WASHINGTON: There were parties and prayers across the US on Saturday after TV networks projected that Democrat Joe Biden won the presidency.
In New York City, spontaneous block parties broke out Saturday. People ran out of their buildings, banging on pots. They danced and high-fived with strangers amid honking horns.
People streamed into Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House, waving signs and taking cellphone pictures.
In Lansing, Michigan, Donald Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter demonstrators filled the Capitol steps.
Biden defeated President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the US.
He won Pennsylvania on Saturday to exceed the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House.
Biden also carried Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan on his path to making Trump the first incumbent since George H. W. Bush to lose his bid for a second term.
“I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect (Kamala) Harris. In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted,” Biden said on Twitter.
“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation. It’s time for America to unite. And to heal.”
Trump, who has made repeated claims of electoral fraud without providing proof, immediately accused Biden of “rushing to falsely pose as the winner.”
“This election is far from over,” he said in a statement.
State elections officials across the country say there has been no evidence of significant fraud.
Trump added: “Our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”
In recent weeks, Trump has alleged widespread fraud and misconduct in the election.
His comments have drawn bipartisan rebuke from election officials and lawmakers as dangerous attempts to undermine public confidence in the vote.
Former President Bill Clinton tweeted that “America has spoken and democracy has won.”
The 42nd president also predicted Biden and Harris would “serve all of us and bring us all together.”
Jimmy Carter, the 39th president, said in a statement that he and his wife, Rosalynn, are “proud” of the Democrats’ “well-run campaign and seeing the positive change they bring to our nation.”
Hillary Clinton congratulated the “history making ticket” of Biden and Harris upon their victory over President Trump.
Clinton, who lost to Trump in 2016, called the election “a repudiation of Trump, and a new page for America.”
Harris will become the first woman to hold national office.
Clinton was the first woman to be a major party nominee for president.
She won almost 3 million more votes than Trump but fell short in key battleground states to lose the Electoral College.
Harris said she and Biden have a lot of work to do.
Harris made the comments in a tweet on Saturday. She said: “This election is about so much more than Joe Biden or me. It’s about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump is a “mandate for action.”
The Democratic leader said in a statement: “Today marks the dawning of a new day of hope for America.”
Pelosi called Biden’s vote tally a “historic victory.”
She says Biden and Harris will have a strong Democratic House majority “by their side.”
Biden’s victory was driven by strong support from groups including women, African Americans, white voters with college degrees and city-dwellers. He was more than four million votes ahead of Trump in the nationwide popular vote count.
Biden, who has spent half a century in public life as a US senator and then vice president under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, will inherit a nation in turmoil over the coronavirus pandemic and the related economic slowdown as well as disruptive protests against racism and police brutality.