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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NBC News Exit Poll: Trump's projected Florida win driven by voters who say racism, climate change not a problem
President Trump is projected to win Florida with a slightly larger share of the vote than he received in 2016, driven by groups including white Christians, white men, white voters who did not graduate college and rural voters, according to the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters. That's a set of groups similar to those that drove Trump's success in the state four years ago.
On the issues, Trump won support in Florida from voters who do not believe climate change or racism are a problem: Nearly 90 percent of his supporters in Florida said they held each of those views. About 85 percent of voters who said that crime was one of the most important issues shaping their vote also supported Trump. In addition, his win in Florida was propelled by voters who prioritize rebuilding the economy over containing the coronavirus.
A Las Vegas woman convinced her husband to be her voice at the polls
LAS VEGAS — Mira Hernandez paced back and forth outside a north central Las Vegas polling site Tuesday evening, shortly before the polls closed. She wanted to make sure her husband cast his ballot. For two weeks, she’d been asking him to vote.
On Tuesday, she finally got him out to a polling location at Meadows Mall in north central Las Vegas.
Hernandez, 27, immigrated to Las Vegas from Mexico about four years ago and while she is a legal resident, she cannot vote. But her husband, Danny Hernandez, 29, was born in the United States and could vote— he just never had. Danny did not think voting mattered or that it would make any real impact.
“I told him you have to do this for me, for my parents and for our family,” Mira Hernandez said. The couple have 4-year-old twins. She told him his vote for Joe Biden could make a difference for the future of immigration law, her residency status and their lives.
About 25 minutes later, Danny Hernandez walked out of the polling site. His wife grabbed his arm and kissed him on the shoulder. He turned and looked at her.
“Now, let’s just hope it counts,” he said.
Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa wins re-election, NBC News projects
NBC News projects Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa wins re-election.
This was one of the key Senate races of the election that Democrats had hoped to win in the crucial battleground state. Ernst faced a tough re-election battle against Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield.
But as of 1 a.m. Wednesday, Ernst won the race with 51.6 percent of the vote, NBC News projects.
Trump wins Iowa, NBC News projects
NBC News projects that Trump will win Iowa, giving him another swing state victory after earlier wins in Florida and Ohio.
The victory is a repeat performance for the president, who won Iowa handily four years ago over Hillary Clinton. The state has six Electoral College votes.
Las Vegas Election Day watch party also honors volunteers
Cheers erupted at an east Las Vegas Banquet hall on Tuesday night as the Nevada Chapter of Mi Familia Vota, a national, nonpartisan Latino voting group, handed out awards to its local volunteers.
About 60 people gathered at the Election Day watch party at the Luxury Event Center, hosted by Mi Familia Vota and Nevada state Assemblywoman Selena Torres. The event included a local food truck in the parking lot and socially distanced tables inside for those who wanted to watch election results on the projection screen.
During the watch party, the organization also handed out awards to many of its volunteers who spent two weeks canvassing and knocking on doors throughout the state encouraging Nevada’s Latino community to vote.
Cecia Alvarado, Nevada state director for Mi Familia Vota, said that volunteers knocked on 6,000 doors alone between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. local time on Tuesday.
“This has been an amazing effort by our volunteers,” Alvarado said.
Biden speaks to supporters, expresses confidence he's going to win
Biden spoke to supporters in Wilmington, Delaware, shortly after midnight and expressed optimism about his chances for victory.
"We feel good about where we are," he said, adding, "We feel we're on track to win this election. We knew, because of the unprecedented early vote, the mail-in vote, it was going to take a while. We have to be patient."
"And it ain't over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted," he continued. "But we're feeling good, we're feeling good about where we are."
He expressed confidence that he would come out victorious in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, giving him the presidency.
"Look, we could know the results as early as tomorrow morning," he said, noting that it could still be later. "It's not my place or Donald Trump's place to declare who won this election," but the American voters.
Biden holds a 205 to 165 lead over Trump in the Electoral College.
NBC News Exit Poll: Majority of Asian Americans nationwide support Biden
Asian Americans are diverse group of voters, comprising many different heritages and immigrant experiences in the United States. When considered as a group, however, 63 percent of Asian American voters across the nation cast their ballot for Democrat Joe Biden while 31 percent voted for President Trump, according to the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters.
Those figures are similar to 2016 when Hillary Clinton drew support from 65 percent of Asian American voters. Obama won about the same share of that voting bloc in his first bid for the presidency in 2008; he captured a higher share of their votes in 2012.
Among Asian voters nationwide, men tilted more heavily to the Democratic presidential candidate this election than women: 66 percent of Asian American men voted for Biden and 25 percent for Trump. Asian American women broke for Biden by a margin of 60 percent to 39 percent.
Third-party vote vastly diminished compared to 2016
NBC News Exit Poll: Latino voters show small shifts in some Sun Belt states
Latinos constitute a large share of the electorate in some of the battleground states across the Sun Belt, and small shifts in how they vote could help shape outcomes in key states such as Arizona, Texas and Nevada. All three states are too early to call, though Joe Biden is leading in Arizona and President Trump is leading in Texas.
In Arizona, the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters indicates that Biden won about 64 percent of the state's Latino electorate — a slightly larger share than the 61 percent that Clinton won in 2016. It is a small shift, but it could carry weight: Latinos constitute just over 1 out of every 5 voters in Arizona, and the state went for Trump in 2016 by a margin of only 80,000 votes. This shift toward Biden largely comes at the expense of third -party candidates, as opposed to reduced support for Trump.
In Texas, where Latino voters make up about a quarter of the electorate, Latino support for Biden is almost identical to the level of support that Clinton received in 2016. Trump, however, seems to be doing slightly better among Latino voters in Texas. Similar to Biden’s performance in Arizona, Trump’s gains in Texas appear to have come at the expense of the third-party candidates who won about five percent of Texas’ Latino electorate in 2016.
Finally, in Nevada, where Latinos constitute about 1 out of every 5 voters, more than 33 percent of Latino voters said they supported Trump, the exit poll found. This is a slight uptick from 2016, when Clinton carried Nevada with just 25,000 votes.
Trump wins Florida, NBC News projects
NBC News projects that Trump will win Florida.
The state, where the president resides and where he voted and campaigned frequently, is one of the biggest prizes of the night with 29 Electoral College votes. It had been considered a virtual must-win for Trump’s chances of keeping his hold on the White House.
Biden now leads Trump 205 to 165 in electoral votes. It takes 270 to win the Electoral College
Why the vote result is delayed in Georgia
ATLANTA — A number of factors may have contributed to Georgia's inability to count all of its votes Tuesday night, despite most polls closing at 7 p.m. ET.
All told, 3.9 million Georgia voters cast their ballots before Election Day — that's nearly as many voters who turned out in 2016 overall. This year, however, after long lines during the state’s primary, many voters chose to vote early to avoid in-person voting on Election Day, out of fears that crowded polling sites would increase exposure to Covid-19.
This change required election officials to tally far more mail-in and early ballots than ever before, including in Fulton County, which includes Atlanta. But in Fulton County, tallying early and mail-in ballots became far more complicated when a pipe burst in State Farm Arena, which is a counting center.
Fulton County election officials halted counting for two hours and announced that they would stop counting for the night at 10:30 p.m. ET. Then, just after 10:30, officials announced they would instead continue counting Tuesday night. However, officials indicated that preliminary vote totals may not become available until after Wednesday.