Joe Biden elected president

By Meg Wagner, Fernando Alfonso III, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani, Veronica Rocha and Amanda Wills, CNN

Updated 10:29 a.m. ET, November 8, 2020
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11:52 a.m. ET, November 7, 2020

This is the moment CNN called the presidential race for Joe Biden

CNN
CNN

After days of waiting, CNN's Wolf Blitzer called the presidential race for Joe Biden at 11:24 a.m. ET.

"After four long tense days, we've reached a historic moment in this election. We can now project the winner of the presidential race. CNN projects Joseph R. Biden Jr. is elected the 46th president of the United States, winning the White House and denying President Trump a second term," Blitzer said. "We're able to make this projection because CNN projects Biden wins Pennsylvania."

Blitzer added: "The former vice president, in his third run for the highest office, pulling off a rare defeat of the sitting commander in chief. With this victory, Kamala Harris is set to become the first woman and the first person of color to be the vice president. Again, CNN projects Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States. Jake, he is now president elect Joe Biden."

Watch the moment Blitzer announced CNN's projection:

11:49 a.m. ET, November 7, 2020

Jake Tapper: "The son of Scranton and the daughter of immigrants are headed to the White House"

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

As Kamala Harris made history as the first woman of color to be Vice President, CNN's Dana Bash commented on Black women finally seeing representation:

"The Democratic Party has been alive on the backs of — and through the hard work of — Black women for many, many years, and now, they finally see representation. And that is a huge thing," she said. "100 years ago, this year, women got the right to vote. 55 years ago this year, Black Americans were told that it could be easier for them to vote with the Voting Rights Act. That was after so much bloodshed, so much protests, and now, after all of that time, a Black woman has made history. " 

CNN's Abby Phillip commented on what this moment represents to millions in this country:

"Her path to this moment, I think, is fairly unconventional. She was one of the first major candidates to drop out of the Democratic field, but was someone who, I think, in the Party believed always had so much promise," she said. "One of the roles that she will play for Joe Biden is helping him bridge that gap between the Joe Biden who has been in Washington for decades and decades, the old guard, the 70 something-year-old White man, with the younger part of the party that is clambering to be heard. They feel like their futures are on the line, especially after the last four years. And I think a lot of them are looking to Kamala Harris to give voice to that."

CNN's Jake Tapper added:

"The son of Scranton and the daughter of immigrants are headed to the white house. It is a sign of what can happen in this country. You can become anything you want to be."
11:54 a.m. ET, November 7, 2020

"He is in this fight," Trump campaign manager says

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

Campaign Manager Bill Stepien, left, listens as President Donald Trump visits his campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, November 3.
Campaign Manager Bill Stepien, left, listens as President Donald Trump visits his campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, November 3. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Moments before CNN projected that Joe Biden will win the presidency, President Trump's campaign manager insisted to staff that their candidate still has a path to victory. 

While providing an update on the legal challenges surrounding the election, Bill Stepien told officials:

"He is in this fight. He is in this fight...These are razor thin margins. We are not giving up the fight in these places. We are not giving up the fight."

It was a private call, but CNN was provided access by a source affiliated with the reelection effort. 

Stepien argued Trump still has a path to victory in Arizona and Pennsylvania while providing an overview of where things stand as vote counting is ongoing. 

He railed against the high volume of mail-in voting and insisted officials believe they stand “a very good chance” of emerging as the winner if the race proves to be close.

Stepien insisted the call wasn't about fundraising but then solicited donations to the legal defense fund. "Again, this is not a fundraising solicitation, but that is an avenue to help."

11:50 a.m. ET, November 7, 2020

Biden campaign manager was on a run when she heard the news

From CNN's Arlette Saenz and Sarah Mucha 

Biden Campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon was on a run. Her mother called to tell her about CNN’s call for Joe Biden, she said told the print pool in Wilmington, Delaware, as she returned.

Asked how she felt about Joe Biden becoming the 46th president of the United States, she said:

"Ecstatic – a great day for this county."
11:36 a.m. ET, November 7, 2020

Biden will move to unify the country in his speech tonight

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden was spending the morning with his family at his home in Delaware when he saw the news that he was projected the winner of his native Pennsylvania and will be the 46th president of the United States.

He will address the nation tonight, an official tells CNN.

A line from Biden’s speech last night will be a theme of his remarks: “Never forget: the tallies aren't just numbers. They represent votes and voters, men and women who exercise the fundamental right to have their voice heard.”

11:56 a.m. ET, November 7, 2020

Dana Bash: Biden "made a comeback just this year like we've never seen"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

CNN
CNN

After CNN projected Joe Biden to win the presidency, Dana Bash said the "conventional" Biden path has been "so unconventional."

“He’s the most conventional of politicians, but in this election cycle his path has been so unconventional. Remember, he beat out the biggest, most diverse field in the Democratic primary and he is an older white man who did that," Bash said.

"He lost Iowa, he lost new Hampshire, and it was Democratic Black voters who saved him and propelled him to this point," Bash added.

Bash noted that Biden's promise to "heal" the United States will be an uphill battle.

"He made a comeback just this year like we've never seen. And also remember, Joe Biden is defined by his personal loss. His calling card is knowing how to heal himself and what he ran on and what he says he's going to do is try to heal this nation. Now he's got to turn his attention to that and, can you imagine a more arduous task?”

Watch CNN's Dana Bash react to projection:

11:48 a.m. ET, November 7, 2020

These are the Presidents who have lost reelection

From CNN's Adam Levy

President Trump’s reelection defeat makes him the 11th sitting president in US history to lose the White House in a general election campaign.

Ten of those were outright reelection bids. Gerald Ford, who ascended to the presidency following Richard Nixon’s resignation, also lost his campaign to remain president in 1976.

The last president to lose a reelection bid was George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Grover Cleveland lost his reelection campaign in 1888 but won back the White House four years later by defeating sitting President Benjamin Harrison. He is the only president to have served two nonconsecutive terms.

This list does not include sitting presidents who did not receive their party's nomination for the next general election.

10 elected presidents lost their reelection campaigns:

  • John Adams (1797-1801; lost to Thomas Jefferson in 1800)
  • John Quincy Adams (1825-1829; lost to Andrew Jackson in 1828)
  • Martin Van Buren (1837-1841; lost to William Henry Harrison in 1840)
  • Grover Cleveland* (1885-1889; lost to Benjamin Harrison in 1888)
  • Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893; lost to Grover Cleveland in 1892)
  • William H. Taft (1909-1913; lost to Woodrow Wilson in 1912)
  • Herbert Hoover (1929-1933; lost to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932)
  • Jimmy Carter (1977-1981; lost to Ronald Reagan in 1980)
  • George H.W. Bush (1989-1993; lost to Bill Clinton in 1992)
  • Donald Trump (2016-present; lost to Joe Biden in 2020)

1 non-elected president lost in the following general election:

  • Gerald R. Ford** (1974-1977; lost to Jimmy Carter in 1976)

*Cleveland later won a second, nonconsecutive term

**Ford was not elected vice president or president

11:47 a.m. ET, November 7, 2020

Kamala Harris will be the country’s first female and first Black vice president

Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Kamala Harris will be the United States’ next vice president, CNN projects.

She will be the first woman to hold the office. She will also be the nation’s first Black and South Asian vice president.

Harris, who has represented California in the Senate since 2017, is the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, and she grew up attending a Black Baptist church and a Hindu temple.

She was the first Indian-American and second Black woman to serve as a senator.

11:46 a.m. ET, November 7, 2020

CNN PROJECTION: JOE BIDEN WINS THE PRESIDENCY

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States, CNN projects, after a victory in the state where he was born put him over the 270 electoral votes needed to win.

With Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes, Biden now has a total of 273 electoral votes.

Before becoming the Democratic presidential nominee, Biden served as vice president under former President Barack Obama. He is also Delaware's longest-serving senator.

Throughout his campaign, Biden has argued that the "soul of the nation" is at stake, and has promised that he would seek to heal a country fractured by Trump's presidency.