Key swing states called, driving Biden to victory over Trump

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to Amy McGrath supporters during the rally on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, at Bath County High School in Owingsville, Kentucky. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Natalie Parks

The nation has been waiting.

Four days after Election Day, and at the tail end of months and months of campaigning, the Presidential race has been called in favor of Joe Biden, who will become the 46th president of the United States of America.

Biden reached the 270 Electoral College votes required to be called as the winner on Saturday morning as the Associated Press, New York Times and other outlets called Pennsylvania in his favor.

Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes, was mandatory for Trump to win if he was going to achieve a second term. The state was trending red earlier in the week, but as absentee ballots from Philadelphia and surrounding counties began to be counted it inched closer to blue before flipping in Biden’s favor on Friday, Nov. 6.

Pennsylvania has a state law that ballots cannot be counted before polls close on Election Day, so the state had a backlog of early and mail-in ballots to wade through before the results would be available.

Nevada was also called for Biden; its six electoral votes now bring him to 279. Three states remain to be decided – Biden holds the lead in Arizona and Georgia, though the latter will undergo a recount due to its slim margin between the two candidates (.1 percent). 

NPR called Arizona for Biden, though the New York Times and AP had not yet done so.

In a Saturday morning tweet, Biden – now president-elect – said he was “honored” to have been chosen.

“The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not,” Biden said. “I will keep the faith that you have placed in me.”

His campaign’s victory also bring significant firsts to the White House: Kamala Harris, his vice presidential pick, will be the first female, Black and Asian vice president. Harris’s husband, Douglas Emhoff, will be the first “second husband.”

Biden and Harris both changed their Twitter bios to reflect their new “elect” status. According to the New York Times, Biden won the popular vote by over 4 million.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear Tweeted his congratulations to the pair.

“Today the people of the United States were heard, and history was made,” Beshear said.

Former president Barack Obama also issued a statement pledging his support and congratulations of Biden.

“We’re fortunate that Joe’s got what it takes to be President and already carries himself that way. Because when he walks into the White House in January, he’ll face a series of extraordinary challenges no incoming President ever has — a raging pandemic, an unequal economy and justice system, a democracy at risk, and a climate in peril,” the statement read.

Fayette County residents voted for Biden over Trump. According to the Fayette County Clerk’s office, Biden received 90,566 votes compared to Trump’s 58,845, a percentage margin of 21 points.

Supporters in Lexington gathered in Triangle Park to express their joy and relief at Biden’s victory.

Lexington and Fayette County’s vote did not correlate to the rest of the state. Kentucky was the first state called in favor of Trump on Tuesday night.

Trump tweeted at 10:51 a.m. that he has “WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!” The tweet was flagged by Twitter: “Official sources may not have called this race when this was Tweeted.”

Trump spent Saturday morning at his golf club in Sterling, Virginia while the race was being called. Biden and Harris received the most votes for a presidential ticket in American history, over 74 million.

Biden addressed the nation for the first time as president-elect on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. His speech focused on healing and unity, as well as rebuilding the U.S.’s position in the world. 

“We must restore the soul of America. Our nation is shaped by the constant battle between our better angels and our darkest impulses,” Biden said. “It is time for our better angels to prevail. Tonight, the whole world is watching America. I believe at our best America is a beacon for the globe.”

Notably, he pledged to rely on scientists in resolving the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden also called on Congress to choose to cooperate across party lines.

Harris also delivered a speech, thanking all those who worked to make the election happen, her family and specifically her mother, before speaking to the significance of the occasion for women.

“But while I may be the first woman in this office, I won’t be the last,” Harris said. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities. And to the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message: Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourself in a way that others might not see you, simply because they’ve never seen it before.”

She closed by saying Biden and herself were ready to begin the “real work” of beating the pandemic, confronting the climate crisis and addressing systemic racism.