THE WAIT IS OVER: Joe Biden wins US election, beats sitting president

Saturday - 07/11/2020 11:58
Joe Biden has won the election. Picture: Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFPSource:AFP
Joe Biden has won the election. Picture: Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFPSource:AFP
Democratic nominee Joe Biden has at last passed the threshold needed to win the US election and will be the next US president, ousting President Trump after one term.

Joe Biden has won the US election, and will become the 46th president of the United States.

The Democratic nominee passed the required threshold of 270 electoral votes on Saturday morning, US time, after he was declared the winner in the key state of Pennsylvania.

At least three states – Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina – remain undecided. Four if you count Arizona, which has been called by Fox News and The Associated Press, but not by the other news networks.

Mr Biden no longer needs any of them.

He has won a comfortable majority of the popular vote, and claimed multiple states Donald Trump won in 2016, including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. He also leads in Arizona and Georgia, the latter of which has not voted for a Democrat since 1992.

Mr Biden is expected to address the American people in the coming hours.

RELATED: Follow our live coverage of the election

Joe Biden speaking in Wilmington, Delaware yesterday. Picture: Jim Watson/AFP
Joe Biden speaking in Wilmington, Delaware yesterday. Picture: Jim Watson/AFPSource:AFP

 

Attention will also turn to President Trump, and whether he will concede defeat.

Mr Trump has spent recent days making baseless claims about widespread fraud in the vote count, without providing any evidence. He claimed to have “already won” on election night, and has since falsely claimed victory in states actually won by Mr Biden.

“I easily WIN the Presidency of the United States with LEGAL VOTES CAST,” the President said on Twitter.

“The OBSERVERS were not allowed, in any way, shape, or form, to do their job and therefore, votes accepted during this period must be determined to be ILLEGAL VOTES. US Supreme Court should decide!”

This claim is false. While the Trump campaign did win a small legal victory in Pennsylvania, which allowed its election observers to stand a few feet closer to election workers, observers from both major parties have been allowed inside all counting centres.

In any case, whatever his stance on the matter, Mr Trump will remain President until Inauguration Day on January 20. Once Mr Biden is sworn in by the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice John Roberts, the powers of the office will pass to him.

RELATED: Trump’s baseless claims about the election results
 

Donald Trump speaking at the White House yesterday. He made a number of baseless claims about the election results. Picture: Brendan Smialowski/AFP
Donald Trump speaking at the White House yesterday.
He made a number of baseless claims about the election results.
Picture: Brendan Smialowski/AFPSource:AFP

 

The Democrats’ victory in this election also means the United States will have its first female vice president in history, Kamala Harris.

Mr Biden and Ms Harris will face significant challenges as they take office, not least of which will be managing a deeply divided country.

More than 69 million Americans voted for Mr Trump, and the President has so far shown no indication that he intends to facilitate a smooth transition.

The country is also in the midst of a massive surge in cases of the coronavirus, with more than 120,000 infections reported yesterday. That was the third day in a row of 100,000 cases or more.

The virus has killed more than 230,000 Americans, including 1200 yesterday.

Mr Biden can also expect to find the US government divided along partisan lines. While the Democrats will hold both the White House and the House of Representatives, the Republicans appear to have done enough to maintain control of the Senate, pending a pair of special elections in Georgia.

The president-elect’s self-described talent for making deals across the political aisle will be thoroughly tested.

More to come.

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