Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential race by the major media outlets Saturday with projected wins in Nevada and Pennsylvania that would give him 270-plus electoral votes and make him the nation’s 46th president.
The declaration by the Associated Press and other media outlets was based on Biden’s growing lead in those states and the fact that outstanding ballots were from Democratic strongholds that favored Biden.
The call by the media did not include Arizona, Georgia or North Carolina, three states Biden would not need to win to claim the White House. Biden leads in Arizona and Georgia, while President Trump leads in North Carolina.
With Nevada and Pennsylvania, Biden would have 279 electoral votes, more than the necessary 270.
The Trump campaign rejected the declaration of Biden as the winner and said court battles would show Trump the winner. Such legal contests could be longshots, though. Biden leads by more than 40,000 votes in Pennsylvania and more than 30,000 votes in Nevada, as well as 10,000-plus votes in Georgia and 15,000-plus votes in Arizona. By comparison, the contested 2000 race between George W. Bush and Al Gore involved fewer than 600 votes. Bush led by 327 after a machine recount and ended up being declared the winner by 537 votes.
“The simple fact is this election is far from over,” the Trump campaign said. “Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.”
Biden, in a Saturday night speech, urged Americans to “stop treating our opponents as our enemies.”
“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify, who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States, and work with all my heart, with the confidence of the whole people, to win the confidence of all of you,” Biden said.
To Trump’s supporters, Biden said, “For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of 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. To make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They’re Americans.”
Robert Jeffress, an outspoken supporter of President Trump and the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, urged Christians to pray for Biden if his lead holds.
“Here is our chance to show that Christians are not hypocrites,” Jeffress wrote in a column. “We serve a God who remains on His throne, sovereignly reigning over every square inch of this vast universe. We serve a God who loves us and will never leave or forsake us. And now we have the chance to show the consistency and constancy/ of our Christian witness to this world. When Joe Biden becomes president, we should commend him for the things he does right. We should condemn the things he does wrong. And above all, we must pray fervently for our president.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Tasos Katopodis/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.