Decision 2020

San Diegans React to Projected Biden, Harris Victory

NBC 7 went around San Diego speaking with locals about the news of the projected Biden-Harris win on Nov. 7, 2020

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Moments after NBC News projected Joe Biden as the new President-elect of the United States and Kamala Harris as Vice President-elect, San Diegans took to the streets to react to the news.

Biden’s victory came after mail-in votes in Pennsylvania pushed the former vice president ahead of President Donald Trump in that state, capping days of tense vote-counting in battleground states and advancing Biden over the 270 electoral vote threshold.

Here's a look at how some San Diegans reacted to the historic moment.

In the Words of San Diegans

"Yeah, go, Joe Biden! We’re so happy. Yes, we need to unite America. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris," Elizabeth Anderson told NBC 7.

In a video sent by NBC 7 viewer Will Cowles Meyer, downtown residents were heard cheering after learning the projected winners of the 2020 presidential election. Take a look:

"I’m pretty amazed. Obviously, I did see it coming over the past couple of days. I saw that trajectory," said Jeremy Karisch.

NBC 7 reporter Omari Fleming captured the scene in San Diego's uptown community of Hillcrest as people stood at the rainbow crosswalk, cheering and holding up Biden and Harris signs.

Also in Hillcrest, rows of cars were seen traveling down the community’s main thoroughfares, honking in support of the Biden-Harris news. Some people had their windows rolled down and could be heard cheering. Others held signs or waved flags. Some people could be seen standing on the bridges, also cheering.

Friends Chelsea Hill and Ryan Newman were among the Biden-Harris supporters in Hillcrest Saturday.

“I think we both just breathed a huge sigh of relief once we saw the results,” Hill told NBC 7. “It was really about making sure that we get hate out of the White House and get hope back into our democracy. I hope the results of today really showed America that that’s possible.”

“Just a huge sigh of relief,” Newman added. “After all the anger and the hate – for the last four years, just every day – just letting that all go and coming out here with everyone, it’s a huge sigh of relief.”

Both Hill and Newman recognized there is "a lot of work to be done" at the White House once Biden is in office.

San Diego resident Troy Estrellado was also celebrating in Hillcrest Saturday. He told NBC 7 he had been volunteering his time making calls for the past two months to increase voter turnout in the election.

“I am just so ecstatic. I just feel like a giant weight has been lifted off my chest,” Estrellado said. “The energy here – you have to be here. We’re here and we’re ready to start making real changes in this country. It’s not going to happen overnight, but at least we can start having that conversation.”

Though Estrellado said he doesn't support all of Biden's policies, he does hope Biden is the president that pull together a divided nation.

“If we want to actually make change, we have to work together and all Trump has done is split us apart,” said Estrellado. “I don’t love Biden but I know that he’s going to bring us together.”

Mel Girton, the general manager and owner of the popular Hillcrest restaurant, Gossip Grill on University Avenue, told NBC 7 her eatery was filled with folks supporting the Biden-Harris victory.

“We’re so excited. It’s like we finally can breathe, and we finally can feel safe," Girton said. "And we’re just all here together, celebrating Biden and Harris’ win today.”

She called the win huge for the LGTBQ community.

"We feel more protected," Girton added. "For the first time in four years, we just feel safer."

Meanwhile, at Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego’s Embarcadero area, a group of Trump supporters stood waving American flags and Trump 2020 signs and flags.

Some of the Trump supporters wore red "Make America Great Again" hats. Many cars honked in support of the group as they drove by the park.

A man who identified himself as Mike D. said he and the group were proud to support the sitting president, despite news of the president-elect.

“We’re here to support Trump – the best president there’s ever been,” he told NBC 7. “They obviously reported that Biden won today. We don’t think that’s the case; we’re going to see him in court, we’re going to take it back. We’re very much in play to support our president; we love him."

Mike D. said the fight for the White House was certainly not over.

“We have a lot of people that won’t give up, no matter what they’re saying – no offense, no matter what the fake news is saying," he added. "We’re going to be out here supporting our president, no matter what happens."

NBC 7's Mari Payton spotted Biden supporters near the Cardiff Kook statue in San Diego's North County. Some were wrapped in Biden-Harris flags while others unfurled an American flag in celebration.

"Didn’t expect Pennsylvania to go that way. I've seen that it was Joe Biden, and I thought, 'Man, we’re really screwed,' but I hope not. I hope the best for America," Mathew McClure told NBC 7.

"That’s what we need. Some change in a positive direction," said William Harris.

"Girls, no matter what color, it's good for them. It gives them encouragement, it uplifts them," said Jacquelyn Brooks about Harris being Vice President-elect.

Konstantina Kondilas, a Trump supporter, told NBC 7 she was disappointed in Saturday's announcement.

"We're Trump supporters, and we’re not happy," Konstantina Kondilas told NBC 7.

"Gotten so focused on the personalities and everybody has a right to vote for who they want to. The real question is are you voting for the person? Or are you voting for their policies?" added Philip Kondilas.

Local politicians and other 2020 candidates in San Diego also reacted to the projected presidential win of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

In his speech Saturday night, Biden addressed the American people in a prime-time speech from Wilmington, Delaware. He vowed to unite the country as he takes the Oval Office.

“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but unify," the president-elect said. "Who doesn’t see red states or blue states, only sees the United States.”

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