Author: Mark Longley & Lana Andelane

Joe Biden has defeated Donald Trump to become the 46th President of the United States.

After four days of painstaking ballot-counting across several battleground states, Biden has been declared the President-elect after flipping the crucial state of Pennsylvania, securing its 20 electoral votes by a razor-thin margin. 

The victory marks a historic moment for Senator Kamala Harris of California, the Vice President-elect becoming the first woman, first Black American woman and first South Asian American on a winning presidential ticket.

Biden is now sitting on 279 electoral votes - 290 if counting Arizona - surpassing the 270 required to clinch the presidency, with Trump languishing on 214. 

The defeat of Donald Trump has made the one-term President the third since World War II to lose a bid for re-election - and the first elected President to lose a second term in more than 25 years.

The triumph of Biden - who is turning 78 on November 20 - has fulfilled the former Vice President's decades-long ambition for the presidency, his third bid for the White House finally proving successful.

What you need to know

  • Biden defeated President Trump after flipping Pennsylvania, a crucial battleground state, putting his total of Electoral College votes above the 270 needed to secure the presidency
  • It's a history-making moment for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who will become the first woman - and woman of colour - on a winning presidential ticket
  • President Donald Trump has vowed not to concede the presidency, promising further legal action into his claims of fraud
  • Several states remain uncalled - Alaska, North Carolina and Georgia. Arizona has not yet been called by outlets such as the New York Times, but has been declared blue by the likes of the Associated Press
  • Biden is currently leading in Georgia, considered a Republican stronghold, at 49.45 pct of the vote - Trump trailing by the slimmest of margins at 49.30 pct with around 98 pct of the ballots counted
  • Outgoing President Donald Trump will remain in office until Biden is officially sworn in at the inauguration on January 20, 2021.

9:30am - Donald Trump is making his way back to the White House after spending the afternoon at his golf course in Virginia.

Four hours ago, the outgoing President tweeted: "I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!"

He has since re-shared an article from Breitbart - an American far-right syndicated news and opinion website - that he tweeted earlier in the day.

"Georgia Counties Using Same Software as Michigan Counties Also Encounter 'Glitch'... really bad," he wrote.

9am - 2012 Republican presidential nominee, Senator Mitt Romney, has tweeted his support for Biden and Harris, writing: "We [he and wife Ann Romney] know both of them as people of good will and admirable character. We pray that God may bless them in the days and years ahead."

Romney is one of the key Republican lawmakers who has slammed President Trump for making the unsubstantiated claim that Democrats are attempting to "steal" the election. 

The Utah Senator - an outspoken critic of the Trump administration despite his political affiliation - has acknowledged that Trump is within his rights to request recounts and call for investigations where there is evidence of irregularities.

However, the President is "wrong to say the election was rigged, corrupt and stolen", Romney said on Twitter yesterday.

Trump's claim "damages the cause of freedom here and around the world... and recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions", Romney continued.

Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania has also called Trump's claim of fraud "very disturbing".

8:45am - Dr Jill Biden - who will officially become the First Lady of the United States following the January 20 inauguration - has pitched in her two cents on the presidential outcome, simply tweeting: "He will be a President for all of our families." 

She also re-tweeted Biden's initial statement after being declared President-elect, which reiterated his promise to be "a President for all Americans".


8:30am - UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has taken to Twitter to offer his congratulations to the new President-elect and Kamala Harris for her "historic achievement".

"The US is our most important ally and I look forward to working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security."


8:20am - Kamala Harris' husband, Doug Emhoff, has shared a sweet picture of the couple in a congratulatory tweet.

"So proud of you," he wrote.


8:10am - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated Biden and Harris on their landmark victory.

"The relationship between our two countries is strong, and I look forward to developing even closer relations with the incoming Biden Administration," Ardern said in a statement issued on Sunday morning (NZ time).

She noted that as Vice President under the Obama administration, Biden was a "close friend" of New Zealand and visited the country in 2016, the most senior American politician to do so since former President Bill Clinton attended APEC in 1999.

"New Zealand will continue to work side-by-side with the United States on the issues that matter to both of us, including the prosperity, security, and sustainability in the Indo-Pacific and Pacific Island regions," Ardern said.

"The campaign by the President-elect has also shown the shared interests we have in addressing global challenges like COVID-19 and climate change.

"There are many challenges in front of the international community right now, the message of unity from Joe Biden positions us well to take those challenges on."

Ardern also acknowledged New Zealand's "positive and cooperative relations" under the outgoing Trump administration.


NZ PM Jacinda Ardern has congratulated Biden and Harris on their win

7:50am - There are scenes of jubilation and elation across the US, with Biden supporters and Democratic voters flooding the streets in celebration.

Footage shared to social media shows Americans honking their horns, cheering, dancing and parading in commemoration of the historic victory in a landmark, nail-biting election.

7:35am - Former President Barack Obama has offered his congratulations to Biden and Harris, sharing a statement to his official Twitter account.

"I could not to be prouder to congratulate our next President, Joe Biden, and our next First Lady, Jill Biden," he said, noting the duo's "historic and decisive victory".

He acknowledged Harris' "groundbreaking" election as the first woman, Black American and South Asian American to rise to the role.

Biden served as Vice President under the Obama administration.

7:30am - Messages of congratulations have poured in for Biden, notably from former Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton, who lost to Trump in 2016.

07:20 - Jubilant Biden supporters have started to celebrate his victory by taking to the streets.


7:15am- Donald Trump was reportedly playing golf when the news broke - he should have plenty more time to lower his handicap now. 

7:10am - After four days of counting, Joe Biden secured the states of Pennsylvania and Nevada - also securing him the presidency. 

It was arguably the most bitterly fought election in recent times, with outgoing President Trump alleging voter fraud and prematurely declaring himself the winner. 

Reports from the White House say Trump is unlikely to concede. CNN says Vice-President Mike Pence has distanced himself from Trump to avoid becoming embroiled in the controversy. 

7:07am - Biden is due to speak at 2pm (NZ time). 

7:02am - Newly-minted Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has released a video of the call she made to Joe Biden after learning of their landmark victory, capturing a moment of pure elation.

"We did it," she captioned the footage.


6:40am - "This election is about so much more than Joe Biden or me," Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris has tweeted a statement.

"It's about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let's get started."


6:30am - Joe Biden has released a statement expressing his honour at securing the presidency.

"I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect Harris,” Biden said.

"In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America.

"With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation.

"It’s time for America to unite. And to heal.

"We are the United States of America. And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together."

6:20am - It's clear outgoing President Donald Trump will not hand over the reins of power without a fight, accusing Biden of "falsely" posing as the winner - despite Trump prematurely declaring victory, twice - and threatening more legal action. 

"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. The simple fact is this election is far from over," Trump said in a statement.

"Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated."

6:00am - Joe Biden has beaten Donald Trump in the United States' presidential election. Biden flipped the key battleground state of Pennsylvania, its 20 Electoral Colleges votes enough to secure him and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the winning presidential ticket. Outgoing President Trump will remain in office until Biden is inaugurated in 2021.

Article: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2020/11/us-election-joe-biden-becomes-46th-president-of-the-united-states.html
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