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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Lindsey Graham wins re-election in South Carolina, NBC News projects
NBC News projects Lindsey Graham wins re-election in South Carolina.
Graham, the chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, narrowly won a fourth term after a stronger-than-expected challenge from Democrat Jaime Harrison.
Harrison, who is Black, ran on a message of resetting the political conversation that helped him raise an eye-popping $57 million in the final weeks of the campaign, with polls indicating an unusually close race in the red state.
GOP Senate wins: Bill Cassidy in Louisiana and Cynthia Lummis in Wyoming
NBC News projects that GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy will be re-elected in Louisiana and former GOP Rep. Cynthia Lummis will win her Senate race in Wyoming.
Cassidy won 63.2 percent of the vote, avoiding a runoff election, with 74 percent of the vote in. Lummis won 73 percent of the vote in her race against Democrat Merav Ben-David, with 24 percent of the vote in.
GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler will advance to runoff in Georgia Senate race, NBC News projects
NBC News projects GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler will advance to a runoff in the Georgia Senate special election.
No candidate in the race received more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff. Loeffler received roughly 28 percent of the vote, beating Republican Rep. Doug Collins, who received 22. 4 percent.
Earlier in the night, NBC News projected that Democrat Raphael Warnock advanced to the runoff. Trump did not endorse Loeffler in her race. She was appointed to the seat by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp as the successor to Sen. Johnny Isakson, who announced his intention to resign at the end of 2019 for health reasons.
NBC News Exit Poll: In Minnesota, Biden surges with college-educated white voters
As the presidential candidates look to Minnesota, a state Hillary Clinton narrowly won in 2016, white college-educated voters are buoying Biden.
According to the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters in Minnesota, two-thirds of white college-educated voters casting ballots are voting for the Democratic candidate; just a third are voting for Trump. This is a massive shift compared to 2016, when Trump secured votes of 41 percent of white college-educated voters.
White college-educated women in particular have moved sharply to the left since 2016. Four years ago, Clinton won this group by 15 percentage points — 54 percent cast a ballot for Clinton while 39 percent cast a ballot for Trump. In the 2020 race, Biden leads Trump among white women with a college degree by almost 40 percentage points.
White college-educated men have also shifted decidedly toward the Democratic candidate since 2016. Four years ago, 46 percent voted for Clinton while 45 percent voted for Trump. Now Biden is besting Trump, 55 percent to 40 percent.
Biden is up overall, Trump leading in more swing states
As of 11 p.m. ET, Biden holds a 192 to 114 edge over Trump in the Electoral College. It takes 270 electoral votes to win.
NBC News has projected Biden as the winner in California, Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, New York, Maryland, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Delaware and Washington, D.C.
For Trump, NBC News projects the president as the winner in Wyoming, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska (still awaiting the separate congressional districts,) Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia.
Trump holds leads in swing states such as Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Texas and Ohio. Biden holds a lead in Arizona. Because of mail-in ballots, it's tougher to discern the results in the upper Midwest.
Cars filing into lot at Biden drive-in event
WILMINGTON, Del. — Cars have begun to file into the parking lot at the Biden Election Night drive-in event at the Chase Center on the Riverfront here.
What programming the event will feature, and whether Biden will speak, remain unclear at the moment.
So far the playlist of music blaring to the growing number of cars has included "Come Together" by The Beatles and "I'll be Around" by The Spinners. MSNBC is playing on several large screens adjacent to the stage.
NBC News Exit Poll: Biden outperforming Clinton among union households in Michigan and Wisconsin
In Michigan and Wisconsin, Joe Biden is reversing much of the dip in Democratic union support that hampered Hillary Clinton in 2016. While Clinton carried the union vote in both states, she did so by smaller margins than President Obama in 2012. President Trump’s appeals to disaffected workers were effective in making major inroads with union voters in 2016.
According to the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters, Biden is regaining much of the union support Trump siphoned off in 2016. This year 61 percent of Michigan voters in union households and 63 percent of Wisconsin voters in union households are supporting Biden, the poll found. Trump’s union support in both states has fallen below 40 percent.
Michigan union households cite the economy as the issue mattering most to their vote (33 percent). Smaller shares cited the coronavirus pandemic (20 percent), racial inequality (20 percent), health care policy (13 percent) and crime and safety (7 percent). About 1 in 5 Michigan voters (22 percent) belong to a household with at least one labor union member.
Wall Street whipsaws as election winner remains far from clear
Trading in stock futures was volatile Tuesday night as polling stations across the country closed and started to report their returns, with a winner in the presidential election still far from clear.
Just hours after recording their second-best performance on Election Day, Dow futures fell by around 250 points and then gained about 170 points, as President Donald Trump was predicted to win Sun Belt states and former Vice President Joe Biden was the projected victor in most Northeastern states, according to NBC News.
Futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained as much as 3 percent, and S&P 500 futures were up by almost 2 percent.
Earlier Tuesday, Wall Street was 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, helping the U.S. inch its way toward economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic.
Democrat Dick Durbin re-elected in Illinois Senate race, NBC News projects
NBC News projects Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois will be re-elected.
Durbin won 54.9 percent of the vote, beating his GOP challenger Mark Curran, who received 38.4 percent, NBC News project. As of 10:40 p.m., 40 percent of the vote is in.
This was not a competitive race for Democrats. Illinois has been a reliably blue state for the party.
Vote Watch: Twitter takes down network of spam accounts pushing anti-Biden conspiracy theories
Twitter suspended a spam network of about 150 accounts pushing anti-Biden conspiracy theories on Election Day for platform manipulation.
The tweets broke the site’s rules “on spam and platform manipulation, specifically coordinating with others to engage in or promote violations of the Twitter Rules, including violations of our abusive behavior policy,” a Twitter spokesperson told NBC News.
The accounts tweeted identical messages and were flagged to Twitter by the Alethea Group, a company that tracks social media manipulation and had been monitoring disinformation operations that were coordinated on the messaging services Discord and WhatsApp.
"This network was carefully and intentionally built to push particular narratives targeting U.S. political issues and conspiracy theories across both mainstream and fringe platforms,” Alethea Group vice president of analysis Cindy Otis said.
Kaplan said the group “targeted voters in swing states, Spanish-speaking voters, and those on the U.S. right it sees most susceptible to its messaging.”
The spam accounts were pushing users on mainstream platforms such as Twitter and YouTube “to news sites run by Guo Media” and to “direct users to content on fringe platforms like Parler, to push political content that is primarily anti-Chinese Communist Party, anti-Joe Biden, and pro-Donald Trump,” Kaplan said. Guo Media is run by Guo Wengui, a billionaire who fled China amid accusations of bribery and other crimes. Guo is a close associate of former Trump White House aide Steve Bannon, who was arrested on Guo’s yacht in August.
Guo and Bannon have been connected to several anti-Chinese Communist Party disinformation campaigns this year, including one peddling Covid-19 misinformation and another aimed at smearing the former vice president’s son Hunter Biden. Guo and Bannon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Utah voters promote Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox to state's top job
Utah voters on Tuesday elected GOP Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox as chief executive of the state, NBC News projects.
Cox was well on his way to defeating Democrat Chris Peterson, a University of Utah law professor.
Republicans have won every governor's race in Utah since 1984.