WASHINGTON (AP/CBS DETROIT) — Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States on Saturday, positioning himself to lead a nation gripped by historic pandemic and a confluence of economic and social turmoil.
His victory came after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes that delayed the processing of some ballots. Biden crossed 270 Electoral College votes with a win in Pennsylvania.
Biden, 77, staked his candidacy less on any distinctive political ideology than on galvanizing a broad coalition of voters around the notion that Trump posed an existential threat to American democracy. The strategy proved effective, resulting in pivotal victories in Michigan and Wisconsin as well as Pennsylvania, onetime Democratic bastions that had flipped to Trump in 2016.
Biden was on track to win the national popular vote by more than 4 million, a margin that could grow as ballots continue to be counted.
Michigan contributed to Biden’s win by flipping in the Democratic nominee’s favor, after flipping during the 2016 election for President Donald Trump.
On Wednesday afternoon President Donald Trump’s campaign filed a lawsuit in the Michigan Court of Claims to stop the counting of ballots.
“As votes in Michigan continue to be counted, the presidential race in the state remains extremely tight as we always knew it would be,” Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager said in a statement. “President Trump’s campaign has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law.”
Early Wednesday morning after making remarks in his home state of Delaware, telling his supporters to “keep the faith,” Biden said it’s not his place or the President’s place to declare the winner of the 2020 election, “it’s the voters’ place.”
The Michigan Court of Claims ruled Thursday that a lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson was unlikely to succeed on the merits and denied a request by plaintiffs for immediate relief to stop the counting of ballots.
As the vote count played out, Biden tried to ease tensions and project an image of presidential leadership, hitting notes of unity that were seemingly aimed at cooling the temperature of a heated, divided nation.
“We have to remember the purpose of our politics isn’t total unrelenting, unending warfare,” Biden said Friday night in Delaware. “No, the purpose of our politics, the work of our nation, isn’t to fan the flames of conflict, but to solve problems, to guarantee justice, to give everybody a fair shot.”
Kamala Harris also made history as the first Black woman to become vice president, an achievement that comes as the U.S. faces a reckoning on racial justice. The California senator, who is also the first person of South Asian descent elected to the vice presidency, will become the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in government, four years after Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.
Shortly after the announcement of Biden to become the President-Elect and Harris to become the Vice President-Elect, Michigan’s Gov. Gretchen Whitmer congratulated the two on their “hard-fought win.”
“I want to congratulate President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris on their hard-fought win in this election. I look forward to working with both of them as we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19, work to rebuild our economy, and save lives,” said Whitmer.
The governor said now with the election behind us, “it is time for the American people to unite against our common enemy: COVID-19.”
“This virus has ravaged our country, infecting over 200,000 Michiganders and killing over 7,500. Our hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise, and we are recording a record number of cases each day in Michigan and across the country. It is all of our responsibility to do everything in our power to protect our families, frontline workers, and small businesses,” she said.
Lastly, the governor urged Michiganders to continue to do their part against Covid-19.
“To the people of Michigan: I urge you to wear a mask, maintain safe physical distancing, wash your hands frequently, and get your flu vaccine. To our newly elected leaders, from the White House down to the Michigan State Legislature, let’s roll up our sleeves, work together, and beat this virus once and for all,” said Whitmer.
Statement from Governor Whitmer on the 2020 Election Results: pic.twitter.com/koP6MlgzSN
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) November 7, 2020
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