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All eyes on battleground states as margins narrow and counts continue

Joe Biden's Electoral College lead grew Wednesday afternoon as he flipped Wisconsin and Michigan.
Image: Mail-in ballots are counted in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
Mail-in ballots are counted in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday. Rachel Wisniewski / Reuters

Good morning, NBC News readers.

We're still in electoral purgatory. The presidential election remains undecided as all eyes focus on the final vote count in a handful of swing states.

Here's where things stand this Thursday morning.

Biden gains Wisconsin and Michigan as tense nation watches final count

The outcome of the presidential election is still unknown this morning as the nation focuses its attention on five battleground states that are still counting the crush of ballots that will decide if President Donald Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden is the winner.

Biden's Electoral College lead grew Wednesday as he flipped Wisconsin and Michigan, two states that went for Trump in 2016.

NBC News has projected the outcome in 44 states, giving Biden a narrow but growing lead over Trump in the Electoral College count. But both remain shy of the 270 electors needed to win.

All eyes today will be on the ongoing vote counts in Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona and Nevada, which up to this point have been too early or too close to call.

Trump has made moves to litigate the results — both in the courts and via social media.

Meanwhile Biden expressed confidence he would be the victor in the end and called for patience as the vote count continues.

"When the count is finished, we will be the winners," Biden told a small group of reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday. But he noted that he was "not here to declare we won."

There were scattered protests through the country Wednesday night calling for both a halt to the vote count and for the tally to continue.

Trump is gearing up for a legal fight: Here's where his campaign says it's suing, and why

President Trump is being encouraged by aides and advisers to not give up on his shrinking odds of victory, with those in his orbit determined to push a range of allegations about voting irregularities as they hold out hope that the count somehow shifts in his favor.

Trump's campaign announced new lawsuits Wednesday to stop ballot counting in Pennsylvania and Michigan, while threatening to demand a recount in Wisconsin as his path to victory narrows.

Here's a breakdown of where Trump and other Republicans are suing, and to what end.

News analysis: Trump thinks he's losing. Just listen to him, NBC News' senior political analyst Jonathan Allen writes.

How Biden reclaimed Michigan for the Democrats, but Texas stayed as red as ever

Democrats were optimistic that a "blue wave" would hit several states ahead of the election. In Michigan, their hopes seemed to have panned out, while in Texas, they were not so lucky.

A record surge of voters — along with softening support for Trump among seniors and white college graduates — appears to have returned Michigan to its former status as a blue state and cleared the path for Biden's projected win in the crucial Midwestern state.

Meantime in Texas, election polls showed an unusually tight presidential race, raising the possibility that Biden might become the first Democrat to win the state since 1976.

Those hopes quickly faded on Tuesday night, making one thing clear: Even though Democrats spent tens of millions of dollars here, Republicans still dominate the Lone Star State.

“In the end, we still saw Texas operating under the 3 Gs: God, guns and gas,” one political expert said.

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THINK about it

Trump suing over election results and claiming he's won won't help him, but it will hurt us, Lee Drutman, senior fellow in the Political Reform program at New America, writes in an opinion piece.


Change of seasons got you down? Here are 9 mood-boosting foods for shorter, darker days.

Quote of the day

"There are millions of ballots left to be counted."

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said Wednesday morning about the mail-in ballots yet to be counted.

One om thing

Don't worry, you're not alone if you are feeling a little anxious about the uncertainty of the election right now. We probably all need to take a deep breath.

NBC News' Anne Thompson talks to an expert about the best ways to cope with uncertainty, including accepting it and finding distractions to bring calm.

Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

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Thanks, Petra