We will be the winners: Biden
The extraordinary American Presidential election has continued onto a second day marked by lawsuits, vote counting and so much speculation.
The twists and turns culminated when Democratic candidate former Vice-President Joe Biden all but declared victory and stressed his campaign's lead a short time ago.
"I’m not here to declare that we’ve won," Joe Biden said on Wednesday afternoon local time in Wilmington, Delaware. "But I am here to report when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners."
Counting is continuing across the nation and no one has called the election for either incumbent President Donald Trump or former Vice-President Joe Biden and millions of ballots in crucial swing states remained uncounted.
President Trump's team, by contrast, was quiet.
The Associated Press picks up the story:
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden appears confident that he is on track to win the race for the White House, with U.S. media projecting he has picked up two crucial Midwest states won in 2016 by Republican Donald Trump.
In what has become an extremely tight election following the end of voting on Tuesday, Biden narrowly won Wisconsin and Michigan for a combined 26 Electoral College votes.
"After a long night of counting, it's clear that we're winning enough states to reach 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency," Biden said, citing possible wins in other states that are still too close to call.
"I'm not here to declare that we've won, but I am here to report that when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners," he added.
Trump's campaign, meanwhile, requested a recount of the Wisconsin result and filed a lawsuit with a Michigan court over vote counting.
In the race to secure 270 Electoral College votes, Biden has so far won 253 and Trump 213, according to CNN. Only a handful of battleground states such as Georgia, Pennsylvania and Nevada remain too close to call.
A losing presidential candidate typically concedes shortly after the outcome is known.
In the early hours of Wednesday, Trump unilaterally declared his "win" and suggested that mail-in ballots received after election day, which is allowed in some states such as Pennsylvania, should not be counted.
In contrast to Trump's Republican base, whose turnout in large numbers for in-person voting on election day had been expected, Democratic voters were considered more likely to cast their ballots by mail rather than going to crowded polling places amid the pandemic.
The U.S. leader to serve the next four years will certainly have a significant impact on Japan and other parts of the world as Trump's "America First" foreign and trade policies have undermined alliances, multilateralism and international organizations.
The election on Tuesday has become a de facto referendum on Trump's first term, which has been overshadowed this year by the coronavirus pandemic, its impact on the economy and a flare-up of civil unrest over accusations of police brutality against black citizens.
The pandemic has continued to upend the election process, driving up early voting both by mail and in-person to an unprecedented level of about 101 million, which is equal to 73.4 percent of the entire voter turnout for the previous presidential election in 2016, according to the vote statistics website U.S. Elections Project.