Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has defeated incumbent President Donald Trump, denying him a second term in the White House, Fox News projects, a victory for the former vice president after a bitter campaign and dramatic, prolonged vote count in battleground states sparking lawsuits from the Trump campaign.
It came as the Fox News Decision Desk projected Saturday that Biden will win the state of Nevada and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
“I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect Harris,” Biden said in a statement. “In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America.”
He added: “With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation.”
A year and a half after launching his White House bid, Biden secured enough states to put him over the threshold of 270 electoral votes and bring an end to the four game-changing years of the Trump presidency, according to a projection from the Fox News Decision Desk. For Trump, the loss comes four years after a stunning upset – when he came from behind in 2016 and outperformed the polls in a historic White House victory against the Democrats’ nominee, Hillary Clinton.
But in a statement Saturday, Trump did not concede and instead vowed to continue to fight.
“The simple fact is this election is far from over. Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor,” the president said.
He added: “Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”
The president has launched a series of legal battles over ballot counting in battleground states, with his campaign filing suits in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Nevada as the states tallied votes sent by mail. Trump, his campaign and surrogates have spread allegations of fraud in the voting and ballot counting in various states, although solid proof of it has not emerged.
It’s unclear if the president may concede immediately. In addition, Georgia’s secretary of state signaled Friday the battleground state is headed toward a recount, given the razor-thin margin of votes there.
With strong focus on the coronavirus since the worst pandemic in a century swept across the nation eight months ago, Biden was able to keep the spotlight on the president’s record, largely preventing Trump from making the 2020 campaign a choice election. Amid national protests and unrest over racial inequity and another nasty Supreme Court nomination battle in the closing days of the race, Biden kept his eye on the pandemic and an economy hit hard by the coronavirus.
TRUMP VOWS TO KEEP ‘FIGHTING,’ WILL USE ‘EVERY ASPECT OF THE LAW’ IN BALLOT-COUNTING BATTLE
Biden, who laid low for the first couple of months after the pandemic forced Americans to self-isolate, was ridiculed by the president and the Trump campaign who claimed he was “hiding” in his basement at his home in Wilmington, Del. But, the strategy worked — keeping the electorate’s focus on the president. And, highlighting Trump’s divisive style of governing, the former vice president pledged to be a uniter willing to work across the aisle and reach to Republicans to find common ground.
Biden was able to resist withering attacks by the president, the Trump campaign and Republican surrogates over his record in politics stretching for nearly half a century. And, he was able to deflect a barrage of incoming fire over controversies targeting him and his son, Hunter, amid charges from the president of Biden family “corruption.”
But, the road ahead for the soon-to-be-78-year-old president-elect will be far from easy, as he must cope with titanic challenges never faced to this magnitude by an incoming commander in chief. To compound the enormous job ahead, Biden likely will have to deal with a Republican party that may be in no mood to compromise – and with a progressive base of his own party that will almost certainly try to push the incoming president to the left.
Biden’s victory comes five years after he passed on a White House run, as he reeled from the death of his eldest son, Beau. A year later, Clinton narrowly lost numerous key battleground states to Trump due in part to a drop in support from White working class voters as well as a lack of enthusiasm from Black and Latino voters. But, Biden – who’s long been known as “Middle Class Joe” because of his roots growing up in a working-class family in Scranton, Pa., and later in Delaware, and who served for eight years as vice president under Barack Obama, America’s first Black president — was able to succeed where Clinton failed.
For Biden, who made unsuccessful White House bids in 1988 and 2008, the third time was the charm.
BIDEN TRANSITION TEAM’S WORK UNDERWAY
“The core values of this nation, our standing in the world, our very democracy, everything that has made America — America — is at stake,” the former vice president emphasized as he announced his candidacy for president in April of last year, ending months of intrigue and media speculation.
Biden entered a record-setting, jam-packed field of contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, and he repeatedly took attacks from his more progressive rivals over his stance on the issues and his record during his four-plus decades as a senator from Delaware and vice president in the Obama administration. During the summer and fall of 2019, Biden was in the line of fire, as the front-runner in the race weathered a barrage of attacks.
Biden, who had struggled with fundraising since his campaign launch, saw his standing in the polls deteriorate at the end of last year and early this year, as progressive champion Sen. Bernie Sanders soared. And, the former vice president appeared on the ropes in February, after disappointing and distant showings in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, the first two contests in the presidential nomination calendar.
But, a landslide victory in the South Carolina primary on the last day of February, followed by sweeping victories three days later in the coast-to-coast Super Tuesday contests, vaulted Biden back to front-runner status. Most of his rivals quickly dropped out of the race as moderates and establishment Democrats rallied around Biden. After a continued streak of primary victories in March and early April, Sanders – who was Biden’s last rival for the nomination – ended his bid and endorsed the former vice president.
Biden entered a general election contest against Trump badly behind the GOP incumbent in the crucial fundraising and campaign organization metrics. At the same time, the White House race instantly was upended as the coronavirus pandemic swept the nation, forcing millions to self-isolate and shuttering major parts of the economy, triggering the worst recession since the Great Depression eight decades ago.
As Biden was working to unite the Democrats following a bruising primary, the general showdown between him and Trump instantly became a referendum on the president’s handling of the pandemic and the economy, giving Biden a race he could win.
Biden spent the remainder of the spring, summer and autumn continuously pillorying the president’s efforts to combat the coronavirus and revive the economy, and spelling out his proposals.
The president had been raising money for his reelection ever since he took over the White House in January 2017, and he enjoyed a massive early fundraising advantage over Biden. As Trump started going up with ads on TV in the key battlegrounds, Biden remained dark. The former vice president didn’t make his first major ad buy on television until the middle of June.
But, thanks in part to a surge in fundraising in late spring through summer, including record-shattering campaign cash hauls in August and September, Biden dramatically outraised the president as the general election heated up – and he outspent Trump on TV ads the past three months. In the digital ad wars, Biden also enjoyed a slight spending advantage.
Biden held his own in both presidential debates – disproving the repeated attacks by Trump and his campaign questioning the 77-year old nominee’s mental acuity. And, Trump’s brief hospitalization after contracting COVID-19, as well an autumn surge in the coronavirus in key states across the country, kept the campaign’s spotlight firmly on an issue that did no favors for the president’s reelection chances.
The final stretch of the campaign saw Biden playing offense and the president on defense – with most of the campaign stops in states Trump narrowly captured in 2016.
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