The presidential race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden remains too close to call, with ballots still being counted in the undecided races of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina. Early this morning, Biden spoke in Wilmington, Delaware, and called for patience as votes are being counted.
Joe Biden: “I’m here to tell you tonight we believe we’re on track to win this election. We knew, because of the unprecedented early vote and the mail-in vote, that it’s going to take a while. We’re going to have to be patient, until the hard work of tallying the votes is finished. And it ain’t over ’til every vote is counted, every ballot is counted.”
Shortly before 1 a.m., Trump took to Twitter to accuse Democrats of trying to steal the election, without offering any proof at all. Then, just after 2:20 a.m., Trump addressed the nation.
President Donald Trump: “This is a major fraud on our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4:00 in the morning and add them to the list, OK? It’s a very sad — it’s a very sad moment. To me, this is a very sad moment. And we will win this. And as far as I’m concerned, we already have won it.”
Despite the president’s charge, no evidence of fraud has emerged in any state. Historically, no state reports final elections results on election night. Election authorities in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan had repeatedly warned prior to Election Day that it could take days to count the record number of early votes. Across the country, over 101 million people cast early votes — either in person or by mail — shattering previous records.
At the time of this broadcast, Biden is leading in Wisconsin by just over 20,000 votes, with an estimated 97% of votes reported. Biden also maintains a slim lead of about 8,000 votes in Nevada. Nevada’s election division announced that no more results will be given until 11 a.m. Eastern on Thursday.
Trump is leading in Pennsylvania by more than 600,000 votes, but the race remains too close to call. Election officials in Philadelphia are expected to report results from early voting at 9 a.m. In Michigan, Trump is leading narrowly by about 26,000 votes, but the heavily Democratic city of Detroit is expected to take until Wednesday night to complete its count of absentee ballots. Trump is also leading in Georgia and North Carolina.
The Associated Press and Fox have projected Biden to be the winner in Arizona, but other networks say the race is still too close to call.
In the popular vote, Biden has a commanding lead of over 2.2 million votes, and the figure is expected to keep growing as more ballots are counted. It is possible Biden could become the third Democrat in the past 20 years to win the popular vote but lose the Electoral College.
Control of the Senate is still up for grabs as several key races remain too close to call, but it looks increasingly likely that the Democrats will fall short of their goal of taking control of the Senate. Democrats picked up two seats on Tuesday night: one in Colorado, where former Governor John Hickenlooper defeated Republican Senator Cory Gardner, and one in Arizona, where Democrat Mark Kelly has unseated Republican Senator Martha McSally.
In Alabama, Trump-backed Republican Tommy Tuberville, the former head coach of the Auburn football team, has defeated incumbent Democratic Senator Doug Jones.
Georgia voters cast ballots in two Senate races. Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock will head to a runoff special election in January against Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler. In Georgia’s other Senate race, incumbent Republican David Perdue is leading Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff.
Several Senate races remain too close to call. In Maine, Republican Senator Susan Collins is leading in her bid for reelection. It is Maine’s first election since the state instituted ranked-choice voting. In North Carolina, Republican Thom Tillis is leading over Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham.
Republicans won many of the most high-profile races. In Kentucky, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell easily defeated Democratic challenger Amy McGrath. In Iowa, Republican Senator Joni Ernst has survived a strong challenge by Theresa Greenfield. Mississippi’s Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith has defeated Democrat Mike Espy, who served as the first African American U.S. agriculture secretary under Bill Clinton. And in South Carolina, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham defeated Democrat Jaime Harrison in the most expensive Senate race in U.S. history. Graham spoke after winning reelection.
Sen. Lindsey Graham: “To all the pollsters out there, you have no idea what you’re doing. And all the liberals in California, New York, you wasted a lot of money. This is the worst return on investment in the history of American politics.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is poised to retain her speaker’s gavel, with Democrats set to hold a majority of the House’s 435 seats. But election night returns suggest House Democrats may have actually lost ground to Republicans, who flipped Democratic-held districts in Florida, New Mexico, Oklahoma and South Carolina. In a closely watched race in Virginia’s 5th District, African American physician Cameron Webb has lost to Republican Bob Good, a born-again Christian seeking to overturn gun control laws and outlaw all forms of abortion.
Meanwhile, all four progressive freshmen congresswomen of color known as The Squad have been reelected, two years after taking Capitol Hill by storm. They include the first two Muslim women elected to Congress: Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Also holding their seats are Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, co-sponsor of the Green New Deal.
In New York’s 16th Congressional District, Jamaal Bowman has defeated Republican challenger Patrick McManus. Bowman is a former Bronx middle school principal who recently joined protests demanding an end to racism and police brutality. In June’s Democratic primary, Bowman defeated Congressmember Eliot Engel, the Foreign Affairs Committee chair who has served in Congress for more than 30 years. Congressmember-elect Bowman spoke to Democracy Now! on election night.
Rep.-elect Jamaal Bowman: “I’m going to Washington to fight for housing as a human right, healthcare as a human right, fully funding our public schools, a federal jobs guarantee, raising the federal minimum wage, a Green New Deal, and humane criminal justice and immigration reform.”
Also here in New York, Democrats Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres are set to become the first two openly gay Black men elected to Congress, replacing lawmakers who are retiring after decades in Washington. Mondaire Jones spoke with Democracy Now! on election night.
Mondaire Jones: “I’m so thrilled to be running on a platform of Medicare for All, the only healthcare proposal that would literally ensure everyone in the richest nation of the world has healthcare in the midst of a global pandemic, where people have been losing their health insurance as they have lost their jobs.”
In Missouri’s 1st Congressional District, which includes St. Louis and Ferguson, Democrat Cori Bush has defeated Republican Anthony Rogers. Cori Bush won a stunning primary upset in August over 10-term incumbent Congressmember William Lacy Clay, whose family has represented the St. Louis-area congressional district for more than 50 years. Cori Bush is a single mother and a nurse. She was formerly homeless and was a leader in the 2014 Ferguson uprising over the police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
In Georgia, Marjorie Taylor Greene has won the 14th Congressional District. Her opponent, Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal, withdrew from the race in September for “personal reasons.” Greene ran on a pro-gun, anti-immigrant and anti-abortion platform, and has embraced the QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims that President Trump is secretly at war with a deep state cabal of Satan-worshiping elites who run a child sex trafficking operation.
In Puerto Rico’s gubernatorial race, Pedro Pierluisi has a thin lead over Carlos Delgado; the candidates are separated by less than 10,000 votes. Pierluisi is a member of the New Progressive Party who supports statehood for Puerto Rico. Delgado of the Popular Party wants to keep Puerto Rico’s status as a U.S. colony. Pierluisi briefly served as governor in 2019 after former Governor Ricardo Rosselló was forced to resign amid mass protests.
Puerto Ricans also took to the polls to decide on a referendum that would determine if the island could be granted statehood. The New York Times reports support for the referendum led with about 52% of the votes. However, Congress would have to approve of any changes to Puerto Rico’s political status.
In other election news, the U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday refused to comply with a federal court order to sweep mail processing centers and deliver mail-in ballots that may have been unaccounted for. The order came after USPS announced over 300,000 mail-in ballots nationwide couldn’t be traced for delivery. USPS had until 3:30 p.m. Eastern to conduct the checks and make sure all ballots could be delivered before polls closed. Instead, USPS said it would maintain its own inspection schedule. The order affected facilities in 12 postal districts across 15 states, including battleground states like Arizona and Pennsylvania where mail-in ballots must be delivered by the end of Election Day in order to be counted. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is a Trump megadonor who has come under fire for recent changes at the Postal Service that have caused widespread delays and sparked major concerns over mail-in ballots.
In related news, The New York Times reports mail-in ballots cast by Black and Latinx voters are being rejected at higher rates than white voters, including in the battleground states of Georgia and Florida.
Meanwhile, a network of activists calling itself the “Protect the Results” coalition plans to mobilize in over 500 locations across the U.S. today against President Trump’s false declaration of victory.
Hurricane Eta has brought catastrophic damage to the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua and Honduras with heavy rain and winds triggering inland flooding and landslides. Eta is the 28th named storm of 2020’s record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season — and one of the strongest storms to hit Central America since Hurricane Mitch killed thousands of people two decades ago.
In California, ride-hailing app makers, led by Uber and Lyft, have succeeded in their $200 million campaign to prevent gig economy workers from becoming employees eligible for benefits and job protections. Proposition 22’s passage by California voters is a stinging defeat for organized labor. The ballot measure was opposed by Human Rights Watch, which produced this video urging a “no” vote.
Human Rights Watch video: “Gig companies classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees. That allows them to circumvent federal and state labor protections since independent contractors don’t get minimum wage protections, guaranteed sick pay or the ability to join a union. The gig companies also don’t pay into Social Security or Medicare on behalf of the workers they classify as independent contractors.”
Oklahoma voters have rejected a ballot measure which would have ended the use of repeat sentence penalties for nonviolent crimes. The measure would have freed thousands of prisoners — a disproportionate number of them people of color.
In Nebraska, voters have overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure capping payday loans at a 36% annual interest rate.
Florida voters have approved a ballot measure to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2026.
Mississippi voters have approved a new state flag — with a magnolia flower replacing the Confederate battle flag emblem that had flown over the Mississippi state Capitol since 1894.
In Arizona and New Jersey, voters have approved ballot measures legalizing the possession and use of recreational marijuana for adults aged 21 and up.
In Oregon, Measure 110 has passed, making Oregon the first state to decriminalize low-level drug possession, while legalizing the recreational use of psychedelic mushrooms. Oregon will use the savings from reduced prison time to fund crime prevention and addiction treatment programs.