WASHINGTON, DC: President-elect Joe Biden has won 306 votes in the state-by-state Electoral College that decides who wins the White House, against 232 for Donald Trump, US media projected on Friday (Nov 13).
Biden solidified his victory over Trump in the US election with a victory in traditionally Republican-leaning Georgia, called in his favour by CNN, ABC and other networks.
Trump - who also had 306 Electoral College votes when he beat Hillary Clinton in 2016 - claimed victory in North Carolina, CNN and NBC projected, putting his final tally this time around at 232.
Biden has been the presumptive winner of the election since victory in Pennsylvania took him over the 270-vote threshold on Saturday.
Georgia, one of five states flipped by Biden after going into Trump's column last time around, hadn't been won by a Democrat since Bill Clinton in 1992.
Trump took a comfortable early lead in the state as the largely rural vote was counted but it ended up being the closest race in the nation as the cities of Atlanta and Savannah began tabulating results.
Biden is currently up by about 14,000 votes, and a hand recount is expected to be completed next week. Audits of state-wide elections never bring the kind of reversal that Trump would need to change the result.
In traditionally-Republican North Carolina, a drive to get out black voters by Democrats was not enough to overcome Trump's hugely loyal base of white, non-college-educated men and rural voters.
At a White House event where he predicted a coronavirus vaccine would be available for the whole population by April, Trump edged closer to acknowledging he might leave the White House in January but stopped short.
"This administration will not be going to a lockdown. Hopefully the, uh, whatever happens in the future - who knows which administration it will be? I guess time will tell," Trump said in his first public remarks since Biden was projected as the election's winner on Nov 7.
Trump did not take questions after the event.
He has claimed without evidence that he was cheated by widespread election fraud and has refused to concede. State election officials report no serious irregularities, and several of his legal challenges have failed in court.
While Trump had yet to concede, Biden officials reiterated they were moving ahead with transition efforts regardless.
Although the national popular vote does not determine the election outcome, Biden was ahead by more than 5.3 million votes, or 3.4 percentage points. His share of the popular vote, at 50.8 per cent, was slightly higher than Ronald Reagan's share of the vote in 1980 when he defeated Jimmy Carter.
To win a second term, Trump would need to overturn Biden's lead in at least three states, but he has so far failed to produce evidence that he could do so in any of them. States face a Dec 8 "safe harbour" deadline to certify their elections and choose electors for the Electoral College, which will officially select the new president on Dec 14.
Biden officials said on Friday they would press forward with the transition, identifying legislative priorities, reviewing federal agency policies and preparing to fill thousands of jobs in the new administration.
"We're charging ahead with the transition," Jen Psaki, a senior adviser to Biden's transition team, said on a conference call while stressing that Biden still needs "real-time information" from the Trump administration to deal with the resurgent pandemic and national security threats.
Psaki urged Trump's White House to allow Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to receive daily intelligence briefings on potential threats around the world.
"With every day that passes on, it becomes more concerning that our national security team and the president-elect and the vice president-elect don't have access to those threat assessments, intelligence briefings, real-time information about our engagements around the world," Psaki said. "Because, you know, you don't know what you don't know."
Biden will be briefed by his own group of national-security experts next week, she said. He met with transition advisers again on Friday at his Delaware beach house where he is mapping out his approach to the pandemic and prepares to name his top appointees, including Cabinet members.