Biden defeats Trump, vows new direction for a US gripped by crises
US presidential nominee Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States on Saturday, as the country is gripped by the coronavirus pandemic and a confluence of economic and social crises.
Biden, the Democratic Party’s nominee, won after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes that delayed the processing of some ballots.
Biden crossed 270 Electoral College votes with a win in Pennsylvania. He is on track to win the national popular vote by more than 4 million, a margin that could grow as ballots continue to be counted.
The 77-year-old former vice president staked his candidacy around the notion that Trump, 74, posed an existential threat to American democracy.
The strategy proved effective, resulting in pivotal victories in Michigan and Wisconsin as well as Pennsylvania, onetime Democratic bastions that had flipped to Trump in 2016.
Trump used the delays in processing the vote in some states to falsely accuse of voter fraud and argue that his rival was trying to seize power illegitimately, an unprecedented allegation in modern US history.
Trump is the first incumbent president to lose reelection since Republican George H.W. Bush in 1992. It was unclear whether Trump would publicly concede.
The 2020 US election took place amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 236,000 Americans, and infected nearly 10 million other, while wiping out millions of jobs.
The US election was a referendum on Trump's handling of the pandemic and other crises, including the police killings of Black Americans like George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky.
Their deaths by white police sparked the largest US racial protest movement since the civil rights era.
Biden responded to the police killings by acknowledging the racism that pervades American life, while Trump emphasized his support of police and pivoted to a "law and order" message that resonated with his largely white base.