CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — As remaining ballots are being counted in several key states, the path to the U.S. presidency is narrowing Saturday morning.
NewsNation will continue to provide live Election 2020 updates as ballots are tallied and states report results. It’s standard practice to continue tabulating votes after Election Day.
At the top of the ticket is the U.S. presidency, all 435 U.S. House seats, 35 U.S. Senate seats and 11 gubernatorial races.
As of Saturday morning, President Donald Trump has 214 Electoral College votes to Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s 264.
All updates in eastern standard time.
12:00 a.m. – What’s Next
PHILADELPHIA — Democrat Joe Biden stood on the cusp of winning the presidency Saturday morning, four days after Election Day, as the long, exacting work of counting votes widened his lead over President Donald Trump in critical battleground states, The Associated Press reported.
High turnout, a massive number of mail-in ballots and slim margins between the two candidates all contributed to the delay in naming a winner. But Biden held leads in Pennsylvania, Nevada and Georgia, putting him in an ever-stronger position to capture the 270 Electoral College votes needed to take the White House.
There was intense focus on Pennsylvania, where Biden led Trump by more than 27,000 votes, and Nevada, where the Democrat led by about 22,000. The prolonged wait added to the anxiety of a nation facing historic challenges, including the surging pandemic and deep political polarization.
Here’s what is next:
- Votes are expected to continue to come in from Pennsylvania on Saturday.
- Nevada is expected to release another batch of ballots in Las Vegas’ Clark County at noon (ET) on Saturday. The county is expected to be done counting this weekend.
- Another batch of votes are expected on Saturday at 11 a.m. (ET) in Maricopa County, Arizona. AP already called that race to Biden.
10:48 p.m. – Biden speaks in Delaware
WILMINGTON — Former vice president Joe Biden delivered remarks from Delaware as the ballot counting continues in key states.
“We don’t have a final declaration yet, but the numbers tell us it’s clear, a clear and convincing story—we’re going to win this race,” Biden said.
Biden took a narrow lead over President Donald Trump in key states of Pennsylvania and Georgia on Friday as counting continued.
10:05 p.m. – Perdue, Ossoff head to Georgia U.S. Senate runoff
Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff will face off in a Jan. 5 runoff in Georgia for Perdue’s Senate seat.
Libertarian candidate Shane Hazel was able to get enough votes so that neither Perdue or Ossoff was able to clear the 50% threshold needed for an outright win.
7:20 p.m. – Biden adds to lead over Trump in Pennsylvania
Democrat Joe Biden is adding to his lead over President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania.
As of early Friday evening, Biden had overtaken Trump by nearly 20,000 votes in the battleground state, which Trump must win to have a shot at reelection.
The contest is still too early for The Associated Press to call.
6:05 p.m. – Biden adds to lead over Trump in Georgia
Democrat Joe Biden is adding to his lead over President Donald Trump in Georgia.
As of early Friday evening, Biden had overtaken Trump by 4,235 votes in the battleground state, which Trump must win to have a shot at reelection.
The Democrat first surpassed Trump in the state vote count on Friday morning as votes continue to be counted.
The contest is still too early for The Associated Press to call.
Trump’s lead dwindled after Election Day when state officials began processing mail-in ballots, a form of voting that has skewed heavily in Biden’s favor after Trump spent months claiming — without proof — that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.
If there is less than a 0.5 percentage point difference between Biden’s and Trump’s vote totals, state law dictates that a recount must be held. Biden currently holds a lead of about 0.08 percentage points.
A Democratic presidential candidate hasn’t won Georgia since Bill Clinton in 1992.
5:25 p.m. – Biden, Harris set to deliver remarks in prime time
Joe Biden has scheduled a prime-time address on the presidential contest as votes continue to be counted in several battleground states. Biden is on the cusp of victory as he opened narrow leads over President Donald Trump in Georgia and Pennsylvania.
Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris is expected to deliver remarks Friday alongside Biden. You can watch the remarks live on NewsNation on WGN America or stream it live right here.
Harris has appeared alongside Biden during his remarks in recent days but has not made any public comments herself on the state of the race. A campaign official confirmed she will speak Friday night before Biden does.
The California senator has been at a hotel in Wilmington, Delaware, with her family since Tuesday night.
The Associated Press has not yet declared a winner in Nevada, North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Alaska.
4:25 p.m. – Biden’s lead in PA widens
Joe Biden’s lead in the battleground state of Pennsylvania grew slightly Friday afternoon as more mail-in ballots continued to be counted. As of 4:25 p.m. EST, Biden leads Donald Trump in the Keystone State by 14,725 votes, according to the latest election results from the Associated Press.
State law dictates that a recount must be held if the margin between the two candidates is less than 0.5%. There are tens of thousands of votes left to count.
Additionally, there are potentially tens of thousands of provisional ballots that remain to be tabulated, though an exact number remained unclear. Those ballots will be counted after officials verify they are eligible to be included.
3:30 p.m. – Sen. Romney responds to Pres. Trump’s election fraud claims
Sen. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, posted a statement on Twitter responding to the president’s claims about election fraud:
“The President is within his rights to request recounts, to call for investigation of alleged voting irregularities where evidence exists and to exhaust legal remedies — doing these things is consistent with our election process. He is wrong to say that the election was rigged, corrupt and stolen — doing so damages the cause of freedom here and around the world, weakens the institutions that lie at the foundation of the Republic and recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions.
The Utah Republican lost to President Barack Obama in 2012 but was gracious in defeat. Romney voted to convict Trump in his impeachment trial early this year.
2:50 p.m. – Pennsylvania judge rejects Republican case on provisional votes
PITTSBURGH — A statewide appellate court judge in Pennsylvania has dismissed a request from Republicans to stop the state or counties from counting provisional ballots that were cast by voters whose mail-in ballots were disqualified by a technicality.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s state elections bureau last month gave guidance to counties that a voter could use a provisional ballot if they “did not successfully vote” with the mail-in or absentee ballot they were issued, or if their ballot was rejected and they believe they are eligible to vote.
The Democratic National Committee, which had sought to oppose the case in court, said Republicans wanted to “throw out lawfully cast provisional ballots.”
Wolf’s top elections official, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat, has insisted that the practice is legal and not prohibited by law.
Regardless, she said there aren’t “overwhelming” numbers of voters who cast a provisional ballot after their mail-in ballot was disqualified, but she has not given an exact figure.
2:30 p.m. – Nevada election update
LAS VEGAS — Democrat Joe Biden has increased his lead over President Donald Trump in Nevada to 20,137 votes.
Results released Friday from Democrat-heavy Clark County, which includes Las Vegas and three-quarters of Nevada’s population, along with two rural counties, put Biden at 627,104 votes and Trump at 606,967.
Biden’s lead nearly doubled from Thursday, when he was leading Trump by about 11,000 votes.
The Associated Press has not called the presidential race. Votes are still being counted in several battleground states.
Clark County Registrar Joe Gloria says his county has an additional 63,000 mail ballots to be processed over the next few days and 60,000 provisional ballots to be processed later.
Gloria said Clark County would release more results Friday afternoon but he said he did not know exactly how many ballots could be included in that release.
The state has said it will provide an update later Friday on how many ballots are yet to be counted statewide. On Thursday, they reported that number at 190,150.
1:30 p.m. – Trump releases another statement
WASHINGTON — President Trump released another statement as Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania continued to grow.
“We believe the American people deserve to have full transparency into all vote counting and election certification, and that this is no longer about any single election. This is about the integrity of our entire election process. From the beginning we have said that all legal ballots must be counted and all illegal ballots should not be counted, yet we have met resistance to this basic principle by Democrats at every turn. We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee that the American people have confidence in our government. I will never give up fighting for you and our nation.”
PRESIDENT Donald j. trump
12:44 p.m. Trump supporters gather in Arizona
PHOENIX, Ariz. — NewsNation reporter Nancy Loo is at the Maricopa County Elections Department where Trump supporters gathered with signs of support.
The Associated Press has already called the presidential race in Arizona for Joe Biden, but votes continue to be counted there.
12:15 p.m. – Biden leads President Trump in Pennsylvania
11:50 a.m. – Biden’s Pennsylvania lead drops by 1,000 votes
PHILADELPHIA — Joe Biden’s Pennsylvania lead dropped to 8,783.
11:43 a.m. – Biden’s lead grows in Pennsylvania
11:05 a.m. Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania slowly expands, GOP senator calls Trump’s vote-fraud claims “very disturbing”
WASHINGTON — Numbers released Friday morning by The Associated Press show Joe Biden with a lead of 6,831 votes over President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania. More than 6.5 million votes have been cast in the state, leaving Biden with a lead of less than 0.1%.
State law dictates that a recount must be held if the margin between the two candidates is less than 0.5%. The AP said the presidential race remains too early to call.
Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, a key Republican senator, said Friday he saw no evidence to support Trump’s baseless claims that Democrats are trying to “steal” the election and called the president’s words “very disturbing.”
“There’s simply no evidence anyone has shown me of any widespread corruption or fraud” to support Trump’s claims of vote-fraud, Toomey said to “CBS This Morning.”
Other GOP senators and governors have pushed back against Trump’s claims including, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL.) and Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan.
10:55 a.m. – Georgia Secretary of State says there will be a recount; Trump campaign schedules news conference
ATLANTA — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Friday that the battleground state would recount its votes.
Joe Biden took the lead over President Donald Trump in Georgia early Friday as ballot counting continued, with just over 1,000 votes separating the candidates after about five million votes were cast in the state.
“We are literally looking at a margin that is less than a large high school,” said Gabriel Sterling, Secretary of State’s Office.
Meanwhile, Georgia Republicans and the Trump campaign have scheduled a news Friday afternoon news conference to discuss the “status of the election integrity.”
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, GAGOP Chairman David Shafer and RNC National Committeewoman Ginger Howard are expected to be in attendance.
The Secretary of State’s Office said Georgia’s voting system has integrity and there is no evidence of widespread fraud.
10:16 a.m. – Georgia Secretary of State to give election update
Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is scheduled to give an update on the state’s vote counting at 10:30 a.m. ET. NewsNation will livestream the event.
Before the briefing, Democratic nominee Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump in the state, according to the latest election results from the Associated Press, by a very slim margin of 917 votes.
9:36 a.m. – Trump campaign gives statement on election following Biden lead in Pennsylvania, Georgia
WASHINGTON — Trump campaign gave a statement on the election following Biden’s narrow lead in Pennsylvania and Georgia.
“This election is not over. The false projection of Joe Biden as the winner is based on results in four states that are far from final. Georgia is headed for a recount, where we are confident we will find ballots improperly harvested, and where President Trump will ultimately prevail. There were many irregularities in Pennsylvania, including having election officials prevent our volunteer legal observers from having meaningful access to vote counting locations. We prevailed in court on our challenge, but were deprived of valuable time and denied the transparency we are entitled to under state law. In Nevada, there appear to be thousands of individuals who improperly cast mail ballots. Finally, the President is on course to win Arizona outright, despite the irresponsible and erroneous ‘calling’ of the state for Biden by Fox News and the Associated Press. Biden is relying on these states for his phony claim on the White House, but once the election is final, President Trump will be re-elected.”
Matt Morgan, Trump 2020 campaign general counsel
8:51 a.m. – Biden takes lead in Pennsylvania
PHILDAELPHIA — Joe Biden has taken the lead in Pennsylvania by just over 5,500 votes.
New numbers released by The Associated Press show Biden with a lead of 5,594 votes over President Donald Trump.
The AP said the presidential race remains too early to call.
Neither candidate has reached the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House. Biden has taken the advantage with 264 electoral votes to Trump’s 214.
4:30 a.m. – Biden gains small lead in Georgia
ATLANTA — Democratic nominee Joe Biden is now leading in Georgia by a very slim margin, according to The Associated Press.
New numbers in from Georgia show Biden with a lead of 917 votes over President Donald Trump.
The race is still too early to call, according to the AP.
2 am. – Philadelphia police probe alleged plot to attack vote-counting site
PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia police are investigating an alleged plot to attack a vote-counting site in the city.
Police said early Friday that they received a tip about a Hummer vehicle with armed people driving to the city from Virginia, with plans to attack the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
At least one person is in custody, according to police.
Police also seized a weapon as well as the Hummer. No injuries were reported and no further details about the alleged plot were disclosed.
Past Election 2020 Live Blogs:
How NewsNation will report election results
NewsNation’s television broadcast and digital properties will rely on The Associated Press for all vote counting and race calls. NewsNation chose to rely on the AP because they call races based on the facts.
“AP does not make projections or name apparent or likely winners,” said David Scott, a deputy managing editor who helps oversee AP’s coverage of elections. “If AP cannot definitively say a candidate has won, we don’t speculate.”
According to the AP, a race is only called when they “conclude that the trailing candidate will not catch the leader.” In fact, AP did not call the closely contested race in 2000 between George W. Bush and Al Gore, standing by its assessment that the margin in Florida made it too close to call. You can read more information about how AP calls races here.
We may not know who won the presidential election on Tuesday night. The biggest factor that may slow things down this year is the millions of Americans who voted by mail rather than risk being in a crowd during the coronavirus pandemic. In general, mail ballots take longer to count.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report