After days of uncertainty, former Vice President Joe Biden has been declared the winner of the contentious 2020 U.S. presidential election, beating incumbent President Donald Trump. Biden and running mate Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will soon take charge of a divided nation in the midst of a global pandemic and economic downturn.
The Associated Press (AP) called Pennsylvania for Biden at 11:25 a.m. ET, pushing the Biden-Harris ticket over the necessary 270 votes to win the presidency. The New York Times, Reuters, Decision Desk HQ, CNN, Fox News, NBC, ABC, and CBS have also called the election in favor of Biden.
Biden and Harris had won 290 electoral college votes as of 4:10 p.m., according to AP — with Georgia, North Carolina, and Alaska yet to be called in either direction.
“I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect Harris,” Biden wrote in his statement on winning the presidency. “With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation.”
Harris will be the first woman, first Black American, and first South Asian American to hold the office of vice president. Biden is the oldest president-elect in American history.
A recent survey by the The Daily Princetonian found that 87.6 percent of respondents who were voting would cast their ballots for Biden. Many students have been politically active this semester, volunteering for campaigns, recruiting young people to serve as poll workers, and registering Princetonians to vote.
Princeton College Democrats tipped their hats to Biden and Harris via Twitter, posting a photo of Biden wearing a Princeton hat at the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito ’72.
“Obviously we're very excited and I think also relieved to see Donald Trump's time as president come to an end. We're certainly going to take this time to celebrate, and then pretty soon get back to work on those two Senate races in Georgia,” said Celia Buchband ’22, president of Princeton College Democrats.
Buchband is an associate chief copy editor for The Daily Princetonian.
The two Georgia senatorial races have both proceeded to a runoff election, which will take place on Jan. 5. The winners of these two elections may determine which party holds the majority in the Senate. The Democratic and Republican parties each hold 48 Senate seats as of now, according to projections from the Times.
Although Republicans picked up several seats in the House of Representatives, CNN and NBC News have projected that the Democrats will keep their control of the legislative chamber.
Buchband expressed her hopes for the Biden administration’s legislative priorities.
“Most immediately, my hope would be to see the scientists back in charge of the COVID pandemic and hopefully to see that become much more under control this year,” she said. “Long-term, there’s so many priorities, but I think seeing economic recovery, seeing environmental legislation, and all sorts of other things that I think a Biden presidency could accomplish.”
Impromptu gatherings in honor of the election results have occurred all over the country. Neuroscience Professor Sam Wang, who also runs the Princeton Election Consortium, tweeted his observations of people celebrating Biden’s victory in Princeton.
Other University professors also expressed their thoughts on Biden’s win — and celebrations that have followed — on Twitter.
Trump has thus far refused to concede the election, and instead said his campaign will continue to file lawsuits in support of his claims of election fraud.
“Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor,” Trump claimed.
Biden and Harris will address the nation together at 8 p.m. tonight in their first public appearance as president-elect and vice president-elect.
Head News Editor Zachary Shevin contributed reporting.