Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Wednesday said he is winning enough states to reach the magic number of 270 electoral college votes needed to win the presidency. Biden's remarks, in which he described this as a victory for American people, democracy and America, came after major media networks projected him as the winner in the two major battleground states of Wisconsin and Michigan, bringing him steps closer to presidency.
According to The New York Times projections, Biden has 253 electoral college votes as against the 214 won by Trump. Politico gave Biden 264 electoral college votes as against Trump's 214. The Trump campaign has challenged the counting of votes in Michigan and Wisconsin in court.
"But this will not be my victory alone or our victory alone. It will be a victory for us the American people, for our democracy, for America. And there will be no blue states and red states when we win, just the United States of America. God bless you all and may god protect our troops," Biden said in his address in his home state of Delaware.
He said it is clear that "we are winning enough states to reach the 270 electoral votes" needed to win the presidency. Indian-origin Senator Kamala Harris, Biden's running mate, was standing by his side when he spoke.
"I am not here to declare that we won, but I am here to report when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners. Of all votes counted, we have won Wisconsin by 20,000 votes, virtually the same margin that President Trump had in that state four years ago," he said.
"In Michigan, we lead by over 35,000 votes and it is growing. A substantially bigger margin than President Trump had in Michigan in 2016. Michigan will complete its vote soon, maybe as early as today and I feel very good about Pennsylvania. Virtually, all the remaining ballots to be counted were cast by mail and we have been winning 78 per cent of the votes by mail in Pennsylvania. We flipped Arizona and the 2nd District of Nebraska," Biden said.
"Of special significance to me is that we have won with the majority of the American people and every indication is that the majority will grow. We have a popular vote lead of nearly three million votes and every indication is that will grow as well. Indeed, Senator Harris and I are on track to win more votes than any ticket in the history of this country, than ever won in a presidency and vice presidency. Over 70 million votes," he added.
Only three presidential campaigns in the past have defeated an incumbent president, Biden said.
"When it is finished, god willing, will be the fourth. This is a major achievement. This is a major achievement. It has been a long and difficult campaign, but it has been a more difficult time for our country, a hard time. We have had hard campaigns before. We have faced hard times before."
"So once this election is finalised and behind us, it will be time for us to do what we have always done as Americans, to put the harsh rhetoric of the campaign behind us, to lower the temperature, to see each other again, to listen to one another, to hear each other again and respect and care for one another," he said.
"To unite, to heal, to come together as a nation. I know this will not be easy. I am not naive. Neither of us are. I know how deep and hard the opposing views are in our country on so many things."
"To make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies. We are not enemies. What brings us together as Americans is so much stronger than anything that can tear us apart," the Democratic presidential candidate said, asserting that he ran the campaign as a Democrat, but will govern as an American president.
"The president itself is not a partisan institution. It is the one office in this nation that represents everyone and it demands a duty of care for all Americans and that is precisely what I will do. I will work as hard for those who did not vote for me as I will for those who did vote for me. Now, every vote must be counted. No one is going to take our democracy away from us, not now, not ever," he said.
(With PTI inputs)