WASHINGTON – Joe Biden is set to win the U.S. presidential election, according to NBC News, a turning point in a deeply divided nation facing multiple crises.
The call in the race came four days after election day and during close counts in several battlefield states. President Donald Trump's campaign raised several legal challenges regarding the tabulation of ballots.
According to NBC, Biden will win the White House by at least 279 votes. He will carry all of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin – three states that drove Trump's dizzying rise to the White House four years ago.
Biden's election means a rejection of Trump's divisive governance by millions of voters and an embrace of Biden's pledge to bring more civic, compassionate, and steady leadership to the White House. The race, which was decided in a number of swing states with tight profit margins, resulted in a record turnout with both Biden and Trump receiving more than 70 million votes. Biden has a still growing lead of more than 4 million in the nationwide referendum.
Biden's victory is also a sign that he has given the new administration a mandate to develop a new approach to the nationwide coronavirus crisis that left more than 233,000 Americans dead and no signs of easing. Trump has consistently downplayed the severity of the pandemic and denied the reality of rising case numbers.
"I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have shown in me and in Vice-President-Elect Harris," said Biden in a statement Saturday following his planned victory. "In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. This proves again that democracy is deep in the heart of America."
"When the campaign is over, it will be time to leave the anger and harsh rhetoric behind and come together as a nation. It is time for America to unite. And heal. We are the United States of America. And it is nothing we can do. " don't do it if we do it together, "he continued.
Trump was at his Virginia golf club after days of unfounded lies government officials conspired to steal the race when Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes brought Biden over the finish line. In a tweet on Saturday morning, despite the ongoing results, he claimed, "I have won this election many times over!"
It is unclear if or when the president will allow his rival the race. In a statement released from his campaign, the president claimed "this election is far from over" as he fights fierce litigation in narrow electoral states.
"Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any state, let alone one of the highly competitive states headed towards mandatory recounts or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate winner," Trump said in the explanation.
It took several states days to count a record number of postal ballot papers during the coronavirus pandemic. Those votes fell heavily in Biden's favor after Trump repeatedly urged supporters to cast ballots in person.
A historic choice
With Biden's election, his comrade-in-arms, California Senator Kamala Harris, made history – she became the first woman, the first black American, and the first Asian-American to be elected vice president.
Harris shared a video of himself on the phone with Biden on Saturday.
"We did it, Joe," she said. "You will be the next President of the United States."
Biden, who turns 78 later this month, will also make history as the oldest person to ever assume the presidency. 74-year-old Trump tried often to make it a serious problem during the mere election campaign the two men had waged over the past year.
Biden will also be one of the most experienced presidents ever inaugurated. He served in the US Senate for more than 30 years and from 2009-17 for eight years under President Barack Obama.
Biden's experience at the highest level of government this year has often been cited by voters as one of the reasons they trusted him to lead the nation through the coronavirus crisis, the ensuing economic crisis, and a milestone in racial relations in the United States.
On a personal level, several voters told respondents that they believed Biden had the right temperament for what is arguably the most demanding job in the world.
In many ways, Biden's election was predictable – he had maintained a steady lead over Trump in national and battlefield state polls throughout the campaign.
But memories of 2016, when Trump won a majority on the electoral college despite the lack of polls and the loss of the referendum, haunted Democrats that year, giving Republicans cause for optimism until the last moment. Indeed, the races were close in several states, despite Biden being well on his way to winning the referendum.
In a country that is more politically and racially divided than it has ever been in the past 50 years, Biden has promised to rule as a unit.
"I'm a proud Democrat, but I will rule as American President to unite and heal myself and I will work as hard for those who did not support me as I did for those who did," said Biden at a campaign event in Florida last week of the campaign.
Biden will have at least 279 votes, while Trump will get 214 or more, according to NBC. Georgia, Arizona, and North Carolina are still too close to call.
How Biden got here
Joseph R. Biden Jr. was born on November 20, 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the eldest of four children. His early life was marked by his strict Catholic schooling and the financial difficulties and job losses of his father. The family moved from Pennsylvania to Delaware when Biden was 10, and his father eventually became a successful used car dealer.
Biden graduated from the University of Delaware and Syracuse University Law School before embarking on a short-lived career in private practice. After a brief stint in local Delaware politics, Biden ran for the US Senate in 1972 and won an angry victory.
His life changed forever that December when Biden's wife and daughter were killed in a car accident that his two young sons, Beau and Hunter, survived.
He married his second wife in 1977, incoming first lady Jill Biden, an English teacher. You have a daughter, Ashley.
Biden served in the Senate for more than 35 years, chairing the Senate's powerful Judiciary Committee in the late 1980s and later the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee.
In 2008, then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama named Biden as his deputy, referring to Biden's deep knowledge of foreign policy and his legislative experience.
Biden was Obama's vice president for eight years, and the two men became very close.
"Joe has shown himself time and again to be a man of principle and character and he will be a great president," Obama said at a rally in Biden in late October. "He made me a better president and he has the character and experience to make us a better country."