With a victory in Pennsylvania, Joe Biden secured his win over Donald Trump, the first U.S. president to lose reelection in 28 years.
Joe Biden is projected to become the next president of the United States after an election that was historic, messy, chaotic and uncertain.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will be with him as vice president, the first woman, Black person and Asian American to ever hold the position.
The decisive call came in Pennsylvania, which gave Biden the necessary electoral votes to clinch the presidency. Biden was projected to win Nevada shortly thereafter. He could further pad his Electoral College victory in Arizona, where he leads, and Georgia, where he narrowly leads and faces a recount. (President Donald Trump has a more comfortable lead in North Carolina.) Biden already flipped two other states that Trump won in 2016: Michigan and Wisconsin, reclaiming Democrats’ Rust Belt “blue wall.”
The former vice president also decisively won the popular vote, receiving the most votes in American history and besting Trump by more than 4 million.
In a statement, Biden said he is “honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed” in him and Harris. “In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America,” he continued, saying, “It’s time for America to unite. And to heal.”
In a speech on Friday, Biden pointed to his large vote lead and claimed a broad “mandate for action” on the coronavirus, the economy, climate change and systemic racism.
Trump quickly released a statement on Saturday saying the election “is far from over.”
“Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor,” he said.
Trump found out about his loss while at the golf course, where he spent much of his presidency. It came on the same day that the White House was dealing with a new coronavirus outbreak among the administration. Chief of staff Mark Meadows is among those infected.
For months, Trump had been laying the groundwork to reject the election results if they didn’t go his way. He not only tried to undermine mail-in voting but claimed that if the winner wasn’t declared on election night, the results would be suspect ― even though some state rules allow mail-in ballots to be received after Election Day.