On a historic Saturday morning, Joseph R. Biden Jr. was elected the 46th president of the United States, making incumbent Donald J. Trump a one-term president — the first in 28 years. Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, will make history as the first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president in the White House.
In a victory delayed by vote counts and the fear of potential legal challenges, Biden has so far received 290 electoral votes — Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes first put him over the required 270 needed to win the presidency. Biden also received the most votes by any presidential candidate in American history, with nearly 75 million votes already counted — 4.1 million more than Trump.
"I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect Harris," Biden said in a statement Saturday afternoon. "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."
Trump has not conceded the election and members of his legal team have stated that they will be contesting the results in key states like Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia. In a series of tweets and statements, Trump has disparaged the election process in a number of close states, specifically targeting the counting of mail-in ballots and the counting of votes after Election Day despite any evidence of voter fraud presented by the president.
“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated,” Trump said in a statement Saturday afternoon.
The University’s College Republicans acknowledged Saturday that voting irregularities don’t appear to be widespread, but should be investigated to ensure that the integrity of America’s elections are upheld. The student group wrote in a statement that although the American people have chosen Biden to be the next president, their organization will continue to advocate for conservative principles.
“It is important to note that in addition to voting to send Vice President Biden to the White House, voters across the nation also signaled their preference for a Republican-controlled Senate,” the College Republicans Executive Board wrote.
Members of the University Democrats celebrated on the Lawn following the announcement of Biden’s victory over Trump’s divisive administration.
“I think I speak for our general membership when I say that we are extremely ecstatic that the horrible Presidency of Donald Trump is set to come to an end,” said Jackson Postal, UDems communications chair and second-year College student.
UDems had campaigned for Biden over the past year, and recently phonebanked for the Democratic party in Pennsylvania. Postal believes this was important given the nature of the Electoral College, which makes campaigning in swing states crucial.
While Trump hasn’t officially conceded the election, Postal is confident that Biden will be the nation’s next president and that Trump will be forced to leave the White House.
“I think that Trump has shown, time and time again, that he is a stain on the nation and if he wants to keep throwing a hissy fit, he is entitled to do that, but that doesn't change the results of the election,” Postal said.
In Virginia, Biden triumphed over Trump by a margin of nearly 10 percent, awarding him 13 electoral votes. In 2016, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won the commonwealth by a margin of just over five percent.
Second-year College student Molly Hayes, who campaigned for Dr. Cameron Webb’s Democratic campaign in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District, felt that the election was of the utmost importance.
“People are beginning to realize the personal effects that policy/politicians can have on their lives — i.e. how fast the pandemic will go away/when they can return back to normal,” Hayes said in an email to The Cavalier Daily.
In VA-05 — the Congressional District that represents the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County — Republican candidate Bob Good defeated Webb by a margin of at least 20,000 votes. Good, a self-avowed “Biblical conservative,” was endorsed by Trump prior to the election.
Despite the Democrats’ loss in the 5th District, CNN projects that Democrats will maintain control of the House of Representatives, though Republicans will have gained at least five seats. Party control of the Senate is currently unclear. According to The New York Times, Democrats have flipped at least one seat, but two elections remain uncalled, while two Senate elections in Georgia will be decided in a Jan. 5 runoff election.
Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) won reelection against Republican challenger Daniel Gade by a margin of approximately eleven percent.