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Election turns into a nail-biter with millions of votes still to be counted

Democrats keep control of the House while Republicans hold key Senate seats, according to NBC News projections.
Image: Across The U.S. Voters Flock To The Polls On Election Day
Voters waited in line to cast ballots at Savannah Grove Baptist Church on Election Day in Effingham, S.C.Sean Rayford / Getty Images

Good morning, NBC News readers.

Buckle up. The winner of the presidential election is unknown with millions of votes in key battleground states still to be counted. We may be in for a protracted vote count that could take days.

Here is what we know this Wednesday morning.


Trump-Biden race remains unsettled as last key states count their votes

As Wednesday morning dawns, President Donald Trump and Joe Biden are still locked in a tight race to win the presidential election.

Trump won several key battleground states, such as Florida, Texas and Ohio, according to NBC News' projections. Biden picked up Minnesota and New Hampshire, NBC News projects.

But millions of ballots remain to be counted in the critical battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, and Maine.

Trump had to win Florida to have any real shot at re-election, most analysts agree, while Biden has multiple paths to victory that do not include the state, such as winning back the Upper Midwest states Trump flipped four years ago.

As of early Wednesday, Biden had won 224 Electoral College votes, while Trump had 213. It takes 270 Electoral College votes to win the White House.

Biden spoke to supporters after midnight in Wilmington, Delaware, saying he was feeling confident despite failing to deliver the early knock-out blow his campaign had hoped for and urged his supporters to wait for all the votes to be counted.

"We're going to have to be patient until the hard work of tallying votes is finished," Biden said.

Shortly after 2 a.m. ET, the president also addressed his supporters.

In an early morning press conference, Trump falsely claimed he won the presidential election.

"This is a fraud on the American public," he told supporters and members of the media in a White House address. "This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election, frankly we did win this election." He then vowed to take legal action to stop "all voting."

Biden's campaign responded by calling Trump's statements "outrageous, unprecedented, and incorrect."

Neither NBC News nor any other major news organization has declared a winner in the 2020 presidential race, and either candidate could still win.

Read our fact check on the series of false or misleading claims Trump made about the state of the 2020 race in his early morning speech.


Dems keep House while GOP holds key Senate seats, NBC News projects

Democrats will maintain control of the House of Representatives, NBC News projects, but their path to taking control in the Senate narrowed as numerous Republican incumbents fended off strong opposition.

Democrats, who won fewer House seats than they had hoped, failed to pick up some of the Senate seats they were banking on.

As of early Wednesday, 47 Senate seats were projected to be controlled by Republicans and 46 by Democrats, including two independents who caucus with Democrats. Seven seats were still outstanding.

Notably, three Republican senators who were targets for the Democratic Party were able to retain their seats. In the closely watched races, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, Montana Sen. Steve Daines and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham were all re-elected, NBC News projected.

Two other top Republicans — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sen. John Cornyn of Texas — were also re-elected, NBC News projects.

And in Alabama, Democratic Sen. Doug Jones lost his bid for a full term to former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville, NBC News projects.

There were a few bright spots for Democrats. In Colorado John Hickenlooper defeated incumbent GOP Sen. Cory Gardner, NBC News projects.

And in Arizona, Democratic challenger Mark Kelly is leading, but NBC News said the race is "too early to call."


World hedges its bets as America keeps counting its votes

Millions around the world had their eyes glued to the white knuckle election drama playing out in America on Wednesday, with allies stressing that no matter the winner their relationships with the U.S. remained strong.

The election made headlines in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, with commentators weighing in on what a victory by President Donald Trump or Democratic challenger Joe Biden would mean for the world.


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Plus


THINK about it

Dr. Fauci is one of 2020's biggest heroes. Trump's new threats prove it, Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, an infectious diseases physician and NBC News/MSNBC medical contributor, writes in an opinion piece.


Live BETTER

Now that we got through Election Day, let's move on to the next battle: How are you going to talk to your family about Thanksgiving and Covid-19?

Our friends at Better provide some tips on how to navigate those awkward conversations and minimize coronavirus spread at your family get-togethers.


Shopping

With the end of Daylight Savings Time, we consulted experts on how to acclimate to the changing season and generally de-stress.


One civic thing

It was an Election Day like no other.

Against the backdrop of a once-in-a-century pandemic, a national reckoning against systemic racism and a strained economy, voters went to the polls to have their say.

While the race is far from decided, there's no denying the record-breaking number of ballots that were cast either early, by mail or in-person at polling sites on Tuesday.

From Portland, Oregon, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, see photos that captured the excitement and anxiety of an historic Election Day.

People react during an election watch party at Axelrad Beer Garden in Houston, Texas.Annie Mulligan / for NBC News

Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — send me an email at: petra@nbcuni.com

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Thanks, Petra