After five days of rising anxiety and agonising vote-counting, Joseph R. Biden (Jr.), Democratic party candidate, was yesterday declared the 46th elected president of the United States.
He secured the 270 electoral votes needed to become the new President of America to defeat incumbent President Donald Trump in a long-drawn electoral contest.
The declaration brings to an end the tumultuous and traumatic presidency of Trump, whose four years in office have been characterised by arbitrary policy decisions, racial discrimination, division, turmoil and hubris.
According to analysts, Biden’s victory is a historic moment for the Americans for a number of reasons.
His running mate, Kamala Harris – a California senator – will become the first woman vice-president of the United States, and the first person of colour to hold that office.
It is also symbolic that Pennsylvania – a ‘blue wall’ state, which Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 – gave Biden the victory to take over the White House.
Biden, a former vice-president, grew in Scranton, a city in Lackawanna County in the northeast of the state.
While the rigorous counting exercise was still on, a host of networks had projected that Biden – who will turn 78 later this month – would win vital swing state of Pennsylvania, pushing him to 273 electoral college votes.
Biden was reportedly at home in Wilmington, Delaware when CNN – amongst other networks – declared him president-elect.
The result makes Trump a one-term president, putting him alongside the likes of George HW Bush and Jimmy Carter as incumbents who lost their bids for re-election. His primary task would be a call for unity after a fraught four years of Trumpian polarisation.
In his four-year reign, Trump has opened the fault lines through a number of policy measures, creating mutual suspicious between the White and Black Americans.
By his body language, there is no indication that Trump has any plans to concede defeat. Just an hour before Biden was declared the victor, Trump – who is reportedly at one of his golf courses in Virginia – had tweeted: “I won this election, by a lot!”
Owing to earlier declaration of intention to go to the Supreme Court to stop vote counting, the US election has been the centre of discussion worldwide.
The tense days after November 3 witnessed razor-thin margins in some battleground states, forcing Americans to wait for millions of mail-in ballots to be counted.
A vast majority of mail-in ballots skewed toward Biden. Biden overtook President Trump in Pennsylvania, getting him over the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the election
Biden has coveted the presidency since he was a teenager in Claymont, and his election comes after two failed presidential attempts and about 50 years in public life.
Biden’s first attempt was in 1988 election. He made his second attempt in 2008. He has been a Senator from Delaware six times since 1972.
While in the US Senate, Biden served on the Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Foreign Relations, building a significant experience in matters of law and national security. At 77, Biden will become the oldest sitting president in the country’s history.
As the votes were being tallied, Biden and his campaign expressed confidence about winning the election and urged Americans to be patient.
Trump, however, made a statement Thursday night and Saturday to reporters that consisted of false and baseless claims about the validity of mail-in ballots and Biden’s victory.
Because of Coronavirus, several states expanded and created mail-in voting options for Americans. GOP leaders in some cases tried to block these efforts before the election, but were often unsuccessful.
The Trump campaign has said the president would not concede. Trump has made repeated false claims about the state of the election, and he and his campaign have lodged legal challenges in at least four states. In some cases judges have already dismissed the cases.