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.
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Vote Watch: U.S. Cyber Command took prior action against Russian and Iranian government hackers
The U.S. Cyber Command conducted offensive operations designed to thwart election interference efforts prior to the election, two sources told NBC News. The operations targeted computer infrastructure associated with government hackers in Russia and Iran.
The sources described cyber actions not as crushing blows to foreign adversaries, but as something of an annoyance to them.
The sources said the operations were similar to what Cyber Command did in 2018, when it took down computers associated with the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm. The impact lasted only a day or two, the sources said, before the disinformation factory was up and running again.
A spokeswoman for Cyber Command declined to comment. Gen. Paul Nakasone, who serves as both director of the National Security Agency and commander of Cyber Command, boasted in a tweet earlier Tuesday: “We know our adversaries better than they know themselves. We stand ready with our partners to generate insights, enable defenses, and when authorized, impose costs on foreign adversaries. Rest assured, if called to, we will act.”
U.S. officials have said they have seen no signs Tuesday of malicious foreign cyber activity targeting the election.
NBC News Exit Poll: Despite 'law and order' appeals, white suburban women say economy, not crime, is top issue
With protests around racial inequality and policing occurring in cities across the country this year, many Republican candidates — and especially President Trump — sought to appeal to suburban white women by emphasizing a commitment to law and order. But according to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters, the economy was a far bigger issue in deciding how this group voted for president.
Only 11 percent of suburban white women said that crime was the issue that mattered most to their vote, about the same share who said racial inequality was the most important issue.
When asked about the Black Lives Matter movement and the criminal justice system, more than half of white suburban women said they hold a favorable view of Black Lives Matter, and nearly half said they believe the justice system is unfair to Black people, the poll found.
NBC News Exit Poll: Biden is ahead with independent voters nationwide
In an era marked by wide divisions between Republicans and Democrats across a host of issues and concerns, a key factor in this election is whom independent voters will favor.
In 2016, President Trump edged out Hillary Clinton among independents by 4 points, capturing 46 percent of independent voters nationwide, compared to the Democratic candidate's 42 percent.
According to results so far from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters, this critical swing group is breaking for Joe Biden by a 17-point margin — 56 percent to 39 percent.
Men are a key constituency for Trump this election.
Former Vice President Biden is pulling in about half of independent men (52 percent), a group that Clinton lost by 12 points in 2016. And Biden is winning over independent women by a wide margin: 61 percent of this group is breaking for him, compared with 35 percent for Trump, a difference of 26 points.
Sen. Mitch McConnell gives victory speech
Gov. Jim Justice wins re-election in West Virginia, NBC News projects
Gov. Jim Justice won re-election in West Virginia on Tuesday, dispatching Democrat Ben Salango, NBC News is projecting.
The former coal executive is best known for having won office in 2016 as a Democrat, only to switch parties in 2017.
Biden holds early Electoral College advantage, but no swing states have been called
Biden currently holds an 89 to 54 advantage over Trump in the Electoral College, yet all of the major swing states remain outstanding.
Biden has so far won New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey, Colorado, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut and Washington, D.C., NBC News projects.
Trump, meanwhile, has won North Dakota, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee, NBC News projects.
NBC News Exit Poll: In Pennsylvania, Trump losing ground with college-educated whites
In 2016, Trump toppled the "blue wall" of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin by running up the numbers with white voters who do not have college degrees. According to the 2020 NBC News Exit Poll of early and election day voters in Pennsylvania, Trump is maintaining his support of non-college whites but losing ground with white voters who have college degrees.
In the 2012 election, there was no education divide among white voters in Pennsylvania. Four years later, Trump won non-college whites handily, with 64 percent of the vote, while breaking even with Hillary Clinton among college-educated whites. This year, the exit poll shows Trump losing the white college graduate vote in Pennsylvania by about 12 points (43 percent to Biden's 55 percent).
Attitudes among white Pennsylvania voters divide sharply on the question of whether Trump has the temperament to serve effectively as president. Most college-educated whites say no (60 percent) while a similar share of non-college whites (58 percent) say yes.
Tensions high as Texans await the results of a tight presidential race
HOUSTON — With Texas in play for Democrats for the first time in decades, the mood is tense among dozens of people who’ve crowded onto a patio at Axelrad Beer Garden for an election night watch party.
Serma Malik, 36, just didn’t want to be alone after the crushing disappointment she felt when Trump won four years ago.
“It’s hard for me to even think about what the next four years are going to be like if Trump wins,” said Malik, who was born in Pakistan and immigrated to the U.S. as a child. “It feels like this election is about who’s welcome in this country, and who isn’t.”
Malik, surrounded Tuesday by close friends and her husband, hasn’t allowed herself to contemplate the possibility that Texas could flip for Biden.
“I’m trying not to set my expectations high so if somehow we flip that will be an exciting surprise,” Malik said. "I felt so burned after the last election four years ago, I just want to prepare myself to be disappointed.”
A moment later, just as the last Texas polling locations closed, an MSNBC anchor announced that the state was still too close to call.
Malik took a deep breath and looked down at her phone.
GOP Sen. Mike Rounds wins South Dakota Senate race, NBC News projects
NBC News projects GOP Sen. Mike Rounds will win re-election in South Dakota, a state President Trump also carried.
This brings the total of seats Republicans have maintained on election night to seven. This was not seen as a competitive Senate race.
Nevada court rejects Trump campaign effort to halt mail ballot processing
The Nevada Supreme Court refused a last-ditch Trump campaign effort to halt mail ballot processing and the use of signature verification software in Clark County, allowing the county to continue processing ballots as planned.
The Trump campaign and the Nevada Republican Party filed an emergency motion this afternoon asking the court for an emergency injunction after their suit in a district court was rejected Monday. The state Supreme Court refused Tuesday evening, writing that the “appellants have not demonstrated a sufficient likelihood of success to merit a stay or injunction.”
The court said that the suit had failed in district court because it lacked “evidentiary support” and standing and that the appeal hadn’t changed that.
NBC News Exit Poll: In Texas, Biden is performing better among white voters than any Democrat in decades
Texas and its big cache of electoral votes have remained solidly in the Republican column since 1976, but this year the state emerged as a surprising battleground in the race between President Trump and Joe Biden. That’s in part due to Biden’s historically strong performance among the state’s white voters, according to results from the NBC News Exit Poll conducted with early and Election Day voters in the state.
Trump enjoys a solid lead among the state’s white voters, 65 percent to 34 percent. But Biden’s performance among this group is better than any Democrat since at least 1996, when President Bill Clinton won 31 percent of the white vote in Texas.
Biden is leading Trump among nonwhite voters in Texas, 68 percent to 30 percent, according to the exit poll. Texas remained too early to call when polls closed in the state at 9 p.m. ET.
See the map two hours after the first polls closed and choose the path to the presidency
It will take at least 270 electoral votes to win the 2020 presidential election. Finish the 2020 map on our interactive page by clicking or tapping an individual state or toggle in order to move it to red or blue. States where NBC News has projected a winner cannot be changed.
Florida too close to call, but Trump leading
NBC News projects that Florida is still too close to call, but Trump is leading the key swing state.
Trump is up about 900,000 votes on his 2016 vote total in the Sunshine State while Biden is up on Clinton's 2016 total by more than 600,000. About 93 percent of the expected vote is in.
GOP Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and John Cornyn of Texas win re-election
Both races were not seen as terribly competitive among the Senate races.
As more polls close, more Senate races too early to call
As of 9 p.m., NBC News projects several Senate races are too early to call: Kansas, Michigan, Colorado, Minnesota, Arizona, New Mexico, South Dakota, Nebraska, Louisiana and Wyoming.
Michigan, Minnesota and Arizona are seen as highly competitive races.
Biden wins New York. Trump wins Arkansas.
Both outcomes were not seriously in doubt, though Trump projected public optimism he could somehow flip New York, his birth state.
As of 9 p.m. on the East Coast, Biden now holds an 80 to 48 advantage over Trump in electoral votes. It takes 270 to win.
Gov. Phil Scott wins re-election in Vermont
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican in a solidly blue state, won re-election Tuesday, NBC News projects. Scott held off Democratic challenger state Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman.
Still quiet at Biden headquarters
It's almost 9:00 p.m. ET, and the scene at the Biden campaign headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, is still developing.
The parking lot at the Chase Center on the Riverfront — where the Biden campaign is holding its election night drive-in car rally — remains largely empty.
MSNBC is playing on the big screens next to the stage.
Cars are not scheduled to arrive in the parking lot for the rally until later in the evening, the campaign has said.
NBC News Exit Poll: Trump has edge with older voters, who support his handling of the economy
Despite speculation that President Trump might lose the vote among seniors, he is holding his own with voters 65 and older. According to the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters, Trump is leading in the senior vote by roughly 3 points, 51 percent to 48 percent, which is a narrower margin than in recent elections.
The coronavirus pandemic has taken an enormous toll on older adults — and about 2 out of 3 voters 65 and older reported that the coronavirus was an important factor in their presidential vote.
Still, these older voters reported that the economy mattered more in their decision in the presidential race than the pandemic. Thirty-one percent of adults 65 and older said the economy was the most important issue affecting their vote, while 24 percent said the same of the coronavirus.
When it came to handling of the economy, older voters gave Trump an edge (53 percent) over Joe Biden (42 percent). Older voters were more evenly divided on who they thought would better handle the coronavirus, narrowly choosing Biden (47 percent) over Trump (46 percent).
In the critical swing state of Florida, where there is a particularly large concentration of older voters, Trump did even better: 56 percent of voters 65 and older in Florida said they believed that Trump would better handle the economy, while 52 percent felt that Trump would better handle the coronavirus pandemic.
Analysis: Biden gets big surge in major North Carolina counties
In North Carolina's Wake and Mecklenburg counties, where Raleigh and Charlotte are located respectively, Biden already has about a 100,000 increase from Clinton's totals there.
There are still precincts left to report in both counties, but less than 20 percent of the precincts are still out. Trump's total for the two counties is still shy of his 2016 mark by more than 10,000 votes. These numbers in counties with a mix of city and suburbs are consistent with the strength Biden is seeing in Florida in the Tampa/St. Petersburg suburbs and Jacksonville.
Trump's former White House doctor, Ronny Jackson, wins House seat in Texas
Ronny Jackson has won the House seat in Texas' 13th Congressional District, NBC News projects.
Jackson, a rear admiral, served as physician to the president in both the Trump and the Obama administrations. He held that role under Trump through March 2018.
In that position, Jackson claimed that Trump could live for 200 years because of the president's "incredible genes." He said in 2018 that Trump was in "excellent health" and his physical exam that year "went exceptionally well."
Trump had also tapped Jackson to serve as the secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, but Jackson withdrew from consideration when allegations surfaced that he drank on the job, was responsible for a hostile workplace inside the White House and provided prescription pills with little oversight.
After that, he was appointed medical adviser to the president.
The big picture: Election Day across America
From Portland, Oregon, to Pittsburgh, photographers have been capturing the excitement and the anxiety of this historic Election Day.
Click here to see more photos by Alisha Jucevic, Amy Lombard, Annie Mulligan, Sam Navarro, Ting Shen, Michael Swensen and Dominic Valente.
Trump expected to speak Tuesday night, Kellyanne Conway says
Kellyanne Conway, Trump's 2016 campaign manager and longtime adviser, told ABC News “you will hear from the president tonight.”
She told the network he is “expected to address the nation later from the East Room.” Conway said she would be there and will be joined by “a couple hundred people.”
Georgia voter drives 800 miles to vote in person after absentee ballot fails to be delivered on time
More than 100 million Americans cast their votes before Election Day thanks to expanded early and absentee voting. However, one American had to drive more than 800 miles from Massachusetts to Georgia in order to cast his vote in person since his absentee ballot never arrived at his home address. Joe LaMuraglia, 52, is a registered Democrat from Savannah, Georgia, but has been living in Boston during the pandemic with his partner. He requested his absentee ballot at the beginning of September.
After requesting his ballot, LaMuraglia, a marketing executive, saw that the election office mailed his ballot on Sept. 18. However, the ballot never made it to his home in Boston. It was sent to Virginia, a state in which he has never claimed residency.
By Tuesday of last week, LaMuraglia knew he had to travel to Georgia in person to cast his vote. He drove about 15 hours to his early-voting polling location in Savannah. There, he waited for about an hour in order to cast his ballot for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday. “I believe the Democratic ticket has my best interests at heart. But this election isn't about Democrats and Republicans. This election to me is about the future of this country,” he said.
Georgia is a hotly contested battleground state in which Democrats have been campaigning up until Election Day. Former President Barack Obama was in the state Monday, campaigning for Biden.
Marjorie Taylor Greene, QAnon supporter, wins House seat in Georgia
Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia businesswoman who has expressed support for the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon and been criticized for a series of racist comments, has won her House race for the state's 14th Congressional District, NBC News projects.
As of 8:30 p.m., Greene won 81 percent of the vote against her challenger, Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal, who received about 20 percent, NBC News projects, with 24 percent of the vote in.
Van Ausdal dropped out of the race in mid-September after just 31 days.
McConnell cruises despite facing well-funded opponent
WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will return to the Senate in 2021 whether or not his party keeps control of the Senate, as NBC News projects he will defeat Democrat Amy McGrath.
McGrath gained significant national attention, a former fighter pilot who proved to be a strong fundraiser during her ill-fated 2018 House bid and an even stronger one in 2020. Through Oct. 14, she raised more than every other Senate candidate this year except for South Carolina Democrat Jaime Harrison.
She put that money to use, spending more than $75 million in total through Oct. 14, more than all but two other Senate candidates this cycle.
And when you look at TV and radio spending, where there’s up-to-date data, McGrath spent $22.8 million (as a part of that $75 million-plus total).
But despite all that money raised and spent, McConnell’s victory was a quick call on Tuesday night.
McConnell spent $45.5 million, with about $17 million of that coming on TV and radio.
Trump wins West Virginia, Biden wins Conn., NBC News projects
Trump wins West Virginia, NBC News projects. The state was one of the most pro-Trump states in 2016 and its results were not in doubt this cycle. NBC News is also projecting that Joe Biden wins Connecticut.
As of 8:30 p.m. on the East Coast, Biden is up 51 to 42 over Trump in the Electoral College. It takes 270 electoral votes to win.
NBC News Exit Poll: Majority of voters nationwide see racism as a problem
Voters nationwide have mixed views about the extent to which racism is an important problem in the country today. Two in 10 consider racism the most important problem in the country and another 52 percent say racism is one of many important problems.
About a quarter of voters nationwide (26 percent) think that racism is not a problem or only a minor one, according to the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters.
More than 8 in 10 Black (85 percent) and Latino voters (82 percent) nationwide consider racism an important problem facing the U.S. but so, too, do about two-thirds of white voters (66 percent).
When it comes to the criminal justice system, 54 percent of voters nationwide say Black people are treated unfairly while 39 percent say it treats everyone fairly.
Ballots on the move to be counted in North Carolina
Maine Senate race too early to call, NBC News projects
The Senate race in Maine is too early to call, NBC News projects.
Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican and four-term incumbent, is facing Democratic challenger Sara Gideon, the speaker of the state's House of Representatives, in a closely watched race that could help determine which party controls the Senate.
NBC News projects GOP Sen. Shelley Moore Capito re-elected in West Virginia
NBC News projects GOP incumbent Sen. Shelley Moore Capito will be re-elected in West Virginia.
This is the fourth seat Republicans have maintained in the Senate as the party defends its current majority.
Gov. Chris Sununu wins re-election in New Hampshire
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu won re-election Tuesday, holding off Democratic challenger Dan Feltes, NBC News projects.
Sununu will keep the governor's chair once held by his father, John Sununu.
How will the night unfold? Finish the 2020 map with your picks
It will take at least 270 electoral votes to win the 2020 presidential election. Finish the 2020 map on our interactive page by clicking or tapping an individual state or toggle in order to move it to red or blue. States where NBC News has projected a winner cannot be changed.
Bill Hagerty wins Tennessee Senate seat, NBC News projects
As expected, Republican Bill Hagerty wins Tennessee Senate seat, NBC News projects.
Hagerty, who served as the ambassador to Japan under Trump, is filling the seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander.
NBC News Exit Poll: Trump's support slips in Ohio suburbs
President Trump won Ohio by a comfortable 8-point margin in 2016, but this year there is erosion of his support in the state's suburbs. According to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters, Trump’s suburban support in Ohio is down about 5 percentage points from his 57 percent mark in 2016. Trump’s support in small Ohio cities and rural areas looks to be up slightly, however, to 72 percent this year versus 69 percent four years ago.
The suburban Ohio vote is overwhelmingly white (86 percent), and among that group support for Trump has declined about equally among men and women. In 2016 Trump won white suburban women in Ohio by 19 points (57 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 38 percent), but this year their vote is roughly split (51 percent Trump, 49 percent Joe Biden).
Meanwhile Trump’s previous 70 percent support level among white suburban men in Ohio has declined to 63 percent this year. One indication as to why Trump is faring worse in the suburbs this year is that a slim majority of Ohio suburban voters (53 percent) say that he does not have the temperament to serve effectively as president.
McConnell wins Senate re-election in Kentucky
Republican Mitch McConnell wins re-election in the Kentucky Senate race, NBC News projects.
McConnell, the powerful GOP leader who pushed through the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett just days before the election, will continue in his role as the state’s longest-serving senator, beating back Democratic challenger Amy McGrath.
"Our country will get back on its feet," said McConnell after his victory, adding, "Our fellow citizens are not our enemies."
Whether he will have the chance for a third term as majority leader remains an open question right now, as control of the Senate has not yet been projected by NBC News.
Democrats poured millions of dollars into the race hoping to deny McConnell another term.
Click here for the full story.
Mississippi voter backing Biden, Espy appeals for bipartisanship
JACKSON, Miss. — Don Potts checked his watch after casting his ballot at a precinct in Jackson, Mississippi’s capital and the state’s largest city.
“Fifty-three minutes,” he said, describing the length of the process from waiting in line to voting in national and down ballot races.
Potts, who is white, bucked the state's history of racially polarized voting by supporting former Vice President Joe Biden and Mike Espy, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate challenging incumbent GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham. Polls closed moments ago in the red state, and the race is too early to call.
"I don't see any redeeming qualities," Potts, who identifies as an Independent, said of the president. If Espy is elected, Potts hopes he'll weigh proposals from members of both parties based on merit, not partisanship.
Espy will need a strong cross-section of Black and white voters in order to unseat Republican incumbent Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. Potts believes more white Mississippians have reached a turning point in their political views.
"I wasn't raised the way I think today,” he said. “There’s a good possibility a lot of us can change.”
Potts expressed embarrassment over Hyde-Smith, whose candidacy drew connotations of racial violence in the state, after she praised a supporter by stating, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”
“I imagine people in Washington say, ‘Is this the best Mississippi has?" Potts said.
Mississippians are also voting on whether to adopt a new state flag. The legislature retired the state’s former banner, which was last in the nation to contain the Confederate emblem, in July. Potts, who works in real estate, said he’s in favor of the new design displaying a magnolia, the state’s official flower, and a diamond honoring the contributions of Native Americans to the state.
NBC News Exit Poll: More North Carolina voters view Trump favorably now than in 2016
According to results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters, 46 percent of North Carolina voters say they have a favorable view of the president. More voters (52 percent) say they have an unfavorable view of him this year.
But favorable views of Trump are slightly higher today than they were in 2016. Then, just 41 percent said they had a positive opinion of him. But despite these lukewarm views, Trump went on to win the state by about 4 percentage points.
North Carolina voters also have a slightly rosier view of Biden than they did of Clinton in 2016: 49 percent have a favorable view of him, as compared to the 43 percent who had a favorable opinion of Clinton.
Reflecting more positive views of both major party candidates in the 2020 contest, just 4 percent of voters say they do not have a favorable view of either candidate in the race. Four years ago, 16 percent of voters said they did not have a favorable view of either candidate.
Trump wins Tennessee, NBC News projects
NBC News has projected that Trump will win Tennessee.
The state was not closely contested in 2020 and this result is not surprising.
As of 8:15 p.m. on the East Coast, Biden holds a 44 to 37 lead over Trump in electoral votes. It takes 270 to win.
Analysis: Good news, bad news for both camps in Florida
While the Miami-Dade bump for Trump is very good for him in the state, Biden's raw vote increases in the Tampa/St. Petersburg region could foreshadow new strength for him in the suburbs in other states.
'A moment for change and reform' in Los Angeles DA race
Walking out of the polling station at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Cameron Johnson, 35, said he voted in favor of county district attorney candidate George Gascón with hesitation.
Gascón is running to unseat Jackie Lacey, the first Black woman to serve as Los Angeles County district attorney. She has drawn heavy scrutiny from Black Lives Matter activists for not prosecuting more police officers who shot and killed civilians. Gascón is seen as the reform candidate, although he too has been criticized for not bringing charges over police shootings when he was San Francisco’s district attorney. Gascón has vowed to reopen four fatal police shooting cases in Los Angeles if elected.
As Johnson explained, he always paid attention to the district attorney race, in part because he’s a tall, Black man. But a major turning point for Johnson came when he saw Lacey’s husband pull a gun on Black Lives Matter activists who knocked on Lacey’s door in March.
"She has not met the moment," Johnson said. “This is a moment for change and reform, and she has not done a good job of explaining how she’s going to change her office to meet this moment of upheaval."
“While I was not necessarily the biggest George Gascón fan,” he continued, “I think he will bring about change in the way our city prosecutes crime.”
Senate: 4 Democratic incumbents maintain seats, GOP keeps seat in Oklahoma, NBC News projects
Democrats have maintained four Senate seats while Republicans have maintained their hold on one, NBC News projects.
As of 8 p.m., Democratic incumbent Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Chris Coons of Delaware, Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire won their Senate races, NBC News projects. GOP incumbent Sen. Jim Inhofe won his race in Oklahoma.
NBC News Exit Poll: Latino voters hit hard by coronavirus, say economy is most important issue
The coronavirus pandemic has hit Latino communities particularly hard. According to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters, 35 percent of Latinos reported facing severe economic hardships from the coronavirus — about three times the number of white voters (12 percent) and significantly more than the number of Black voters (21 percent). Another 33 percent of Latinos reported facing moderate economic hardships from the coronavirus.
Despite the severity of these economic challenges, 2 in 3 Latino voters said they believe it is more important to contain the coronavirus, even if it causes economic strain.
The economy was the top concern of Latino voters, with 35 percent saying it was the most important issue shaping their vote. Twenty-nine percent said racial inequality was the most significant issue.
Across swing states, President Trump's approval rating among Latino voters varied widely. Fifty-eight percent of Latinos in Florida and half in Colorado said they approve of the way Trump is handling his job as president, compared to a smaller share — about a third — of Latino voters in Arizona and Nevada.
Delaware Gov. John Carney wins re-election
Delaware Gov. John Carney will win re-election, topping Republican challenger Julianne Murray, NBC News projects.
This marks the eighth consecutive time a Democrat has won the governor's chair in Dover.
Several Senate races too early to call
In the 2020 election, Republicans are defending 23 seats compared to 12 states for Democrats, making the battle for Senate majority extremely competitive.
As of 8 p.m, NBC News rates the races in Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Virginia, Illinois, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Tennessee, North Carolina, and West Virginia as too early to call.
Democrats have already maintained seats in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Delaware, NBC News projects. Republicans maintained their seat in Oklahoma, NBC News projects.
Democrats need to win back at least three seats to reclaim a thin Senate majority. The race in Alabama, where Democrat Sen. Doug Jones is competing for re-election, is very competitive. If Democrats lose that seat in ruby-red Alabama, they need four seats to get a majority.
NBC News Exit Poll: In New Hampshire, Biden leads among independents, a key bloc in the state
Independents make up a big share of voters in the battleground state of New Hampshire. Unlike with Hillary Clinton in 2016, Democrat Joe Biden has built a lead over Republican Donald Trump with this key bloc, results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters show.
The state was too early to call when polls closed in New Hampshire at 8 p.m. ET.
Biden leads Trump, 61 percent to 34 percent, among self-described Independents in the Granite State. That’s a substantial change from 2016, when the state’s Independents split their votes down the middle between Trump and Clinton. That year, New Hampshire was one of the closest races of any state: Clinton beat Trump in the state by just 2,736 votes.
Independents make up 44 percent of voters this year in New Hampshire, far more than those identifying as Democrats (26 percent) or Republicans (29 percent).
Battleground Florida too early to call
It remains too early to call Florida, NBC News projects, as Biden holds a lead of less than 10,000 votes.
With 80 percent of the expected vote already in, Trump has seen a massive improvement on his vote in Miami-Dade County compared to 2016. There, he has so far picked up more than 140,000 additional votes when compared to his 2016 total.
But the news is better for Biden elsewhere in the state. He has improved on Clinton's total and margin in Duval, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties — home to Jacksonville, Tampa and St. Petersburg.
Biden wins several solid blue East Coast states, Trump wins Oklahoma
NBC News projects that Trump has won Oklahoma.
NBC News Exit Poll: In Maine, voters divided on ranked-choice voting
As Maine becomes the first state to use ranked-choice voting in its highly competitive Senate race Tuesday, voters in the state are divided about the new voting method.
According to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters in Maine, 47 percent say they support ranked-choice voting, while 46 percent oppose it.
But there are stark divides among each candidate’s voters on the adoption of ranked-choice voting: Among those who support Democratic Senate challenger Sara Gideon, 71 percent support the new voting method while 20 percent oppose.
The pattern is the reverse among voters who back Republican incumbent Susan Collins: Just 20 percent of her voters support the policy, while 76 percent oppose it.
Vote Watch: Absentee ballot count will be delayed in Fulton County, Georgia
Officials at the State Farm Arena in Fulton County, Georgia, have announced that the absentee ballot count will be delayed after a pipe burst in the room containing the ballots. Fulton County is Georgia’s most populous county and includes Atlanta.
The issue with the pipe was fixed within two hours. According to Fulton County spokesperson Regina Waller, none of the ballots or machinery were damaged.
Fulton County said in a statemen, "Tonight Fulton County will report results for approximately 86,000 absentee ballots, as well as Election Day and Early Voting results. These represent the vast majority of ballots cast within Fulton County."
The county still plans on counting all ballots Tuesday night. However, Waller did not give an estimated time of completion. The county did not anticipate having all absentee ballots counted on Election Night.
NBC News Exit Poll: 3 in 10 Biden voters say opposition to Trump drove their choice
Voters for Joe Biden were more than twice as likely as voters for President Trump to say that their choice for president was driven by opposition to the other candidate.
According to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters, more than 3 in 10 Biden voters said their vote for Biden was mainly against Trump. In contrast, just 15 percent of Trump voters said they cast their ballot against Biden.
And more Trump voters (80 percent) said their vote was in support of the president. This compares with 63 percent of Biden voters who said they cast their ballot in support of the Democratic candidate.
Vote Watch: 14,000 ballots won't be counted in one S.C. county Tuesday night because of printing error
In South Carolina's Dorchester County, 14,000 mail-in ballots won't be counted Tuesday night because of a printing error.
The mistake was noticed when they tried to scan the mail-in ballots during the day, according to a spokesman for the state's Board of Elections. The county has to come up with a solution to the problem by Wednesday morning.
Dorchester County is outside of Charleston, which voted for Trump in 2016, 56 percent to 38 percent.
The state's Senate race between GOP incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison is competitive.
Postal Service ordered to sweep its facilities for ballots
A federal judge ordered Postal Service inspectors to "sweep" postal service facilities this afternoon “to ensure that no ballots have been held up and that any identified ballots are immediately sent out for delivery.”
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan's order covers 12 Postal Service regions, including in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, Michigan, Florida and Arizona and came after the federal mail agency said 300,000 ballots it had received had not been scanned for delivery — though just because they weren't scanned doesn't mean they weren't delivered, postal officials say.
The Postal Service did not meet its 3 p.m. deadline to finish the sweep, but it said it started "all clear" sweeps to check for election mail, including voter registration, absentee ballot requests and absentee ballots, in January 2020. It said the Postal Inspection Service, essentially the mail police, had stationed hundreds of its agents to conduct daily reviews of all 220 of its facilities since Oct. 29.
The NAACP, one of the groups that filed the case, said it was "grateful Judge Sullivan is requiring the USPS to take all actions necessary to ensure ballots are delivered on time."
"There is no room for error," NAACP President Derrick Johnson said. "Some state deadlines are tonight and the ballots must arrive. The Postal Service must comply fully with this order or be held in contempt.”
Sullivan denied the NAACP's request for an emergency conference after the Postal Service did not meet the court's deadline, but he certified that all the sorting facilities were being swept for overlooked or mishandled ballots until 8 p.m.
The judge did tell the agency's lawyers to plan for a hearing at noon Wednesday discuss their failure to meet his earlier deadline.
Trump campaign, Nevada GOP file emergency motion to limit processing of mail-in ballots
The Trump campaign and the Nevada Republican Party filed an emergency motion Tuesday afternoon, asking the state Supreme Court to stop processing some mail-in ballots in Clark County.
Citing the potential for ballot manipulation, the motion requests the state’s highest court to stop election officials in Clark County, home to Las Vegas and the largest population in the state, from using a signature match software. The motion also asks the court to stop processing the mail-in ballots until the appeals can be heard and observation can be increased of the county’s ballot tabulation system.
The emergency motion was filed a day after a Nevada district court judge issued an order rejecting the campaign and the Nevada GOP’s joint lawsuit filed in October, that claimed potential issues with the county’s signature verification system and its ballot processing procedures.
District Court Judge James Wilson’s order Monday stated that parties did “not have standing to bring these claims.”
'Get people back to work': Mississippi voters say economy is top issue
JACKSON, Miss. — In a suburb outside Mississippi's largest city, President Trump remains popular with many voters.
Roughly 75 percent of voters in Rankin County, a Republican stronghold in the state, backed Trump in 2016. Polls are set to close in the state at 8 p.m. ET.
At the Oakdale Baptist Church voting location, Tip Dyess, 53, said he wants Trump re-elected “to keep our economy strong."
The state has an unemployment rate of about 7 percent, according to the most recent projections from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security for September.
Loretta Paits lacks Dyess' confidence.
Sitting outside the polling location in a lawn chair as she waited for a friend to vote, she shared that she favored Joe Biden’s plan to "get people back to work." Mississippi has one of the nation's highest uninsured rates, and Paits said she hopes Biden will reform health care in "a way that benefits everybody."
As masked voters walked past, the coronavirus pandemic was also on Paits' mind.
"I pray that he gets a vaccination," she said of Biden.
NBC News Exit Poll: Trump voters divided on whether mask-wearing is a public responsibility
As the handling of the coronavirus becomes a flashpoint in the 2020 presidential election, Trump voters are divided on the use of masks.
Among the president's voters, 50 percent say wearing a mask is a public health responsibility while a similar share (47 percent) say they are more of a personal choice.
According to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters, an overwhelming majority of voters nationwide say that wearing a mask is more of a public health responsibility (68 percent). Just 3 in 10 say mask-wearing is a personal choice.
A sizable share of Biden’s voters see mask wearing as a duty to the public: 83 percent say it’s a public health responsibility while just 14 percent say it is a personal choice.
Analysis: Trump gets huge boost in Miami-Dade County in Florida
President Trump has improved over his raw vote total in Miami-Dade County in Florida by more than 100,000 votes with ballots still to be counted. Trump has more than 457,000 votes compared to 334,000 in Miami-Dade four years ago.
That's with about 84 percent of precincts reporting. Biden is within about 10,000 votes of Hillary Clinton's total at the moment. The Miami-Dade area includes much of Florida's Cuban American community, which Trump had pinpointed as a constituency that could help him carry Florida again.
In some counties, Biden already has outpaced Clinton's numbers. But nothing so far is as dramatic as Trump's boost in Miami-Dade.
Swing states Ohio, North Carolina too early to call
Ohio and North Carolina, two closely watched swing states, are too early to call, NBC News projects.
NBC News Exit Poll: Biden favored by Virginians on issues of coronavirus, economy
Polls are now closed in Virginia. While the race is too early to call according to the NBC News Decision Desk, early returns show former Vice President Joe Biden is leading.
One issue on the minds of Virginia voters and elsewhere is the pandemic: 56 percent of Virginia voters see U.S. efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic as going badly. Just 42 percent think the handling of the pandemic has been going well.
The NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters found that most Virginians who’ve cast a ballot see Biden as the candidate better able to handle the coronavirus pandemic by a margin of 57 to 38.
Biden is also edging out President Trump with Virginia voters as the candidate better able to handle the economy, 52 to 45.
Biden wins Vermont, NBC News projects
NBC News projects Biden as the winner in Vermont, an outcome that was widely predicted.
Road to 270: Finish the map on our interactive page
It will take at least 270 electoral votes to win the 2020 presidential election. Finish the 2020 map on our interactive page by clicking or tapping an individual state or toggle in order to move it to red or blue. States where NBC News has projected a winner cannot be changed.
NBC News Exit Poll: Ohio voters support Trump's approach to the economy
The economy has always been an area of strength for President Trump, and his approach continues to resonate with Ohio voters. According to the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters, Ohio voters say Trump would handle the economy better than Joe Biden by a 14-point margin, 56 percent to 42 percent.
Ohio voters are also more aligned with Trump’s philosophy on the coronavirus pandemic than voters are nationally. In Ohio, voters are about evenly divided between those who say that containing the coronavirus, even if it hurts the economy, is more important (47 percent), and those who say that rebuilding the economy now, even if it hurts efforts to contain the coronavirus, is more important (48 percent). By contrast, voters nationally stress the importance of containing the coronavirus by a 10-point margin.
The GOP also has a built-in partisan advantage in Ohio: According to the exit poll, self-described Republican voters in Ohio outnumber Democrats 40 to 30 percent. Nationally, Democrats slightly outnumber Republicans 38 to 35 percent.
Lumber yards see record sales for plywood as stores, businesses board up
Retailers rushing to board up their windows in preparation for political unrest have led to record sales at building supply companies across the country’s largest cities.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my 14 years with the company,” John Torres, a salesman with Prince Lumber in New York City, said.
Over the weekend, the company sold more than 500 pieces of plywood. The last time demand reached that level was in June in response to looting and property damage during demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, he said.
“The only thing we know is that people are really scared of what’s going to happen,” he said. “The phone is still ringing.”
Storefront businesses across the country from Lululemon to Louis Vuitton have boarded up their windows to protect themselves from potential unrest around the election.
Over the last month, work orders for plywood have poured in to local supply companies. Between Oct. 5 and Nov. 2, 906 stores ordered preventive board-up or additional security in advance of the election, according to ServiceChannel, a software company that connects real estate businesses with local commercial contractors.
NBC News Exit Poll: In Georgia, Biden reverses slide in Democrats' performance among white voters
President Trump is winning solid support from white voters in Georgia, but results from the NBC News Exit Poll indicate that Democrat Joe Biden is doing better among these voters than any Democrat in decades. The exit poll was conducted with representative sample of the state’s early and Election Day voters. Georgia remained too early to call when polls closed in the state at 7 p.m. ET.
This year, Georgia and its 16 electoral votes emerged as a battleground for the first time in decades. Both Biden and Trump visited the state in the final week before Election Day, and both campaigns also spent millions of dollars on television ads aimed at Georgia voters. One of the reasons for the state’s newfound competitiveness is that Georgia’s white voters have reversed their decadeslong shift toward the Republican Party.
While Trump leads Biden solidly among whites in Georgia, 68 percent to 30 percent, this margin is substantially slimmer than in 2016, when Trump amassed a 75 percent to 21 percent gap over Democrat Hillary Clinton among these voters. In fact, no Democrat has performed as well as Biden with Georgia white voters since Bill Clinton did in his first bid for the presidency in 1992 — the last time a Democrat won the state.
Biden’s gains among whites are keeping things competitive in Georgia, but most of his support is coming from the state’s voters of color, who made up 40 percent of the electorate there this year. Biden is overwhelming Trump among these voters, 81 percent to 17 percent.
Gay bars in Houston, San Francisco transform into polling sites
Buddy's, an LGBTQ bar in Houston, transformed itself into a polling location on Tuesday.
"It’s been wonderful! The reception has been overwhelmingly positive. The poll workers are excited. There’s a lot of great energy. We’re all very excited about the whole process," Chris Barry, the bar's owner, told NBC News shortly before the polls closed.
Located in Houston's gay-friendly Montrose neighborhood, Buddy's brought in 14 voting booths where anyone registered to vote in Harris County, the most populous county in Texas, can cast their ballot until 7 p.m. CT.
The tagline for Buddy's Election Day event — which is expected to have cocktails, karaoke and drag queens — is "Vote in the front. Party in the back!"
In a post shared to its Facebook page, the venue claims to be the "world's 1st presidential polling location from an LGBTQ+ bar."
However, it has company: The Eagle, a gay leather bar in San Francisco, is also letting voters cast their ballots at the venue, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The paper reported that voters filled out their ballots "under chains hanging from pitch black ceilings" as a "disco ball spun overhead."
Kornacki: Early and mail-in voting turnout high, but keep an eye on same-day voting
Georgia, Virginia Senate races too close to call
NBC rates the Senate races in Virginia and Georgia as too close to call.
In Virginia, Democrat Sen. Mark Warner is leading against his GOP challenger, Daniel Gade, NBC News projects.
There are two Senate races in Georgia that political observers are paying close attention to as Democrats hope to flip the traditionally red state.
In one race, Democrat Jon Ossof is facing off against Republican incumbent Sen. David Perdue. The other race is a special election to fill the seat vacated by Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, who resigned last year. It features Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler who was appointed to her seat after Isakson resigned, and Republican Rep. Doug Collins, who is challenging her.
On the Democratic side is Raphael Warnock, a local pastor. In both Georgia races, candidates must reach 50 percent to avoid a runoff
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb wins re-election, NBC News projects
Holcomb had been leading Democrat Dr. Woody Myers by double digits in recent polls.
Holcomb won the governorship in 2016, taking the place of Mike Pence, who left office to run alongside then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. This was the fifth consecutive gubernatorial win for the GOP in Indiana.
NBC News Exit Poll: Moderates swing heavily for Sen. Lindsey Graham's Democratic challenger in South Carolina
Moderates are supporting Democrat Jaime Harrison over three-term Republican incumbent Lindsey Graham in the hotly contested Senate race in South Carolina, according to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters. This election was too early to call when polls closed in South Carolina at 7 p.m. ET.
Moderates, who make up 38 percent of the South Carolina electorate this year, lined up solidly behind the Democrat, giving Harrison 60 percent to 38 percent for Graham, the poll found. Not surprisingly, conservatives are overwhelmingly breaking for Graham (82 percent to 17 percent), while Harrison has built sky-high support (92 percent to 8 percent) among liberals.
Harrison’s base in South Carolina includes Black voters (among whom he leads, 93 percent to 7 percent) and those with annual incomes of less than $30,000 (70 percent to 29 percent). Key elements of Graham’s coalition include white evangelicals (among whom he leads 82 percent to 16 percent) and veterans (71 percent to 28 percent).
Passionate displays but few problems reported at Houston voting sites
HOUSTON — With less than an hour left until polls close in Harris County, pro-Trump and pro-Biden demonstrators lined up on opposite sides of a busy road at one of Houston’s most popular voting sites.
From one side of West Gray Street, a young man holding a Trump flag yelled, “Covid is a hoax!”
From the other side came a sarcastic reply, from a college student in a Biden mask: “Cover your mouth!”
Despite the passionate displays as voting winds down here, a police official said both sides have remained peaceful, and there have been no reports of major issues at any of the 800 Harris County voting sites today.
“At this point, I'm just eager for them to start counting the votes,” Adam Tran, 64, said as he waved a Trump flag as the sun set in Houston. “I think everyone is.”
Kentucky, South Carolina Senate races too close to call, NBC News projects
As polls close in Kentucky and South Carolina, NBC News rates the Senate races there as too close to call.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, is facing off against Democrat Amy McGrath in Kentucky. GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham is facing off against Democrat Jaime Harrison.
Both races have seen a flood of money to Democrats and observers are watching to see how much that makes a difference in these traditionally red states.
Trump wins Indiana. Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia too early to call
Trump opens up Election Day with a victory in Indiana, NBC News projects. The president won Indiana handily in 2016.
Meanwhile, NBC News rates the presidential race in Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia and South Carolina as too early to call, with Joe Biden leading in Virginia. Election observers have their eye on Georgia as a swing state to watch early.
NBC News Exit Poll: Abortion opponents and abortion rights supporters care equally about the Supreme Court
Abortion opponents and abortion rights supporters may not agree on much, but they appear to see eye to eye on one thing: the extent to which the Supreme Court was on their minds when casting ballots in 2020. Early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters found majorities on both sides of the abortion debate saying appointments to the Supreme Court were an “important factor” in their vote this year.
Among abortion rights supporters (those who say abortion should be legal in all or most cases), 62 percent said that the court was an important factor in their 2020 presidential vote. That number is nearly the same among abortion opponents (who say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases), 61 percent of whom said appointments to the court were a key factor in their vote.
The court loomed large during the 2020 presidential campaign after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death in September and the Senate confirmation of President Trump’s nominee Amy Coney Barrett one week before the election.
Although America is closely divided on the issue of abortion, slightly more voters (51 percent) say abortion should be legal in all or most cases than those who say it should be illegal (42 percent).
NBC News Exit Poll: Slim majority of voters want Affordable Care Act kept intact
A slim majority of Americans (52 percent) would prefer that the Supreme Court keep the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, as it is, according to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters. Forty-two percent of voters would prefer to see the court overturn the 2010 health care law.
Support for Obamacare is higher among low-income voters than middle and high-income voters. Among voters with family incomes under $50,000, 62 percent would like the Supreme Court to keep the law as is. By contrast, among voters with family income between $50,000 and $100,000, 53 percent favor overturning the law.
While health care policy was cited by voters as the most influential issue of the 2018 midterm election, this year it has been eclipsed by the economy, the coronavirus pandemic and racial injustice. Only about 1 in 10 voters this year cited health care policy as the issue mattering most in deciding their vote for president.
Photo: Crowd gathers near the White House
Trump visits campaign staff in final hours of 2020 race
Georgia county extends voting hours till 9 p.m.
A court ordered Spalding County, Georgia, polling sites to stay open for an additional two hours Tuesday after the county's computers went down in the morning.
The polls in Spalding will close at 9 p.m., instead of the previously scheduled 7 p.m. Earlier Tuesday, the sheriff posted that "the computers at all polling locations across Spalding County are down," before updating later that the problem had been resolved and lines were short.
NBC News Exit Poll: In North Carolina, Black and white voters prioritize different issues
As the Biden and Trump campaigns compete in the Tar Heel State, the Biden campaign will look to turn out Black voters there. Trump, meanwhile, will look to shore up support among white evangelicals and white Americans with no college degree.
Early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters in North Carolina show that white and Black voters have starkly different views when it comes to the most important voting issues.
While a plurality of white voters in North Carolina (46 percent) say that the economy is the most important issue to their vote, 48 percent of Black voters point to racial inequality as a top 2020 voting issue.
'I already cried twice today. It’s a whole thing'
LOS ANGELES — Estrella Cruz, 30, carried her chihuahua mix named Hero out of Wiltern Theatre in the Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles on Tuesday afternoon with the rest of her day planned out now that she had voted. She intended to relax in a bath, order Korean food for dinner, and watch the election returns trickle in while drinking margaritas.
“I cleared my day today,” Cruz said. “I’ve just had nausea, anxiety — I woke up at 4 o’clock this morning. I’m calling people, asking, ‘How are you?’ I already cried twice today. It’s a whole thing.”
Voting at the Wiltern Theatre, like many places in Los Angeles, was pretty easy on Tuesday. Lines were short, if there were any at all, because 3.1 million people in the county — over half of all registered voters — had already submitted a ballot before election day, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s Office.
But throughout the city, businesses had been boarding up their windows in anticipation of possible rioting after election day.
Eugene Lee, 30, said a big reason why he voted for Biden and Kamala Harris was his hope that they could help ease some of the festering tensions nationwide.
“They seem more reliable as leaders and I think we’ll see more peace within the country with them,” Lee said.
Decriminalizing small amounts of hard drugs on the ballot in Oregon
Oregon voters on Tuesday are considering a ballot measure that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine.
While proponents of Measure 110 say the proposal will prioritize addiction treatment, opponents fear it'll lead to societal acceptance of dangerous drugs.
NBC News Exit Poll: About 1 in 10 Pennsylvania voters say state makes voting hard
Voters in Pennsylvania are twice as likely as voters nationwide to say that their state makes voting difficult, according to early data from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters.
While the vast majority of voters in Pennsylvania and across the country said their state makes it easy for them to vote, the poll found that 12 percent of voters in Pennsylvania said the key battleground state makes voting difficult, compared to 6 percent who said the same nationally. The question was not asked in every state, but another place with a higher share saying the state makes voting difficult was Georgia (14 percent).
In both Pennsylvania and Georgia, voters in large cities and suburbs were much more likely to say that their state makes voting difficult, compared to voters in small cities and rural areas. In Pennsylvania, for example, 18 percent of voters in cities with populations over 50,000 said the state makes voting difficult. By contrast, only 4 percent of small city and rural Pennsylvania voters expressed that view.
Early Georgia exit polls show a near-even split
Vote Watch: Multiple agencies investigating robocalls that hit numerous states
Multiple agencies are investigating a series of robocalls that have reached Americans across the country, urging them to stay home.
In one such call, a robotic female voice says, "This is just a test call. Time to stay home. Time to stay home. Stay safe and stay home."
In a press call Tuesday, a senior official at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said that "the FBI is investigating," but cautioned that "robocalls happen every election." The FBI confirmed in an email they were tracking reports of robocalls.
New York Attorney General Letitia James also announced her office was investigating the calls, as did two commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission, Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks.
Georgia Secretary of State: Results tallied as early as tonight
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told NBC News that he expects to have results tallied as early as Tuesday night — or by Wednesday at noon “at the very latest."
He pointed to record high early voting turnout as a reason he predicts Georgia results will be tallied "faster than many other states." On the short lines statewide — a 2-minute wait on average, his office said this afternoon — he said Tuesday's effort met their high expectations for the election and called this a"great day" for Georgia voters.
Trump tweets some early confidence
NBC News Exit Poll: More voters say coronavirus containment efforts are not going well
As U.S. coronavirus infections topped 9 million confirmed cases this weekend, many voters across the country say efforts to contain the pandemic are not going very well. According to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of Election Day and early voters, 51 percent of voters nationwide say containment efforts are going badly — that includes 35 percent who say they are going very badly.
But voters’ priorities around dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak are divided: 52 percent of voters say it is more important to contain the coronavirus now, even if it hurts the economy. A considerably smaller share (42 percent) says it is more important to rebuild the economy now, even if it hurts efforts to contain the coronavirus.
Biden and Trump voters are divided in their priorities. Biden voters are considerably more likely to say getting case counts under control is more important (79 percent). Trump voters emphasize shoring up the economy (70 percent).
NBC News Exit Poll: Most voters say coronavirus surge was important factor in their choice
As the United States grapples with a surge in coronavirus cases, a majority of voters said rising case counts were an important factor in their vote for president.
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.
Voters who supported Joe Biden were far more likely than President Trump's voters to say that rising coronavirus cases were important to their vote: 83 percent of Biden’s voters said this compared with just 46 percent of Trump voters.
Trump campaign projects confidence in final hours of voting
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said on a call with reporters Tuesday evening that whatever ground Joe Biden had gained during early voting, Donald Trump was making up for it on Election Day.
"The Biden campaign cannibalized their vote," Stepien said. "They simply moved those who traditionally vote on Election Day to vote early. And to that, we say congratulations.”
Senior campaign adviser Jason Miller addressed the "mood in the room," and said that everyone in the campaign, including the president, felt "more confident" tonight than they did this time four years ago.
Miller also said he was hopeful Trump would win enough electoral votes for the race to be called tonight, throwing cold water on warnings from Democrats and election experts that it could take days to count all of the votes in some close battleground states like Pennsylvania.
NBC News Exit Poll: Voters say Biden would better handle the coronavirus
As the coronavirus and the economy emerge as important voting issues in the 2020 election, Biden is favored among voters overall to better handle the coronavirus pandemic.
According to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters, 53 percent of voters nationwide say Biden would better manage the virus; 42 percent of voters say Trump would do a better job. The Trump administration has faced significant criticism over the president’s handling of the virus, and he has sparred with public officials in recent days as case counts spike across the country.
But as the U.S economy strives to recover from record job losses and an economic downturn this year, Trump and Biden are more competitive among voters on the economy: 49 percent of voters say Biden would better handle the economy, while a nearly identical share say Trump would do a better job (48 percent).
Why one Nevada Republican says he's voting for Biden
Harry Rosenthal has been a lifelong registered Republican. But when he cast his vote on Election Day in Las Vegas, he voted for former Vice President Joe Biden.
“I felt it was important to put decency back back into the White House,” said Rosenthal, 44, a civil defense attorney, who cast his ballot in person at a west side polling location in Las Vegas on Tuesday. “I think there are a lot of Republicans who feel that way.”
Rosenthal added that he did not vote for President Donald Trump in the 2016 election and considers himself a “never-Trump Republican.”
There are several voters across the country who echo Rosenthal’s sentiment such as those at the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump super PAC made up of mostly Republicans.
“The country is not going in the right direction and Trump is definitely not the right choice to get it back on track,” Rosenthal said. “I’m unsure about Joe Biden, but I’m willing to take that chance.”
Biden's busy Election Day
This may have just been Joe Biden’s busiest day on the campaign trail to date, with he's making 11 stops between Delaware and Pennsylvania. Of course, none of these should be qualified as rallies given that they were all brief stops in cities that are close to Biden’s heart:
—Wilmington, Delaware: Home for decades.
—Philadelphia: Where he officially launched his presidential campaign & where his HQ is based.
—Scranton, Pennsylvania: Where he was born and lived for the first 10 years of his life.
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.
Read more here.
Polling locations in Las Vegas experiencing technical difficulties
Several polling locations in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, were experiencing technical difficulties Tuesday morning and have not yet opened, according to a tweet from the Nevada secretary of state's office.
“If you are waiting in line, please be patient,” the tweet said. “The sites will open soon.”
In Nevada, polls opened at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Those who are voting in person will be allowed to cast their votes as long as they are in line at a polling location by 7 p.m. All polling locations also double as ballot drop-off sites.
More than 1.1 million voters had cast their ballots by Monday morning in the battleground state, according to NBC News' count.
More prayers for Kamala Harris in India
Atlanta polling places see shorter lines
Voting seems to be running smoothly in Fulton County — Georgia's most populous, which includes Atlanta — with some reports indicating wait times of less than 30 minutes.
This is a stark departure from earlier this year, when the county experienced hourslong lines, ballot shortages and voting machine malfunctions during its June primary in what voting rights groups widely slammed as a "catastrophe."
Vote Watch: Michigan attorney general warns about robocalls targeting Flint residents with false voting information
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said Tuesday morning that her office received multiple reports from residents in Flint who said they received robocalls that pushed inaccurate voting information.
The robocalls allegedly told some residents that if lines were too long on Election Day, that voters could vote the following day, which is not true.
"Obviously this is FALSE and an effort to suppress the vote. No long lines and today is the last day to vote. Don’t believe the lies! Have your voice heard! RT PLS," Nessel posted on her Twitter account, urging other social media users to retweet her post.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also said that an unknown group was spreading misinformation through robocalls in an attempt to confuse Michigan voters.
“Let me be clear — if you plan to vote in-person, you must do so, or be in line to do so, by 8PM today,” she posted on Twitter.
A Department of Homeland Security official said Tuesday that robocalls with false information are common and were not a reason for alarm. "It feels like we just jumped into 2018 or 2016. This happens every year. The AG is on top of it, it’s under control through the state level. I would expect to see more of it frankly," the official said.