As Tuesday bled into Wednesday, President Donald Trump and Joe Biden were running a tight race. Trump was projected to win some key battleground states such as Florida, Ohio and Texas, while Biden was projected to win New Hampshire and Minnesota. Meanwhile, election officials in three other key states, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona, still have millions of ballots to count.
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Vote Watch: Twitter takes down network of spam accounts pushing anti-Biden conspiracy theories
Twitter suspended a spam network of about 150 accounts pushing anti-Biden conspiracy theories on Election Day for platform manipulation.
The tweets broke the site’s rules “on spam and platform manipulation, specifically coordinating with others to engage in or promote violations of the Twitter Rules, including violations of our abusive behavior policy,” a Twitter spokesperson told NBC News.
The accounts tweeted identical messages and were flagged to Twitter by the Alethea Group, a company that tracks social media manipulation and had been monitoring disinformation operations that were coordinated on the messaging services Discord and WhatsApp.
"This network was carefully and intentionally built to push particular narratives targeting U.S. political issues and conspiracy theories across both mainstream and fringe platforms,” Alethea Group vice president of analysis Cindy Otis said.
Kaplan said the group “targeted voters in swing states, Spanish-speaking voters, and those on the U.S. right it sees most susceptible to its messaging.”
The spam accounts were pushing users on mainstream platforms such as Twitter and YouTube “to news sites run by Guo Media” and to “direct users to content on fringe platforms like Parler, to push political content that is primarily anti-Chinese Communist Party, anti-Joe Biden, and pro-Donald Trump,” Kaplan said. Guo Media is run by Guo Wengui, a billionaire who fled China amid accusations of bribery and other crimes. Guo is a close associate of former Trump White House aide Steve Bannon, who was arrested on Guo’s yacht in August.
Guo and Bannon have been connected to several anti-Chinese Communist Party disinformation campaigns this year, including one peddling Covid-19 misinformation and another aimed at smearing the former vice president’s son Hunter Biden. Guo and Bannon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Utah voters promote Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox to state's top job
Utah voters on Tuesday elected GOP Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox as chief executive of the state, NBC News projects.
Cox was well on his way to defeating Democrat Chris Peterson, a University of Utah law professor.
Republicans have won every governor's race in Utah since 1984.
Mnuchin describes feeling inside East Room of White House, where people are watching results
NBC News Exit Poll: In New York, Biden gains among whites, sheds voters of color
NBC News projects that Joe Biden has won New York state’s 29 electoral votes for the Democrats, as has been the case in every presidential election since 1984. But behind Biden’s big win are notable changes in the state’s vote along the basis of race and ethnicity, which mirror shifts nationwide, according to the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters.
Biden narrowly won New York state’s white voters, 50 percent to 48 percent. That’s an improvement over Democrat Hillary Clinton’s performance among whites in New York in 2016, when she lost this group with 45 percent to Trump's 51 percent.
But while Biden has built a commanding lead (79 percent to 20 percent) among the state’s voters of color, that’s actually a 6 percentage point shift away from the Democrats compared to Clinton’s performance (85 percent to 13 percent) among these voters in 2016.
This development in New York is similar to what the NBC News Exit Poll is finding nationwide: Compared to 2016, Biden is performing slightly better than Clinton among white voters, while Trump is slightly outperforming his previous levels of support with voters of color.
NBC News Exit Poll: Racial unrest in Wisconsin reflected in voter priorities
In Wisconsin, the presidential campaign has unfolded against a backdrop of civil unrest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, followed by the fatal shooting of two protesters. According to the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters, Wisconsin voters tend to agree that recent incidents in which police have killed or injured Black people are a sign of broader problems rather than isolated events.
Black Wisconsin voters were more likely to say that the incidents are signs of a broader problem (64 percent), but most white Wisconsin voters (52 percent) express the same view.
Less clear is how heavily this factored into voting decisions. When asked about racism in the U.S., about two-thirds (65 percent) of Wisconsin voters said that it is one of many important problems. Only 12 percent said that racism was the most important problem.
That said, it is clear that this issue deeply affected Black Wisconsin voters. A 41 percent plurality of Black voters in the state cited racial inequality as the issue mattering most to their vote for president, when ranked along with four other issues.
NBC News Exit Poll: Nevada voters split between containing the coronavirus and rebuilding the economy
In Nevada, where the Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a particularly devastating blow to a state heavily dependent on tourism and hospitality, voters are split on whether to focus on rebuilding the economy or containing the coronavirus, according to the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters. The presidential race in the state remained too early to call when polls closed at 10 p.m. ET.
Forty-eight percent of Nevada voters said that “containing the coronavirus” is more important, while 47 percent said it would be better to focus on “rebuilding the economy.” That’s a big difference compared to voters nationwide: 52 percent of Americans say it’s more important to contain the virus; 41 percent say they’d rather focus on rebuilding the economy.
What will it take for Biden or Trump to get to 270? Control the path with our tool
It will take at least 270 electoral votes to win the 2020 presidential election. Finish the 2020 map on our interactive page by clicking or tapping an individual state or toggle in order to move it to red or blue. States where NBC News has projected a winner cannot be changed.
Black Lives Matter movement draws some Las Vegas voters to the polls
LAS VEGAS — George Floyd’s death motivated Sally Andalon to come out to the polls Tuesday evening in Las Vegas. While Andalon, 21, said she had never cared much for politics or voting, learning more about racial inequalities in policing convinced her that she wanted her voice to be heard.
“Being a part of the Black Lives Matter movement really made me want to come out,” said Andalon, a first-time voter who cast her ballot in person at a polling site in the Meadows Mall parking lot, in North Central Las Vegas on Tuesday evening. “I went to the protests in May and marched and that motivated me to be more involved in the political system.”
Several Las Vegas voters at the Meadows Mall polling location said the issues most important to them this election had to do with racial inequalities in criminal justice. Andalon, like others, said she cast her vote for Democratic candidates, most likely to bring what they say are much-needed reforms.
“I feel like Trump didn’t really help with the protests or help with calming things down, or at least not as much as he should have” her brother, Julian, said. Also a first-time voter, Julian, 19, said he voted for Joe Biden because he believed he could help improve racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
“Now, we just have to hope for the best,” he said.
Trump takes the lead in Ohio, other swing states. Biden opens up early lead in Arizona.
Trump is leading in Ohio and Texas, though those races remain too close to call. Additionally, Trump is maintaining a lead in swing states such as North Carolina, Florida and Georgia, which also remain too close to call.
Biden has opened up a lead in Arizona with about 75 percent of the vote in.
Other critical states in the upper Midwest remain too close to call.
As of 10:30 p.m. ET, Biden holds a 98 to 86 Electoral College advantage over Trump. It takes 270 electoral votes to win.
Fulton County, Georgia, results will be stalled
ATLANTA — The Fulton County Registration and Elections Department now says it will continue counting ballots tonight, after officials initially said it would stop counting mail-in ballots at 10:30 p.m., and resume the count Wednesday morning. Fulton is Georgia's most populous county, and includes most of the city of Atlanta.
This means there will be no decisive results for Fulton County on Tuesday night, which will affect when the results for Georgia, overall, are known.
Biden wins New Hampshire, NBC News projects
NBC News projects that Biden will win New Hampshire — a contested state that was not called until much later in the night during the 2016 election. That year, Clinton won by a narrow margin.