Election 2020 presidential results

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

Updated 1317 GMT (2117 HKT) November 7, 2020
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3:05 p.m. ET, November 6, 2020

GOP leaders press Trump team to detail fraud charges as they cautiously navigate the President

From CNN's Manu Raju and Ted Barrett

President Donald Trump speaks at the White House on November 5 in Washington, DC.
President Donald Trump speaks at the White House on November 5 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

GOP leaders are nervously watching President Trump’s erratic handling of an election that's slipping away from him, delicately urging him and his team to clearly make a specific case about voting impropriety or accept the will of the American public.

As they watch Trump make one unfounded claim after another, Republicans are worried about the lasting ramifications from the President’s meritless barrage of attacks against a cornerstone of US democracy — especially as they gear up for two months of intense battling over two hugely consequential races in Georgia that will determine the next Senate majority.

But top Republicans are also treading cautiously around a mercurial president who holds enormous sway with their party's base, with many unwilling to directly challenge his dubious claims and instead are urging him to make his case in greater detail.

GOP sources said Friday that the idea is to give Trump and his team a chance to make their case and allow the disputes to work themselves out in the courts, arguing that if the lawsuits fall flat, then Trump will have little choice but to concede the election without their having to confront him.

“It is incumbent upon the Trump administration to make specific cases of voter irregularity,” said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Senate Judiciary chairman who also defended Trump’s meritless claims of potential fraud. “They're looking through the voter files now," predicting more details in the next 48 hours.

Republican leaders are approaching him gingerly. Some, like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, are publicly defending his claims, while others, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are trying to toe a middle ground.

McConnell, a cautious but deliberate leader, carefully crafted a public message about Trump’s allegations that respects the concerns of the President and his ardent supporters but doesn’t back their nebulous charges of election fraud. On Friday, McConnell refused to say anything else besides his delicately worded statement.

Republicans argue that it’s now up to the President to provide the public with details about claims of widespread voting fraud in several crucial states that have put former Vice President Joe Biden on the cusp of the presidency.

 “I think the President should turn this discussion over to his lawyers,” said Senate Rules Chairman Roy Blunt, whose committee oversees elections. “And if they have a case to make, there's a process where they make that and that processes is timely.”

Read CNN's fact check of Trump's remarks and election claims here.

2:54 p.m. ET, November 6, 2020

Why the huge rise in pre-Election Day voting has affected who is leading in key states 

From CNN's Marshall Cohen

A woman deposits her ballot in an official ballot drop box on October 27 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
A woman deposits her ballot in an official ballot drop box on October 27 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mark Makela/Getty Images

Since the beginning of the pandemic, supporters of Democratic nominee Joe Biden have shown a strong preference for mail-in voting. Most of President Trump's supporters said they wanted to vote on Election Day. States count these different types of votes in very different ways.

As a result, in key states where a winner is yet to be called — like Pennsylvania — Biden now has a growing lead over Trump as more ballots are counted.

This isn't a sign of fraud or irregularities. Rather, it's just a reflection of how states count votes. Some states processed early ballots first, while others saved them for last.

This phenomenon, known as the "blue shift," is common in recent US elections and it's a big reason why Trump, despite election law, has argued that whoever appears to have won on Election Night should be crowned the winner.

That's not the way it works, of course. Ballots in North Carolina and Pennsylvania can arrive in the days after Election Day as long as they have a November 3 postmark.

In Pennsylvania, election officials couldn't do anything with early ballots until Election Day. Some counties didn't even pick them up until the day after Election Day.

 Read more here

2:25 p.m. ET, November 6, 2020

Judge orders segregation of some provisional ballots in Pennsylvania

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz and Laura Jarrett

A state judge in Pennsylvania has ordered the separation of provisional ballots, to set aside those voters who cast defective absentee ballots used to make sure their vote counted.

It's unknown at this time how many of Pennsylvania's provisional ballots this might effect.

The judge signaled there may be additional orders later, and the order sets up the potential for more court fights over the cured votes by provisional ballot.

 

2:00 p.m. ET, November 6, 2020

It's 2 p.m. ET. Here's who is leading in 5 key states that could decide the presidency.

Votes are still being counted in several key states, and the race for the White House is still too close to call.

CNN is yet to make a projection in six states. Neither Joe Biden nor President Trump have received the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

If Biden wins Pennsylvania, he's over the 270 electoral vote threshold. According to CNN's latest projections, Biden has 253 electoral votes to Trump's 213.

Here's a look at where things stand in five key states we're watching right now:

1:30 p.m. ET, November 6, 2020

Sources close to the White House say some officials are beginning to quietly back away from Trump

From CNN's Jim Acosta

Sources close to the White House said some senior officials inside the White House and the campaign are beginning to quietly back away from Trump, in acts of self-preservation, as the returns in Pennsylvania and Georgia indicate the President will not win reelection. 

"It's over," one key adviser to the administration said of the race. The adviser went on to say there are concerns about what Trump will do, beyond the question of whether he will concede the race.  

"God. Who knows," the adviser said when asked what Trump might do next, conceding there were multiple officials in the campaign and the White House who were shaking their heads after Trump's litany of false statements Thursday evening in the White House briefing room.  

Some in the campaign, the adviser said, questioned the Trump team's decision to dispatch the likes of Rudy Giuliani and Trump's sons to make unfounded allegations of voter fraud, arguing that likely diminished the president's claims of wrongdoing. The adviser said Trump is well within his rights to contest the election results but is going about it in exactly the wrong way.

A separate adviser to the campaign described Trump as increasingly isolated in his claims of a stolen election. "He is mostly alone here," the adviser said of Trump's claims of voter fraud. 

The sources noted, however, there are still some aides and allies around the president telling him what he wants to hear. That will keep the drama going, the sources added.

One pressure point for Trump is that some in the administration are already beginning to look beyond the 2020 race and toward 2024. One adviser said some inside the administration and the GOP are starting to measure their actions based on ambitions for the next campaign cycle. 

More details:

2:16 p.m. ET, November 6, 2020

Final count of Nevada's Clark County mail-in ballots could be completed by Sunday, election official says

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury, Erica Hill and Stephanie Becker

Election official Joe Gloria speaks during a press conference in Las Vegas on November 6.
Election official Joe Gloria speaks during a press conference in Las Vegas on November 6. KVVU

More than 63,000 outstanding ballots remain to be counted in Clark County, the home of Las Vegas, the county registrar of voters said at a news conference Friday, a process officials expect to complete by Sunday.

"We are anticipating and hoping that with the number of ballots we see now, we should hopefully be ready for final count in the majority of mail ballots by Sunday at sometime," Gloria said.

The county is continuing to count its mail-in ballots after it reported the results from about 30,000 ballots earlier Friday, a lower than expected number that boosted former vice president Joe Biden’s lead in the crucial battleground state. 

The county now plans to report additional votes from the 63,505 remaining ballots twice a day, starting today at 4 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. ET, until it is complete. He did not know how many additional ballots would be reported later Friday. 

Asked by a reporter why the county is not counting as quickly as its capacity allows, Gloria said, "Our priority here is to make sure that we are accurate in what we're doing. So, we're not interested in moving as fast as we can. We want to be accurate."

The county also has on hand 60,000 provisional ballots that must be verified before they can be counted, Gloria said. Another batch of ballots that require identification to be processed must be reconciled by 5 p.m. local time today, he said. 

Gloria said he would provide another press conference on Saturday at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET.

Remember: CNN has not yet projected a winner in Nevada or in the presidential race. Six electoral votes are at stake in that state.

2:47 p.m. ET, November 6, 2020

Philadelphia mayor: Claims of fraud are "baseless"

From CNN's Sara Murray

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney speaks during a press conference in Philadelphia on November 6.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney speaks during a press conference in Philadelphia on November 6. CNN

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney called President Trump’s claims of fraud "baseless."

"While some, including the President, continue to spew baseless claims of fraud...what we have seen here in Philadelphia is democracy plain and simple," Kenney said at a press conference Friday.

“Our city shines as an example of how to run an election correctly,” Kenney added. 

"God willing, we want a peaceful transition of power." he said.

As for ongoing signs that the President could lose the election, "I think what the President needs to do is frankly put his big boy pants on."

"He needs to acknowledge that he lost and he needs to congratulate the winner," Kenny added.

Remember: CNN has not yet projected a winner in Pennsylvania or in the presidential race.

1:09 p.m. ET, November 6, 2020

These are the categories of outstanding ballots in Pennsylvania's Bucks County

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Bob Harvie, commissioner of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, a suburban county north of Philadelphia, said the next vote count update should be in the 2 p.m. ET hour.

He said that outstanding ballots fall into a few categories — there are roughly 7,000 “naked ballots,” while others are being independently verified after getting scanned. Harvie said the county also received some ballots that came in after Election Day. 

Remember: The state Supreme Court ruled that ballots postmarked by Election Day, or with ineligible postmarks, that arrive by today at 5 p.m. ET, should be counted.

So-called “naked ballots” are mail-in ballots that come in without a secrecy envelope, a second sleeve that helps prevent poll workers from seeing how someone voted.

“If the ballot comes in not in the secrecy envelope, we can't look at it, we can’t do anything with it. … There's also a rule in Pennsylvania law that states there can't be identifying marks on the secrecy envelope,” Harvie said. 

“Stray marks, anything that doesn't identify the voter, doesn’t identify who they're voting for, those are ones you’re going to have discussions about,” he added.  

1:08 p.m. ET, November 6, 2020

Here's how some GOP lawmakers have reacted to Trump's baseless allegations of voter fraud

From CNN's Nicky Robertson and Ali Main

President Donald Trump speaks at the White House, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Washington, DC.
President Donald Trump speaks at the White House, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Washington, DC. Evan Vucci/AP

Top Republicans are defending President Trump's baseless claims of voter fraud and a rigged election, even as some rank-and-file congressional Republicans have spoken out against the President's latest remarks.

Here's a round-up of what some of them have said:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

"Every legal vote should be counted. Here's how this must work in our great country: Every legal vote should be counted. Any illegally-submitted ballots must not. All sides must get to observe the process. And the courts are here to apply the laws & resolve disputes. That's how Americans' votes decide the result."

When asked specifically about Trump's comments last night, McConnell's office declined to comment.

Sen. Lindsey Graham

On Fox with Sean Hannity Thursday night: "I'm here tonight to stand with President Trump."

Sen. Ted Cruz

Tweet: "What we’ve been seeing the last three days of #ElectionResults2020 is partisan, political, & lawless. The American people are angry that vote counting has been shrouded in darkness. We must count every vote legally cast."

Sen. Marco Rubio

Tweet: "Faith in our election is as important as the outcome. Preserving it requires not allowing the outcome to be decided by either the media or a candidate. Transparently count every legally cast vote & allow courts to decide claims of irregularities or fraud on the basis of evidence."

Sen. Susan Collins

Statement: "States have the authority to determine the specific rules of elections. Every valid vote under a state’s law should be counted. Allegations of irregularities can be adjudicated by the courts. We must all respect the outcome of elections."

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy

On Fox News with Laura Ingraham on Thursday: "Every American should stand up. Whatever they see ... tell us if they see something that's incorrect out there," McCarthy said. He later added, "Do not be silent about this. We cannot allow this to happen before our very eyes."

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise

Spokeswoman Lauren Fine, saying, "Whip Scalise urges every state to fairly and equally enforce their election laws as written, and only count those ballots that were cast legally. Americans deserve full transparency to have confidence that their votes are being counted accurately."

House GOP Vice Chair Mark Walker

Tweet: "On a flight to Atlanta sitting next to a Secret Service agent who’s talking about how blessed he’s been to protect President @realDonaldTrump and First Family. Integrity matters. Trust in our process matters. POTUS loves America and deserves a fair election. #CountAllLegalVotes

Additional reporting from CNN's Capitol Hill team