Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

First State reacts to Biden victory

Kelli Steele
Delaware Public Media
Biden supporters in rehoboth beach celebrate the Presidnet-elect's victory Saturday

Many Delawareans are celebrating one of their own winning the White House.

Joe Biden is now the President-elect.

He earned that designation after Pennsylvania was called for the former Vice President and long-time Delaware senator Saturday morning, putting him over the 270 electoral votes needed to win.

The First State’s current senior Senator and and Biden friend , Tom Carper says he is happy for Biden and his family for reaching this goal. He also believes Biden's win is ultimately a victory for the entire country. 

Whether you’re Democrat, Republican, or Independent, I think we can be grateful that one of the most serious threats to our democracy, the underpinning of our democracy - the system of checks and balances – the foundation on which our democracy rests – we’ve survived the challenge [to it]," said Carper. "We’re going to see that foundation emerge intact."

Gov. John Carney called Biden a "man of decency" who is "uniquely suited for this moment."

"He can bring this country together. And he’s got the perfect partner in Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. This is a historic moment for Delaware and for our country,' said Carney in a tweet.

And Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings also congratulated Biden on his victor.

I’m delighted for Joe; I’m happier for America. Joe Biden will be a president guided by justice and fairness for all; who governs in the interests of his entire country, not the wealthiest few; and who is dedicated to healing a suffering nation," sadi Jenning in a statement. "After an orderly and civil voting process, the task now before us is to once again effectuate the peaceful transfer of power that has been a hallmark of our democracy for centuries. Then, together, we all need to get to work."

But not everyone in Delaware is cheering Biden’s victory.

President Trump's Delaware campaign chair and one-time U.S. Senate candidate Rob Arlett tweeted a baseless claim that there are illegal votes that will be reversed legally and give Trump a second term.

Sen. Carper says he believes the margin Biden appears to be headed toward in both the popular vote and the Electoral College is a clear message from the nation's voters.

"We want a leader that unites us, rather than divides us. We want a leader that leads by example, that has the heart of a servant. And we want a leader who is aspirational, who appeals to people's better instincts and is a purveyor of hope," said Carper.  "Donald Trump, sadly, was none of those things. But in my heart, I believe Joe Biden is all of those things."

Biden easily won Delaware's three electoral votes Tuesday, defeating President Trump by a 58-to-40 percent margin in the First State.  Biden earned almost 100,000 more votes than Trump in Delaware.

Biden wins the presidency exactly 48 years to the day he won his first term to the U.S. Senate from Delaware.

The 77-year-old will be the oldest president when he takes office in January.  He turns 78 in November.  Ronald Reagan was 77 when he left office in 1989.

Biden's win also drew congratulations from his alma mater, the University of Delaware.

“On behalf of his alma mater the University of Delaware, I want to congratulate Joseph R. Biden Jr. on his momentous victory in the 2020 presidential election. His long and distinguished career in public service has served as an inspiring example of the power of a UD education," " said UD president Dennis Assanis in a statement. "What’s more, our students, faculty, staff and alumni know with pride that our nation has a Blue Hen as President of the United States. As he continues to serve our nation, we look forward to carrying on the important work of the Biden Institute and the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware.”

Biden is scheduled to address the nation Saturday night at 8 p.m from the Wilmington Riverfront.


Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.