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Web Desk
November 7, 2020

Joe Biden defeats Trump, poised to become 46th US president

Web Desk
Sat, Nov 07, 2020
Democrat Joe Biden Joe Biden speaks at an event. Photo: AFP

WILMINGTON: Democrat Joe Biden on Saturday won the US presidential race and is set to become the 46th president of the country after winning in the state of Pennsylvania, which got him 20 more electoral college votes, CNN reported.

Before becoming the Democratic presidential nominee, Biden served as vice president under former President Barack Obama. He is also Delaware's longest-serving senator.

Throughout his campaign, Biden has argued that the "soul of the nation" is at stake, and has promised that he would seek to heal a country fractured by Trump's presidency.

In 2008, Biden, along with senator Lugar were awarded the "Hilal-i-Pakistan" (Crescent of Pakistan) in recognition of "consistent support for Pakistan".

Biden and Lugar that year had introduced a bipartisan US aid plan which called for aid of $1.5 billion per year in non-military spending to support economic development in Pakistan.

Harris to break records after becoming VP

Many records have been broken this presidential race, such as the highest voter turnout — 74 million — and the flipping of traditionally Republican states that led to Biden's comfortable victory.

In another record, Kamala Harris will be the country’s first female and first Black vice president.

She will be the first woman to hold the office. She will also be the nation’s first Black and South Asian vice president.

Harris, who has represented California in the Senate since 2017, is the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, and she grew up attending a Black Baptist church and a Hindu temple.

She was the first Indian-American and second Black woman to serve as a senator.

CNN, NBC News and CBS News called the race in his favor, after projecting he had won the decisive state of Pennsylvania.

Trump's accusations

Biden, 77, is the oldest candidate ever elected to the White House. Trump had no immediate reaction to the announcement, but as Biden's lead grew during vote counts since Tuesday's election, the Republican president lashed out with unsubstantiated claims of fraud and claimed, falsely, that he had won.

Earlier Saturday, as he headed to his golf course in Virginia, he repeated this, tweeting: "I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!"

However, the result now condemns 74-year-old Trump to becoming the first one-term president since George H. W. Bush at the start of the 1990s.

Biden, who got the votes of a record more than 74 million people, was hunkered down with his running mate Kamala Harris, in his home town of Wilmington, Delaware.

The Secret Service has already begun intensifying its protective bubble around the president-elect, who will be inaugurated on January 20.

A centrist who promises to bring calm to Washington after four turbulent years under Trump, Biden is the oldest man to win the presidency — a position he twice sought unsuccessfully during his long political career, before being elected vice president to Barack Obama in 2008.

Voting records break

Overall turnout on Tuesday broke records with some 160 million people pouring out across the United States after a deeply polarising campaign complicated by the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic.

Biden secured his win by recapturing the Midwestern states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin — traditional Democratic territory that Trump had flipped in 2016 with his powerful appeal to white, working-class voters.

With Pennsylvania in the bag, Biden has now accumulated 273 out of 538 Electoral College votes, clearing the bar of 270, thereby making it impossible for Trump to get a second term even if he were to win the remaining undeclared states.

Biden was also ahead in Arizona, Nevada, and in a near dead heat in Georgia — a southern state that has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1992 and is now headed for a recount.

Results from congressional races indicate that Biden will face a divided legislature, with his Democrats holding a majority in the House and Republicans clinging to control of the Senate — although that could still shift.

The division in Washington will likely complicate immediately Biden´s ability to govern, starting with disputes in Congress over a delayed economic stimulus package for Americans hammered by the fallout from the coronavirus crisis.

Donald Trump joins rare club of defeated presidents

Trump has boasted of being an atypical leader but he's now entered a rare club he will definitely not appreciate — US presidents who have lost reelection.

Since World War II, only two other presidents who sought a second term from voters have failed: Jimmy Carter and George HW Bush.

For Trump, the first president never to have previously held elected office or a military leadership position, the White House helped normalize a volatile man better known earlier to Americans as a television celebrity.

However unpresidential in tone his tweets, his every formal event took place behind lecturns bearing the instantly recognizable seal of the US commander in chief.

—  Additional reporting from AFP