Former Vice President Joe Biden has won the presidency, after four days of a slow-moving counting process. Despite securing over 4 million votes more than President Donald Trump, Biden has just surpassed the 270 electoral college votes necessary to secure the presidency, according to the Associated Press.
"The numbers tell us a clear and convincing story: We're going to win this race," Biden said last night, while urging the nation to be patient with the counting of votes. "Democracy works. Your vote will be counted. I don't care how hard people try and stop it.”
After four days of counting, Pennsylvania delivered the final votes necessary for Biden to secure the presidency in the electoral college, winning 290 to 214 over Trump, with 40 votes yet to be allocated, according to the Associated Press. Votes are still being counted in North Carolina, Georgia and Alaska. Those ballots are largely mail-in ballots and were expected to create delays in the release of official results.
It became increasingly clear over the course of election night that the race for the presidency was going to be close. Florida defied preelection polls, which projected a two point margin in Biden’s favor. Trump took the state’s 29 electoral votes by more than a three point margin. However, as the counting of mail-in ballots progressed, Biden gained a lead in many key battleground states.
Pushing Biden over 270 electoral votes were Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Wisconsin, four states that voted for Trump in 2016. Shortly after the race was called, the Associated Press announced that Biden had also won Nevada.
Five states so far have been won by fewer than three percentage points, extending news outlets’ coverage late into the night and well into Wednesday. The slow counting process and the advantage of mail-in votes for Biden leaves many races yet to be decided.
Trump prematurely declared himself the winner of the election early Wednesday morning. Speaking from the White House, he called the continued vote counting efforts a “fraud,” despite the millions of outstanding ballots waiting to be tallied. At the time of his address, the president showed slim leads in several battleground states, including Michigan, Georgia and Nevada. Major news networks quickly criticized the president’s declaration, saying that the races in several key states were too early to call. MSNBC and NBC News, which began airing his remarks, quickly cut off his declaration to clarify that it was untrue.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Trump campaign announced that it would be suing the states of Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania. It demanded that campaign observers have increased access to the processing and counting of votes, adding to existing Republican legal challenges in Nevada and Pennsylvania. The campaign’s suits are laying the groundwork for it to call into question the results from battleground states, a strategy Trump has been hinting at for weeks. The president is also seeking a recount in Wisconsin.
At 4:56 p.m. on Wednesday, Trump took to Twitter to announce victory in Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina, states whose results had yet to be called. At the time of the tweet, Trump held a lead of 412,800 votes, which has disappeared since. Additionally, he insinuated in his string of tweets, which have since been flagged as misleading, that secret ballots had been dumped in the state of Michigan and that Biden’s win was therefore illegitimate.
As president, Biden’s agenda for the first 100 days in office is ever growing, with items ranging from addressing the climate crisis to providing affordable health care. One of his main priorities is releasing a national plan to diminish the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. A deeply divided country and distrust by the American people in government are only some of the challenges that lie ahead for Biden and his presidency.
As of 12:15 p.m. today, Trump has said he will not concede the election.