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Highlights: Presidential candidates compete for battleground states

Get coverage and electoral vote updates.
Image; President Donald Trump and Joe Biden on a background of red and blue stars in concentric circles.
Watch live presidential election results as ballots are counted in key swing states for President Trump and Joe Biden.Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading election news from Thursday, November 5, 2020.

The United States remained in electoral purgatory on Wednesday afternoon as officials scrambled to count the millions of votes still outstanding after Tuesday's presidential election.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden sustained an overall Electoral College lead after being projected as the winner in key Midwestern battlegrounds Wisconsin and Michigan. President Donald Trump vowed to take legal action in both states, as well as in Pennsylvania, where over 1 million ballots remained uncounted.

Stories we're following:

—Nov. 5 highlights: Presidential candidates compete for battleground states

Amid shrinking odds of victory, Trump campaign plans legal battle

Republicans break with Trump, say take time to count all the votes

—See which counties in the remaining battleground states have the most votes left to count

Vote Watch: Twitter takes action on multiple Trump tweets

Twitter is taking quick action on the president's tweets calling into question the legitimacy of the election.

The social media platform labeled two of Trump’s tweets Wednesday morning with warnings that their claims regarding continuing vote counts were potentially misleading about the election, following a similar action taken in the early morning hours.

In one tweet, which Twitter also restricted from comments, likes and retweets, Trump baselessly claimed his advantage in states led by Democrats "started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted."

Another used a manipulated or misleading screenshot of a map from an elections results reporting outlet to suggest that 100 percent of a new count of votes in Michigan went to Biden. That did not happen. 

"As votes are still being counted across the country, our teams continue to take enforcement action on Tweets that prematurely declare victory or contain misleading information about the election broadly,” Twitter spokesperson Nicholas Pacilio said in a statement. “Our teams continue to monitor Tweets that attempt to spread misleading information about voting, accounts engaged in spammy behavior, and Tweets that make premature or inaccurate claims about election results. Our teams remain vigilant and will continue working to protect the integrity of the election conversation on Twitter."

Twitter’s actions follow several similar steps from election night in which it labeled and limited engagement on a tweet from Trump claiming Democrats were trying to “steal the election.” Facebook took similar steps to label identical posts on its platform.

Biden wins Maine, NBC News projects

Biden picked up three of the state’s four Electoral College votes Wednesday afternoon as key states continued counting ballots. NBC News has not allocated the remaining Electoral College vote.

No winner in the presidential contest has been declared.

Pa. officials urge patience with 50 percent of mail-in ballots counted

Pennsylvania officials urged patience at a press conference Wednesday morning as counties continued to tally mail-in ballots, saying again that they had expected for the count to be a slow process. 

Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, said he’s confident that all votes will be counted fully and accurately.

“I will do everything within my power to ensure that the results are fair and that every vote is counted. Pennsylvania will have a fair election,” he said, adding that it would be “free of outside influences. We all will vigorously defend against any attempt to attack that vote in Pennsylvania.”

Wolf added, “We may not know the results even today.” 

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said that they expect to receive 2.5 to 3 million mail-in ballots — 10 times the number of mail-in ballots cast in 2016. Only 50 percent have been counted as of Wednesday morning, she said, saying millions more were still left to be tallied.

Boockvar said to expect “a lot of updates” throughout the day.

Beschloss: America has always been divided

Presidential historian Michael Beschloss says elections have often been contested throughout American history, including in 2000 and 1876, and that early voting and mail-in ballots will only add to the situation. He also says that the heavy voting turnout is a sign that "our democracy is flourishing.”

Trump's Florida victory powered in part by Miami overperformance

WASHINGTON — A huge story early last night was Joe Biden’s swing-and-a-miss in Miami-Dade County, Florida — which he appears to have won by only about 7 points compared with Hillary Clinton’s 30-point romp four years ago.  

That collapse was enough to negate Biden’s improvement over Clinton in other swing counties such as Pinellas and Seminole. 

President Donald Trump's supporters wave flags in Miami on Election Day.Sam Navarro / for NBC News

But there’s another wrinkle: While Biden lost big, it wasn’t because he missed Democrats’ mark in the state dramatically when it comes to votes. 

At this hour, Biden has received about 617,000 votes in the county. That’s not too far below Clinton’s 624,000. 

The difference? President Trump piled nearly 200,000 additional votes onto his 2016 tally.

In 2016, Trump got about 334,000 votes in the county. That’s compared with 532,000 to date this cycle.

Trump campaign argues he has a path to victory

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien argued on a call with reporters Wednesday morning that the president could pull off wins in Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia and said he thought Wisconsin was headed for "recount territory." 

NBC News has not yet projected a winner in any of these states. 

Stepien also continued to push a false narrative that Democrats were attempting "to count late ballots," an attack that the president has used to cast unfounded doubt on the legitimacy of a Biden win.

"If we count all legally cast ballots, we believe the president will win," Stepien said.

Florida votes to raise state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour

Voters wait in line outside the Hialeah John F. Kennedy Library to cast their ballots on Election Day in Miami.Sam Navarro / for NBC News

Florida voted Tuesday to gradually hike the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, joining a growing list of states and municipalities in taking the step.

The 2020 election ballot initiative garnered the 60 percent support needed to pass, according to The Associated Press. Florida becomes the eighth state to approve a $15-an-hour minimum wage, and the second-most populous to do so.

The measure would increase the state’s current $8.56-an-hour pay floor to $10 next year. For every year after that, the minimum wage would rise by $1 an hour until it hits $15 in 2026.

Read the story here.

The day after: Counting ballots in Michigan

Election workers count absentee ballots Wednesday in Detroit.Jeff Kowalsky / AFP - Getty Images

Ritchie Torres becomes first gay Afro Latino elected to Congress

Ritchie Torres has won his House race for New York’s 15th Congressional District, making him the first gay Afro Latino person elected to Congress.

Torres was all but certain to win in his deep-blue House district. He defeated Republican Patrick Delices, a former professor of Caribbean studies at Hunter College.

Ritchie Torres in the Bronx on Tuesday. Adam Hunger / AP

He fills a seat left by Rep. Jose Serrano, a 16-term Democrat who said last year that he would not run for re-election.

"Tonight we made history," Torres tweeted Tuesday night, calling it "the honor of a lifetime to represent a borough filled with essential workers who risked their lives so that New York City could live" during the pandemic.

Torres could be joined by Mondaire Jones, who's currently ahead in his race for New York's 17th Congressional District, as the first gay Black members of Congress.

Read more here.

Wall Street rises at opening bell as investors brace for long wait to determine election outcome

Wall Street rose Wednesday morning as investors braced for a lengthy wait to determine the winner of the presidential election.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed by around 230 points at the opening bell, with the S&P 500 trading higher by around 1.6 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq soared by around 2.6 percent as investors sought out safer havens in a sector that has performed well under stay-at-home orders. Shares in tech giants Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Alphabet were all up more than 2 percent Wednesday morning.

Traders prepared to face the two outcomes they had most feared in the run-up to the election — a contested result, or no Senate majority but a win by former Vice President Joe Biden.

Some of the biggest swings in the last 24 hours came overnight, after President Donald Trump falsely claimed he had won the election. Neither NBC News nor any other major news organization has declared a winner.

Read the story here.

Dingell: Women will help Biden win Michigan

Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell, who won re-election to a fourth term in the battleground state of Michigan, tells "TODAY" she's "not surprised" by the tightness of the presidential race there, but predicts Joe Biden will win the state with the help of a lot of women who didn't vote in 2016 but came out this year.