Democratic candidate Joe Biden has won the US presidential election. Biden reached the 273 electoral college votes needed to defeat President Donald Trump and clinch the White House, after it was projected he won the battleground state of Pennsylvania.
“America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country. 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 said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Biden’s lower-key election campaign style contrasted with President Trump’s larger rallies as the Democrat portrayed himself as more responsible on observing coronavirus measures.
His campaign team encouraged his supporters to vote via mail-in ballots to avoid large crowds on Election Day – a huge reason for the majority of his votes coming through mail-in ballots.
Trump, meanwhile, encouraged in-person voting, questioned the validity of voting through the postal service, and made unsubstantiated claims of election “fraud” during the vote collation process.
His numerous outbursts post-Election Day make it likely that he will contest Biden’s win. He vowed to go to the Supreme Court during vote counting and declared victory the day after the election.
Meanwhile Kamala Harris has made history as the first Black woman to become vice president, an achievement that comes as the US faces a reckoning on racial justice.
The California senator, who is also the first person of South Asian descent elected to the vice presidency, will become the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in government, four years after Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.
“This election is about so much more than Joe Biden or me. It’s about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let’s get started,” Harris said in a tweet.
Biden entered Election Day with multiple paths to victory, while Trump, playing catch-up in a number of battleground states, had a narrower but still feasible road to clinch 270 Electoral College votes.
With the worst public health crisis in a century still fiercely present, the pandemic- and Trump’s handling of it — was the inescapable focus for 2020.
Biden put Trump’s handling of the pandemic- which has killed more than 231,000 people and left millions more jobless – at the center of his campaign.
He repeatedly accused Trump of giving up in the fight against the disease, and deemed him unfit to steer the nation through the crisis. There was a general consensus that Trump’s handling of the virus would cost him a second term.
Donald Trump is the first incumbent president to lose a re-election fight since George HW Bush in 1992.
It’s Biden’s third attempt for the White House- he ran unsuccessfully in 1987 and 2008.