Donald, you’re fired: Democratic challenger Joe Biden has won the 2020 presidential election, defeating incumbent Donald Trump and becoming the 46th President of the United States, according to projections by AP, Fox News, ABC, CNN, CBS News, MSNBC and more.
With Biden elected, Sen. Kamala Harris becomes the first female Vice President of the United States — and the first Black person elected to the vice presidency.
Pennsylvania, with its 20 electoral votes, was the decisive win for Biden. CNN projected him as the winner of Pennsylvania at 11:26 a.m. ET on Saturday, giving him a total of 273 electoral votes, three more than he needs to clinch the White House. (Biden appears to have won several states that Hillary Clinton lost in 2016, including Michigan and Wisconsin.) Trump currently trails with 214 electoral votes, with several states — like Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina — still too close to call.
“America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country,” Biden said in a statement on Twitter. “The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me.”
Biden addressed his supporters on Thursday, calling for patience as vote counts continued to trickle in, but emphasizing that “we have no doubt that when the count is finished,” his campaign “will be declared the winners.” Trump, meanwhile, did declare victory (falsely) and accused Democrats of trying “to steal the election from us” with “illegal votes,” even as legally cast ballots were still being tabulated by states across the country. The Trump campaign has already announced their intentions to request a recount in Wisconsin, where Biden currently leads by more than 20,000 votes.
Biden emerged from a crowded field of Democrats that sent into the early debate rounds no fewer than 20 candidates, including his eventual running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, and during the final stretch pit him against former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and (deep cut alert!) businessman Tom Steyer.
Trump, who officially launched his re-election bid on Jan. 20, 2017 — the day of his inauguration — wrapped his campaign with a flurry of 14 rallies over the three days preceding Election Day, including five on Sunday alone (and all in states he won in 2016 but now found himself playing defense: Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida).
One hallmark of the 2020 presidential election, of course, was the record number of mail-in ballots, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns about/state limitations with in-person voting. With each state in control of its tabulation timetable for mail-in ballots, Trump, for one, used his rallies and other appearances/interviews to cast aspersion on the validity of those results.
Trump as recently as Sunday said that his “Lawyers for Trump” coalition was poised to contest ballots in swing states such as Pennsylvania and North Carolina that arrive in the mail after Election Day. “As soon as [the] election is over, we’re going in with our lawyers,” he told reporters, adding: “I don’t think it’s fair that we have to wait a long period of time after the election.” Biden similarly formed an “election protection program” comprised of lawyers, in the event of a contested election.
Still to come: Biden’s acceptance speech from Delaware, and a concession speech from President Trump.