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ABC projects Joe Biden to win, legal challenges loom

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Biden – National Win – Bigger

(WKOW) -- Former Vice President Joe Biden is projected to become the 46th president of the United States.

Biden took Pennsylvania putting him over the top with an additional 20 electoral college points.

The coronavirus pandemic and other tumultuous issues facing the country this year made an already long campaign feel almost endless for many.

Biden's presidency is likely to result in a change of direction for the nation's executive branch after four years of President Donald Trump at the helm.

As a candidate, Biden made promises to roll back some of Trump's actions, such as undoing some lingering effects of the family separation policy and re-entering the Paris Climate Accords.

Biden's platform, arguably the most progressive in the nation's history, includes ambitious plans for expanding access to health care and achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Chaos and coronavirus

The outcome comes after a challenging campaign season set against the backdrop of a pandemic that has killed well over 200,000 Americans and wide-spread protests against police brutality.

Biden made much of the case for his candidacy through digital events and socially-distanced rallies while his opponent, Trump, insisted at shoulder-to-shoulder rallies that the coronavirus' onslaught would soon fade as vaccines and treatments become widely available.

The disease has surged in Wisconsin. The state's Department of Health Services has posted thousands of new cases and dozens of deaths attributed to COVID-19 each day over last few weeks. Wisconsin hospitals have filled with a record number of patients.

Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19 after contracting it in the days surrounding his first debate with Biden.

The disease forced the president off of the campaign trail during the final month while he received treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. His diagnosis even forced the postponement of a campaign event in Janesville.

Muting microphones

The first debate between the two candidates, hosted by Fox News' Chris Wallace, featured a cacophony of insults and interruptions that made the proceedings a slog to comprehend any of the policy differences between the two men.

When Wallace asked Trump to disavow white supremacists, the president claimed he'd be "willing to do that" but also said, "almost everything I see is from the left-wing."

When Trump asked Wallace for the name of a particular group to denounce, Biden suggested the Proud Boys, a far-right organization.

"The Proud Boys," Trump said. "Stand back and stand by. But I'll tell you what, I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about Antifa and the left, because this is not a right-wing problem."

Critics denounced Trump in the days after for failing to condemn the group, with some suggesting the phrase "stand back and stand by" could be interpreted as a call to action.

Biden, who spent much of the campaign trying to cast himself a cool-headed, responsible leader in contrast to Trump's bombastic style, took flack for calling the president a "clown" a during a particularly fraught exchange.

During another moment, the former vice president, apparently exasperated by another interruption from Trump, asked "Will you shut up man?"

The display prompted changes from the Commission on Presidential Debates, which included muting the candidates' microphones during portions of the second debate.

Battle for the Badger State

Wisconsin became the tipping point state in the 2016 presidential election, decided by only 22,748 votes. Trump flipped the state into the Republican column for the first time since 1984.

Tons of money and resources poured into Wisconsin in bids to sways its 10 electoral votes one way or the other.

Both candidates recognized the state's importance in the electoral college and visited multiple times.

President Trump campaigned in Wisconsin as recently as Monday and both he and Biden stopped in the state on Friday.

The two men made it a point to visit Kenosha in the days after a police officer shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, in the back seven times, prompting protests and riots.

Trump spent much of his visit to the city with law enforcement and praising authorities "for a job well done" in managing the unrest.

Biden, by contrast, talked to Blake over the phone and met in-person with the man's family. The former vice president then met with community members in Kenosha, addressing racial disparities.

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