WASHINGTON, D.C. — Almost all major news sources declared former Vice President Joe Biden as the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election on Saturday. The news came after Biden won Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, putting him past the needed 270 electoral votes.
There was no immediate word from President Trump as the news broke, bringing some relief to anxious voters who had been closely monitoring tight race in remaining battleground states such as Pennsylvania. Biden was able to hold on to his razor thin lead in that state, as mail-in and provisional ballots were tallied into the weekend.
Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, are expected to address the nation at 8 p.m. ET from Wilmington, North Carolina. Trump’s campaign, or the White House, had not made any indications of a live address from the current president as of early Saturday afternoon.
“The simple fact is this election is far from over,” Trump, who now appears to be the first one-term president since George H. W. Bush, said in a statement released to the press around 11:45 a.m.
Trump did post a bizarre tweet right around the time sources like CNN and AP News confirmed their projections, saying he had won the election “BY A LOT!” He also promised a press conference in Philadelphia at a landscaping business earlier in the day, where his lawyers spoke.
I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2020
Biden also led in other battleground states like Nevada early Saturday. There, the incoming batches of votes put him ahead enough to where the mathematical likelihood of Trump taking a lead became all but impossible. AP, which had called Arizona’s 11 electoral votes earlier in the week, called Nevada for Biden by Saturday afternoon.
Taking in to account Arizona and Nevada, Pennsylvania puts Biden at a whopping 290 electoral votes. Biden is in the lead in Georgia, but officials had earlier said a recount was likely. If that southern state goes to Biden, he would get an additional 16 electoral votes, giving him 306 votes. By comparison, Trump won 304 electoral votes in 2016.
“Obviously, he’s not going to concede,” said Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, at the news conference in Philadelphia before the race was called. Trump spent Saturday morning golfing in suburban Virginia.
America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country.
The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not.
I will keep the faith that you have placed in me. pic.twitter.com/moA9qhmjn8
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 7, 2020
Michigan Governor Whitmer congratulated Joe Biden on his projected victory:
“I want to congratulate President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris on their hard-fought win in this election,” Whitmer said in a statement. “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.
“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.”
Earlier on Saturday, CNN became the first television network in the U.S. to project that Biden will become the country’s next president.