Presidential race called for former vice president
Joe Biden has been declared the winner of the presidential race by national media.
Media outlets reported that the former Democratic vice president had more than the 270 Electoral College votes needed.
CBS, which (along with Reuters) has been more cautious than others in reporting the numbers, put Mr. Biden’s number at 279. The Associated Press said the number is 290.
AP reported Republican President Donald Trump had 214 votes.
Mr. Biden’s supporters were thrilled with the news, and celebrations were reported across the nation. A local celebration is planned today in Santa Barbara, as Sunrise Santa Barbara hosts a “Community for Unification” event, which will include music, art and community building.
The event is scheduled for 1 p.m. today at the County Courthouse Sunken Garden, 1100 Anacapa St.
In addition, the Santa Barbara County Democratic Party will be holding a virtual event to thank all the volunteers and supporters who contributed to the victory.
The event is scheduled from 4 to 5 p.m. via Zoom. To RSVP and register, visit https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZArcu2prT8vE9CGovWO4gHb2QYy8RySjrm4. After registering, attendees will receive a confirmation email with information on how to join the meeting.
During a news conference Saturday night in Wilmington, Del., Mr. Biden addressed a crowd of supporters and his fellow Delawareans. The president-elect told the crowd that the American public has “delivered us a clear victory” in the race for president, having accumulated 74 million votes — the most votes ever cast on a presidential ticket in the history of the nation.
“I’m humbled by the trust and confidence you’ve placed in me,” said Mr. Biden. “I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but unify. Who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only the United States. And to work with all my heart with the confidence… to win the confidence of all people.
“I sought this office to restore the soul of America, to rebuild the backbone of this nation, the middle class, and to make America respected around the world again,” he added. “And to unite us here at home, it’s the honor of my lifetime that so many millions of Americans have voted for that vision. And now, the work of making that vision is real. It’s a task — the task — of our time.”
Mr. Biden later addressed those who voted for Mr. Trump, calling for those on both sides of the political aisle to “give each other a chance.”
“It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again,” Mr. Biden said. “And to make progress, we have to stop seeing our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies, they are Americans.”
He added that, as president, he will work “as hard for those that didn’t vote for me as those who did.”
“Let this grim era of demonization in American begin to end here and now,” he said, as the crowd cheered and car horns honked in support.
President Trump, meanwhile, refused to concede, and his legal challenges are continuing. As he has done since the night of the election, Mr. Trump continues to contest the election results.
As news broke that Mr. Biden had won, Mr. Trump tweeted the opposite, posting “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!”
Later Saturday afternoon, the Commander-in-Chief tweeted that observers were not allowed into the counting rooms, and pointed out he received 71 million “LEGAL VOTES, which he noted are the most votes received by a sitting president.
Mr. Trump, who was seen golfing when the race was called, also issued a statement to the media.
“We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over,” the statement read. “Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor. In Pennsylvania, for example, our legal observers were not permitted meaningful access to watch the counting process. Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.”
Mr. Trump said that his campaign will start prosecuting its case in court Monday, to “ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”
The statement continued, “The American People are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots. This is the only way to ensure the public has full confidence in our election. It remains shocking that the Biden campaign refuses to agree with this basic principle and wants ballots counted even if they are fraudulent, manufactured, or cast by ineligible or deceased voters. Only a party engaged in wrongdoing would unlawfully keep observers out of the count room – and then fight in court to block their access. So what is Biden hiding?
“I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands.”
Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, also posted to social media after hearing the news of Mr. Biden’s victory.
She posted the following statement on Twitter, “Today we celebrate our victory as we finally release the pressure-valve from the politics of hate and violence coming from the top. Hopefully we will now move forward and seek to achieve our higher and best selves.”
Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, also issued a statement after the AP called the race.
“Votes are still being counted, but it has become clear that voters, both across the country and on the Central Coast, recognize that we are better than the divisive politics of Donald Trump,” the statement read. “We sorely need steady and compassionate leadership, and today American voters delivered by electing Joe Biden to the Presidency.”
Rep. Carbajal added that he looks forward to working with the Biden administration and to “take decisive action to crush COVID-19 and make overdue investments in our infrastructure.”
The congressman added that he will work to protect and expand the Affordable CAre Act and lower the cost of prescription drugs, while also working to combat climate change and creating jobs in the renewable energy sector.
“For too long, the Trump Administration has stood in the way of progress. Today, voters said enough is enough. Let’s get to work,” his statement concluded.
The highly anticipated 2020 presidential race also has historical significance. As vice president-elect, Sen. Kamala Harris, the former California attorney general, will be the first woman and the first person of color to be vice president.
“Don’t tell me it’s not possible in the United States,” said Mr. Biden of the feat. “It’s long overdue and we’re reminded tonight of those who fought so hard for so many years to make this happen.
“But once again, America has bent the arc of the moral universe more toward justice.”
As Sen. Harris addressed the crowd before welcoming Mr. Biden to the stage, she opened by citing the late Congressman John Lewis, who wrote before his passing that “Democracy is not a state, it’s an act.”
“And what he meant was that America’s democracy is not guaranteed,” she said. “It is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it. To guard it, and never take it for granted. And protecting our democracy takes struggle, it takes sacrifice, but there is joy in it and there is progress, because we the people have the power to build a better future.”
Sen. Harris discussed the challenging times in recent months, while also reflecting on the courage, resilience and generosity of the American people.
She then reflected on her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who died in 2009.
“When she came here from India at the age of 19, she maybe didn’t quite imagine this moment, but she believed so deeply in an America where a moment like this is possible,” Sen. Harris said. “And so I am thinking about her and the generations of women — black women, Asian, white, Latina, Native American women — who throughout our nation’s history have paved the way for this moment tonight. Women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality and liberty and justice for all, including the black women who are too often overlooked, but so often prove they are the backbone of our democracy.”
Sen. Harris also touched on the struggle, determination and the strength of minority women across the country and their vision “to see what can be unburdened by what has been.”
“And I stand on their shoulders,” she said. “And what a testament it is to Joe’s character that he had the audacity to break one of the most substantial barriers that exists in our country, and select a woman as his vice president.
“But while I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last.”