Democrat Joe Biden said he was going to win the U.S. 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.