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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Sarah McBride to become first transgender state senator in U.S. history
Sarah McBride has won her Delaware state Senate race, making her poised to become the first and only openly transgender state senator in the U.S. and the country's highest-ranking transgender official.
“I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too,” McBride, 30, tweeted Tuesday night after the election was called. “As Delaware continues to face the Covid crisis, it’s time to get to work to invest in the policies that will make a difference for working families.”
She easily defeated Republican Steve Washington to represent Delaware’s 1st state Senate District. Incumbent Democrat Harris McDowell, who is retiring after 44 years, had endorsed McBride.
The district covers Bellefonte, Claymont and parts of Wilmington, the state’s largest city.
“Tonight, Sarah made history not just for herself but for our entire community,” Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBTQ advocacy group, said. “This victory, the first of what I expect to be many in her career, shows that any person can achieve their dream, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.”
NBC News Exit Poll: Trump's support among veterans slides
Trump’s support among veterans declined noticeably this year, from 60 percent in 2016 to 51 percent in 2020, according to the NBC News Exit Poll of early and election day voters.
The exit poll shows that to be the case, as the Republican advantage among veterans is smaller than in recent elections.
Senate fight at a glance: Dems flip one seat, while Republicans hold on to several incumbent seats
In the state of the battle for the Senate majority, Democrats have flipped one seat while several Republicans in the Senate have sailed to re-election, according to NBC News projections.
Republicans are defending 23 seats and Democrats are defending 12.
Democrats have maintained four seats: New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Delaware. The party picked up a seat in Colorado, the first flip of the night.
Despite losing a seat, Republicans have kept eight of their seats red Tuesday night: Kentucky, Texas, South Dakota, Arkansas, Tennessee, Nebraska, Oklahoma and West Virginia.
Trump leads in Texas, NBC News projects
With 74 percent of the expected vote in, Trump currently holds a narrow lead in Texas, NBC News projects.
Trump won Texas by nearly 9 points in 2016. He currently trails his 2016 vote total by about 360,000 votes. Biden, meanwhile, has already topped Clinton's 2016 vote total by about 360,000 votes.
With that in mind, Trump still maintains a lead of less than 1 point.
Meanwhile, Biden is leading in New Hampshire, NBC News projects, though that race is also too early to call.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wins re-election in New York
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her first bid for re-election in New York on Tuesday, NBC News projects.
She faced Republican challenger John Cummings, a former teacher and police officer, whose campaign was well-funded despite Ocasio-Cortez being heavily favored to win in her overwhelmingly Democratic district, which runs over parts of Queens and the Bronx.
She became a prominent figure of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party after her upset win in the 2018 midterm election.
NBC News Exit Poll: Biden outperforming Clinton among new voters
Biden is the overwhelming favorite of those who are casting ballots in a presidential election for the first time — and he's faring even better than Clinton did among this group in 2016, according to the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters.
The exit poll found that 13 percent of voters casting ballots for president in the 2020 contest have never done so before. These voters make up a slightly larger share of the electorate than they did four years ago.
Today, 68 percent of those who say they are voting for the first time cast a ballot for Biden; just 29 say they voted for Trump.
First-time voters tend to skew younger and more Democratic. Hillary Clinton was a clear favorite among the group,
While Clinton was favored by the group 19 percentage points above Trump, with 57 percent to Trump's 38 percent, that was a considerably smaller margin as compared to this year.
Trump wins South Carolina, NBC News projects
NBC News projects that Trump will win South Carolina, locking up a win in a state that was never much in question but does feature a competitive Senate race.
Biden now holds an 89 to 72 Electoral College advantage over Trump. It takes 270 electoral votes to win.
Trump, Biden supporters face off in Texas
North Dakota re-elects GOP Gov. Doug Burgum, NBC News projects
North Dakota voters on Tuesday will re-elect Gov. Doug Burgum, defeating Democratic challenger Shelley Lenz, NBC News projects.
A Democrat hasn't won the governorship of North Dakota since 1988.
Hickenlooper wins Colorado Senate race, flipping seat from red to blue
Democrat John Hickenlooper, the former mayor of Denver and governor of Colorado, beat first-term GOP Republican Sen. Cory Gardner — a win for Democrats.
Hickenlooper, 68, left office last year after two terms as governor and ran unsuccessfully for president. This was a must-win state for Democrats in the battle for the Senate.
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.