President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, delivered a message of unity and healing to a divided nation during their victory speeches in Wilmington, Delaware, on Saturday night hours after the Democratic ticket was announced as winners of the 2020 presidential election — news that sparked impromptu street celebrations around the country.
This live coverage has ended. Continue reading election news from November 9, 2020.
Biden hangs on to lead in Arizona as more of vote count is released
Joe Biden is hanging on to his lead in Arizona as more of the vote count was reported Sunday in Maricopa County, the state's largest, and in Pinal County. He's now up by just under 17,000 votes in the state.
NBC News has already projected Biden as president-elect, with his having surpassed 270 electoral votes. Biden leads President Donald Trump by 279 to 214 in the Electoral College, with Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina and Alaska still outstanding.
Arizona was a top target for both candidates after Trump won there by a close margin in 2016.
How Biden won: Three key voter groups in 2020
Any election victory can be seen from a variety of angles — marginal gains here, voter flips there — but the story of Joe Biden's 2020 win and his narrow recapturing of the northern Democratic "blue wall" states might be best explained by vote boosts among three groups: younger voters, diverse urban voters and suburbanites.
Trump campaign spokesman promotes fake newspaper cover declaring Gore victory
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh tweeted Sunday that the Trump campaign headquarters was emblazoned with copies of a Washington Times newspaper cover following Election Day in 2000 that read "PRESIDENT GORE."
One problem? The newspaper cover was fake, as The Washington Times, a conservative-leaning publication, made clear on Twitter. Murtaugh then deleted his post.
"Greeting staff at @TeamTrumpHQ this morning, a reminder that the media doesn't select the President," Murtaugh wrote in the since-deleted tweet.
"Those photos have been doctored. The Washington Times never ran a 'President Gore' headline," the publication tweeted. "We also wish to add that Mr. Murtaugh has been officially notified via email about this error."
Trump has refused to concede the 2020 election after NBC News and other outlets have projected Biden as the winner.
"Since when does the Lamestream Media call who our next president will be?" Trump tweeted Sunday, even though he has for years at his rallies reminisced over cable news channels' projecting states in his column in 2016. "We have all learned a lot in the last two weeks!"
Gen Z's first-time voters celebrate Biden's election but vow to hold him accountable
Of the 10 members of Generation Z, those born roughly from the mid-1990s to the early 2010s, who spoke to NBC News, some said the 2020 election was their first time casting a ballot, while others said it was their first time casting a ballot in a presidential election. Still others, who were too young to vote, had advocated for a candidate.
"It's literally been the best day ever, and I feel like such a weight has been lifted off of our shoulder. When Donald Trump is in office, you are always in fear of what's going to happen," said Komal Nambiar, 16, of Georgia, who is a member of the grassroots group TikTok for Biden. "I feel so good."
Those who voted for Biden said that their fight for progressive ideals can't stop now that a Democrat has been elected and that they'll push to hold Biden accountable when it comes to issues like racial injustice, climate change and immigration.
Melania Trump echoes president: All 'legal' votes should be counted
The American people deserve fair elections. Every legal - not illegal - vote should be counted. We must protect our democracy with complete transparency.— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) November 8, 2020
Ocasio-Cortez says moderates have poured 'gasoline' on Democratic Party tensions
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said Sunday that Democrats can't "allow Republican narratives to tear us apart" after the GOP has so far managed to chip away at the Democratic House majority even though Biden is projected to win the election.
Some Democratic members in swing districts blasted the party's left flank in a call with colleagues. Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview with The New York Times that members who blamed progressives for losses had made themselves "sitting ducks."
In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Ocasio-Cortez said she doesn't believe Biden sees progressives as a drag on Democrats.
"That being said, there are, at least in the House caucus, very deep divisions within the party, and I believe that we really need to come together and not allow Republican narratives to tear us apart," she said. "As you mentioned, we have a slimmer Democratic majority. It's going to be more important than ever for us to work together and not to fight each other."
She said some moderate Democrats have poured "gasoline on these already delicate tensions in the party."
Addressing Ocasio-Cortez's interview with The Times on NBC's "Meet the Press," Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., said that "sometimes I have real problems trying to figure out what 'progressive' means" but that he doesn't "get hung up on labels."
"I'm an American, a very proud American," he said. "And I'm a Democrat, a very proud Democrat. So I just want us to be Democrats in a big tent, and these labels, I don't — I reject."
Trump campaign's push for legal battle donations may go to pay down campaign debts
WASHINGTON — The Trump campaign has been aggressively soliciting donations from supporters to help pay for court challenges to the election results, sending out nearly three dozen emails since Saturday with subject lines like "We need more resources." But it is unclear how much of those donations will go to help pay lawyers litigating the voting process in court.
The emails include a disclaimer noting that 60 percent of the money will go to the campaign to pay down debts from the general election and that it will go to a "recount account" only if those debts have already been paid or if people have maxed out on what they can contribute to Trump's re-election. The remaining 40 percent will go to the Republican National Committee's operating account unless a donor has reached the maximum contribution limit, in which case the excess funds will then go to the RNC's Legal Proceedings account or what the email calls a "Headquarters account."
Trump campaign officials didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about whether the campaign has any debts to pay down that the money will be used for or how much has been raised for a legal fund. The campaign ended September with $63 million, nearly a third of what the Biden campaign had, and it was slashing TV spending in the final weeks of the race, a sign that it was trying to conserve cash.
The Trump campaign is pursuing a Supreme Court challenge in Pennsylvania and has said it plans to seek a recount in Georgia.
Florida Rep. is one of few elected Republicans to congratulate Biden on victory
Retiring Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., tweeted on Sunday, "Congratulations to Pres-elect Biden on a successful campaign."
Few elected Republicans have publicly congratulated Biden — or referred to the former VP as "president-elect" — after he was on Saturday projected to win the election.
"All Americans need to come together to support Pres-elect Biden," Rooney continued. "Our nation will only be successful if the new admin is. We must work together to enact bipartisan legislation & solve the problems our country faces — that is how our system of government works. We have more that unite us than divide us, and now that the heat of battle has drawn to a close we must come together for the betterment of all our citizens."
George W. Bush congratulates 'President-elect' Biden
Former President George W. Bush said in a statement Sunday that he has called "President-elect" Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to congratulate them on their victory even as President Donald Trump refuses to concede the election.
"I just talked to the President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden," Bush said. "I extended my warm congratulations and thanked him for the patriotic message he delivered last night. I also called Kamala Harris to congratulate her on her historic election to the vice presidency. Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country."
Trump voters "have spoken, and their voices will continue to be heard through elected Republicans at every level of government," Bush added. "The fact that so many of our fellow citizens participated in this election is a positive sign of the health of our democracy and a reminder to the world of its strength. No matter how you voted, your vote counted."
Bush also said Trump "has the right" to pursue recounts and legal challenges, but he suggested the efforts would likely not be successful.
"The American people can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear," he said. "We must come together for the sake of our families and neighbors, and for our nation and its future."
Stacey Abrams: We will have unprecedented resources for Georgia Senate runoffs
Voting rights activist and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said Sunday that Democrats are going to have unprecedented financial support for the two possible January Senate runoff elections in her state — contests that could also determine control of Congress.
Democratic challengers Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are battling GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler for the seats. NBC News has not projected an outcome in the Ossoff-Perdue race, but Perdue's campaign said Friday that it's preparing for a runoff. The Senate currently shows Democrats and Republicans each in control of 48 seats, with four races still outstanding.
"This will be the first time we've had three things happen," Abrams said. "One, we've got Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock at the top of these tickets, working together to make certain that voters come back."
"Number two, we will have the investment and the resources that have never followed our runoffs in Georgia for Democrats," she continued. "And number three, this is going to be the determining factor of whether we have access to health care and access to justice in the United States. Those are two issues that will make certain that people turn out."
It appears the money is already flooding in to the Georgia contests. A spokesman for Abrams' group Fair Fight told NBC News that, in the past 48 hours, they have raised more than $3.6 million dollars.
Chris Christie, close Trump ally, suggests it may soon be 'time to move on'
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a longtime ally of President Donald Trump, said the president needs to show proof of his various claims of electoral fraud or else Republicans "can't do this" anymore.
"It was so important early on to say to the president, 'If your basis for not conceding is that there was voter fraud, then show us,'" Christie told ABC's "This Week." "Show us. Because if you can't show us, we can't do this. We can't back you blindly without evidence."
Joe Biden was on Saturday projected to win the presidency after securing more than 270 Electoral College votes. But the president has not yet conceded the race, continuing to falsely claim he won the election while promoting unfounded claims of voter fraud.
"I'm hoping that more Republicans move in the direction of saying, not that we don't support the president, he's been a friend of mine for 20 years, but friendship doesn't mean that you're blind," Christie added. "Friendship means that you'll listen to somebody, give them their opportunity, and if they don't come forward with the proof, then it's time to move on."
Netanyahu, a Trump ally, congratulates Biden
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the Cabinet meeting:— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) November 8, 2020
"I would like to start with congratulations for @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris. I have a long and warm personal connection with Joe Biden for nearly 40 years, and I know him as a great friend of the State of Israel. pic.twitter.com/S7UDguxWeT
Trump returns to golf course one day after Biden wins
Just in: President Trump has just arrived at Trump National Golf Course in Virginia, where he'll get some fresh air for the second day in a row— Josh Lederman (@JoshNBCNews) November 8, 2020
Romney warns Trump rhetoric on election challenges could encourage authoritarians
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, on Sunday warned President Donald Trump to be "careful" as he continues to challenge the results of the 2020 election and not to push America toward a "course in history which would be very, very unfortunate."
“I think it's fine to pursue every legal avenue that one has," Romney said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "But I think one has to be careful in the choice of words. I think when you say that the election was corrupt or stolen or rigged, that's, unfortunately, rhetoric that gets picked up by authoritarians around the world."
Jared Kushner advising Trump to 'pursue his legal remedies' to the election
A source close to Jared Kushner tells NBC News that Kushner “has advised [President Trump] to pursue his legal remedies” to the election.
Trump as recently as this morning continued to use Twitter to highlight supporters’ allegations of fraud and corruption in the race, while providing no evidence for these claims.
Biden team announces first steps in transition plan
The Biden transition team on Sunday will launch its full website and social media channels: BuildBackBetter.com and @transition46 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Additional details from the team:
"For months, the transition team has been laying the groundwork for a potential Biden-Harris administration, so that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris can begin to take action on the critical issues facing our country.
The crises we are facing are severe--from a global pandemic to an economic recession to racial injustice to the climate crisis. Our work continues full speed today.
On Monday, President-elect Biden will name a group of leading scientists and experts as Transition Advisors to help take the Biden-Harris COVID plan and convert it into an action blueprint that starts on January 20, 2021.
Agency review teams will begin their duties this week, gaining access to federal agencies at the appropriate point.
And across the board we will continue laying the foundation for the incoming Biden-Harris administration to successfully restore faith and trust in our institutions and lead the federal government."
Biden plans vast agenda with Senate on the line
WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden offered voters an agenda that tried to balance his moderate inclinations and the clamor among his progressive base to implement big change.
The former vice president promised to “build back better” with large, sweeping programs and reforms designed to charge the economy and address problems like health care and racial inequality.
When he is sworn into office in January, he will have to grapple with the reality left by a split decision on Election Day — that while he won, his party failed to make enough gains in the Senate to ensure that he will have friendly cooperation in Congress to enact his proposals.
How Black voters in key cities helped deliver the election for Joe Biden
ATLANTA — In the way that one could on election night 2020, LaTosha Brown was making the rounds.
Between bites of food and watching election returns turn bits of the national map red or blue, Brown juggled calls, internet video sessions and texts, in each countering the conventional wisdom with journalists, political operatives and others that the election would come down to Donald Trump's mythical all-white suburbs filled with stay-at-home moms or Joe Biden's ability to convert them. Instead, it was decided in racially diverse urban centers and increasingly diverse suburbs in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia.
The Black people who make up 39 percent or more of the population in those areas chose Biden, with some exceptions. In fact, once the vote counts from Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee and Atlanta started to near completion, Trump's lead in their respective states disappeared. Biden — who would not have been the Democratic presidential nominee without Black voters in South Carolina — reached 270 Electoral College votes in large part because of Black voters in these cities.
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In first days in office, Biden to sign executive orders reversing Trump actions
WILMINGTON, Del. — A senior campaign official for President-elect Joe Biden confirmed Saturday night that Biden will make good on his longstanding promise to immediately sign a number of executive orders aimed at reversing several of President Donald Trump’s unilateral actions.
The Washington Post reported Saturday on a flurry of executive actions Biden has planned for his first days in office — most already announced through various policy rollouts made during the long campaign. Those actions will include rejoining the Paris climate accords and reversing Trump's withdrawal from the World Health Organization, the Post reported, citing those close to his campaign and commitments he has made in recent months.
Biden will officially launch his transition on Monday and will name his coronavirus task force, which he mentioned in his acceptance speech.
“Folks our work begins with getting Covid under control…on Monday I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisers to help take the Biden-Harris Covid plan and convert it into an action blueprint that will start on January 20th 2021,” Biden said Saturday night.
Marianna Sotomayor, Deepa Shivaram, Amanda Golden, Molly Roecker, Elyse Perlmutter-Gumbiner, Gary Grumbach and Winston Wilde contributed to this report.
ANALYSIS: Biden won. Now comes the unimaginably hard part.
The good news for President-elect Joe Biden is that he defeated Donald Trump. The bad news is he has to preside over an angry and polarized nation, a broken Congress, and the continuing economic and public health crises posed by the coronavirus.
He has promised to unify the country, a brutal task that will require him to manage the expectations of the left wing of his own party and the anger of defeated Republicans. And to enact his legislative agenda, he will have to satisfy a Senate that may be led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., depending on the outcome of remaining races, as well as a House led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. The political bases of both sides are suspicious of anything that unites them.
That's why many political insiders say Biden will only be successful if his presidency matches a campaign in which he rejected the most extreme proposals of fellow Democrats and embraced coalition-of-the-willing Republicans.
"It’s going to be a difficult environment," Doug Heye, a former leadership aide on Capitol Hill who backed Biden, said. "He may be the best-suited person to get anything done."