Joe Biden has urged Americans to come together and heal the divided nation as he declares his campaign on the road to victory.
The votes are still being counted, but the Democratic candidate is in the lead as he takes yet more crucial states from his rival, Donald Trump.
Crucially, Biden made clear that it was not an acceptance speech, as the ballot tallying carries on.
He told the nation: “I am not here to declare that we have won.
“But I am here to report that when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners.”
He addressed Americans as Trump spent another day lashing out on Twitter, claiming premature victories and launching legal skirmishes over the ballot boxes, as his opponent begins to slide more comfortably ahead of him in the nail-biting race.
The Trump campaign tried to prematurely claim victory in Pennsylvania earlier, as it declared it would sue to temporarily stop ‘transparency’ in the count.
The Republican’s team also threatened to launch a legal battle over ballot counting in Michigan, as Biden appeared set to clinch the swing state.
Biden gave an historic November 4 speech as he addressed the ongoing election count.
In it, he said he would lead the United States from division into unity if he becomes President.
He declared Americans with opposing political views should not declare themselves ‘enemies.’
In a message of hope, he said he and Vice Presidency running mate Kamala Harris, would lead the fractured US back into harmony.
Joe Biden’s speech in full
My fellow Americans.
Yesterday, we once again proved that democracy is the heartbeat of this nation.
Just as it has been the heartbeat of this nation for two centuries.
Even in the face of a pandemic, more Americans voted this election than ever before in American history.
Over 150 million people cast their votes.
I think that is just extraordinary.
If we had any doubts, we shouldn’t any longer:
Government of, by, and for the people is very much alive – very much alive in America.
Here, the people rule.
Power can’t be taken or asserted.
It flows from the people.
It is their will that determines who will be President of the United States.
And their will alone.
And now, after a long night of counting, it is clear we are winning in enough states to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
I am not here to declare that we have won.
But I am here to report that when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners.
With all the votes counted, we have won Wisconsin by 20,000 votes — virtually the same margin President Trump won the state by four years ago.
In Michigan, we lead by over 35,000 votes and it is growing — a substantially bigger margin than President Trump won Michigan in 2016.
Michigan will complete its votes soon. Maybe as early as a day.
I feel very good about Pennsylvania. Virtually all the remaining ballots to be counted were cast by mail, and we are winning 78% of the votes by mail in Pennsylvania.
We have flipped Arizona and the 2nd Congressional District in Nebraska.
Of special significance to me is that we have won with a majority of the American people.
And every indication is that majority will grow.
We have a popular vote lead of nearly 3 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 has ever won for the Presidency and Vice Presidency.
Over 70 million votes.
I am very proud of our campaign.
Only three Presidential campaigns in the past [century] have defeated an incumbent President. When it’s finished, God willing we will be the fourth.
This is a major achievement. This is a major achievement.
This has been a long and difficult campaign. But it has been a more difficult time for our country – a hard time.
But 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.
To unite. To heal. To come together again as a nation.
I know this won’t be easy. I’m not naïve. Neither of us are. I know how deep and hard the opposing views are in our country on so many things.
But I also know this as well: To make progress we must stop treating our opponents as enemies.
We are not enemies.
What brings us together as Americans is stronger than anything that can tear us apart.
So, let me be clear: We are campaigning as Democrats, but I will govern as an American president.
The Presidency itself is not a partisan institution.
It is the one office in this nation that represents everyone.
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 didn’t 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.
America has come too far. America has fought too many battles. America has endured too much to ever let that happen.
“We the People” will not be silenced. “We the People” will not be bullied. “We the People” will not surrender.
My friends, I’m confident that we will emerge victorious.
But this will not be my victory alone or our victory alone. It will be a victory for the people. For our democracy. For America.
There will be no blue states and red states when we win. Just the United States of America.
May God bless you and may God protect our troops.