Joe Biden has officially won the 270 electoral votes needed to secure victory and is projected to become the 46th president of the United States. He was tipped over the edge by a victory in Pennsylvania on Saturday, November 7, as ballots were counted in deep-blue Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs. Biden also appeared to be leading in Georgia by a razor-thin margin, which would make him the first Democratic presidential nominee to win the state since 1992.
The announcement brings clarity to a hard-fought election that came down to a few battleground states: Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, Georgia, and North Carolina. Biden swept the national popular vote, winning a record total of over 74 million votes — more than any presidential candidate in U.S. history. As heaps of mail-in ballots were slowly counted into the morning on Saturday, it finally became clear that Biden had won the Electoral College, too.
Prior to the announcement of his projected win, Biden addressed the nation on Friday evening. While he did not declare victory at the time, he declared that “the numbers tell us a clear and convincing story: We’re going to win this race.”
Biden went on to urge Americans to have patience as all the votes are counted, noting that while he was waiting for the final tally, he was already getting to work on his economic plan and strategies to control the coronavirus pandemic.
He ended his remarks with a call for unity. “It’s time for us to come together as a nation to heal. It’s not going to be easy, but we have to try. My responsibility as president is to represent the whole nation. I’ll work as hard for those who voted against me as those who voted for me — that’s the job. It’s called the duty of care for all Americans.”
Earlier in the week, President Trump and his campaign tried to preemptively declare victory, launching a flurry of lawsuits to stop the ballot count. In public statements, Trump and his allies claimed, without evidence, that Democrats were trying to steal the election. Mass protests broke out in cities from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. as Americans called for all votes to be properly counted.
While Biden’s win brings welcome relief to Democrats who have spent the past four years eager to remove Trump from office, it was hardly a decisive ending for those who wanted to see 2020 end in a definitive repudiation of Trumpism. Democrats underperformed expectations in congressional races, retaining control of the House but losing some seats to the GOP. And control of the Senate remains up in the air, with a few races still too close to call but surprise wins like Susan Collins holding on to her seat in Maine. The balance of power in the Senate could end up coming down to two runoff elections in Georgia that won’t happen until January 2021.
So Biden will come into office facing off against a lot of powerful Republicans on Capitol Hill, and with a Supreme Court stacked 6-3 in conservatives’ favor — not to mention the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, economic recession and climate crisis.
For now, the ballot count continues as elections officials work towards the deadlines to finalize the results in their states.
Credits : Teen Vogue