Biden says he will win presidency, calls for patience as votes are counted

Biden says he will win presidency, calls for patience as votes are counted

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks on Nov 5, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo: AP/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON: Democrat Joe Biden said on Thursday (Nov 5) he has "no doubt" he will defeat President Donald Trump and be declared winner of the US election, insisting that voters remain patient and that the result will be known "very soon".

"We continue to feel very good about where things stand. We have no doubt that when the count is finished, Senator (Kamala) Harris and I will be declared the winners," Biden told reporters in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.

"So I ask everyone to stay cool, all people to stay calm. The process is working, the count is being completed. And we'll know very soon."

Biden, 77, is leading Trump in the race for the 270 electoral votes that will put one of them over the top, with the Democrat's campaign asserting they believe he has enough votes to win in key battleground states that remain undecided, like Pennsylvania.

President Donald Trump’s campaign has pursued legal efforts to halt the vote counting in some states and is seeking a recount in Wisconsin.

The Associated Press has not called the presidential race yet because neither Biden nor Trump has secured the 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory. Several key states remain too early to call - Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and Nevada.

READ: Live updates: US election nears tipping point as race narrows in key states

Ballot tabulation dragged on in those battleground states two days after polls closed, while protesters from both sides staged demonstrations in major cities over the vote counting.

After an acrimonious campaign waged during the coronavirus pandemic, the election appeared to be moving toward a nail-biting conclusion in the coming hours and perhaps days.

There is still a narrow path for Trump to win if he holds on in Georgia, where he leads by 12,800 votes, and Pennsylvania, where he is ahead by 108,600 votes, and overtakes Biden in Arizona, where he trails by 68,100 votes, or Nevada, where he is 11,400 votes behind.

Election 2020 Georgia Vote Counting
Election workers examine ballots as vote counting in the general election continues at State Farm Arena on Nov 5, 2020, in Atlanta. (Photo: AP/Brynn Anderson)

But many of the outstanding votes in Georgia and Pennsylvania were clustered in places expected to lean Democratic, such as the Atlanta and Philadelphia areas.

Trump, who attacked the integrity of the US voting system during the campaign, again on Thursday alleged voting fraud without providing evidence and accused Democrats of aiming to "steal" the election.

READ: Trump campaign lawsuits dismissed by judges in Michigan, Georgia

READ: In cities across US, duelling protests sprout up as vote counting drags on

His campaign has filed several lawsuits in battleground states and called for a recount in Wisconsin, though some legal experts said the court challenges were a long shot unlikely to affect the election outcome.

At stake is whether to give Trump and his "America First" policies four more years in office after a tumultuous first term or turn to Biden, a figure on the national stage for a half century who promises to deliver steadiness at home and repair alliances overseas.

One of the most unusual presidential races in modern US history was held amid the pandemic, which has killed more than 234,000 Americans and left millions more out of work. Concern about the virus caused a surge in voting by mail, with the laborious counting contributing to the delayed results.

To capture the White House, a candidate must amass at least 270 votes in the state-by-state Electoral College. Such electoral votes are based largely on a state's population.

Most major television networks gave Biden a 253 to 214 lead in electoral college votes on Thursday. The Associated Press gave him a 264 to 214 lead.

Trump supporter Charles Littleton, centre, argues with Biden supporter Angelo Austin
Trump supporter Charles Littleton, centre, argues with Biden supporter Angelo Austin, right, as Trump supporters protest election results outside the central counting board at the TCF Center in Detroit, Michigan, on Nov 5, 2020. (Photo: AP/David Goldman)

Biden also led Trump by more than 3.7 million in the national popular vote, though that plays no role in deciding the winner. Trump lost the popular vote by about 3 million to Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 but won crucial battleground states to take the White House in an upset victory.

He is trying to avoid becoming the first incumbent US president to lose a re-election bid since fellow Republican George HW Bush in 1992.

READ: Election splits Congress, GOP bolstered as Democrats falter

Trump, who has often relished legal battles during his turbulent business career, was at the White House working the phones and monitoring developments on television, two Trump advisers said. He has been talking to state governors as well as close friends and aides and dispatched some of his closest advisers out in the field to fight for him.

Biden has largely remained at home in Delaware and has consulted with aides including legal adviser Bob Bauer.

Source: Agencies/ec