From Jubilation To Dismay, A Divided Nation Reacts To Biden's Victory
For nearly four days, tension mounted in American households as an anxious nation awaited the results of the presidential election. But in an instant on Saturday, that tension washed away.
It took only seconds after Joe Biden was declared the winner over President Trump for a divided country's relief, frustration, anger and joy over the outcome to begin spilling into the streets.
In Washington, D.C., elated crowds gathered outside the White House, erupting in cheers that seemed as celebratory over Trump's loss as they were over Biden's victory.
"Goodbye!" shouted the large crowd gathered in Black Lives Matter Plaza, directing their voices toward the White House. "Nah, nah, nah, nah, Goodbye!"
In Chicago, Kimmy Fuller was among the revelers who took over a street corner on the city's North Side.
"Words can't even express it. It's a great day," Fuller said, adding that the feeling of relief was overwhelming her. She said she had spent years dismayed over the president's treatment of Black and brown Americans. "We need to be reunited. Because the racism is just too much. It's so despicable."
Similar spontaneous celebrations erupted in Los Angeles, New York and some of the swing-state cities that are proving pivotal to Biden's victory.
In Atlanta, intersections were overrun by impromptu dance parties that made way for cars parading by — their occupants craning their bodies out of passenger windows to wave Biden campaign flags.
And in Philadelphia, downtown streets were a cacophony of car horns and outbreaks of celebration among passing strangers. A jubilant crowd steadily swelled outside Independence Hall, which for days has been the site of a demonstration in support of counting every vote.
But in other areas of the city, tensions flared between Biden and Trump supporters. In northeast Philadelphia, dozens of police officers were reportedly called in to control a scene when an angry argument broke out, outside a planned pro-Trump press conference.
Indeed, the public jubilation expressed in the nation's Democratic strongholds was matched by displays of dismay or defiance from Trump supporters in many parts of the country.
In Colorado Springs, several hundred Trump supporters gathered outside City Hall after driving in via caravans from Denver and other parts of the state. The crowd waved Trump flags, chanted "Four More Years," and let out loud cheers as speakers at the rally claimed the election had been stolen from President Trump.
"I will never accept Biden as my president," said Ron Sauve, who went to a pro-Trump rally in Phoenix. "Not with this kind of cloud hanging over it."
In Alabama, the president's supporters gathered outside the state Capitol to protest Biden's victory, wave Trump flags and pray. Many in the crowd echoed the president's unsubstantiated claim that mail-in voting is fraudulent. One protester vowed to keep protesting until "this is all over."
Similar pro-Trump rallies formed in Albuquerque, N.M., Nashville, Tenn., and Boise, Idaho.
NPR correspondents Cheryl Corley and Eric Westervelt, and Kyle Gassiott of Troy Public radio contributed to this story. [Copyright 2020 NPR]