WILMINGTON, Del. — Joseph R. Biden Jr. has been elected president of the United States, defeating President Trump by promising to restore civility and stability to American politics and vowing more aggressively to combat the surging coronavirus pandemic.
Mr. Biden, 77, on Jan. 20 will become the 46th president and the oldest man ever sworn into the office. On Saturday, four days after Election Day, he secured the requisite 270 votes from the Electoral College.
The election, far closer than many experts had predicted, was history-making: Mr. Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California, is the first woman, and the first woman of color, on a winning presidential ticket.
Mr. Biden’s triumph concluded an extraordinary election that was expected to set modern records for turnout, despite being held amid a pandemic that has upended life across the United States and brought a new level of complexity to the voting process. Voters faced concerns about public health, long lines at the polls, and the vexing challenges of a transformed election system while rendering a verdict on Mr. Trump’s chaotic and norm-breaking presidency. In key battleground states, it took several days to process and count the flood of ballots sent through the mail.
In the end, the race was not the landslide many Democrats had hoped for. And the partisan wrangling is not over: the Trump campaign and Republican lawyers have already begun a wide-ranging legal assault to challenge Democratic votes and victories in swing states.