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WHEN IS IT going to be called?

Joe Biden is on the verge of becoming the 46th president of the United States but it’s not official yet. 

There are still counts ongoing in key states and the maths hasn’t ruled out a Donald Trump win just yet. 

We’re waiting on results from Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and Arizona (even though that has been projected for Biden by AP and Fox News).  

North Carolina and Alaska are not called either but Trump will take both and are not seen as battleground states. 

When taking Arizona into the fold, Biden has secured 264 electoral college votes (he needs 270). 

It could be another long day:

Good evening!

Sinéad O’Carroll here to bring you into the wee hours as we gaze across the Atlantic, unable to tear ourselves away from the drama of the 2020 US presidential election. 

As you know by now, the former vice president Joe Biden is set to win the White House but there have been no official calls yet. 

Stick with me (please?) as we await projections in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada. 

As we know from reports from the White House, Donald Trump wasn’t quite sure what he was saying when he tweeted ‘Stop the Count’. (It’s worth reading Olivia Nuzzi’s tweets here.)

But whatever about legal strategy, maybe he will like the Internet phenomenon he started. 

Let’s get back to the serious business. Here’s where we stand at the moment: 

A call in Georgia or Pennsylvania for Joe Biden will give him the presidency. 

A note: you will probably have seen different figures for Biden on various media outlets. The Associated Press and Fox News has projected Arizona for the former vice president but other outlets like CNN and the New York Times maintain it is too close to call. 

TheJournal.ie is using AP calls, which is why we have Biden on 264. 

AP and Fox News have stuck by their projection despite calls for a retraction. 

While we are well used to slow counts in Ireland (shoutout to PR-STV), Americans are trying to adjust their mindsets as they live through Day Four of ‘Election Night’. 

The counts are as slow as Laois-Offaly in Nevada, Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania for various reasons, including court orders to not even open mail-in ballots until today. 

There is no definitive answer to when the counts will finish, although we are getting updates coming every couple of hours. 

Pennsylvania

This is Biden’s clearest (and quickest) path to victory. There are 20 electoral college votes up for grabs. He’s ahead there by 19,842 votes. 

CNN has just said it is not ready to project the race, despite Biden’s continuously growing lead. 

Trump needs to win the state to remain in with a chance. In fact, he needs to win most of the states in play to remain as the president of the United States. 

Nevada

The state’s six electoral votes look like they are heading the Democrat’s way – which would also push him to 270, enough electoral college votes to claim the win. 

About 93% of the ballots are counted there and Biden is ahead by about 1.8% (over 22,000 votes).

Almost all pollsters and commentators say it is ripe to call, but the networks and AP say they are not ready to do so yet. 

Meanwhile, a Trump-adjacent lawsuit has failed (the GOP didn’t file the case but they have talked about it). 

There has been some excellent reporting of what is happening at these hearings across the US – and they also make great reading. 

Here’s one thread from Alan Feuer:

And another from Kadhim Shubber:

Note the judge invokes a ruling from Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh. Yes, that Brett Kavanaugh. Trump’s controversial pick for the highest court in the land. 

Georgia

In an incredibly tight race, Joe Biden is ahead by about 4,000 votes. Whatever happens here with the mail-in, overseas, provisional and military ballots left to count, it looks like there will be a delay. Any victory within 0.1 percentage points triggers an automatic recount. 

Flipping the state would be a huge accomplishment for the Democrat – one that he would owe a lot to Stacy Abrams for. The New York Times has rounded up the praise she is receiving today for her tireless work to mobilise a party vote in John Lewis’ home state.

Two years ago, Abrams fought another close contest to become governor of Georgia. She lost by about 55,000 votes but since then has helped register about 800,000 new voters – fighting against suppression tactics often used against Black men and women. 

Arizona

As mentioned at the top of the liveblog, Arizona has been called by Fox News and AP (whose calls we are using here at TheJournal.ie).

However, CNN and a number of other networks, as well as the New York Times, say it’s still too early to call because there are still a couple of hundred thousand ballots to count. 

Its 11 electoral college votes are counted in Biden’s 264 on the map below. He currently leads there by about 40,000 votes. Remaining votes are favouring Trump but not by the high margins he needs to take the state. 

 

So, Fox News and AP’s decision to call it earlier in the week may be proved correct. 

We are expecting another update at about 2am. 

(Let’s stay awake until at least then, yeah?)

Former republican governor of New Jersey Chris Christie has said that President Donald Trump is silent today in a “bitter reaction” to the response to his speech last night. 

Christie, a Trump supporter, rebuked the president last night for the address. At a press conference, the incumbent claimed the election was a fraud but produced no argument or evidence for the claim. 

“You can’t execute a legal attack without a legal strategy,” Christie said today, continuing the theme of his criticism. 

“And the problem here is that he doesn’t have a strategy to get where he needs to get to through the legal path. And if you don’t, that means the fight may be intense but short.” 

Speaking of Trump’s many legal challenges…

The president, according to CNN, is unhappy with his lawyers and has asked some of his team to find him better counsel.

ARIZONA

We just got another information dump from the state.

Trump continues to chip away at Biden’s lead here, closing the gap by about 7,000 votes, but it doesn’t look like it will be enough.

Trump gained 38,000 with Biden adding 31,000. That’s about 55% of the box from Maricopa County going to the incumbent. 

“He needs dynamite, and this isn’t it,” says CNN reporter Bill Weir of the latest numbers. The president would need to win above 59% of all boxes to pass the Democrat out. 

About 97% of the ballots have now been counted in Arizona. 

Remember, AP has called Arizona so the 11 electoral college votes are already in Biden’s column on our map. 

Joe Biden is due to make a televised speech again tonight. We don’t have clear timings – and there are two plans that his team are prepping. 

One if the action is called and he is named president-elect. And another if it’s just to urge patience and calm while the votes are counted. 

Presented without comment. 

Arizona

We’re hearing from the Secretary of State of Arizona, Katie Hobbs, on CNN now. 

She says there are still 173,000 ballots still to count. Of those 92,000 are from Maricopa County – but there is no timeline for when they will be finishing counting. 

The figure also includes 47,000 provisional ballots that can’t be counted until Tuesday at the earliest. 

Provisional ballots tend to skew Democrat, she says, but adds that she isn’t comfortable speculating. 

CNN’s Jake Tapper has also just told viewers that the stakes are too high for the network to make early projections on the remaining states. 

Cindy McCain, wife of the late senator John McCain, spoke some powerful words on ABC television in the past hour. 

Although a Republican, she has campaigned for Biden and Kamala Harris and today said she believes her husband would be proud of her.

“He’s one that’s really going to put this country back together,” Cindy said of the Democratic hopeful. 

“He’s going to bring ethics and empathy back to the office, something that we are sorely in need of right now.”

McCain and Biden were great friends despite having partisan rows over policy. 

McCain’s former seat was won by retired space shuttle commander Mark Kelly, a Democrat. 

Pennsylvania

Allegheny County has announced more results. 

Continuing the trend, the new batch of ballots extended Biden’s lead there. It now sits at 27,130.

The box gave 7,300 to Biden, with just 1,875 going to Trump. 

Still no talk of any projection. 

I will never tire of these WFH moments. 

However, I am tired of hearing about the history of Levis. It was interesting the first time around but my interested has faded. (For those still up watching CNN… if you know, you know.)

Soon. 

Everything is happening soon. 

Imminent. Imminent is a better word. The US networks should start using that instead. 

Although imminent might be sooner than soon – so they’d be lying harder then. 

Anyway, CNN keeps telling us that Biden will be talking soon. He’s left his house and is travelling with a motorcade to a place set up for his speech. 

We’re not sure what he can say given that there has been no determinative change to the electoral college numbers. 

Meanwhile, you should read this piece in The Atlantic by Edward-Isaac Dovere – who is reporting from the Biden-Harris camp. These lines brought me great joy:

How long could this take? It might be a couple more hours. Or another day. A week of Tuesdays has already passed. The sun comes up, the sun goes down, and it still seems like Tuesday.

Joe Biden has made a speech tonight, telling America that he is going to win the election.

“I don’t care how hard people try to stop it,” he says of the vote, “I will not let it happen.”

He notes that the “numbers tell us a clear and convincing story”, claiming that the Biden-Harris ticket will win in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania. 

He called for the nation to “come together to heal” and to put anger and division “behind us”. 

America has recorded its highest ever daily number of Covid-19 cases with 125,000 people receiving positive diagnoses. 

One of those 125,000 people is White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. 

president-donald-j-trump-departs-the-white-house Source: DPA/PA Images

election-2020-biden Biden speaking in Delaware Source: AP/PA Images

Biden’s speech was more a presidential address to a worried nation than it was a victory lap. 

He spoke of having meetings with scientists about Covid-19, and how he and Kamala Harris were ready to tackle the country’s biggest issues like climate change and systemic racism. 

Here’s the report from his entire speech.

Let’s take a look at where we are with the battleground states

Georgia

Biden has a lead of 4,395 with 98% of votes counted. 

Arizona

Biden has a lead of 29,861 with 97% of votes counted. 

Pennsylvania 

Biden has a lead of 28,833 with 96% of votes counted.

Nevada

Biden has a lead of 22,657 with 93% of votes counted. 

While Arizona and Georgia are tight, it does look like Biden will take all four states. 

(I had an excellent sporting Six Nations analogy ahead of this election – you may have heard it on Newstalk radio – that I can’t wait to break out again. So here goes. It’s 4.30am and I’m taking liberties. It involved Trump being Scotland while Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida and Georgia were France, Ireland, Wales, Italy and England. You can probably see where I’m going here. You could make an argument for Scotland winning each of those games on its own merit, but unlikely that they’d win all five in the same 2020 season.) 

Good morning, all!

Hayley Halpin here to take you through the next few hours.

You can send me articles, videos, tweets or anything else that’s election-related by email at hayley@thejournal.ie, or on Twitter at @HayleyHalpin1.

In the early hours of the morning (Irish time), Joe Biden made a speech, and told America that he is going to win the election. 

Here’s it is, if you want to catch up:

Source: The Independent/YouTube

Morning, Daragh Brophy taking over the liveblog here for a while. 

If you’re just getting up and wondering when we might have a result, well, we could be waiting a while yet.

More than 100,000 provisional ballots in Pennsylvania could put a hold on us getting a decisive result from the state.

As US anchors are fond of saying, the state is essentially the ‘ball game’ – if it goes to Biden, he’s set to become president, and while it’s looking less and less likely the state will go to Trump, he needs it in order to keep his hopes alive. 

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer

Any voter who requested a mail ballot but did not receive it — or who forgot or lost their ballot or envelopes — could still vote at the polls on Election Day using a provisional ballot. There were also reports on Election Day that some voters were told to cast a provisional ballot even if they brought their entire mail ballot to the polls, which should have allowed them to vote in person.

The ballots don’t have barcodes so take longer to process – which partly explains why the Associated Press is not calling the state yet.

The news agency has updated its explainer on the issue this morning, and it looks like it could be quite a while before AP sends any white smoke:

There’s a possibility the race won’t be decided for days. If there is less than a half percentage point difference between Biden and Trump’s vote total, state law dictates that a recount must be held. 

Perhaps, by the time this is all over, I might even be able to spell Pennsylvania without checking every time. 

Source: Paul Triggiani/YouTube

Thanks Daragh. Hayley Halpin taking over here to bring you through the next few hours. 

You can send me articles, videos, tweets or anything else election-related by email at hayley@thejournal.ie or on Twitter at @HayleyHalpin1. 

Let’s take a look at where we are with the battleground states…

Georgia

Biden has a lead of 7,248 with 99% of votes counted. 

Arizona

Biden has a lead of 29,861 with 97% of votes counted. 

Pennsylvania 

Biden has a lead of 28,833 with 96% of votes counted.

Nevada

Biden has a lead of 22,657 with 93% of votes counted. 

Georgia

As reflected in in the last update, there’s been a big jump for Biden in Georgia. 

He’s now in the lead by 7,248 votes, up by over 4,000. 

Former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders posted a message on social media overnight to hail Biden’s “apparent election victory”. 

Two men armed with handguns have been arrested near the Philadelphia convention centre where an ongoing vote count could decide the presidential election.

Police said the two men travelled to the city from the Virginia Beach area in a Hummer and didn’t have permits to carry the weapons in Pennsylvania. 

They were arrested after the FBI in Virginia relayed a tip-off about their plans to Philadelphia police.

A silver Hummer with Virginia licence plates was parked yesterday at the location where police say they found the men. It was adorned with an American flag and a window sticker for the right-wing conspiracy theory QAnon.

embedded256486002 The Hummer vehicle was parked near the Pennsylvania Convention Centre Source: Rebecca Blackwell via PA Images

Need some light relief?

It’s been a long few days, and we’re still not at the magic number of 270 just yet. 

Nonetheless, people have been able to create some fun amongst the uncertainty. 

Sky News has complied “some of the best” memes from the US election so far for your entertainment. 

Here’s a look at some of the UK front pages this morning. Almost all focusing on the US…

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he has “every confidence” in the checks and balances of the American constitution. 

When asked if he would miss Trump if he goes, Johnson said:

“Look, let’s be clear. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is always going to work very, very closely with whoever is the president of the United States. And that’s going to be the case, whatever the outcome of this election. 

“I don’t think at this stage you’d expect any foreign international leader to comment on the democratic process of a very friendly country. That’s just not what we do.”

News broke late last night that Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows has contracted Covid-19

Meadows travelled with Trump in the run-up to Election Day and last appeared in public early on Wednesday morning – without a mask – as Trump falsely declared victory in the vote count.

virus-outbreak-trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows arriving to hear President Donald Trump speak on election night in the East Room of the White House Source: Evan Vucci via PA Images

Well, it looks like the Prime Minister of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama, is the first world leader to congratulate Joe Biden. 

(A reminder – although I’m sure you don’t need it – we still don’t have an official winner yet)

Screenshot 2020-11-07 101827 Source: Twitter

If you had a lie in (lie on?) on this Saturday morning and are just catching up on the latest developments, here’s how things currently stand:

Georgia

Biden has a lead of 7,248 with 99% of votes counted. 

Arizona

Biden has a lead of 29,861 with 97% of votes counted. 

Pennsylvania 

Biden has a lead of 28,833 with 96% of votes counted.

Nevada

Biden has a lead of 22,657 with 93% of votes counted. 

We still have no official winner. 

However, this hasn’t stopped hundreds of New Yorkers taking to the streets of the city to celebrate a Biden win. 

Source: The Telegraph/YouTube

Members of the Trump family, without evidence of widespread voter fraud, continue to cast doubt over the ongoing election counts. 

Screenshot 2020-11-07 112307 Source: Twitter

Morning all! Lauren here taking over the liveblog for a while. If you have anything elected-related that you want to share – articles, photos, videos, opinions – send them on to me at Lauren@thejournal.ie.

Earlier, we talked about Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, who has contracted Covid-19

Alongside Meadows, it’s understood that at least four staffers in the White House have tested positive.

Among those four is Nick Trainor, the Trump campaign’s battleground states director. 

The president-elect will be determined by electoral votes that each state gives to the candidate who wins the most vote in that specific state, rather than the total number of votes cast overall.

Because of that, the specific number of votes that Biden and Trump have overall doesn’t indicate the eventual winner, but they’re interesting to look at all the same.

Currently, Biden has received over 74,391,000 votes (50.5%), while Trump has received over 70,206,000 (47.7%).

That’s a difference of around 4,185,000.

You might remember that in 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but she lost the election overall because she didn’t win the electoral college – meaning that Clinton received votes from more people than Trump did, but the votes didn’t come from states in a way that was enough to seize victory 

Clinton received 65,853,514 votes (48.2%) and Trump received 62,984,828 (46.1%).

It’s still early hours in the States and we could be waiting a while for more significant developments, but as Americans begin to wake up, attention is on Biden’s lead in Georgia having grown to more than 7,000 votes.

 

Hayley Halpin back here now to take you through the next couple of hours. 

You can get in touch with me at hayley@thejournal.ie or over on Twitter at @HayleyHalpin1

The shade of it all.

A former prime minister of Denmark, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, offered “a little piece of advice” to Trump on social media. 

(Don’t forget, we still have no official winner)

Screenshot 2020-11-07 131026 Source: Twitter

Pennsylvania 

That’s the state to watch over the next couple of hours. 

Allegheny County has about 20,000 ballots left to count, according to CNN. These results are expected to start coming in batches within the next few hours. 

Speaking to CNN, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said: “They’ll begin this process a little after 9am (2pm Irish time) and they’ll upload a certain batch, I don’t know, maybe a few thousand at a time, every few hours.”

Donald Trump is awake and he’s taken to Twitter claiming that “tens of thousands of votes were illegally received after 8pm on Tuesday”. 

He made his claims without providing any evidence

Screenshot 2020-11-07 132511 Source: Twitter

Following Trump’s tweets this morning, Ellen Weintraub of the Federal Election Commission has said “there really has been no evidence of fraud” in this year’s election. 

She told CNN:

“State and local officials and poll workers throughout the country really stepped up. And there have been very few complaints about how this election was run. 

“Very few substantiated complaints, let me put it that way. There is no evidence of any kind of voter fraud. There is no evidence of illegal votes being cast. In fact, and you don’t have to take my word for it, because people throughout the country, nonpartisan election experts, have come out and handled this election and how it was run.

“There really has been no evidence of fraud. None of the complaints have attached any evidence of fraud.” 

Armed protesters continue to gather outside offices where workers are counting votes.

The protesters with weapons including shotguns, handguns and military-style semi-automatic rifles, are a small minority of the demonstrators, it should be noted. 

There have been no reports of anyone getting shot, and the laws in Arizona, Nevada and Michigan – where guns have been seen outside vote-tabulation centres in recent days – allow people to openly carry firearms in public.

The armed protesters have shown up at the vote-counting centres in response to groundless accusations from President Donald Trump that the Democrats are trying to steal the election. No serious irregularities have been reported.

embedded256493118 Armed Trump supporters pose for a photo outside the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office where votes are being counted in Phoenix, Arizona Source: AP/Dario Lopez-MIlls via PA Images

election-2020-protests-phoenix More armed Trump supporters outside the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office Source: Dario Lopez-MIlls via PA Images

embedded256492743 Protesters outside the Clark County Election Department in Nevada Source: AP/John Locher via PA Images

Around 100 of Trump’s supporters gathered for a third straight day yesterday in front of the Phoenix elections centre in Arizona, where hundreds of workers are processing and counting ballots.

In Detroit, dozens of Trump’s supporters also returned to the streets outside the city’s convention centre, where election workers counted ballots.

About 100 people gathered yesterday at a vote-tabulation centre in Las Vegas for a pro-Trump demonstration, with at least two men in fatigues seen carrying rifles that hung from shoulder straps. 

We’ve all be twiddling our thumbs at times in recent days trying to keep ourselves entertained as we await the results. This has resulted in countless hours of scrolling Twitter for many. 

A video of Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris doing an impression of her mother-in-law has is doing the rounds of social media again, providing lots of laughs. 

In the video from July 2019, Harris talks about meeting Barbara Emhoff for the first time. 

Trump has announced there will be a press conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Philadelphia at 11.30am (that’s 4.30pm Irish time). 

Screenshot 2020-11-07 144835 Source: Twitter

As vote counting is underway again in the US, here’s a recap of how things currently stand:

Georgia

Biden has a lead of 7,248 with 99% of votes counted. 

Arizona

Biden has a lead of 29,861 with 97% of votes counted. 

Pennsylvania 

Biden has a lead of 28,833 with 96% of votes counted.

Nevada

Biden has a lead of 22,657 with 93% of votes counted. 

The wait goes on…

Philadelphia City Commissioner Omar Sabir has told CNN that more ballot results in Philadelphia County would come “sometime today”. 

When pressed for specifics, he wouldn’t give more details on timing. 

“Okay, it’ll be at some point today. Stay tuned,” he said. 

Sabit added that workers are making their way through about 20,000 “problem child” ballots now.

These are ballots that may have issues with them, such as a wrong date or a missing signature. Such ballots have to be reviewed by a panel of three commissioners, who will decide whether or not they can be counted. 

Things aren’t going great for Trump over on Twitter today..

Some of his tweets from this morning have been flagged as sharing content that is “disputed and might be misleading”. 

Screenshot 2020-11-07 151140 Source: Twitter

Just in case anyone was confused about the press conference location… 

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