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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

Chaos erupts in Detroit after Republican poll challengers demand an end to vote count

DETROIT — Things are getting tense in the TCF Center after the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit to stop vote counting until it receives greater access to the counting sites.

Around 2:30 p.m. ET, a large group of Republican poll challengers arrived at the door of the massive basement room where Detroit election workers are processing the small number of absentee and military ballots that still need to be counted and were angry to learn they would not be allowed inside due to capacity issues.

Sharon Dolente, the voting rights strategist for the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, estimated that both parties have more than 100 poll challengers in the room.

Dozens of people outside the counting room began to bang on the windows, shouting, "stop the count." A group of poll challengers on the convention center floor also started clapping and chanting, demanding that the vote be stopped.

Election challengers look through the doors of the central counting board in Detroit on Nov. 4, 2020.Carlos Osorio / AP

Still, the city continued to count ballots.

Nevada election officials to announce updated results Wednesday

Nevada state election officials say they will announce updated results Wednesday, earlier than previously stated. 

In the wee hours on Tuesday, the Nevada secretary of state’s elections division tweeted that further results would not be announced till 9 a.m. Thursday. 

“But we now recognize there is a lot of national and statewide interest in the results, and we are going to release updates as they come in,” secretary of state spokeswoman Jennifer Russell told NBC News. She did not give a specific time for announcing the updated results. 

Russell said state election officials originally decided not to release further election results till Thursday because they did not want to disrupt county elections offices while they were still tabulating ballots.

Nevada lawmakers passed a bill over the summer to provide for a mostly mail-in vote amid Covid-19 concerns, allowing mailed ballots to be counted so long as they were postmarked by Election Day and received by officials within a week of the election. In Nevada, election results are required to be certified and reported by Nov. 16. 

“There are still a great deal of mail-in ballots that are being counted, processed and that are still coming in,” Russell said.  

With election results in flux, progressive groups mobilize for 'National Day of Solidarity'

Feeling optimistic about Joe Biden's prospects in the presidential race, a massive coalition of progressive groups is planning a "National Day of Solidarity" on Saturday.

The coordinated effort will span 40 states across the country and will include more than 70 events beginning midday.

"We're going to see the leaders of 230 people-powered organizations across the country coming together, lifting up our voices" Angela Peoples, director of the umbrella group Democracy Defense Coalition, told NBC News exclusively in an interview. The purpose is to celebrate record high ballot counts nationwide while "making sure that every vote is counted, and that the voices of the people is what won out on the day," she explained.

Ahead of Tuesday's election, the groups mapped out multiple ways to mobilize progressives after Nov. 3, regardless of the outcome that was expected to be unpredictable. In materials sent to organizers of faith, labor, women, environmental and social justice groups, the coalition explained that "sustained and coordinated action" is the best way to help ensure long term support for progressives.

Saturday's actions are encouraged to respect local Covid-19 safety protocols and will include everything from rallies and demonstrations to live music and artistic expressions.

Read more here.

Trump wins one Electoral College vote in Maine, NBC News projects

Trump wins one Electoral College vote in Maine's 2nd Congressional District, NBC News projects.

The district — which encompasses nearly all of the state outside the Portland and Augusta metro areas — is receiving outsize attention due to the higher-than-usual possibility the race could end in a 269-269 electoral vote tie.

Maine awards two of its four Electoral College votes to the statewide winner, but allows two of its congressional districts to award one vote each to the winner in each of the districts.

Democrats carried Maine's 2nd District in every election since 1992 before Trump flipped it red in 2016 by seizing on its rural, union-heavy makeup the way he did in many states across the Upper Midwest.

Arizona's Maricopa County has 605,000 uncounted ballots, some results released tonight

Data from Arizona's Maricopa County shows that there are still about 605,000 uncounted ballots, and results for a bulk of them are expected to come out in two batches starting around 9 p.m. ET, which is 7 p.m. local time.

It's unclear when other counties in Arizona will report their latest figures. NBC News says that the presidential race in Arizona is too close to call. 


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

WASHINGTON — Some Republicans are not falling in line behind President Donald Trump's attempts to falsely declare victory and seek to halt some vote counting in the presidential race, with several GOP leaders expressing rare public rebukes of the president.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a Trump ally who usually avoids criticizing the president in public, told reporters Wednesday that "claiming you've won the election is different from finishing the counting."

With millions of votes still uncounted, Trump in a 2:35 a.m. Wednesday speech at the White House baselessly claimed he had defeated Democrat Joe Biden and alleged "major fraud on our nation" as election officials work through a massive surge in mail-in ballots, which they had long warned would take extra time to count. The president called for a halt in "all voting."

Trump's campaign amplified their boss's erroneous claims in public statements and threats of lawsuits, which Biden's team dismissed as meritless, insisting even the conservative-leaning Supreme Court would not give them any consideration.

But the more surprising rebukes came from members of Trump's own party.

Read more here.

NBC News Exit Poll: Gains with white men helped put Biden over the top in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, where NBC News has declared Joe Biden the apparent winner, the Democratic candidate got strong support from Black voters, Latino voters, and white women with a college degree, according to the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters. It was his relative strength among white men without a college degree, though, that helped put him over the top. 

President Trump won this group by 62 percent to the 35 percent Biden won, but that was much narrower than his 69 percent to 26 percent margin with this group in 2016.

Analysis: Trump thinks he's losing. Just listen to him.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump sounds like a man who knows he's losing, even though it will take time to sort out the final vote counts in key electoral battlegrounds.

Speaking from the White House early Wednesday morning, Trump falsely declared that he was winning. And then he said the election is "a fraud on the American public" and an "embarrassment to our country." In case it wasn't obvious that he is desperately worried, he said he wants state officials to stop counting ballots midstream.

Oh, and he vowed to sue to overturn the results, despite calling himself the winner.

All of this is normal behavior for an intemperate adolescent, an authoritarian ruler, or Trump. Still, his speech Tuesday night will surely be remembered as a low point for both the concept of democracy and the practice of republicanism. For the moment, Trump's tack represents two significant developments in the purgatory-is-hell story of the 2020 election.

Read  Jonathan Allen’s analysis here.

Trump campaign sues to stop the count in Michigan

The Trump campaign announced Wednesday it is suing in Michigan to stop the vote count after the president fell behind Biden in the critical swing state.

"As votes in Michigan continue to be counted, the presidential race in the state remains extremely tight as we always knew it would be," Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement. "President Trump’s campaign has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law."

"We have filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted," he added.

Biden holds a 45,000 vote lead over Trump in Michigan. The president, back in 2016, carried the state by a slimmer margin.