The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Joe Biden, in victory speech, says, ‘This is the time to heal in America’

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris called for unity after being the projected winners of the 2020 election on Nov. 7. (Video: The Washington Post, Photo: Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)
Please Note

The Washington Post is providing this important election information free to all readers. Get election results and other major news delivered to your inbox by signing up for breaking news email alerts.

This coverage has ended. Follow here for Sunday’s updates.

Joe Biden is now president-elect, and Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California is set to become the highest-ranking woman in the nation’s 244-year existence. In a victory speech on Saturday night, Biden called it “a time to heal in America” and said, “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.”

Harris praised Biden as “a healer, a uniter, a tested and steady hand" and spoke of what her win represented, saying, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”

Biden supporters came together to celebrate in cities throughout the country, while in state capitals from Phoenix to Austin, Trump supporters were gathering at protests over vote counts, planned before Biden’s victory was announced. Trump and his team have vowed to fight the results in court, and the president has baselessly called into question the integrity of legally cast votes since news organizations made their call.

Here’s what to know now

9:07 p.m.
Headshot of David Weigel
National reporter covering politics
Biden began his first remarks as president-elect by peering into the crowd and singling out the Delaware politicians who’d come to see him. “Is that Ruth Ann?” he asked, spotting the state’s first Democratic governor, who was elected 20 years ago and served two terms. It was a reminder of just how much Biden had built one of the country’s most dominant Democratic parties, a business-friendly coalition of liberals that’s won every significant election here since 1996.
9:02 p.m.
Biden has been a man of few words over the past few months, delivering short speeches on the campaign trail. Tonight was no exception, with an address that clocked in around 15 minutes. For a politician long plagued by gaffe-prone tendencies, Biden has lately demonstrated an ability to stay on message during his brief public appearances.
8:55 p.m.
Headshot of Annie Linskey
National reporter covering the White House.
Everything about this moment is designed to showcase Biden as presidential and the next leader of the country, while Trump declines to concede. In case anyone is missing the point, projected behind Biden are the words “President elect Joe Biden,” with Biden’s name in letters about a story high. The idea is to use optics to cement in the minds of Americans that he is the next president.
8:54 p.m.
Headshot of Matt Viser
White House reporter
Through Biden’s entire campaign, he has spoken about unity and healing divisions. And one of the most important lines of the night came as the president-elect attempted to speak directly to President Trump’s supporters. “I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself,” he said, a subtle reference to his two failed presidential bids. “But now, let’s give each other a chance.”
8:47 p.m.
Biden started his address using words like “clear” and “convincing” to describe his win and mentioned the record number of votes he received. This was a notable move as Trump has yet to concede and continues to raise baseless concerns about the vote. Biden seemed determined to rebuke those false claims, if implicitly.
8:38 p.m.
Headshot of Chelsea Janes
National baseball writer
Harris appeared to tear up when she mentioned her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who immigrated to the United States to attend the University of California at Berkeley and become a breast cancer researcher. Harris almost never displayed such emotion on the campaign trail, more easily moved to tears by laughter than joy or sadness. But she quotes her mother regularly and when asked what she thought when she voted for herself last week said simply “my mother.” Gopalan Harris died of cancer in 2009.