America was asked a very simple question: “Can you possibly sustain four more years of this monumental, unyielding mess?” Dead-eyed and thoroughly broken, the country gesticulated wildly and responded, “We might actually be tired of this!” Though political analysts predicted that the race would be excruciatingly close (and it was, in a way that we can only hope was eye-opening for all), Joe Biden actually managed to pull off a victory on Saturday morning when the Pennsylvania and Navada races were finally called, beating Donald Trump and becoming the 46th president of the United States. If we sound just a little shocked, that’s only because we’ve seen just how awful this country can get.
This is also a rather historic moment for vice president elect Kamala Harris, who will become the first woman, the first Indian American, and the first Black person to hold that office.
News of the victory comes after days of nail biting, as counts in Arizona, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Georgia (and Alaska, which—with three electoral votes—was too small potatoes to care about, apparently) dragged out for days. We all watched the counts change by a few thousand every time a new batch of ballots was processed. Poor Steve Kornacki probably slept three hours total in the past week.
Depending on which news outlet you followed, Biden sat at 253 or 264 electoral votes for days. In fact, because Fox News was the only TV outlet that called Arizona for Biden on Election Day, there was a chance—if a different state had been called for Biden first—that Fox could have declared Biden the winner while other outlets waited for another state to take him over the 270 electoral vote threshold. In the end, AP News finally declared Pennsylvania for Biden on Saturday, giving him the victory. Fox waited a few minutes longer but called Nevada for the future president at the same time, giving him the largest electoral vote count of any of the networks so far, 290. Trump surely loves that.
The win ultimately came at the hands (and mail-in ballots) of voters in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Georgia—historically red states that flipped thanks in part to record voter turnout from Black communities, per The Guardian. In Georgia’s case, many are thanking high-profile political organizers like former gubernatorial hopeful Stacey Abrahms, who did a lot of on-ground work to register Black voters in the state after her campaign was negatively impacted by voter suppression in 2018. Young voters also proved to be pivotal to Biden and Harris’ victory, especially young voters of color.
The official counts still need to be verified by a few states—and we will certainly have the Trump team’s baseless legal bullshit to contend with for a few days—but it does seem that we can all breathe somewhat easier knowing this hell we’re living will at least be a different hell in two long months.
God bless America?