What we know so far about the 2020 election

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Miranda Bryant and Helen Sullivan in New York, Gabrielle Canon in San Francisco and Rory Carroll
·4 min read
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Americans headed to the polls on Tuesday in one of the most consequential elections in US history. As Wednesday dawned it appeared the country was in for a long and agonising fight for the White House. Here is what we know so far:

Trump falsely declares victory

  • So far Joe Biden has 238 electoral votes and Donald Trump has 213; a candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the presidency. The race has been much closer than many expected.

  • Even though many battleground states remain too close to call, Trump has baselessly claimed victory. He has also claimed without evidence that there has been a “fraud on the American public” and threatened to challenge results at the supreme court.

  • Election officials in Wisconsin are expected to announce results on Wednesday. However, Nevada, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Michigan may need several days to complete counting. Absentee ballots that have not yet been counted are expected to skew towards Biden.

  • Biden has been declared the winner of Arizona and its 11 electoral votes, limiting Trump’s path to victory. With Arizona in his column, Biden could potentially afford to lose Pennsylvania and still win the election if he carries Wisconsin and Michigan.

  • Trump has won Florida with its 29 electoral college votes, dealing a blow to Biden.

  • Biden addressed supporters shortly after Florida was called for Trump, saying, “I believe we’re on track to win this election.” Speaking in Delaware, he said, “We knew this was going to be long,” but “we feel good about where we are.”

States called so far

  • Polls have closed in all 50 states and results have been called in 39 states so far.

  • States to have been called so far for Biden include Arizona, Minnesota, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington state.

  • Those called for Trump include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming.

Senate latest

  • A Democratic drive to win control of the Senate appeared to fall short, with Democrats making a net gain of only one Republican-held seat while six other races remained undecided early on Wednesday.

  • Democrats defeated Republican senators Cory Gardner of Colorado and Martha McSally of Arizona but lost the Alabama seat held by Doug Jones.

  • Four Republican incumbents - Joni Ernst of Iowa, Steve Daines of Montana, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Cornyn of Texas – fended off Democratic challenges.

  • Democrats needed a net gain of four seats to win control of the Senate.

House latest

  • Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley have each won re-election.

  • Democratic House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has won re-election in California’s 12th congressional district. The Republican Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has also been re-elected in Kentucky.

  • Pelosi said Democrats have held the House. “Our purpose in this race was to win so that we could protect the Affordable Care Act and that we could crush the virus,” she said.

  • Donna Shalala, who served as health secretary under Bill Clinton, became one of the biggest Democratic casualties after losing to the Republican Maria Elvira Salazar.

Huge turnout

  • The US is on course to record the highest voter turnout in over a century. More than 101 million people voted early: the equivalent of 73% of the total votes cast in 2016, according to the US Elections Project. Experts predict the total turnout could ultimately be as high as 67%.

  • Nevada’s district court judge agreed to extend hours for some Last Vegas-area polling sites until 8pm PT (11pm ET). It came after the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit requesting the extension following reports of opening delays due to technical problems. Polls have now closed, but results are not yet out.

Exit polling

  • According to a CNN nationwide exit poll, about a third of voters said the economy was most important to them, around one in five said racial inequality and about one in six said the coronavirus pandemic.

  • National survey AP VoteCast found the electorate’s top concerns were the pandemic and the economy and that around two-thirds of voters were motivated by their view of Trump.

More details soon – follow this story through the night for “at a glance” updates of the key developments …