Washington, November 7
Democrat Joe Biden captured the US presidency on Saturday, several major television networks said, as voters narrowly rebuffed Republican incumbent Donald Trump’s tumultuous leadership and embraced Biden’s promise to fight the Covid pandemic and fix the economy in a divided nation.
When the former Vice-President enters the White House on January 20, the oldest person to assume the office at 77, he will likely face a difficult task governing in a deeply polarised Washington, underscored by a record nationwide voter turnout in a fight to the finish.
His projected victory came after four days of nail-biting suspense over the outcome of Tuesday’s election, with the counting of votes in a handful of battleground states ongoing thanks to a flood of mail-in ballots.
Biden had a 273 to 214 lead in the state-by-state Electoral College vote that determines the winner, having won Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes to put him over the 270 he needed to secure the presidency, according to Edison Research.
To secure the win, Biden faced unprecedented challenges. These included Republican-led efforts to limit mail-in voting at a time when a record number of people were due to vote by mail because of the pandemic. The election drama is likely to play out for weeks, if not months. Trump, 74, is contesting the vote in the courts, but legal experts said his challenges had little chance of affecting the outcome.
Biden’s victory was driven by strong support from groups including women, African Americans, white voters with college degrees and city dwellers. He was more than four million votes ahead of Trump in the nationwide popular vote count. — Agencies