People stand in line to vote early at the Douglas County Election Commission offices in Omaha, Neb., Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. …
People stand in line to vote early at the Douglas County Election Commission offices in Omaha, Neb., Oct. 28, 2020.

WHITE HOUSE - U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters on Wednesday his poll numbers in some battleground states are better than what major surveys show, which have him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden. 

"Poll numbers are very good. You don't see the real poll numbers," said Trump, speaking at his Las Vegas hotel before heading to Arizona for a pair of campaign rallies. 

A voter sits on the sidewalk as voters wait in long lines to cast their ballots during early voting at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Oct. 28, 2020. The wait to vote was over 4 hours.

National polls typically show Biden with a lead of 7 to 8 percentage points lead over Trump, but with about half that margin in key battleground states that are likely to determine the outcome in the Electoral College. 

"We're up in almost all of the states that we're talking about," according to the president, who said he is "doing fantastically" in Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, and that he is also leading in Michigan and Wisconsin. 

The surveys that show him behind, contended Trump, are "suppression polls" that "are almost like a campaign contribution" to the Democratic National Committee. 

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden attends a virtual public health briefing at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Oct. 28, 2020.

According to an average of major polls compiled by Real Clear Politics, Trump trails Biden in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin while the two candidates are virtually tied in Florida and North Carolina.

Biden on Wednesday, after receiving a public health briefing, again criticized the president for holding large outdoor rallies amid the coronavirus pandemic, noting that the previous night's rally in Omaha, Nebraska, left "hundreds of people, including older Americans and children, out in subfreezing temperatures for hours. Several folks ended up in the hospital." 

FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump departs at the end of a campaign event at Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska, Oct. 27, 2020.

Biden added that Trump "gets his photo op. Then he gets out. He leaves everyone else to suffer the consequences of his failure to make a responsible plan and he just doesn't care." 

Americans are voting early for Tuesday's presidential election in unprecedented numbers, a product of strong feelings for or against the two main candidates and a desire to avoid large crowds at Election Day polling stations amid the coronavirus pandemic.  

About 75 million people have already voted six days ahead of the official Election Day, totaling more than half of the overall 2016 vote count, which was 138.8 million. 

About two-thirds of America's early voters have mailed in their ballots, and the rest voted in person at polling places throughout the country. 

Biden voted Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware, while Trump cast his ballot on Saturday at a library in West Palm Beach, Florida, near his Mar-a-Lago resort. 

Voting experts say voter turnout for the contest between Republican Trump and Democratic challenger Biden could be the highest percentage of the electorate since 1908, when 65% of the country's eligible voters cast ballots. 

Focus on Arizona 

U.S. Democratic vice presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris speaks at a campaign event in Phoenix, Arizona, Oct. 28, 2020.

On Wednesday, both Trump and Biden's running mate, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, campaigned in Arizona, a Southwestern state along the Mexican border that Trump won in 2016 against Democrat Hillary Clinton. No Democratic presidential candidate has won there since 1996, but polls now show Biden narrowly ahead. The state has 11 of the 270 electoral votes that either Trump or Biden will need to claim the presidency and be inaugurated on January 20. 

U.S. presidential elections are decided through an indirect form of democracy in the 538-member Electoral College, not the national popular vote. 

Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a campaign event in Flint, Mich., Oct. 28, 2020.

Vice President Mike Pence was holding rallies Wednesday in two key Midwest states, Wisconsin and Michigan, both of which Trump captured four years ago. 

Ken Bredemeier in Washington contributed to this report.

What Happens Next?

What It Means to Become President-Elect in the US

In the United States, Democrat Joe Biden is being called the president-elect.

President-elect is a descriptive term not an official office. As such, Biden has no power in the government, and he would not until he is inaugurated at noon on January 20, 2021.

American news networks, which track all of the vote counting, determined on November 7 that Biden’s lead had become insurmountable in Pennsylvania, putting him over the 270 electoral votes needed to be president. Within minutes of determining his lead was mathematically assured, they projected him as the winner.

That is why news organizations, including VOA, are calling Biden the "projected winner."

Sometimes, in the case of particularly close elections, when news networks make this call, the other candidate does not concede victory. President Donald Trump has not done so, alleging voter fraud without substantial evidence and vowing to fight on. The president’s position has left Washington lawmakers divided, with Republicans backing a legal inquiry into allegations of vote fraud, even as they celebrate other congressional lawmakers who won their races.

When will the dispute be resolved?

The U.S. election won’t be officially certified for weeks. In the meantime, court challenges and state recounts could occur.

So far, the Trump administration has not provided evidence for any fraud that could overturn the result, but there is still time for more legal challenges.

Once states have certified the vote, pledged electors then cast their votes in the Electoral College in mid-December. Congress then certifies the overall Electoral College result in early January, about two weeks before Inauguration Day.