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Biden takes narrow lead in Wisconsin and Michigan

Joe Biden has taken a narrow lead in the key swing states of Wisconsin and Michigan, pushing him closer to an overall victory, despite Trump claiming overnight that he’d won the entire election, labeling it a ‘fraud’ that he didn’t yet have enough electoral college votes and vowing to go to the Supreme Court to challenge it. 

Neither the President nor Joe Biden has yet reached the 270 electoral college votes they need to claim the White House and ballot counting will continue throughout the day and even the week. 

But if Biden wins in Michigan and Wisconsin then takes Nevada – which he is expected to but where the result will take at least until tomorrow – he will win.  

The lead keeps bouncing between the two candidates in the two key states of Wisconsin and Michigan – which are the next likely to be called – but on Wednesday morning, Biden inched ahead in both.

In Wisconsin, Biden is ahead with 49.4% of the vote to Trump’s 48.85%. 

In Michigan, Biden has now squeaked ahead 49.5% and Trump has 48.9% of the vote. Michigan holds significantly more electoral college votes – 16 – than Wisconsin’s 10. 

Biden campaign officials welcomed the news on Wednesday morning, saying: ‘Things are moving to a conclusion — and moving to a conclusion in our favor.’ 

Pennsylvania has said will keep counting mail-in ballots until Friday and it’s unclear when a final result will come in in the other states. Trump is currently leading there with 54% of the vote but only 65% of the ballots have been counted. He is also leading in North Carolina, with 50% of the vote.

Despite the huge outstanding uncertainty, Trump held a victory party on Tuesday night and said at the White House: ‘Frankly we did win this election. We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at four in the morning and add them to the list.’  

Donald Trump on Wednesday at 2.30am, declaring election victory despite many of the votes still being counted. He has vowed to go to the Supreme Court to challenge what he is calling a 'fraud' outcome so far

Donald Trump on Wednesday at 2.30am, declaring election victory despite many of the votes still being counted. He has vowed to go to the Supreme Court to challenge what he is calling a ‘fraud’ outcome so far 

Joe Biden made a speech just after midnight Tuesday asking Americans to be patient and claiming he would eventually be the victor despite failing to land knockout blows in Florida, Ohio and Texas 

A breakdown of the electoral college shows how much each state is worth. This was the situation before the first votes started coming in. There have not yet been any major surprises. Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan are the key swing states and Trump won Ohio and Florida

The race in the key states of Michigan and Wisconsin is excruciatingly close but Biden is inching ahead. Trump won both states in 2016. Together, they represent 26 electoral college votes

The race in the key states of Michigan and Wisconsin is excruciatingly close but Biden is inching ahead. Trump won both states in 2016. Together, they represent 26 electoral college votes

The race in the key states of Michigan and Wisconsin is excruciatingly close but Biden is inching ahead. Trump won both states in 2016. Together, they represent 26 electoral college votes

He railed that the election had not been called already by TV networks and the press – although that is not their role. Trump then threatened a legal challenge –  without explaining how – saying he was going to go to the Supreme Court.

Even Republicans called his remarks ‘distressing’ and shocking. Biden, meanwhile, has vowed to wait for all of the votes to be counted before conceding or claiming victory.     

On Tuesday night, Trump claimed that a ‘very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise’ his voters. ‘They can’t catch us,’ Trump complained several times, as he rattled off the current set of vote totals. 

The president also grumbled that ‘somebody’ – Fox News – had called Arizona for Biden. Almost as soon as he left the East Room that call was also made by the Associated Press.

Votes from major metro areas that lean Democratic – including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Detroit and Atlanta – are still being counted, with updates not expected for several hours. The deadline in Pennsylvania for late-arriving ballots is Friday. 

STATES STILL BEING COUNTED  

Pennsylvania – Reporting 75%

  • Trump – 55.75%
  • Joe Biden- 43.06%   

Wisconsin – Reporting 97% 

  • Trump  –  48.8%  
  • Joe Biden- 49.4%

Michigan – Reporting 87%

  • Trump – 49.4%
  • Biden – 48.9%

Georgia –  Reporting 94% 

  • Trump – 50.48%
  • Biden – 48.30%

Nevada – Reporting 67%

  • Trump – 49.23%
  • Biden – 48.59%

North Carolina  – Reporting 94%

  • Trump – 50.09% 
  • Biden – 48.69%

 

Trump’s statement came two hours after Biden took to a stage with his wife Jill to say that he believed he was going to win but that every vote had to be counted.

Biden had been first to speak, just after midnight, saying ‘it ain’t over till every vote is counted,’ in an address from Wilmington, Delaware. 

In response to Trump’s vow to sue and stop the count, the former VP’s campaign manager Jennifer O’Malley Dillon said: ‘The counting will not stop. It will continue until every duly cast vote is counted. Because that is what our laws — the laws that protect every Americans’ constitutional right to vote — require.’

 ‘Nearly 100 million people cast their ballot before Election Day in the belief — and with the assurances from their state election officials — that their ballot would be counted.

‘Now Donald Trump is trying to invalidate the ballot of every voter who relied on these assurances,’ she continued. 

‘If the president makes good on his threat to go to court to try to prevent the proper tabulation of votes, we have legal teams standing by ready to deploy to resist that effort. And they will prevail.’ 

Vice President Mike Pence took the podium after Trump and vowed to ‘remain vigilant, as the president said.’

‘We are going to protect the integrity of the vote,’ Pence continued. ‘But I really believe with all of my heart, with the extraordinary margins, Mr. President, that you’ve inspired in the states that you just described, and the way that you launched this movement across the country to Make America Great Again, I truly do believe, as you do, that we are on the road to victory and we will Make America Great Again, again.’

Trump provided little clarity about what he has in mind for his legal team after claiming falsely early Wednesday that he already ‘won’ the election.

Trump said he was ‘going’ to the Supreme Court, when in fact the course of action would be for Republican lawyers to sue in individual states and county jurisdictions seeking to stop or modify the count in some way.

If, for example, Republicans allege that there is a problem in the county in Allegheny County, PA, they first must go to court there, appeal through the Pennsylvania courts system and then if they are not satisfied, go to a federal court. Federal court decisions are appealed to the federal appeals circuit, and from there to the Supreme Court.

It is also up to the Supreme Court to decide whether it even hears a case. It can simply decline to take it which leaves in place whatever ruling the federal appeals circuit has made.

Three different federal appeals circuits are potentially involved in the Midwestern states.

Pennsylvania is in the Third Circuit, which had a majority of Trump and George W. Bush appointees; Michigan is in the Sixth Circuit which is majority Republican appointed, and Wisconsin is in the Seventh, against majority Republican.

‘So we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court,’ Trump said in a speech to supporters at the White House where he railed against TV networks for making election calls that went against him while pointing out the battleground states where he holds leads over Joe Biden.

‘We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at four in the morning and add them to the list,’ Trump said.

His chief legal obstacle is that states, who oversee elections under the Constitution, are fulfilling their obligations by counting votes lawfully cast. Seeking to stop the count before all votes are accounted for would likely run into constitutional protections for ‘one person, one vote’ grounded in the Equal Protection clause. 

'Frankly we did win this election,' Trump said in a 2.30am speech. 'We want all voting to stop. We don't want them to find any ballots at four in the morning and add them to the list'

‘Frankly we did win this election,’ Trump said in a 2.30am speech. ‘We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at four in the morning and add them to the list’

'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,' Trump proclaimed in the White House's East Room, surrounded by his family and supporters

‘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,’ Trump proclaimed in the White House’s East Room, surrounded by his family and supporters 

Vice President Mike Pence spoke after Trump's remarks and said he is confident Republicans will win the White House. Pence vowed to 'remain vigilant, as the president said'

Vice President Mike Pence spoke after Trump’s remarks and said he is confident Republicans will win the White House. Pence vowed to ‘remain vigilant, as the president said’

Trump has repeatedly claimed mail-in ballots are fraudulent. However, lawyers representing his campaign and Republicans have already gone to court seeking to stop states from counting mail-in ballots after Election Day.

In the case of Wisconsin, the Supreme Court already upheld Wisconsin’s voting laws requiring mail-in ballots be received by Nov. 3 to get counted. What was holding up results there was simply the process of ballots already in.

‘We will win this. As far as I’m concerned, we already have won,’ Trump told supporters. 

Pennsylvania is further behind in completing its count, with less than three-quarters of the vote in around 4 am. Before the election, there was reporting in the Atlantic that amid a dispute over ballots, the Republican legislature could try to send a set of pro-Trump electors if the state’s vote remained undecided or contested in December.

The state was already the site of a pre-election battle that had the Supreme Court deciding 4-4 to allow mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day to come in for three days after the election.

The decision itself would appear to contradict Trump’s claim that he has already ‘won’ based on an election that has not yet been certified with ballots still allowed to come in.

In just one example of the kind of multi-front campaign GOP lawyers could have in mind, a Republican congressional candidate has sued suburban Montgomery County outside Philadelphia claiming the state improperly began its count too early. The suit accuses the county of making ‘arbitrary standards’ – even as Trump complains about the process of deciding the election taking too long.

The astonishing move was immediately condemned by his own party. 

Conservative pundit Ben Shapiro tweeted, ‘No, Trump has not already won the election, and it is deeply irresponsible for him to say he has.’

Fox News was also critical of Trump’s approach.

‘This is an extremely flammable situation and the president just threw a match into it,’ said Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, who moderated the first presidential debate. ‘He hasn’t won these states.’

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who advises Trump and helped him with debate prep, believed the president would come to regret it.

‘It’s a bad strategic decision. It’s a bad political decision,’ Christie said.

Former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum, speaking on CNN, copped it up to Trump being stressed, old and it being 2 a.m. and suggested he would walk back his comments tomorrow and say every vote needs to be counted.

‘I was very distressed by what I just heard the president say,’ Santorum said.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on election night in the East Room of the White House as First Lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Karen Pence look on. Trump spoke shortly after 2am with the presidential race against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden still too close to call

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on election night in the East Room of the White House as First Lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Karen Pence look on. Trump spoke shortly after 2am with the presidential race against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden still too close to call

Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Lara Trump, Eric Trump, Tiffany Trump and Michael Boulos all appear on election night in the East Room of the White House in the early morning hours of Wednesday

Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Lara Trump, Eric Trump, Tiffany Trump and Michael Boulos all appear on election night in the East Room of the White House in the early morning hours of Wednesday 

Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump appear on election night in the East Room of the White House

Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump appear on election night in the East Room of the White House

Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump appear on election night in the East Room of the White House. Donald Trump Jr had earlier shared an Instagram snap of the elaborate viewing party posing with his siblings Eric and Ivanka and their children saying: ‘In the game. Let’s do this.’ Lara Trump also shared a snap with Guilfoyle with a celebratory emoji

Biden was handed Arizona by Fox News, and later by the Associated Press, in a call which the White House was disputing. Both he and Trump are now effectively in a stalemate which can only be ended by the lengthy process of counting mail-in ballots.

‘We feel good about where we are, we really do. I’m here to tell you tonight, we believe we’re on track to win this election,’ Biden told supporters gathered outside the Chase Center just after midnight. He pointed to the gain of Arizona and Minnesota, which NBC News said was leaning Biden minutes before he came onstage.

Trump tweeted that 'they are trying to STEAL the Election' and said he will be making a statement tonight. Trump's accusation that Biden was trying to 'steal the election' was flagged almost immediately by Twitter as 'misleading'

Trump tweeted that ‘they are trying to STEAL the Election’ and said he will be making a statement tonight. Trump’s accusation that Biden was trying to ‘steal the election’ was flagged almost immediately by Twitter as ‘misleading’

Trump's accusation that Biden was trying to 'steal the election' was flagged almost immediately by Twitter as 'misleading'

Trump’s accusation that Biden was trying to ‘steal the election’ was flagged almost immediately by Twitter as ‘misleading’

‘And we’re still in the game in Georgia, although that’s not one we expected,’ Biden said. ‘We feel real good about Wisconsin and Michigan. And, by the way, we’re going to win Pennsylvania,’ he said, getting copious honks from his drive-in crowd.

Biden said he was ‘encouraged,’ especially, by turnout in Philadelphia, which is adjacent to Wilmington.

‘Look, we could know the results as early as tomorrow morning. 

‘It may take longer as I’ve said all along,’ he said. ‘It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to call who wins this election, that’s the decision of the American people.’

‘I am optimistic about this outcome,’ he said.

Right before he exited he told the crowd that he and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, would be talking tomorrow.

As Biden was pulling in, the jumbotrons, which were playing MSNBC, announced that President Donald Trump had officially won Florida – the first sign Tuesday that the U.S. was in for a long night.

Big swaths of potentially Democratic votes were outstanding in places like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Detroit and Atlanta when Biden appeared.

Trump tweeted immediately after Biden’s speech to accuse Biden of fraud and say he was ‘winning BIG’ and would make his own statement.

‘Votes cannot be cast after the Poles are closed!’ he tweeted from the White House residence – spelling polls incorrectly, but making clear that the battle will be over late-arriving mail-in ballots.

Biden tweeted that it is not his nor Donald Trump's place to declare the winner of the election

Biden tweeted that it is not his nor Donald Trump’s place to declare the winner of the election 

Trump tweeted that ‘they are trying to STEAL the Election’. His accusation was flagged almost immediately by Twitter as ‘misleading’ 

After 1am, Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional district – which is worth one electoral vote – was called for Biden.

Trump won the rest of state, collecting four electoral college votes.   

The gain for Biden is notable because it will prevent a 269-269 tie between the two presidential candidates. In 2016, Trump won all three of Nebraska’s Congressional districts and thus all of its five electoral votes.

Trump snatched the biggest electoral prizes of the night in the closing minutes of Tuesday, as he took Ohio, Florida and Texas.

But Biden scored the first takeaway of the evening as he was also given Arizona, making the western battleground the first state to change hands from 2016.

The gain provided Biden a precarious path to victory even if he were to lose one of three Midwestern states with tight races that are part of his battle plan.

But that means the election now hinges on results which are certain to take well into Wednesday and probably even longer to be determined.

In Wisconsin, outstanding ballots in the state are coming in from red counties, including Brown County, where Green Bay is located – and where Trump held a rally on October 30. Those ballots, however, are from the mail-in category, which tend to tilt Democratic.

If Biden snags Wisconsin, he just needs Georgia, Pennsylvania or Michigan to win 270 Electoral votes.  

Joe Biden’s wife Jill stood by him as he proclaimed, ‘it ain’t over till every vote is counted, we’re going to win this’ despite losing Florida, Ohio and Texas

After 1am, Nebraska's 2nd Congressional district - which is worth one electoral vote - was called for Biden

After 1am, Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional district – which is worth one electoral vote – was called for Biden

Biden is leading Trump in Arizona. The projected victory means he can take away the state's 11 electoral votes from the 306-vote coalition Trump assembled four years ago

Biden is leading Trump in Arizona. The projected victory means he can take away the state’s 11 electoral votes from the 306-vote coalition Trump assembled four years ago 

TRUMP’S LEGAL OPTIONS TO STOP ‘ALL VOTING’ AFTER CLAIMING ELECTION FRAUD AND VOWING TO GO TO THE SUPREME COURT

Trump provided little clarity about what he has in mind for his legal team after claiming falsely early Wednesday that he already ‘won’ the election, calling Tuesday’s election a ‘fraud on the American people’, and demanding that ‘all voting stop’.

Trump said he was ‘going’ to the Supreme Court to stop the counting of votes, when in fact the course of action would be for Republican lawyers to sue in individual state and county jurisdictions that seek to stop or modify the count in some way.

If, for example, Republicans allege that there is a problem in the county of Allegheny County, PA, they first must go to court there, appeal through the Pennsylvania courts system and then if they are not satisfied, go to a federal court. Federal court decisions are appealed to the federal appeals circuit, and from there to the Supreme Court.

It is also up to the Supreme Court to decide whether it even hears a case. It can simply decline to take it which leaves in place whatever ruling the federal appeals circuit has made. 

Three different federal appeals circuits are potentially involved in the Midwestern states.

Pennsylvania is in the Third Circuit, which had a majority of Trump and George W. Bush appointees; Michigan is in the Sixth Circuit which is majority Republican appointed, and Wisconsin is in the Seventh, against majority Republican.

‘So we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court,’ Trump said in a speech to supporters at the White House at 2.30am where he railed against TV networks for making election calls that went against him while pointing out the battleground states where he holds leads over Joe Biden.

‘We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at four in the morning and add them to the list,’ Trump said.

His chief legal obstacle is that states, who oversee elections under the Constitution, are fulfilling their obligations by counting votes lawfully cast. Seeking to stop the count before all votes are accounted for would likely run into constitutional protections for ‘one person, one vote’ grounded in the Equal Protection clause.

Trump has repeatedly claimed mail-in ballots are fraudulent. However, lawyers representing his campaign and Republicans have already gone to court seeking to stop states from counting mail-in ballots after Election Day.   

In the case of Wisconsin, which still had considerable outstanding vote Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court already upheld Wisconsin’s voting laws requiring mail-in ballots be received by November 3 to get counted. What was holding up results there was simply the process of ballots already in. 

‘We will win this. As far as I’m concerned, we already have won,’ Trump told supporters.

Pennsylvania is further behind in completing its count, with less than three-quarters of the vote in around 4am. Before the election, there was reporting in the Atlantic that amid a dispute over ballots, the Republican legislature could try to send a set of pro-Trump electors if the state’s vote remained undecided or contested in December.

The state was already the site of a pre-election battle that had the Supreme Court deciding 4-4 to allow mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day to come in for three days after the election.

The decision itself would appear to contradict Trump’s claim that he has already ‘won’ based on an election that has not yet been certified with ballots still allowed to come in.

In just one example of the kind of multi-front campaign GOP lawyers could have in mind, a Republican congressional candidate has sued suburban Montgomery County outside Philadelphia claiming the state improperly began its count too early. The suit accuses the county of making ‘arbitrary standards’ – even as Trump complains about the process of deciding the election taking too long.

 

Keeping Ohio, Florida and Texas also suggested that polls had badly underestimated Trump’s support in the key battlegrounds – with some giving Biden double-digit leads with days to go, only for it to evaporate.

Ohio, with its 18 Electoral Votes, is a state Trump carried in 2016, but it represented an opportunity for Biden. He made a quick visit to Cleveland one of his final trips of the campaign.

Biden also eyed Florida as a prime electoral prize, but it was only a part of several electoral vote scenarios his team prepared to execute.

Having Florida and Ohio in his column handed the president key pieces of his 2016 successful electoral map – depriving Joe Biden of an early prize that would have sent a powerful signal had he won it.

However, the AP and other networks stopped short of calling Florida for Trump, given the close margin, outstanding vote, and the state’s history of close and contested elections.

A Trump loss in Florida had been potentially devastating. Instead, he was on track to keep a state where public polls had Biden with a narrow lead. Trump made Florida, a regular battleground, his official residence after moving it from New York.

Biden is leading Trump in Arizona. The projected victory means he can take away the state’s 11 electoral votes from the 306-vote coalition Trump assembled four years ago. 

That means Biden now needs to win two of the three Midwestern states which Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 to get to 270 electoral college votes. But with Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin all saying that mail-in ballot counting is going to run into Wednesday and even later, that means there is no rapid resolution in sight.

Biden made Arizona a top target, hoping to bank on demographic changes there. He got another boost when Cindy McCain, widow of the late Arizona Senator John McCain, endorsed him and campaigned with him. John McCain has been a regular Trump target, and his vote in the Senate helped kill a GOP effort to repeal Obamacare.

With Florida out of reach, Biden could still look to North Carolina, but he was trailing Trump there with 95 per cent of the vote in. Trump also held a narrow lead in Iowa with 84% of precincts reporting. In Georgia, Trump was leading 53 to 45, with 80% of precincts reporting.

Adding to the confusion and drama of the evening, each state counted its votes differently – with some running through early votes quickly, and others starting with Election Day votes, and mail-in ballots continuing to be the wild card.

The first sign of trouble for the Democrat began with disappointing vote totals coming in from Miami-Dade County in Florida. Biden ran ahead of President Trump there – but was only up 53 to 46% with 95% of precincts reporting. 

That wasn’t enough to match Hillary Clinton’s totals, and didn’t appear to be enough to offset Trump advantages in other rural parts of the state. It was a sign that Biden hadn’t done what he needed to do to lock down support among the state’s many Cuban-American, Venezuelan-American, and other Hispanic voters. 

Improvements over Clinton’s numbers outside Tampa and around Jacksonville might not be enough to make up the difference, and the state was too close to call with 94% of precincts reporting, although Trump was holding on to a narrow lead.

Florida has a long history of close elections and contested counts, and networks were loath to make final calls even with Trump leading 51 to 48 with 94% of precincts reporting. 

An early lead for Biden in Texas also slipped away, with Trump leading 51 to 47 with 80% of precincts reporting.

None of those state results were final, and there were also encouraging signs for Biden, including outperforming Clinton in some suburban areas that were key to Trump’s victory. 

In a sign that Democrats’ vast fundraising had failed to bring about success, the $100million spent by Jaime Harrison to unseat Lindsey Graham in South Carolina failed, with the Republican winning by a projected margin of as much as 10 points.

‘WE ARE LOOKING REALLY GOOD ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. THANK YOU!’ Trump tweeted early Tuesday evening before the votes came in, after sounding hoarse and tired in an early morning radio interview and scheduling a quick visit to his campaign headquarters Tuesday.

Trump held an early lead in Michigan, leading 55 to 44 with 38% of precincts reporting.

But less than a third of the vote was in in vote-rich Wayne County, which includes Detroit. Biden was up 52 to 47 in Oakland County outside Detroit with 58% of the vote in.  

With votes being counted there was nothing for the two candidates to do but wait. 

Joe Biden took Vermont, which was expected, and claimed three electoral college votes. He also took Virginia, with 13 electoral college votes

Joe Biden took Vermont, which was expected, and claimed three electoral college votes. He also took Virginia, with 13 electoral college votes

Supporters fill the street as Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a stop in Philadelphia Tuesday

Supporters fill the street as Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a stop in Philadelphia Tuesday

Trump snatched the biggest electoral prize of the night before midnight Tuesday, as networks declared him the winner in Florida. Trump also picked up Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana, as he was expected to do, as first polls close. Trump won eight electoral votes from Kentucky, five from West Virginia and 11 from Indiana

Trump snatched the biggest electoral prize of the night before midnight Tuesday, as networks declared him the winner in Florida. Trump also picked up Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana, as he was expected to do, as first polls close. Trump won eight electoral votes from Kentucky, five from West Virginia and 11 from Indiana

Trump sent mixed-messaging on when he feels the winner of the election will be known as he told a room full of his staffers at his Arlington, Virginia campaign headquarters: 'Losing is never easy. Not for me, it's not'

Trump sent mixed-messaging on when he feels the winner of the election will be known as he told a room full of his staffers at his Arlington, Virginia campaign headquarters: ‘Losing is never easy. Not for me, it’s not’

President Trump watched returns in the upstairs residence of the White House with family and close advisers. Downstairs in the East Wing, Trump supporters watched returns on TV screens showing Fox News and snacking on fast food, including French fries and hamburgers.

Biden is at his home in Wilmington, watching the votes come in with his family.   

Trump won eight electoral votes from Kentucky, five from West Virginia and 11 from Indiana, while Biden took three for Vermont.   

'WE ARE LOOKING REALLY GOOD ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. THANK YOU!' Trump tweeted early Tuesday evening before the votes came in

‘WE ARE LOOKING REALLY GOOD ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. THANK YOU!’ Trump tweeted early Tuesday evening before the votes came in

The Supreme Court extended deadlines in North Carolina and Pennsylvania for officials there to accept mail-in ballots, a blow to Republicans. Trump, in particular, has railed against the Pennsylvania decision and has threatened legal action in the state against any disputed ballots.   

‘We believe this to be a tight race,’ Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said Tuesday evening on a call with reporters. ‘We believe every votes going to matter. It’s going to come down to turnout. We think we’re better positioned in that sort of in that type of campaign.’

There have been reports of long lines at polls across the country. As long as voters are in line by the time polls close, they are allowed to vote.

Biden refused to say how the night will go, telling reporters Tuesday outside a Delaware community center that he’s ‘superstitious’ about offering predictions but remains ‘hopeful.’

‘The things that are happening bode well for the base that has been supporting me — but we´ll see,’ he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scored the first important win of the election night, with networks calling his race for reelection soon after the polls closed in Kentucky

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scored the first important win of the election night, with networks calling his race for reelection soon after the polls closed in Kentucky

But he noted things were ‘so uncertain’ because of the large number of states in play. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scored the first important win of the election night, with networks calling his race for reelection soon after the polls closed in Kentucky.

It was a result that political experts had forecast – but it dashed the hopes of Trump ‘resistance’ members who poured contributions into the race in hopes of turning back a prime facilitator of the president’s agenda.

McConnell, the architect of the strategy to push through a quick confirmation for Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, was leading Democrat Amy McGrath 56% to 40%, with about two-thirds of the state’s vote counted.

McConnell, who also helped push through Trump’s tax cuts and confirmed a raft of appeals court judges, also designed the strategy to block President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland.

What is still unknown is whether he will return to the Senate next year as majority leader or as minority leader – with Democrats holding a decent chance of taking over the chamber, where Republicans hold a 53 to 47 edge.

He won in a what was looking to be a difficult year for incumbent Republicans after spending 36 years in the Senate, defeating McGrath, a former Marine fighter pilot, as President Donald Trump carried the state.

Democrats made McConnell a top target even with ample other opportunities on the map, funneling $88 million to McGrath and shattering records compared to $55million for McConnell, a proven fundraiser.

Both Biden and Donald Trump have been eyeing Pennsylvania as one of the key swing states in the White House race. 

Pennsylvania accounts for a significant 20 electoral votes meaning both Republicans and Democrats – as well as pollsters – believe the outcome of the state could dictate the entire race.  

Concerns are mounting that Trump will declare victory in the state long before votes are counted or that he will attempt to stop mail-in votes being counted after election day. 

Democrats are thought to be more likely to vote by mail-in voting given Trump’s constant rhetoric that the process is ‘rigged’. 

Colorado Senator Cory Gardner became the first major political casualty Tuesday night, after former governor and Denver mayor John Hickenlooper defeated him.

Gardner was considered one of the most endangered Republican incumbents on the ballot Tuesday, running in a state where Joe Biden was running strongly against President Trump.

His defeat would take the GOP’s narrow Senate majority down to 52 votes – however should Republicans knock off Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones it would be a wash.

Gardner trailed Hickenlooper in opinion polls going into election day, and Hickenlooper overcame some of his own stumbles after he was forced to pay a state ethics fine. He ran for president this year and stumbled, but was considered a top Democratic prospect in his state.

Like other Senate Republicans, Hickenlooper became tied to Trump, who was viewed negatively in the state. Although he once criticized Trump during the 2016 campaign after the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape, Gardner, a former leader of his party’s campaign wing, didn’t put much distance between himself and the president.

He said he thought Trump was moral and ethical when asked about it during a candidates’ debate. ‘I wish he could be more specific in his communications with the American people,’ Gardner added.

 

Lindsey Graham beat out his challenger, Jaime Harrison, who became a potent fundraiser, and as the race tightened Graham was forced to go on Fox News repeatedly to ask national viewers to make contributions to his reelection effort

Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham reacts after marking his ballot electronically while voting in the general election on Election day  at the Corinth-Shiloh Fire Dept. in Seneca, S.C

Lindsey Graham beat out his challenger, Jaime Harrison, who became a potent fundraiser, and as the race tightened Graham was forced to go on Fox News repeatedly to ask national viewers to make contributions to his reelection effort

Colorado Senator Cory Gardner (pictured) became the first major political casualty Tuesday night, after former Democratic governor and Denver mayor John Hickenlooper defeated him

Colorado Senator Cory Gardner became the first major political casualty Tuesday night, after former Democratic governor and Denver mayor John Hickenlooper (pictured) defeated him

Colorado Senator Cory Gardner (left) became the first major political casualty Tuesday night, after former Democratic governor and Denver mayor John Hickenlooper (right) defeated him

Mike Pence casts his ballot next to Second Lady Karen Pence during the US presidential election at the Marion County Clerk's Office in Indianapolis, Indiana

Mike Pence casts his ballot next to Second Lady Karen Pence during the US presidential election at the Marion County Clerk’s Office in Indianapolis, Indiana

Lindsey Graham’s race became a surprise tossup of the election cycle.

Graham’s challenger, Jaime Harrison, became a potent fundraiser, and as the race tightened Graham was forced to go on Fox News repeatedly to ask national viewers to make contributions to his reelection effort.

He became a favorite target of Democrats, having forged a reputation as an independent-minded Republican who befriended John McCain and ran against Trump – only to become one of the president’s most loyal allies.

Graham in 2016 called Trump a ‘race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot,’ while Trump once gave out his personal cell number at a campaign rally. But the two mended fences after Trump one, and Graham became the president’s frequent golf partner and advisor.

Graham headed up an investigation of the FBI’s crossfire hurricane probe of Russian election interference. Then, upon the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he oversaw the quick confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s nominee.

Harrison, a former party official in the state, blew through fundraising records and amassed $57 million in the final quarter. But it wasn’t enough. Graham was leading 55 to 44% with 43% of precincts reporting, and the Associated Press called the race around 10pm.

Nearly 100 million Americans nationwide have voted early, but it fell on election day voters to finish the job.

Control of the Senate is at stake, too: Democrats needed to net three seats if Biden captures the White House to gain control of all of Washington for the first time in a decade. 

If Biden loses to Trump, the Democrats can still take control of the Senate if they take four Republican seats.  

Meanwhile, the House is expected to remain under Democratic control.

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America has its say: Huge lines form at the crack of dawn outside polling stations across the country as Election Day voters add to 100 million ballots ALREADY cast 

Americans have started casting their Election Day ballots in the bitterly contested presidential race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden as polling places opened across the United States.

Long lines started forming well before dawn on Tuesday with polls opening in some eastern states as early as 6am EST. 

Those casting their ballots on Election Day will add to the record number of Americans – nearly 100 million – that voted early either in person or by mail.

Some who voted early were motivated not only by concerns about waiting in lines on Election Day amid the COVID-19 pandemic but also by extraordinary levels of enthusiasm after a polarizing campaign. 

While there were long lines in many places, in some states lines were shorter – potentially a reflection of the massive early vote. 

In Pennsylvania, dozens of voters lined up bundled in jackets and hats on an unseasonably chilly morning. Some voters in suburban Ohio and Michigan braved the cold temperatures as they started lining up outside polling stations before the sun had even risen. 

UNION, KENTUCKY: Hundreds of voters wait in line at a polling location at the Larry A Ryle High School in Union

UNION, KENTUCKY: Hundreds of voters wait in line at a polling location at the Larry A Ryle High School in Union

PALM BEACH, FLORIDA: People stand in line to vote at the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center first thing Tuesday morning on the last day to cast their vote for either Trump or Biden

PALM BEACH, FLORIDA: People stand in line to vote at the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center first thing Tuesday morning on the last day to cast their vote for either Trump or Biden

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY: Voters check in with election officials before receiving their ballots at Ballard High School

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY: Voters check in with election officials before receiving their ballots at Ballard High School

MARSHFIELD, MASS: Voters braved long lines and cold weather outside a polling station at Marshfield High School

MARSHFIELD, MASS: Voters braved long lines and cold weather outside a polling station at Marshfield High School

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA: A protester dressed as a Handmaids Tale character outside the Marion County Clerk's Office where US Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence vote in the US presidential election on October 23

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA: A protester dressed as a Handmaids Tale character outside the Marion County Clerk’s Office where US Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence vote in the US presidential election on October 23

HOUSTON, TEXAS: Lines outside this polling station in Houston Texas stretched around the block after opening

HOUSTON, TEXAS: Lines outside this polling station in Houston Texas stretched around the block after opening

In McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania, Martin Seylar, a 45-year-old welder who had just finished his shift, said of Trump, his preferred candidate: ‘He’s a bit of a jerk, and I appreciate that.

‘He doesn’t get everything that he says done, but the way I see it is he’s trying, versus where everybody else blows smoke at us.’

In Detroit, Republican voter Nick Edwards, 26, cast a ballot for Biden but voted for Republican candidates for Congress.

‘Honestly, decency in the White House,’ Edwards said when asked about his main concern. ‘When someone leads the party, they need to hold those values, as well. I don’t think Trump encompasses that.’

Biden, the Democratic former vice president who has spent a half century in public life, has held a strong and consistent lead in national opinion polls over the Republican president. But Trump is close enough in several election battleground states that he could piece together the 270 state-by-state Electoral College votes needed to win the election. 

The most closely watched results will start to trickle in after 7pm EST when polls close in states such as Georgia.

Definitive national results, however, could take days if the contest is tight.  

Results in Florida, where mail-in ballots can be counted before Election Day, are expected to begin to come in relatively quickly on Tuesday night. 

But Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin will not begin counting the vast majority of mail ballots until Election Day, raising the possibility of a prolonged vote count that could stretch for several days.  

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA: Voters check in at First Ward Elementary School in Charlotte, North Carolina shortly after the polls opened on Election Day

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA: Voters check in at First Ward Elementary School in Charlotte, North Carolina shortly after the polls opened on Election Day

LOS ANGELES: People wait in line for the vote center to open at the Pantages Theatre on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to cast their ballots

LOS ANGELES: People wait in line for the vote center to open at the Pantages Theatre on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to cast their ballots

PORTLAND, MAINE: People wait in line to vote in Maine first thing Tuesday morning

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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