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November 9, 2020

Joe Biden elected 46th president of the United States

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Directions: Read the summary, watch the video and answer the discussion questions. You may to follow along here with Joe Biden’s full statement on winning the presidency 

Summary: The Associated Press called the 2020 election for Democratic nominee Joe Biden after calling the race in Pennsylvania, giving the former vice president more than the 270 electoral votes needed to capture the presidency. “I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify, who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees a United States,” Biden said.

  • Biden will become the 46th president of the United States when he is inaugurated in January, and will also be the oldest person to hold the office.
  • Kamala Harris’s win makes her the first woman, the Black woman and the first South Asian elected vice president.
  • Biden addressed Americans for the first time as president-elect of the United States on Saturday night. He told a crowd at a drive-in event in Wilmington, Delaware, that it was now “a time to heal in America.”
  • While Biden and Harris are headed to the White House, President Donald Trump has refused to concede the election despite close family members urging him to do so. Instead, Trump has launched a number of lawsuits alleging voter fraud, which the evidence does not support.
  • Democrats, who were hoping to increase their margins in the House and take control of the Senate, failed to strengthen their position in Congress.

Discussion:

Warm up questions: 

  1. What state gave Biden the win for the presidency?
  2. Where did Biden give his victory speech?
  3. Why is Kamala Harris’s position as vice president-elect historically significant?
  4. Who were the people mentioned in Biden and Harris’s speeches?
  5. When will Biden officially take office?

Focus questions:

  1. What did Biden say in his speech about unifying the country? How does he plan to do this? What do you think he should do to unify the nation?
  2. Why has it taken so long for a woman to be elected vice president? Do you think a woman will be elected president in the U.S. one day? Watch the video Vice President-elect Harris’ win brings many historic firsts to learn more.
  3. Do you think Trump should proceed with the lawsuits? Why or why not? Watch the video Lack of evidence make Trump’s legal challenge an uphill battle to learn more. 

Media literacy: What mood does photojournalist Jim Bourg capture in this photograph? 

Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife Jill, and vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris and her husband Doug, celebrate onstage at his election rally, after the news media announced that Biden has won the 2020 U.S. presidential election over President Donald Trump, in Wilmington, Delaware, Nov, 7, 2020. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

 

Additional resources:

If time allows, watch how other Congressional races turned out in Election 2020:

Dems won the race but the GOP will control the presidency

While President Trump is contesting the outcome of the election, experts see no clear path to reversing the results, since Biden has won too many electoral college votes and is too far ahead in key states for legal challenges to make much of a difference. Still, this is not the first US presidential election that’s been contested after election day. To learn more about two prominent cases, use this lesson on contested elections.

 

 


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