'We're going to win this race': Biden07 November 2020 ONLINE DESK
Reuters: Democrat Joe Biden said he was going to win the US presidency as his lead grew over President Donald Trump in battleground states, although television networks held off from declaring him the victor as officials continued to count votes.
"The numbers tell us ... it's a clear and convincing story: We're going to win this race," Biden said late on Friday, adding that he and his running mate Kamala Harris were already meeting with experts as they prepare for the White House.
Americans have been waiting longer than in any presidential election since 2000 to learn the winner, as officials methodically count a record number of mail-in ballots in Tuesday's contest. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted many to avoid large groups of voters on Election Day.
With thousands of votes still to count, it was not clear when the bitter contest would conclude.
Biden backers danced in Philadelphia's streets, while armed Trump supporters in Phoenix and Detroit said the election was being stolen, despite any evidence of irregularities. Under the banner of "Stop the Steal," Trump supporters planned dozens of rallies for Saturday.
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 networks and other election forecasters.
Still, it amounted to a blunt challenge to Trump. The Republican incumbent kept out of view in the White House on Friday as Biden held on to leads in the four states that will decide the outcome: Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada.
Leading Trump by 4.1 million votes nationwide out of a record 147 million cast, Biden said Americans had given him a mandate to tackle the pandemic, the struggling economy, climate change and systemic racism.
"They made it clear they want the country to come together, not continue to pull apart," Biden said.
He said he hoped to address Americans again on Saturday.
Trump has remained defiant, vowing to press unfounded claims of fraud as his Republicans sought to raise $60 million to fund lawsuits challenging the results. But some in his camp described the legal effort as disorganized, and so far they have not found success in the courts.