WASHINGTON — The Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, is the projected winner of the District of Columbia’s three electoral votes, according to CBS.
D.C. is the only non-state to have electoral votes, a right it only gained in 1961 following the ratification of the 23rd Amendment. Since its first participation in a presidential election in 1964, D.C. has always given its electoral votes to the Democrat, with only 4.1% of District voters casting a ballot for Trump in 2016.
Biden describes himself as a center-left candidate and has run a campaign centered on building up the middle class, providing free COVID-19 testing and creating a national contact tracing program, tackling systemic racism, fighting climate change with a plan for clean energy future, expanding Obamacare and undoing Trump’s immigration policies.
Biden served as 47th Vice President of the United States (2009-2017) under President Barack Obama, after being elected to seven terms as a U.S. Senator from Delaware. He spent part of his time in Congress as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and eight years as the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He led the effort to pass the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, and voted for authorization of the Iraq War in 2003 but has since criticized how it was handled.
With deep roots in the Senate, he was an active and influential vice president, helping to negotiate with Republicans to avoid budget crises. He also headed up a task force on gun control following the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Conn. The passage of the Affordable Care Act, the implementation of the Recovery Act to stabilize the economy and traveling to more than 50 countries, are among the accomplishments Biden touts during his tenure as the former vice president.
Obama presented his VP with the Presidential Medal of Freedom – America’s highest civilian honor -- just before the pair left office. Obama added the veneration “with distinction” to the award, which had been given only three times previously.
Biden is no stranger to personal tragedy. In 1972, just six years after marrying his first wife Neilia Hunter, Neilia and Biden’s infant daughter, Naomi, died in a car crash; his two sons – Hunter and Beau -- were also seriously hurt. He considered putting his political career on hold after his wife and daughter died one month after his election to the Senate but chose to serve and took the oath from his sons’ hospital room. And in 2015, his son Beau died at age 46 after battling brain cancer.
The former vice president has run for president unsuccessfully twice before. In 1988 he dropped out after reports that he plagiarized part of a speech. He ran again in 2008, but struggled to gain traction and dropped out before being named as Obama’s running mate. He chose not to run in 2016 as his family grieved over Beau’s death. Biden later said in an interview that he felt he was the most qualified person but that he couldn’t put his whole heart and soul into a campaign at the time.
There are 538 electoral votes up for grabs in the election; 270 would put a candidate at more than 50% of the electoral vote and an election to the presidency. There has never been a 269-269 tie. If no candidate reaches 270, the presidency would be decided by the House members who are sworn in on January 3. Each state's House delegation would have one combined vote. If a majority of states go to one candidate, that candidate will be president.