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Highlights and analysis from Election Day 2020

Presidential election results as ballots are counted in key swing states for President Trump and Joe Biden. Get live coverage and electoral vote updates.
Watch NBC News special election coverage
Watch NBC News special election coverage

Election Day is over, with polls having closed across the country and officials processing both in-person and mail-in ballots.

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.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading election news from November 4, 2020.

Read live updates below:

Georgia election official predicts a recount is unlikely, touts record turnout

Gabriel Sterling, a top election official in Georgia, said Wednesday that he expected Democrat Jon Ossoff to ultimately win by more than a half of a percentage point, a margin outside of the recount territory. 

NBC News has not called this race yet, though Ossoff is leading Republican David Perdue. 

Sterling also said that the voter turnout in the runoffs was "unheard of," with more than 4.3 million Georgians voting compared to the November general election, when about 5 million people participated. 

Sterling said that the previous turnout record for a runoff was 2.1 million. 

U.S. adds 100,000 new Covid-19 cases in single day, breaking records

The U.S. has reported over 100,000 new Covid-19 cases in a single day, breaking a previous record, according to an NBC News tally

This number exceeds the previous single-day record of 98,583 cases in late October. 

As the country grapples with a surge in coronavirus cases, a majority of voters said rising case counts were an important factor in their vote for president —  a reminder of the high stakes of the election as votes continue to be counted.

According to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters, 61 percent of those casting ballots said rising coronavirus cases were a significant factor in their vote — including a quarter who said the surge was the most important factor.

Only 33 percent of voters said recent spikes in Covid-19 cases were not important to their vote for president.

Fulton County, Georgia, election officials expect to process all absentee ballots by midnight

Rick Barron, director of elections in Fulton County, told reporters Wednesday that the county expects to process its remaining ballots by midnight. 

Barron said by the time they are finished tonight, more than 142,000 absentee ballots will have been processed. As of 7 p.m. ET, over 113,000 of those have already been processed. And of those processed, more than 106,000 have been “adjudicated,” meaning the scanners didn’t pick up something on the ballot and a review panel has to determine voter intent.

No ballots have been rejected in this process, he said, noting that ballots would have been rejected, such as for a signature mismatch, before making it to this process.

NBC News currently rates the race at too close to call, with Trump at 49.9 and Biden at 48.9 percent of the vote and 95 percent of the total vote in. There is a 47,827 vote difference, with Trump's lead narrowing as votes continue to be tallied. 

Fulton is Georgia's most populous county and includes most of the city of Atlanta. Fulton and DeKalb Counties have the most votes left to count. Both areas have heavily African American populations that trend reliably blue in the red state. Exit polls show the vast majority of Black voters in the state supported Biden.

 

Biden campaign brass predicts wins in key battlegrounds, general election

The Biden campaign came out with guns blazing Wednesday morning, with its top brass assertively predicting a victory for their candidate in several key battleground states and in the general election.

“Joe Biden is on track to win this election and he will be the next president of the United States,” Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon said on strategy call with reporters.

“By this afternoon, he will have leads in states that will put him over 270 electoral votes,” she added.

When it came to the specific battleground states where votes are still being counted, O’Malley Dillon predicted wins in all except Georgia and North Carolina.

“We believe we have already won Wisconsin,” she said, adding that “we believe this state can be called this morning” for Biden.

In Michigan, she said “we expected the final results to be today and we expect we will win this state.”

In Pennsylvania, she predicted that the ballots that have yet to be counted will come in for Biden at levels that “will more than overcome” the approximate 600,000 vote deficit by which Biden currently trails.

She said the campaign expected Pennsylvania to be called “probably by tomorrow afternoon, evening, from what we understand.”

In Nevada, O’Malley Dillon said “we expect to win this race.”

She expressed less confidence about Georgia, saying that “many outstanding ballots are in the Atlanta area which favors the vice president” and that “we should know pretty soon where we net out in" that state.

North Carolina, O’Malley Dillon said, was “probably leaning toward Trump” but that “we may have to wait several days for the outcome” in the state.

She said Biden would speak to the public later Wednesday. She added that the campaign had “not been in contact formally” with the Trump campaign.

 

Where everything stands as you start your day after Election Day

So, in case you're just tuning in now — here's where everything stands.

  • Biden holds a 224 to 213 Electoral College advantage over Trump with nine states yet to be called. It takes 270 electoral votes to win.
  • In those remaining states, Biden holds a lead in Arizona, Maine, Nevada and Wisconsin, while Trump is up in Alaska, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina and Georgia. Each is still too close or too early to call.
  • Much of the outstanding vote in those states comes from Democratic stronghold cities like Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Atlanta.
  • Trump has falsely claimed he won the presidential election and vowed to take legal action to stop "all voting." Biden said he is encouraged by the results he's seen so far.
  • Democrats are projected to win the House — but Republicans are eating into their majority.
  • It is still too soon to project control of the Senate. 
  • Biden is currently winning the popular vote by more than 2 million. With much of the outstanding vote coming from urban areas, that number could widen.
  • So far, there has been a much lower level of third-party support. After topping 5 percent in 2016, third-party support is now below 2 percent nationwide.

Votes pour in from Milwaukee, shooting Biden into Wisconsin lead

Just before 5 a.m. on the East Coast, Milwaukee County made public much of its total vote that remained outstanding. 

Once that vote was published, Biden went from trailing by about 100,000 in Wisconsin to taking a lead of more than 10,000 votes.

Wisconsin was one of the tightest states in 2016. A loss there would mean Trump's path to victory becomes significantly more narrow.

Biden wins Hawaii, NBC News projects

Biden will win Hawaii, NBC News projects of a state that was not in question this election.

There are now only nine states that remain uncalled.

As it stands, Biden currently holds a 224 to 213 lead in the Electoral College over Trump. It takes 270 electoral votes to win. 

'Squad' wins re-election

Every member of the so-called House "squad" — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, D-N.Y., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mi., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. — won re-election to their seats.

The results were never much in doubt as each of the congresswomen resides in an overwhelmingly Democratic district.