News Nets Call Presidential Race for Joe Biden

Then Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden addresses the nation at the Chase Center Nov. 6, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.
(Image credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Most cable news nets and broadcast news operations are projecting that Joseph R. Biden Jr. has been elected the 46th president, defeating incumbent Republican Donald Trump. 

That is because they are predicting Biden has an insurmountable lead in Pennsylvania, which would push him past the 270 electoral college votes needed to win. Votes are still being counted in Arizona, Nevada and Georgia with Biden leading in those states, though Trump is making inroads in Arizona.

That call, four days in the making, came at 11:24 a.m. ET Saturday (Nov. 7). Those nets have begun referring to Biden as president-elect.

Kamala Harris, a daughter of immigrants, will be the first woman and person of color to be Vice President. 

MSNBC and CNBC also called it for "president-elect" Biden at about the same time.

Fox initially did not call the race. "We are not ready to make that call," said Neil Cavuto at 11:32 a.m. But within a few minutes the network said it was projecting that "Biden wins PA and NV and has electoral votes to win presidency."  By early afternoon, Fox's graphic was "Joe Biden Elected 46th President."

Trump has pledged to keep challenging the vote via a number of legal sorties.

On CNN, commentator Rick Santorum said he and his Republican colleagues were not ready to concede the election just yet.

Biden will be the oldest President ever sworn in at 78 when he takes the oath of office.

In the Saturday morning hours before the call, Trump was tweeting his allegations of fraud and asserting: "I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!"

Twitter was flagging most of those tweets, though it allowed that all-caps claim to stand, though pointing out that the race may not have been called when the President's own call was tweeted. 

The Trump campaign issued a statement that it was not conceding, that Biden should not be called the president-elect, and that it would see everyone in court Monday.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.