#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 16°C Monday 14 June 2021
Advertisement

Liveblog

316,068 Views 82 Comments
Share

COUNTING CONTINUED in states across America through the night in this year’s US Presidential Election. Yesterday was a long day but there’s still likely a long wait ahead before the winning candidate becomes clear. You can catch up on everything here:

  • As of now, Joe Biden has 264 electoral votes and Donald Trump has 214, with 270 needed to win
  • We’re still missing projections in key battleground states such as Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Nevada which is expected to be a tipping-point state.
  • Joe Biden has taken Michigan and Wisconsin in a significant step towards winning the White House. 
  • The Trump campaign has said it will request a recount in Wisconsin and is going to court in Michigan – two states projected to be won by Biden.
  • Trump said in the early hours of this morning he will go to the Supreme Court. The President has won the key battleground state of Florida, as well as winning Texas which has 38 Electoral votes.
  • The battle for power in the Senate has tightened as the Democrats picked up a seat in Colorado, but suffered setback in Alabama and Maine.
  • Donald Trump netted more voters in 2020 than 2016 – here’s a look at the many voters who are drawn to Trump’s rhetoric and policies.

Let’s start this morning with a re-cap of Donald Trump’s recent speech at the White House for anyone who missed it, or anyone who still can’t believe it actually happened. 

The President told his gatherers this morning that “this is a fraud on the American people”. 

He also told them that “frankly, we did win this election” and that he wants “all voting to stop”. 

Source: BBC/YouTube

To be clear, voting already stopped hours ago, it’s the counting of votes that is happening at the moment. Trump appears to mean stopping the counting of mail-in ballots which can be legally accepted by state election boards after Tuesday’s election, provided they were sent in time.

The President said he would be going to the Supreme Court.

Joe Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon called Trump’s comments “outrageous, unprecedented and incorrect”:

“It’s also incorrect because it is a naked effort to take away the democratic rights of American citizens,” she said.

“It was unprecedented because never before in our history has a president of the United States sought to strip Americans of their voice in a national election.

“Having encouraged Republican efforts in multiple states to prevent the legal counting of these ballots before Election Day, now Donald Trump is saying these ballots can’t be counted after Election Day.”

Former US President Barack Obama has said Trump’s comments are those of a “two-bit dictator”. 

“If you believe in democracy you won’t every vote counted,” he said.

Interestingly, Bernie Sanders predicted this would happen…

Speaking to Jimmy Fallon, he had said:

“It could well be that at 10 o’clock on election night, Trump is winning in Michigan, he’s winning in Pennsylvania, he’s winnign in Wisconsin and he gets on the television and says: ‘Thank you, Americans, for re-electing me, it’s all over. Have a good day.’

“But then the next day and the day following, all those mail-in ballots start getting counted and it turns out that Biden has won those states at which point Trump says ‘See? I told you the whole thing was fraudulent. I told you those mail-in ballots were crooked and we’re not going to leave office.

“That is a worry that I and a lot of people have.”

While it’s not looking good for the Republicans in terms of the popular vote, that won’t be the determining factor.

The tally of votes from members of the public doesn’t determine the winner of the presidency in the US.

Presidential elections instead use the Electoral College. So to win the presidency, a candidate must receive a majority of electoral votes.

If you want to know more about the Electoral College system, my colleague Orla Dwyer did this handy explainer.

Okay, let’s take a breath and look at how things stand in the remaining battleground states:

  • Arizona, with 11 electoral votes has Biden leading with 82% of votes counted;
  • Georgia, with 16 electoral votes has Trump leading with 92% of votes counted;
  • Michigan, with 16 electoral votes has Trump leading with 79% of votes counted;
  • Nevada, with six electoral votes has Biden (just about) leading, with 85% of votes counted;
  • North Carolina, with 15 electoral votes, has Trump (just about) leading, with 95% of votes counted;
  • Pennsylvania, with 20 electoral votes, has Trump leading by a large margin with 74% of votes counted;
  • Wisconsin, with 10 electoral votes, has the two candidates almost neck and neck, with Biden on a slight lead after 89% of votes counted.

Some context on those battleground states – it’s too early to guess what might happen in Pennsylvania or Michigan:

nate

As we’ve already mentioned, voters had other issues to consider on their ballots, such as a new state flag in Mississippi. The new design was overwhelmingly approved – here it is:

Meanwhile in Colorado, the vote on a measure to reintroduce wolves is nail-bitingly close:

Before you scoff at the idea, we did a poll on the issue on TheJournal.ie last year and more than half of you guys were in favour of reintroducing wolves to help rewild part of the countryside.

The UK government has insisted the special relationship with the US will endure, whoever wins the election.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the “bedrock” of the relationship was based on strong economic, security and cultural ties, although he acknowledged the “contours” would be different depending on whether Joe Biden or Donald Trump won the election.

Despite being asked a number of times during interviews about Trump’s call for the counting of votes to stop, Raab said he would not be “sucked in” to the debate.

If you were tuning into the US election in 2016, you’ll remember that around this time the result was clear.

With this election, it may be some time before we have a winner. So why is it taking so long this time?

Much of it comes down to the significant rates of absentee voting across states. In three of the key states that remain – Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin – election rules meant that officials were not allowed to process absentee ballots until Election Day, or just before it.

My colleague Lauren Boland has kindly taken the time this morning to explain.

It looks like the Republican Party is heading for a majority in the Senate, with 47 seats so far, versus the Democrats’ 45. 

David Herro from Chicago-based investment company Harris Associates has told Bloomberg that the market would “vastly prefer” the Senate controlled by the Republicans if Joe Biden wins the presidency as this would “create balance”.

This is exactly the kind of headline we didn’t need today:

Voters have backed the removal of the words ‘Providence Plantations’ from the official name of the Ocean State. It passed with 52,8% of the vote, the Boston Globe reports.

The New York Times has a very handy guide on the current state of play, which illustrates the candidates’ paths to the presidency. It states Biden has 154 ways to win, while Trump has 92 ways. 

We have some firsts in this election. Sarah McBride has become the first openly transgender person to be elected to the position of state senator. 

In a speech last night she said it was her “fervent hope that tonight a young person in Delaware or in North Carolina or in Texas or anywhere in the country can go to sleep this night with a powerful but simple message, that our democracy is big enough for them too”. 

Cori Bush, a nurse and activist in Missouri, is the first black woman elected to represent the State in Congress:

In New York, some stores have boarded up their shopfronts in anticipation of potential looting or unrest.

u-s-new-york-election-night-security

There is also a strong police presence in the city:

Source: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

This is likely to be a big talking point all the way through – Biden’s lead in the popular vote:

It doesn’t mean nothing, but it also doesn’t really mean much right now…

If you want to know more about the Electoral College system, which is what will actually determine the winner, we have it all explained here.

If you’re just joining us, White House Correspondent John Harwood has summed a lot of people’s feelings over the last 12 hours. 

A bit of a break from the electoral college for a minute, we take at look at Oregon this afternoon, which has become the first US state to decriminalise hard drugs, including the possession of small amounts of heroin and cocaine, and to legalise access to so-called magic mushrooms for therapeutic use.

Four other states — New Jersey, Montana, South Dakota and Arizona — voted to legalise recreational marijuana, which remains illegal at the federal level.

That brings to 15 the number of US states that have approved the drug for recreational purposes since 2012. Medical cannabis for its part is already legal in 33 US states.

If you’re just joining several key swing states are set to declare for a candidate in the next few hours. 

Here’s a handy primer for what comes next from my colleagues Stephen McDermott and Gráinne Ni Aodha. 

download (6)

NEW: Joe Biden has taken the lead in Michigan, one the key swing states. 

With 89% of votes counted the tally now stands at:

Screenshot 2020-11-04 at 14.08.12 - Display 2 (1)

Adam Daly here taking over the reins of the live blog for the next while. Got anything you’d like to add? Tweet me @adamdaly__, email adam@thejournal.ie, or comment below. 

I am mostly looking for tweets like this one: 

So far Democrats look set to extend their control of the US House of Representatives for two more years but initial results show they’ve lost at least six incumbents and failed to oust any Republicans

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy said the Republican’s “defied the odds last night”, telling Nancy Pelosi she’s been put on notice.  

Here’s a handy graphic with the latest results from the House of Representatives and Senate races. 

2.56445405

Donald Trump is awake and tweeting. 

Last night he threatened to go to the Supreme Court after claiming victory before all the ballots have been counted.  This afternoon he has alleged ‘surprise ballot dumps’ in states where he was leading initially. 

“How come every time they count Mail-In ballot dumps they are so devastating in their percentage and power of destruction?”

The leads in numerous states have shifted back-and-forth between the candidates as votes are counted.

White House correspondent Niall Stanage is reporting that the Trump campaign is already calling Wisconsin ‘recount territory’. 

Like Michigan and Pennsylvania, Wisconsin election officials were not allowed to begin processing absentee ballots until on or just before election day. 

Joe Biden’s campaign chief Jen O’Malley Dillon says the Democratic candidate is on track to win the election and “he will be the next president of the United States”.

She said: “We believe we are on a clear path to victory. By this afternoon we expect that the vice president will have leads in states that put him over 270 electoral votes.

“Today the vice president will garner more votes than any presidential candidate in history and we are still counting.”

The Biden campaign believes it will take Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nevada – describing Georgia as a “toss-up”, and North Carolina as “really tight”.

Officials in Pennsylvania have been giving a press briefing just now, with over 1 million ballots still to be counted, they don’t think a call will be made today. 

The state’s Governor Tom Wolf said: “There are millions of mail-in ballots that are being counted. And that takes longer than the standard in-person voting. So we may not know the results even today. But the most important thing is that we have accurate results. Again, even if that takes a little longer than we are used to.”

This is the current state of play in the battleground state, per CNN:

Snag_8519f9 Source: CNN

A look now to the Senate race, and the Democrat’s odds of flipping control of the upper chamber of US Congress have shortened.

Republicans are scrambling to preserve their 53-47 Senate majority, with polls showing several races tilting towards Democrats

Election forecaster FiveThirtyEight.com has given Democrats a three in four chance of winning Senate control, despite early wins for the Republicans.

Snag_8fcfcb Source: Washington Post

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has been speaking to the press following his re-election, he said “we don’t know who won the presidential race yet”  but that claiming you win an election is different from finishing the counting. 

Michigan secretary of state Jocelyn Benson says the state hopes to have a first, unofficial result by the end of the day but that an official tabulation could take longer. 

The race there is quite tight with less than 40,000 votes separating the two candidates right now. 

Snag_adfa44 Source: CNN

It looks like a result from Wisconsin is imminent. A win here would mean another  10 electoral votes for Biden.

In Georgia, about 250,000 ballots are left to be counted. 

Speaking at a press conference the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said: “every legal ballot will be counted”. 

“My team has sent a reminder to counties to get all, let me repeat, all results counted today,” he said. 

It’s a close race at the minute with Trump currently polling at 50.5% to Biden’s 48.3%. The Republican stronghold is worth a valuable 16 Electoral College votes. 

Trump is tweeting again, claiming that Biden votes are  “being found all over the place”. 

“They are working hard to make up 500,000 vote advantage in Pennsylvania disappear — ASAP. Likewise, Michigan and others!” he tweeted. 

Both CNN and NBC are calling the State of Maine for Joe Biden.

CNN projects that Biden will win at least three of Maine’s electoral votes.

In Maine, two of four electoral votes go to the statewide winner and one electoral vote goes to the winner in each of the two congressional districts.

In case you missed it earlier, the US election came up in the Dáil when People Before Profit’s Mick Barry said he supported the call of the Socialist Alternative organisation in the US for mass demonstrations and civil disobedience should Donald Trump “try to steal the election”.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the “sensible thing to do” is to allow the electoral process in the United States “take its course”.

“The election is not over. The last time I was listening to coverage of it, it seemed the race was going to very tight and there were many votes yet to be counted.

“The United States is one of the oldest democracies in the world. It has always managed its elections in a peaceful and democratic way and I have no doubt that this will also be the case on this occasion.” 

Despite the fact that ballots are still being counted, Joe Biden has already amassed more votes than any candidate for President in history, according to the Associated Press. 

His current tally of 69.9 million surpasses the 69.4 million amassed by Barack Obama in 2008, the previous record. 

It’s still all to play for but Biden has taken the lead in Wisconsin and Michigan after Trump was leading there early this morning. 

election-us Source: Press Association Images

The Trump campaign has said it will be requesting a recount in Wisconsin citing “several reports of irregularities on several Wisconson counties which raises serious doubts about the validity of the results”. 

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement that the president is well within the threshold to request a recount and will immediately do so. 

Current results in Wisconsin show Joe Biden leading by about 20,000 votes. 

The former Republican governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker tweeted that a recount is unlikely to change the final result in the state with a margin as high as 20,000.

Reporting on the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting this evening, our political correspondent Christina Finn says Leo Varadkar signalled that a Joe Biden presidency  would be positive for Ireland “as someone who has a genuine personal attachment to the country.” 

Varadkar indicated that Biden has an interest in Brexit and its impact on Ireland.

Hello, how’s everybody holding up?

It’s Órla Ryan here, I’ll be taking over the blog for the next while.

If you’re just joining us, here is the latest on Trump’s campaign seeking a recount in Wisconsin.

“There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results,” campaign manager Bill Stepien claimed in a statement, without backing it up.

“The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so,” he added.

The statement came in the immediate aftermath of the crucial swing state’s Elections Commission Administrator revealing that all ballots had been counted.

Recounts were predicted to feature today – but, as pointed out by politcal journalist Molly Beck on Twitter, a recount in 2016 resulted in few changes to the final tally in Wisconsin.

Will it be the same story this time around?

In a Senate update, Sara Gideon has reportedly called Susan Collins to concede the race.

Collins, a Republican, has represented Maine in the Senate since 1997.

The Republican Party currently has 47 seats in the Senate, two ahead of the Democrats.

Screenshot 2020-11-04 at 18.36.21 Source: Associated Press

35 of the Senate’s 100 seats were up for election yesterday.

You can read the latest information on the Senate race here.

Joe Biden has announced his campaign is setting up the Biden Fight Fund – “the largest election protection effort ever assembled”.

Screenshot 2020-11-04 at 18.44.02

CNN is projecting that Biden will take Wisconsin, but AP is yet to make a call on the state.

AP has now called Wisconsin, giving it to Joe Biden. 

Trump’s campaign, as we reported earlier, has already started talking about a recount.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin Elections’ Administrator Meagan Wolfe told CNN that the state had taken every care to ensure every vote was counted correctly. She said the state has experience with recounts following its experience in 2016. 

That Wisconsin win is huge for Biden. It means he has flipped a state that Trump took in 2016. Remember, AP has called Arizona for the Democrat – but not all outlets have, so you may be hearing a couple of different narratives around this. 

Taking that AP projection in Arizona, there is also a path to the White House for him now if he wins Michigan and Nevada.  

PastedImage-20523

This is the current state of play. 

Biden has 248 Electoral College votes, to Trump’s 214. 

Those states in brown are not yet projected. Alaska’s three are widely expected to stay with Trump and his team are confident about North Carolina, where he is currently holding a lead. 

Biden is optimistic about Michigan. 

Georgia is a toss-up, as is Nevada. 

Pennsylvania, most likely the last to report, is too close to call. 

Thanks for staying with us today, we’ll keep bringing you the latest results as they happen.

I’m going to hand you back over to my colleague Adam Daly now.

Thanks, Órla!

Adam here (again), if you spot anything we haven’t let me know on Twitter (@adamdaly__) or by email (adam@thejournal.ie). 

Back to business, NBC News is reporting that a group of protestors, claiming to be poll or election challengers, have gathered outside a counting centre in Detroit, Michigan claiming that there aren’t enough nonpartisan challengers inside. 

It appears the people in the Trump campaign are prematurely declaring his victory in Pennslyvania. 

Trump’s lead there is now at less than 350,000 votes. Only 83% of the votes are in with more than one million ballots still to be counted. 

The campaign also said it is suing to temporarily stop the vote count in Pennsylvania.

Deputy campaign manager Justin Clark said in a statement that the campaign is “suing to stop Democrat election officials from hiding the ballot counting and processing from our Republican poll observers”. He said the campaign wants “to temporarily halt counting until there is meaningful transparency and Republicans can ensure all counting is done above board and by the law”.

He also said the campaign would seek to intervene in an ongoing Supreme Court case involving the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots.

Joe Biden is speaking now from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware.

“I‘m not here to declare that we won, but I am here to report that when the count is finished, we will be the winner,” he said, warning that “every vote must be counted.”

There are 16 electoral votes at stake in Michigan. If Biden takes the state it will bring him to 264 electoral college votes, further narrowing Trump’s chances at victory. 

Biden has a clear path the 270 if he can hold onto his current lead in Nevada for 6 electoral votes.  

Snag_1c1d9dd Source: CNN

Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has been speaking at a news conference in Philadelphia, alongside Eric Trump.

Giuliani is claiming that postal ballots are fraudulent, despite there being no evidence to back up that claim. 

“Not a single Republican has been able to look at these mail ballots. They could be from Mars, as far as we’re concerned.”

He said he’ll be investigating how many dead people voted.

Tweeting just now, Trump is claiming victory in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and North Carolina. Votes are still being tallied in these states. 

Arizona’s Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has told CNN that any attempt by the Trump to stop the counting of ballots has no basis and won’t succeed: “They don’t have a legal pathway to challenge. We are legally counting valid ballots and there’s not a way to stop that.”

She then debunked concerns that ballots were being invalidated because permanent markers, such as Sharpies, were used to fill them out.

Laughing she said she’d heard the claims and had been “talking about markers all day here”. She said they’ve been trying to ensure that all voters votes are counted but that there have been no indications that what voters used to mark ballots was an issue.

She also said if there was an issue of markings from a marker bleeding through a ballot, they have means to ensure they can count it properly.

There are still 600,000 ballots remaining to be counted there with Biden currently leading Trump by about 93,000 votes, 51.% to 47.6%, according to CNN’s latest count.

The counting of valid ballots continues in several key battleground states, here’s why the Associated Press hasn’t called some of them yet:

GEORGIA: Outstanding ballots left to be counted in counties where Biden has performed well. The AP says the race is too early to call, as estimated 6% of the vote still remains to be counted. That includes ballots from counties Biden is winning in the Atlanta area.

MICHIGAN: An estimated 4% of the vote remains to be counted here, much of it from the Democratic stronghold of Detroit. That makes the race between Trump and Biden too early to call.

More than 5.26 million votes have been cast in Michigan and many of the ballots left to be counted were submitted by mail, a way of voting that favours Biden. Of those, a significant number were from Wayne County, home to heavily Democratic Detroit.
With 96% of the vote counted in the state, Biden holds a roughly 46,000 vote edge over Trump — a lead of about a percentage point.

NEVADA: The AP says the race is still too early to call. About 75% of the votes are in and Biden leads by less than 8,000 votes. But there are outstanding ballots left to be counted in the coming days. Under state law, they can still be accepted as long as they were postmarked by the election day. Additionally, many ballots received on election day have yet to be tallied. Trump narrowly lost Nevada in 2016 as the state has trended toward the Democrats in the past decade. The last Republican presidential contender to win the state was George W Bush in 2004.

NORTH CAROLINA: Again, the race too early to call here.

There are now less than 200,000 mail-in ballots left to count. And when it comes to mail ballots, Biden was outperforming Trump. That means the ballots yet to be counted could give Biden a lead.

Sinéad O’Carroll here taking over from Adam (bye Adam, enjoy the time on the couch, in front of the US networks, instead of your time behind your desk in front of the US networks).

We’re at that stage of the night where people are deciding whether to go to the leaba or not.

Nevada and Georgia aren’t giving away too much on their timings but if one or both of them are projected in the next few hours, Joe Biden could become the president-elect. 

(We’ll definitely be waiting on Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Alaska is a cert for Trump.)

I’ve seen mention of laptops in bed, disco naps and powering through on Twitter. Which are you?


Poll Results:

G'night  (470)
Bed and the laptop/phone (194)
Power through (51)
Power nap, get up at 2am (38)




You may have started to see some conspiracy theories emerging online in the last few hours. 

Two in particular have caught my eye. 

One, Adam mentioned earlier. Many Twitter users really tried to make #SharpieGate happen but officials in Arizona were quick to correct the record. 

Some people purporting to be voters in the state tweeted that their ballots were invalidated because they were given Sharpie markers by election officials that would not be counted correctly. 

This is not true. 

“New offset columns on the ballots means bleed through won’t impact your vote!” election officials tweeted in an informational video. 

AP has factchecked the claim.

And in another interesting one, more than 100,000 people online have claimed that Joe Biden was given 138,000 votes in one fell swoop following a dump of ‘secret ballots’. 

Again, this is untrue. 

And it all just came from a simple typo. The nightmare. 

Jack Nicas from the New York Times has the story in this thread: 

For his report, he spoke with the “election official in Shiawassee County who made the mistake; the election-data provider that reported it; and even the Republican consultant who tweeted the images that went viral”.

You may have seen different figures for how many Electoral College votes that Joe Biden has, depending on what news outlet you’re reading and watching. 

Some have him on 264, others on 253.

The difference? Arizona’s 11 electoral college votes.

There has been one major difference in the projections by US news outlets. AP, ABC and Fox News on one side have called Arizona for the Democrat but CNN, CBS and NBC and the New York Times have left it in their toss-up columns. 

Why? The percentage of votes counted in the Edison Research data used by the New York Times was revised downwards earlier today (from +90% to 85%), which led to it and a number of other not calling Arizona. CNN has also said it is too close to call as counting is ongoing. The broadcaster says it expects two sets of results from the state in the coming hours. 

However, AP and Fox News have stood over their projection. 

TheJournal.ie is using AP calls so we have Biden on 264.

Nevada

As I said in the last post, if Biden takes Nevada (where he is leading), he could be elected the 46th President of the United States. 

But the state has stopped counting. And despite some confusion earlier, isn’t going to start again until tomorrow. 

So all eyes turn to Georgia now…

Georgia

Counting continues but the Trump campaign has just launched a suit to try to stop that.

That’s the third legal challenge, joining ones in Pennsylvania and Michigan. 

Meanwhile, the Fulton County Elections Director has said they will finish counting tonight (5am Irish time). 

It is a key democratic-leaning county and with Biden tightening the gap between himself and the incumbent there all day, it’s one that could possibly get the Democrat to 1000 Pennsylvania Avenue. 

PastedImage-21588

Meanwhile…

The country saw over 100,000 cases in one day and 1,116 deaths. 

There’s probably going to be a bit of a lull now – so if you are thinking about a nap, now would be a good time. 

If not, you can read exactly what Joe Biden said to the US in a televised address earlier. 

No one is going to take our democracy away from us, not now and not ever. America has come too far and America has fought too many battles and endured too much to ever let that happen.

“We, the people, will not be silenced or bullied and we will not surrender.

I am confident that we will emerge victorious. This will not be my victory alone or our victory alone but a victory for the American people, for our democracy and for America. There will be no red states or blue states when we win; just the United States of America.”

Full story here.

COMMENTS (82)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel