A new calm set in on Saturday.
“I don’t think I need the Wellbutrin anymore – I’m no longer an antidepressant,” said Ruth Briggs, 65, who was jumping down Arch Street in Philadelphia with her friend Stephanie Marsh, 40. “Four years of depression, only four years. It was terrible. And it is canceled.”
In his first address to the nation as President-elect, Mr. Biden admitted his surprise at the impromptu celebrations in the streets, which he described as “an outpouring of joy, hope, new belief that tomorrow will bring a better day”.
An unusually warm day in much of the industrial Midwest and Pennsylvania with brilliant sunshine and temperatures well into the 1970s only added to the feeling of euphoria. People flocked to the streets of downtown Philadelphia, the birthplace of American democracy and a city that is not known to gain recognition (“Gritty Did It” read a homemade sign that paid homage to the city’s unique hockey mascot) . They celebrated the recapture of a system of government that they believed was fundamentally at risk.
“It felt like every half of every ’80s movie where the bullies just win and win and win and you just don’t know if the world was what you imagined it was when you were a kid,” said Tom O. Connell, who was downtown with his wife and three children. “But now it’s the second half.”
If Mr Biden were to wear the last two uncalled states he now leads, Georgia and Arizona, he would win exactly 306 electoral college votes – the same number Mr Trump had in 2016 that the President has long termed ” Landslide.”
Still, the 2020 election results tell a more complicated story for Democrats than a simplified Hollywood script. Mr Trump lost, but Republicans won seats in the House of Representatives and retained control of the Senate for the time being, with runoff elections for two Senate seats in Georgia coming up. And the democratic hopes of making profits in state houses have largely been dashed. Margins were razor thin even before the elections, although in some polls (Texas! Ohio! Iowa!) Democrats dreamed of a strong rejection of Trumpism that didn’t materialize.