What Just HappenedJoe Biden Wins the Election

Kamala Harris, a light-skinned Black woman wearing a navy blue suit, holds hands triumphantly with Joe Biden, an older white man with white hair

Kamala Harris, left, and Joe Biden (Photo credit: Joe Biden/Facebook)

Our Take

Whew, the 2020 presidential election has been an absolute nailbiter. We never expected it to be this close, especially since more than 235,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 under Donald Trump’s watch, the unemployment rate is 6.9 percent, and racial injustice has embroiled the country. And yet, the election remained too close to call until the morning of November 7. New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and myriad other cities erupted when Biden was projected the winner of Pennsylvania after several days of counting and declared the president-elect of the United States. He’s now scored the highest vote total of any presidential candidate—more than 74 million people voted for him—and now has the responsibility of ushering this country through what are sure to be difficult days to come.

“It’s time for America to unite. And to heal,” he said in a statement released after his victory. “With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation. There’s nothing we can’t do if we do it together.” Kamala Harris, who’s now the first woman and the first South Asian and Black woman vice president-elect, will be joining Biden in the White House, but that doesn’t mean the current buffoon-in-chief is going off into the good night. Many Americans wanted a repudiation of Trump and his Make America Great Again ideology, but instead, we got a close election that could still eventually end in the courts. Even as Twitter blocks nearly all of Trump’s tweets for spreading misinformation, he’s still declaring that he’s won and the election is fraudulent.

More than 70 million Americans voted for Trump, paving the way for a contentious and dangerous transition period that we should all be paying attention to. Through it all though—rampant voter suppression, attempts to throw out mail-in ballots, and blatant lies on national television, no less—this is still a government for and by the people—even if there’s some chink in the armor. As Biden said, “Democracy is the heartbeat of this nation,” and we have proved it. You can’t stop the will of the people, and though there will be long days ahead, we deserve to celebrate the end of a wannabe dictatorship. We now have a president who has declared that getting the pandemic under control is his administration’s top priority—and that he’ll hit the ground running with a pandemic taskforce. Biden won by more than 4 million votes, so though Republicans might still control the Senate, gerrymandering remains rampant, and voter suppression is still the law of the land, the American people are still in control and we need an agenda that reflects that. It begins with educating ourselves about what comes now that we’re getting a new president. Congratulations on getting a fascist out of the White House!


  • Trump is the first incumbent president to fail to win reelection since 1992. He’s the fifth president to only serve one term. [Associated Press]

  • Biden reached 281 electoral votes on November 7, 2020. It came down to Pennsylvania, as expected, but Biden flipped Michigan and Wisconsin, and he may also flip Arizona and Georgia(!) when the final votes are tallied. [Philadelphia Inquirer, Politico]

  • If Biden wins Georgia, he will be the first Democratic candidate to do so since 1992. His administration owes their victories in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin to Black, Latinx, and Indigenous voters in their urban areas, who turned out in droves.  [Atlanta Journal Constitution, Guardian, Teen Vogue]

  • However, this election illuminated a frustrating fact: Black men have been drifting more conservative since 2008 and voted for Trump in record numbers this time around. [NBC News]

  • Don’t be confused though: White people overwhelmingly voted for Trump—again. [CNN]

  • As it became apparent that Biden would win the presidency, Trump exploded on Twitter, encouraging election officials to “stop the count.” He unsurprisingly failed to recognize that he’d lose if they stopped the count. [Washington Post]

  • Trump’s calls for violence led Facebook to shut down a pro-Trump group called “Stop the Steal” that sought to organize violent protests. Trump supporters with guns also harassed poll workers outside of election centers. [USA Today, CBS News]

  • Trump’s rhetoric reached a fever pitch on November 5, when he addressed the nation from the White House briefing room, saying “If you count the legal votes, I easily win” he began, before several major networks, including ABC, CBS, CNBC, MSNBC, and NBC, cut away from his speech to fact-check his statements. [Verge]

  • Biden is now faced with leading a large number of rabid Trump supporters who consider their support for Trump an essential part of their identity—one they won’t be giving up any time soon if their willingness to block highways and spread false information is any sign. [New York Times, Tech Crunch]

  • A former senior homeland security official said the next few weeks could be “a very dangerous period” for the United States. [Atlantic]

  • As president-elect, Biden plans to create his own coronavirus task force full of former scientists, doctors, and health directors. [Politico]

  • Biden’s win is massive for LGBTQ Americans. Trump withdrew protections for transgender Americans over the last four years, but a Biden promises a changing tide. [NBC News]

  • Biden owes his win in part to young organizers, who plan to hold the new president accountable. [Teen Vogue]

  • One of the central features of the Trump presidency has been a willingness to bring conspiracy theories—including those that are deeply racist and antisemitic—to the fore of political discourse. His loss may make the already arduous task of debunking such theories much harder. [New York Times]

  • Now though, it’s time to get back to the work of governing: The Senate’s majority will be determined in two runoff races in Georgia in January. [NPR]

  • And let’s hope Biden’s cabinet is full of the people of color who sent him to the White House. [Guardian]


  • These last few years have been emotionally challenging, and the fallout is not over. These mental health tips can help you take care of yourself as we continue the fight. [Self]

  • Increased awareness of early voting and mail-in voting worked, but that doesn’t mean voter suppression wasn’t an issue in this election. Support organizations like Fair Fight, founded by Stacey Abrams, that work to advocate against voter suppression in the courts and on a grassroots level. [Fair Fight]

  • This election was stressful, though it shouldn’t have been. So don’t get complacent: We still have work to do to fix this process. Read Hold the Line: A Guide to Defending Democracy, a four-part digital handbook about how we can “restore accountability” and protect democracy beyond the inauguration. [Hold The Line]

  • If, after all this, you’re still raging, consider donating to Bitch Media today or joining The Rage, a community of folks reclaiming their anger and supporting independent feminist media. [Bitch Media]


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