Joe Biden was projected as the winner of the 2020 presidential election Saturday morning when several major media outlets declared he had won the vote in Pennsylvania.
Biden flipped Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona and the 2nd Congressional district in Nebraska, which incumbent President Donald Trump had won in the 2016 election, to surpass the needed 270 electoral votes, according to the Associated Press. As of Saturday, three states had not yet been called, with Biden leading in Georgia and Trump leading in North Carolina and Alaska. Biden led the popular vote by more than 4 million. Ballots, including provisional and overseas and military votes, are still being counted. Most states will have to certify their results by Dec. 1 and the Electoral College is scheduled to meet and vote on Dec. 14.
The election result made history with the number of votes cast, despite the ongoing pandemic, and included more than 100 million people who voted early and by mail. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will make history as the first woman of color to hold that position.
Legal challenges and recounts are expected in the days ahead. Trump said in a statement that “our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”
Wisconsin and Georgia totals were close enough to qualify for a recount, which the Trump campaign has said it will request. Lawsuits questioning voting procedures and the validity of ballots have been filed by the Trump campaign in several states including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, Georgia and Arizona. Trump’s lawyers have indicated more suits may be forthcoming. So far, no votes have been invalidated as a result of the lawsuits.
Within minutes of Biden being projected as winner, crowds gathered in cities across the country to celebrate. A large, peaceful gathering was held outside the White House. Protesters supporting Trump had gathered at several voting sites in Nevada, Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Republicans, who were in danger of losing control of the Senate, performed better than the polls predicted. As of Saturday, each party holds 48 Senate seats with the two Senate races in Georgia apparently heading to runoff elections in January. Republican incumbents Thom Tillis and Dan Sullivan hold leads in North Carolina and Alaska respectively, but the races have not been called yet. Georgia Republican incumbent David Perdue barely missed reaching the 50% threshold for winning the election and now faces a runoff.
The Democrats, who hold 232 House seats to the Republicans’ 197 in the current Congress, will likely keep their majority but see it shrink. As of Saturday, Democrats had won 214 seats and Republicans 195, but 26 seats remained undecided.