Lily McLean, editor-in-chief
Joseph R. Biden Jr. has been elected president of the United States on the fifth day of the 2020 presidential election. After a tight battle between Biden and the incumbent, Donald J. Trump, the state of Pennsylvania was called for Biden, giving him the twenty electoral votes he needed for victory. Major networks, from Fox News to CNN, have now called the election in favor of Biden.
Biden’s win comes at a time when the country is facing a myriad of critical issues, from extreme political polarization to the drastic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Already, the president-elect has promised to heal the wounds of the country. In a speech given Friday night, he said that “we’re not waiting to get the work done.” Since Tuesday, he has been seen attending briefings on the COVID-19 pandemic and has highlighted the growing death toll in recent addresses given to the nation.
The race between Biden and Trump was close, with Trump leading in Pennsylvania and Georgia until Thursday morning. Although Biden held a small majority of votes in Georgia as of Saturday morning, the margin is so small that there the state has announced an automatic recount. The state likely will not be called for several weeks. Arizona, which Biden initially had a larger lead in, has continued to count mail-in and provisional ballots. Trump, as a result, has slowly been gaining on Biden in that state. Biden’s win in Pennsylvania is a reversal from the 2016 election, in which Trump won the state by about forty-four thousand votes. Democrats also managed to flip Michigan and Wisconsin.
Trump has yet to concede. On a statement made on Twitter, he wrote he had won the election by a significant margin. Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s lawyers, condemned networks for calling the election during a press conference given in Philadelphia. “Many cases are going to be filed,” he said while speaking with reporters. The Trump campaign has alleged widespread fraud throughout the election. In particular, they have frequently challenged the legality of mail-in ballots, even filing various lawsuits regarding the issue in multiple states.
Prior to Tuesday, many predicted that, during, and after the election, the country would see widespread civil unrest. Businesses in cities boarded up their windows, while some people stocked up on food and other necessities. There have been protests outside of some ballot-counting facilities, particularly in Maricopa County, Arizona, but no significant reports of violence. Biden supporters have gathered in Wilmington, Delaware, in preparation for his scheduled address tonight. The mood there is celebratory, with many cars honking their horns and people holding signs in support of the President-elect.
Biden’s win is historic for multiple reasons. At the age of seventy-eight, he is the oldest person to take the office. His running mate, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, is the first woman to ever hold that office. She is also the first Black and Asian woman to receive the role. She and former President Barack Obama are now the only two people of color to have been elected to the highest offices of the executive branch of government.
With fireworks and a drive-in rally scheduled for 8 PM Eastern time, Biden and his supporters are ready to celebrate his win. Trump, on the other hand, still seems to be formulating a strategy to push back. How the events of the election will unfold in the coming days is unclear.