Kamala Harris becomes first woman, African American and Indian American to become vice president.
Joseph R. Biden, Jr. has been elected 46th President of the United States. He defeated the current incumbent of the White House, Donald J. Trump, according to projections from NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and Fox News.
The race was called by networks just before noon after the former vice president’s lead in the crucial commonwealth of Pennsylvania increased to more than 0.5 percentage points.
Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania, long considered the tipping-point state, put the Democrat over 270 electoral votes. With him leading in Georgia, Arizona and Nevada, Biden is on path to win 306 electoral votes, the number Trump won in 2016.
“America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country,” Biden tweeted at 11:52 am. “The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me.”
With Biden’s victory, Kamala Harris, daughter of an Indian American mother and African American father, becomes the first woman and person of color to become the Vice President of the United States.
With his loss, Trump becomes only the fourth president in the last 100 years to lose a reelection campaign. The last incumbent who was voted out was President George H.W. Bush, who lost to Democrat Bill Clinton.
Several Indian American groups welcomed Biden’s victory.
“President-elect Biden has made immigration reform a priority on his agenda,” Sanjeev Joshipura, Executive Director of the nonprofit Indiaspora, told the American Bazaar. “He recognizes the inspiration of the Indian American immigrant story, and what it has meant for America.”
Joshipura said “Indiaspora was at the forefront of the successful effort a few years ago to get an official Diwali stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service.” He added: “Hopefully, we can arrange a virtual Diwali with the U.S. Vice President-elect this year!”
In a statement, Neil Makhija, Executive Director of Indian American advocacy and political action committee IMPACT, pointed out the historic nature of the Biden-Harris ticket’s victory.
“A generation of Indian Americans made this country their home because they knew it meant anything was possible for their children,” he said. “Today, the daughter of one of those Indian Americans proved their faith. It is with pride, hope, and enduring faith in America that we congratulate Vice President-elect Kamala Desi Harris on her historic victory.”
Makhija said her “election sends a message to a new generation of young Black and Brown children that they belong, and that in America, anything is possible.”
He said that the “election will supercharge the political engagement of the Indian American community.”
In the current election cycle, IMPACT raised a $10 million. Makhija said it “doubled turnout of South Asian voters in critical states, including Pennsylvania and Arizona, where our community’s engagement was enough to make the margin.”
Trump demands stop to vote count as Biden gains ground (November 5, 2020)
Indian Americans make a splash in yet another election cycle (November 5, 2020)
Biden on the cusp of winning the White House (November 4, 2020)