Election 2020 presidential results

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Mahtani, Melissa Macaya, Jessica Estepa, Veronica Rocha and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 7:32 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020
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10:03 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Here's why Trump's current sizable lead in Pennsylvania is not insurmountable for Biden

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

President Trump is currently ahead in Pennsylvania by about 618,000 votes, but that lead is not insurmountable for Joe Biden because of “what’s outstanding, based on where it’s outstanding, and based on the method in which that vote was cast outstanding,” CNN’s Phil Mattingly explains.

About 1 million — and possibly more — absentee votes are yet to be counted.

That matters because Democrats expect big turnout in places like Philadelphia, counties around Philadelphia and Alleghany County, which is home to Pittsburgh. It’s not happened yet but that’s largely because of the votes that haven’t been counted yet.

“That is a ton of vote outstanding in Democratic stronghold counties that is absentee,” Mattingly says, adding that typically, a lead of 618,000 votes is a lot to make up with 1 million outstanding votes. But “not when absentee has been going 70%, 75% Biden's way over what we've seen in Wisconsin, what we've seen in Michigan.”

Remember: There was still a big voter turnout for President Trump in western Pennsylvania counties. So the outstanding vote doesn't mean that Biden is going to catch up. It just means that there is an opportunity for the Biden campaign in the state.

CNN's Phil Mattingly breaks down Trump's lead in Pennsylvania:

9:52 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Here's why Democrats are growing more confident

From CNN's Dan Merica

Angela WeissAFP via Getty Images
Angela WeissAFP via Getty Images

Many Democratic operatives last night were dreading the coming hours because it appeared Trump was on his way to victory.

But as the sun rose on Wednesday morning, many of those same operatives are growing more confident, primarily because of how much mail-in and absentee vote is yet to be counted.

“Joe Biden’s path is largely unchanged,” said Guy Cecil, the head of Priorities USA, the top super PAC backing Biden. “It may take a couple of days to count votes & we may need to fight the Trump campaign in court, but Joe Biden is going to win this election.”

Here is part of the reason:

  • Wisconsin: Biden built a slim lead in the state overnight, anchored by a surge of absentee voting and all votes being counted in Milwaukee County, a reliably Democratic stronghold. With the major counties in and 97% of the vote counted, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Ben Wikler and state Democrats projected confidence overnight that the lead would hold.
  • Michigan: After trailing all night in Michigan, Biden pulled ahead of Trump on Wednesday morning, with votes still left to be counted in Wayne County, a Democratic stronghold, and places like Macomb County in suburban Detroit and Grand Rapids in Kent County. Omar Jimenez reported on Wednesday morning that election officials in Michigan believe they will have a “clear picture” of the state’s outcome by the end of the day.
  • Arizona: Much of the vote that remains out is from Maricopa County, a longtime Republican stronghold that has grown more racially and politically diverse over the last decade. Biden maintains a lead over Trump in the state, with 248,000 early votes yet to be officially counted in Maricopa.
  • Georgia: While Trump maintains a lead in the state, the bulk of the vote that remains uncounted comes from the greater Atlanta metropolitan area, primarily Fulton, DeKalb and Cobb County, three population centers where Biden is currently running up the score over Trump.

“We feel good,” a senior Biden campaign adviser told CNN’s MJ Lee on Wednesday morning. “We’re going to win today.”

That hope was echoed by others.

"Democrats have just come through a long night of the soul. When a lot of Democrats went to bed last night, they were very, very depressed,” said David Gergen, an adviser to four president and CNN contributor. “But today, this morning, in this dramatic turn about, Democrats are now seeing much brighter rays out there.”

9:51 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Pennsylvania attorney general says voters can be confident in the counting process, but urges patience

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro urged voters to be patient as the state counts all its ballots, saying that the state will get a “clearer picture” by the end of the day, but cautioned all results will be known “by the end of the week.” 

"Here’s the reality: It's going to take as long as it takes to get an accurate count," Shapiro said in an interview with CNN’s John Berman. "It's what the law requires. … we're going to get a lot more data today; I think you will have a clearer picture of where things are going toward the end of the day, but obviously ballots can be received and counted all the way up until Friday. So I expect that we'll know by the end of the week."

Shapiro said that volunteers and clerks from Pennsylvania communities have been awake around the clock to tabulate votes.

“We said all along that we were going to secure and protect and count the vote. We accomplished the first two — the vote was secured and protected — and now we're going through this laborious process of counting,” he said.

Shapiro said he expects numbers to fluctuate, but voters can have “confidence” in the counting process.

“These votes are going to be tabulated, they're going to be counted, and at the end of the day, the will of the people of Pennsylvania is going to be respected,” Shapiro said. 

Pennsylvania attorney general urges patience:

9:41 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

It’s almost 10 a.m. ET. Here's where House, Senate and presidential races stand.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The presidency

It's the morning after Election Day, and CNN has not yet projected who will win the presidency. Votes are still being counted in Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Maine, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

At this hour, both candidates still have pathways to get to 270 electoral votes – the number of votes needed to win the presidency.

Based on the races called so far, this is where the race to 270 stands right now:

The Senate

In the Senate, Republicans have dramatically narrowed the path for Democrats to take back the majority, preventing upsets in red states such as South Carolina, Iowa and Montana. But with much of the vote still being counted, Democrats could still win four of these remaining races — and the White House — to take the Senate majority.

Here's a look at the states where Senate seats are still up for grabs:

  • Alaska: GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan faces Democrat Al Gross.
  • Arizona: GOP Sen. Martha McSally is up against Democrat Mark Kelly.
  • Georgia: GOP Sen. David Perdue faces Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff.
  • Georgia special election: This race will go into a runoff between Republican incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock. The special election had featured a divisive, intra-party matchup between Loeffler and GOP Rep. Doug Collins.
  • Maine: GOP Sen. Susan Collins faces a challenge from Democrat Sara Gideon.
  • Michigan: Democratic Sen. Gary Peters faces Republican challenger John James.
  • North Carolina: GOP Sen. Thom Tillis is running against Democrat Cal Cunningham.

The House

Republicans had a better night than expected holding on to some of their House seats. At least two incumbent Democrats were ousted by GOP challengers, and more could come as many races are yet to be called.

On the Democratic side, all four congresswomen of "the Squad" — Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — won reelection. Since taking office in January 2019, the lawmakers, all women of color, have electrified the progressive base thanks to their social media savvy but have also attracted controversy, most notably over their criticism of the US relationship with Israel.

You can view real time results of the House races here.

Here's a look at where the balance of power in congress currently sits:

9:35 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Top Biden adviser: "We're going to win today"

From CNN’s MJ Lee, Arlette Saenz & Sarah Mucha

As vote counting continues in key battleground states, a Biden official tells CNN they believe things are “moving to a conclusion – and moving to a conclusion in our favor.”

The official also offered these broad outlooks on some of the key outstanding battleground states: 

  • They are confident they will win Wisconsin
  • In Michigan, they feel particularly good about their vote-by-mail numbers
  • They are also confident about winning Pennsylvania
  • In Georgia, they are keeping a close eye on Fulton County.

One top adviser to Biden expressed confidence they would emerge victorious today.

“We feel good,” the senior adviser said. “We’re going to win today.”

But while the Biden campaign urges patience as votes continue to be counted, some have expressed disappointment the campaign was unable to deliver a swift and resounding verdict against President Trump in the hours after polls closed.

“Disappointed there isn’t a complete repudiation of Trump,” one source close to the campaign said. “But I think we will still win.”

9:32 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Democrats wake up to a new reality as Biden surges to Michigan lead

From CNN's Gregory Krieg

If you went to sleep last night at a decent hour, you woke up this morning to a very different presidential race.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden jumped out ahead of President Trump in Michigan at around 9 a.m. ET, as the counting continues there and in Wisconsin. Biden, as big loads of absentee ballots were tabulated, took a lead in the Badger State at a little before 5 a.m. ET.

Still, the state of the race remains uncertain. Trump gave a speech overnight – when his situation looked much rosier than this morning — in which he made an awkward claim to having won the election. He had not. And, as the counting continues apace, he is further away from victory now than he was then.

Going forward, Democrats are confident that they’ll continue to gain ground in the Upper Midwest.

The reason: Absentee ballots are breaking overwhelmingly for Biden, who would need around 75% of what remains to be counted in Pennsylvania to overcome Trump’s current lead.

Biden and his team will also have their eyes on Georgia. There aren’t many outstanding votes, but they’re all in Atlanta and its suburbs – areas where Biden has shown strength and could be expected to help him to further narrow the race for Georgia.

9:33 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Pennsylvania "is definitely in play," senior state official says

From CNN's Pamela Brown

Philadelphia City Hall is seen on the morning of November 4.
Philadelphia City Hall is seen on the morning of November 4. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

With a lot of the nation's attention on Pennsylvania, a senior state official said while President Trump has a sizable lead, the outcome is far from certain. 

"Pennsylvania is definitely in play," a senior official in Gov. Tom Wolf's administration told CNN. "We hope to push counties, this morning, to work, non-stop, until every last ballot is tabulated, beginning this morning."

Where things stand: According to publicly available information from various countries, as of this morning there were 1.4 million absentee ballots still to be counted. The margin of difference between Trump and Joe Biden currently stands at just over 618,000 with 75% of the state's votes counted.

A majority of mail-in ballots — 65%— sent in in Pennsylvania were from registered Democrats, although that doesn't mean all would have voted for Biden.

Philadelphia and state officials are scheduled to brief the press within the hour on the progress of the counting.

9:25 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Where the vote stands in key counties in Georgia and Michigan

On-air analysis from CNN's Jim Sciutto/ Written by CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Detroit election workers work on counting absentee ballots at the TCF Center in Detroit, Michigan, on November 4.
Detroit election workers work on counting absentee ballots at the TCF Center in Detroit, Michigan, on November 4. Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

Votes are still being tabulated in key states. Here’s a closer look at the numbers in closely watched counties in those states.

“The simple fact is there are still votes to be counted … votes cast legally still to be counted in states where the margins are thin,” according to CNN’s Jim Sciutto. 

In Georgia, 8% of the vote remains to be counted.

Fulton County, Georgia

  • home to Atlanta
  • 80% of the vote counted so far
  • Absentee and mail-in vote counting resumed at 8:30 a.m. ET

DeKalb County, Georgia

  • 80% of vote counted so far
  • Absentee and mail-in vote counting resumes at 11 a.m. ET

In Michigan, 14% of the overall vote still needs to be counted. The Michigan secretary of state told CNN that “hundreds of thousands” of votes still need to be counted in the state as a whole.

Wayne County, Michigan

  • home to Detroit
  • 64% of the vote counted

“In both those states, it's urban areas that tend to favor Democrats. The question, of course: Is it enough to turn the results in those states, and ultimately given their position as battleground states in this election, to turn the election overall?” Sciutto said. 

In Wisconsin, 3% of the vote remains to be counted, while in Pennsylvania, 25% remains. Pennsylvania allows mail-in votes to be received and counted up until Friday.

9:20 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Here's how each candidate can still get to 270 electoral votes

From CNN's Aditi Sangal / On-air analysis from CNN's Phil Mattingly

CNN has not projected a winner in nine states across the country — Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Maine, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

CNN’s Phil Mattingly mapped out a potential path for Biden:

If Trump wins Alaska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Georgia, and if Biden holds on to his lead in Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona and Maine, and overtakes Trump in Michigan, that’s Biden's path, Mattingly said.

“If you were a Democrat and you went to bed last night assuming it was a 2016 redux and everything was over, it's not,” he added. “There is a very clear pathway, with a lot of vote to count, but there is a pathway.”

Mattingly also mapped out a potential path for Trump:

If Trump wins Pennsylvania, hold his lead in Michigan and flips Nevada, because it’s currently a very close race, he will have the votes he needs. 

“[He] doesn't need to win Georgia, needs to dig into some Democratic territory, and needs to somehow manage to hold off Joe Biden in the state of Michigan, and hang on to a very sizable lead right now in Pennsylvania, and he's over 270,” Mattingly said.

CNN's Phil Mattingly lays out paths to 270 for both Biden and Trump: