On November 7, four days after Election Day, news outlets projected the victory of Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, when the Democrat candidates secured at least 270 electoral votes with the latest result in Pennsylvania.
It has been a long week for the American people. Anyone who cares about the next leader of the United States hardly had time to focus on work and study, but instead spent the week waiting for the game-over moment of this intense election.
During the night of Election Day, more than 35 states declared a winner, and the results mostly aligned with the expected scenario - no states flipped from the 2016 presidential election result, or one if an early projection by the Associated Press (AP) on Biden winning Arizona is accepted. As of midnight, major news outlets called that the incumbent President Donald Trump had won Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming, while the challenger Biden had won California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Washington, D.C. Trump held 146 electoral votes, and Biden had 224 electoral votes.
In the later time after midnight, results of Texas and Florida came in, boosting Trump with an additional 67 electoral votes. Maine gave three electoral votes to Biden, and one to Trump. With a 227-214 electoral vote count between Biden and Trump, there were still 87 votes yet to be declared. Despite the lead, Biden understood his victory was not guaranteed but he showed confidence in winning, urging Democrat voters to keep in faith. Meanwhile, Trump held a small lead in most of the seven key states and declared a victory, ignoring the fact that those states were still too close to call.
On the morning of November 4, Michigan and Wisconsin showed very narrow margins of vote count. And by midday, Biden won both Michigan and Wisconsin, flipping them blue, and widening the electoral vote margin to 253-214, or AP projected as 264-214 given Biden winning Arizona. The Democrats then put their eyes on Nevada, a state with six electoral votes, seeing it as at the very last step of winning. As mail in ballots continued to be counted in other states where Trump was leading, Republicans became alarmed as his lead diminished with each new batch of votes.
The uncertainty and anxiety kept for another day. The vote counting continued, and the remaining five states remained too close to call. Trump’s winning gap in Pennsylvania and Georgia flipped to be Biden’s lead with a less-than-a-percent margin. The situation had changed, and Biden winning in either Nevada or Pennsylvania could call it the game.
Pennsylvania was called for Biden in the late morning of November 7. The 20 electoral votes crossed Biden over the finish line to become the president-elect. And in less than half an hour, Nevada was also called for Biden, solidifying his election victory.
Despite the fact that Trump declined to concede and said that election is “far from over,” the promise of a Biden presidency is a relief to many of the insomniacs during the week. Given that the result is out, voters from both sides can reposition themselves and re-imagine what is next for their homeland. “Let's give each other a chance," as Biden said in his first address as president-elect. "This is the time to heal in America.”