Former Vice President Joe Biden was elected the 46th president of the United States after securing over 270 electoral college votes Saturday morning.
The Associated Press projected him as the winner of the presidential race at 10:28 a.m. CST after he was projected to win Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes. Biden has since been projected to win Nevada Saturday afternoon, which would bring him to 290 electoral votes, and has won the popular vote with a historic high of more than 74 million votes at the time of publication. President Donald Trump has 214 electoral votes, according to The Associated Press.
A winner has not been projected yet in Georgia, North Carolina and Alaska, the first of which Biden has a lead in, according to The Associated Press. Georgia’s secretary of state said on Friday that there will be a recount.
“I've always believed we could define America in one word — possibilities,” President-elect Biden said during his victory speech Saturday night. “That in America, everyone should be given an opportunity to go as far as their dreams and God-given ability will take them.”
Biden said he was humbled by the trust and confidence placed in him to be elected president.
“Tonight, the whole world is watching America,” Biden said. “I believe at our best, America is a beacon for the globe. We will not lead not only by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.”
The Biden-Harris ticket won the battleground states Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which Trump won in 2016. Biden lost the state of Texas to Trump around midnight Wednesday.
Biden served as vice president under the Obama administration from 2009 to 2017 and served as a senator for Delaware for 36 years. He campaigned on combating COVID-19 with a seven-point plan informed by public health experts, protecting the Affordable Care Act and adding a public health insurance option, and creating more jobs by enlisting people to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and mobilizing American manufacturing and innovation.
Biden broke former President Barack Obama’s record in 2008 for the most number of votes cast for any presidential candidate in U.S. history by a margin of over five million votes, according to CBS News.
Harris, a junior senator from California, will become the first Black vice president, first female vice president and first vice president of South Asian descent of the U.S.
"(My mother) believed so deeply in an America where a moment like this is possible," Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said Saturday night. “To all the women who paved the way for this moment tonight, … I stand on their shoulders. But while I might be the first woman in this office, I won’t be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”
In a statement released by the Trump campaign after Decision Desk called the race for Biden a day prior, Matt Morgan, Trump campaign general counsel, said the projection that Biden won is false because there are votes left to count in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona.
“Biden is relying on these states for his phony claim on the White House, but once the election is final, President Trump will be re-elected,” Morgan said in the statement.
Trump falsely declared himself winner of the presidency to a crowd of supporters in the East Room of The White House at 2:30 a.m. ET Wednesday morning.
“This is an embarrassment to our country,” Trump said. “We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win the election.”
Biden said he expected to win the presidency Wednesday afternoon in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden said all of the votes needed to be counted and even though he campaigned as a Democrat, he would govern as an American president.
"Here, the people rule," Biden said in his speech Wednesday. "Power can't be taken or asserted — it flows from the people. It is their will that determines who will be the president of the United States."
Henry W. Brands, an author and a UT history professor, said Biden's win is a result of the people’s reaction to Trump’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Brands said Trump can continue to act like he was supposed to win and challenge the results in the U.S. Supreme Court, but he will catch on eventually when the count is finalized.
“It's a statement either on the state of the country or on the performance of that incumbent,” Brands said. “It is a repudiation of the president, but it's also a comment on the times, and it's always impossible to tease which one of those influences is more important. The two add up, and you get the result you get.”
In his victory speech, Biden said the election is part of the mandate from the American people for Democrats and Republicans to cooperate and stop treating opponents as enemies.
“I pledged to be a president who seeks not to divide, but unify, who doesn't see red states and blue states, but only sees the United States,” Biden said. “With full hearts and steady hands, with faith in America and in each other, with a love of country — and a thirst for justice — let us be the nation that we know we can be.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the latest voting tallies and quotes from Biden and Harris.