The Associated Press has projected Joe Biden to be the winner of the 2020 presidential election, releasing a statement at noon on November 7, four days after Election Day.
As the fate of the presidency hung undetermined throughout the week, this wait felt much longer for many Americans, who breathed a collective sigh of relief upon hearing the news that Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes were awarded to the former vice president – and now president-elect – after days of counting absentee ballots. This win pushed Biden over the 270 vote threshold needed to win the Electoral College.
The Democratic ticket has now made history, with Kamala Harris set to become America’s first female vice president and first vice president of color. Biden will also be America’s oldest president, being 78 years old when he is inaugurated, and the nation’s second Catholic president.
Despite Biden maintaining a lead in several key battleground states, including reclaiming much of the “Blue Wall” Hillary Clinton lost in 2016, President Trump has refused to concede, with a statement from the White House on Saturday declaring the race “far from over.” Trump additionally attacked Biden, stating that the president-elect is “rushing to falsely pose as the winner.” The Trump campaign filed lawsuits contesting election results in a number of states, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona. Currently, all have been dismissed except those in Pennsylvania and Nevada. Trump has repeatedly cited election fraud and has discredited the authenticity of mail-in ballots, but has yet to present sufficient evidence to support these claims.
As of November 7, Biden has won the popular vote with over 74 million votes – the most ever earned by a presidential candidate. He leads Trump by 4 million votes. Overall, at least 161 million Americans voted in the 2020 election, making it the largest election in U.S. history and the highest rate of voter turnout since 1900 at 66.8%. Trump is the first incumbent presidential candidate to lose since George H.W. Bush in 1992.
The presidential election was not the only election held on November 3. Races in the House and Senate also occurred, with mixed results for the Democrats. The GOP failed to gain a majority in the House of Representatives but saw dramatic gains, increasing their number of representatives to over 200. The Senate saw Democrats flip two former GOP seats, with former astronaut Mark Kelly winning in Arizona and John Hickenlooper in Colorado. However, former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville defeated Democrat incumbent Doug Jones in Alabama.
In Georgia, both senate races are too close to call and no candidate has received over 50% of the vote. Because of this, runoff elections will be held in January. Both Georgia incumbent senators are Republicans, and the GOP is likely to pull all stops to ensure they maintain a Senate majority as a check on the Biden-Harris White House. However, thanks to Stacey Abrams, Georgia has seen increased grassroots organization. This, along with overall increased turnout for Democrats, could swing both senate elections in favor of the Democratic Party.
Many Boston College students seemed satisfied with the results of the election, judging by the cheers and loud music that followed the AP’s decision to call Pennsylvania in Biden’s favor, along with countless posts on social media congratulating the new president-elect.
“It’s great that Trump is finally out of the White House, but losses in the House and a failure to take the Senate shouldn’t be overlooked,” said Jack Foulsham, CSOM ’23. “There’s a lot of work that still needs to be done, but for now there’s certainly reason to celebrate."
“I couldn’t be happier to see Trump finally out of office, now we won’t be an embarrassment on the world stage,” said Kristen Bayreuther, MCAS ’23.
Boston College for Joe Biden has made numerous posts congratulating the president-elect on his electoral victory. BC Campus Republicans have yet to make a statement.
The Electoral College is set to vote on December 14 and, barring an influx of faithless electors, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the nation’s 46th President on January 20, 2021.