Mumbai/ Washington: The suspense was finally over. Democrat Joe Biden on Saturday defeated incumbent Republican US President Donald Trump in the closely-fought presidential election. The 77-year-old former US vice-president will become the 46th president of the United States, CNN reported, after a victory in Pennsylvania, the state where he was born put him over the 270 electoral votes needed to win. With Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes, Biden now has a total of 273 electoral votes.
Before becoming the Democratic presidential nominee, Biden served as vice-president under former President Barack Obama. He is also Delaware's longest-serving senator. Senator Kamala Harris, 56, who is of Indian origin, has become the first ever woman vice president-elect of the United States. She would also be the country's first Indian-origin, first Black and first African American vice president of the country.
“This election is about so much more than" Joe Biden "or me. It's about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let's get started," tweeted Vice-President-elect Harris.
Trump was playing golf in Virginia when major media outlets called the race. He is now the first incumbent president to lose re-election bid after George H W Bush in 1992.
Harris won her first election in 2003 and became San Francisco's district attorney. In 2010, she became the first woman of colour to be elected California's attorney general. Harris was elected to the US Senate in 2016.
Biden and Harris would be sworn in as the President and Vice-President of the country on January 20. “America, I'm honoured 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," Biden said in a tweet soon thereafter.
Major media outlets started calling Biden the winner after it became clear that he had taken a major lead in the battleground State of Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral college votes, making him cross the benchmark of the 270 electoral college votes.
Counting of ballots is still ongoing in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada and Georgia. Biden has the lead in all the four states, which according to major media outlets is unlikely to be reversed.
"Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States", CNN projects, after a victory in the state where he was born put him over the 270 electoral votes needed to win.
"Former vice president Joe Biden is projected to win Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes, according to Edison Research, putting him over the 270 needed to win the presidency," The Washington Post reported.
The call came about 11:30 a.m. Saturday (local time), after a report of more counted votes from Pennsylvania. "Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was elected the 46th president of the United States on Saturday, promising to restore political normalcy and a spirit of national unity to confront raging health and economic crises, and making Donald J. Trump a one-term president after four years of tumult in the White House," The New York Times said.
Biden's victory amounted to a repudiation of Trump by millions of voters exhausted with his divisive conduct and chaotic administration, and was delivered by an unlikely alliance of women, people of colour, old and young voters and a sliver of disaffected Republicans.
(Inputs from PTI & Reuters)