Mail-in votes elect Joe Biden

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will become the 46th president of the United States after earning 290 electoral votes and 50.7 percent of the popular vote. The Associated Press called the race for Biden on Sunday after its projections showed that he would win Pennsylvania, whose 20 electoral votes put him over the 270-electoral vote threshold.

 At press time, the Associated Press has not called the races in North Carolina, Georgia or Alaska. 

The President himself has yet to concede this election and the Trump campaign has filed a variety of lawsuits in six states, all of which contest the ballot counting methodology in some form. The cases in Arizona, Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia are only set to dispute a small percentage of ballots in comparison to Biden’s lead, with most of them only challenging the legitimacy of fewer than 100 votes for the entire state.

 The sole exception is one lawsuit in Nevada concerning 3,000 ballots from out-of-state voters, which are unlikely to make a dent in Biden’s 22,000-vote lead. Recounts will be held in Wisconsin and Georgia.

On Sunday night, Biden and his running mate, California Senator Kamala Harris, made their first appearances as president-elect and vice-president-elect to supporters in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden’s hometown. Harris will be the first female, Black and South Asian vice president in U.S. history.

  This is the seventh time in the last eight presidential elections that the GOP has failed to secure the popular vote, despite having won three of them. So far, Biden has flipped Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania from the 2016 presidential election and is on track to flip Georgia as well, which has voted red since 1992. 

Democrats are very likely to hold on to their majority in the House of Representatives, but the Republican Party has gained a net total of five seats in the House so far, weakening the Democrats. However, the GOP lost a net total of one seat in the Senate, placing them at a 48, but are expected to win the Senate races for North Carolina and Alaska. Although this constitutes a loss for the Republican party, polls predicted that they would lose more seats than they have so far.

 Control of the Senate will be determined by two runoff elections in Georgia; Democrats will need to win both to match the GOP’s predicted 50 seats. If they do, Harris would be able to cast the tie-breaking vote and the Democratic party will be able to end the long-standing gridlock in Congress.

Biden’s campaign team assembled a wide variety of political factions in his coalition, with cooperation from progressives, like Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to Trump-skeptic Republicans, including former Ohio Governor John Kasich. 

 However, a leaked call on Thursday from the Democratic House caucus showed the party’s moderate and progressive wing blaming each other for unexpected losses, both in the House and with key groups of voters. Although House Democrats had expected to strengthen their majority, many freshman legislators lost their seats to Republicans.  

Although many polls had predicted a Biden victory, the week following Election Day left many on edge because the lack of mail-in and absentee ballots being counted initially created the illusion of a second Trump term. Biden won in the end with the aforementioned mail-in and absentee ballots being heavily Democratic in a number of key states, but by a much smaller margin than the polls indicated.