Joe Biden elected 46th president of the United States

Joe Biden becomes president-elect of the United States after winning the pivotal state of Pennsylvania, according to projections by several news networks.

The former vice president took in the Keystone State’s 20 electoral votes to win the 2020 presidential election, NBC News and CNN reported on Saturday.

The victory in Pennsylvania put Biden past the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House and defeat President Donald Trump, who had held a wide lead over the his Democratic challenger on the night of the election.

However, as election officials counted mail-in ballots, a method of voting more widely used by the Democrats during the coronavirus pandemic, the race shifted dramatically in Biden’s favor.

In a statement, the president-elect said he was “honored and humbled” by the win and that it was time for the US to unite. “With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation.”

Biden, who ran on a message of uniting the nation, has pledged to govern all Americans, not just the Democratic base. But analysts say even with that promise, the divisions will not disappear anytime soon.

He won the presidency on the back of a diverse coalition of younger voters, older voters, African Americans, and white college-educated voters, particularly women.

With his third run for the White House — after unsuccessful bids in 1988 and 2008, and after serving as vice president to former President Barack Obama-- Biden has capped a career in politics that began with a victory in a 1972 Senate race in Delaware.

The victory in Pennsylvania was a fitting end to a bitter race given that Biden was born in the state and had launched his campaign with rallies in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The former vice president also visited his childhood home in Scranton on Election Day.

Biden, 78, will become the oldest US president when he is sworn in on January 20 in the midst of the worst public health crisis in a century, the deepest economic recession since the 1930s and a national reckoning with racism.

Senator Kamala Harris, who was Biden’s running mate, has also made history, becoming the first female, first Black and first Asian American vice president.

The injection of Harris, the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father, to the race on August 11 helped rally minority voters and keep them engaged in the political process.

In addition to the projected electoral victory, Biden has also garnered more popular votes than Trump, setting a record for the most votes for any candidate in US history.

With 92 percent of the expected votes across the US counted, Biden led Trump 50.5 percent to 47.7 percent in the popular vote, a contrast to Trump who won the White House despite losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

However, the triumph was not the landslide many Biden supporters had hoped for. Biden lost a number of battleground states where he had invested time and resources, most notably Florida.

In recent days, Biden’s advisers and allies have moved rapidly with a transition plan, discussing how to fill critical White House and agency posts.

Biden's aides ramp up transition plan to fill critical White House posts: Report

Cabinet positions for a Biden White House will possibly be announced as early as next week, The New York Times reported, citing sources familiar with the discussions.

The president-elect is expected to focus on filling key White House roles first, including chief of staff. Ron Klain, who served as Biden’s chief of staff when he was vice president, is reportedly a favorite for the role.

The ongoing discussions have been guided heavily by Biden’s desire to assemble what would be “the most diverse cabinet in history.”

Trump says race not over

Biden's election will condemn Trump, who has had a longstanding obsession with winning, to the ranks of the one-term presidents in America. The last president who lost a reelection bid was Republican George H.W. Bush, who lost to Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992.

Trump has made it clear that he will not concede without a fight.

He has repeatedly and falsely declared victory, including in critical battleground states where vote counting is still underway and Biden is the projected winner.

Trump falsely claims victory in ‘most dishonest’ speech of presidency

Trump has also repeated conspiracy theories and raised doubts about the integrity of the entire US election system.

In a statement released after the race was called, Trump said, “We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed.”

“The simple fact is this 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 added.

The president insisted that his team would launch a prosecution in court to “ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”

The Trump campaign has already filed multiple lawsuits --several of which have been thrown out -- as part of a coordinated effort to call the validity of the election into question.

Trump campaign asks supporters for funds to launch legal battle

‌‌‌‌The campaign has reportedly reached out to supporters for contributions to help cover the costs of legal challenges brought by Trump.

“We need your help to ensure we have the resources to protect the results and keep fighting even after Election Day,” the campaign said in a statement on its website.

Both the Trump and Biden campaigns have recruited the best lawyers in the country to go to a potentially lengthy legal battle over the results of the election.

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