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Trump falsely asserts election fraud, claims a victory

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 11/3/2020 Colby Itkowitz, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner, Derek Hawkins, Paulina Firozi, Meryl Kornfield, David Weigel, Amber Phillips
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This coverage has ended. Follow here for Wednesday’s updates.

With millions of votes yet to be counted, President Trump falsely asserted election fraud, pledged to mount a legal challenge to official state results and made a premature claim of victory in a bitterly contested race that may take days to resolve. In remarks at the White House early Wednesday, Trump claimed that he won several states that are still counting ballots, including Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

His Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, insisted earlier that “we believe we’re on track to win this election” and pleaded for patience, citing Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, where votes were still being tallied. “It ain’t over till every vote is counted,” Biden said.

Here’s the latest on Election Day …

4:15 AM: Biden campaign manager calls Trump claims on ballots ‘outrageous, unprecedented and incorrect’

Biden’s campaign manager slammed Trump’s early-morning statement, in which he falsely described continuing to count votes as fraud, calling it “outrageous, unprecedented, and incorrect.”

In a statement, Jen O’Malley Dillon described Trump’s speech as “a naked effort to take away the democratic rights of American citizens.” She said it was not up to the president to make such a call.

“The counting will not stop,” she wrote. “It will not stop until every duly cast vote is counted. Because that is what our laws — the laws that protect every American’s constitutional right to vote — require.”

O’Malley Dillon added that the Biden campaign has “legal teams standing by ready to deploy” if Trump seeks court intervention.

By: Antonia Noori Farzan

4:00 AM: Republicans, Democrats condemn Trump’s false claim of victory, say all votes should be counted

Trump allies and opponents criticized his pledge to challenge states still counting votes, as well as the president’s false claim that he has already won the election.

Chris Christie, a former GOP governor of New Jersey and close Trump ally, said all outstanding votes must be counted. “All these votes have to be counted that are in now. … Tonight was not the time to make this argument,” he said on ABC News. “I disagree with what he did tonight.”

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who has voiced opposition to Trump in the past, tweeted at the president to “stop.”

“Stop. Full stop. The votes will be counted and you will either win or lose. And America will accept that. Patience is a virtue,” Kinzinger wrote.

Several Fox reporters and pundits also panned Trump’s claim to victory before all the voters’ ballots are counted. Dana Perino called it “deeply irresponsible,” while Juan Williams said it was “beyond the pale.”

Meanwhile, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, where these battles may play out most dramatically, pledged that every vote would be counted.

“We still have over 1 million mail ballots to count in Pennsylvania. I promised Pennsylvanians that we would count every vote, and that’s what we’re going to do,” Wolf said. “Let’s be clear: This is a partisan attack on Pennsylvania’s elections, our votes, and democracy. Our counties are working tirelessly to process votes as quickly AND as accurately as possible. Pennsylvania will have a fair election, and we will count every vote.”

By: Colby Itkowitz

3:07 AM: With millions of votes yet to be counted, Trump falsely asserts fraud and makes a claim of victory

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Trump threatened to ask the Supreme Court to intervene in the election process, saying voting had to stop and falsely claiming that by continuing to count votes already cast, the Democrats would be stealing the election. Polls have closed, and no more votes are being cast, only tallied.

Speaking to about 150 maskless supporters inside the East Room of the White House, Trump made a claim of victory in states where millions of mail-in ballots are still being counted.

He falsely described the situation as a “major fraud in our nation” and vowed to take his case to the Supreme Court.

Voting did stop when polls closed Tuesday night, but in states including Pennsylvania and Michigan, counting the millions of mail-in ballots couldn’t begin until Election Day and may take several days to complete.

Trump wrongly declared himself the winner of the election and wants the vote-counting to stop while he has a lead in the same-day voting tallies.

“To me, this is a very sad moment, and we will win this. And as far as I’m concerned, we already have,” he said.

Guests included former senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, former 2016 campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and Fox News personalities Laura Ingraham and Jeanine Pirro. Those in the crowd chanted “U-S-A” and cheered wildly for Trump’s false assertion of victory.

By: Colby Itkowitz and Josh Dawsey

3:00 AM: Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana deals another blow to Democratic pickup hopes

Republican Sen. Steve Daines (R) is projected to stave off a loss, winning reelection to his second term in the Senate.

Daines fought off a challenge from term-limited Democratic Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a big name who had won statewide three times. The staunch Trump ally was locked in a tight race with Bullock in the state the president won by more than 20 percentage points in 2016.

The Republican’s victory further narrows Democrats’ chances of wresting control of the Senate.

“I ran for office twelve years ago with one goal in mind: to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. I have been so pleased with how we have been able to bring people together in Montana — even when we don’t always agree — to improve the lives of our families and our communities,” Bullock said in a statement conceding the race.

The pair clashed during the campaign over the response to the pandemic — a GOP super PAC ran ads about the state’s response.

Environmental issues also played a key role in the race for Senate in the Big Sky state. Daines, who has spent the latter half of his Senate term boosting his environmental records, touted himself as a “conservative conservationist.” His key legislative win was persuading the president to sign a bill called one of the most important environmental laws in decades.

By: Paulina Firozi

2:57 AM: Republicans flip House seats in Oklahoma and Minnesota, hold on to a seat in Nebraska

Republican Stephanie Bice has unseated incumbent Democratic Rep. Kendra Horn in Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District.

Horn, who flipped a Republican district in 2018 in a surprise win for Democrats, had distanced herself from Biden in recent weeks after he suggested in the final presidential debate that he would “transition” away from oil.

The district includes Oklahoma City, one of the country’s oil capitals.

In another flip by Republicans, Michelle Fischbach won in Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District.

She defeated 15-term Democratic Rep. Collin C. Peterson, one of the most vulnerable House Democrats, in a rural district Trump won by double digits in 2016.

In Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, Republican Rep. Don Bacon defeated Democratic challenger Kara Eastman.

This is the second time Bacon defeated Eastman, who lost a challenge against Bacon in 2018.

By: Paulina Firozi

2:56 AM: Steve Daines, a Republican, has won the Senate race in Montana, according to Edison Research.

Full U.S. Senate results

2:23 AM: Ann Wagner, a Republican, has won in the 2nd District of Missouri, according to Edison Research.

Full U.S. House results

2:20 AM: Michelle Fischbach, a Republican, has won in the 7th District of Minnesota, according to Edison Research.

Full U.S. House results

2:20 AM: The latest potential paths to victory

The presidential race will probably remain up in the air in the hours and days to come, but the paths to victory have crystallized as election night has worn into Wednesday morning.

Trump’s path to victory increasingly runs through Pennsylvania, which has polled as the closest of three Midwestern/Rust Belt states that he carried narrowly in 2016. But Pennsylvania alone wouldn’t be sufficient at this point, particularly if Biden turns Arizona blue, which current results suggest is likely.

The Fix runs through all the scenarios here, with this one looking like the likeliest to get Trump near 270 votes:

map

By: Aaron Blake

2:11 AM: Trump wins Texas, crushing ‘Blue Texas’ dreams once again

Trump is projected to win Texas’s 38 electoral college votes, according to Edison Research.

Recent polls have showed a surprisingly tight race, and astronomical turnout — the state surpassed the total number of votes cast in all of 2016 nearly a week before Election Day.

Democrats started to dream about winning Texas after 2008, when Barack Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate since Lyndon B. Johnson to carry Texas’s biggest urban counties. Republicans started to warn about it in 2013, when Obama campaign veterans created a group to find and empower hundreds of thousands of non-White Texans who didn’t vote.

One year later, Republicans dominated every statewide race — as they had for 20 years — and made inroads with Hispanic voters. “Blue Texas” became a punchline.

Then came Donald Trump. In 2016, after dispatching Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas to win the Republican nomination, Trump defeated Hillary Clinton here by nine percentage points — a smaller margin than any Republican nominee since Bob Dole. It got closer because of Trump’s weakness in the state’s fast-growing cities and suburbs, which optimistic Republicans saw as a fluke. Two years later, Democrats picked up two House seats, sliced away at the GOP’s state legislative majority and came within five points of winning several statewide races, including the one for Cruz’s seat.

But picking up House seats and winning statewide office proved to be two different beasts. In 2018, Republicans held on to their statewide offices, despite further suburban attrition thanks to high turnout in conservative East and North Texas, and middling Democratic turnout with Latino voters in the Rio Grande Valley.

Clinton carried four of Texas’s five most populous counties, containing the cities of Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio, and where a total of 3,809,602 votes were cast. But 57 percent of the total statewide vote came from outside those counties. Unlike Arizona, where defeat in the suburbs can close off the GOP’s path to a majority, Texas has millions of rural, White, conservative voters who are alienated from the modern Democratic Party and can overwhelm it with high turnout.

By: David Weigel

2:07 AM: Don Bacon, a Republican, has won in the 2nd District of Nebraska, according to Edison Research.

Full U.S. House results

2:06 AM: Stephanie Bice, a Republican, has won in the 5th District of Oklahoma, according to Edison Research.

Full U.S. House results

2:05 AM: Donald Trump has won Texas and its 38 electoral votes, according to Edison Research.

Full President results

1:52 AM: Mississippi voters choose new flag design to replace Confederate emblem

a close up of a flag: The magnolia centered banner chosen by the Mississippi State Flag Commission is displayed outside the Old State Capitol Museum in downtown Jackson, Miss. © Rogelio V. Solis/AP The magnolia centered banner chosen by the Mississippi State Flag Commission is displayed outside the Old State Capitol Museum in downtown Jackson, Miss.

Mississippi voters approved a new state flag design with a magnolia flower on a blue background and red and yellow outer stripes — retiring a 126-year-old banner that featured the Confederate battle emblem.

About 70 percent of voters were in favor of the new design, according to the Associated Press. The state was the last one to eliminate the symbol of the Confederacy — which many consider analogous with segregation, slavery and racism — from its flag, following a drawn-out effort. Voters had previously chosen to preserve the flag in a statewide referendum in 2001, but renewed calls in the wake of George Floyd’s killing and racial justice protests pushed the measure forward.

State lawmakers voted to decommission the flag in June, and then the magnolia design was selected by a nine-person commission and put on the ballot. The choice for voters was “yes” or “no” on the design.

The flag has the phrase “In God We Trust” below the state flower, which is encircled with 20 stars representing the order the state joined the United States. There’s also a Choctaw-inspired star to represent Indigenous people.

By: Meryl Kornfield

1:51 AM: Cornyn wins reelection, holding off Senate challenge from MJ Hegar

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) has won reelection, fending off an energetic challenge from Democrat MJ Hegar.

Cornyn, who has held the Senate seat since 2002, had a consistent, though sometimes narrowing, lead over Hegar, even as the Democrat kept up fundraising momentum in the final weeks.

Democrats signaled that they remained optimistic — a major Democratic super PAC poured more than $8 million into the final weeks of the race to bolster Hegar, an Air Force veteran.

In his victory address, delivered virtually, Cornyn called it a “historic election.”

“Whether I earned your vote or whether you were pulling for my opponent, I am honored and committed to serving and representing all Texans,” he said.

“I’m glad we had this fight,” he added. “It’s a fight for the soul of our nation and our state. Let me close by saying this: Serving as your United States senator has been the privilege of my lifetime. We have accomplished a lot together, but we have more to do.”

In a statement Tuesday night, Hegar said she is “not a career politician, running for U.S. Senate was never my plan.”

“Together, we stood up and got to work, building a powerful grass roots campaign from the ground up, shattering voter turnout records, and most importantly sending a message to a previously safe Senator that he answers to us,” Hegar said. “I am confident that the work we did will move our state forward for years to come.”

By: Paulina Firozi

1:47 AM: Democratic stronghold counties in Georgia still tabulating results late Tuesday night

a group of people sitting at a table: With the polls closed on Election Day in Fulton County, Ga., absentee ballots and overseas ballots are received and processed at the Elections Preparation Center at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. © Melina Mara/The Washington Post With the polls closed on Election Day in Fulton County, Ga., absentee ballots and overseas ballots are received and processed at the Elections Preparation Center at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

Democratic stronghold counties in the Atlanta area and surrounding suburbs are still tabulating results and will continue to do so, officials said.

Fulton County, the state’s most populous county and a reliably Democratic one, was still counting its absentee ballots as of 12:30 a.m., with five employees at State Farm Arena in Atlanta continuing to scan absentee ballots, said county spokeswoman Regina Waller. A water pipe burst in the arena early Tuesday morning, leading to a two-hour delay in the counting of absentee ballots. County officials said no ballots or machines were damaged.

“At this point, I don’t have info regarding a time things will stop. It appears we will be here for a while,” Waller said.

By 1 a.m., Fulton County had an estimated 71 percent of votes counted.

DeKalb County, another heavily Democratic county that encompasses part of Atlanta, began reporting partial results late Tuesday night and will continue tabulating in-person votes from Election Day and early voting through the early hours of Wednesday, said spokesperson Erik Burton.

Meanwhile, Biden projected confidence during his remarks late Tuesday night.

“We’re still in the game in Georgia,” the Democratic presidential nominee said, “even though we weren’t expecting that.”

In Gwinnett County, located northeast of Atlanta, as many as 80,000 absentee ballots were flagged for an “adjudication” process, meaning they could not be scanned and tabulated to be included in Tuesday night’s results, said county spokesman Joe Sorenson.

The ballots are counted in batches of 25 ballots, and county officials found earlier on Tuesday that 3,200 batches would not push through the system because of an error in at least one of the ballots, Sorenson said.

The county board decided to push those ballots through the system and then review the ballot batches again to see which ones were problematic, which could change the results, he said.

“This is no different than other situations that can affect final results — for example, provisional ballots or absentee ballots cured after Election Day — and this is why the results on election night are always labeled unofficial and incomplete,” Sorenson said.

By: Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Reis Thebault and Amy Gardner

1:44 AM: Ernst wins reelection, narrowing Democrats’ path for retaking control of the Senate

Incumbent Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) has defeated Democrat Theresa Greenfield in a close race that has been one of the most closely watched — and one of the most expensive — of this cycle.

Ernst won a decisive victory in 2014, selling herself as a maverick who would hold Washington insiders to account. However, Greenfield challenged that record, telling voters in one debate that “Ernst sold out Iowans for her big corporate donors.”

The race was closely watched as a key battleground for Senate control and attracted more than $170 million over the course of the campaign. Ernst’s win narrows Democrats’ path for retaking control of the Senate.

“We did it!” Ernst tweeted late Tuesday. “To everyone who has done so much for the campaign, thank you. Tonight’s victory wouldn’t be possible without your efforts.”

In a concession post on Twitter, Greenfield said it was a “long night and unfortunately we came up short.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of the work we all put in,” Greenfield wrote. “This race was never about me — it’s about creating a future that works for all Iowans. And that fight doesn’t stop tonight.”

Ernst, 50, served in the Iowa Army National Guard for 22 years. She retired as a lieutenant colonel in 2015 and went on to win elections as auditor of Montgomery County in western Iowa and as a member of the state legislature.

By: Paulina Firozi

1:37 AM: Trump wins in Iowa

Trump is projected to win Iowa’s 6 electoral college votes.

Trump won Iowa by 9 points in 2016, but his polling advantage seemed to shrink in the summer and early fall, thanks to concerns about the coronavirus, which spread through the state’s meat-packing communities.

Given Trump’s standing there in 2016, Democrats see Iowa as a bellwether — if their Senate candidate wins, their candidates will probably sweep four other states where Trump performed worse in his first race.

By: David Weigel

1:35 AM: Joni Ernst, a Republican, has won the Senate race in Iowa, according to Edison Research.

Full U.S. Senate results

1:34 AM: Donald Trump has won Iowa and its six electoral votes, according to Edison Research.

Full President results

1:32 AM: Misinformation bogs down Election Day

Social media companies faced tests of new policies put in place to combat election misinformation into Wednesday, as President Trump, his campaign and others posted premature declarations of victory before both national and state races had been called.

Twitter applied a label to a Trump campaign tweet that claimed victory in South Carolina without linking to an official news source, as well as one by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) asserting victory for the president in his state. The tweets violated Twitter’s policies against calling a victory before two out of seven approved news outlets have done so. The labels said that “official sources may not have called the race when this was tweeted” and provided a link to authoritative results.

Identical Facebook posts by Trump’s campaign on South Carolina and by Gov. DeSantis only had the usual election updates link, which was the same generic information label Facebook had affixed to most election-related content all day.

Early Wednesday Morning, President Trump posted on both platforms, “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!”

The post was hidden with a warning on Twitter almost immediately. On Facebook it remained unlabeled longer, until the company added a label that read, “Final results may be different from initial vote counts, as ballot counting will continue for days or weeks.” It said the source was the Bipartisan Policy Center and included a link to Facebook’s election updates page.

Read the full story

By: Elizabeth Dwoskin, Isaac Stanley-Becker, Craig Timberg and Cat Zakrzewski

1:32 AM: Biden projected to win 1 of Nebraska’s 5 electoral college votes

Biden is projected to win the Nebraska 2nd District’s electoral college vote. Democrats aren’t very competitive in most of the state and have been beset by problems with candidate selection. But like Maine, Nebraska awards electoral votes to the winners by congressional district, and the Omaha-centered 2nd District has been competitive in every presidential race since 2008.

By: David Weigel

1:24 AM: Troy Nehls, a Republican, has won in the 22nd District of Texas, according to Edison Research.

Full U.S. House results

1:20 AM: The shifts in Ohio may reflect changes in national politics more than the candidates

Part of the reason that Biden won the Democratic nomination this year was that Democratic voters were confident he was the candidate best prepared to take on Trump. Part of that was rooted in the idea that he was better positioned than his opponents to win Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, the three states Trump flipped in 2016 to capture the presidency. After all, this was Scranton (Pa.) Joe, the guy who could woo White working-class voters back to the fold.

In Ohio, though, that’s not really what happened — at least according to early returns.

To measure that particular pitch, we can look at two counties in northeastern Ohio in particular: Mahoning and Trumbull. The former is home to Youngstown, the marquee Rust Belt city. And in each, Trump improved over his performance in 2016 (again, at least according to what we know at the moment).

In other counties, though, Trump fared worse. Many included large cities, like Franklin County, home to the capital, Columbus. The president also did worse in Hamilton County, which includes Cincinnati, and in Dayton’s Montgomery County — all shifts that might reflect Democratic Party improvement in cities or, perhaps, more turnout in Democratic strongholds than four years ago.

But then there are counties like Delaware.

chart

Delaware County includes Columbus suburbs and is the sort of place that shifted to Democrats in the wave election of 2018, though its congressional district didn’t. This year, though, it appears to have moved nearly 10 points away from the president.

Suburban populations weren’t a surefire predictor for what a county would do. Lorain County is also suburban, for example, lying just to the west of Cleveland. It changed only a bit, moving two points toward Trump.

Notice those smaller dots at the upper right of the graph, though. Those are less-populous, more rural counties — and they broadly shifted to Trump. That, too, is the story of national politics at the moment: As cities move left, rural areas are moving right.

Biden may have been the best candidate to win against Trump. But in Ohio, at least, the idea that he’d retake the core of the Rust Belt doesn’t seem to have been borne out.

By: Philip Bump

1:02 AM: Trump expected to make statement, Twitter and Facebook flag his posts

Trump announced he will be making a statement overnight about the election, calling it a “big WIN!”

He also tweeted and posted on Facebook a baseless accusation that Democrats were “trying to steal” the election, an accusation he’s been leveling on social media and in speeches for months. Trump and Republicans have tried to limit states counting mail-in ballots after Election Day.

“We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election,” Trump wrote. “We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!”

Twitter flagged the president’s tweet, warning: “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”

Facebook similarly placed warning labels on Trump’s posts. On the one claiming he had won big, the site added a note that votes are still being counted and that no one had been declared a winner in the presidential race.

On Trump’s post alleging malfeasance by the Democrats, Facebook added a label that says: “Final results may be different from initial results, as ballot counting will continues for days or weeks.”

The White House has yet to provide any additional guidance on when Trump will speak.

By: Colby Itkowitz

12:57 AM: Kelly Loeffler appears headed to a runoff in Georgia Senate race

Larissa Schuster et al. posing for a picture: Georgia Republicans, Kristen Davies and Marci McCarthy, watch the election results come in at an election night party for Sen. Kelly Loeffler in Atlanta, Ga. © Melina Mara/The Washington Post Georgia Republicans, Kristen Davies and Marci McCarthy, watch the election results come in at an election night party for Sen. Kelly Loeffler in Atlanta, Ga.

In Georgia’s special Senate election, Rep. Douglas A. Collins conceded to fellow Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler as she and Democrat Raphael Warnock prepared to advance to a runoff election in January, even as they awaited official results.

The three were locked in a hotly contested race to replace former GOP senator Johnny Isakson, who retired in 2019. Loeffler was appointed by the governor to temporarily fill the seat.

With none of the three candidates securing 50 percent of the vote, the two highest vote getters will face off on Jan. 5. Collins put up a hard-fought battle against Loeffler but fell short.

“I just called @KLoeffler and congratulated her on making the runoff,” Collins tweeted. “She has my support and endorsement. I look forward to all Republicans coming together. Raphael Warnock would be a disaster for Georgia and America.”

Loeffler tweeted thanks to her supporters.

Warnock is a pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was pastor in the 1960s.

In remarks to supporters, Warnock called it a “great night.”

“Something special and transformational is happening right here in Georgia. The people — everyday people, ordinary people — are rising up and demanding change,” Warnock said, adding: “I stand tonight saying if you need somebody who will stand up for ordinary people, here am I, send me.”

Warnock invoked late Georgia congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis in his remarks.

“If you need somebody who in honor of John Lewis will pass voting rights in the Senate so that every voice is heard and every voice is counted,” he said, “here am I, send me.”

As of about 12:45 a.m. Wednesday, Georgia’s other Senate race, between Sen. David Perdue (R) and Jon Ossoff (D), had not been called.

By: Colby Itkowitz and Paulina Firozi

12:54 AM: Analysis from David Weigel, National reporter covering politics

Heading into tonight, two nightmares gripped Democrats: That there would be serious disruption at voting sites, and that the president would declare victory on the way to suing to disqualify ballots. The first scenario didn’t unfold, and the president actually tweeted his prediction of a win, and his desire for late-arriving ballots to not be counted, after Biden had already stepped in front of cameras to say he was likely to win.

12:52 AM: Biden tells supporters that they’re ‘on track’ to win the election

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Beneath an almost full moon that lit up the sky, Biden spoke briefly to supporters, telling them to “keep the faith.”

He had 205 electoral votes at the time he spoke a little after 12:30 a.m., leaving him 65 away from the 270 needed to clinch the presidency.

“We feel good about where we are. We really do. I’m here to tell you tonight, we believe we’re on track to win this election,” Biden said over car horns.

Several hundred cars remained in the parking lot near the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del., where his campaign set up a stage for him to speak, the same location where he accepted the Democratic nomination.

Trump said that “it ain’t over until all the votes are counted” and urged patience among his supporters because it could take days to get final results.

“We’re feeling real good about Wisconsin and Michigan,” Biden said. “And by the way, it’s going to take time to count the votes. We’re going to win Pennsylvania.”

Look, you know, we could know the results as early as tomorrow morning, but it may take a little longer,” he added. “As I’ve said all along, it’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare who’s winning this election. That’s the decision of the American people.”

By: Colby Itkowitz and Annie Linskey

12:51 AM: Here’s what states Biden and Trump have been projected to win

Biden is expected to win California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont and Washington, while Trump is projected to win Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming, according to Edison Research.

Biden is projected to sweep up 220 electoral votes with those victories, while Trump will pick up 213 electoral votes.

By: Amanda Erickson and Meryl Kornfield

12:49 AM: After tight race, Trump is projected to win Florida

a group of people sitting at night: Trump supporters celebrate in Miami, Fla. © Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post Trump supporters celebrate in Miami, Fla.

Trump is projected to win Florida’s 29 electoral college votes, buoyed by his support among Latinos in Miami-Dade.

In the waning days of the 2020 race, polling showed a tight race in Florida, and strategists from both camps thought they would win. The state’s size and diversity all but guarantee a close race. Close to 22 million people live in the state, and they’ve come from all over — retirees from the Midwest, tax exiles from the Northeast, Puerto Ricans settling down in Orlando.

Blue Florida has gotten bluer, with suburbanites moving away from the GOP; red Florida has gotten redder, with conservative Democrats who stayed with the party for decades finally making the switch. In the midterms, the trends kept pace, with one exception — Democrats didn’t get the same landslide margin in South Florida, so Republican gains in conservative parts of the state were enough to win statewide.

By: David Weigel

12:45 AM: Donald Trump has won Florida and its 29 electoral votes, according to Edison Research.

Full President results

12:43 AM: Analysis from David Weigel, National reporter covering politics

There’s a rumor going around on Twitter that Fox News has retracted its call of Arizona for Biden and Kelly. That’s not true. The network is basing its early call, which hasn’t been matched by the AP, on the same thing that makes Democrats confident: They didn’t see enough strongly pro-Trump votes coming out on election day, and before that, Biden ran stronger with Republicans than Trump ran with Democrats.

12:42 AM: Joe Biden is projected to win Minnesota and its 10 electoral votes, according to Edison Research.

Full President results

12:41 AM: Sen. Thom Tillis addresses supporters near Charlotte

Though votes were still being tallied and the race had not yet been called, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) declared victory over Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham just before midnight.

“What we accomplished tonight was a stunning victory. And we did it against all the odds,” Tillis told supporters gathered at the Langtree Plantation near his home in Huntersville, north of Charlotte.

The race in North Carolina, a state that Trump won by less than four percentage points in 2016, was seen as a bellwether for the Senate majority. Cunningham had led Tillis earlier in the night, but his margin steadily shrunk. Shortly after 10 p.m., results showed Tillis with an edge.

Tillis, who trailed slightly in the polls in the weeks leading up to Election Day, said he felt a “heavy burden” knowing that the state could tip the majority in the Senate to the Democrats if he lost.

“Tonight, with six more years in the U.S. Senate, I will continue work tirelessly to make this nation and this state as great as it can possibly be,” he said.

The final few weeks of the campaign were roiled by the Democrat’s personal scandal.

Cunningham had struggled to refocus the campaign on policy issues after acknowledging in early October that he’d had an extramarital relationship. A Washington Post-ABC News poll had found in the final weeks that about a quarter of voters said Cunningham’s extramarital affair was important to their vote, while far more said control of the Senate and Tillis’s support for Trump were important.

Meanwhile, Tillis and his GOP allies ran ads questioning the Iraq War veteran’s judgment. Polls out soon after news of the scandal broke showed Cunningham with a slight lead, though his personal favorability ratings had dropped.

The race was also upended when Tillis tested positive for the coronavirus. The Republican senator, who had advocated wearing masks, did not wear one while at a White House event.

By: Paulina Firozi, Derek Hawkins and Susan Levine

12:34 AM: Democrat Mark Kelly in Arizona delivers remarks, holds early lead

Democrat Mark Kelly spoke to supporters as they awaited official results in the U.S. Senate race in Arizona, where he held a commanding early lead over Republican incumbent Martha McSally.

McSally’s campaign spokeswoman, Caroline Anderegg, dismissed some early declarations of Kelly as the winner as premature.

“Like Mark said, every vote should be counted,” she said. “With one million votes to be counted and no Election Day results reported from Maricopa County, the decision to make a call at this point is irresponsible. We will continue to wait for votes to come in. This race is not over.”

McSally was considered one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the Senate. Kelly consistently outraised McSally during the race, raising $38.7 million in the third quarter to McSally’s $23 million.

Kelly, a former astronaut, is the husband of former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. He became an ardent gun-control advocate after Giffords survived a 2011 assassination attempt, a shooting that killed six and injured 13.

Giffords was seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party, and in his remarks, Kelly acknowledged that politics was her expertise, not his.

If McSally loses the seat, it will be the second Senate race she has lost in two years. She ran an unsuccessful bid against Kyrsten Sinema in 2018 and was later appointed to the Senate seat left vacant after the death of John McCain.

Kelly invoked McCain in his remarks, saying he hoped to emulate McCain, “who I looked up to as a young Navy pilot.”

“He was the model of how you honorably survive an impossible situation. It’s not often we get to meet our heroes, and less often you get to call them a friend, and it meant so much to me,” Kelly said.

By: Colby Itkowitz and Paulina Firozi

12:30 AM: Counting in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan likely to stretch into Wednesday

In three states — Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan — election officials said tallying the final results will go into Wednesday, as a surge in mail-in voting and new registrations, and the tumult inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic, have delayed counting.

States had expected counting to take longer, especially those that began processing and counting mail-in ballots after polls closed on election night. The battleground state of Pennsylvania began processing absentee ballots the morning of Election Day under state law, but a handful of counties said they would not begin the process until Wednesday.

As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, about 15 percent of ballots had been counted statewide. In Philadelphia, election officials expected a report of votes between midnight and 1 a.m. after previously saying that the count would be in later Wednesday morning.

“The counties are working really hard to get [the results] in as soon as possible,” Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said Tuesday evening. “It’s going to take time.”

In Wisconsin, mail ballots could not be processed until Election Day. Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe told reporters Tuesday night to expect local jurisdictions, which are responsible for the count in the state, to continue the counting into the morning.

“I think every election counting continues into the next morning,” she said. “I won’t speak for some of our jurisdictions, but some of the larger jurisdictions are predicting they will be counting into the morning."

“There is no cutoff or deadline,” she said. “They must keep counting until they are done.”

In Michigan, where jurisdictions with more than 25,000 people had to wait until Nov. 2 to begin processing mail ballots, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said 3.3 million absentee ballots had been cast in this election.

That number is expected to grow to about 3.5 million once the final batches of absentee ballots are collected, Benson said at a news conference at Ford Field. She estimated that between 2 million and 2.5 million people voted in person Tuesday but said officials would have a better idea of in-person turnout totals in the hours ahead.

“We’re on track to be in a position to potentially see a full result of every tabulation in the next 24 hours,” Benson said.

Same-day voter registration exceeded 28,000, with the cities of Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids seeing the highest number of new voters. This was the first presidential election since Michigan voters approved a law allowing same-day voter registration.

By: Kayle Ruble, Jon Swaine, Rosalind S. Helderman, Griff Witte and Meryl Kornfield

12:25 AM: Joe Biden expected to speak at 12:30 a.m.

Joe Biden is expected to give a statement at 12:30 a.m., according to his campaign. Biden had said he was likely to address the public on election night from Wilmington, Del., where he watched the returns with family members.

By: Amy B Wang

12:18 AM: In Virginia, Biden and Warner projected to win amid massive mail voting

Biden and Democratic Sen. Mark R. Warner were both projected to win in Virginia, according to Edison Research. Virginia results were delayed by the state’s venture this year into unfettered early voting, which drew massive response but left localities reporting incomplete results on election night.

As many as two-thirds of all Virginia votes were cast in the 45 days leading up to Tuesday — in person, by mail or at drop boxes — after Democrats who control the state legislature changed laws to enable no-excuse absentee voting.

But while cities and counties were allowed to process those votes as they came in, they were not permitted to count them. That process had to start after polls closed at 7 p.m. State elections officials also instructed localities that if they didn’t finish counting by 11 p.m., they should stop and resume Wednesday morning.

No numbers will be updated, though, until Friday afternoon. Any mailed ballots postmarked by Election Day must be received by noon Friday to be counted, and officials said they will not update absentee vote totals until those arrive.

For big jurisdictions, that could mean processing and counting ballots as late as Monday, state officials said.

Several big counties had still not reported absentee results by midnight Tuesday — including the state’s biggest, Fairfax County, where more than 400,000 absentee votes were cast versus roughly 185,000 on Election Day. The county is chronically late reporting its totals, and also heavily Democratic.

Other large jurisdictions that had not yet reported early vote totals included Henrico County and the city of Richmond, both also solidly blue. Chesterfield County and the city of Virginia Beach also had large blocks of absentee votes still uncounted, and those localities are traditionally red, though Democrats have had success there in recent years.

By: Gregory S. Schneider

12:12 AM: Trump repeats history with a projected Ohio win

Trump is projected to win Ohio’s 18 electoral college votes.

Democrats misjudged Ohio in 2016, investing time and money into a place where one of the party’s bases — working-class Whites in the Mahoning Valley — had deserted it. The state went for Trump by nine points, with Republicans gaining ground everywhere but around Cincinnati and Columbus. Democrats have struggled for Biden’s attention this year after Ohio didn’t deliver many wins in 2018.

But in the final stretch of a presidential election, both Biden and Trump invested in the state. While Republicans are running stronger here than in other “Rust Belt” swing states, such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, they don’t find the same animus toward Joe Biden among working-class White voters that they saw with Hillary Clinton.

By: David Weigel

12:12 AM: Donald Trump is projected to win Montana and its three electoral votes, according to Edison Research.

Full President results

12:11 AM: Donald Trump has won Ohio and its 18 electoral votes, according to Edison Research.

Full President results

12:10 AM: Joe Biden is projected to win Virginia and its 13 electoral votes, according to Edison Research.

Full President results

11:58 PM: Curious what the blue shift might look like? See Pennsylvania.

Election workers count ballots in Philadelphia. © Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post Election workers count ballots in Philadelphia.

Coming into Election Day, Americans were deluged with warnings that the results in a state on Nov. 3 might not accurately reflect the eventual results. The increased number of votes by mail spurred by the coronavirus pandemic meant a large increase in ballots that take longer to count. Polling indicated that supporters of Joe Biden were more likely to vote by mail and supporters of President Trump planned to vote on Election Day, setting up a scenario where ballots tallied quickly from in-person voting would generate Trump leads that eroded as mail-in ballots were counted.

In Pennsylvania, that appears to be what we’re seeing.

The state presents vote totals by type on its website, allowing us to assess how the results in each county are affected. As of this writing, 1.9 million votes cast on Election Day have been counted, which includes 43 percent of the state’s precincts. About 870,000 mail-in votes have been counted, 16 percent of the total submitted.

Why does that matter? Well, first because the latter counting is happening more slowly. Second, because of how that vote is breaking down.

Among the votes that have been counted, Trump is winning the Election Day vote by 70 percent to 28 percent. Biden is winning the mail-in vote, though, 66 percent to 33 percent.

There are some outstanding question marks. For example, we don’t know how many votes remain in the uncounted precincts. If it’s similar to the number of outstanding mail ballots — 2.1 million, as of about half an hour ago — that’s good news for the president. We also don’t know immediately if the votes that are in are predictive for the ones that aren’t.

What we do know is that the state of the race as presented at the moment is not where it will end up. As we said would happen.

By: Philip Bump

11:52 PM: Analysis from David Weigel, National reporter covering politics

There are plenty of bright spots for Republicans in House districts that broke for Trump in 2016, but reelected Democrats in 2018. The question: What happens in those places when all the votes are counted? In Illinois, for example, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Cheri Bustos (D), who ran 20 points ahead of Hillary Clinton in 2016 and had no serious challenger in 2018, was trailing narrowly after half the votes were counted in her district. Republicans have been losing suburbs by expected margins, but doing better with Election Day rural votes.

11:48 PM: What exit polls tell us about the Latino vote

While Biden won the Latino vote 2-to-1 nationally, Trump appears to have improved his standing among Latino voters in at least two key swing states since 2016, according to preliminary exit polling data from Edison Research.

In both Florida and Georgia, the president increased his vote margin by roughly 10 percentage points since his matchup with Hillary Clinton four years ago. In Florida, home to many Republican-leaning Cuban American voters, Trump appeared to have pulled roughly even with Biden among Latinos as a larger group.

In 2016, Clinton won Florida Latinos by 27 percentage points. While Trump trailed Biden among Latinos in other states, including Texas and Virginia, preliminary exit polling indicates that in most of the battleground states, he lost no ground from 2016 and may have even made modest gains.

By: Claudia Deane, Jocelyn Kiley and Alauna Safarpour

11:40 PM: Joe Biden is projected to win New Hampshire and its four electoral votes, according to Edison Research.

Full President results

11:20 PM: Philadelphia keeps counting

a group of people in a room: Election workers extract mail-in ballots in a secure room at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pa. © Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post Election workers extract mail-in ballots in a secure room at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pa.

Officials are continuing to count ballots in Philadelphia, where Biden’s campaign hopes to find many of the votes that could help him clinch Pennsylvania.

An additional report of votes is expected between midnight and 1 a.m., Kevin Feeley, a spokesman for the Philadelphia city commissioners, said in an email.

Reports circulated earlier Tuesday evening on social media that Philadelphia would not be reporting any more results until later on Wednesday morning. Approximately 270,000 mail ballots in Philadelphia were still to be reported as of 10:55 p.m. on Tuesday. According to the city’s post-election plan, additional votes will be reported in three batches through Wednesday.

Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes could be critical in the national tally between Biden and Trump.

By: Jon Swaine

11:12 PM: Lindsey Graham holds off unexpected Senate challenge from Jaime Harrison

The South Carolina Republican has been reelected to a fourth term after a strong challenge from Jaime Harrison, a former state Democratic Party chairman, whose record-breaking fundraising efforts helped him blanket the airwaves with ads about his personal history.

The competitive race was one of the most closely watched contests in the nation, as Republicans saw it as key to their hopes of holding on to the Senate majority. While his challenger brought in record funds, the senator pleaded for financial help, making an appeal to Fox News viewers in September that he was “getting overwhelmed.”

Graham had never previously been in a competitive general-election race, winning his four terms in the House and three in the Senate by double digits. In the final weeks, Graham, a close Trump ally, touted his role in the quick confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

In his victory speech, Graham said: “I’ve never wanted my job more than I do now, I’ve never appreciated my job more than I do now. I’ve never been more grateful to have it, and I think I’ve never been more prepared to do it than I am right now."

He also predicted that the president would be reelected.

“Aren’t you glad this election’s coming to an end?” Graham said during his speech. “I’ve had two calls already — one from President Trump, he’s going to win. He is going to win. To all of the pollsters out there, you have no idea what you are doing. And to all of the liberals in California and New York, you wasted a lot of money. This is the worst return on investment in the history of American politics.”

Graham also said he got a call from Harrison.

“He created an incredible campaign for the first time he’s ever run for office,” Graham said.

In his concession speech, Harrison said, “I still have hope.”

“We did something incredible here in South Carolina, folks,” he said, adding: “We proved that a new South is rising. Tonight only slowed us down, but a new South with leaders who reflect the community and serve the interest of everyone will be here soon enough.”

He congratulated Graham on a “hard-fought campaign and a long career in Congress.”

“I hope he will maintain the spirit of cooperation he is known for while we take a step forward in creating a new South that is so possible.”

By: Paulina Firozi

10:56 PM: Democrats lose their most vulnerable Senate seat, in Alabama

Doug Jones, the most vulnerable senator of 2020, was one of two Democrats facing competitive reelection fights this year. Jones gives the Republicans another seat as they battle to maintain the party’s majority in the Senate.

Tuberville, who defeated former senator and onetime attorney general Jeff Sessions in the primary, says he will stand with Trump and, according to his campaign website, wants an investigation of the investigators who conducted the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Tuberville was expected to have a clear path to victory against Jones, who was the first Alabama Democrat sent to the Senate in a quarter century.

By: Paulina Firozi

10:55 PM: Tommy Tuberville, a Republican, has been projected to win the Senate race in Alabama, according to Edison Research.

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