Four days after a (much closer than predicted) election, American networks have called the race for Joe Biden, who has secured more than the 270 electoral votes needed to win the race.
CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News (and now the BBC) project Joe Biden will become the 46th President of the United States, as vote counting in Pennsylvania gave the Vice President a big enough lead for them to say with confidence he had won. The additional 20 electoral votes from the swing state bring Biden to a total of 273. Based on current projections, Biden only needed one of the outstanding states (including Georgia or Nevada) to cross the finish line.
In addition to the networks, Joe Biden is now also declaring victory. Very cautious of his language over the past few days (saying he felt confident he was ‘going to win’ the race, rather than asserting he had won), Biden sent out a tweet minutes after the networks started announcing his win, thanking the American people for choosing him as their leader for the next four years.
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. pic.twitter.com/moA9qhmjn8
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 7, 2020
In a press statement, which bills Biden as ‘President-elect’, 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.’
Biden’s return to the White House – where he spent eight years as Vice President in Barack Obama’s administration – will bring with him Senator Kamala Harris, who is set to become the first female VP.
Biden will address the nation this evening. According to officials at CNN, he will expand on his theme of the week: the importance of democratic integrity.
Is this the end of the road for the 2020 election? Almost certainly not. In Trump’s statement, sent in response to the network’s update, he accuses Biden as trying to ‘falsely pose as the winner’, and made clear he was not conceding, stating that ‘the simple fact is this election is far from over.’ His statement takes a different tone to his press conference on Thursday night. Rather than asserting himself as the winner, he frames it as a dispute of the election process: ‘The American People are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots. This is the only way to ensure the public has full confidence in our election.’
Trump’s team have already launched lawsuits in several states and are demanding recounts – actions that are within their legal rights to take. The margin in Georgia is currently razor-tight, within a few thousand votes, and ballots are still being counted. In states like Michigan and Wisconsin, where networks called for Biden days ago, the President is currently seeking to take action as well.
While the whole process is likely far from over, Joe Biden has been declared the next President, and Trump’s options now are either to concede or go through the courts.
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