“We don’t have a final declaration of victory yet but the numbers tell us a clear and convincing story. We’re going to win this race,” the Democratic presidential nominee said in a speech in his hometown of Wilmington, Del.
And the former vice president, with his running Sen. Kamala Harris at his side, touted the record-breaking 74 million votes for the Democratic ticket and emphaiszed that “the people spoke loudly for our ticket.”
Biden highlighted that a “record number of Americans of all races, faiths, religions, chose change over more of the same. They’ve given us a mandate for action on COVID, the economy, climate change, systemic racism. They’ve made it clear they want the country to come together.”
But many Republicans questioned the strength of Biden’s mandate.
Trump won more than 70 million votes, and as of late Friday night Biden’s national popular vote margin over the preisdent stood at just under 3 points.
And while the former vice president moved closer to winning the White House, the Democrats chances of retaking the Senate majority remained slim. Democrats did hold onto control of the House, but failed to meet expectations of padding their majority.
Biden early Friday narrowly pulled ahead of the president in the vote totals in the uncalled key battlegrounds of Pennsylvania and Georgia. As of Friday evening Biden’s lead in his native state of Pennsylvania had grown to more than 27,000 votes. In Georgia, Biden held a razor-thin 4,000-vote margin over Trump.
Biden’s lead in Nevada – another race that has yet to be called – grew to more than 22,000 votes Friday.
According to the Fox News Decision Desk, Biden has won 264 electoral votes — six shy of the 270 needed to win the White House – with Trump at 214 electoral votes. Vote counting continued in five swing states that will decide the election: Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and North Carolina.
Hours earlier, President Trump vowed to keep “fighting,” vowing he would use “every aspect of the law” to try to secure a second term in the White House.
The president, in a statement Friday afternoon, said “we believe the American people deserve to have full transparency into all vote counting and election certification, and that this is no longer about any single election. This is about the integrity of our entire election process.”
“From the beginning we have said that all legal ballots must be counted and all illegal ballots should not be counted, yet we’ve met resistance for this basic principle by Democrats at every turn,” Trump emphasized. “We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee the American people have confidence in our government. I will never give up fighting for you and our nation.”
The Trump re-election campaign has already filed lawsuits in a number of states this week, seeking access to poll watching, as well as a federal lawsuit in Nevada urging officials to stop counting “illegal” ballots, claiming thousands of ballots were sent to non-residents and the deceased.
They’ve also requested a recount in Wisconsin, which has been called for Biden but where the former vice president holds a razor-thin margin over Trump. The president’s campaign will likely ask for a recount in Pennsylvania, and Georgia officials say there will be a recount in their state.
In an apparent jab at Trump, Biden said “I know tensions can be high after a tough election like we just had. But we need to remember, we have remain calm, patient, and let the process work out as we count all the votes.”
He noted that Americans are “proving again what we have proved for 244 years in this country. Democracy works. Your vote will be counted.”
And he pledged “I don’t care how hard people try to stop it. I will not let it happen.”
Biden once again emphasized his mission to unite the country and durged voters “to put the anger — and the demonization — behind us. It’s time for us to come together as a nation and heal. It’s not going to be easy but we have to try.”
And Biden highlighted that his “responsibility as President will be to represent the whole nation. And I want you to know — that I will work as hard for those who voted against me as for those who voted for me. That’s the job.”
Biden’s speech lasted a brief seven minutes. His campaign was hesitant to move forward Friday with any big or celebratory event ahead of the networks making calls for key states, as the former vice president didn’t want to be seen as prematurely claiming victory.
Fox News’ Madeleine Rivera, Brooke Singman, Jacqui Heinrich, Peter Doocy and Patrick Ward contributed to this report.