“We’ll win this race”: Biden predicts victory as his lead over Trump grows
© Reuters. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks on election results in Wilmington, Delaware
By Trevor Hunnicutt, Andy Sullivan and Makini Brice
WILMINGTON, Del./WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrat Joe Biden said he would win the U.S. presidency as his lead over President Donald Trump increased in battlefield states, despite television networks preventing him from declaring him the winner as the Officials continued to count votes.
“The numbers tell us … it’s a clear and compelling story: we’re going to win this race,” Biden said late Friday, adding that he and his runner-up Kamala Harris were already meeting with experts when they focused on this Race prepared White House.
Americans have waited longer than any presidential election since 2000 to determine the winner as officials methodically counted a record number of postal ballot papers in Tuesday’s contest. The COVID-19 pandemic caused many to avoid large groups of voters on election day.
With thousands of votes remaining, it was not clear when the fierce competition would end.
Biden supporters danced in the streets of Philadelphia while armed Trump supporters in Phoenix and Detroit said the elections were being stolen, despite all signs of irregularities. Trump supporters planned dozens of rallies for Saturday under the banner of “Stop the Steal”.
Biden’s speech in his home state of Delaware was originally planned as a victory celebration, but he changed his approach in the absence of an official call from television stations and other election forecasters.
Still, it was a blunt challenge for Trump. The incumbent Republican stayed out of sight at the White House on Friday as Biden remained at the helm of the four states that will determine the outcome: Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada.
Biden led Trump with 4.1 million votes nationwide from 147 million votes cast, saying the Americans gave him the mandate to fight the pandemic, the weak economy, climate change and systemic racism.
“They made it clear that the country should come together and not pull further apart,” said Biden.
He said he hoped to speak to the Americans again on Saturday.
Trump has stood firm and vowed to raise unsubstantiated fraud allegations when his Republicans tried to raise $ 60 million to fund lawsuits against the results. However, some in his camp described the legal efforts as disorganized and so far they have failed in court.
By the time the count reached its fifth day, former Vice President Biden had a 253-214 lead in the state electoral college vote to determine the winner, according to Edison Research. Democrats grew increasingly frustrated that networks hadn’t yet named a winner.
Securing Pennsylvania’s 20 votes would put Biden over the 270 it takes to win the presidency after nearly five decades of political career.
Biden would also win if he prevailed in two of the other three key states. As in Pennsylvania, all three were still processing ballots on Friday.
As officials count a barrage of postal ballot papers, Biden held onto tight leads in Nevada and Arizona, overtaking Trump in Pennsylvania and Georgia on Friday.
In Arizona, Biden led with 29,861 votes, with 97% of the votes filled. In Nevada, he led with 22,657 votes, with 93% of the votes complete.
In Georgia he led with only 4,289 votes and 99%, while in Pennsylvania he was at the top with 27,130 votes and 96% of the vote.
Biden said Trump’s request to stop the count would not work.
“Your vote is counted. I don’t care how hard people try to stop you. I won’t let it,” Biden said.
Trump showed no sign that he was ready to admit, as his campaign led to a series of lawsuits that legal experts said were unlikely to change the election result.
“Joe Biden shouldn’t wrongly claim the office of president. I could make that claim too. Legal proceedings are just beginning!” he wrote on Twitter.
Republicans were aiming to raise at least $ 60 million in legal costs, although the fine print of the inquiries indicates that more than half of the money raised would be used to pay off the campaign’s debt.
One Trump adviser described the campaign’s process strategy as chaotic and disorganized. Another Republican official said it was doubtful that the lawsuits would yield a Trump victory.
“This race is over and the only person who does not see it is Donald Trump,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
In yet another blow to Trump’s efforts, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was diagnosed with COVID-19, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Meadows, who often appears without a mask at public events, is the youngest person in Trump’s circle to contract the virus that has killed more than 236,000 Americans. The news came as a third wave hit the United States.
GRAPHICS: How the vote count works – https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-ELECTION/VOTECOUNT/azgvojjnjpd/media-embed.html
GRAPHIC: Where Biden and Trump are on the subject – https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-ELECTION/POLICY/ygdpzwarjvw/index.html
Multimedia coverage of US elections: https://www.reuters.com/world/us-election2020
(This story corrects paragraph 7 to reflect that Biden’s lead in Arizona has not grown.)