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.
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NBC News Exit Poll: Nearly half of voters say economy is doing well — a bigger share than in 2016
Despite the economic hit delivered by the coronavirus pandemic, more Americans voting in the 2020 presidential election said the economy is doing well than said the same in 2016, according to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters.
When asked to assess the condition of the nation’s economy, 48 percent of voters said the economy is either “excellent” or “good," compared to 50 percent who said it was either “not so good” or “poor.” These are better numbers for the economy than in 2016, when roughly 6 in 10 voters gave it a negative rating.
Compared to the economy as a whole, Americans have sunnier assessments of their own finances. When asked to compare their financial situation to four years ago, only 20 percent said their family’s finances are worse than when President Trump took office; the rest said their finances are the same (38 percent) or better (41 percent).
Tradition brings several voters out at one Las Vegas polling location
Tradition and ensuring their ballots were counted motivated several voters at one west side Las Vegas polling location to cast their ballots in person on Election Day.
“It’s been a ritual for me growing up,” said Desiree Solis, 46. She brought her two sons, Maximus, 8, and Viggo, 7, with her to vote at the polling site, located in the Las Vegas Ballpark parking lot in the city’s west side. “I wanted them to experience this process and know how important it is to have your voice be heard.”
Nevada lawmakers passed a bill during this summer that gave voters for the first time the choice between voting by mail and going to the polls if the state is under a declaration of disaster or emergency. While about 55 percent of more than 1.1 million votes cast by Tuesday morning in the state were through mail-in ballots, several voters like Solis still came out to the polls on Election Day.
"This is how I’ve always done it and I think it’s the best way to do it," said Steve Wynn, 50, a registered nurse, who moved to Las Vegas about four months ago.
Lines at the Las Vegas Ballpark polling location were short, with voters saying they were able to cast their ballots in about 15 minutes. Several voters coming to the location also opted to vote on election day, but by using their mail-in ballots. All Nevada polling locations also double as ballot drop off sites.
“I didn’t want to potentially be in a crowd and wait any amount of time,” said Lisa Silvani, 30, who works in the food and beverage industry. Silvani added that she also felt more secure about dropping off her ballot than using the United States Postal Service. “To me, that’s how there’s the least room for error in making sure it counts.”
NBC News Exit Poll: Voters look for strong leader, good judgment in presidential candidates
About a third of voters said the quality of a strong leader was most important in their vote for president, according to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters.
About quarter of voters said showing good judgment was most important, while a fifth said caring for people like them was key, and another fifth said it was important for the candidate to unite the country.
But at the end of the day, about three-quarters of voters said the candidate's position on issues was more important to them than the candidate's personal qualities.
Read more on the methodology of the NBC News Exit Poll.
NBC News Exit Poll: Fewer voters in 2020 than 2016 made their decision in final week
After enduring the onslaught of a 2020 campaign during which an estimated $14 billion was spent to convince voters, just 4 percent of Americans say they waited until the week before Election Day to decide on their presidential candidate, according to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters. That’s a substantially smaller share than those who waited until the last minute to decide in 2016, when 13 percent of the electorate waited until the final week to decide on their vote.
Most voters (74 percent) say they made up their mind before the campaign began in earnest on Labor Day. The remainder said they decided sometime in September or October.
Biden says he may not speak to supporters Tuesday night after all
Backtracking on an earlier commitment to address the nation Tuesday night regardless of the election results, Joe Biden said Tuesday that he may wait to speak if the race remains tight.
"If there's something to talk about tonight I'll talk about it. If not, I'll wait until the votes have been counted the next day,” Biden told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware.
Asked what results he’d need to see Tuesday night to feel confident he was on track to win the election, Biden nodded to Florida.
“If Florida came in by 1 it's over. Done. If Florida doesn't come in and what happens is the early vote occurs in some other states, I think we're going to do well in them and we're going to re-establish that 'blue wall,'” he said.
“You can't think of an election in the recent past where so many states are up for grabs,” Biden said, referring to, “the idea I'm in play in Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida.”
How Biden will spend his night
In divided Sterling Heights, Michigan, this undecided voter had to make a last-minute choice
Coming into Election Day, Cindy Swieczkowski found herself in an unusual position in this bitterly divided country.
Swieczkowski, 70, lives in Sterling Heights, Michigan, a diverse Detroit suburb where voters twice backed Barack Obama before electing Donald Trump four years ago. In Macomb County, where Sterling Heights is located, the candidate voters choose tend to win statewide. And she has passionate neighbors with strongly held positions on both sides of this election.
As she stood in line outside Grissom Middle School to vote on Tuesday, she waited with people like Karen Bua, 67, who praised Donald Trump. Others, like Cody Garrett, 29, said they're determined to see Trump defeated.
But even as she waited for her turn to vote, Swieczkowski, a Republican who supports Trump's economic policies but doesn't like his leadership style, said she still hadn't made up her mind.
“I'm still standing here thinking about it, trying to work this out before I get inside," she said. "There's a lot of turmoil going on right now."
NBC News Exit Poll: Voters divided over which national issues are most important
As the 2020 presidential race unfolds amid a global pandemic, economic downturn, and protests about racial injustice in the United States, the economy has emerged as the top voting issue for the electorate.
According to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters, about a third of voters said the economy was the most important issue to their vote. Racial injustice was the most important issue for 21 percent of voters, while another 18 percent said the coronavirus outbreak was their top issue.
But Trump and Biden voters are divided on the most pressing issues. Biden voters are significantly more likely than Trump’s voters to point to racial inequality and the coronavirus as important issues. Trump voters are more likely to point to the economy and crime and safety.
NBC News Exit Poll: Less than half of voters approve of Trump's performance as president
Less than half of Americans casting ballots in the 2020 presidential election — 47 percent — approve of Donald Trump’s performance as president, according to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters. Fifty-two percent disapprove of his performance.
Trump elicited strong sentiments in both directions. A third of voters expressed strong approval of Trump’s presidency; about 4 in 10 voters said they strongly disapproved.
Trump’s approval rating among voters is a few ticks higher than the final NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Conducted Oct. 29-31, the poll found 45 percent of registered voters approved of Trump’s performance as president. Trump’s approval rating among voters in the exit poll is also higher than polling averages of the public tracked by FiveThirtyEight (which puts his rating at 45 percent) and RealClearPolitics (46 percent).
With the exception of the first few months of his presidency, Trump’s approval rating has been below 50 percent in most public polls of Americans, an unusually consistent level of unpopularity compared to other U.S. presidents.
Read more on the methodology of the NBC News Exit Poll.
Judge to hear case Wednesday on pre-processing Pa. ballots
A federal judge has scheduled a hearing for 9 a.m. Wednesday on the lawsuit over pre-processing of mail ballots in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
A lawyer involved in the case said the county was notifying voters if their ballot envelopes had some obvious problem, like a missing date or signature. And the county was also weighing envelopes to see if they contained the required inner security envelope. The county was not, however, opening the envelopes, so one question is whether these procedures violated the state law against pre-canvassing ballots before election day.
A Republican candidate for Congress, Kathy Barnette, claims that county officials illegally began the process of pre-canvassing — or pre-processing — mailed ballots before the time specified in state law, which is 7 a.m. on election day.
She says more than 3,900 ballots were pre-canvassed and that when problems were discovered, individual voters were notified and given a chance to fix any defects that would have made their ballots void. State law doesn't allow that, she argues, and it violates the guarantee of equal protection if voters in one county are afforded such opportunities when those in others are not. Her lawsuit asks a federal judge for an order disqualifying any ballots that were cured under the above procedure.
Kelly Cofrancisco, communications director for the county’s board of commissioners, said the state Supreme Court has ruled that while notifying voters of potential problems with their mail ballots is not required, it is also not prohibited.
“Our process in no way takes the place of the procedures that are followed as part of the canvass of ballots, and at no point prior to canvass is a determination made on whether a ballot will or will not be accepted," Cofrancisco said. "We believe in doing whatever we can to afford those who have legally requested and returned a ballot a fair opportunity to have their vote count.”
Vote Watch: Twitter takes fast action on accounts violating platform’s policies
Twitter has banned several high-profile accounts that frequently posted about fringe politics on Election Day for breaking the company’s spam or hateful conduct policies.
The company appears to be taking substantial steps to curb spam, election disinformation and violent rhetoric in the final day of a contentious election cycle. Former Congressional candidate DeAnna Lorraine Tesoriero was suspended from Twitter on Tuesday afternoon shortly after publishing a tweet that baselessly claimed immigrants would enter the U.S. and commit violence if Trump is not elected. Twitter told NBC News that Tesoriero’s account, which had over 393,000 followers, “was permanently suspended for repeated violations of the Twitter Rules.”
Tesoriero was also a proponent of the false QAnon conspiracy theory. She did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A ring of other accounts that purported to be independent journalists was also removed by Twitter on Tuesday. Accounts in the group, which had over 100,000 collective followers, were often the source of misleading or politically charged images and videos from protests in recent months. A Twitter spokesperson told NBC News the accounts were suspended for violating its rules on spam and platform manipulation. That policy specifically addresses “coordinated activity” and “attempts to artificially influence conversations through the use of multiple accounts.”
Strong turnout in Florida's most populous county after record-breaking early voting
MIAMI — Election Day brought strong voter turnout in Miami-Dade County, the state’s most populous, after a record-breaking amount of ballots cast by mail and during the early voting period.
As of 2 p.m., 88,000 people had voted on Election Day. But even before the day started, 1,135,078 or 65 percent of registered voters had already voted, according to Miami-Dade Elections Department. By comparison, in 2016, a total of 998,000 ballots were cast.
At the Coral Gables Branch Library, in Miami-Dade County, there was only a trickle of voters throughout most of the day, after having been one of the busiest in the county during the early voting period.
Outside the library, Nicole Gonzalez, 27, said she voted for Biden, “because we need to care about each other and that’s what it comes down to.” The Cuban-American artist cited racism and “anything that makes people feel unsafe” as reasons to vote for the Democratic nominee.
She said her family leans Republican and she doesn’t feel heard by them sometimes.
Miami-Dade is the most populous county in the state and it’s 70 percent Latino. Hillary Clinton won the county by 300,000 votes in 2016. But since then alliances have shifted. Trump’s deluge of messaging attacking Democrats as socialists has been effective with the large Cuban-American community, Venezuelan Americans, Colombian Americans, and other groups.
Outside the library, Marianne Brandon, 84, said she was directed to another precinct because voter ID had expired. Brandon, born in Hungary and raised in Colombia, said she would vote for Trump because she “doesn’t like the other communists.”
Brandon, retired from the insurance business, said “I have traveled a lot in my life. I know what communism is and it doesn’t work.”
Texas twins in a truck: Julián and Joaquín Castro make final attempt to get out the vote
Democrats Julián and Rep. Joaquín Castro threw out a double whammy of encouragement to voters in their hometown of San Antonio, Texas, Tuesday.
The two rode in the back of a white Chevy Silverado festooned with Texas and American flags through the streets of their old West Side neighborhood. They were followed by a few cars with Biden-Harris signs and blue balloons. The caravan was intentionally limited to avoid any security issues after a Biden-Harris campaign bus was forced off the road by a Trump caravan.
The Castros waved and threw thumbs up at largely enthusiastic motorists they passed and people outside their homes. One pedestrian gestured with his thumb turned down as the cars drove by.
Julián Castro said the caravan was a throwback to the sort of political campaigning — trucks with bullhorns shouting political messages — that used to be seen in his neighborhood and other Latino communities, and still seen in Mexico and parts of Latin America.
"We're going old school today," Castro said. "We could go over 12 million votes in Texas, which would be a record and we want to make sure everybody gets out and expresses their voice through their vote."
Texas has been a reliably Republican state for years but has been trending Democrat with growth in Hispanic and Asian populations and higher engagement of young voters. The presidential race is tight, giving Democrats some hopes of turning Texas blue this year.
"Just like everybody else I'm still really anxious," said Joaquín Castro about the chances of a Texas turnover. With the state already having set an early voting record of 9 million votes and a potential total voting record, "that's a good sign for Democrats."
Biden outspent Trump on Facebook, Google ads down the stretch
Biden spent about twice as much money on Facebook ads as Trump did in the final week of the campaign, according to data from the tech company.
Biden’s campaign spent $14 million on Facebook and Instagram versus $6 million spent by Trump’s campaign, according to an analysis of Facebook data for Oct. 25 through Oct. 31 by Acronym, a liberal group that tracks ad spending and runs anti-Trump ads through an affiliate. NBC News confirmed the numbers through Facebook’s ad library.
The ad spending was despite technical problems that both campaigns said they experienced on Facebook last week.
Biden also spent more than Trump on Google and its properties including YouTube, according to the analysis of Google data: $9.7 million by Biden versus $7.9 million by Trump.
A big budget isn’t always the most effective for internet ads, where an auction usually determines the price an advertiser pays. The Markup, a tech news website, reported last month that Biden was paying 11 percent more on average for Facebook ad impressions than Trump’s campaign was, a difference Facebook attributed to the campaigns’ strategies.
The scene at Biden election headquarters
Greetings from the Biden campaign's election night headquarters in the main parking lot of the Chase Center on the Riverfront, in Wilmington, Delaware!
This parking lot will serve as the venue for the campaign’s election night drive-in car rally, although at the moment it remains empty of supporters as workers put the finishing touches on the construction of the platform and podium where Biden will speak later.
It’s a currently a crisp 64 degrees here, with grey skies. While reporters are gradually streaming into the media area on the perimeter of the lot, the only sounds to be heard presently are the din of traffic on nearby I-95 and the continuing hum of construction vehicles.
That will all change in a few hours, when about 300 cars will be let into the lot for the rally.
How is DACA influencing voters?
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is trending on Twitter as voters discuss how DACA influenced their decisions on Election Day. Others are dedicating their votes to DACA recipients who are not eligible to vote.
The DACA program has become a point of contention under the Trump administration, which sought to end the program. DACA currently protects over 600,000 teens and young adults who were brought to the U.S. as undocumented children and lack legal status. The Obama-era program gives them a chance to study and work without fear of deportation.
The Trump administration began rejecting new applicants to the program this summer about a month after the Supreme Court blocked the White House from ending the program completely. In its ruling, the Supreme Court said the administration was “arbitrary and capricious” in its attempt to end DACA.
“We are going to take care of DACA, we’re going to take care of Dreamer, it’s working right now, we’re negotiating different aspects of immigration and immigration law,” President Trump said during an NBC News town hall on Oct. 15. “We’re working very hard on the DACA program.”
In his campaign platform, Biden has pledged to reinstate the DACA program and explore "all legal options to protect their families from inhumane separation."
This map shows the states that accept mailed ballots after Election Day
The results of the election may not be fully known for days.
Most states require that mailed ballots be postmarked and received by Nov. 3. More than 20 states set deadlines for ballots to reach their destination that extend as late as Nov. 23.
Read the story, the states that accept mailed ballots after Election Day.
Here's what to watch as the polls close Tuesday night
Dow ends the day up by 550 points, buoyed by investor hopes on clear election winner
Wall Street ended Election Day on a high, buoyed by investor hopes that a clear winner would be declared in the presidential election and that a fiscal stimulus deal would be swiftly passed.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up by 552 points, after gaining as much as 715 points at its session high. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both ended the day up by 1.8 percent each.
Feline poll watcher in Kentucky
Early vote tops 100 million, doubles total from 2016
More than 100 million Americans cast early ballots this election cycle, doubling the total who did so in 2016.
As the U.S. nears the conclusion of Election Day, upwards of 100.7 million voters have cast early or absentee ballots this cycle, according to data from the NBC News Decision Desk/TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm.
That means that in just early voting, turnout has reached nearly 75 percent of what it was in all of 2016, when about 136.5 million ballots were cast.
NBC News Exit Poll: Our methodology, and how we're counting early voters
The NBC News Exit Poll was conducted with voters as they left polling places across the United States on Election Day. To account for the high number of early and absentee voters and ensure a sample that accurately represents the ways all Americans cast their ballots nationwide, the exit poll also includes extensive interviews with in-person early voters, as well as telephone surveys.
The exit poll was conducted at early in-person voting centers in eight states, an innovation that began in 2018 in only two states. The exit poll has always included telephone polls of absentee voters in a handful of states, but for the first time this year, telephone polls were conducted in all 24 states that were polled, as well as in the national exit poll.
By the end of Election Day, approximately 100,000 total interviews will be conducted.
In 2018, methodological changes were made to the exit poll to better reflect the age and education composition of the electorate. Those improvements continue to be incorporated in the 2020 methodology. To make direct comparisons to 2016, the poll is using trend-adjusted numbers for the 2016 figures. For that reason, the 2016 top-line numbers you see reported for questions including age, education and income will not reflect the publicly available data.
'Just another Tuesday': Election Day appears free of widespread voting chaos
Anxieties that Election Day would be marred by widespread voting problems, hacking or intimidation at the polls grew muted by Tuesday afternoon as the lessons of 2016 have so far helped to avoid the disarray of elections past, election officials and voter groups say.
While there have been routine issues during this Election Day, including malfunctioning machines at polling sites and the spreading of misinformation to confuse voters, fixes like more counties having contingency plans in the event of technical troubles seem to be working.
"At this point, this just looks like any other Election Day, and even just another Tuesday," a senior official with the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency told reporters.
In the swing state of Pennsylvania, the nonpartisan Pennsylvania Election Protection Coalition said volunteers were documenting any potential threats toward voters at the polls, but "there have been no reports of intimidation."
"So far, we've seen mostly the typical minor problems that we see on every Election Day," Sara Mullen, advocacy and policy director for the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said in a statement.
Read more here.
Here are some key counties to watch tonight
Election observers are paying attention to the same set of critical states — Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, Arizona, etc. Within those, there are a handful of important counties to watch.
Erie County, Pennsylvania
This Northwest Pennsylvania county on the shores of Lake Erie is the quintessential Obama-to-Trump county; Obama won here in 2012 by nearly 20,000 votes, while Trump had a 2,000-vote lead here in 2016. Located in the middle of Cleveland, Buffalo and Pittsburgh, Erie got more attention from Democrats in the 2020 cycle, and they hope to flip it back after an encouraging Senate result 2018.
Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
This county, which borders Biden's former hometown of Scranton, marked another big flip from Obama to Trump in 2016. It went from one Obama won by 6,000 votes in 2012 to a more than 26,000 vote Trump victory that year, when the state as a whole was decided by fewer than 50,000 votes.
The county was also a focal point of Trump's efforts to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the mail-in vote.
Pinellas County, Florida
Home to St. Petersburg, Pinellas County marked a major flip from Obama to Trump in Florida. A return to Biden could signal a promising development for the campaign in the Sunshine State, while if Trump can maintain his margin here, it could bode well for him. In 2012, Obama won this county by more than 25,000 votes. Last cycle, Trump won by about 6,000.
Wayne County, Michigan and Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
In these counties, it all comes down to turnout. Trump won Wisconsin and Michigan by razor-thin margins in 2016, and he was boosted in part by a much lower than expected turnout in these counties, home to Detroit and Milwaukee.
In 2012, Obama won more than 595,000 votes in Wayne County and about 328,000 in Milwaukee County, topping Romney by more than 380,000 and 170,000 in each, respectively. In 2016, Clinton won just about 520,000 votes in Wayne County and 288,000 in Milwaukee County, topping Trump by 290,000 and 160,000 respectively. Boosting turnout to Obama-levels would have netted Clinton victory in both states.
Candidates and milk, anyone?
Harris supporters held Hindu ceremony for good luck in her ancestral village in India
CHENNAI/NEW DELHI — Supporters of U.S. vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris held prayers near her ancestral village in India ahead of Tuesday's U.S. election, while a Hindu fringe group sought divine blessings for her rival Donald Trump.
The southern Indian region where Harris' maternal grandfather was born is rooting for the Democratic Party to win because of the family connection.
Meanwhile, a group that claims to have the support of 5 million Hindus says it wants Trump to be re-elected in order to keep India's main rivals - Pakistan and China - in check.
Hours ahead of the U.S. presidential election, people living in and around Thulasendrapuram, the village of Harris' grandfather, gathered at a temple for special prayers.
One local politician conducted an "abhishekam", a practice that involves pouring milk over a Hindu idol while religious verses are recited, in the presence of about 20 villagers, said R. Manikandan, a shopkeeper near the temple.
Unable to vote early without an excuse, Mississippi voters show up in-person
JACKSON, Miss. — Volunteers in Mississippi handed out snacks to the line of voters that wrapped around the Eudora Welty Library precinct in downtown Jackson.
Eve Williams waited almost an hour before the doors of the polling location were visible. The 51-year-old voted for Joe Biden and Democratic Senate candidate Mike Espy.
While in line, Williams drafted a poem reflecting on the lives of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, whose deaths ignited weeks of demonstrations across the country against racial injustice.
"My vote is for George Floyd who cried out for his mother in pain," said Williams.
Two miles down the road, the University of Mississippi Medical Center is running out of ICU beds as the state struggles to slow down new infections.
Despite the pandemic, most registered voters in Mississippi will have to cast ballots in-person. The state Supreme Court ruled against a lawsuit seeking to expand early voting in the state. Although face coverings are not required to vote in Mississippi, Williams, like the majority of voters at the precinct, wore a face covering. The threat of the pandemic, she said, was not a deterrent to voting in-person.
“I was going to come regardless,” she said. “I realize how important it is.”
Gov. DeWine says Ohio results likely to be known Tuesday night
Ohio's GOP governor, Mike DeWine, predicted that the results of the presidential race in his state are likely to be known on Tuesday night.
“The president is certainly not going to do as well as you would have expected a Republican president did 12 years ago or so," DeWine said Tuesday in an interview with MSNBC.
DeWine said that the first votes that will be counted will be the mail-in ballots and the early in-person votes.
On the timing of the results, DeWine said, “We're gonna know tonight unless it's a really, really close race.”
2020 election could deliver the biggest gender gap in American history. What's driving it?
Polls suggest that this presidential election could result in the biggest gender gap the country has seen since women won the right to vote 100 years ago. Women are breaking for Biden by more than 20 percentage points in some pre-election surveys, up from 2016 when Hillary Clinton won women by 15 points, while men are largely sticking with President Donald Trump. Some men, including some Black and Hispanic men, are even supporting Trump at a slightly higher rate than in 2016.
That could put the gender gap, the difference between the percentage of men and women who vote for the winning candidate, near 30 points. It was around 20 points in the last election.
Although women as a group have voted Democratic for decades, that is mostly due to support from Black and nonwhite women. The last time white women backed a Democrat for president was in 1996 when Bill Clinton won re-election. But recent surveys show that white women, especially those with college degrees, are souring on the president. The 2020 election could be the first time in 25 years that they go for a Democrat.
Read more here.
Trump to watch returns with family and senior aides
President Trump will be briefed by his advisers on the election results throughout the day and will be watching returns tonight with family and senior aides in the residence and the Oval Office, according to a person close to the campaign.
The president’s team set up a “war room” to monitor results in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House, this person said.
"The war room needed to be in close proximity to the president, and there is no expense whatsoever to American taxpayers for the use of a room," the Trump campaign's communications director, Tim Murtaugh, said on why White House grounds are being used for campaign purposes. "Every piece of equipment, including WiFi and computers, was paid for by the campaign, and no White House staff is involved."
The White House election night event is expected to be held in the East Room, according to two sources familiar with the planning. One of the sources says approximately 300-400 people have been invited to the indoor event, where testing will be required.
ANALYSIS: Trump pulled a lot of votes from Florida's biggest counties in 2016
It's easy to think of Trump's 2016 victory in Florida as the muscle of rural and small-town voters against cities and close-in suburbs — and that's certainly part of the story. But Trump also pulled a ton of votes out of the state's 10 most populous counties. Four years ago, just a hair over 50 percent of his vote total came from those bigger counties, according to an analysis of vote data compiled by Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections, while two-thirds of Hillary Clinton's did.
One interesting thing to keep an eye on is whether Trump is winning a majority of his votes from those big counties, or if that share slips because of a swing among suburban voters.
The counties include Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Hillsborough, Orange, Pinellas, Duval, Lee, Polk and Brevard.
Election Confessions, the final edition
It's the end of the road for Election Confessions 2020.
Readers have written more than 70,000 election "confessions" since the latest version of the site launched in June 2019. They've written about every candidate, even the short-lived ones. Readers confessed a variety of printable and un-printable thoughts and feelings, and you can read the printable ones here.
In the final months of the campaign, several distinct types of voters emerged in the confessions. Read about these types, and see if you fall in any of these categories, here.
GOP prepares to see its House minority shrink
Republicans expect to see their House minority shrink in the election, a well-placed party operative said hours before Election Day polls close on Tuesday.
"Anything in the single-digit losses is a decent night," said the operative, who described a net loss of 15 seats as "a reasonably bad night."
"If it’s worse than that, Trump is probably being washed out and there was nothing we could do anyway," said the GOP operative, who spoke candidly on condition of anonymity. Trump is down on average by about 8 points from his 2016 vote "across all types" of districts, including the suburbs, the operative added.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters Tuesday she feels "absolutely certain" that Democrats "can win many seats." Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., the chair of the party''s House election arm, added: "I believe we will grow the majority."
House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., told NBC News' Leigh Ann Caldwell on Tuesday that he predicts a net gain of 10 or 12 seats for his party. “We’ll we will see. Holding the House would just be the status quo. Winning the Senate would make it good,” he said.
Trump campaign has internal concerns about chances in Pennsylvania
While Trump voiced confidence about the election publicly on Tuesday, there are signs of internal concerns about the campaign's chances in the key battleground of Pennsylvania.
“The team in Pennsylvania was not as prepared as it should be in a state that could decide the presidency," a person with direct knowledge of Trump campaign operations told NBC News.
Detailing the concern about turnout in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, the source said, “When you bank your entire election on Election Day turnout, you have to ask people if they’re going to stand in line for two hours.”
The Trump campaign moved some resources from Ohio to Pennsylvania in the past couple of days, the person said, but added, “You can’t fix it at this point.”
The source said the campaign should have focused more on mail-in ballots, but conceded that effort was undermined by the president’s own rhetoric.
A second person with direct knowledge of the Trump campaign operations said what is happening Tuesday in Pennsylvania is “not ideal.”
Houston's mayor saddles up for Election Day
North Carolina extends polling hours at some sites, delaying results
North Carolina won’t release any election results until after 8:15 p.m., after a late start at four polling sites earned those precincts extended polling hours.
Polls in the state are scheduled to be open from 6:30 a.m until 7:30 p.m.; North Carolina law allows the state board to order minute-for-minute extensions when delays go past 15 minutes, but such orders delay the release of election results after all polling precincts have closed.
The state board of elections ruled that a polling site at the Plainview fire station in Dunn, N.C., will stay open for an additional 45 minutes after opening 45 minutes late Tuesday morning due to printer issues.
Three other polling sites were extended as well for periods ranging from 17 to 34 minutes, and the state board will do so for additional precinct polling sites if any are interrupted for more than 15 minutes.
Michigan mayor who voted for Trump in 2016: 'I regret my vote'
The Republican mayor of Sterling Heights, Michigan, told MSNBC on Tuesday that voting for Donald Trump in 2016 was a "mistake" he will not be repeating.
"Trump is just bad for our country. He’s bad for the city of Sterling Heights, he’s bad for Macomb County, and I made a mistake," said Michael Taylor, who said he cast his ballot for Joe Biden in this election and has been outspoken in recent months about his disdain for Trump. "I regret my vote."
Taylor said he is not alone: In his part of the crucial battleground state, he is seeing fewer Trump signs than he did four years ago.
"What I've hearing from neighbors and friends and family members, we're concerned about his leadership on the pandemic. We’re concerned about what he's doing dis-unifying the country," Taylor said. "We need strong leadership. We need somebody who’s focused on getting our kids back to school, getting our jobs back. And he's more focused on his Twitter account."
Cincinnati voters head to polls with pandemic, economy and equality on their minds
CINCINNATI — Ohioans went to the polls Tuesday with their top issues of concern — the pandemic, the economy, protests and getting children back to school — at top of mind.
“Obviously, the elections are important, and everyone has to exercise their right to vote," said Tiffany Forde, 36, a Biden supporter from Cincinnati. "If you want to see change, and if we want change in our communities and at the presidential level, then it’s important — especially for people of color, whose ancestors went through a lot to be able to vote.”
Voting lines in Cincinnati appeared to be manageable at many polling places Tuesday. Across the state, which is considered a toss-up by the NBC News Political Unit, more than 3.4 million people voted before Election Day, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose tweeted Monday night.
Cincinnati resident Midge Hall, 85, and her daughter, Lisa Gerard, headed to the polls together with opposing views on who should lead the country for the next four years.
Hall, a Trump supporter who raised eight kids, believes children need to be in school. “If they exercise what they’re supposed to do, I think the schools can be safe," she said. "If you keep your distance and if they are properly supervised, it can happen.
In 2016, Gerard, 50, voted for Trump as a long-time Republican, but has since broken family ranks by switching her party affiliation to Democratic, something her mother only found out after leaving the polls Tuesday.
“We’re ready for a change," Gerard said. "I’m worried about equality. I’m worried about the people” and the direction of the country. “We really need to get this covid thing under control.”
Judge orders USPS inspectors to sweep mail facilities for unsent ballots
Federal district Judge Emmet Sullivan on Tuesday ordered U.S. Postal Service inspectors or their designees to “sweep” postal facilities by 3 p.m. ET “to ensure that no ballots have been held up and that any identified ballots are immediately sent out for delivery.”
Sullivan's order, which covers regions in many swing states, including Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, Houston, South Florida, Arizona and parts of South Carolina, comes after the USPS said just 62% of Central Pennsylvania’s ballots moved on-time this past Saturday.
Sullivan set a 4:30 p.m. ET deadline for “a status update" on the sweeps.
Three states, many colors of Election Day
In the skies of Philadelphia, a jab at Trump makes the rounds
Philadelphians were quick to spot a plane circling their city on Tuesday bearing an apparent jab at the president.
"TRUMP <3'S JERRY JONES & THE COWBOYS," the plane's banner read.
Jones, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Cowboys football team, has long been an acquaintance of Trump, having recently sent the president well-wishes after Trump's Covid-19 diagnosis in early October.
The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the division rival Cowboys 23-9 in a game over the weekend.
In pizza we crust: On an Election Day like no other, pie delivery remains a constant
Election night is to pizza parlors what Valentine’s Day is to florists. However, with large gatherings discouraged during the pandemic, pizzeria owners across America are not sure what to expect.
During previous elections and big news events, media outlets would have dozens of pies delivered throughout the night to feed journalists working in the newsroom. But many of the city’s media outlets, including NBC News, are still having reporters work from home. That means local pizza shops will be missing out on some of their biggest customers on election night.
But with many schools being closed and some offices giving employees the day off to vote, "we're definitely expecting to see an increase in delivery, pick-up and dining at the restaurant,” one pizzeria owner told NBC News. “Our culinary team is doubling up on product and prep, and everyone is ready for a busy night.”
Trump to campaign staff: 'Winning is easy, losing is never easy'
Speaking to staffers at his campaign headquarters in Northern Virginia, Trump expressed confidence that he's doing well in certain battleground states and suggested that losing the election would not be easy for him.
"I hear we're doing very well in Florida, we're doing very well in Arizona, we're doing incredibly well in Texas," Trump told his campaign staff at the Republican National Committee annex in Arlington, Va. "The lines have been amazing, and I think we're going to have a great night."
Trump said that he isn't thinking about a concession or an acceptance speech yet.
"Hopefully, we'll be only doing one of those two and you know, winning is easy. Losing is never easy — not for me it's not," he said.
Trump continued by bashing a Supreme Court decision that is allowing Pennsylvania to count mail-in ballots several days after Election Day.
"I think we should know what happens on the night. Let people put their ballots in earlier,” he said. “You have to have numbers. You can't have these things delayed for many days and maybe weeks, you can't do that. The whole world is waiting. This country is waiting, the whole world is waiting."
"We should be entitled to know who won on Nov. 3," he added.
'Future voter' checks out her polling place in Brooklyn
Some Republicans feel protected by 6-3 Supreme Court, even if Biden wins
WASHINGTON — Republican voters fearing a potential Joe Biden presidency are taking some solace in the belief that a newly conservative Supreme Court with Justice Amy Coney Barrett will restrain Democratic ambitions.
Some of President Donald Trump’s supporters believe the new 6-3 majority of Republican appointees will be a bulwark against a Biden administration’s attempts to move the country in a more progressive direction.
“We have no fears because there’s a conservative Supreme Court now,” said Cynthia Manville of Buckeye, Arizona, who attended a Trump rally in Phoenix last Wednesday. “We feel if Democrats cast legislation that’s radical liberal, it wouldn’t stand the test of time.”
“God has a certain way of watching over this country,” said Manville, who attended with her husband, Steve, both of whom were wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats.
The conservative victory on the court eases one of the biggest sources of anxiety among Republican voters, which has tended to be a motivator to vote. In 2016, an open Supreme Court seat galvanized evangelicals behind Trump. In the run-up to 2020 Election Day, Trump sought to bring back that urgency by warning that Biden could "pack the court" and erase their gains.
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