Joe Biden was elected the 46th president of the US after victory in the battleground state of Pennsylvania propelled him past the 270-vote electoral college threshold, ending Donald Trump’s hopes of re-election. Mr Biden was declared president-elect four days after polls closed; marking the conclusion of a bitter presidential race that was fought against the backdrop of a pandemic that has killed more than 228,000 Americans.
He has also been declared the winner in Arizona and Nevada, and leads Mr Trump in Georgia. His victory signalled the end of one of the most tumultuous eras in US history as Mr Trump; a New York property developer turned reality television star, took aim at the norms of American politics, pursuing a populist agenda at home and an “America First” stance abroad.
Mr Biden, a 77-year-old son of working-class Scranton, Pennsylvania, became the oldest candidate elected to the presidency. Having served for nearly four decades in the US Senate and eight years as Barack Obama’s vice-president, Mr Biden promised to unify the nation after the tumult of the Trump years. His running mate; Kamala Harris, will be the first African-American woman and first person of Indian descent to serve as vice-president.
In a statement, Mr Biden said he was “honoured and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in” him and Ms 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 added: “With the campaign over; it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation.
It’s time for America to unite. And to heal. We are the United States of America. And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together.” In a tweet, Ms Harris said: “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.” The Associated Press declared that Mr Biden had won the presidency roughly an hour after Mr Trump arrived at his golf course in Virginia, just across the Potomac river from the White House. Mr Trump issued a statement within minutes of the race being called in which he accused Mr Biden of “rushing to falsely pose as the winner” with the help of his “media allies”.
Mr Trump was the first US president to fail in his bid for re-election since 1992. He repeatedly mocked his rival during the campaign, telling supporters at a rally that he might leave the US if he lost to Mr Biden, who he calls “Sleepy Joe”. With ballots still being counted across the country, Mr Biden had received more votes than any presidential candidate in history — more than 74m; about 4m more than Mr Trump. In remarks on Friday night; Mr Biden said Americans had given him a “mandate for action” on everything from the coronavirus pandemic and the economy to climate change and racism.
“They made it clear they want the country to come together — not pull apart.” “We rebuilt the ‘blue wall’ in the middle of the country that crumbled just four years ago,” Mr Biden added; in a reference to his victories in Wisconsin and Michigan, and his expected win in Pennsylvania. Hillary Clinton lost those states to Mr Trump in 2016.