By Michael Kinney
Four days after the majority of 145 million Americans went to the polls to vote, the 2020 Presidential election was decided. Former Vice-President Joe Biden went over the 270 electoral vote mark Saturday afternoon when he was declared the winner in Pennsylvania and become 46th President-Elect.
With two states still counting, Biden leads President Donald Trump 290-214 in the electoral college, which is the measure that ultimately decides who is president.
But unlike Trump in 2016, Biden also won the popular vote with more than 74.5 million votes, which is the most votes ever cast for a presidential ticket in the history of the nation.
“I sought this office to restore the soul of America,” Biden said Saturday evening in his first remarks as President-Elect. “To rebuild the backbone of the nation — the middle class. To make America respected around the world again and to unite us here at home.”
Biden’s running mate also made history as well. Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris will not only become the first person of color to become Vice-President, but the Senator from California will also be the first woman to step into the role as well.
“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities,” Harris said. “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. And we will applaud you every step of the way.”
At last tally, Trump had garnered 70.4 million, which is eight million more than he collected in 2016 when he defeated Hillary Clinton. It is also the most votes ever for a sitting president.
According to exit polls, Trump improved his voter turnout among Asians, Hispanics and blacks.
Yet those small gains were not enough to offset the losses among white non-college voters and both white college-educated men and white college-educated women.
Biden, on the other hand, was able to build a strong coalition among a variety of different groups. In the end, that may be the biggest key to his victory over Trump.
“I am proud of the coalition we put together, the broadest and most diverse in history.
Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Progressives, moderates and conservatives. Young and old. Urban, suburban and rural. Gay, straight, transgender. White. Latino. Asian. Native American,” said the 78-year old Biden. “And especially for those moments when this campaign was at its lowest — the African American community stood up again for me. They always have my back, and I’ll have yours.”
Trump has yet to publicly concede the election as his legal team continues to push legal challenges to several state elections that he claimed fraud had taken place. None of the claims have been proven true as of yet.
However, the Trump campaign has still set up an official election defense fund and is asking supporters to contribute to it. It was posted to social media sites over the weekend.
A few of Trump’s Republican contemporaries do not see it same way as he does. That includes former President George W. Bush, who said Biden won the election fairly.
“I just talked to the President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden. I extended my warm congratulations,” Bush said in a statement. “The American people can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear.”
Biden and Harris will not be inaugurated into the office until Jan. 20. But when they do take over, they will be in charge of a nation that is facing major problems on several different fronts. That includes battling a virus that has infected more than 10 million Americans and has taken more than 240,000 lives in the United States alone.
“Our work begins with getting COVID under control,” Biden said. “We cannot repair the economy, restore our vitality, or relish life’s most precious moments — hugging a grandchild, birthdays, weddings, graduations, all the moments that matter most to us — until we get this virus under control.”
However, in Biden’s first remarks after becoming the President-Elect, he said that he will also be focused on healing the political, social and economic divisions that have been festering in the country. But with a gridlocked congress and 70 million Americans voting against them, Biden and Harris will not enter office with a clear mandate.
That hasn’t stopped Biden from making a public overture to work with everyone.
“For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance,” Biden said. “It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again. To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy. We are not enemies. We are Americans.”
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