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Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to supporters, early Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States on Saturday, positioning himself to lead a nation gripped by historic pandemic and a confluence of economic and social turmoil.

His victory came after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes that delayed the processing of some ballots. Biden crossed 270 Electoral College votes with a win in Pennsylvania.

Biden, 77, staked his candidacy less on any distinctive political ideology than on galvanizing a broad coalition of voters around the notion that Trump posed an existential threat to American democracy. The strategy proved effective, resulting in pivotal victories in Michigan and Wisconsin as well as Pennsylvania, onetime Democratic bastions that had flipped to Trump in 2016.

Biden was on track to win the national popular vote by more than 4 million, a margin that could grow as ballots continue to be counted.

Trump seized on delays in processing the vote in some states to falsely allege voter fraud and argue that his rival was trying to seize power — an extraordinary charge by a sitting president trying to sow doubt about a bedrock democratic process.

As the vote count played out, Biden tried to ease tensions and project an image of presidential leadership, hitting notes of unity that were seemingly aimed at cooling the temperature of a heated, divided nation.

“We have to remember the purpose of our politics isn’t total unrelenting, unending warfare,” Biden said Friday night in Delaware. “No, the purpose of our politics, the work of our nation, isn’t to fan the flames of conflict, but to solve problems, to guarantee justice, to give everybody a fair shot.”

Kamala Harris also made history as the first Black woman to become vice president, an achievement that comes as the U.S. faces a reckoning on racial justice. The California senator, who is also the first person of South Asian descent elected to the vice presidency, will become the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in government, four years after Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.

Trump is the first incumbent president to lose reelection since Republican George H.W. Bush in 1992. It was unclear whether Trump would publicly concede.

Americans showed deep interest in the presidential race. A record 103 million voted early this year, opting to avoid waiting in long lines at polling locations during a pandemic. With counting continuing in some states, Biden had already received more than 74 million votes, more than any presidential candidate before him.

More than 236,000 Americans have died during the coronavirus pandemic, nearly 10 million have been infected and millions of jobs have been lost. The final days of the campaign played out against the backdrop of a surge in confirmed cases in nearly every state, including battlegrounds such as Wisconsin that swung to Biden.

The pandemic will soon be Biden’s to tame, and he campaigned pledging a big government response, akin to what Franklin D. Roosevelt oversaw with the New Deal during the Depression of the 1930s. But Senate Republicans fought back several Democratic challengers and looked to retain a fragile majority that could serve as a check on such Biden ambition.

The 2020 campaign was a referendum on Trump’s handling of the pandemic, which has shuttered schools across the nation, disrupted businesses and raised questions about the feasibility of family gatherings heading into the holidays.

The fast spread of the coronavirus transformed political rallies from standard campaign fare to gatherings that were potential public health emergencies. It also contributed to an unprecedented shift to voting early and by mail and prompted Biden to dramatically scale back his travel and events to comply with restrictions. Trump defied calls for caution and ultimately contracted the disease himself. He was saddled throughout the year by negative assessments from the public of his handling of the pandemic.

Biden also drew a sharp contrast to Trump through a summer of unrest over the police killings of Black Americans including Breonna Taylor in Kentucky and George Floyd in Minneapolis. Their deaths sparked the largest racial protest movement since the civil rights era. Biden responded by acknowledging the racism that pervades American life, while Trump emphasized his support of police and pivoted to a “law and order” message that resonated with his largely white base.

The president’s most ardent backers never wavered and may remain loyal to him and his supporters in Congress after Trump has departed the White House.

The third president to be impeached, though acquitted in the Senate, Trump will leave office having left an indelible imprint in a tenure defined by the shattering of White House norms and a day-to-day whirlwind of turnover, partisan divide and the ever-present threat via his Twitter account.

Biden, born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and raised in Delaware, was one of the youngest candidates ever elected to the Senate. Before he took office, his wife and daughter were killed, and his two sons badly injured in a 1972 car crash.

Commuting every night on a train from Washington back to Wilmington, Biden fashioned an everyman political persona to go along with powerful Senate positions, including chairman of the Senate Judiciary and Foreign Relations Committees. Some aspects of his record drew critical scrutiny from fellow Democrats, including his support for the 1994 crime bill, his vote for the 2003 Iraq War and his management of the Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court hearings.

Biden’s 1988 presidential campaign was done in by plagiarism allegations, and his next bid in 2008 ended quietly. But later that year, he was tapped to be Barack Obama’s running mate and he became an influential vice president, steering the administration’s outreach to both Capitol Hill and Iraq.

While his reputation was burnished by his time in office and his deep friendship with Obama, Biden stood aside for Clinton and opted not to run in 2016 after his adult son Beau died of brain cancer the year before.

Trump’s tenure pushed Biden to make one more run as he declared that “the very soul of the nation is at stake.”


Associated Press writer Jill Colvin contributed to this report.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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(37) comments

Thomas Carpenter

Looks like the patriots stepped up and ousted fascist wanna-be.

Virginia Stone

Joe Biden is President-elect of these United States of America, democracy lives on and we the American people can stand proud in the knowledge of the power of our vote.

Carlos Ponce

Wait until the election has been properly vetted. Spiking the ball before reaching the end zone is not wise.

Jim Forsythe

Nov 04, 2020 · President Trump early Wednesday declared victory in the presidential race against Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Dan Freeman

Trump spiked it and fell over is tie.

Carlos Ponce

Dan, can you rephrase that in Standard English?

Dan Freeman

I was using Trump speak. Try this: TRUMP IS DUMPED.

Carlos Ponce

Patience, Dan.

Dwight Burns

America has spoken. Except it.

The lies and lies and lies of thie Trump Administration should shame even you. Sad.

Carlos Ponce

Has America spoken?

Bailey Jones

Thank you, Jesus.

Thank you, America.

Charlotte O'rourke

Unity - I hope the President Elect’s message and actions are positive and embraces all Americans. Find common interests of which many exist.

Thomas Carpenter

And all we hear is crickets from the peanut gallery.

Carlos Ponce

The Crickets were a great group!

Ted Gillis

I’m making myself a fancy drink and toasting the United States.

Carlos Ponce

Good for you! Save some for when the outcome is clear.

Bailey Jones

The Biden/Harris Ticket:

“This cocktail serves as an old fashion with a new twist. Bittersweet with the past and moving towards a steadied, balanced future.”

Recipe:

2 oz Russell's Reserve Bourbon (feel free to substitute Garrison Brothers**)

½ oz St. George Spiced Pear

¼ oz St. George Coffee Liqueur

Pinch of brown sugar to your preferred sweetness

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients.

Stir in glass without ice until sugar is dissolved.

Add Ice and gently stir.

Pour into a chocolate salt* rimmed glass with ice.

*For the chocolate salt: combine equal parts chocolate powder or grated chocolate shavings and salt.

** I have a bottle of their first retail batch I put up back in 2012. It might be time...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bradjaphe/2020/08/13/vp-candidate-kamala-harris-now-has-her-own-cocktail/

Carlos Ponce

DEWEY WINS!

Dan Freeman

Fox News reported: Trump claims victory with many states still undeclared. Sorry Carlos, the turtle is on his back and will be carted to Mar-a-Lago

Carlos Ponce

Patience, Dan.

Carlos Ponce

Patience, Dan.

Jim Forsythe

Biden has 290 electoral college votes , and closing in on 306.

306 to 214 votes, sounds familiar..

Carlos Ponce

Does he? Or is that what the Media is saying?

Mike Zeller

Carlos(I guarantee a Trump win)Ponce, we all realize you're feeling embarrassed and humiliated today and you don't know how to rectify the situation you've gotten yourself into. Your guy lost, get over it, man up, don't be a cry baby, like you were telling everyone when your guy was going to win. Enjoy your Crow and Humble Pie. [beam] [beam] [beam] [beam] [beam]

Carlos Ponce

Patience, Mike. All that is hidden will be revealed.

Charles Douglas

Gentlemen, If any CROW is to be eaten becuase of Trump losing this election, I will set in the middle of the table with the biggest plate, with catsup on the side eating more than my share! The reason is I talked plenty Smack! I believed in Trump and I still believe in him! I believe in America First and NOT America Last.

I will say this though, let's see in the coming years where we are after Joe & Kamala have had a chance to lead, then we shall see how we as a country faired by electing Joe & Kamala. In the mean time, I cannot blame you guys for living it up, AND SMACK TALKING, ....because I had my agenda waiting on y'all, and none of you would've liked the CROW, I had prepared! So, ..fair is fair! Now, I am full of Crow!

I have so much CROW,.....I am putting some in my freezer ...storing it, but KNOW THIS, I am a TRUMPITE, and will always be a TRUMPITE! I am proud of the job he performed for America, and if he had lost under normal circumstance, I would feel a lot better than I do now, but to have Red China get mad because he was beating them, ..then releasing a Virus on the world, is unconscionable.

Lastly, yall need cooking lessons, because yall's CROW,....is nasty, but ...I ate my potion! I am proud of TRUMP & and the job he did under the political duress, continued attacks, and persecutions he was made to function under.

Mike Zeller

Charles your a good man, we have very different opinions on Trump and there is nothing wrong with that.

Bailey Jones

[thumbup]

Bailey Jones

[thumbup]

Keith Gray

If biden stands as our president, hopefully he'll do the same for the next 4 years as he did in the last 47.

Bailey Jones

I'd just like to thank the president for turning the ordinary processes of government into his own personal existential sideshow. As a distraction, it has certainly taken my mind off the really mediocre performance of the Democrats in this election.

Carlos Ponce

"really mediocre performance of the Democrats in this election"[thumbup]

Susan Smith

Yep, the media does not decide our president. Nothing is official. Legal votes will determine this outcome. Mark

Ted Gillis

Yes Keith, he spent the last 47 years reaching across the aisle. See what that got him?

Carlos Ponce

Yes Keith, he spent the last 47 years reaching across the aisle groping Congressional aides and sniffing their hair.[wink]

Dan Freeman

If Trump keeps up his court challenges and no one qualifies as President or Vice President, the 20th amendment states that on Jan 20 the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi probably, becomes acting president. Interesting outcome.

Carlos Ponce

Don't worry, Dan. Nancy will never be president, acting or otherwise.

I just hope she's still Speaker when Trump gives the State of the Union address. The copy Trump presents will be on tear proof paper! Problem is, news of this has leaked out so she'll probably have a mock document on the dais to tear up. Watch for the switch!

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