Kamala Harris will make history and become the first woman to serve as the Vice President of the United States.
Democrat Joe Biden became the projected winner of the US presidential election by major television networks on November, 7, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – Joe Biden will be the 46th president of the United States, all major networks projected on Saturday.
The former US vice president is expected to win Pennsylvania’s 20 Electoral College votes and Nevada’s six that will move him past the 270 threshold needed to secure the keys to the White House. That number could still increase, however, as counting is still underway with four other states too close to call.
Kamala Harris will make history and become the first woman, and woman of color, to serve as vice president. The defeat of Donald Trump is the first time since 1992 that a sitting president has lost his reelection campaign.
Biden tweeted on Saturday: “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.”
“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation,” Biden said in an additional statement.
The announcement came as Trump signaled he did not intend to concede and will challenge the results in a few key swing states. The Trump campaign released a statement on Saturday telling Biden that the election was “far from over.”
“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 Trump campaign said.
“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.”
The campaign also emphasized that the legal battle is still underway. “Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated,” the statement read.
On Saturday morning, before networks called the race, Trump tweeted: “I won the election by a lot!”
Biden was able to flip Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, three states that Trump won in 2016, in addition to keeping all the states that Hillary Clinton won in the last election cycle. He also leads in Arizona, a state that no Democrat has won since 1996.
Fox News and AP projected that Biden will carry Arizona, but other networks had yet to do so. Biden also leads in Georgia, a state that no Democrat has won since 1992, but it is still too close to call.
The Democrats were on the verge of securing a majority in the House of Representatives on Saturday, although Republicans flipped eight seats, to the disappointment of Democrats who hoped for a “blue wave.”
Control of the Senate remained in the balance as two races were too close to call, and Georgia is projected to head for a double runoff in January.
According to a report in the New York Times, Biden is ramping up transition planning, as some potential White House aides could be named as early as next week.
Biden, 77, served as vice president to Barack Obama between 2009 and 2017, and as a Senator for Delaware from 1973 to 2009.
This was the third time that Biden had run for president following his two bids in 1988 and 2008. He clinched the Democratic nomination shortly after Super Tuesday, when many of his opponents withdrew from the race and endorsed him.
The 2020 presidential race will be remembered for a record-shattering turnout amid a global pandemic that shifted voting patterns from in-person to mail-in ballots and early voting.
Nearly 75 million Americans cast their ballot for Biden – the most in US history – and over 70 million voted for Trump – some eight million people more than the 62.9 million who voted for the Republican candidate in 2016.
The massive influx of mail-in voting caused significant delays to the counting process and it took four days for major news outlets to call the race, as millions of votes are still outstanding.
Obama released a statement saying he “could not be prouder” to congratulate the president-elect and the vice president-elect.
“In this election, under circumstances never experienced, Americans turned out in numbers never seen,” he said. “We’re fortunate that Joe’s got what it takes to be president and already carries himself that way. Because when he walks into the White House in January, he’ll face a series of extraordinary challenges no incoming president ever has – a raging pandemic, an unequal economy and justice system, a democracy at risk, and a climate in peril.”
Senator Mitt Romney, a former Republican presidential candidate, was among the first Republican officials to congratulate Biden. “Ann and I extend our congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris,” he tweeted. “We know both of them as people of good will and admirable character. We pray that God may bless them in the days and years ahead.”
World leaders congratulated Biden on Saturday, shortly after the news outlets have called the race. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “The US is our most important ally and I look forward to working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security.”
Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, tweeted: “Our two countries are close friends, partners, and allies. We share a relationship that’s unique on the world stage. I’m really looking forward to working together and building on that with you both.”
President of Egypt Abdel Fattah al-Sisi sent congratulations and called to strengthen the strategic bilateral relations between Egypt and the United States.
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi congratulated Biden for a “spectacular victory.”
“As the VP, your contribution to strengthening Indo-US relations was critical and invaluable,” Modi tweeted. “I look forward to working closely together once again to take India-US relations to greater heights.”
French President Emanuel Macron said in a statement: “We have a lot to do to overcome today’s challenges. Let’s work together!”
Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok took to Twitter to express his congratulations, writing that he was “Looking forward to working closely with them both to continue building bridges of friendship and cooperation between our two nations and countries.”
Jordan’s King Abdullah also extended his congratulations to Biden.
The monarch, who has strong personal ties with Biden, had been angered by his predecessor Donald Trump’s Middle East plan, which he said was a threat to regional security.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi went on social media, writing that he looks forward I look “to working with [Biden and Harris] on strengthening the strategic ties that bind Iraq and the United States, building on common values between our nations to overcome challenges together.”
“Warm congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga wrote on Twitter. “I look forward to working with you to further strengthen the Japan-US Alliance and ensure peace, freedom and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.”
Jerusalem Post Staff, Reuters contributed to this report.