WASHINGTON – Democratic candidate Joe Biden was projected the winner of the presidential election by US media networks after he was declared the winner of the battleground state of Pennsylvania, netting him 20 electoral votes and bringing his total to 273 – more than the 270 needed to win the White House.
The Associated Press, CNN, MSNBC and other networks made the call just before 11.30am Eastern Standard Time on Saturday morning (12.30am on Sunday, Singapore time), after Mr Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania grew to 30,000.
The former vice president’s victory in Pennsylvania closes off incumbent President Donald Trump’s path to victory. Mr Trump currently has 214 electoral votes and cannot win the election without the 20 votes from Pennsylvania.
The win in Pennsylvania came on the fourth morning after Election Day. Mr Trump had held an initial lead in Pennsylvania, Georgia and other states where counting was still ongoing, but that lead narrowed then vanished as mail-in ballots and votes from urban centers, which heavily favored Mr Biden, were counted.
Mr Biden, who will be America’s 46th president, will also be its oldest when he is sworn in in January. He turns 78 in two weeks.
The Trump campaign has mounted a campaign of lawsuits to stop or challenge the counts in battleground states, which the Biden campaign has criticised as meritless and distracting.
But the election, which came amid a pandemic that has killed nearly 240,000 Americans so far and after a summer of racial justice protests, revealed a deeply divided America.