Joe Biden Projected President-Elect: A Recap On A Week Of Elections
After a week of nail-biting anxiety, Joseph R. Biden has officially been projected as the President-Elect of the United States of America with Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris running alongside him.
Due to a record number of ballots and many states adopting mail-in voting options as a result of the pandemic, a handful of states continue to count votes. Even with several states continuing to count ballots received, networks nationwide were able to project Biden as the next President of the United States following an overwhelming number of votes in favor of Biden in Pennsylvania.
In order to win the presidency, a candidate must achieve 270 of the possible 538 electoral votes. Most networks currently have Biden at 279 electoral votes although some stations have already given him Arizona which would bring him to a current electoral vote total of 290.
Alaska, Georgia, and North Carolina have yet to be called.
We expect ballot counts to continue to trickle in over the course of the next week. Given how tight some of the margins are in some states, a recount of votes is expected to come. A recount has already been called for Wisconsin and it is expected that Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Arizona may also be called to recount. Historically, recounts make little difference in statewide elections.
The 2020 election is a monumental election in US History for several reasons.
Record-Breaking Voter Turnout
Although votes are continuing to be counted, a record-breaking number of votes have already been tabulated. With over 74.4 million votes, Biden has garnered more votes than any presidential candidate in US History. Additionally, it is estimated that approximately 161 million Americans voted in the 2020 election. Indeed, this is the largest number of voters in a presidential election in American history. Voter turnout this year is nearly 70%. This is a striking percentage as the 2016 election garnered under 60% of eligible voters.
Only Ten Single-Term Presidents In US History
The 2020 election is also monumental given the fact that President Donald Trump will now join the club of only ten other US Presidents that only served one term. The last American President to serve only one term was nearly three decades ago with President George H.W. Bush who lost to President Bill Clinton in 1992.
Oldest President In US History
With the election of Biden as the next US President, Biden has also achieved the title of the oldest President in US History. This title was previously held by President Ronald Reagan who was 69 years old at the time of his inauguration.
At only four years older than President Trump, Biden will be 78 at the time of his inauguration in January 2021.
In relation to his age, Biden has previously released a doctor’s report which indicates that Biden is fit and equipped to serve as President. Biden has also said about his age, “Hopefully I can demonstrate that with age comes wisdom and experience that can make things a lot better.”
First Female Vice President-Elect & First Vice President-Elect of Color
Perhaps the most monumental thing to come from the 2020 election is the election of America’s first female Vice President-Elect. Never before in American history has a woman been elected to such a position. Harris is also the first person of color to ever be elected to the position. She is of Indian and Jamaican heritage.
In a truly inspiring speech made on Saturday evening, Harris said,
“But [my mother] believed so deeply, and in America, where a moment like this is possible. And so I’m thinking about her, and about the generations of women, Black women, Asian, white, Latina, Native American women throughout our nation’s history that have paved the way for this moment tonight.
Women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality and liberty and justice for all, including the Black women who are often too often overlooked but so often prove they are the backbone of our democracy…
Tonight I reflect on their struggle, their determination, and the strength of their vision to see what can be unburdened by what has been. And I stand on their shoulders. And what a testament it is to Joe’s character that he had the audacity to break one of the most substantial barriers that exists in our country and select a woman as his Vice President.”
Joe Biden’s Vow To Unite America Through Healing
In his victory speech on Saturday evening, Biden repeated his vow that, as President, he will work just as hard for those that voted for him as those that voted against him. He said,
“I pledge to be a President who seeks not to divide but unify, who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only see the United States, and work with all my heart, with the confidence of the whole people, to win the confidence of all of you. For that is what American, I believe, is about. It’s about people. And what our administration will be about.
I sought this office to restore the soul of America, to rebuild the backbone of this nation, the middle class, and to make America respected around the world again and to unite us here at home. It’s the honor of my lifetime that so many millions of Americans have voted for that vision. Now the work of making that vision is real.”
He continued in his speech to praise his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, an educator. Biden said, “For American educators, this is a great day for you all. You’re going to have one of your own in the White House.”
He also praised his running mate Harris, frontline healthcare workers, and all of those that volunteered to work on the campaign and in polling places.
Of those he will support, Biden said,
“Democrats, Republicans, independents, progressives, moderates, conservatives, young, old, urban, suburban, rural, gay, straight, transgender, white, Latino, Asian, Native American. I mean it, especially in those moments, and especially for those moments when this campaign was at its lowest ebb, the African American community stood up again for me. You’ve always had my back, and I’ll have yours’.”
Finally, Biden closed with a Biblical hymn that has meant a lot to him, particularly in the passing of his son, Beau, and in reflection of the 230,000 American that have lost their lives as a result of the coronavirus. He said,
“It goes like this, ‘And he will raise you up on eagle’s wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, and make you shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of His hand’. Now together on eagle’s wings, we embark on the work that God and history have called upon us to do.”
Biden To Announce A COVID-19 Task Force On Monday
As one of his first steps as President-Elect, Biden announced during his speech on Saturday evening that he would be introducing the country to a group of scientists and experts on Monday that will be part of a task force to manage the coronavirus pandemic. He said the recommendations of this task force will be implemented on the first day of his term as the 46th President on January 20, 2021.
Per Biden, he said that we cannot begin to repair and restore the economy until we have gotten COVID-19 under control.
Response To The Election: Trump’s Campaign
At the time of the President-Elect announcement, President Donald Trump was playing golf at his private country club in Virginia where he remained for four hours.
While Trump was at the golf course, his team mobilized outside of a landscaping business in Philadelphia called “Four Seasons Total Landscaping”. The landscaping business is situated between an adult bookstore and a cremation center. It is suspected that there was a mix-up and the Four Seasons Hotel was meant to be booked for the event. Regardless, it made for a comical backdrop as Trump’s team declared,
“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.”
The media allies that Trump’s team mentioned include Fox News which has long been one of Trump’s most ardent supporters.
Additionally, it is a known fact that the results of a presidential election are not certified in some states until weeks following Election Day.
Trump’s False Claims
These statements by Trump’s team follow a week of false claims backed by no evidence from the President himself. Trump has claimed that his team has “so much evidence” of voter fraud occurring in polling places but has been unable to produce such evidence. For several months, the President has claimed that mail-in voting is fraudulent. However, we know that President Trump himself is a regular mail-in voter and that voter fraud is less than 0.0009% according to a study conducted by the Brennan Center for Justice.
After filing several lawsuits alleging that states are allowing ballots to be received days after the election, Trump’s team has been unable to prove this theory.
Trump has also claimed that his team has not been allowed to observe the polling process but this claim is also false. Republican poll observers have not been banned from polling places and the Pennsylvania courts have ruled in favor of Trump and have allowed his team to have observers closely watching the vote-counting process.
Trump has also claimed that he would be winning if it had not been for mail-in voting. Mail-in voting is a legal practice that has been around in some states for several decades. Additionally, Trump has been telling his supporters for months not to use mail-in voting but to show up in person on Election Day to cast their votes. And yet, he appears to be surprised that the overwhelming majority of mail-in ballots are in favor of the Democratic party.
Facebook and Twitter have consistently removed posts that Trump has made over the last few days as they contain false information.
Response To The Election: Nationwide
Across the United States, Americans have celebrated the Biden-Harris win. Hundreds of thousands of supporters nationwide flooded into the streets to dance, cheer, honk car horns, and pop champagne together in celebration.
As Trump continues to deny defeat, however, his supporters have also flooded the streets to protest what they believe is a rigged election. Alarmingly, many of his supporters have also crowded outside of polling places, armed with guns in an attempt to intimidate poll workers.
The message from Trump supporters has been unclear. In some states, they have chanted for poll workers to “Stop the Count!” However, in other states where Trump is behind in votes, they are chanting to “Keep Counting Votes!”
Response To The Election: Foreign
Several world leaders have come forward to congratulate Biden and Harris on their win. These leaders include Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morison, South Korean President Moon Jae-i, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. From France, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo reacted on Twitter to the announcement by exclaiming, “Welcome back, America!”