Presidential election results 2020

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Veronica Rocha, Melissa Mahtani and Amanda Wills, CNN

Updated 2:44 p.m. ET, November 23, 2020
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5:45 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Trump voters are strongly voting for the President rather than against Biden, early exit polls show

From CNN’s Grace Sparks

Supporters of President Trump cheer as passing cars honk their horns near a polling location on Election Day, in Houston.
Supporters of President Trump cheer as passing cars honk their horns near a polling location on Election Day, in Houston. David J. Phillip/AP

Voters who back President Donald Trump are strongly voting for their candidate rather than against his opponent, with around 4 in 5 saying so, early exit polls show.

Some Joe Biden voters are doing the same, but to a lesser extent. Around two-thirds of Biden voters say they’re voting for their candidate, while around one-third say they are voting against Trump. 

One-third of voters want a candidate who is a strong leader, while around one-quarter say they want someone with good judgment. Around 1 in 5 want someone who “cares about people like me,” while another 1 in 5 want someone who can unite the country. 

 

6:06 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

"No matter how you voted today coronavirus is in your community," CNN's John King says

From CNN's Leinz Vales

CNN's John King says President Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic is on the ballot, adding that "no matter where you live and no matter how you voted today coronavirus is in your community."

"The fall surge now is way in excess of the summer surge," King said during CNN's special election coverage.

King cited President Trump's comments that the United States has "rounded the corner" on the pandemic and the promise of a pending vaccine. 

"Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, his own people have been critical of him in recent days," King said. "With the President trying to sell this in states like Wisconsin, especially, hospitalization spike, death record in the final week of the campaign, you just see this going up."

"Presidential elections are about leadership, the president’s leadership of the pandemic is on the ballot today," King said. "Joe Biden has a completely different approach. No matter where you lived you have lived this for eight plus months now. How important is it when people people vote?"

Watch the moment:

5:37 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Trump will watch results from East Wing with senior staff and family

From CNN's Betsy Klein 

President Donald Trump visits his campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday, November 3.
President Donald Trump visits his campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday, November 3. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump will be watching election results in the East Wing of the White House this evening, communications director Alyssa Farah said. 

“The President’s going to be watching returns tonight with senior aides, with members of the first family from the White House, from the East Wing. He’s excited. We’ve put in the work, we’ve not taken any vote for granted, he’s been out on the trail meeting with voters, doing as many as five events a day, and we’re ready to see these results,” Farah said during an appearance on Fox Business, adding that Trump is in a “great mood.”

Farah said that the White House is expecting some delays in results – “especially in Pennsylvania” – when questioned about absentee and mail-in ballot counting.

“We’re working with state secretaries of state all over the country who are processing these and have plans in place. Our concern from the outset has been mass mail-in voting when our country just hasn’t dealt with this level of it previously. Like I said, we are confident that we’re going to get to the end game, but we could anticipate some delays, especially in Pennsylvania,” she said.

Farah suggested Trump will make a public appearance in some form from the White House this evening, but declined to provide specifics. 

She reiterated that Trump will not declare victory before the race is called, as he mentioned this morning during an appearance on Fox News, but said an appearance will happen “when the ballots are in.”

Attendees at Tuesday night’s event at the White House, Farah said, will be tested and subject to temperature checks.

“We’re recommending folks wear masks and we will be spaced,” she added.

5:32 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

What to look for in the exit polls

From CNN's Ryan Struyk

Voters line up outside Vickery Baptist Church waiting to cast their ballots on Election Day in Dallas.
Voters line up outside Vickery Baptist Church waiting to cast their ballots on Election Day in Dallas. LM Otero/AP

The exit polls will offer us some key clues about whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden are winning over the voters they need to clinch the White House. Here are things to watch for:

The key groups to watch for Trump: 

  • White voters without a college degree: This group propelled Trump to the presidency four years ago, but now, Biden hopes to narrow the gap. Trump won White voters without a college degree by 31 points in Michigan, 32 points in Pennsylvania and 28 points in Wisconsin. Trump needs to try to hold those margins again.
  • White women: Pre-election polls suggest Trump is losing ground with this group, but he needs to stop the bleeding to have a fighting chance. A gaping gender gap could be fatal to Trump's reelection bid. Trump won White women by 9 points in 2016.
  • Independent voters: Independent voters haven't given either candidate a double-digit advantage in more than 30 years. Could Biden break the streak? Trump narrowly won independent voters by 4 points in 2016, and he'll need to keep things close with this group to win again.

The key groups to watch for Biden: 

  • Seniors: Trump won voters over 65 years old by 7 points in 2016, but amid a pandemic that is disproportionately killing older Americans, Biden may win them back in key states like Florida. Plus, Trump won White seniors by 19 points. Can Biden break even?
  • Trump-to-Biden voters and former third party voters: How many former Trump voters can Biden convince to cross party lines? In a tight race, even picking off 5-10% of them could make a difference. Plus, almost 6% of voters went third party in 2016. Where will they fall now?
  • White voters with a college degree: One of the big surprises of 2016 came when White voters with a college degree backed Trump by 3 points. Polls suggest they will likely go for Biden in 2020, but Biden needs to run up the score, especially among college-educated women.
  • Black and Latino voters, especially men: Trump has been pushing to make inroads with Black and Latino men, where even a small shift could help make up losses with other groups. Hillary Clinton won Black men by 69 points and Latino men by 31 points in 2016.
5:37 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Voters confident votes will be counted accurately, early exit polls show

From CNN’s Grace Sparks

Voters mark their ballots at First Presbyterian Church on Election Day in Stamford, Connecticut.
Voters mark their ballots at First Presbyterian Church on Election Day in Stamford, Connecticut. Jessica Hill/AP

Voters in the 2020 election are confident that votes will be counted accurately, with slightly less than 9 in 10 who say so. Another 9 in 10 voters report that voting in their state is easy, with those who report it is difficult in the single digits.  

More than 9 in 10 voters report they decided on their vote for president before last week, while very few voters decided in the last week. 

And more than 1 in 10 were first time voters in 2020, which is relatively stable compared to the makeup of voters in the 2016 election.

CNN's David Chalian reports:

5:24 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Economy most important issue to voters, early exit polls show

From CNN’s Grace Sparks

The most important issue to voters in the 2020 election is the economy, with around one-third who chose it, followed by around 1 in 5 for racial inequality and the same who chose coronavirus.

Around 1 in 10 voters say the most important issue to their vote is crime and safety and another 1 in 10 for health care policy. 

Over half of voters say that it's more important to contain the coronavirus than rebuild the economy. 

The electorate splits on how well efforts to contain the coronavirus are going, around half of voters who think containing the virus is going well, and the other half who say it's going badly. 

Around two-third of voters in the 2020 election say wearing a face mask in public is more of a public health responsibility than around 3 in 10 who think it’s a personal choice.

 

5:28 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Phoenix area could see highest turnout in 40 years, officials say

From CNN's Kyung Lah and Bob Ortega

A school crossing guard stops cars for voters entering a polling station, on Tuesday in Phoenix.
A school crossing guard stops cars for voters entering a polling station, on Tuesday in Phoenix. Matt York/AP

Arizona's Maricopa County, which is home to Phoenix, is eyeing its highest voter turnout in 40 years.

The county has already seen 115,000 votes today, and is expecting to reach 200,000 in-person votes by the time the polls close, according to Maricopa County Elections Department spokespeople Diana Solorio and Megan Gilbertson.

If Maricopa County hits 200,000 votes, that means they’ll have 80% turnout, when you combine all the early votes, mail votes and Election Day votes. That hasn’t happened in Maricopa County since 1980. (The highest turnout the county has ever reached was 87% in the 1960s, according to Gilbertson.)

So far, Solorio says in-person voting has been very smooth and the call center has seen only “typical complaints,” nothing major.

Maricopa County is the fastest growing county of any county in the US, according to the US Census, and Phoenix is the fifth-largest city in the country.

While GOP strongholds in the county have continued to see a high number of in-person voters, a Democratic source who is in the Democrats’ Arizona “boiler room” says Democrats came into Election Day with strong early turnout in Maricopa County. 

“Obviously there will be a big (Republican) turnout today, but I think we will be able to withstand it,” the source said.

In traditionally blue Pima County, which includes Tucson, early vote totals by party registration gave Democrats about a 75,000 vote edge coming into Tuesday, with 195,756 votes to 120,595 for the GOP, according to data provided by the Pima County Recorder’s office.

“The GOP usually has a better turnout by percent,” said Alison Jones, chair of the Pima County Democrats. “Our turnout been much better than normal in early voting.” She said that while she expects Republicans to make up ground at the polls today, “Even if every GOP voter votes for Trump — and we know that’s not the case … we have a clear path with the independent votes to take this state.”

Statewide, in Arizona, Republicans account for 35.2% of registered voters, Democrats for 32.2% and independent and other voters for 31.7%.

5:19 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Biden campaign believes it will have a sense of the direction things are going in tonight

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks to reporters after a stop at The Warehouse, a community center for teens in East Wilmington, on November 3, in Wilmington, Delaware.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks to reporters after a stop at The Warehouse, a community center for teens in East Wilmington, on November 3, in Wilmington, Delaware. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden is heading home to his family to watch the returns after stopping at the aquatic center in Wilmington. The question is whether he speaks tonight here outside the Chase Center where he accepted the Democratic nomination for president.

Campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon told reporters earlier today that Biden would address the nation tonight — regardless of outcome. Biden said a few moments ago that it was still to be determined whether he spoke.

The Biden campaign believes it will have a sense of the direction things are going — but are pessimistic on Florida.

“It is a tough lift for us, but people are still voting there,” a campaign official said.

5:02 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Biden: "There's just so much in play right now"

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks to reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 3.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks to reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 3. Carolyn Kaster/AP

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wouldn't commit to a plan if election results aren't made clear by the end of Tuesday night, telling reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, that he'll say something when he's ready.

"There’s just so much in play right now … We’ll see. If there’s something to talk about tonight, I’ll talk about it. If not, I’ll wait ‘til the votes are counted the next day," Biden said.

Asked if he plans to respond if President Trump declares a victory before the results are clear, Biden said he doesn't feel a responsibility to respond, adding, "It depends on what he says and how he says it."

"Presidents can’t determine what votes counted or not counted and, you know, voters determine who is president," Biden said. "No matter what he does or what he says, the votes are going to be counted."

The former vice president also said that he was "superstitious" about predicting an outcome of the election, but said he remained "hopeful," expressing confidence in "overwhelming" voter turnout among key demographics and key states.

Asked if he was confident that he was on the path to winning, Biden said, "Well, I don’t know."

"For example ... Florida came in and I won, it’s over. Done. If Florida doesn’t come in and, you know, what happens is the early votes occur, and some other states are going to do well, and we’re going to reestablish that blue wall," Biden said. "I feel good about that."

Despite his uncertainty, Biden seemed baffled that traditionally red states, like Texas, may be up for grabs tonight.

"It’s just so uncertain," Biden admitted. "Look, you can’t think of an election in the recent past where so many states are up for grabs. The idea I’m in play in Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida — I mean, come on. Texas?"