Presidential election results 2020

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Veronica Rocha, Melissa Mahtani and Amanda Wills, CNN

Updated 2:44 p.m. ET, November 23, 2020
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9:00 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

CNN Projection: Biden wins New York

Joe Biden will win New York, CNN projects.

There are 29 electoral votes at stake in New York. It takes 270 electoral votes to win the 2020 presidential election.

Who won in 2016: Former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton carried the state, and President Trump won the general election.

8:58 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

No state is more crucial for either candidate's path to 270 than Pennsylvania

From CNN's Gregory Krieg

Chester County, Pennsylvania election worker Kristina Sladek opens mail-in and absentee ballots for the 2020 General Election in the United States at West Chester University on Tuesday.
Chester County, Pennsylvania election worker Kristina Sladek opens mail-in and absentee ballots for the 2020 General Election in the United States at West Chester University on Tuesday. Matt Slocum/AP

By most forecasters’ estimates, there is no state more crucial to either candidates’ path than Pennsylvania, with its 20 electoral votes.

Donald Trump won it in 2016 as he barreled through the Democrats’ “Blue Wall,” taking Michigan and Wisconsin, too. But Joe Biden, who was born in Scranton, maintained a modest lead in most 2020 pre-election polling.

The key for Biden is juicing turnout in Philadelphia, especially among Black and Latino votes, and its surrounding suburbs. For Trump, it’s a trickier proposition. He needs to keep or grow his winning margins in rural parts of the state, mostly in the central and west, and hope his popularity there isn’t overwhelmed by a backlash in suburban areas and urban centers.

Then there is the question of the ballots, which has the potential to turn into a national flashpoint.

Pennsylvania is one of the handful of states that expects to take a while to count all its votes. Expect the early returns to favor Trump, but the race to move in Biden’s direction as mail-in ballot results come in. But that could take some time. Election officials cannot begin processing early ballots until Election Day and some counties might not begin until after the polls close. A few won’t start until Wednesday – meaning there will be no final result out of Pennsylvania tonight.

8:48 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Here's what the Biden campaign says about the prospects of winning Florida

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

The Biden campaign is realistic about Florida tonight, with advisers saying the state seems to be moving out of reach. But advisers argue that Florida is unique, not the beginning of a trend.

They are still confident about their standing in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin – and advisers are optimistic about what they are seeing in North Carolina.

But for Biden world, a Trump Florida win ensures one thing: This race will be dramatically close and they do not foresee any type of landslide tonight.

8:43 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Why Biden needs to overperform in this Florida county

From CNN's Dan Merica

Supporters of presidential candidate Joe Biden try to get the attention of commuters leaving downtown Jacksonville, Florida from an overpass with under three hours before the polls close on Election Day.
Supporters of presidential candidate Joe Biden try to get the attention of commuters leaving downtown Jacksonville, Florida from an overpass with under three hours before the polls close on Election Day. Bob Self/Florida Times-Union/USA Today Network

No Democratic presidential candidate has won Duval County since fellow Southerner Jimmy Carter carried the Jacksonville area in 1976. Joe Biden is on track to break that streak.

This could be critical to Democrats in Florida because in order to make up for the former vice president underperforming where Hillary Clinton was four years ago in populous Miami-Dade County, he needs formerly red population centers like Duval to tilt his way to have a shot at carrying the state.

The former vice president leads President Donald Trump in the county with 91% of the vote in.

Duval County is central for two key themes playing out in the 2020 general election — the suburbs revolting against a Republican Party led by Trump and the work Democrats have put in to turn out Black voters who did not turn out for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Both have turned the one-time Republican stronghold into the largest swing county in the largest swing state.

“There is an argument to be made it may be the single most important county in the single most important state in the most important election in a century,” Dean Black, chair of the county’s Republican Party, said before Election Day.

Democrats, after losing Duval narrowly in 2016, carried the county in the 2018 general election, leading many in the party to grow more confident that they could do it again this year. The party also has 6% more registered Democrats than Republicans in Duval.

There were signs in October that Trump’s hold on some voters in Duval County was slipping.

After voting for Trump in 2016, Danielle Wade went to the ballot box undecided but eventually voted for Biden.

“Quite frankly, I am just over Trump’s antics,” Wade said. “I don’t believe he will be the cure-all,” she said after voting for Biden, the first Democrat she had ever backed in her 35-year-long life. “But the country needs some relief.”

8:41 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

How the President's campaign turned to "Trump super counties" leading up to Election Day

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

President Trump visited a number of "Trump super counties" in the final days before Election Day to energize the electorate and turn out the vote, said CNN's John King, pointing to Catawba County in North Carolina where Trump campaigned on Monday.

"These are Trump super counties, if you will, around, the country," said King. "The President went to certain places to do his rallies because he knew he was losing in the early voting and they were designed to turn people up."

"The President had a deliberately travel plan," added King. "He went to certain places where they knew their voters were."

8:37 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Joe Biden needs to win in these Ohio areas to take the state

From CNN's Aditi Sangal / Analysis by CNN's John King

People stand in line to vote outside Maranatha Baptist Church on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio.
People stand in line to vote outside Maranatha Baptist Church on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio. Jay LaPrete/AP

For Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to win the competitive state of Ohio, which leans a little Republican, he needs to “run it up in urban areas,” CNN’s John King said as the votes come in.

“That would be Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Akron, Toledo and Youngstown," King said.

  • Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland: “This has to be [the Democrats’] foundation — largest county in the state. About 11% of the vote when you are all done,” King explained.
  • Youngstown: Both Biden and Trump have tried to court the blue collar demographic here. But this could be a test for Biden, King said. Hillary Clinton “just barely won this,” he noted. “One of the things [Biden] says he can do is that unlike Hillary Clinton, he can win Trump voters, he can win blue collar, traditional Democrats, who left the Party to go for Donald Trump.”
  • Columbus: “It’s the state capital, it’s unions, it’s African Americans,” King explains.

The suburbs are the big challenge, where the candidates will battle for the American presidency, King said.

“Donald Trump carried the suburbs 2017. That's why he's President of the United States. It is part of the coalition Trump put together,” King said. “If Joe Biden can hold Lake County, hold the suburbs west of Cleveland, that’s part of the building blocks, at least get you close.”

8:31 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

CNN Projection: Trump wins West Virginia

President Trump will win West Virginia, CNN projects.

There are five electoral votes at stake in West Virginia. It takes 270 electoral votes to win the 2020 presidential election.

Who won in 2016: President Trump carried the state and won the general election.

8:58 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

No Republican has won the presidency in modern times without winning Ohio

On-air analysis from John King / Written by CNN's Adrienne Vogt 

A view of the ballot counting room during the general elections at the Hamilton County Board of Elections, on Tuesday, in Norwood, Ohio.
A view of the ballot counting room during the general elections at the Hamilton County Board of Elections, on Tuesday, in Norwood, Ohio. Aaron Doster/AP

CNN’s John King underscored that Ohio may be a crucial state for the President to win reelection. 

“No Republican has won the presidency in modern times without winning Ohio. So that Joe Biden is competitive here is a source of angst right now at the Trump campaign headquarters,” King said. 

With about a third of the vote in, Biden is ahead in Ohio’s cities and surrounding suburbs, while Trump is ahead in the more rural areas. But King outlined that those rural areas could add up for the Trump campaign. 

“We know [Biden is] competitive in Ohio. Win or lose Ohio, there is a lesson in this: that Joe Biden is competitive than Hillary Clinton in these industrial states,” King said.

“No matter how this ends, this tells you that this is a different campaign than we had four years ago, and that Joe Biden is more competitive than Hillary Clinton,” he added. 

8:29 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Early exit polls show a big decrease in support for Biden among Latinos in Florida

From CNN’s Grace Sparks and Ryan Struyk

As polls close in Florida, an early exit survey of voters in the state shows a big decrease in support for Democrat Joe Biden among Latinos compared to 2016.

Slightly more than half of the group is backing the former vice president, according to the early exit polls, compared to the 62% that went for Clinton four years ago. President Donald Trump’s support among the group has increased significantly, as well. 

Latino voters have also shifted in Georgia. In 2016, Latino voters in the state went for Hillary Clinton by 40 points; they are voting for Joe Biden by around 25 points.

Trump has a small lead among seniors in Florida, garnering just over half of the vote there, a decrease in his performance from in 2016 when he won 57% of the group in Florida. 

More than half of independent voters in the Sunshine State are backing Biden, a better performance than Clinton in 2016, when Trump won independents 47% to 43%.

CNN's exit polls this year incorporate in-person interviews at early voting locations and telephone interviews to target by-mail voters. Those surveys are in addition to the in-person interviews with voters on Tuesday. In every state where exit poll results are available on election night, there will be a combined result to reflect a complete picture of voters across the country.