Pennsylvania Swings Blue As Biden Is Declared Victorious In Presidential Election

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Joe Biden has been declared the winner of the 2020 US presidential election by the Associated Press signalling the end of Donald Trump's four year stay in the white house. In doing so, he denies Donald Trump a second term, making him the first President to have suffered this ignominy since George Bush Sr in 1992. The result comes after the democratic nominee triumphed in the key battleground of Pennsylvania, after the prolonged wait for results.

The win in Pennsylvania brought Biden to 273 College votes, pushing him above the necessary threshold of 270 votes. The result also sees history made by vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris. The vice president-elect will become the first woman and person of mixed race descent to hold the role of vice-president after 3 years in the Senate. Jen O’Malley Dillon, the campaign manager behind Biden’s triumph also becomes the first woman to direct a victorious campaign.

Despite the victory eventually receiving confirmation on 7 November, the result had increasingly appeared a question of when not if, after the counting of mail-in ballots showed a clear trend toward Biden in several key states. Coming into 6 November Biden stood at 253 electoral college votes, 39 ahead of his rival for the position. Trump maintained healthy leads in republican stronghold Alaska, the swing state of North Carolina and crucially, still held marginal but shrinking leads in Pennsylvania and Georgia.

For Trump to win, he needed to maintain his lead in these states while hoping to flip one of either Arizona but more likely Nevada, where Biden held a narrow lead. To add to this, the president, as well as having declared victory, had claimed that voter fraud had taken place, and continued his efforts to stop ballot counting in Pennsylvania and Georgia, among other states.

 

Picture courtesy of the BBC.

 

For Biden on the other hand, the path to victory was significantly clearer. Having pulled ahead in Michigan, Biden only needed to maintain his leads in Nevada and Arizona to meet the landmark 270 electoral college votes.

Georgia, a Republican stronghold state that had voted for the party in every election since Bill Clinton's candidacy in 1992 would eventually switch midday on 6 November. That result owed a significant debt to the work of Stacey Abrams and the additional 800,000 voters who had registered to vote in the previous two years. Not long afterwards, Pennsylvania would follow. A switch which occurred without the inclusion of ballots that arrived after Election Day.

 

Many have highlighted the campaign work of Stacey Abrams as being key to the result in Georgia. Abrams raised millions of dollars to organize and register hundreds of thousands of voters in Georgia.

 

Biden’s victory here was driven by votes in southeastern Pennsylvania with Philadelphia and Delaware contributing significantly to his win. This was reflected too in the votes from the Chester and Montgomery counties, significant areas which leaned toward Biden. This theme was consolidated by mail-in ballots, which, as with a number of key states, overwhelmingly trended in Joe Biden's direction.

The Associated Press declared Biden the winner as of 16:25 GMT, to news which was met by scenes of celebration in several States. The Biden-Harris axis deserves credit for having mobilized 75.4 million voters (at the time of writing) to hand the democratic nominee his mandate to lead, with a victory which also saw him handidly take the popular vote which is projected to sit as high as 7 million, the most since Obama defeated John McCain in 2008 - the first of his two runs in 2008. To put this into better perspective, it is on course to represent the second biggest blowout in popular terms since 2000.

But there was an understandable disappointment too in many quarters. Unlike the case of George W. Bush during his second election, Trump, despite a controversy-laden four years, was able to strengthen his support base and this was reflected in 70 million-strong turnout, a figure which in any other election would have seen him elected president.

It's unsurprising then that Biden's victory speech placed such a heavy emphasis on healing and unity. Just as he did on the final debate stage, and as he did three days ago he once again repeated his promise not to see the nation in terms of red and blue states but rather as a 'United States'. Throughout his campaigning, Biden had made this a battle for 'the soul of the nation', and on Saturday, the American people gave him their mandate to begin the healing process.

 

Mayowa Ayodele

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