USA TODAY’S coverage of the 2020 election continues as states work to finish counting the ballots. Be sure to refresh this page often to get the latest information on how things are going.
USA TODAY will have live election results.
It’s officially the day after Election Day and the country, and world, are waking up without knowing who the next president of the United States will be.
It was expected we wouldn’t know who the victor was Tuesday night.
Mitch McConnell: Not unusual that Trump claimed victory
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., dismissed concerns Wednesday about President Donald Trump’s false claims that he won the election and the Supreme Court should get involved.
“It’s not unusual for people to claim they won the election,” McConnell told reporters in Kentucky. “But claiming you’ve won the election is different from finishing the counting.”
McConnell said he’s not troubled by Trump’s reference to a legal challenge because, in close elections, both sides lawyer up.
In early morning remarks at the White House, Trump cast doubt on the validity of ballots cast by mail because of the pandemic and said he would be going to the Supreme Court because “we want all voting to stop.”
Some Republicans have pushed back on Trump’s unfounded claims of fraud and threats of litigation.
McConnell praised the “beauty of the Electoral College,” saying it’s a useful system during close elections like this one. The Electoral College guarantees that you have finality in each state, he said.
“We ought to be grateful for the Electoral College,” he said, “in a close election like this.”
– Maureen Groppe
Campaign officials for former Vice President Joe Biden argued Wednesday that the former vice president is on a path to accumulate the Electoral College votes in competitive states to win the election against President Donald Trump, but that they would fight for every vote to be counted.
“Joe Biden is on track to win this election, and he will be the next president of the United States,” said Biden campaign manager Jennifer O’Malley Dillon.
“We expect that at some point later today that the vice president will address the American people,” she told reporters in a conference call. “We’re speaking clearly on the data in the states.”
When asked why the race was so close, O’Malley Dillon said: “They’re swing states for a reason.”
“We are going to win Wisconsin, recount or no recount,” she said, citing the prospect that a candidate could request a recount if the margin is within 1%. “We are very confident Wisconsin is ours.”
Bob Bauer, an expert in election law who is advising the Biden campaign, said Trump and the Republican Party tried repeatedly to halt voting in the days leading up to the end of voting Tuesday, but were rejected in state and federal courts. Bauer said Trump would also lose if he reached the Supreme Court.
“These specious claims were rejected by court after court,” Bauer said. “He will be in for one of the most embarrassing defeats any president has suffered before the highest court in the land.”
Trump’s court claims complained about guidance given to election officials, about the use of drop boxes, in-person absentee voting and the length of lines, Bauer said. But he said it’s impossible to imagine the Supreme Court supporting any of the claims.
“It’s impossible to imagine it will have any merit,” Bauer said. “We’re winning the election, we’ve won the election.”
– Bart Jansen
Democrats who hoped to gain statehouse control in some key battleground states came up short of their goals on Election Day, as redistricting of state and federal voting districts looms in the new year.
Overshadowed by the attention to national politics in the lead-up to the election, Democrats had methodically targeted seat pickup opportunities in several legislative chambers to flip party control in Arizona, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas.
While some statehouse seats are still being tallied, Republicans held onto control of many of those places, notably in North Carolina’s state House and Senate. Texas, considered one of the biggest flip opportunities, also stayed red. Republicans likely will hold key voting majorities in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan ahead of reapportionment next year.
Tallies by the National Conference on State Legislatures, a bipartisan group, said as of Wednesday morning, it appeared to be the fewest party control changes since 1944, when only four chambers changed hands, calling it “remarkably status quo.”
Majority party control in many states will play a crucial role in the once-in-a-decade redrawing of Congressional maps based on the new Census. Redistricting has become an increasingly political process, where critics say both parties seek to chop up the map to favor their party or to dilute the voting power of racial or ethnic minorities.
About 6,000 state legislative seats out of the nation’s 7,383 were up for grabs on Tuesday. Republicans have held a majority of state control since the 2010 election, when 13 chambers switched to majority GOP. Going into Tuesday night, Republicans had controlled 59 of 99 state legislative chambers.
– Nick Penzenstadler
President Donald Trump and his campaign aides began the day after the election Wednesday by criticizing the ongoing counting of ballots in battleground states, saying they would still prevail in winning the presidency.
“If we count all legal ballots, the president wins,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien told reporters Wednesday.
“We are confident in our pathway. We are confident in our math,” Stepien said, suggesting that the president would win Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, although he conceded that the Badger State was in “recount territory.”
Campaign official Jason Miller also suggested that the Associated Press and Fox News were wrong to call Arizona for Biden.
As his campaign aides projected confidence in the math, Trump himself complained about the process.
“Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled,” he tweeted. “Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the ‘pollsters’ got it completely & historically wrong!”
Record turnouts have slowed the counting process in states that will decide the presidential election, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina.
Democratic challenger Joe Biden and his aides are optimistic about winning those states.
– David Jackson and Courtney Subramanian
The Joe Biden campaign is bullish about its chances to reach 270 electoral votes to claim victory in the race for president as the counting of mail-in ballots continues in several battleground states.
“This is moving to a conclusion – and moving to a conclusion in our favor,” a campaign official told USA TODAY on Wednesday morning.
In Wisconsin, the official said the Biden campaign is “confident we have won” and expects it to be called later Wednesday morning.
In Michigan, the Biden campaign believes it has built an “insurmountable” lead, the official said, with the mail-ballots still to be counted expected to favor Biden. The campaign believes the race in Michigan will be called by midday Wednesday.
The aide said they feel “confident” about Pennsylvania, with votes from hundreds of thousands of mail-ballots in Philadelphia to be released either tonight or tomorrow.
The campaign expects vote counts in Georgia to conclude by the afternoon Wednesday and for Nevada to be called Thursday.
If Biden wins Nevada, Wisconsin and Michigan, it would put the former vice president at exactly 270 electoral votes regardless of what happens in Georgia or Pennsylvania.
– Joey Garrison
If vote-counting trends hold, Michigan is offering a vivid illustration of the blue wave.
Shortly after midnight, President Donald Trump had a big lead with 54% of the vote. Shortly after 9 a.m. EST, Democrat Joe Biden took the lead by 12,000 votes.
And there were still hundreds of thousands of ballots to count – most of them absentee, which tend to favor Democrats.
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said final results are likely by Wednesday night.
At least 5.26 million ballots were cast overall, a record that surpassed the 2008 vote, when Barack Obama won the state. More than 60% of the votes were cast by absentee ballot.
Turnout in heavily Democratic Detroit was expected to be close to 55%, the highest in two decades.
About 28,000 voters took advantage of same-day voter registration, which was offered in Michigan for the first time in a presidential election.
– Richard Wolf
Former Vice President Joe Biden holds a razor-thin lead of around 20,000 votes over President Donald Trump in Wisconsin with the majority of unofficial returns in.
However, the presidential race in Wisconsin has not yet been called.
Trump earlier led in the Midwestern battleground state but Biden made up ground through the night as mail-in ballots substantially broke for the Democratic challenger.
Ben Winkler, chairman of the Wisconsin’s Democratic Party, tweeted that “when all votes are counted, we’re confident Joe Biden will win Wisconsin.”
The state’s 10 electoral college votes will not, on their own, be enough to push Biden to hit the 270 electoral college ceiling needed to win the presidency.
Before the mail-in ballots started to be counted in Wisconsin, Trump had nurtured a lead of more than 100,000 votes. Trump won Wisconsin by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016.
– Kim Hjelmgaard and Craig Gilbert
Pennsylvania is waking up Wednesday without a winner, as its 20 electoral votes are poised to play a decisive role in a close presidential race.
Republican President Donald Trump is leading Democratic challenger Joe Biden 55%-43% in the Keystone State, but that could change after more than 1.4 million outstanding mail-in votes are counted.
Those mail-in votes are expected to heavily favor Biden because more Democrats voted by mail, while more Republicans voted in person. Also, the mail-in votes are largely uncounted in counties won by 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton: Philadelphia, Allegheny, Chester, Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery.
– Candy Woodall (USA TODAY Network Pennsylvania Capitol Bureau)
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden held a narrow lead in Nevada as of Wednesday morning as the Nevada Secretary of State said it would not release any more results until Thursday.
The Secretary of State’s office said in a Twitter post they had already counted all in-person early and Election Day votes, and mail ballots sent through Nov. 2. The state still had yet to count all of the mail ballots received on and after Election Day, as well as provisional ballots.
Nevada was one of several states that mailed all registered voters a ballot this year, making it difficult to estimate how many ballots were still left to count.
The state’s six electoral votes could be part of either candidate’s remaining path to victory with several states still counting ballots. Biden held a roughly 8,000-vote lead with about two-thirds of the vote counted.
– Nicholas Wu
Democratic nominee Joe Biden has secured the key battleground state of Arizona. It’s a state a Democratic presidential candidate has not won since Bill Clinton in 1996. Biden also picked up a win in Maine, with three of its four electoral votes (Maine is one of two states that doesn’t award all their electoral college votes to the statewide winner).
President Donald Trump secured wins in Texas, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Louisiana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas.
Biden won Minnesota, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, New Hampshire, Colorado, the District of Columbia, New Mexico, New York, Virginia, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois, Delaware and Connecticut.
That gives Biden 238 electoral college votes and Trump 213 after 3 a.m. EDT. A candidate needs 270 electoral college votes to win the election.
A top aide to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden slammed President Donald Trump’s premature declaration of victory early Wednesday and threatened to defend the counting of legally cast ballots in court.
“The president’s statement tonight about trying to shut down the counting of duly cast ballots was outrageous, unprecedented, and incorrect,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said in a statement. “It was outrageous because it is a naked effort to take away the democratic rights of American citizens.”
Trump falsely claimed during remarks at the White House early Wednesday that he had won the presidential contest, even though ballots were still being counting in several states that would actually determine the outcome, and he threatened to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the counting of ballots he described as a “fraud.”
Trump’s remarks were consistent with his statements prior to the election in which he sought to cast doubt on the millions of absentee ballots cast this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Those mail ballots always take time to count – sometimes several days. This year, there’s simply more of them to count.
Polls taken before the election indicated that Democrats were far more likely to vote by mail and Republicans were more apt to vote in person.
“We repeat what the Vice President said tonight: Donald Trump does not decide the outcome of this election. Joe Biden does not decide the outcome of this election,” O’Malley Dillon said in a statement. “The American people decide the outcome of this election. And the democratic process must and will continue until its conclusion.”
– John Fritze
Biden and Trump express confidence
Democratic nominee Joe Biden addressed supporters late Tuesday night, saying he felt he was “on track” to win the election because of support from mail-in votes, while urging supporters to exercise patience while states count ballots.
“We feel good about where we are,” Biden said. “We really do.”
Early Wednesday morning, Trump suggested – falsely – that he had already won, while million of ballots remained outstanding.
“Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump told supporters in the East Room of the White House. “As far as I’m concerned, we have already have won.”
Facebook and Twitter on early Wednesday warned social media users that Trump’s claim is potentially misleading.
Dems losing chance to flip the Senate
The chances of Democrats flipping enough seats to take control of the Senate appeared to be dwindling early Wednesday as Republicans fended off challenges in a number of key races. You can track those results here.
You can also stay updated on control over the House of Representatives here as Democrats are projected to retain control but have been underperforming.
Battleground states up for grabs
A number of battleground states are still on the table as of 3 a.m. EDT, but a few crucial ones have been called.
Trump held on to some crucial battleground states he needed for a road to reelection, including Ohio, Texas, Florida, and Iowa.
However, Democratic nominee Joe Biden made gains in Arizona and Nebraska’s 2nd District, which rules out the possibility of a 269-269 electoral tie, while also keeping Minnesota and New Hampshire in the blue column.
The southern states of North Carolina and Georgia are too close to call, which, if either swing to Biden, would be gains from years past.
In Georgia, a few blue counties stopped counting ballots earlier in the night. One of those, Fulton County, which is home to Atlanta, had a pipe burst earlier Tuesday at State Farm Arena, which delayed the counting of absentee ballots. Democrats could pick up numbers there.
Key states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are not expecting to know who the winner is until at earliest Wednesday morning, though some are predicting it could be a few days to accurately count all mail-in ballots.