevada could well bounce around depending on the order in which the remaining votes were announced but that Mr. Biden would win both states when all votes were counted.
“We are absolutely confident Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States,” Ms. O’Malley Dillon said.
Mr. Trump held a 50% to 48.6% lead in North Carolina, a margin of less than 77,000 votes, with 95% of the estimated total reported.
Officials there indicated that the final tabulations might not be finished until Nov. 12 or Nov. 13. Mail-in ballots are accepted in North Carolina until Nov. 12 as long as they’re postmarked by Nov. 3.
Ms. O’Malley Dillon said Thursday that North Carolina was tougher terrain for them than the other states that had yet to be called.
Multiple networks and the AP called Michigan and Wisconsin for Mr. Biden on Wednesday. The two states were critical for Mr. Trump’s path to victory in 2016.
Mr. Trump said on Twitter Thursday that officials should “STOP THE COUNT!”
“IF YOU COUNT THE LEGAL VOTES, I EASILY WIN THE ELECTION! IF YOU COUNT THE ILLEGAL AND LATE VOTES, THEY CAN STEAL THE ELECTION FROM US!” the president also said in a statement issued by his campaign.
Mr. Biden weighed in on Twitter Thursday to tell people to be patient.
“Votes are being counted, and we feel good about where we are,” he said.
The president has not made live remarks in public about the election results on Thursday or during daylight hours on Wednesday.
He addressed supporters at the White House at about 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday when it had appeared that he was much better positioned in some of the key states.
Mr. Biden had said in a speech in Delaware Wednesday afternoon that he was confident he’d have enough votes to win the White House once all the ballots were counted.
The president’s legal and campaign team, including personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, vowed a legal fight in Pennsylvania, saying the narrowing gap there between Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden was looking fishy.
The Trump campaign has taken legal action in Nevada, Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania and says it will push for a recount in Wisconsin.
Mr. Trump’s team says that nonresidents might have been able to vote in Nevada, that late absentee ballots might have been illegally mixed in with others in Georgia and that they want better access to observe the vote-counting in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
They did tout a court ruling on Thursday to allow them better access to the vote-counting in Pennsylvania.