Joe Biden defeats Donald Trump to claim the White House

·2-min read

Democrat Joe Biden has been elected the 46th President of the United States after clinching the decisive state of Pennsylvania on Saturday – but incumbent Donald Trump was showing no signs of conceding.

The call from Associated Press came after Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania widened by over 30,000 votes. This handed him the state's 20 electoral college votes, enough to propel him over the 270 needed to take the White House.

Not long afterwards, he also claimed Nevada and its six electoral college votes.

US media including CNN and FOX announced Biden's win after projections showed he would take both battleground states.

Counting is ongoing in Georgia and Arizona, where Biden is also holding narrow leads. Authorities in Georgia said they would launch a recount as the race remains "too close to call".

A former vice president under Barack Obama, Biden is the first candidate to notch more than 70 million votes nationwide in a presidential contest.

“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation,” he said in a statement shortly after his win was projected. He also changed his Twitter profile to "president-elect".

Refusal to concede

However Trump has not accepted the results, and instead warned the election was "far from over". He released the following statement.

“We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed,” Trump said.

Throughout the marathon count, Trump claimed – without evidence – that Democrats were trying to "steal" the election.

His campaign filed an injunction to bar votes from being counted in Philadelphia unless a Republican observer is present. He also filed a lawsuit to halt the vote count in Michigan, which a judge rejected. And he is seeking a recount in Wisconsin.

Vice president-elect makes history

Biden's running mate Kamala Harris, meanwhile, has made history by becoming the first woman, the first black person and the first Asian American to be elected vice president.

The 56-year-old Californian senator shared a video of her phone call with Biden shortly after they were declared the winners.

“We did it,” Harris says in the video. “We did it, Joe. You’re going to be the next president of the United States.”

America saw its highest voter turnout in a century during these polls, with more than 100 million votes cast even before election day. But results were slowed, in part, by the unprecedented number of mail-in ballots due to the coronavirus.

While the presidency has been called, Congressional race results continue to trickle in, with Democrats set to retain their majority in the House, albeit with a slimmer margin.

Republicans appear poised to hold on to their majority in the Senate but January run-offs could further shift the balance.