The Biden and Trump campaigns offered dueling visions of the election’s aftermath early Wednesday, with the former vice president’s team projecting confidence about a victory that seemed within grasp — and Mr. Trump’s team suggesting they will outperform expectations one final time once all “legal ballots” are counted.
“Joe Biden is on track to win this election, and he will be the next president of the United States,” Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign manager, said during a briefing with reporters on Wednesday morning, even as the two candidates remain deadlocked in the low 200s in terms of their electoral vote counts.
Ms. O’Malley Dillon said Mr. Biden was expected to address the country later in the day, but did not disclose what he planned to say.
She said campaign officials believed they had “already won” Wisconsin and that they expected to take Nevada, Michigan and Pennsylvania. She acknowledged that North Carolina was “really tight” and leaned toward President Trump, but said the outcome may not be determined for several days.
She also said the campaign was closely watching Georgia.
“We think that this is already a foregone conclusion,” she said of the overall situation.
In a call with reporters, Mr. Trump’s team offered a different picture of the race — reliant, as it turned out, on the careful counting of ballots despite the president’s repeated attempts to discredit the process.
Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, said that the campaign intended on filing for a recount in Wisconsin. He also predicted that Arizona, which was leaning toward Mr. Biden with about 14 percent of the vote yet to be counted, would end up in the Trump column once all the votes were tallied.
Wisconsin law stipulates that a recount can be requested if the margin between the top two candidate is less than 1 percent. Whoever requests the recount would have to pay for it unless the margin is less than one-quarter of 1 percent. Mr. Biden’s current lead is under 1 percent.
“If we count all legal ballots, the president wins,” said Mr. Stepien, who predicted razor-thin victories in Nevada and Pennsylvania, his words suggesting that they anticipated challenging the legality of some outstanding ballots.
He took no questions and did not offer a definition for “legal ballots.”
Despite Mr. Stepien’s confident stance, officials privately conceded the Trump path to victory was looking very narrow on Wednesday, and depended on keeping Arizona in play.
Mr. Trump, for his part, viewed the tallying of absentee and early ballots — which by early Wednesday had flipped Wisconsin and Michigan in favor of Mr. Biden — with disdain and has long sought to undermine the legitimacy of a process that has been in place for years and overseen by officials in both parties.
Bob Bauer, a former White House counsel to President Barack Obama who is helping to lead the Biden campaign’s election protection efforts, warned that Democrats were prepared to fight any legal challenge Republicans might press in states where Mr. Biden is narrowly ahead.
“Wherever they go and however they go about it, we have lawyers ready to go, papers ready to go, within an hour of hearing of any step that they take,” he told reporters Wednesday.