Biden predicts victory in US election as his lead over Trump grows
Joe Biden, the US presidential nominee from the Democratic Party, predicted victory in the American presidential election as vote counts leaned his way in key states, while Republican President Donald Trump showed no sign of being ready to admit defeat in an election that has dragged on for days.
Biden maintained his advantage going into Saturday, but television networks held off from declaring a winner because the margins are still close in the four states that will determine the election winner and votes are still being counted.
Americans have been waiting longer than in any presidential election since 2000 to learn the winner, with counting slowed by a record number of mail-in ballots. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted many to avoid voting in person on Tuesday’s Election Day.
“The numbers tell us ... it’s a clear and convincing story: We’re going to win this race,” Biden said late on Friday from his home state of Delaware.
Biden added that he and his running mate Kamala Harris were already meeting with experts as they prepared to start their administration on January 20.
Trump, 74, has been defiant as his chances fade for securing a second four-year term. He has made repeated and unfounded claims of electoral fraud, including from the White House briefing room on Thursday night, while his campaign pursues lawsuits that legal experts say are unlikely to alter the election outcome.
Biden, 77, has a 253-to-214 lead in the state-by-state Electoral College vote that determines the winner, according to Edison Research. He edged closer to victory when he took the lead on Friday in Pennsylvania, whose 20 electoral votes would put him over the 270 needed for victory.
In the early hours of Saturday, Biden’s slim lead widened in Georgia, a typically Republican-leaning state, to put him ahead by 7,248 votes with the count 99% complete.
In Pennsylvania, he led by 27,130 votes with 96% of the vote complete, while in Nevada he led by 22,657 votes with 93% of the count complete.
In Arizona, Biden’s lead narrowed to 29,861 votes with 97% of the tally completed. Trump’s campaign has been optimistic that Arizona will end up in the president’s column.
With thousands of votes still to count, it was not clear when the contest would conclude, though further updates were expected on Saturday.
Biden backers danced in Philadelphia’s streets, while armed Trump supporters in Phoenix and Detroit said the election was being stolen, despite there being no evidence of widespread irregularities. Under the banner of “Stop the Steal,” Trump supporters planned dozens of rallies for Saturday.