Joe Biden is projected to become the next president of the United States after an election that was historic, messy, chaotic and uncertain.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will be with him as vice president, the first woman, Black person and Asian American to ever hold the position.
The decisive call came in Pennsylvania, which gave Biden the necessary electoral votes to clinch the presidency. Biden could further pad his Electoral College victory in Arizona and Nevada, where he leads, and Georgia, which is neck and neck. (Trump has a more comfortable lead in North Carolina.) Biden already flipped two other states that Trump won in 2016: Michigan and Wisconsin, reclaiming Democrats’ Rust Belt “blue wall.”
The former vice president also decisively won the popular vote, receiving the most votes in American history and besting Trump by more than 4 million.
“One of the things I’m especially proud of is how well we’ve done all across America,” Biden said in a speech Friday night as his vote total continued to climb over Trump’s. “We are going to be the first Democrat to win Arizona in 24 years. We are going to be the first Democrat to win Georgia in 28 years. And we re-built the Blue Wall in the middle of the country that crumbled just four years ago. Pennsylvania. Michigan. Wisconsin. The heartland of this nation.”
For months, Trump had been laying the groundwork to reject the election results if they didn’t go his way. He not only tried to undermine mail-in voting but claimed that if the winner wasn’t declared on election night, the results would be suspect ― even though some state rules allow mail-in ballots to be received after Election Day.
And sure enough, Trump did exactly as he said he would.
“Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump said Wednesday shortly after 2 a.m. Eastern, while millions of ballots had yet to be counted, a number of key swing states were still in limbo and no news organization had yet to project a winner.
He also tweeted that Democrats were trying to “STEAL the Election” and wrote, “Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!” (No votes were cast after the polls closed.)
On Thursday, he held a lie-filled news conference in which he baselessly claimed that there was vote fraud, without providing any evidence.