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VideoPresident-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris addressed the nation from Wilmington, Del.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times
WILMINGTON, Del. — Joseph R. Biden Jr. addressed the nation for the first time as president-elect on Saturday night, delivering a message of unity and trying to soothe the extraordinary divisions that defined the last four years in American politics.
“Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end here and now,” he said.
In remarks before a drive-in audience in Wilmington brimming with longtime friends from Delaware, his home state, he directly appealed to the tens of millions of Americans who backed President Trump’s re-election, seeking to make good on his central campaign promise of bringing the country together.
“For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight,” Mr. Biden, speaking at the conclusion of his third run for the presidency, said. “I’ve lost a couple times myself. But now, let’s 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.”
He added, “This is the time to heal in America.”
Mr. Biden’s optimistic speech, flecked with references to faith and American history, came 48 years to the day after he was first elected a senator from Delaware. He spoke from a flag-bedecked stage outside the Chase Center on the Riverfront, an event center near the Christina River, where he invoked themes that shaped his presidential campaign.
The message, as it was throughout the campaign, was rooted more in a sense of values than in an especially ideological viewpoint, an approach that helped him build a broad coalition throughout the campaign but that will be tested in partisan Washington.
Yet Mr. Biden grew impassioned as he insisted that for all of the tensions in the country, Americans still wanted to see their leaders find common ground. He promised to bring steady leadership and experience to meet the staggering crises facing the nation, most prominently the coronavirus.
“What is our mandate?” he said. “I believe it’s this: Americans have called upon us to marshal the forces of decency, the forces of fairness, to marshal the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time.”
Senator Kamala Harris, the vice president-elect, spoke first, telling voters that they had chosen “hope and unity, decency, science and, yes, truth.”
She invoked her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, who came to the United States from India at the age of 19, and paid tribute to the women “who throughout our nation’s history have paved the way for this moment tonight.”
“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” she said. “Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”
Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times
WILMINGTON, Del. — Joseph R. Biden Jr. was elected president of the United States on Saturday, defeating President Trump after campaigning on a promise to restore civility and stability to American politics and to expand the government’s role in guiding the country through the surging coronavirus pandemic.
Mr. Biden, 77, who will become the 46th president and the oldest man ever sworn into the office, secured 273 votes from the Electoral College after Pennsylvania was called for him, though the race was far closer than many Democrats, Republicans and pollsters had expected.
The result also provided a history-making moment for President-elect Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California, who became the first woman, and first woman of color, on a winning presidential ticket.
With his third run for the White House — after unsuccessful bids in 1988 and 2008, and after spending eight years as President Barack Obama’s vice president — Mr. Biden finally attained a goal that he has dreamed of for decades, capping a career in national politics that began with a victory in a 1972 Senate race here in Delaware. He was swept into office this year with the support of a diverse coalition of younger voters, older voters, Black Americans and white college-educated voters, particularly women.
Mr. Biden’s triumph concluded an extraordinary election that was expected to set modern records for turnout, despite being held amid a pandemic that has upended life across the United States. More than 100 million Americans voted before Election Day as states sought to make voting safer, putting the nation on track for the largest turnout in a century once the final vote is tallied.
Mr. Biden also won the popular vote by nearly three percentage points, and, with more than 74 million votes, broke the vote record set by Mr. Obama in 2012. Mr. Trump received more than 70 million votes — far more than the 63 million he received in 2016 when he beat Hillary Clinton while losing the popular vote.
Voters overcame their fears of the coronavirus, long lines at the polls and the vexing challenges of a transformed election system to render a verdict on Mr. Trump’s chaotic and norm-breaking presidency. Mr. Trump was the first incumbent president to lose a bid for re-election since George H.W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton in 1992.
Still, the race was not the landslide many Democrats had hoped for: Mr. Biden lost a number of important battleground states where he had invested time and resources, most notably Florida, amid signs of challenges with a number of Latino constituencies.
The Trump campaign and Republican lawyers have already begun a wide-ranging legal assault to challenge Democratic votes and victories in key swing states, part of a long-telegraphed effort to call the validity of the election into question.
Mr. Trump, who baselessly declared victory early Wednesday, before votes were tallied in multiple states, had regularly questioned the legitimacy of the election as polls showed him trailing, and it was not immediately clear how he would respond to the news of Mr. Biden’s victory.
Much of Mr. Biden’s agenda in office may rest on his ability to work with Congress. Democrats have maintained their hold on the House but had a much narrower path to reclaiming control of the Senate.
Kamala Harris’s History of Firsts
A senator from California and a former prosecutor, Ms. Harris has a track record in breaking new ground. Now, she is the first woman, first Black person, and first person of Asian descent elected to the country’s second-highest office.
A barrier-breaking prosecutor with a love for grilling — “Question, I will repeat —” — and music — ♫ “One nation under a groove —” ♫ California Senator Kamala Harris is making history as the first woman, and first woman of color, elected vice president. “Let’s talk about who is prepared to lead our country over the course of the next four years.” She ran for president, going head-to-head with Biden over school busing. “You know, there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me.” But she later endorsed him, and he picked her as his running mate. And soon they will be entering the White House together. “I am incredibly honored by this responsibility, and I am ready to get to work.” Haris has a track record of being the first. “You may be the first to do many things, but make sure you’re not the last.” She was the first black person and first woman to become district attorney of San Francisco, and later attorney general of California. “I decided to become a prosecutor because I believed that there were vulnerable and voiceless people who deserved to have a voice in that system.” And in 2016, she was elected the first Black senator from California. And now she will be the first woman, first Black person and first person of Asian descent elected to the country’s second-highest office. So what is she known for in Washington? “So my question to you —” As a senator, Harris served on four committees, and was perhaps best known for her tough questions. “It makes me nervous.” “Is that a no?” “Is that a yes?” “Can I get to respond please, ma’am?” “No, sir. No, no.” And some of her policy priorities? Criminal justice reform and racial justice legislation. “Racial justice is on the ballot in 2020.” After George Floyd’s killing in police custody, Harris became an outspoken voice in the national debate on police brutality. “We should have things like a national standard for excessive use of force.” And on the campaign trail, she doubled down on that message, making a concerted effort to reach voters of color. “People have been asking, ‘Why should I vote?’ One: Honor the ancestors. Honor people like the late, great John Lewis, who shed his blood on the Edmund Pettus Bridge so we could vote.” But she’s faced criticism from progressive activists over her record as a prosecutor, including her push for higher cash bails for certain crimes, and for refusing to support independent investigations for police shootings as recently as 2014. So what does she bring to the White House? “This is our house!” She is policy-oriented and pragmatic. Proponents say that her experience in law enforcement will help her face the unique challenges of the moment and that her lack of ideological rigidity makes her well suited for the vice presidency. “We can overcome these challenges.” Harris embodies the future of a country that is growing more racially diverse. As one of the best-known Black women in American politics, Harris now finds herself the most clearly positioned heir to the White House, with the oldest incoming president in history.
A senator from California and a former prosecutor, Ms. Harris has a track record in breaking new ground. Now, she is the first woman, first Black person, and first person of Asian descent elected to the country’s second-highest office.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times
Kamala Harris, a senator from California and former presidential candidate, made history when she was elected vice president of the United States.
Her victory represents a handful of firsts: She will be the first woman, the first Black woman, the first Indian-American woman and the first daughter of immigrants to be sworn in as vice president.
It also marks a milestone for a nation in upheaval, grappling with a long history of racial injustice. Over the course of her campaign, Ms. Harris has faced both racist and sexist attacks from conservatives — including President Trump — who have refused to pronounce her name correctly.
The daughter of a Jamaican father and Indian mother, Ms. Harris, 56, embodies the future of a country that is growing more racially diverse every year — even if the person whom voters picked for the top of the ticket is a 77-year-old white man. She brought to the race a more vigorous campaign style than that of the president-elect, Joseph R. Biden Jr., including a gift for capturing moments of raw political electricity on the debate stage and elsewhere.
A former San Francisco district attorney, Ms. Harris was elected as the first Black woman to serve as California’s attorney general. When she was elected a U.S. senator in 2016, she became only the second Black woman in the chamber’s history. Almost immediately, she made a name for herself in Washington with her withering prosecutorial style in Senate hearings.
Beginning her presidential candidacy with homages to Shirley Chisholm, Ms. Harris was seen as a potential front-runner for the Democratic nomination, but she left the race weeks before any votes were cast. Part of her challenge, especially with the party’s progressive wing, was the difficulty she had reconciling stances she had taken as California’s attorney general with the current mores of her party.
As the vice-presidential nominee, Ms. Harris has endeavored to make plain that she supports Mr. Biden’s positions — even if some differ from those she backed during the primary.
And although she struggled to attract the very Black voters and women she had hoped would connect with her personal story during her primary bid, she made a concerted effort as Mr. Biden’s running mate to reach out to people of color, some of whom have said they felt represented in national politics for the first time.
Credit…Bryan Denton for The New York Times
As President Trump signaled his intention to continue fighting the results of an election that he lost, some of his supporters — many of them carrying guns — amassed at state capitol buildings around the country.
In some cities, tensions continued to escalate throughout the day Saturday. In Harrisburg, Pa., the police started out watching the scene from afar, but intervened during the afternoon to keep supporters of Mr. Trump and President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. separated. Some Trump supporters were carrying what appeared to be assault rifles.
In Salem, Ore., members of the far-right Proud Boys, a group notorious for engaging in violence, gathered at a rally where people embraced the president’s baseless claims of election fraud. One person wearing a Proud Boys shirt pepper-sprayed someone, and video showed another person in the crowd shoving a photographer. The police intervened.
In Lansing, Mich., right-wing advocates chanted, “Whose streets? Our streets!” and repeated Mr. Trump’s false contention that he won the election. Video showed a fight break out, with people knocked to the ground near a line of portable toilets. Many people were carrying weapons.
Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, was standing in the parking lot of Four Seasons Total Landscaping in far northeast Philadelphia, as close to a Trump enclave as a decidedly Democratic city gets, highlighting alleged examples of voter fraud when the networks called the presidential race for Joseph R. Biden Jr.
The surroundings were humble for such a seminal moment — a podium set up in front of a closed garage door decorated with a campaign poster — especially after a presidential tweet in the morning had advertised something that sounded a lot more upscale.
“Lawyers News Conference Four Seasons, Philadelphia. 11:00 a.m.,” President Trump tweeted Saturday morning, before issuing a corrective and explaining that he did not mean the luxury downtown hotel near the city’s convention center and was referring instead to a business called Four Seasons Total Landscaping.
The correction quickly met with derision and glee among many blue-checkmark Twitter users, who assumed the campaign had accidentally booked the wrong venue. The landscaping business, after all, was situated near a porn shop, Fantasy Island Adult Bookstore, and a crematorium.
The apparent mishap went viral, with celebrities weighing in. “Four Seasons Total Landscaping is also my secret code name for a bikini wax,” the actress Emmy Rossum tweeted Saturday evening.
The actual hotel issued its own corrective. “To clarify, President Trump’s press conference will NOT be held at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia,” the corporate account tweeted. “It will be held at Four Seasons Total Landscaping— no relation with the hotel.”
In reality, the mistake was not in the booking, but in a garbled game of telephone. Mr. Giuliani and the Trump campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski told the president on Saturday morning their intended location for the news conference and he misunderstood, assuming it was an upscale hotel, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.
But the campaign had always intended to hold the news conference in a friendlier part of town. The president’s team had struggled with news conferences in this Democratic stronghold all week. Since Wednesday, the streets outside of the Convention Center have been filled with pro-Biden protesters chanting, “Count every vote!” On multiple occasions, the Trump campaign surrogates were drowned out and surrounded by the much larger pro-Biden crowd.
Earlier this week, Pam Bondi, the former attorney general of Florida, and Mr. Lewandowski attempted to hold a celebratory news conference after obtaining a favorable court order in Pennsylvania. But a local D.J. blasting Beyoncé completely overpowered Ms. Bondi, who was forced to simply hold up the order as most of the media gathered nearby could not hear her speaking.
Dan Scavino, the keeper of the presidential Twitter feed and a deputy White House chief of staff for communications, eventually tweeted out the corrective, people familiar with the event said, while White House officials overall were rolling their eyes and dismissing the entire embarrassing episode as another “Rudy special.”
The campaign declined to comment, as did the White House.
On Saturday evening, while Mr. Biden was addressing the country in his first remarks as president-elect, Mr. Lewandowski tweeted: “All great Americans in PA use Four Seasons Total Landscaping. They love this country and are American Patriots. Thank you!!”
Credit…Pete Marovich for The New York Times
WASHINGTON — President Trump’s motorcade was just pulling into his private golf club in suburban Virginia Saturday morning as news organizations ended days of waiting, declaring him the loser in his bid for re-election against former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Aides called Mr. Trump to let him know that their predictions over the past several days had come true: Every major media outlet had called the race for Mr. Biden. The president was not surprised, they said, but it did not change his plans to march ahead with legal challenges that several of his own advisers warned him were long shots at best.
The president’s decision to go to his club Saturday morning meant that he was not at home as thousands of people gathered to celebrate Mr. Biden’s victory close to the White House, cheering the president’s ouster and waving signs that said “TRUMP IS OVER” and “YOU’RE FIRED.”
Aides said Mr. Trump has no plans to immediately concede defeat as his campaign vowed to continue waging the legal battle across the country in a last-ditch effort to somehow reverse the stream of ballots that delivered the White House to Mr. Biden. In a statement, Mr. Trump said Mr. Biden is trying to “falsely pose” as the winner.
“The simple fact is this election is far from over,” the president said, less than two hours after tweeting the false claim that “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!,” which drew a warning from Twitter that it was premature. “Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”
Mr. Trump’s advisers said they do not believe he will attempt to deny Mr. Biden from taking his place in the White House in January. But they described him as in complete denial that he has been fired from the presidency and said he is refusing to abandon his accusations that Democrats stole victory from him.
The president’s tone — in his statement he accused Democrats of wanting “ballots counted even if they are fraudulent, manufactured, or cast by ineligible or deceased voters” — was a sharp contrast to Mr. Biden, who called for unity in a nationwide address Friday night as it was becoming clear that he was closing in on victory.
Even some of Mr. Trump’s longest advisers, like former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, said publicly that he needed to have actual evidence to make the claims he was making.
With the race called for Mr. Biden, the machinery of a formal transition of power — including millions of dollars in federal funding for Mr. Biden’s team — is set to begin roaring to life in Washington, even as aides said the president tentatively planned to escape to Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Florida, late next week, for at least a few days.
Mr. Trump left the golf course on Saturday afternoon and returned to the White House where crowds of Biden supporters had gathered outside.
On Saturday, White House advisers began confronting the reality that Mr. Trump will be a lame-duck president inside the White House — or at one of his privately-held properties — for the next two and a half months, lashing out at his perceived enemies on Twitter and asserting the power of his office even as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the country.
Earlier Saturday morning, before the race was called for Mr. Biden, Twitter flagged all of President Trump’s early-morning tweets, calling them disputed and potentially misleading after he made baseless claims about election irregularities.
Mr. Trump had focused his ire on Pennsylvania, the state that would later seal his fate as a one-term president. Mr. Trump was trailing Mr. Biden by about 28,000 votes in that state when he tweeted.
Within an hour, Twitter had put a warning label on all four of the president’s tweets, indicating that the content of his claims “might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”
Twitter has grown increasingly aggressive about flagging Mr. Trump’s false statements even as the president, in the days since Election Day, has spread false stories about “illegal ballots” and has demanded that local officials in several states stop counting ballots prematurely.
Credit…Desiree Rios for The New York Times
In a phone interview with The New York Times, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York called President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory a first step, but stopped short in expressing confidence that the incoming Democratic administration would have a good working relationship with the party’s left wing.
“We probably paused this precipitous descent,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said, referring to the removal of President Trump. “And the question is, if and how we will build ourselves back up.”
The measured optimism was a sign of the looming fights for Democrats, who experienced a mixed set of results on Election Day. Mr. Biden defeated Mr. Trump by a convincing margin in the Electoral College, but results in several states were more narrow than anticipated. Democrats also lost seats in the House of Representatives and failed to win key Senate races.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez rejected the idea, espoused by some in her Democratic caucus, that progressive proposals such as “Medicare for all” should be blamed for Democratic losses. She said she thought things like lack of canvassing and digital organizing hurt the party more.
“I think that was the big thing that we learned was that high-turnout elections are not automatically Dem wins,” she said. “But also when we target turnout for us in a very targeted way, then that is absolutely beneficial. I believe we’ve learned we can’t run away from progressive policy. I don’t think it was decisive one way or another.”
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was herself re-elected in New York despite the fact that Republicans had poured millions of dollars into challenging her in the primary and the general election. She said her own experience fending off G.O.P. attacks informs her thinking.
“There’s going to be very effective Republican messaging every single cycle,” she said. “And if you keep trying to play whack-a-mole with this message or that message, you know, you’re never going to be getting ahead.”
Credit…Victor J. Blue for The New York Times
President Trump’s already daunting odds for a change in the election result appeared to be dimming even further in key states in the ongoing vote counting on Saturday.
President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s 37,000-vote lead over Mr. Trump in Pennsylvania was just outside the state’s 0.5 percent-margin threshold for automatic recounts, and Mr. Biden’s team expected that number to grow by tens of thousands of votes before the state’s results are certified.
Pennsylvania election officials can force recounts with higher margins if they believe there have been sufficient irregularities, but even state Republican leaders have said they have not seen any evidence of widespread problems as of yet. A minimum number of three voters can request recounts in individual counties. Even if Pennsylvania or individual counties were to conduct recounts, Mr. Trump would have a huge deficit in the vote count to surmount.
In Arizona, though Mr. Biden’s edge over Mr. Trump tightened to just over 21,000 votes by Saturday afternoon, it was still greater than the 0.1 percent margin that triggers an automatic recount there.
In Nevada, any candidate can request a recount and must do so by Wednesday. But that candidate must pay for the process, and Mr. Trump would likely find it to be a poor investment: His deficit was in the 26,000-vote range with 97 percent of precincts reporting. There were more outstanding votes in blue counties than red ones, and recounts rarely if ever generate thousands of new votes for a losing candidate.
The one state where an automatic recount seemed almost certain was in Georgia. As of Saturday morning, Mr. Biden led Mr. Trump there by more than 7,000 votes.
Gabriel Sterling, an official with the secretary of state’s office, said that a pool of about 4,200 ballots, most of them absentee, remained to be tallied in four counties: Floyd, Cobb, Cherokee and Gwinnett, where the largest tranche is to be counted and which contains Atlanta suburban communities that have gone from leaning Republican to leaning Democratic in recent years.
The state must also deal with ballots from military and overseas voters, which will be counted if they arrived in the mail before the end of business on Friday and were postmarked by Tuesday. Mr. Sterling said that the unofficial tally of the votes could be completed by the end of the weekend.
Overall, in the 31 statewide recounts held in the United States since 2000, the average change in the number of votes was 430, or 0.024 percent of the entire vote, according to an analysis by the nonprofit Fair Vote.
But even if Mr. Trump were to ultimately win the state and snatch victory away from Mr. Biden in Arizona and Nevada, he would still fall well short of what he would need to claim the presidency in the Electoral College.
Credit…Dave Sanders for The New York Times
After months of taking social media-ready swipes at President Trump and his allies, the Lincoln Project had a relatively serene message following Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory on Saturday.
In an ad posted on Saturday by the group — which is made up mostly of Republicans who were dedicated to pushing Mr. Trump out of office — a voice-over intoned over idyllic scenes of the sun rising around the country that “the end is coming, the end of the noise and lies, the end of the chaos and division, the end of the hate.” The 60-second commercial, titled “Dawn,” noted that a “new day is coming” and referenced “Joe Biden, our president.”
The tone was a change of pace for the Lincoln Project, which accumulated 2.7 million Twitter followers and 715,000 YouTube subscribers. It raised $66.7 million this year to repeatedly pester the Trump campaign with sharp-elbowed ads. In the days after the election, Lincoln Project representatives made the rounds on cable news networks to deride Mr. Trump’s tenure and predict Mr. Biden’s victory.
Last month, the group put up billboards in Times Square suggesting that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were indifferent to the toll of the pandemic, sparking a legal threat from the couple’s lawyer. An earlier commercial showed footage of Mr. Trump belittling women and stressed to viewers that “your daughters are listening.” Rick Wilson, a Republican strategist and Lincoln Project co-founder, claimed partial credit for the firing of Mr. Trump’s longtime campaign manager Brad Parscale after the project highlighted his lavish lifestyle.
Other Lincoln Project founders include George Conway, the husband of former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, as well as Steve Schmidt, a top campaign adviser to George W. Bush and John McCain. The group is looking to expand into film, television and other media platforms, according to Axios.
The Lincoln Project has attracted the ire of people on both sides of the aisle. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York described the group’s fund-raising levels as being “in scam territory” and said on Twitter this week that she would “be interested to see data on how effective their videos and NYC billboards were at persuasion.” Two of the group’s co-founders, Mike Madrid and Reed Galen, pushed back on social media.
On Wednesday, the Fox News host Laura Ingraham discussed how Republicans had performed during the election, and declared that the group “failed as spectacularly as the grifters at the Lincoln Project.”
“They didn’t move a single vote away from Donald Trump,” she said.
Credit…Paulo Nunes dos Santos for The New York Times
LONDON — For a world that held its breath as American voters went to the polls last Tuesday to elect a president, the triumph of Joseph R. Biden Jr. over President Trump elicited many emotions, but above all, a profound sigh of relief.
As news of Mr. Biden’s victory on Saturday reverberated from Latin America, and Europe and the Middle East to Asia, foreign leaders showered him with congratulations. Diplomats and commentators expressed gratitude, satisfaction and even quiet jubilation that a new president would bring a much-needed return to normalcy — something that vanished abruptly the day that Mr. Trump took office.
“Our two countries are close friends, partners and allies,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada said in a Twitter message to Mr. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. “I’m really looking forward to working together and building on that with you both.”
The German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said: “We look forward to cooperating with the next U.S. administration. We want to invest in our cooperation, for a trans-Atlantic restart, a New Deal.”
For many world leaders, the importance of this election was as much about removing Mr. Trump as elevating Mr. Biden.
The former vice president, now president-elect, is a familiar fixture on the global stage, a centrist Democrat who is likely to restore the traditional habits and methods of American power abroad. Mr. Trump, who held no public office before the presidency, has been a great disrupter, leaving alliances in tatters and casting into doubt the liberal international order that the United States helped build after World War II.
“I feel optimistic, for the first time in quite a long time,” said Simon Fraser, a former diplomat for Britain. “I’m not expecting a radical change in American foreign policy, but I do expect a change in body language and tone, and a shift away from unilateralism to collaboration with allies.”
For American allies on the European continent, the relief was even more palpable. Mr. Trump has enthusiastically advocated Brexit because he saw it as a way to undermine the European Union. He levied tariffs on European goods, pulled out of the Paris climate accord and hectored France and Germany about their dues to NATO.
Even European leaders who labored to cultivate Mr. Trump, like President Emmanuel Macron of France, eventually gave up. Diplomats said these leaders hoped to reset the trans-Atlantic relationship with Mr. Biden, who analysts in Washington said would make a priority of repairing frayed ties with Europe.
“You will be able to have a coherent conversation with a normal guy,” said Gérard Araud, a former French ambassador to Washington, who sat in on often discursive exchanges between Mr. Trump and Mr. Macron.
Mr. Araud said the ascension of Mr. Biden — a “nice guy, a smiling guy,” as he put it — would have emotional resonance for many Europeans, particularly older ones, who struggled to reconcile Mr. Trump’s unyielding “America First” vision with the generous, if imperfect, country they knew in the postwar period.
“They need to love America,” Mr. Araud said. “There is a sentimental relationship with America, which the Americans always underestimate.”
President Trump’s staunchest supporters greeted the news of his re-election defeat with a mix of anger, disappointment, resignation and skepticism on Saturday, as some held out hope that their favored candidate could still prevail in the days to come.
Across the country, Mr. Trump’s backers gathered as multiple media organizations, including The New York Times, called the election for Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee — spelling the end of a presidency that divided the population.
The gatherings, on the whole, were far more subdued than the scenes unfolding on the streets of big, Democratic-leaning cities such as New York where cheers, honking and general joyousness broke out Saturday afternoon.
In Houston, Larry Thompson, 75, said he did not believe the race calls made by news organizations, echoing a commonly held view among Trump backers gathered to protest the results.
Still, he acknowledged that “if it’s a legitimate vote, I’m going to have faith in my country.”
“I want my guy to win,” he said, “but if he loses fair and squarely, I’m in.”
Outside of Miami, where voters helped tip Florida into Mr. Trump’s column, about two-dozen people, mostly Cuban-Americans backing Mr. Trump, gathered outside La Carreta restaurant to demonstrate against President-elect Biden’s victory. Drivers honked their horns, waving Make America Great Again hats out their windows. Some people waving Biden flags and driving in the opposite direction shouted, “go home!”
Maura Sheesley, 60, who was wearing a Trump mask and hat, and carrying a flag in each hand, vowed to fight to the end. Although there have been no credible claims of voter fraud, Ms. Sheesley said she believed fraud had been committed in connection with mailed ballots.
“He won’t stop, and those that support him won’t stop either,” she said of Mr. Trump.
But Jodi Lavoie-Carnes, 48, a dental hygienist who lives in Dover, N.H., and supported Mr. Trump, was more circumspect.
She said she was shocked and disturbed by the boisterous celebrations of Biden supporters, who had gathered in her town, waving profane anti-Trump signs. The tone was so negative that she wondered what lies ahead for the country.
“I’m like, are you serious?” she said, adding that it was Mr. Biden’s responsibility to keep the tone of celebrations civil. “The language doesn’t need to be there. My children need to drive by that.”
Like other Trump supporters, Ms. Lavoie-Carnes said she had reservations about the vote counting in some states and supported recounts.
But she also said she would accept the result of the recounts, whatever they might be.
“If it’s true that he did pull legitimate, true votes that are not fraudulent, he is my president for the next four years, and I will accept it,” she said of Mr. Biden. “I’m not going to go out there and holler and scream. I’m going to go on with my life.”
Cheers Ring Out in Cities Across the Nation After Biden’s Win
Mass celebrations and smaller protests broke out around the country after Joseph R. Biden Jr. defeated President Trump in the election for the presidency of the United States.
[cheering and drums] [cheering] Singing: “Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, hey, goodbye!” [cheering] [cheering and kazoos] “Biden! Biden! Biden! Biden! Biden!” [music playing, “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang] [cheering and cars honking] [cheering, drumming and cars honking] [cheering] “Biden! Biden! Biden! Biden! Biden!” [cheering] “Biden! Biden! Biden! Biden! Biden!” “Fraud! You committed voter fraud! Democrats suck! Cheaters! Cheaters!” [music playing] [cheering] [singing] “Let freedom ring!” [chanting, yelling] [honking, cheering]
Mass celebrations and smaller protests broke out around the country after Joseph R. Biden Jr. defeated President Trump in the election for the presidency of the United States.CreditCredit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
From Los Angeles to the White House to the steps of Trump Tower in New York, celebrations broke out across the United States on Saturday after the news, at last, that Joseph R. Biden Jr. had won the presidential election.
The champagne bottles and tears were as much for Mr. Biden, a 77-year-old former vice president and career politician, as they were for the ouster of President Trump, whose divisive rhetoric has contributed to the deep polarization gripping the country. Not since the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer have bigger crowds, in the era of a global pandemic, come together — masked, sure, but making not even the slightest attempt to social distance. Such a moment seemed to call for anything but that.
“This feels so good to see everybody so happy,” said Demoz Desta, 29, who emerged from the grocery store to find sudden commotion on the streets of Chicago. “It feels good to know that I’m not the only one. And we haven’t had a chance to be happy together for so long.”
In the weeks leading up to the election, an anxious nation has braced for protests and unrest once the race was decided. Yet in heavily Democratic big cities at least, a palpable sense of joy overwhelmed any suggestion of the violence that some had come to expect at the conclusion of a bitter campaign.
Shortly after 1:30 p.m., a large group, many who were people of color, broke out into song in front of the White House, chanting along to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.”
Agi Joseph, 43, who is from The Gambia in West Africa, said that Mr. Trump’s tenure, during which he has called Haiti and several African nations “shithole countries,” had made her felt forgotten and disliked, but on Saturday she felt seen. “This is why I came to the U.S.A.,” Ms. Joseph said. “United we stand — we have been divided so long, it’s time for that to stop.”
The revelry was at times, more solitary, too, but exuberant nonetheless.
In suburban Milwaukee, Michael Jeske stepped into his yard and blasted a conch shell. Bjorn Hansen received a text from Europe in Kent County, Mich., and pumped his fist. Derrick McConnell of Detroit jumped up and shouted, “Thank you, Jesus!”
“I’m giddy,” Mr. Jeske’s wife, Karren, said through tears, sharing that she had quit a job to volunteer full time for Democratic groups seeking to turn out Wisconsin voters. “The nightmare is over.”
Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times
Minutes after the 2020 presidential race was called for Joseph R. Biden Jr., and Kamala Harris, prominent Democrats supportive of the former Vice President and his running mate cheered their victory as the first step toward a brighter American future.
Democrats who ran against Mr. Biden in the 2020 primary including former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend Ind., the climate activist Tom Steyer and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts all offered their congratulations.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most well-known figures on the progressive left, also offered kind words, as did world leaders such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada.
And former President Barack Obama sent out his own statement praising Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris in which he said his former vice president would “do the job” of president with “the best interests of every American at heart.”
“I encourage every American to give him a chance and lend him your support,” Mr. Obama said.
Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina, whose endorsement as the state’s Democratic primary approached was a key turning point in the race and a huge boost to Mr. Biden said his win “marks a new chapter for our country.”
“As we face unprecedented challenges, Americans have chosen you to lead us out of the chaos and to build a stronger community,” he wrote on Twitter. “Today, I am hopeful for a brighter future.”
Congratulations to the 46th President, Joe Biden.
Your victory marks a new chapter for our country.
As we face unprecedented challenges, Americans have chosen you to lead us out of the chaos and to build a stronger community.
Today, I am hopeful for a brighter future. pic.twitter.com/HV7gefLKRz
— James E. Clyburn (@WhipClyburn) November 7, 2020
Maya Harris, Ms. Harris’s sister, immediately invoked the memory of their mother, Shyamala, whom the vice president-elect often discussed during the campaign when telling her back story and sharing her values. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the actress who for years played a female vice president in the HBO comedy “Veep,” made sure to note: “‘Madam Vice President’ is no longer a fictional character.“
The Trump campaign, for its part, said it would continue to pursue its legal challenges, and Mr. Trump released a statement in which he said he would “not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands.”
Newt Gingrich, the former Republican Speaker of the House and one of Mr. Trump’s staunchest supporters, baselessly insisted that the media had jumped the gun and declared a winner in the race before recounts had started and legal challenges had unfolded.
Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, similarly objected to the presidential race call on Saturday. “The media do not get to determine who the president is. The people do. When all lawful votes have been counted, recounts finished, and allegations of fraud addressed, we will know who the winner is.”
But in one of the first statements to surface from a Republican lawmaker on Saturday, Representative Fred Upton of Michigan affirmed a Biden victory. “I am raising my hand and committing to working with President-elect Biden,” he said.
Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, extended his own congratulations to Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, conferring the titles “president-elect” and “vice president-elect” on them in his tweeted statement.
“We know both of them as people of good will and admirable character,” he said. “We pray that God may bless them in the days and years ahead.”
And Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida who failed to defeat Mr. Trump in the 2016 Democratic primary, said it was time to “heal deep wounds” and added that he would be “praying” for Mr. Biden’s success.
Congratulations to President-elect Biden. I have prayed for our President most of my adult life. I will be praying for you and your success. Now is the time to heal deep wounds. Many are counting on you to lead the way.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) November 7, 2020
The specter of a prolonged legal battle could not temper the enthusiasm of Democratic Party leaders who have known and worked with Mr. Biden for years.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a statement, said that voters had “elected a unifier who values faith, family and community, and who will work tirelessly to heal our nation.” And Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, said the American people had “placed their faith in Joe Biden and Kamala Harris” to confront challenges posed by the virus, the economy and global warming in the coming years.
In statement, Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee said that by electing Mr. Biden, “The American people chose hope” and “dignity and opportunity for all.”
“This is a historic victory,” he said.
“To the families of those who’ve lost loved ones to COVID-19, and to all our Americans yearning for change, our message is simple: You will finally get the leadership you deserve.”
And Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic nominee who won the popular vote but ultimately lost to Mr. Trump, said voters had issued a “repudiation” of the president and offered a riff on one of her campaign slogans.
“Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen,” she said. “Onward, together.”
The voters have spoken, and they have chosen @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris to be our next president and vice president.
It’s a history-making ticket, a repudiation of Trump, and a new page for America.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen. Onward, together. pic.twitter.com/YlDY9TJONs
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 7, 2020
The election of Joseph R. Biden Jr. elicited powerful reactions across the nation but few are resonating as deeply as the emotional on-air response to President Trump’s defeat by the CNN contributor Van Jones — who invoked George Floyd’s dying words in expressing his sense of relief and vindication.
“‘I can’t breathe’ — that wasn’t just George Floyd, that was a lot of people who felt they couldn’t breathe,” said Mr. Jones, a former Obama administration official, breaking down in tears moments after the network called the race for Mr. Biden.
“You spend so much of your life energy just trying to hold it together,” added Mr. Jones, who is Black. “And this is a big deal for us just to be able get some peace and have a chance for a reset.”
Mr. Jones said that Mr. Trump had made it acceptable to show “racism” overtly, and said he feared for his family’s safety under his presidency.
“And it’s easier for a whole lot of people,” after Mr. Trump’s defeat, he said. “If you’re Muslim in this country, you don’t have to worry that the president doesn’t want you here. If you’re an immigrant, you don’t have to worry if the president is going to be happy to have babies snatched away.”
As thousands of people cheered, danced and honked their horns in New York, Philadelphia and Atlanta, Mr. Jones summed up the feelings of many Trump critics, overcome with relief that Mr. Trump had been vanquished.
“This is vindication for a lot of people who really have suffered,” he said, as he began to sob. “It is a good day for this country. I am sorry for the people who lost, but for most, this is a good day.”
Mr. Jones’s opinion was not universally shared, not even on CNN’s set.
Former Representative Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a Republican, questioned calling the race in his home state until all provisional ballots were tallied, saying the race was “not over.”
Reporting was contributed by Trip Gabriel, Pranshu Verma, Lucy Tompkins, Julie Bosman, John Eligon.