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Biden wrests Arizona, consolidates lead over Trump in presidential election

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Washington:  President-elect Joe Biden has narrowly won Arizona, major US media outlets projected on Friday, capturing the state’s 11 electoral votes and consolidating his lead over his Republican rival and incumbent US President Donald Trump.

For just the second time in more than seven decades, a Democrat will carry Arizona in a presidential election, a monumental shift for a state that was once a Republican stronghold, CNN reported.

The race was called on the ninth day of counting after Election Day on November 3.

The state’s 11 Electoral College votes bring 77-year-old Biden’s lead to 290-217 and put further pressure on President Trump, who has yet to concede the election held on November 3.

Trump, 74, has been making baseless attacks on the vote counts favouring Biden.

Biden, who won the state by about 11,000 votes, or 0.3 percentage points, is the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state since President Bill Clinton in 1996, The New York Times reported.

Biden has previously asserted that he is on track for winning over 300 electoral votes.

Arizona has not voted for a Democrat for president since 1996. In 2016, Trump beat Hillary Clinton there.

The Democratic victory was anchored by Maricopa County, home to Phoenix and nearly 60 per cent of all people in the state.

Biden is just the second Democrat to win Arizona since 1948, when Harry Truman won. Bill Clinton narrowly won the state in 1996, but Arizona moved further right in the next two decades.

With the outcome of the closely-fought election on Arizona now out, leaving only North Carolina and Georgia as states that have not yet been called. They are both still rated as “too close to call,” NBC News reported.

To win the race to the White House, the winner has to garner at least 270 electoral votes out of the 538-member Electoral College votes.

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