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THE POLLS HAVE closed in states across America in this year’s US Presidential Election.

President Donald Trump and his rival Joe Biden have done all they can to try and win over the American public, particularly in those crucial swing states to try to win the keys to the White House.

Results came in through the night, but it’s still anyone’s guess when we’ll know who the next president is.

Each man has a path to victory after many of the states have already confirmed a result. The states of Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania will be crucial. 

Trump has already claimed without evidence that there is a “fraud on the American nation” and that he has won. But him saying it doesn’t make it so and there’s still plenty of votes left to be counted.

Follow all the updates here. 

A nation holds its breath.

This iconic utterance from veteran RTÉ Sport commentator George Hamilton feels an apt way to describe the situation in the United States of America right now.

Amidst the divisiveness and nastiness at times on this election campaign (case in point: the first debate), there is one thing the candidates do agree on – this is the most important election in decades.

And we’ll be with you all night for every twist and turn.

Are you planning on all-nighter too? What are your predictions? Any questions for how it’ll all work? Tweet me at @seanmjourno or email sean@thejournal.ie, and I’ll post some of them here.

Just to introduce my esteemed colleagues who’ll be keeping you up to date with the latest updates, news and analysis throughout the night.

- Rónán Duffy’s contributions as we conduct our virutal news meetings are as clever and astute as they were back when we were all in the office. However, an added bonus during remote working is that his lovely and well-named dog Zizou makes the occasional appearance.

- Orla Dwyer is one of two Galwegian representatives on the TJ panel, and regularly makes a show of us all with how quick, accurate and incisive she is at what she does.

- Steering the ship tonight is our infinitely capable deputy editor Christine Bohan, who’ll be pulling the strings, keeping the show on the road and any number of other cliches that mean we get the job done.

Those of who worked overnight for the UK election last December were able to pay a visit to an early house after clocking off following the Tory landslide.

That shall not be happening this year, alas. But we plough on.

In a tweet I fear could be setting the tone for the kind of mad night we have in store, here’s RTÉ’s Washington correspondent Brian O’Donovan outside the White House in the last few minutes.

election-2020-florida-voting Scenes in Orange Park, Florida, earlier. Source: AP/PA Images

So, here’s a brief rundown of what’ll happen in the next few hours, courtesy of Ronan Duffy.

Polls in most of Florida (the state has two time zones) close at 12am Irish time, so much will be made about how the votes in that state are looking. Again though, with the early-voting health warning above.

Four years ago, some of the earlier tallies in Florida had favoured Hillary Clinton at about 12.30am but by 4am it was clear Trump had won the all-important state.

Polls in North Carolina and Ohio will close at 12.30am with NBC’s Chuck Todd saying this week that they might call the whole contest for Biden if he looks like he’s winning there at that point.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

All eyes will be on Florida, given it has been counting its early votes for weeks now. The polls have it very close in this state, with Biden having a slight edge.

If he can win here, things becomes very difficult for Trump so that’ll be one to watch early.

Other important places to watch early in the night include Georgia and North Carolina. You can read more about the swing states here.

2.56439168 Source: Carolyn Kaster/PA Images

Joe Biden wasn’t in the mood of making predictions about the outcome of the election as the final hours of voting ticked down.

Speaking to reporters outside a Delaware community centre, Biden said he was “superstitious” about offering predictions for election night but remains “hopeful”.

He said he had heard from aides that there was “overwhelming turnout” among young people, women and older black adults in places such as Georgia and Florida.

He said: “The things that are happening bode well for the base that has been supporting me – but we’ll see.”

His running mate Kamala Harris is headed to Delaware to support him after spending the afternoon campaigning in battleground Michigan.

Need a refresher on how the voting system works in America with its electoral college?

Here’s a good video below, or a handy run down here

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

This has been called an unprecedented election, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is the first time this has happened.

In a sign of the times, hand sanitiser on voters’ hands caused a ballot scanner to jam at a polling station in Iowa.

The machine in Des Moines was fixed in about an hour, according to local officials.

To prevent another breakdown, workers moved the sanitising station further back in the queue so voters’ hands would be dry when they first touched the ballots.

In the kind of dispute we could be seeing a LOT of, Bloomberg is reporting that President Trump’s campaign has appealed a court order that denied its effort to halt ballots from being counted in Clark County, Nevada. 

In multiple states, the Republicans are ready and willing to take legal action when it comes to the counting of votes. And the Democrats are also on standby in case of legal wrangling. 

On Sunday night, Trump himself said he’d be “going in with our lawyers” as soon as the election is over. 

2.56439971 Source: Wilson Ring/PA Images

Vermont’s Governor Phil Scott said he voted for Joe Biden, making him the first Republican governor in the nation to acknowledge voting for the Democratic candidate.

The Republican governor told reporters after casting his ballot in his hometown of Berlin, Vermont, that he had never voted for a Democrat in his life.

“As many of you knew, I didn’t support President Trump. I wasn’t going to vote for him,” Scott said.

“But then I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t enough for me to just not vote. I had to vote against.”

Rapper and musician Kanye West announced he’d be running for president back in the summer

He is actually listed on the ballot in a dozen states.

But not in Wyoming, which is the state he voted in. He wrote his name on the ballot paper instead. 

“Today I am voting for the first time in my life for the president of the United States, and it’s for someone I truly trust… me,” he tweeted earlier.

Right, so.

One distinct possibility – particularly if it’s a close race – is Trump simply refusing to accept the result if he loses.

He’s hinted as much a number of times.

This piece here from my colleague Stephen McDermott covers the uncertainty around what’ll happen if Trump disputes the result.

“The response to the pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests and an impeachment trial involving Trump have already led to discord across the US this year.

“But some believe that an uncertain result in Tuesday’s presidential election could bring about a constitutional crisis that could leave the US without a clear result.

“In the worst-case scenario, Trump could conceivably use his power to prevent an outcome that goes against him.”

The Presidential Election is obviously the main event.

But there’s also the small matter of tonight’s undercard up for decision – it’s the race for 35 seats in the US Senate.

Currently held by the Republicans, the Democrats are fancied to retake the Senate. This would obviously benefit Biden if he was to win the White House and represent a major pain for Trump if he was to be re-elected.

Here’s a breakdown on the seven key states to watch in the Senate race.

With 100 million Americans voting early, it was fairly clear turnout would be huge. 

The New York Times is reporting that turnout is likely to reach 67%, the highest in over a century.

polls Source: Political Polls/twitter

CNN is reporting that Donald Trump is settling into the east wing of the White House with senior staffers and his family to watch the results come in.

Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has said she’s not worried about legal battles over the outcome because she’s confident it’ll be a “landslide”. 

Political advisor Alyssa Farah has indicated that Trump will make a public appearance in some form from the White House tonight, regardless of the outcome. 

It’s just over 30 minutes until polls close in a number of states.

Those states include:

  • Georgia (16 electoral votes)
  • Indiana (11)
  • Kentucky (8)
  • South Carolina (9)
  • Vermont (3)
  • Virginia (13)

The only one really watching here is crucial swing state Georgia.

The polls also close in a number of areas in Florida (29) after midnight, and fully close an hour later as it has two time zones.

My only safe prediction tonight is that Trump will use capital letters only in his next few tweets.

Just 15 minutes ago, he said: “WE ARE LOOKING REALLY GOOD ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. THANK YOU!”

Here’s a handy graphic from the Press Association on what times the polls close.

It’s clear that between midnight and 2am is when most of the key ones close, and we’ll start to hear results.

2.56416860

The results of a few exit polls have begun to come in.

The Associated Press has been publishing some of its data.

It says:

  • Two-thirds of voters say their choice for president was driven by their opinion of President Trump
  • Four in ten voters said the pandemic was the top priority facing the US, with the economy next on three in ten voters
  • Half of voters say racism is a “very serious” problem in American society. Two in ten voters said it wasn’t a serious problem

The polls were due to close in North Carolina – a key swing state – at around 12.30am.

That’s now been delayed by around 45 minutes.

Alongside Florida, Pennsylvania is an absolutely crucial state upon which the election could be decided.

But there’s a very distinct possibility we won’t have a result from Pennsylvania for several days.

That’s partly because mail-in votes received after election day will still be counted. Furthermore, election officials in this state can only begin counting on election day itself meaning it could take an awful long time to count them all.

NPR has more on the state’s significance here

An interesting development reported by Axios.

The Republican National Committee has moved its HQ in Washington DC to an alternate, undisclosed location citing concerns over potential civil unrest.

Earlier, protest groups organised a demonstration in central Washington and much of the area is boarded up in case of any trouble.

Inspired by this tweet from former Fine Gael TD Noel Rock earlier, I have begun to contemplate what’d make me crack out the whiskey this election night. 

I’ve decided I’ll save it unless Biden wins Florida comfortably, and then Trump says it’s all rigged and he won’t accept it.  

Which won’t happen? 

Right?

Throughout the campaign, Biden has frequently attempted to cultivate a wholesome, decent guy persona.

This handwritten message on the wall of his childhood home in Scranton, Pennsylvania won’t do those efforts any harm.

Right, so. It’s just a couple of minutes until the first polls close.

So tell me this and tell me no more.

Who’s going to win?


Poll Results:

Biden (436)
My nerves, I don't know (259)
Trump (233)



Avid election watchers might remember the New York Times’s election needle which got a lot of attention in the 2016 election.

In brief, it was a graphic on the website which got more than 13 million page views which predicted the outcome of the election as the results started to come in over the course of the night.

It started by showing an 85% chance of Hillary Clinton winning and by the end – well, as you can imagine, it had swung completely the other direction. 

Now it’s back, but it’s been tweaked this time around: it will be focusing on just three swing states – Georgia, Florida and North Carolina – rather than trying to look at the overall result.

Speaking on the NYT’s Daily live podcast just now, executive editor Dean Baquet said that he thinks the needles will be less of a focus of attention this time around but will help to give a sense of what is happening in these three states. We’ll start seeing projections on it in the next few minutes as polls close.

image (8)

Okay, that’s the first polls closed.

CNN are saying that Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, Kentucky and Vermont are too early to call.

They’re saying that Trump has won Indiana.

Fox, however, has called Vermont for Biden already. 

The Associated Press is saying that Trump has won Kentucky. 

Nothing unexpected so far.

Quite the stat here from this pollster in Pinellas County in Florida.

Matt McDermott says: “In Pinellas County, Hillary Clinton won 233,701 total votes in 2016. Biden won 243,173 votes just in early voting.”

A very early – but also very good – sign for Biden in Florida.

Just a reminder – the magic number to hit is 270 to win the election. Both candidates only in single figures with the electoral college so far.

There’s a long way to go.

The vote in Florida always looked like it could be close, but the New York Times’ Nate Cohn is reporting it could be even closer than that.

CNN is saying, however, Biden is currently at 50.7% to Trump’s 48.4% with 35% of the vote counted in Florida.

More results coming in all the time.

While we’re hearing votes coming in, Pennsylvania’s governor has appealed for calm as this state takes its time counting the vote.

Tom Wolf said: “But counting that tremendous number of ballots will take more time than we are used to. We may not know the results today, but I encourage all of us to take a deep breath and be patient. What is most important is that we have accurate results, even if that takes a little longer.”

All eyes are rightly on Florida and Georgia at the minute.

Both seem a toss-up at the minute, but Biden seems to be in good shape in Florida.

A timely reminder, though:

Liking the honesty and energy here from Floridian Alex Garcia, speaking to a Miami Herald journalist.

The polls have just closed in Ohio, another vital swing state with 18 electoral votes.

North Carolina was supposed to close now, but that’s been put back 45 minutes.

Trump won both Ohio and North Carolina in 2016, and likely needs to win both again this year to win the White House. 

The Associated Press has called West Virgina – as expected – for Donald Trump.

That’s now 13 – 3 to Trump.

The New York Times’s aforementioned election needle is now saying that Trump is 94% likely to win Florida.

Would be a huge victory for Trump but not necessarily a hammer blow for Biden.

In 2016, a win for Trump in Florida was a sign that Hillary Clinton was in trouble. 

Joe Biden has won Virginia, according to the Associated Press.

Going by the electoral college, that’s Biden now in the lead – the VERY, VERY EARLY LEAD – of 16-13.

This graphic shows just why Biden is in trouble in Florida.

Districts that Clinton won comfortably in 2016 now a lot closer.

image (9)

Putting it better than I tried to earlier, the LA Times’ David Lauter explains why Trump winning Florida could mean that getting a definitive result tonight is now in serious doubt.

Just on that result in Miami Dade, Trump invested heavily to try to win votes here and is currently on around 120,000 votes more here than in 2016.

This would indicate Trump is doing much better with Latinos and people of colour in this area, but that’s not to say this will be replicated across the country. 

Trump is now over 95% likely to win Florida, according to the New York Times.

In not-unrelated news, the odds on Trump to win the election have shortened considerably with gambling companies here. Biden still the favourite, however.

In other news, Biden is polling well in the swing state of Ohio. Again, early days. 

Right. 

In the next three minutes, another slew of states will close their polls and things will get a lot more interesting.

They are:

  • Alabama (9 electoral votes)
  • Connecticut (7)
  • Delaware (3)
  • DC (3)
  • Florida – its second time zone (29)
  • Illinois (20)
  • Maine (4)
  • Maryland (10)
  • Massachusetts (11)
  • Mississippi (6)
  • Missouri (10)
  • New Hampshire (4)
  • New Jersey (14)
  • Oklahoma (7)
  • Pennsylvania (20)
  • Rhode Island (4)
  • Tennessee (11)

Obviously Pennsylvania and Florida are the ones to watch. But Pennsylvania is going to make us wait a while as we know.

As expected, Trump has won South Carolina – it’s North Carolina where we expect it to be a key battleground.

The Associated Press is also calling Mississippi and Alabama for Trump.

They’re coming in thick and fast.

Just away from the presidential election, the Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has retained his seat.

It had appeared he could’ve been in trouble to win out over his Democrat rival. Whether he’ll still be the majority leader when the dust settles remains to be seen.

A number of states closed their polls at 1am, and many of them are safe states for one or the other.

Joe Biden – as expected – has won New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Wins for Trump in Oklahoma and Tennessee now make the score Biden 85 – 55 Trump.

big wins Source: Sean Murray

A district in Florida earlier reported a turnout of more than 100%. 

How, I hear you ponder?

Precinct 538 in Orange County, which covers the University of Central Florida, reported a turnout of 102%.

Officials for the area said as of the registration deadline on 6 October there were 754 voters registered in the area. But for voters already registered in Florida, there is no deadline for updating their address.

So after the deadline, either during early voting or today, there were some Florida voters that updated their address, placing them in the precinct where they were then able to vote.

This meant the numbers that voted in the precinct were above the 754 who had registered as of the start of October.

Here’s a handy graphic of where we are so far, including the three swing states currently in play.

2dde5280-3ccf-4479-84fb-3c1574de34c0

With Trump expected to win Florida, this election is now too close to call. But it’s early yet. 

Going back to that needle from the New York Times.

As well as a certainty in Florida, it’s also saying that Trump is on top in the other important swing states of Georgia and North Carolina. 

needle

Republican Senator from Florida Rick Scott won a seat in 2018 on a difficult night for the party in the midterms.

He’s told NBC News that he thinks Trump has done the same as he did two years ago:

“It’s really the key to how I won my races, you’ve got to get the Hispanic vote out and you’ve got to get the Hispanic vote out for you. And that’s what President Trump did.

“I put out an ad today to try to help President Trump get the vote out and you saw Republicans came out significantly for him. A big turnout, and I think in this case it’s going to be a big night for Donald Trump in Florida.”

AP hasn’t called Florida for Trump, yet, but it won’t be long.

Donald Trump has won Arkansas, according to the Associated Press.

That puts the score now at Biden 85 – 61 Trump.

Away from the presidential race again for a moment.

A Republican candidate who has supported far-right QAnon conspiracy theories has won a seat in Congress in the state of Georgia by a huge margin. Marjorie Taylor Greene was widely criticised, including by senior members of her own party, after reports that she had promoted “Q”, the anonymous figure who claims that Donald Trump has secretly been fighting against a ring of high-profile paedophiles.

The sitting president has called her a “future Republican star”.

This explainer here delves into more on what the QAnon conspiracy theory is all about, and why FBI has identified it as a potential domestic terrorism threat.

In other noteworthy bits, Sarah McBride has become the first transgender State Senator in US history, winning a seat in Delaware.

 

Donald Trump has won Indiana. He now has 72 in the electoral college, to Biden’s 85.

Another slew of polls are about to close.

Here’s where they are:

  • Arizona (11 electoral votes)
  • Colorado (9)
  • Kansas (6)
  • Louisiana (8)
  • Michigan (16)
  • Minnesota (10)
  • Nebraska (5)
  • New Mexico (5)
  • New York (29)
  • North Dakota (3)
  • South Dakota (3)
  • Texas (38)
  • Wisconsin (10)
  • Wyoming (3)

If Trump is ahead in a number of states so far, Biden will be hoping to make gains in key states like Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin and (whisper it) maybe even Texas.

We have some more results from the safer states.

Donald Trump has won North Dakota and South Dakota, while Joe Biden has won New York. 

The score is now Biden 119 – 92 Trump. 

My colleague Rónán Duffy has published a separate piece where you can see which states have gone where so far.

You can see it here.

Expect it to fill up with red and blue in the coming hours.

electoral1 Source: Sean Murray

Just an update on some other races, Trump has won Wyoming, Nebraska and Louisiana.

Biden has won New Mexico.

races

Biden is doing well in Ohio, which could be a big win for him.

But… it does appear his lead here is hinging on the early voting which was expected to favour him anyway.

Trump is closing the gap here.

One of the key swing states, Ohio has 18 electoral college votes.

A potential big win for the Democrats in their bid to regain the Senate (the Republicans had a majority of 53-47 here).

Fox News is projecting that Democrat John Hickenlooper has won out over Republican Senator Cory Gardner in Colorado.

election-2020-protest-washington-dc Source: John Minchillo/PA Images

Anticipation is building in downtown Washington DC as nervous voters wait for the national picture to become clearer.

As temperatures drop, some of those gathered on Black Lives Matter Plaza Northwest have huddled around a projector showing TV news bringing live updates from across the US.

While the vast majority of the crowd of thousands is made up of Joe Biden supporters, the few Donald Trump fans walk freely while wearing Make America Great Again caps and there has so far been no sign of the unrest feared by many.

Bernadette Eichbelberger, a 68-year-old retired health care worker, admitted the wait for results had frayed her nerves.

She said she has spent much of the last week phoning potential voters for Biden and is fearful of what another victory for Trump will mean for the country.

“I’ve been worried for the last year,” she told the PA news agency. “I’ve been sick for the last four years of what he’s done to this country. It would only get worse, we will become a fascist country if he gets elected.”

A little earlier, here was a rare candid moment from the US President.

He said: “You know, winning is easy. Losing is never easy. Not for me, it’s not.”

Speaking at his campaign headquarters yesterday, Trump said he’s not thinking about a concession speech or acceptance speech yet.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Joe Biden has won Washington DC. 

That’s just another few electoral college votes so he’s currently on 122 and Trump is on 92.

How it is 2.30am already?

Let’s do a quick run down of where we’re at with the swing states in play right now.

  • Florida and its 29 electoral college votes look certain to go to Donald Trump. While Biden could afford not to win here, it was a must win for Trump.
  • Georgia is also estimated to go the way of Trump, according to the New York Times. CNN, however, is reporting that Trump officials are worried about Georgia. 
  • North Carolina looks set to also go to Trump. New York Times is saying it’s 94% likely to go his way. 
  • Ohio is all to play for, and could be a major win for Biden if gets it. However, his early voting lead is being eaten into by increased numbers for Trump on election day.
  • Biden will be hoping to regain the blue wall including Michigan and Wisconsin to boost his bid, but it’s too early to call in these states. 
  • Texas. The Democrats are doing better here than they hoped but, at this stage, it looks like Trump will win here.
  • Pennsylvania. This is the state that could decide the election. Unfortunately, we won’t likely know a result here tonight. 

As polls close and votes are counted, some issues have cropped up in battleground states causing some delays.

In Georgia, the counting of absentee ballot voting was delayed by four hours in its largest county after a water pipe burst and caused flooding.

Business Insider reported that no ballots were damaged. The publication said an elections board member said he doesn’t believe the county will be able to report its results until this Friday.

In North Carolina, another swing state, election results have been delayed by about an extra hour after the State Board of Elections voted to extend hours at four polling locations due to delays caused by technical issues.

Opening times were extended by up to an extra 45 minutes at the booths, the Hill reported.

Down in Florida, a local TV station reported that the internet is down at the office of the Supervisor of Elections in Osceola County where more than 375,000 people live.

This issue has prevented precincts from uploading results. Several hours of delays are expected on counting these results.

At the weekend, Rónán Duffy had details on the range of other things Americans were voting on yesterday – from magic mushrooms to wolves.

On that theme, New Jersey has voted to legalise marijuana for adults aged 21 and over, becoming the 12th state to enact such a law.

Joe Biden has won Colorado. He’s now on 131 electoral college votes and is nearing the limit of what is considered his “safe” electoral votes – believed to be in the region of 210. 

He’ll need to try press home some gains in swing states soon. In Ohio, he’s outperforming Clinton in numerous areas of the state.

The Republicans, however, will expect a swing towards Trump as counting moves towards in-person votes yesterday. 

Kanye West is polling at 0.19% in Colorado.

Apropos of nothing, here’s a Simpsons gif.

dkbQKg

The headline to this piece gives it away, but this election is going to be so very close.

Trump looks to have regained the lead in Ohio. This will be an important state to hold.

But… he won Ohio by eight points in 2016. Neighbouring states such as Michigan and nearby Wisconsin only just went for Trump last time.

If this goes the same way in those states, Biden should win those back. If.

The bookies have swung heavily towards a Trump victory, having been almost 2/1 prior to tonight. He’s now an odds-on favourite.

Make of that what you will.

Another safe win for Trump in Kansas. He’s now on 98 electoral votes. 

Joe Biden is on 131.

Remember, it’s 270 to win.

I wouldn’t dare try call the result, but I will call this – we won’t know who’s won by the morning. It could take days.

As predicted by the New York Times, Trump has overtaken Biden in North Carolina. 

He looks set to win this state – one of his must-holds to retain the presidency.

We were looking at Ohio there for a while.

Now we’re going to be looking at Arizona where Biden again has a big early lead.

We’ll have to wait and see if he keeps that lead as the remaining votes are counted.

The 11 electoral votes here would be huge for either man in this close election.

There are some reports that Trump is doing better in some counties in Pennsylvania than he did in 2016 – when he won the state anyway. Is that further trouble for Biden?

We can put to bed any chance of a definitive result there tonight anyway, there’s over 270,000 mail-in votes that won’t be counted until tomorrow there.

Away from the presidential race again, popular Democrat Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez has been re-elected to the House.

In bad news for the Democrats, they’ve lost a Senate seat in Alabama which means their earlier gain has been cancelled out.

I don’t know if anyone need it, but here are some photos of dogs at polling stations in the US earlier.

2.56435361 Source: PA Images

2.56439163 Source: PA Images

2.56442924 Source: PA Images

2.56422632 Source: PA Images

I thought I’d misheard this, but I hadn’t.

This is an interesting point here from Tim Alberta from Politico.

If Biden wins Michigan and Wisconsin – absolutely must wins for him now – he could still lose Pennsylvania and win the election.

How? 

He’d have to win Arizona plus districts in Maine and Nebraska. 

It’d mean he’d win 270 – 268. It’s possible. Like everything else still is at this stage.

We’ve more states in.

Donald Trump has won Missouri. Joe Biden has won New Hampshire.

The electoral college is 135 – 108 in favour of Biden right now.

Still no definitive result from a swing state yet.

Arizona is a crucial state now. 

Winning that would be as essential step to winning the White House for Joe Biden. 

This state counted early ballots and mail ballots first, which are thought to heavily favour Biden. So his current lead there of over 200,000 votes can’t be completely relied upon. 

So the polls have closed in states on the west coast.

Joe Biden has won Washington state, Oregon and California.

Donald Trump has won Idaho. 

That puts Biden on 209 and Trump on 112 electoral college votes.

And that’s almost all of the safe states now accounted for. It’s all about the battlegrounds now.

How is it 4am? 

Here’s what the New York Times’ electoral map is looking like right now.

A lot of red, plenty of blue and plenty of states still with less than half of the votes counted.

nyt Source: New York Times

Back to the Senate now.

It’s not looking good – right now – for the Democrats to win a majority. 

Nate Silver from Five Thirty Eight is reporting that the scenarios where they have some huge majority are likely off the table.

It has appeared a foregone conclusion for a while now, and Fox News is now calling Florida for Donald Trump.

The Associated Press is saying Trump has won Utah.

Trump is now on 118 electoral votes – without Florida added just yet.

A rather alarming – but not unexpected – bit of information from three states Biden will need to win, from Saleha Mohsin from Bloomberg News.

It could be absolutely ages before we get a result from Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Here’s the latest graphic of where we are from the Press Asssociation. 

It’s helpful to look at the comparison with Hillary Clinton in 2016. It seems like Biden has a lead now, but Trump won by such a margin four years ago because he won most of the crucial swing states. 

That lead of almost 100 electoral college votes could disappear quickly.

2.56443984

Oooft. 

That’s my first oooft moment of the night but it was worth it.

Fox News is saying that Biden has won Arizona. It’s only 11 electoral votes but if correct this could be pivotal. 

If Trump loses Arizona, it’ll be the first state Trump won in 2016 that he has lost this time around. 

In the run up to the race here, commentary around the state centred on its former Senator – and former presidential candidate – John McCain.

Trump publicly criticised the late McCain, who was popular in the state, on a number of occasions. 

Similarly, if Trump loses Arizona it’ll be the first time the state has voted Democrat since 1996. 

The Trump campaign is not happy with Fox calling Arizona for Biden.

“Did we just call it? Did we make a call on Arizona?”

In fairly surprising news, Trump hasn’t tweeted for over five hours.

It’s a bit hard to believe now that Biden was once leading in Ohio.

With almost 90% of votes counted there, Trump has around a seven-point lead according to the New York Times. 

Trump won Ohio handily in 2016 but then narrowly also won Michigan and Wisconsin. 

Could lightning strike twice? 

Again, it could be a while before we have results from those states. 

Here’s some word from the Biden camp – from his deputy campaign manager Rufus Gifford.

He simply says: “We’re going to win.”

A Democrat pipe dream is winning Texas. 

Not declared by AP yet, but it’s likely that will remain a dream until 2024 at the earliest.

CNN’s Jim Acosta is reporting that Trump’s campaign is furious with Fox for calling Arizona for Biden.

Ohio has been called by a few outlets now. 

I keep mentioning it but Trump’s campaign have not given up the fight in Arizona yet.

It was a formality but Biden has won Hawaii. He’s now on 213 electoral votes. He needs just 57 more to win the presidency. 

Trump is only on 118 but once Texas, Ohio and Florida are confirmed, he’ll move up massively in the electoral college.

Oh!

Well now.

The New York Times’ needle was pointed towards Trump in Georgia all night.

Now it’s leaning slightly towards Biden with an estimated 80% of votes counted.

If Biden wins Georgia (with its 16 electoral college votes), that could be the end for Trump.

Let’s keep an eye on this one.

A very important win for Trump has been confirmed as he takes the 18 electoral college votes in Ohio. 

He’s now on 145 electoral votes.

Biden had appeared to have a good lead here early on, but that lead through early and mail-in ballots was eroded and flipped back to Trump.

Trump has also won Montana and Iowa, incidentally. 

Back to Ohio. 

As the phrase goes “As Ohio goes, so goes the nation”. And it is well-earned as Ohio has selected the eventual winner in 14 straight presidential elections.

Biden will have to buck that trend in 2020 if he’s to win the White House.

Trump is confirmed as the winner in Florida. The president’s strong numbers in Miami propelled him to victory here. 

He gets the 29 electoral college votes there and now sits on 174 according to the Associated Press. Biden on 223.

Biden was due to speak at 5.30am Irish time but we’re still waiting on him. 

biden

Biden is speaking now. 

“We believe we’re on track to winning this election,” he says. “We’re feeling good about where we are.”

He says we need to be patient and wait for all the votes to be counted, but he’s “optimistic”. 

“Keep the faith, guys, we’re gonna win this,” he says.

The video on Biden’s Twitter feed ends with Jackie Wilson’s song Higher and Higher. 

What’ll Trump do in response? And I don’t mean the song choice.

Oh! And Trump has spoken.

“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 Poles are closed!”

This is going to get ugly in the coming days, you’d imagine.

CNN are reporting that Trump is expected to make a speech within the next hour, and make similar claims about winning the election. 

He’s saying it’s a “big WIN”.

There can only be one winner, though. Trump said on Sunday he’d be sending the lawyers in. That looks inevitable now. 

Trump has reposted his original tweet claiming “they” are trying to “steal” the election.

Possibly because he misspelled polls in the first one. 

Back to Georgia, and why has the New York Times needle swung towards Biden there?

Well, that’s because although Trump is leading at the minute, most of the votes still to be counted are in the Democrat-leaning city of Atlanta.

Here’s the decision desk director at Fox explaining why they’re standing over their call of Arizona for Biden.

The Trump camp were furious with this.

In what can be read as a riposte to Trump’s tweets, Biden has tweeted: “It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare the winner of this election. It’s the voter’s place.”

Republican House representative for Illinois Adam Kinzinger has issued a rebuke of sorts to Trump.

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

The electoral college race has tightened considerably, after Trump has been confirmed to have won Texas.

Biden now has 223 electoral votes and Trump is on 212. 

And it’s 270 to win.

The big ones still to be confirmed are Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia. 

Arizona (11) appears to be leaning towards Biden. 

The New York Times needle has Biden in a slim lead in Georgia (16).

And the other three are too close to call. 

Nebraska is one of the states that doesn’t allocate all its electoral ballots to whoever wins the state. In the second electoral district, Biden has a strong lead.

Winning this one vote here is seen as an important one on his potential road to victory.

We still don’t have a result from Arizona, and Fox is the main outlier so far in calling it for Biden. 

This would be a crucial flip for Biden, and would mean he’d only have to win two of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to win the presidency. 

But, as we’ve said, it could be quite a while before we get the results from these states, particularly Pennsylvania.

On the action from Twitter earlier, it has said it had placed a warning on Donald Trump’s tweet “for making a potentially misleading claim about an election”.

“This action is in line with our Civic Integrity Policy,” the firm’s @TwitterSafety account said.

We’re still waiting on the US President, who said he’ll be making a statement soon. 

After Twitter hid Donald Trump’s tweet, Facebook also added a warning to the President’s post on their platform.

Underneath Trump’s post claiming “they are trying to STEAL the election”, a message read: “Final results may be different from initial vote counts, as ballot counting will continue for days.”

It’s oh so very close in the US Presidential Race.

Here’s the most up-to-date graphic from PA based on the Associated Press projections.

Trump appears to have big margins in Michigan and Wisconsin but a lot of the counting still remains there in districts that are expected to favour Biden.

2.56445404 Source: PA/AP

Here’s a video of Joe Biden’s remarks earlier.

Still waiting on Trump.

And still waiting on Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia and Pennsylvania. 

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Joe Biden has won at least one of Maine’s four electoral votes.

Biden won the state’s 1st Congressional District, which is good for one electoral vote.

Maine’s state-wide vote, which is worth two electoral votes, and the state’s 2nd Congressional District have yet to be called.

Maine split its electoral votes four years ago, awarding three to Hillary Clinton and one to Donald Trump.

Trump has won four of Nebraska’s five electoral votes, while Biden won one – potentially crucial – electoral vote from the state.

I’ve been watching an empty podium for about 15 minutes, now.

It’s 2.17am in Washington DC right now, as we await Trump’s arrival.

trump 123

Here he is. At last.

“A very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people [who voted for me], and we will not stand for it,” he said.

“We were winning everything and all of a sudden it was just called off… we were all set to get aside and celebrate something that was so beautiful…”

He’s claiming victory in Georgia. All the votes haven’t been counted there yet. 

He says “we’ve a lot of life in Arizona”. He hasn’t mentioned Fox but he’s criticising them. 

Trump also says they’re winning Pennsylvania. Which is true. But there are hundreds of thousands of votes left to count there. Plenty of them are mail-in ballots that are thought to favour Joe Biden.

There’s a lot of votes still to be counted in the crucial states that Trump appears to be claiming victory in here. 

“They knew they couldn’t win so they said let’s go to court,” he says. “This is a fraud on the American public. It is an embarassment to our country… we were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election.”

He says he’ll go to the Supreme Court.

To clarify, there are so many more votes to be counted. Trump has not won the election. Not yet, anyway. There are still viable paths to victory for both him and Biden. 

It should be noted the room is filled with Trump supporters who are whooping at every word he says. Earlier, there was plenty of cars honking for Biden’s speech. 

That was a gauntlet by Donald Trump.

He believes he’s won the election. And he won’t accept any other result.

Even though there’s hundreds of thousands of votes still to be counted. 

That was remarkable. 

election-2020-trump Source: Evan Vucci/PA Images

Here’s more detail on what Trump said.

He said he would go to the US Supreme Court, claiming that there was a “massive fraud” in the election.

The president said: “This is a fraud on the American public, this is an embarrassment to our country.

“We were getting ready to win this election – frankly we did win this election.

“So our goal now is to ensure the integrity for the good of this nation. This is a very big moment.

“This is a major fraud on our nation.

“We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we will be going to the US Supreme Court, we want all voting to stop.

“We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4am and add them to the list.”

He also said he was ready to celebrate when it was “just called off”.

In a White House statement, he said: “We were getting ready for a big celebration tonight, we were winning everything and all of a sudden it was just called off.

“We were just all set to get outside and just celebrate something that was so beautiful, so good, such a vote, such a success.

“The citizens of this country have come out in record numbers, this is a record, there’s never been anything like it, to support our incredible movement.”

He said “it’s also clear that we have won Georgia”, adding: “We’re up by 2.5% or 117,000 votes with only 7% left – they’re never going to catch us, they can’t catch us.”

He said he has “clearly won” North Carolina and claimed there is “a lot of life” left in the Arizona race but conceded it is possible he may not win the typically Republican-backing state.

A big one for Biden as he’s confirmed to have won Arizona.

Trump made loads of claims about how he’s ahead in the other crucial states. There’s still plenty of counting left to be done there.

Biden is now on 236 electoral college votes to Trump’s 213. Biden just needs 34 more electoral votes to win. 

Hello, and good morning. 

Cónal Thomas here taking over from my colleague Sean Murray. If you’re just joining us, Associated Press is reporting that Democrat Joe Biden has won 3 of the 4 votes in Maine:

Biden won the statewide tally and the 1st Congressional District, good for three electoral votes. Trump, meanwhile, hoped to claim one electoral vote in a win in the 2nd Congressional District. The 2nd Congressional District hasn’t yet been called.

Republicans have been reacting in the last few minutes to Donald Trump’s speech at the White House where he said without evidence that the election is a “fraud” and threatened to go to the Supreme Court. 

Speaking on ABC News, former New Jersey Governor and Trump adviser Chris Christie called the president’s speech the wrong move – both strategically, and as president.

“It’s a bad strategic decision,” he said. “It’s a bad political decision.”

Former Republican Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum said he was “very distressed” by Trump’s comments. “Using the word fraud… I think is wrong,” he told CNN. 

In the last few minutes Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has said there are over 1 million mail-in ballots to be counted in Pennsylvania. 

The state is key in the race to the White House and carries 20 electoral votes but it could be Friday before Pennsylvania counts all its votes. 

As is stands, Donald Trump hold 55.7% of the vote there with Biden at 43.0%, according to the New York Times.

If you’re just joining us, welcome.

In the last few moments CBS’ Ed O’Keefe has received a statement from Joe Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon in response to Donald Trump’s comments claiming election fraud. 

About the author:

Sean Murray

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