Politics

Celebrations break out in the streets of Washington, about a mile from the White House.

WASHINGTON — Strangers were congratulating each other on the streets of the nation’s capital in the hour after major news outlets declared Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the winner of the presidential race.

“Joe Biden!” A woman screamed from a six-story window in a yellow brick apartment building on the corner of 17th and Swann streets, about a mile north of the White House. Nearby, cars honked repeatedly at an intersection, and a woman on a bicycle rode through shouting with joy.

Mr. Biden overwhelmingly won the votes tallied so far in Washington: He currently holds more than 260,000 votes compared to just over 15,000 for Mr. Trump.

Scene at 16th Street and U street in Washington DC at 12:02 P.M. pic.twitter.com/VfXzmO1eub

“It’s a new day in America,” said Barry Karas, 74, a retired actor and political activist, who was hoisting two Biden signs onto his black wrought-iron fence. Passers-by shouted back.

“If it wasn’t a pandemic I’d hug you!” said a tall man wearing a black jacket and a blue medical mask.

A couple riding by on a scooter were both doing a victory whoop and gave Mr. Karas a high five. A jogger held both her arms aloft, looked his way and said, “We did it.”

At 12:02 p.m., the corner of 16th and U streets was exploding with beeping horns and applause.

Magdalene Mbanga, an immigrant from Cameroon, whose daughter is an American citizen and voted for Mr. Biden, was standing next to a street sign recording the scene with her phone.

“It’s more than a wedding, more than a wedding,” she said, smiling widely. “Just look at the joy of people.”

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