Democrat Joe Biden edged closer to winning the White House on Friday, expanding his narrow leads over President Donald Trump in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Georgia; even as Republicans sought to raise $60 million to fund lawsuits challenging the results.
Trump remained defiant; vowing to press unfounded claims of fraud; as a weary; anxious nation waited for clarity in an election that only intensified the country's deep polarization.
On the fourth day of vote counting, former Vice President Biden had a 253 to 214 lead in the state-by-state Electoral College vote that determines the winner; according to Edison Research.
Securing Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes would put Biden; over the 270 he needs to win the presidency; after a political career stretching back nearly five decades.
Biden would also win if he prevails in two of the three other key states where he was narrowly ahead on Friday: Georgia; Arizona and Nevada. Like Pennsylvania; all three were still processing ballots on Friday.
Because of Biden's lead growing in Pennsylvania; hundreds of Democrats gathered outside Philadelphia's downtown vote-counting site; wearing yellow shirts reading "Count Every Vote." In Detroit; a crowd of Trump supporters; some armed; protested outside a counting location; waving flags and chanting; "Fight!"
For this reason Biden planned to deliver a prime-time address on Friday; according to two people familiar with his schedule. His campaign expected that could be a victory speech if television networks call the race for him in the coming hours.
Meanwhile; Trump showed no sign he was ready to concede; as his campaign pursued a series of lawsuits that legal experts said were unlikely to alter the election outcome.
"From the beginning we have said that all legal ballots must be counted and all illegal ballots should not be counted; yet we have met resistance to this basic principle by Democrats at every turn;" he additionaly said in a statement released by his campaign.
"We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee that the American people have confidence in our government;" Trump said.
On another hand Trump earlier leveled an extraordinary attack on the democratic process; appearing at the White House on Thursday evening to falsely claim the election was being "stolen" from him. However; election officials across the nation have said they are unaware of any significant irregularities.
In detail the Republican National Committee is looking to collect at least $60 million from donors to fund Trump's legal challenges; two sources familiar with the matter said.
In both Pennsylvania and Georgia; Biden also overtook Trump as officials processed thousands of mail-in ballots that were cast in urban Democratic strongholds; including Philadelphia and Atlanta.