Democratic challenger Joe Biden has defeated President Donald Trump and will serve as the country's 46th president. After an election night fraught with results wildly different from polling projections, Biden secured victory by winning back the "blue wall" states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin just four years after Trump became president by turning them red.
As of Friday morning, Biden also had leads in the traditionally Republican-held states of Georgia and Arizona.
Although Trump won the key state of Florida and led in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin on election night, Biden made up ground as absentee ballots — cast overwhelmingly in some states by Democrats — were counted, erasing Trump's lead across the Rust Belt.
The 2020 election was thought to be a referendum on the coronavirus (COVID-19), racial tension, and the economy. In the end, Biden's message of hope, forward progress, and his critique of Trump's four years prevailed over the president's messaging of economic success and law and order.
Not only did Biden win the Electoral College, he received more total votes than any other president in the history of the United States, surpassing his former running mate Barack Obama's history-making popular vote win in 2008.
In securing victory, Biden adds Trump's name to the list of just 10 sitting presidents who lost to challengers in the general election.
Senator Kamala Harris of California, Biden's running mate, will be the country's first female, Black, and South Asian American vice president.
The Electoral College convenes in December to cast their votes for president and while it historically aligns the popular vote, it is possible to win the Electoral College while losing the popular vote, as Trump did in 2016 — an achievement he was unable to repeat.