America decides – live blog

We are now three days on from election day and votes are still being counted in the most contentious and divisive US election in living memory. Stay with us at Hatch as we blog the results and the aftermath as it happens.

3.15pm – Georgia votes are continuing to narrow down. Buckle up!

3.03pm – Trump’s team would have to pay for a recount in Wisconsin.

2.56pm – Polls show that President Donald Trump won highest share of non-white vote of any Republican since 1960.

We’re still hanging on..

2.25pm – Hello Hatchers! I’m Maria Sajulga and I usually keep up with the Kardashians, but this week, the US Election’s got me hooked.

1.50pm – Anyone noticed all the Count memes doing the rounds? Junkee has.

12.30pm – Waiting, waiting … all eyes on Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania.

12.15pm – There’s been more than 200,000 retweets of Greta Thunberg’s tweet to Donald Trump, using his own words against him and telling him to “Chill!”. The teenage environmental activist used the same “Anger Management” line Trump threw at her in December 2019 after she was named Time’s Person of the Year.

11.56am – Some senior Republicans starting to distance themselves from the President.

11.50am – Stan Grant on ABC says despite the result it’s clear Donald Trump has tapped into a mood in America and speaks more effectively to a disenfranchised America, that the Democrats will have to address: “He has tapped into something real that is not going away.”

11.47am – The New York Post, a Trump-supporting paper, has described the President’s press conference statement as ‘baseless’.

11.44am – And, this time ABC cut away from the press conference, categorising it as repeating ‘Donald Trump’s lies’. I think we’re seeing live the media’s cancel culture moment with Donald Trump and his family. We are also seeing the power of the press to report, or dismiss.

11.43am – “As an American, I’ve lost all faith in the process.”

11.40 – Donald Trump Jr attacks the ballot, says his father got a record number of minority votes, and questions the high minority mail vote to Biden in some areas.

11.30am – Vernon Jones, of the Georgia House of Representatives, is geeing up the very pro-Trump crowd before the appearance of Donald Trump Jr, and questioning the vote count. “There’s been no transparency in Georgia, no transparency in the election process and we are going to question every ballot that was cast.”

“Donald Trump… He gained more people of colour votes than anyone going back to the 1960s.”

“This is a battle, we won’t leave the battleground.”

Vernon Jones, House of Representatives.

11.27am – Donald Trump Jr is about to address a press conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

11.21am – Interestingly, some of the main US TV broadcasters pulled out of Donald Trump’s press conference to denounce his statement as ‘lies’.

11.04am – Woah!! That’s over. Donald Trump ups the ante claiming the election is being stolen and promising extensive litigation. Accuses pollsters and the press of using inaccurate polling before the election to give Joe Biden momentum and diminish the turnout of Republican voters.

11.02am – “We want an honest election and we want an honest count. The United States will win and we think we will win the election. There will be a lot of litigation, but we have a lot of evidence.”

“We can’t have an election stolen. I’ve said very strongly mail-in ballots were going to be disastrous.”

11am – “We have a lot of litigation coming that will shake you people up (the press)… “Democrats have allowed ballots to be received three days after the election.”

10.56am – “They are trying to rig the election, they are trying to steal the election.”

Claims independent observers are not allowed to watch the poll count.

“I told everyone these things would happen, I’ve seen it happen.”

10.53am – Trump is going down fighting. “We were up by nearly 700,000 votes in Pennsylvania and that gets whittled down, I think we’re now down to 90,000.”

“I had a lead of over 300,000 votes in Georgia, and it gets whittled down.”… “The election apparatus in Georgia is run by Democrats…”

“We were on track to win in Arizona.

“Our goal is to defend the integrity of the election, we will not allow anyone to steal it.”

10.47am – Well buckle in… Trump says he easily wins if you count the legal votes… says he doesn’t if you count the illegal votes …

Says “we are recognised as the party of inclusion”… attacks the pre-polling calling them suppression polls.

“We were winning in all the key locations by a lot and then our numbers miraculously seemed to whittle away… there’s a tremendous amount of litigation… it’s really destroyed our system, it’s a corrupt system.

10.30am – ***BREAKING*** US President Donald Trump will address a press conference shortly.

9.25am – Well, that was a bit anti-climactic! The world’s press all crossed live to Pennsylvania for what they thought might be a declaration that Joe Biden had won the state, and instead got an assurance that the count was being done properly. #mediafail

November 5, 2020

11.55am – The election mapping and vote count has been a tad confusing.

11.18am – This is practically the final word in the times we live in. The bookies are paying out on Joe Biden! It may be a while before the election is officially declared, but punters backing the Democrats can rejoice in the meantime.

9.22am – Demonstrators have stormed the convention centre in Michigan demanding ballots stop being counted. It came after President Trump last night called for the count to be stopped and suggested ballots were being added after the polls closed.

8.35am – US media outlets are calling Michigan for Joe Biden bringing him to within six votes of victory.

8.25am – Joe Biden declares he’s the winner, while not declaring himself the winner.

7.37am – If you’re waking up this morning with an election day hangover reach for the Panadol, the rollercoaster ride isn’t over yet. Joe Biden still leads the count with 248 electoral college seats to Donald Trump’s 214, according to The Associated Press. Overnight it was confirmed that Biden has flipped Wisconsin, cleaning up the 10 votes for that state. The Republicans have already put in a court challenge requesting a recount. If the current margins hold, it would give Biden victory by just two seats 270 to 268.

November 4, 2020

9.00pm – Even though President Trump declared himself the winner, the fight for the White House continues. Crucial states like Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan will not be called tonight, leaving the result of the US Election in limbo.

Thank you for joining the Hatch newsroom team on the America decides: US Election live blog.

8.58pm – It’s midnight in Hawaii but reports are projecting a win for Biden while the eastern states are sleeping.

8.48pm – Biden takes the lead in Wisconsin with 95 per cent of the votes counted. A win for Biden here means Trump will need to secure Michigan and Pennsylvania to prevail.

8.22pm – A 29-year-old Republican is the first Indian-American to be elected to the Ohio state Senate, beating Democrat Mark Fogel.

8.16pm – ICYMI: President Trump claimed victory in Ohio. No Republican has won the presidency in modern times without winning Ohio.

8.09pm – Twitter has gone quiet as the US sleeps… oh no wait, here’s Kanye.

7.55pm – Republican David Andahl has won a seat in North Dakota’s state legislature, one problem, he died from coronavirus last month.

7.45pm – It’s 3:45am in Washington, D.C. Here is where the US Election stands. I need a cup of tea, be back in a little while.

7.40pm – A light-hearted glimpse into what some Americans are thinking as the US Election unfolds.

7.36pm – Meanwhile in Canberra….

7.26pm – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf responds to Trump via Twitter.

7.16pm- “There comes a point when you have to let the process play out before you judge it to have been flawed.” – Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie “disagrees” with President Trump claiming victory before millions of votes have been counted.

7.07pm – Another win for Biden – he takes out Maine and 3 more electoral votes.

6.55pm – The Associated Press reports a win for Joe Biden in Arizona.

6.55pm – Good evening Hatchers and welcome to the continued coverage of US Election 2020. Hi! I’m Charlie Bullis, you can normally find me covering motorsport, but the race to the White House is not finished yet.

6.35pm – Just a taste of the reaction in Australia to Trump’s claims.

6.30pm – Can’t let this “moment” pass without a mention.

6:20pm – President Trump speaks to supporters at the White House.

6.00pm – Waiting to hear from Donald Trump, who is expected to be making an announcement any minute now.

5.55pm – In case you were wondering …

5.25pm – Texas has been called for Trump. US media is saying there will be no overall result announced tonight. Though Joe Biden is ahead in the count predictors seem to favour Donald Trump. The New York Times election map has Joe Biden ahead, but most of the remaining states are predicted to fall to Donald Trump, including some key states like Pennsylvania. If predictions remain on track Trump will finish with 295 electoral college votes to Biden’s 238.

4.50pm – Interesting election fact… Since 1964 every candidate that won Florida triumphed in the US election.

4.48pm – Meanwhile in Twitter land ….

4.45pm – “Keep the faith guys, we’re going to win this,” Joe Biden tells supporters in his home state of Delaware.

4.30pm – Trump wins Florida.

4.15pm – Some states, including Georgia, say they will not complete their count today, have suspended the count and will not be able to give a result until tomorrow.

4.00pm – In a significant result which few outside the state may have known was on the ballot today, Oregon has voted to decriminalise all drugs.

3.55pm – While conservative outlet Fox News has called Arizona and it’s 11 electoral votes for Biden, few others have, as the state still has a significant portion of votes to count.

It’s a significant call for the network which has usually been very deferential to Trump and Republicans.

Please note: Most other networks are yet to call the state.

3.35pm – We’re a little late to report the wholly unsurprising projection for Biden to pick up the three West Coast states, and their total 74 electoral college votes.

3.25pm – History being made tonight as Sarah McBride becomes the first openly transgender US Senator, representing the state of Delaware.

3.15pm – Protests outside the White House have lead to a few arrests and the mood becomes more tense.

3.00pm – Ilhan Omar, Democratic Rep. from Minnesota and member of ‘the Squad’ is projected to to win reelection.

‘The Squad’ is the group of four of women of colour and members of the House of Representatives who President Trump suggested ‘should go back to where they came from’, despite three of the four women being born in the US.

2.50pm – As the election continues to tighten, stress eating appears to be not enough for some.

It continues to be a stressful night for many.

2.45pm – Conspiracy theory QAnon now has a voice directly inside the US House of Representatives, as Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene wins her seat in Georgia.

QAnon is a conspiracy group which I will not go into the details of here, but it is a broad group of loosely connected theories which has been designated as a domestic terrorist threat by the FBI.

And yes, there is a following here in Australia too.

2.40pm – CNN predicts Biden will win New Mexico.

2.40pm – MSNBC predicts Trump will win Utah.

2.30pm – If Australian bookmakers are anything to go by, Trump now appears to be the favourite.

2.25pm – According to political analysis outlet 538, if Trump carries both Florida and Pennsylvania – both states he is currently leading in – he has an 83 per cent chance of winning the electoral college.

The below image was generated from their website where all other states were based on announced or predicted outcomes.

Based on already announced results and existing polling, Biden’s chances of victory drops significantly if Trump carries Florida and Pennsylvania.

2.20pm – Again on Pennsylvania, with 25 per cent reported the New York Times currently has:

Trump: 53 per cent
Biden: 45 per cent

2.15pm – It’s unlikely we will know any more about the important battleground state of Pennsylvania today, as officials announce they will be halting counting for the night.

A nail biting decision, as the election may come down to this state’s 20 electoral votes.

2.10pm – In an unlikely change of course from 2016, the New York Times has Biden ahead in the electoral college, but Trump ahead in the popular vote.

New York Times Electoral College Map

1.55pm – CBS predicts former Democratic Presidential candidate John Hickenlooper will beat incumbent Republican Cory Gardener in the Colorado Senate race.

1.40pm – CNN calls North Dakota for Trump.

1:40pm – CNN calls Colorado for Biden.

1.35pm – When Trump won Texas in 2016, he did so by only 9 points, the narrowest margin for a Republican candidate in decades.

Four years on, some pollsters considered the Lone Star State a battleground state, and early results show a very close race indeed, with 38 electoral votes up for grabs. If it were to flip Blue this year, it would be a huge win for the Biden team.

According to Associated Press with 61 per cent counted

Biden: 50 per cent
Trump: 49 per cent

1.25pm – It seems there have been problems with online ballots in some places.

1.10pm – For an analysis on Trump’s early strong performance in the battleground state of Florida, 538’s Galen Druke speaks with contributor Clare Malone about how Latino voters of the state moved away from the Democrat party from 2016, in part, she argues, due to Trump’s efforts to link the Democrat party with socialism.

1pm – Professor Bela Stantic of Griffith Uni, who successfully predicted Trump’s victory in 2016, has made the same prediction this year.

12.55pm – As the race is turning out much tighter than polls had predicted, tweets about stress eating are beginning to circulate. What’s everyone at home doing? I’m about to start my third coffee for the day.

12.45 With that being the case, lets now look the state of the Senate with 24 seats remaining.

Democrats: 42 seats
Republicans: 34 seats

50 seats are required for a simple majority, however both parties would like a much stronger majority to overcome the Filibuster rule, which requires a super majority of 60 votes on some key issues.

12.30pm – Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell holds on to his seat of Kentucky.

In many ways the controversial Senate Leader had tied his fate to the President, and Trump’s strong victory in Kentucky comes as McConnell wins his 7th term.

12.30pm – First call of the afternoon: CNN and other networks call Tennessee for Donald Trump.

Thanks to Brianna O’Rourke for the excellent coverage this morning.
This is Lachlan Keller taking over the blog for the rest of the day, so keep watching the blog for ongoing coverage as the race unfolds!

12.06pm – Trump has taken a lead in Florida where the presidential candidates are neck and neck.

12.05pm – Trump wins Oklahoma, Tennesse, Mississippi, and Alabama according to The Associated Press.

12.02pm – Biden wins Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois, Delaware and Connecticut according to The Associated Press.

11.59am – Trump wins Indiana gaining 11 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House.

11.57am – The Associated Press calls Virginia for Joe Biden while Donald Trump wins West Virginia.

11.44am – According to CBS News with 74 per cent of votes in Florida is a close call, with Biden ahead at 50.3 per cent versus Trump at 48.7 per cent.

Florida has 29 electoral votes at stake, arguably the most electoral votes to offer of the states.

It’s viewed as a battleground state for Election Day, particularly since Florida has supported the winner of the presidential election since 1996.

11.29am – Kanye West announced this morning that he voted for the first time ever… for himself.

West wrote in himself and running mate, Michelle Tidball for President and Vice President as an independent under the Birthday Party.

The rapper tweeted a video of him submitting his ballot in Wyoming with the caption: “KEEP BELIEVING KANYE 2020. Thank you Jesus Christ”.

11.21am – Donald Trump wins Kentucky and gains eight electoral votes.

11.15am – Joe Biden has won the state of Vermont in the first state win in 2020, according to the Associated Press

Biden won the state’s three Electoral College votes. Represented in the Senate by Bernie Sanders, it’s considered a strong liberal state.

11.12am – VOTING TIP: If you’re still waiting in line when the polls close, you actually have the legal right to still cast your ballot.

11.05am – Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is awaiting electoral results at his home in Wilmington with his family.

This morning Biden visited his late son Beau’s grave, arm in arm with his granddaughter.

He also went to his childhood home in Scranton, where he reportedly wrote on the wall: “From this house to the White House, with the grace of God.”

If elected Biden will be the oldest U.S. president in the history. His first bid for the presidency came three decades ago when he was ironically, the youngest candidate.

10.53am – Trump campaign says they’re even more confident than in 2016.

In a call with reporters, the Trump campaign expressed their confidence that Election Day turnout would boost their vote count, despite a Democratic lead among early voters.

Senior advisor Jason Miller also expressed confidence in the campaign.

“I think that it’s across the board, everybody on the Trump team, I think, I would even say the President included, we feel better and more confident about our positioning now in 2020 than we did at this exact moment in 2016.” 

10.40am – Northeastern state Maine has set a record for turnout this year, Democratic Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap told CNN.

“We expected very light turnout with such high absentee ballot numbers, but in fact the turnout was pretty strong and steady in most places we’ve gone,” Dunlap said.

“I’m not nervous at all about those numbers. I think the towns have done a magnificent job of handling it.”

The last turnout record was 72 per cent but before the polls had opened Tuesday morning, more than half of all registered voters in the state had cast mail ballots.

Despite the state not receiving exact turnout totals for several days when the vote is certified, Dunlap said everything he had seen suggested this will be a record.

“When I voted this morning in the city of Old Town the line was 50 deep, and at 7:30 in the morning that’s not something I expected in the middle of a snowstorm,” said Dunlap.

10.37am – If you’re not a U.S. citizen but are still heavily invested in the election let us know who you’re rooting for. Who will come out on top?

10.35am – Exit polls have found that most voters were prepared with their choice for president prior to election day.

10.32am – Eldest child of the U.S. President, Donald Trump Jr. released an optimistic prediction of support for his father across the world.

10.27am – Vice presidential nominee, Kamala Harris was shown overseas support from her ancestral Indian village who held prayers for the Democrat.

10.23am – Americans have voted in the millions already and according to CNN’s latest exit poll voters are divided on key issues.

On top policy priority, voters responded with the economy (34 per cent), racial inequality (21), the coronavirus (18), crime and safety (11) and healthcare (11).

Voters were split when asked whether their top priority was containing the pandemic (52) or rebuilding the economy (42).

On the topic of coronavirus, 48 per cent of respondents said America’s response to the virus was going well, and 51 per cent said it was going badly.

However, just 30 per cent of people said wearing a mask was a personal choice, while 68 per cent said it was a public health responsibility.

10.06am – President Donald Trump’s son and businessman, Eric Trump continues supporting his father throughout election day.

9.50am – After weeks of counting down the days, Joe Biden continues encouraging Americans to vote.

9.45am – Kamala Harris issued a last minute call to action in Detroit, telling the crowd, “Today is a day that many of us have been waiting for four years”.

“Let’s make sure everyone we know votes. Let’s keep texting. Let’s keep calling, knocking on doors of neighbours and your family members. We got all day to get this done.”

9.20am – A federal judge has ordered a sweep of 12 postal districts in several swing states for any remaining ballots, to send them out for delivery.

The order came after approximately 300,000 postal ballots that the U.S. Postal Service says it processed show no scan confirming their arrival to ballot counting sites, according to information filed in federal court in Washington DC.

District Judge Emmet Sullivan said the Postal Service must sweep its facilities in Central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Detroit, Colorado/Wyoming, Atlanta, Houston, Alabama, Northern New England, Greater South Carolina, South Florida, Lakeland and Arizona.