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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1:16 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Biden will declare victory once campaign believes they have reached 270 electoral votes, adviser says

From CNN’s Sarah Mucha

Biden campaign senior adviser Anita Dunn stressed again this afternoon that the campaign is confident that they will receive 270 electoral votes, saying that Joe Biden will declare victory once the campaign believes they have reached that number, regardless of whether news outlets have called those races. 

"I think that at the end of the day we always said that the goal was to get 270 electoral votes and we feel very confident that after the vote’s been counted, that’s where the vote is going to be: above 270. And that’s how you win the presidency," Dunn told reporters. 

Asked if Biden would declare victory even if all the states' results had not yet been called by the networks, she replied, "If we feel comfortable that he has 270 electoral votes, yeah." 

1:21 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Trump campaign says it will request Wisconsin recount

From CNN’s Ryan Nobles and Betsy Klein

The Trump campaign says it will “immediately” request a recount in the battleground of Wisconsin. But under Wisconsin law, a campaign can’t petition for said recount until the Wisconsin Election Commission completes the canvass from county election boards.

“Despite ridiculous public polling used as a voter suppression tactic, Wisconsin has been a razor thin race as we always knew that it would be. There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results. The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so,” Bill Stepien, Trump campaign manager, said in a statement.

CNN's David Chalian breaks down Trump campaign's request:

1:30 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Federal judge, unhappy with USPS, wants answers from DeJoy

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

US Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on August 24 in Washington, DC.
US Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on August 24 in Washington, DC. Tom Williams/Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge was so angered by the US Postal Service's inability to sweep its facilities for ballots yesterday afternoon, following a court order to do so, that he said he will want answers under oath from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

"I agree the Postmaster is either going to have to be deposed or testify before me under oath," federal Judge Emmet Sullivan said on Wednesday.

He said he was not pleased the USPS couldn't comply with the Election Day court order, and didn't notify him until the court's deadline passed that they didn't have personnel on site in facilities to look for ballots in the mid-afternoon. 

Sullivan has put in place several court orders requiring the Postal Service to explain how much election mail it's failing to process daily, especially in states with low performance, which includes parts of key battleground states like Pennsylvania and Michigan.

The court's order on Tuesday for an additional sweep was in response to reports of lower performance in some areas —where strict deadlines for absentee ballots to get to elections boards approached — and questions about what happened to 300,000 ballots without final scans before their delivery.

 "Someone may have a price to pay about that," the judge said about the USPS's failure to sweep facilities an additional time on Tuesday.

"It's your clients," Sullivan told a Justice Department attorney representing the USPS. "I am concerned about your clients, each and every one starting at the top of the food chain."

Joseph Borson, representing USPS, told the judge the reason the postal service didn't conduct the sweeps was that "it took some time for this information to get to the right people."

CNN's Ana Cabrera reports on USPS developments:

12:49 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Trump campaign telegraphs legal routes

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump's campaign is signaling to its allies it plans extensive legal challenges in states where vote margins are currently slim, including Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Trump's campaign manager Bill Stepien told campaign surrogates in a telephone call this morning that campaign lawyers are already in those states in anticipation of filings, a person familiar with the matter said.

Trump campaign officials told allies on the call that the first likely step would be requesting recounts in states including Wisconsin and Michigan.

Trump also signaled before the election his lawyers would intervene in Pennsylvania shortly after the election, and officials have told Trump allies they anticipate a filing there in the next few days. It wasn't yet clear yet what would constitute the legal challenge in Pennsylvania.

Trump campaign lawyers are currently on the ground in several other states, including North Carolina and Georgia, officials familiar with the matter said.

1:17 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Georgia secretary of state: Results could be in by the end of day

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks with CNN on November 4.
Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks with CNN on November 4. CNN

Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he hopes to have a full result from his state by the end of today, even with about 200,000 ballots yet to be counted.

"That's what we're pushing for," Raffensperger told CNN's Erin Burnett.

He noted that the bulk of votes are coming from larger populated areas like Fulton County and Dekalb County.

"Some fast growing counties have like 7,000. It's really statewide, but they are working really diligently today to finish up and get all the absentee ballots scanned and tabulated," Raffensperger said.

Georgia is a key battleground state where CNN has not yet projected a winner.

Georgia secretary of state estimates timeline for state's results:

1:02 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

All but 300 votes have been counted statewide, Wisconsin's election commission chief says

From CNN's Ellie Kaufman, Caroline Kenny and Casey Tolan 

Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe.
Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe.

Wisconsin’s chief election official said all votes have now been counted statewide, except for a small town with fewer than 300 voters.

Meagan Wolfe, the administrator of the Wisconsin Election Commission said she misspoke earlier this morning when she told a different news outlet that all of the unofficial results were in from municipal clerks across the state.

Wolfe said that, to her knowledge, all votes have been counted statewide, “except for one township of less than 300 voters, and they are working to get their ballots finished and posted.” 

"We have no reason to believe there are any other ballots that have not yet been counted and included as part of those unofficial totals," Wolfe said.

What comes next: Wolfe said the state's official results won't be certified until December 1, despite nearly all of the jurisdictions reporting voting totals.

Now, the municipalities start the process to double check the results, she said.

"Today at 4:00 is actually the deadline for municipalities to start their canvass process and route their materials over to counties where they start their certification process at the county level," Wolfe said, adding that once those ballots are certified at the local and county levels, they are then checked by the state.

"By state law on December 1st at the public meeting at the Wisconsin election commission is when results are certified and that's when we'll have the official winner," she added.

This is important because if either campaign legally challenges the election results, they will have to wait until December when the results are official.

"All this publicly observable. You can watch in your local communities. If you're skeptical about the process, engage," Wolfe said.

"I feel 100% confident in the election that they conducted," she added.

12:35 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Where mail-in ballot counting stands in Pennsylvania's Luzerne County 

From CNN's Scott Glover

Municipal workers process ballots on November 4 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  
Municipal workers process ballots on November 4 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.   Mary Altaffer/AP

Officials in Luzerne County in Northeastern Pennsylvania hope to finish counting mail-in ballots by late today or early tomorrow morning, according to County Manager David Pedri.

Pedri said volunteers have counted approximately 37,000 of the 57,066 ballots received by the time polls closed on Election Day. 

He said additional staff has been added to deal with the count and it is proceeding at a pace of about 3,000 mail-in ballots per hour.

As of Wednesday morning, the county’s website showed President Trump leading former Vice President Joseph Biden by 27,598 votes with 20,066 remaining to be counted.

Luzerne backed Barack Obama in 2012 but supported Donald Trump in 2016.

CNN has not projected a winner in Pennsylvania.

12:22 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Senior Trump campaign official: "We are clearly in a corner here"   

From CNN's Sarah Westwood

Despite the confidence the Trump campaign projected in a call with reporters this morning, not everyone was feeling optimistic waking up on Wednesday as President Trump’s pathway appeared to narrow.

“We are clearly in a corner here,” one senior official said.

But the official cautioned that the campaign is not yet out of the game, and campaign officials have continued to claim both publicly and privately that they think they have shot if they can get Arizona and Nevada into their column.

That looked unlikely in the case of Arizona heading into the early hours of the morning, but the campaign’s internal math was better than public polling in several places and so that’s given them hope that their projections in this case could be more accurate than projections that show Biden taking the state.

On the campaign call this morning, officials said they ultimately expected to see the final tally in Arizona reflect a thin margin of victory for Trump. And the campaign was seething last night over what they felt was Fox News’s premature call of Arizona for Biden.

But claiming the pathway to victory runs through Arizona and Nevada appears to be different than the campaign’s long-standing hope to win by holding onto the Midwest, which seems to be slipping away as Wisconsin and Michigan totals creep toward Biden.

CNN has not projected a winner in Arizona. 

12:50 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Trump campaign's strategy to selectively stop vote counting "not tenable," CNN's John Harwood says

Written by CNN's Maureen Chowdhury / Analysis by CNN's John Harwood

The Trump campaign outlined a strategy to selectively attempt to stop vote counts in states based on where the math works for the President during a conference call, CNN's White House correspondent John Harwood reported.

"So, what they’re going to try to do is keep counting in places where they’re behind and try to make up the deficit, but in places like Philadelphia where Joe Biden is making up ground, trying to disqualify votes that would advantage him," Harwood told CNN's Anderson Cooper.

Harwood noted that this strategy is not a "tenable" one, especially if you look at the 2000 election and Bush v. Gore.

"Remember the Supreme Court threw out the Florida vote count on the grounds that it was being done in different counties in different ways and that violated equal protection for voters. That’s the same challenge the Trump campaign will face if they say ‘well let’s keep counting in Nevada and Arizona, but stop the count in Pennsylvania as these mail-in ballots … start coming in.”

CNN's John Harwood analyzes Trump campaign's strategy: