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.