Mr. Biden’s remarks about the state of the race on Friday night were his third in as many days since Election Day. . Campaign advisers also indicated that they were ready to begin naming senior officials in an anticipated administration in a matter of days, if the race is called in his favor.
Striking an inclusive tone, Mr. Biden urged the country to set aside partisan warfare and “come together as a nation to heal.” Noting the slow pace of the vote count — “it can be numbing,” he said — he sought to reassure anxious Americans waiting for the winner of an election that has now stretched on for three days.
“We have to remain calm, patient and let the process work out as we count all the votes,” he said. “Democracy works, your vote will be counted, I don’t care how hard people try to stop it, I will not let them stop it.”
In Georgia, Mr. Biden went into the lead overnight Thursday, thanks to a vote tally from Clayton County, a Democratic-leaning area near Atlanta. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said the state remained “too close to call” and predicted that it was headed for a recount, given that Mr. Biden’s lead stood at a mere 4,000 or so votes out of five million cast.
If Mr. Biden ends up winning Georgia, it would be a major breakthrough for the Democratic Party in the Republican-dominated Deep South: Democrats rarely win top statewide races outside of Florida, North Carolina and Virginia. No Democratic presidential candidate has carried Georgia since 1992, when Bill Clinton narrowly won there.
Mr. Biden held a lead of about 30,000 votes in Arizona, after a new tranche of ballots from Maricopa County, the state’s population center, helped Mr. Trump close the gap by about 7,000 votes on Friday night.
Katie Hobbs, the Arizona secretary of state, said on CNN that 173,000 ballots remained to be counted statewide, including 92,000 in Maricopa County.