Democratic nominee Joe Biden addressed the nation Friday, after his growing lead in the presidential election’s key battleground states appeared to have placed him on the verge of victory.
“The numbers tell us a clear and convincing story: We’re going to win this race,” Biden said in remarks delivered from inside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del.
Biden’s speech had a touch of an anticlimactic feel. When it was scheduled earlier in the day, speculation mounted that it could become a victory speech and might follow a potential race call by the press or major media outlets. But at the time he spoke, the race remained too close to call.
The former vice president nevertheless took the opportunity to project confidence in the ultimate outcome of the contest.
“What is becoming clearer each hour is that record numbers of Americans, from all races, faiths, regions, chose change over more of the same,” he said.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Biden’s running mate, was reportedly expected to join him in the announcement. But although she joined him onstage, she did not speak, and Biden kept his remarks short.
Early Friday morning, Biden overcame Trump’s lead in two key states — Pennsylvania and Georgia — as more results from early and mail-in ballots were added to the totals.
In the absence of a final call, which could come within hours, Biden noted that he had fulfilled his campaign promise to rebuild the Democratic firewall in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, which Trump had won in 2016.
“We’ve rebuilt the Blue Wall across this country that crumbled just four years ago,” Biden said in reference to his wins in those three states.
The remarks came as the race appeared to be quickly slipping away from Trump. As votes continued to be counted in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania, Biden held a lead in all of them.
The Associated Press and Fox had already called Arizona for Biden; any of the remaining three states would put the Democrat over the 270 Electoral College votes needed to secure the presidency.