Former vice president Joe Biden and senator Kamala Harris are on their way to becoming the new leaders of the United States of America.
After four days of ballot counting across the country, the race for the presidency was called Saturday morning (Nov. 7) by numerous media outlets after Biden reached the 270 electoral college threshold needed to be named President-elect. Harris became the first woman, first Black person, and first South Asian American person elected vice president of the U.S.
This year’s election was one like the country had never experienced before. With an ongoing pandemic, millions of more voters mailed in their ballots than ever before. As of Saturday morning, a record-breaking 145 million (and counting) Americans participated in this year’s election. Specific numbers are still out on the Latinx vote, but early signs are that incumbent president Donald Trump received more support from Latinx people this year than he did in 2016 in some states like Florida and Texas.
Since Election Day on Tuesday (Nov. 3), the race had been a tight one, although there weren’t many surprises on the electoral map early on. Voters from states like Florida, Iowa, Texas and Ohio, which pundits believed would be more competitive this year, went for Trump.
Biden, however, made huge inroads this election cycle when he flipped Georgia (pending a runoff) and possibly Arizona, two normally dependable red states. Arizona hasn’t voted for a Democrat for president since 1996 when it backed Bill Clinton during his reelection. The last time Georgia went blue was in 1992 during Clinton’s first term.
The election started turning in Biden’s favor when he won Michigan and Wisconsin – two of the three “Blue Wall” states Trump took in 2016. Friday morning, Biden reached his goal to rebuild the entire “Blue Wall” when he took and held the lead in Pennsylvania. At that point, it was just a matter of time until the final mail-in ballots were counted, and Biden and Harris were declared the winners.
As expected, reports are coming out of the Trump campaign stating that the now-lame duck president has no plans to concede the race.
“The purpose of our politics isn’t to wage total and unrelenting war,” Biden said last night before the race was called. “We may be opponents, but we’re not enemies. We’re Americans.”
Biden and Harris are scheduled to take their oaths of office on January 20, 2021.