Biden calls for healing in victory speech

"The people of this nation have spoken, they've delivered us a clear victory, a convincing victory."

Democrat Joe Biden emerged as the winner Saturday of a contentious battle for the White House as voters narrowly pushed him over the finish line to fix a battered economy and a divided nation, as well as fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The declaration came just before noon after a batch of mail-in votes in Pennsylvania expanded Biden's lead in the battleground state so wide, there was no chance of President Trump catching up.

That was all that was needed for major TV networks to declare him the winner of the state, pushing push Biden's tally in the electoral college beyond the needed threshold to 273, after days of ballot counting and nights of national nail-biting.

Biden, who knows he's taking over a bitterly-divided nation, used his first address as president-elect to call for healing.

"To all those of you who voted for President Trump. I understand the disappointment tonight. I've lost a couple of times myself, but now let's give each other a chance. It's time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again, and to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They're Americans."

This victory was driven by strong support from groups including city dwellers, white voters with college degrees, African Americans, and a large showing from women.

Something not lost on his running mate U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, now the first Black American, first American of Asian descent and the first woman to become Vice President.

"Generations of women, black women. Asian, white, Latina, Native American women. Throughout our nation's history, we have paved the way for this moment tonight."

There were spontaneous celebrations in city streets across America.

"Well to be honest, we already knew he was going to win. We all know why Trump kept on trying to holding on to something. That ain't cheat. Come on. America spoke, the people spoke. You got to count every vote, ok. The people spoke. We showed up, we showed out. Woohoo. I'm so proud of our people. Yes."

Trump, who was not at the White House, but out golfing when the election was called, wasn't in the mood to accept defeat.

He immediately accused Biden of "rushing to falsely pose as the winner."

Trump who also said in a statement that this election is far from over, has repeatedly, without evidence, made claims of electoral fraud.

Trump is expected to launch legal challenges on Monday, but that is likely to change little.

Even after the race was called, other states like Arizona and Georgia were still counting votes. And Biden had at least one more win before the day was out.

He was named the projected winner in Nevada, taking him even further beyond the magic number of 270 needed to clinch the vote.