After nearly 50 years in public life and three tries for the White House, former Vice President Joe Biden is the apparent winner of the presidency, defeating incumbent President Donald Trump in a victory delayed by vote counts and facing potential legal challenges.
ABC News is characterizing Biden as the apparent winner in Pennsylvania because the vote is very close and has not yet been certified. Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes , would put him over the required 270 needed to win the White House.
After Florida, Pennsylvania boasted the second-highest number of electoral votes at stake among the major battleground states, making it critical in the mathematical calculation of winning the presidency, but for Biden, a Scranton native, Pennsylvania also carried some sentimental value.The former vice president visited Scranton on Election Day and told ABC affiliate WNEP that it was part of a tradition.
It’s kind of a touchstone for me — where I learned my values,” he said. “So it’s just good luck for me. And I wanted to come home.”Painting the election as a “battle for the soul of the nation,” Biden won on a message of unity over division, compassion over anger, and reality over what he called Trump’s “wishful thinking” as the coronavirus pandemic cast a heavy shadow over the campaign.
In what many considered a referendum on Trump’s handling of the pandemic and civil unrest across America, voters ultimately rejected Trump’s disruptive leadership — and in record-shattering numbers.
Trump falsely claimed victory in the early hours of Wednesday and then on Thursday, in stunning remarks for a president speaking from the White House, questioned the integrity of the American election process without presenting any evidence.
It became clear, however, as mail-in and absentee votes continued to be counted, that Biden would narrowly take the Electoral College and also win more popular votes than any presidential candidate in history. Trump won the second-highest.In another historic first: California Sen. Kamala Harris becomes the first woman and first person of color to be elected vice president.
Biden pitched himself as a leader who would be “president for all Americans — not just the ones who vote for me” — in stark contrast to Trump who spoke of a country divided into blue states and red states.Bringing the nation together, given all Americans have been through, will be a daunting and unprecedented challenge.
Turning 78 in just under three weeks, Biden will be the oldest president to take office.He has persevered through repeated political setbacks and personal tragedy — losing his wife Neilia and young daughter Naomi in a horrific 1972 car accident in which his young sons Beau and Hunter were severely injured.
Beau died of a brain tumor in 2015 at age 46. Biden himself mostly overcome a stutter he’s had since boyhood.
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