Recap: Win in Pennsylvania delivered the presidency to Joe Biden, Kamala Harris made history, and Philly celebrated all day
The Associated Press called Pennsylvania for former vice president Joe Biden on Saturday morning, after four days of counting votes. The Keystone State’s 20 electoral votes pushed Biden passed the 270 needed to defeat President Donald Trump, sending Biden and Kamala Harris — who is now America’s first Black, Asian American, and female vice president-elect — to the White House. On the streets of Philadelphia and in Biden’s hometown of Scranton, crowds were joyous.
‘Let us be the nation I know we can be,’ Biden says from Wilmington
President-elect Joe Biden declared Saturday night that “this is the time to heal in America” as he addressed a divided nation from Wilmington.
“It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again,” Biden said.
Biden said he believes the American people want lawmakers to cooperate and said he will reach across the aisle to work for all people — including those who supported President Donald Trump.
Biden vowed his administration will also work to fight the coronavirus pandemic, restore the economy, improve health care, and end systemic racism, and address climate change.
“Our work begins with getting COVID under control,” he said, vowing to appoint scientists and medical experts as advisers to his transition team.
Much of Biden’s first address as president-elect focused on his promises — repeated often on the campaign trail — to unite the country and restore decency to politics.
America, he said, should lead the world by example and be a land of opportunity.
“With full hearts and steady hands and faith in America and in each other, with love of country, with thirst of justice, let us be the nation that I know we can be,” he concluded.
Biden was joined on stage after his address by his wife Jill, his children, and his grandchildren, all wearing masks. Vice president-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff also joined them on stage as fireworks lit up the sky over Wilmington.
Harris thanks voters for delivering ‘a new day in America’
Addressing the nation for the first time as vice president-elect, Kamala Harris thanked generations of women — particularly Black women — who fought to have their voices heard and paved the way for her to break barriers.
“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” Harris said from a stage in Wilmington, Del. “Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”
Harris thanked voters for delivering “a new day in America” and for voting in record numbers.
“For four years you have marched and you have organized for equality and justice, for our lives and for our planet,” she said, referencing Democratic organizing work during President Donald Trump’s administration. “And then you voted. And you delivered a clear message. You chose hope and unity, decent, science, and yes, truth.”
Harris ‘shattered so many glass ceilings' as vice president-elect
Ranjana Sanyal, 52, was dining outdoors in Princeton with her daughter and friends on Saturday, proudly displaying homemade signs reading “Kamala she is the first” and “Biden Kamala” on their table on Witherspoon Street.
“She has shattered so many glass ceilings all at the same time,” said Sanyal about Kamala Harris, the nation’s first Black and South Asian American Vice President. “I’m wearing my new blue sari for Kamala."
“It makes us hopeful,” said Malini Banerjee, 47, of Pennington.
Banerjee also dressed in a blue sari for the occasion, and lamented the anti-immigrant sentiment she has observed under President Donald Trump’s administration. “This is my home,” said Banerjee, who has lived more years in the United States than in her native West Bengal, India. The teacher for Trenton public schools said the election result makes her feel hopeful.
“We’ve heard things like go back to the country you came from,” said Sanyal. “My daughter was born here.”
Sanyal’s daughter, Atreyi, 19 and a sophomore at Rutgers University, said she is inspired by Harris and her place in American history. “She’s the first Indian American VP. I want to go into politics,” said the younger Sanyal.
Hundreds of people continued celebrating and dancing in the streets of Philadelphia after sunset Saturday night.
In front of City Hall, Temple students Zayna McNeil, Lauren Jackson, Merissa Chase, and Rachelle Small posed for a picture, fists up. Seeing Kamala Harris elected as the nation’s first Black and Asian American female vice president, Jackson, 18, said, is “amazing to see myself represented in such a high power.”
“We’ve always tried to encourage ourselves and just know that we achieve anything we want, but to actually see it happen so soon and with such an amazing woman just really means a lot to us,” Small said.
On Saturday afternoon, Larry Almoney was doing yard work outside his Hellam, Pa., home, which is adjacent to the farm his family owned when he was growing up, and had not yet heard that Pennsylvania had delivered Joe Biden a victory in the presidential race.
“Oh, hell,” said Almoney, 74, who voted for President Donald Trump, after being informed by a reporter. “Those people down in the Philadelphia area did us in.”
Hellam is a town of about 6,000 on the Susquehanna River in York County, which cast about 62% of its votes for Trump.
Biden, he said, will be bad for Pennsylvania.
“Biden made a lot of promises he’ll never be able to keep,” said Almoney, a retired computer programmer. “I think we’re in for a rough time.”
In McCandless, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Republican Penny Lyon has voted for countless presidential candidates who didn’t win, but the 75-year-old said the disappointment she felt Saturday over Trump’s defeat is unparalleled.
Lyon attended rallies, knocked on doors, and passed out pamphlets for Trump’s campaign. She’s proud of Trump’s work in the middle east, his effort to secure the country’s borders, and his progress toward a COVID-19 vaccine.
She thought those achievements would be enough to seal his second term. They were not.
“Normally, I would think, ‘Well, that’s the way it went. The people have spoken.’ This time is different,” said Lyon, her voice cracking as she broke down in tears. “I don’t ever remember feeling so devastated. And I know I’m not alone. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.”
Philly’s Democratic chair gave Biden a heads up the votes were coming to put him over the top
The entire country was waiting Saturday morning for a tipping point in the presidential election.
Lisa Deeley, chair of the three-commissioner board that oversees elections in the city, called former U.S. Rep. Bob Brady to tell him her staff would make public at noon a new batch of about 3,000 mail ballot results. If those results favored Joe Biden the extent mail ballots had so far, they would almost certainly push Biden’s lead over President Donald Trump past 0.5%.
That’s the threshold at which an automatic recount can occur, and the threshold news organizations were awaiting to call the race.
Brady, chairman of the Democratic Party in Philadelphia, told The Inquirer he relayed the coming release of new vote totals in a phone call to the former vice president’s campaign headquarters in Delaware.
The ballots went public at 11:22 a.m. The math added up. The race was swiftly called for Biden.
Brady’s phone rang shortly after that. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was on the line, crying. “You did it,” Brady said Pelosi told him.
South Philly residents ‘join the party’ on Broad Street
At Broad and Dickinson Streets, cars rolled through the intersection, honking, as neighbors danced and cheered on the corners. A sound system outside a row house blasted NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye.”
Neighbors banged pots and pans as dirt bikes revved down the street. A man waved an American flag at passing cars.
“It’s still going to be tense” in the weeks ahead, said Gallen Boardman, “but it’s nice to see people happy.”
Across the street, Collette Grosso and friends brought pots and wooden spoons to bang together; their block around the corner had been celebrating, but “Broad Street’s the place to go,” Grosso said. "When the Eagles won the Super Bowl, everyone went to Broad Street. “We want to be with other Philadelphians and join the party.”
Dorothy Bernstein, 77, who also lives nearby, said she had waited “four long years” to celebrate Joe Biden’s election and Donald Trump leaving office. She said her granddaughter had called her when Pennsylvania was called, and she cried.
On Broad Street, she held a small handwritten sign that said “Lock Him Up.”
“He’s been threatening everyone for years — now it’s my turn to lock him up,” she said.
Pa. counties were already complying with ballot guidance, Boockvar tells the U.S. Supreme Court
The vast majority, if not all, of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties were already complying with guidance to keep separate tallies of late-arriving mail ballots before Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito issued an emergency order late Friday requiring them to do so, officials told the court in new filings.
In a brief submitted Saturday, attorneys for Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said that she’d issued “unambiguous guidance” to counties more than a week ago on how to count votes that arrived by mail during the state’s hotly contested three-day grace period for ballots sent by Election Day.
Earlier this week, state Republicans had warned the court’s justices that despite Boockvar’s guidelines, it was possible some counties were including those debated ballots in their overall count. They asked the court to order they not be counted at all while the justices weigh whether to take up the question of if they should ultimately be thrown out.
“There is no evidence that any county is disobeying that clear guidance to segregate these votes,” Boockvar’s lawyers wrote in their brief Saturday. “The Republican Party offers only speculation that certain unidentified counties may ignore that repeated guidance or that the secretary will inconsistently change course.”
In fact, Boockvar said, 63 of the state’s 67 counties — including its two largest, Philadelphia and Allegheny — confirmed that they were already following the outlined procedures after Alito issued his emergency order Friday night, which did not order a halt to the counting of late mail ballots, despite the GOP requests.
There was no reason to believe that the four remaining counties had not also followed those instructions, either, the filing said.
It is unclear just how many late-arriving ballots are in question. Some counties reported receiving none, while some of the state’s largest have received hundreds, Boockvar has said.
But even if the court were to strike down the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling establishing the grace period for future elections, that would not necessarily mean that the justices would throw out the ballots in question this year, cast by voters just following the instructions available to them at the time.
The cheers came from every corner at the intersection of Greene and Carpenter in Mount Airy, where dozens of residents are celebrating Joe Biden taking the state of Pennsylvania and the presidency. Biden supporters traded air hugs and elbow taps as drivers honked their horns Saturday afternoon.
Bright Kelly, 34 of Mount Airy, leaned on a mailbox as the celebration surrounded him. He was livestreaming for his TikTok following, telling them his message to Trump: “Come around here again when you’re not the president, and we will feed you to Gritty.”
Kelly was leaning on the mailbox, he explained, because he hasn’t slept since Election Day.
“I know that sounds crazy but it is true,” said Kelly. “I got it into my head that if I could stay awake long enough, they’d call it in the right direction.”
Oz Gamel, 42 of Mount Airy, said he happened upon the celebration serendipitously. He was on his way to get coffee nearby, then heard the drums and invited a friend, Raiceon Hawkins, to join him at the scene to “check out the vibes.”
Hawkins, who also voted for Biden and lives in West Philly, is hoping for significant change:
“You get tired of always turning around, looking over your back when you’re not even doing anything. I’m 52 and I still got to do that,” Hawkins said disapprovingly.
Gamel co-signed that: “While I am happy that we have a better option, it’s still part of the same system, and we have a lot of work to do. I hope people don’t let their guard down,” he reacted. Gamel said that Biden does not have a good record on mass incarceration and pointed out that police killings went on when Obama was president. “We’re like, yeah, you in office, Biden, but start slipping and we’re gonna come for you too and hold [you] accountable.”
About 500 people danced on the trolley tracks, banging pots and pans, and waving Biden-Harris signs as a band played right outside Clarkville restaurant at 43rd and Baltimore. Drivers honked and passengers stuck their heads out of sunroofs, cheering and filming the party.
“Look at America smile,” one man said as he passed through Clark Park.
Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti spoke outside of Joe Biden’s childhood home, Saturday afternoon where people kept stopping to take selfies and cars drove by honking in celebration, and told the small crowd: “We’ve got a president from Scranton!"
Cognetti, the city’s first elected female mayor, held her baby daughter Sloane, who was born last December, and said Biden’s win proves “it is true you can be anything you want to be. This little girl can be anything she wants to be. All you little girls and boys out there, anyone who has ever lived in Scranton as a kid.”
Cognetti held a sign that said “Scranton Loves Joe!” in front of the impromptu Biden block party that broke out on Washington Ave., Saturday afternoon, after Biden was projected to be the 46th president of the United States.
“I’ve never seen the city this happy before,” Casey Jenett, 22, said outside Biden’s childhood home.
Cognetti ended her speech saying “This is going to be an amazing four years for all of us here in Scranton."
”I couldn’t be luckier to be in this position right now, in this moment," Cognetti said. “Together as a city, as a community, we’re going to make the most of it, and we’re going to keep bringing it home for Joe Biden.”
In Philly, Rudy Giuliani says Trump is ‘obviously not going to concede’ as lawsuits play out
From the parking lot of Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Northeast Philadelphia, Rudy Giuliani said President Donald Trump “is obviously not going to concede” while ballots are under scrutiny.
Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, promised to fight the election results in court — vowing to file federal suits in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, which he called “a professional place for voter fraud.”
Without offering evidence of voter fraud, Giuliani said the litigation “will eventually be a big case,” spanning beyond Pennsylvania. He falsely claimed that “not a single Republican” was allowed to inspect a single ballot in Philadelphia, although Commissioner Al Schmidt, who oversees the city’s voting, is a Republican.
When asked whether he would consider that TV networks have called the election for Biden, Giuliani spread out his arms and looked to the sky. “All the networks, wow,” he said sarcastically. “Don’t be ridiculous, networks don’t get to decide the election.”
Meanwhile, outside the Northeast Philadelphia landscaping company, police shut down the road while Biden and Trump supporters gathered, waving flags and exchanging insults. Business owners nearby watched wearily.
“They didn’t tell us this was happening today, I lost a whole day of business, and we’ve been struggling since March” said one owner who wished to remain anonymous, fearing retribution. “Biden won, get over it, the sun is shining and tomorrow is a new day.”
“I wish President Trump no ill will,” Gatling said. “I hope he’ll be able to do the right thing for our country.”Wendy Stroud, a Philly hairstylist, called out “Joe Biden won!” as she walked by on the boardwalk filled with bicyclists zipping past the fenced off Trump Plaza.
Stroud said she was headed back to Philly to join a celebration where, “they’re banging pots and pans.”
“I’m so excited Joe Biden won,” Stroud said. “Couldn’t take another second of Donald Trump. I’m just happy. Go Biden, yay.”
‘I feel nothing’: No big celebrations for Biden’s win in downtown York
There were no impromptu block parties or joyous gatherings in downtown York, Pa., when news networks called the presidential race for Joe Biden, and several residents said they were just happy the race was over.
“I feel nothing. I don’t care,” said Mary Kate Skehan, 30, who said she didn’t like either candidate and declined to say who she voted for. “It’s just been a long week.”
Barbara Kerr said she voted for Biden but was not enthused about his candidacy.
“I’m just glad the election is over so we can focus on policy, not politics,” said Kerr, who hopes Biden will work on healthcare equality. “Hopefully he’ll surround himself with smart people.”
Brian Rupert, a plant supervisor at Harley Davidson, voted for President Donald Trump and thought he would win handily. Nonetheless, Rupert doesn’t buy his protestations about the results, and isn’t surprised the president is complaining.
“Trump is a sore loser. He always has been. Even if he wins,” Rupert, 57, said. “He’s a businessman, and businessmen don’t like to lose.”
Biden, he said, is a “true American.”
“He’s not a bad guy. He worries me sometimes when I hear him talk,” Rupert said.
Rupert said he heard about a theory that has been spreading on the right that Biden will resign so Kamala Harris can become the first Black woman to hold the presidency. Even that outcome, Rupert said, wouldn’t be so bad.
Trump legal team threatens new lawsuits over Philly vote-counting process
Even as even as Joe Biden was declared the projected winner of Pennsylvania — and ultimately the presidency, President Donald Trump’s legal team refused to concede without a fight and promised a slew of new lawsuits Monday challenging the vote-counting process in Philadelphia.
At a news conference in Holmesburg, the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, reiterated Trump’s persistent complaints about mail ballots and the access his canvassing monitors had to where votes were being counted.
In his freewheeling remarks — filled with misleading statements and claims of misconduct offered without evidence — he took swipes at the Mayor Jim Kenney, District Attorney Larry Krasner and what he described as its “decrepit Democratic machine.”
Flanked by several Republican canvassing monitors from the city, Giuliani did not describe the goal of any new specific lawsuit — one of several he pledged would be filed Monday. But he reiterated complaints that Trump’s campaign has previously litigated in court, including the access canvassing monitors had to the building where Philadelphia’s vote-counting process was taking place.
A state appellate court ordered Thursday that the city grant them access to stand within six feet of those tables, but Giuliani said Saturday that those accommodations weren’t enough. Trump observers were kept from inspecting ballots, he claimed, even as he insisted that they saw some ballots that were fraudulent.
“Some of the ballots looked suspicious — from very far away, they looked like the same pen, the same handwriting. But we can’t say that because we couldn’t inspect it,” he said.
The hastily called news conference began just minutes after the Associated Press and several television networks called the election in Joe Biden’s favor.
The president and his surrogates have zeroed their focus on Philadelphia and claimed without evidence that elections administrators here were stealing the election with widespread and pervasive fraud.
In state and federal courts, Trump’s campaign have launched battles challenging relatively small pockets of votes, with no certainty that it would make any difference to the outcome even if they prevailed.
Hundreds of Philadelphians rushed to join a celebration outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City on Saturday afternoon after the presidency was called for Joe Biden, chanting “Biden! Biden!” and “go home!” to about a dozen supporters of President Donald Trump.
The street outside the convention center had been the site of celebratory “Count Every Vote” demonstrations this week as ballots were tallied inside and the race swung in Biden’s favor. But on Saturday afternoon, the mood reached a new level of joy.
Mickey Hart Goodson, 54, of West Oak Lane, came to Center City on Saturday morning to order a Thanksgiving turkey when the city erupted in cheers. As she heard of Biden’s victory, she broke down in tears.
“Now I don’t have to worry about my health insurance for the next four years,” said Goodson, a cancer survivor. She wore a shirt that said “Black Voters Matter” and said Biden’s election is the first step in healing “the hatred and division.”
Liz Kramp brought her 10 year old daughter Vivienne, she said, to experience history — a celebration in part of the first female Vice President. “I feel like a fog is lifted off my soul,” she said. “And finally there will be some ovaries in the Oval Office.” pic.twitter.com/5DUWAa8rVB
The Associated Press called Pennsylvania for Joe Biden, who held a 34,243-vote lead at 11:25 a.m., after it determined that the remaining ballots left to be counted would not allow Trump to catch up. The news agency has already declared Biden the winner in both Michigan and Wisconsin.
Biden held a 0.51% point lead late Saturday morning. Under Pennsylvania law, a recount is automatic when the margin between two candidates in a statewide race is less than 0.5 percentage points. Biden’s lead over Trump was on track to stay outside of that margin as final votes are counted.
There are roughly 62,000 mail ballots remaining to be counted. Biden has won the overwhelming majority of mail ballots cast in the state.
Biden’swin in Pennsylvania was a dramatic, though not unexpected, turn after Trump jumped out to an early Election Day lead of 675,000 votes and prematurely declared he had won the state.
Over coming days, as local elections officials tabulated more ballots, Trump’s lead dropped sharply, with Biden winning roughly 75 percent of the mail-in vote between Wednesday and Friday, according to an analysis by the AP.
‘I’m ecstatic!’: Cheers for Biden’s win in Scranton, his childhood home
Outside Biden’s childhood home in Scranton, a steady stream of people poured out of nearby homes to take selfies outside. They danced around as cars honked in celebration driving up and down the block.
“I’m ecstatic!” Said Danna Biello, a student at Marywood college, around the corner from the home, who voted in her first election.
“I just think it shows with how divided the state is, Pennsylvania still knows how to love.”
It was a strangely celebrated moment in American history. Perhaps the most emotional presidential election in decades will largely be celebrated by Democrats in isolation due to the pandemic, FaceTiming family members or banging on pots outside of windows or between divided apartment walls.
Lynne Shedlock drove down from Clark’s Summit to see the house on the day Biden became president-elect. She broke down in tears as soon as she got here, sinking to the ground crying and laughing. Then she pulled out her phone to call he daughter and the tears started flowing again. “I’m just so emotional, it’s such a relief.”
Maureen Hart, 71, who lives down the block, brought a “Scranton Love Joe” sign which she shared with people tricking in for pictures. Said Hart: “I can now die happy.”
In his first official statement after he was declared the president-elect, Joe Biden said he will work to unite the country.
“I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect Harris,” Biden said in the written statement. “In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America.”
He immediately pivoted to trying to heal the country’s searing divisions.
“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation. It’s time for America to unite. And to heal,” he said. “We are the United States of America. And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together.”
Kamala Harris, who will become the nation’s first female vice president, reacted on Twitter:
This election is about so much more than @JoeBiden 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.pic.twitter.com/Bb9JZpggLN
President Donald Trump, after months of making false claims about alleged widespread voter fraud in his bid for a second term, vowed Saturday to keep fighting in court immediately after the contest was called for former Vice President Joe Biden.
“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,” Trump said in a statement issued by his campaign, following mail ballot vote tallies released in Philadelphia that tipped Pennsylvania, and the presidency, in Biden’s direction.
“The simple fact is this election is far from over,” Trump claimed, citing vote recounts called in some states where the margins were narrow and a flurry of legal challenges his campaign has filed. “Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”
Trump declared victory early Wednesday morning at the White House, when the election’s results were far from certain.
In his statement, he falsely accused Biden of pushing for illegally cast votes to be counted and again claimed that his campaign’s observers had been barred from watching the ballot tally in some states. Observers have been admitted in Pennsylvania and other states, though they squabble with election officials about how close they could get to employees completing the counts.
Trump’s campaign swiftly implored supporters, in a follow up email, to contribute money to his “Official Election Defense Fund” to he has “enough fuel in the tank” for the coming legal battles.
‘It’s over!’: Philadelphia erupts in cheers after Biden wins the election
Broad Street in Center City was filled with strangers cheering, people on their phones crying in joy with loved ones, and cars driving up and down the street honking.
People screamed “it’s over!” and “finally something good!” Residents leaned out their windows and banged pots and pans, and people blared Meek Mill’s Dreams and Nightmares.
Alex Puhalla, a 30-year-old Scranton native who lives in Center City, did a back flip on the sidewalk, yelling in exasperation: “I’m just so happy!”
Broad Street in Philadelphia is wild. People cheering out windows, honking horns, a man on a bike just yelled “Joe Biden won!” And 30 year old Alex Puhalla, a Scranton native, is literally doing back flips pic.twitter.com/fLn7oaYY5B
As the election was called outside of a Trump press conference at Four Season Landscaping in Northeast Philadelphia, cars with Biden/Harris signs drove by the group of Trump supporters, honking as people shouted “Black lives matter.” In return, the Trump supporters began to sing “God Bless America.”
Within minutes, a small group of Biden supporters gathered on the other side of State Road, waving signs and chanting “three more months.”
A small group of Biden supporters has gathered across State Road, chanting “three more months.” The police have also arrived. pic.twitter.com/stAZRR1E0J
It was business as usual in Philadelphia’s Chinatown, located mere blocks from the festivities outside the convention center. Amid scattered cheers from apartment buildings and sidewalks, residents continued to walk and shop.
Told of the news that Biden has been declared the winner, New Jersey dad Daniel shrugged and said “both have good or bad; it doesn’t make a difference to me. There’s still a split in the country, so it’s still balanced.”
Melissa Gragert and Paul Poirot we’re standing in line at Chinatown’s Dim Sum Garden when the news broke and “couldn’t be happier” with the results.
“We came up here to get our mind off things and it’s nice to be where this all is happening,” said Gragert. “It’s a great weekend to be in Philadelphia and celebrating democracy.”
6 takeaways from Biden’s win over Trump in Pennsylvania
It took longer than usual, but now we know: Joe Biden won Pennsylvania, returning it to the Democratic column after Donald Trump’s major upset in 2016.
In a state that was decided by less than 1% of the vote in 2016, and by a similarly tight margin this year, any movement could make the difference. Here’s what happened in the state that ultimately lifted Biden to the presidency.
Joe Biden wins the presidency, AP calls; Kamala Harris to become the nation’s first female vice president
Joe Biden wins Pennsylvania and with it, the presidency, attaining the nation’s highest office as the capstone to a life shaped by a soaring public career and personal tragedy.
Biden is projected as the Pennsylvania winner, according to the Associated Press, surpassing the 270 Electoral College votes needed to defeat President Donald Trump. The projection comes after another long day of ballot-counting saw Biden chip away at Trump’s lead in key states and brought him to the cusp of victory.
Biden’s Pennsylvania win ends a tumultuous, intensely charged campaign that took place amid a historic pandemic and ended, as with many things this year, in highly unusual fashion: after days of waiting and, for many voters, agony over a painstaking mail-ballot count that left the outcome in question far longer than typical.
It is also a historic win for Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), who is the first Black woman and first woman of South Asian descent on a major party ticket. In becoming vice president, Harris will become the highest ranking woman in the history of American government.
With Joe Biden up by nearly 29,000 votes in Pennsylvania and outstanding ballots expected to continue tilting in his direction, voters are wondering when media outlets will call the state for the former vice president.
On Friday, the Associated Press — which the Inquirer uses to determine races —said a close margin and a large number of outstanding votes kept Pennsylvania too early to call. AP does not declare a winner of any election likely to be subject to a mandatory recount, which in Pennsylvania would be triggered if Biden’s lead is less than 0.5% of vote.
As of Saturday morning, Biden’s lead over Trump was just under 29,000 votes, a margin of 0.4%
On Saturday, CNN’s John King explained to viewers why the network hasn’t called the race — and ultimately the presidency — for Biden:
At some point, the trajectory gets you past any probability that the president of the United States is going to come back. And for those who say, ‘Well, you’re already at that point, the president is attacking this process.' We have our own rules, we have our own process, but especially when the process is under attack, sticking to the rules, using your building blocks, methodically getting to the finish line and being cautious is a great way to do it.
It’s unclear why Four Seasons Total Landscaping, located in the 65th Ward, was chosen as the location. Trump initially announced the press conference would be held at “Four Seasons” before clarifying it was not the Four Seasons Hotel.
To clarify, President Trump’s press conference will NOT be held at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia. It will be held at Four Seasons Total Landscaping— no relation with the hotel.
— Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center (@FSPhiladelphia) November 7, 2020
Attempts to reach the company Saturday morning were unsuccessful.
Prior to the press conference, Trump left the White House wearing a windbreaker and “shoes that look appropriate for golfing,” according to pool reports. He arrived at Trump National Golf Club in Virginia a short time later, according to the Associated Press.
As votes are counted and his electoral future hangs in the balance, President Trump has arrived at his golf course in Virginia
More Philly results expected ‘at some point today,’ city commissioner says
About 40,000 votes remain to be counted in Philadelphia, City Commissioner Omar Sabir told CNN Saturday morning.
Sabir said 20,000 or so of that total are mail in ballots, while roughly 18,000 are provisional ballots that require a longer amount of time to count. There are also some votes cast on Election Day in a couple of divisions Sabir said the city was waiting on.
Counting will resume this morning, but Sabir didn’t have a timeframe for when results would be posted.
“It’ll be at some point today,” Sabir told CNN, urging patience. “I just had my coffee, just took my shower and everything. I’m going to go into the Convention Center and see exactly what’s going on.”
Incendiary texts with false Philly allegations traced to outfit run by top Trump aide
A texting company run by one of President Donald Trump’s top campaign officials sent out thousands of targeted, anonymous text messages urging supporters to rally where votes were being counted in Philadelphia on Thursday, falsely claiming Democrats were trying to steal the presidential election.
The messages directed Trump fans to converge at a downtown intersection where hundreds of protesters from the opposing candidates' camps faced off Thursday afternoon.
“This kind of message is playing with fire, and we are very lucky that it does not seem to have driven more conflict,” said John Scott-Railton, senior researcher at the University of Toronto’s online watchdog Citizen Lab. Scott-Railton helped track down the source.
The texts were sent using phone numbers leased to the text-messaging platform Opn Sesame, said two people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition they not be further identified. The company’s CEO is Gary Coby, the Trump campaign’s digital director. It provides text-messaging services to GOP clients including the Republican National Committee.
A top Trump campaign official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the message did not come from the campaign. Because Opn Sesame is used by multiple customers, none of whom the company would identify, it could not be determined exactly who sent the message. Coby declined to comment.
About 37,000 ballots remain in Allegheny, which will resume counting this morning
Allegheny County, home to Pittsburgh, has about 37,000 ballots remaining to count, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald told CNN Saturday morning.
Of those, Fitzgerald said “in the neighborhood” of 20,000 are mail ballots, which he said have been running about 80-20, with 80% for Biden and 20% for Trump. Fitzgerald said starting will resume soon this morning.
“They’ll begin this process a little after 9:00 a.m. and they’ll upload a certain batch, I don’t know, maybe a few thousand at a time, every few hours,” Fitzgerald said, estimating that results will being to show up by late Saturday morning or early afternoon.
Fitzgerald said there are also 17,000 provisional ballots left to count, which he said would be counted by next week.
It’s Saturday morning, four days after the election, and former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead in four undecided battleground states — Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada.
In Pennsylvania, where Biden has increased his lead over Trump, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald told CNN Saturday morning about 20,000 mail ballots remain to be counted, along with around 10,000 provisional ballots. Fitzgerald said the county would resume counting at 9 a.m.
Philadelphia has about 40,000 ballots remaining, which officials said would take “several days” to count.
In Arizona, Maricopa County — the state’s largest, which includes Phoenix — is expected to post more numbers this morning around 11 a.m. In Clark County, Nevada — home of Las Vegas — tens of thousands of votes remain to be counted, according to the New York Times.
Here’s where the race in those states currently stand, according to numbers provided by the Associated Press:
Biden’s lead over Trump in Pennsylvania grows as vote counting slows
Joe Biden overtook President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania on Friday, but the process of counting votes slowed to a crawl as officials finished tallying the overwhelming majority of mail ballots and had onlyprovisional ballots and other votes that are slower to process remaining. And with Biden holding only a razor-thin advantage in the evening, the counting process that had the presidential race hanging in the balance looked set to stretch into a fifth day without resolution.
“We don’t have a final declaration of victory yet. But the numbers tell us it’s clear.... We’re going to win this race,” Biden said in a short address from Wilmington just before 11 p.m., his first appearance on Friday. “We are going to win Pennsylvania.... We’re on track to over 300 electoral votes.”
The president did not speak publicly Friday, but his campaign issued a statement:
“This election is not over. The false projection of Joe Biden as the winner is based on results in four states that are far from final.”
As Trump’s chances dwindle, Pennsylvania GOP focuses its fire on state’s top election official
As Pennsylvania’s vote count Friday put Joe Biden ever closer to capturing the presidency, state Republicans increasingly shifted their attacks in and out of court toward the woman who oversaw the process, even while acknowledging they had no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
State Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R., Centre) accused Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar — Pennsylvania’s top elections official, and an appointee of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf — of giving faulty guidance and making unlawful changes to election rules that had undermined confidence in Pennsylvania’s results.
Boockvar, he said, had overseen a chaotic and faulty process that had sowed doubt about the vote. Corman criticized her for permitting counties to count votes that arrived late — though postmarked before 8 p.m. on Election Day — and allowing local election boards to alert voters who had submitted their mail ballots with clerical mistakes.
An obscure official plunged into a moment of media stardom, Boockvar has defended her advice and fought back in court against each new allegation. She has rebuffed Republican calls for her resignation that began within hours of polls closing on Election Day. Cutler on Friday demanded Wolf launch an audit of the election.
But Gov. Tom Wolf has called the GOP’s broadsides merely partisan and said he will support her and other election officials as they work to finish counting votes.
“Attacks like this are an attempt to undermine confidence in the results of the election, and we should all denounce them for the undemocratic actions they are,” the governor said.
While it looked increasingly likely the state would break for Biden — though the race hadn’t yet been called — there wasn’t a lot of other good news for Democrats. Republicans had not only held the majority in the state House and Senate, but were poised to possibly gain seats.
For the first time since 2008, Republicans claimed a row office through an election, with Republican Tim DeFoor winning the auditor general race. And the GOP also held onto congressional seats in the Philadelphia and Harrisburg suburbs Democrats had considered to be within reach.
“These results are clearly disappointing for any Democrat here in Pennsylvania,” said Mike Mikus, a Democratic strategist in Pittsburgh.