Joe Biden has won the 2020 election, and will become the 46th president of the United States, the Associated Press reports. Biden's running mate Kamala Harris will become the next vice president of the United States, the first woman to ever hold the office.
After a tight race, the Scranton, Pennsylvania native secured the win on Thursday, winning key states like Michigan and Wisconsin. The win comes days after a nail-biter of an Election Night, when at times it seemed Donald Trump would score another shocking upset similar to what he pulled off in 2016. But the president's lead in crucial states began to fade in the early hours of the morning and kept dimming on Wednesday and Thursday, as mail-in ballots continued to be counted.
By Wednesday morning, Biden had taken a lead in key swing states, prompting his campaign manager Jo Malley Dillon to say that Biden was on track to be victorious.
Biden's win comes less than four years after he left the White House as Barack Obama's vice president. Biden's time with the Obama administration made him a clear front-runner heading into the Democratic primary race, and he became the presumptive nominee in mid-April, after his fellow candidates suspended their campaigns.
Biden's political career began in the late 1960s, when he was elected to city council in New Castle County, Delaware. He would go on to serve six terms in the U.S. Senate and launch two presidential bids—one in 1988 and the other in 2008—before he joined the '08 Democratic ticket as Obama's running mate.
Biden consistently touted his working relationship with Obama throughout the 2020 election cycle, and has promised to improve one of Obama's most notable pieces of legislation: the Affordable Care Act. Though he opposes universal health care, the president-elect has proposed adding a "public option" to the ACA, which would give all Americans the choice between private insurance or a public insurance option like Medicaid. He has also proposed lowering the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 60—a suggestion that has been widely applauded as the coronavirus poses a heightened risk to the elderly population.
The ongoing global pandemic, which has claimed the lives of over 233,000 Americans, was arguably the biggest issue of the 2020 election. Biden frequently slammed his presidential opponent, current President Donald Trump, for failing to take the health crisis seriously and protect American lives. Biden has laid out a COVID-19 response plan, which includes pushing for mask mandates, increasing the number of testing centers, and restoring the White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, which was dismantled during the Trump presidency.
Biden's other key proposals include raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, reverse some of Trump's most controversial immigration policies, rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement (though he has distanced himself from the Green New Deal), and vows to reduce the nation's prison population.
Biden is expected to be sworn in as president on Jan. 20 in Washington, D.C.