Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States on Saturday, positioning himself to lead a nation gripped by the historic pandemic and a confluence of economic and social turmoil.
His victory came after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes that delayed the processing of some ballots. Biden crossed 270 Electoral College votes with a win in Pennsylvania.
Biden, 77, staked his candidacy less on any distinctive political ideology than on galvanizing a broad coalition of voters around the notion that Trump posed an existential threat to American democracy. This strategy was proven effective as states such as Michigan, Georgia and Pennsilvanya flipped blue to secure now President-Elect Joe Biden and VP elect Kamala Harris their first term in presidency.
This is historic as well now that Vice-President elect Kamala Harris is the first female, Woman of Color Vice President in American history.
Trump is the first incumbent president to lose reelection since Republican George H.W. Bush in 1992. It was unclear whether Trump would publicly concede.
Earlier Saturday Trump left the White House for his Virginia golf club dressed in golf shoes, a windbreaker and a white hat as the results gradually expanded Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania. Trump repeated his unsupported allegations of election fraud and illegal voting on Twitter, but they were quickly flagged as potentially misleading by the social media platform.
One of his erroneous tweets: “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Biden was spending Saturday morning with family and advisers at home in Wilmington, Delaware, his campaign said.
Biden’s 1988 presidential campaign was done in by plagiarism allegations, and his next bid in 2008 ended quietly. But later that year, he was tapped to be Barack Obama’s running mate and he became an influential vice president, steering the administration’s outreach to both Capitol Hill and Iraq.
While his reputation was burnished by his time in office and his deep friendship with Obama, Biden stood aside for Clinton and opted not to run in 2016 after his adult son Beau died of brain cancer the year before.
Trump’s tenure pushed Biden to make one more run as he declared that “the very soul of the nation is at stake.”