Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States.
Decision Desk HQ, a non-partisan election results site, declared that Biden had won the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and therefore the presidency, at 8:50 a.m. ET on Friday morning. AP, CNN, ABC, NBC, Reuters, CBS and the New York Times called Pennsylvania for Biden at 11:30 a.m. ET Saturday morning.
A win in Pennsylvania takes Biden to 273 Electoral College votes, past the threshold of 270 needed to secure the White House. The Democratic candidate then won Arizona, Georgia and Nevada, putting him at 306 electoral votes. The Associated Press and Fox News both called Arizona for Biden earlier in the week. Fox’s decision is said to have incensed Trump senior advisers. Days after the vote, President Trump won Alaska and North Carolina, giving him 232 electoral votes.
Rather than concede the election, Donald Trump opted to imagine himself into a parallel reality where he had been cheated out of victory. He issued vague and unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud from Wednesday onwards. ‘If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us,’ he told a White House press conference on Thursday. The President’s baseless allegations were particularly odd as he was gaining on Biden in Arizona at the time he spoke. He was also contesting results in states where the vote was run by a GOP legislature, like Pennsylvania, and where Republican Senate candidates were performing well, like Georgia. Trump had discouraged voters from using mail-in ballots, which resulted in a heavy skew towards Biden when absentee and postal votes were counted. In a statement, Trump campaign lawyer Matt Morgan said, ‘This election is not over. The false projection of Joe Biden as the winner is based on results in four states that are far from final.’
The Senate remains undecided, as the state of Georgia appears to be heading for two run-off elections in January. Sen. David Perdue will face Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, while Sen. Kelly Loeffler will take on Revd Raphael Warnock. The much feted ‘blue wave’ never crested, as the Democrats lost several very expensive Senate races in Kentucky, Maine, South Carolina and Texas. Sen. Doug Jones lost his Alabama race against college football coach Tommy Tuberville, while former governor John Hickenlooper beat Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado.
Biden’s victory means that Kamala Harris will become America’s first female vice president. It also leaves her California Senate seat vacant, which will allow California governor Gavin Newsom to appoint a successor.