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2020 Election rolling coverage: President-elect Biden to address nation, Trump refuses to concede

USA – America heads to the polls in one of the most tense and consequential elections in living memory.

Democratic candidate Joe Biden (l.) is going up against the incumbent president, Donald Trump.
Democratic candidate Joe Biden (l.) is going up against the incumbent president, Donald Trump.  © ROURKE/SEMANSKY/AP/dpa, ayphoto/123RF

While presidential elections have always felt like momentous occasions, it seems hard to overstate how high the stakes are in 2020.

In the midst of an ongoing pandemic that has already cost over 230,000 American lives, the US looks set to record its highest turnout in over a century.

More than 100 million people had already cast their ballots before the first polling place opened on Tuesday morning, strengthening the historic feel of the event. Added to that is a sense that there have rarely been two candidates with more starkly opposing views on the main issues.

President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden offer vastly different visions on virtually every subject, from public health and the environment, to race relations and the economy. Both have repeatedly said that they view this election as a battle over America's future.

As a polarized nation makes its choice, amid fears of unrest and uncertainty over results, all eyes will be on traditional swing states, such as Florida and Pennsylvania, as well as unexpectedly close races in Texas and Georgia.

With the wait for final results expected to take longer, due to the unprecedented number of mail-in ballots that have to be processed, the 2020 presidential elections has all the hallmarks of history in the making.

More on the 2020 election from TAG24:

Update, November 7, 6:00 PM ET: Trump returns from golf course and tweets more accusations

After spending the afternoon playing golf while quite a bit was happening around the country, Donald Trump showed no signs of having reconsidered his approach to an election that has already slipped away from him.

He fired off another two tweets which contained plenty of wild accusations and no proof. The first was of the all-caps variety and included another claim to be the true winner.

"THE OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTING ROOMS. I WON THE ELECTION, GOT 71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES," Trump wrote.

"BAD THINGS HAPPENED WHICH OUR OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE. NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WERE SENT TO PEOPLE WHO NEVER ASKED FOR THEM!"

The second tweet was more tempered by comparison and it also contained a fact: "71,000,000 Legal Votes. The most EVER for a sitting President!" While Trump seems to have overstated his numbers by several hundred thousand – at this stage in the count – it's true that no sitting president has ever received more votes.

However, Biden tally of 74 million votes is more than any other candidate in US history.

Update, November 7, 11:30 AM ET: Joe Biden is the new president of the United States

Joe Biden has defeated Donald Trump to win the 2020 US presidential election. He will become the 46th president of the United States of America.

The Associated Press and CNN called Pennsylvania in Biden's favor after the latest count showed the Democrat increase his lead by some 2,000 votes, cementing a trend that help reverse Trump's election night lead.

Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes pushed Biden past the 270 required for the win. His total is now 284 – or 273, if Arizona and it's disputed status is discounted.

Update, November 7, 10:30 AM ET: Biden on the cusp of win as count resumes in key states

Joe Biden continued to extend his lead in multiple states on Saturday.

The focus is mainly on Pennsylvania – which would be enough to take the former vice president to 270 electoral votes – followed by Georgia and Nevada. After Trump led early in the count, Biden is now ahead in all three and his advantage is growing, as a record number of mail-in ballots is being tallied.

The margins are still relatively small, ranging from 7,000 to 30,000 votes, and there are still thousands of ballots to be counted. But everything points to a Biden victory at the moment: the Democrat has been outperforming Trump in every new batch of numbers released in Pennsylvania and Georgia. Conversely, the president isn't doing well enough in the Nevada count to significantly chip away at Biden's lead.

Here's a quick recap of where we stand in this marathon election:

PENNSYLVANIA (20 electoral votes) – Trump got an impressive head start in the Keystone State on election night, at one point leading by as many as 700,000 votes. However, as many analysts had predicted, Biden started to catch up as the overwhelmingly Blue mail-in votes were counted. On Friday, the Democrat went in front for the first time and has been steadily pulling away since. He now has a 29,000 advantage, as new numbers are expected to be released soon.

GEORGIA (16 electoral votes) – It was a similar story in Georgia, where a 300,000-vote lead for Trump melted away into a 7000+ deficit. Since that amounts to a difference of less than 0.1%, a recount is expected as soon as the official count is over. The Democrats have not won Georgia since 1992, when Bill Clinton successfully took it.

NEVADA (6 electoral votes): Biden is still in front by over 20,000 votes and as most of the outstanding ballots are from Democratic-leaning counties, he is expected to hold on. 

ARIZONA (11electoral votes) – The Associated Press and Fox News were quick to call Arizona in Biden's favor, but other outlets held back, considering it too close to call. In a reverse pattern compared to Pennsylvania and Georgia, Biden's early lead has been consistently shrinking and is now down to under 30,000 votes.

NORTH CAROLINA (15 electoral votes) – The president is also likely to hold on in North Carolina, where his 70,000-vote edge seems enough to keep a fightback at bay could hardly catch up with. The state counts ballots received up to November 12 and no new batches will be released on Friday.

ALASKA (3 electoral votes) – While Alaska hasn't been called yet, it is a virtually guaranteed Trump win. In its entire existence as a US state, Alaska has only ever voted for a Democrat once – in 1964, for Lyndon B. Johnson.

Update, November 6, 10:40 AM ET: Trump reportedly does not intend to concede, Biden campaign responds

As Democratic candidate Joe Biden's lead in Pennsylvania grows with every new batch of counted ballots being released, the result of this historic election is becoming increasingly clear.

But according to White House sources cited by CNN, President Trump has "no plans to concede" any time soon. In fact, he and his immediate family are still tweeting dubious claims about electoral fraud and illegal votes.

CNN and other outlets are reporting concerns among some in Trump's circle that the president might have to be convinced of accepting defeat. The network quoted a statement by the Biden campaign director of rapid response, Andrew Bates: 

“As we said on July 19th, the American people will decide this election,” Bates said. “And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.”

Update, November 6, 9:00 AM ET: Biden on brink of victory after overtaking Trump in Pennsylvania

Donald Trump's chances at reelection are crumbling after CNN reported that Joe Biden has taken the lead in Pennsylvania.

The latest batch count released by election officials in Philadelphia favored the former vice president by a whopping 87% margin, giving him an advantage of 5,587 votes. This is part of the same trend that looks like it could flip Georgia in Biden's favor: only mail-in ballots remain to be counted and they skew heavily Democratic, after an election campaign which politicized the issue along partisan lines.

If Biden carries Pennsylvania, he will pass the required 270 electoral votes. CNN correspondent Jeff Zeleny is reporting movement on the ground in Wilmington, Delaware, where Joe Biden is preparing a victory speech.

Update, November 6, 5:00 AM ET: Biden takes the lead in Georgia

Big news from Georgia, as CNN and the New York Times report Joe Biden has taken the lead in the state for the first time. 

After to the latest count, Joe Biden is in front by 917 votes with over 99% of Georgia ballots tallied. The trend has been steadily favoring Biden and his advantage could increase, giving him the state's 16 electoral votes.

A Biden win in Georgia would at the very least make it mathematically impossible for President Trump to reach 270 electoral votes. A reminder that outlets not using the AP's count are yet to call Arizona and its 11 electoral votes, which means that CNN and other networks currently have the former vice president on 253.

Update, November 6, 3:00 AM ET: Margins Georgia and Pennsylvania razor-thin

President Trump's lead in Georgia and Pennsylvania has narrowed to a minuscule margin, bringing challenger Joe Biden closer to the White House.

As the numbers keep trickling in from counties still tabulating mail-in ballots, Trump is ahead in Georgia by a mere 665 votes, with about 1,500 votes still outstanding, according to CNN. More importantly, Biden is getting ever closer in Pennsylvania and the 20 electoral votes that would get him over the finish line.

Trump's advantage in Pennsylvania has dwindled to under 20,000 votes, with Biden consistently raking in a large percentage of the remaining mail-in ballots. A reminder that this is largely because voting by mail tends to be Democratic and the state was only started counting these ballots on Wednesday.

Update, November 5, 7:30 PM ET: Trump again complains of "illegal votes" during press conference littered with falsehoods

In an extraordinary 16-minute address – even by his standards – President Donald Trump repeated his premature claims of victory and continued to make wild accusations of electoral fraud. 

The incendiary remarks started almost as soon as Trump stepped in front of the cameras. “If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us" he said, restating a refrain that was set on election night.

"This is a case where they're trying to steal an election, they're trying to rig an election," Trump added, pointing to the "tremendous litigation" that his campaign team had initiated in several states. But lawsuits launched in Georgia and Michigan, mostly relating to the alleged lack of access to counting locations for Trump campaign observers have already been thrown out of court. 

Biden continues to lead, while Trump's advantages in Pennsylvania and Georgia are shrinking with every new batch of ballots counted.

President Donald Trump gives a press briefing from the White House on Thursday evening.
President Donald Trump gives a press briefing from the White House on Thursday evening.  © imago images / ZUMA Wire

Update, November 5, 4:30 PM ET: Biden projects confidence, urges calm

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made a short appearance in front of the media on Thursday afternoon, urging the nation to remain calm as the count continues, but expressing a confident belief that he is on his way to a win. 

"We have no doubt that when the count is finished, Senator Harris and I will be declared the winners," Biden said, restating that he and prospective vice president Kamala Harris felt good about their chances. "I ask everyone to stay calm," he added.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden giving an addressing from his base in Wilmington, Delaware.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden giving an addressing from his base in Wilmington, Delaware.  © imago images / ZUMA Wire

Update, November 5, 12:00 PM ET: Trump claims to have "plenty of proof" of electoral fraud

President Donald Trump continues his flurry of tweets aimed at disputing the ballot count in key states.

He is now claiming that there is "plenty of proof" of electoral fraud, without actually spelling out what that proof is. The number of Trump tweets flagged as potentially misleading by Twitter is growing by the hour.

True to his latest statement however, Trump's campaign team has indeed taken legal action in states called in Joe Biden's favor. As the incumbent's path to reelection narrows, there now seems to be a concerted effort to delegitimize the tallying of mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, a state that Trump can no longer win without. 

It bears repeating that there have been no indications of any irregularities at counting locations and that election officials are diligently counting on.

Update, November 5, 10:30 AM ET: Thin margins, recounts, and courts – is this the 2000 presidential election all over again?

After an excruciating month-long wait peppered with accusations of fraud, the US presidential election is decided by a court ruling. Sound familiar?

As the count continues and the legal disputes are heating up, the similarities to the infamous 2000 Bush-Gore standoff are getting starker. The lawsuits already launched by the Trump campaign team in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia could be just the opening salvo of a legal war. All this while President Donald Trump is stoking fires on Twitter with wild accusations of fraud and premature declarations of victory.

Challenger Joe Biden remains confident of his own chances as he continues to hold a significant lead, but has repeatedly emphasized the need to wait for the full results to come in. 

Cover photo: imago images / UPI Photo

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