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Joe Biden breaks Obama's record for most votes ever cast for a U.S. presidential candidate

Special Report: Joe Biden projected to win the presidency
Special Report: Joe Biden projected to win the presidency 01:11

In 2008, Barack Obama earned 69,498,516 votes in the presidential election, the most ever. Now, Mr. Obama's former vice president, Joe Biden, has far surpassed that tally, setting a new record with more than 81,284,000 votes (51.3% of the total) in the 2020 election

With voter turnout in record territory, President Donald Trump also exceeded Mr. Obama's record, with over 74,221,000 votes (46.9%).

On Saturday morning, November 7, CBS News projected Mr. Biden will be the 46th president after winning the battleground state of Pennsylvania. He secured a total of 306 electoral votes, to Mr. Trump's 232.

Mr. Biden leads in the popular vote nationwide by more than 7 million votes. Winning the popular vote, however, does not secure the election — in 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes but still lost the election to Mr. Trump. 

Mr. Trump won several large battleground states, including Ohio, Florida and Texas, which Democrats had hoped could flip blue this year. But Mr. Biden prevailed in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, three key states Mr. Trump turned red in 2016.

Speaking at the White House in the early hours after election night, President Trump falsely claimed he had won the election and vowed to challenge the outcome all the way to the Supreme Court. Biden's campaign called the remarks a "naked effort to take away the democratic rights of American citizens."  Over the next several weeks virtually all of the Trump campaign's legal challenges were defeated in court or dismissed. 

Find full results for all races in the CBS News Election Center.

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