Biden addresses U.S. election results as ballot counting continued in key states

The latest:

  • Electoral college tally stands at 227 for Biden, 213 for Trump, with many states still to be called.
  • Battleground states offer updates on ballot counting.
  • Trump says he will win the election, despite ongoing vote counts in several states, and neither candidate reaching the required 270 electoral college votes.
  • Biden campaign calls Trump’s claims ‘outrageous, unprecedented and incorrect.’
  • Get all the U.S. election results as they come in.
  • How the electoral college determines who wins the U.S. presidency.
  • What do you want to know about the U.S. election? Email us at Ask@cbc.ca.

The U.S. presidential election count continued into Wednesday afternoon with no clear winner emerging, despite Donald Trump declaring earlier in the day that he will ultimately win.

The election has not been called for either Trump or his Democratic rival, Joe Biden. On Wednesday afternoon, the electoral college count stood at 227 votes for Biden and 213 for Trump, with three of Maine’s four votes going to the Democrat. You can find full results from CBC here (note: CBC’s electoral college tally also shows states where candidates are leading).

Biden addressed the election results from Wilmington, Del., while his campaign expressed confidence in an eventual Democratic win.

Trump said Wednesday morning that he would take the election to the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the counting despite potentially millions of outstanding votes in several swing states still not counted. It was unclear exactly what legal action he might try to pursue.

“This is a fraud on the American public,” Trump told supporters in the East Room of the White House. “This is an embarrassment to our country. Frankly, we did win this election.”

WATCH | Democratic and Republican strategists react to U.S. election so far:

Republican strategist Michael DuHaime and Democratic strategist Christy Setzer react to Trump prematurely declaring victory, Biden’s statement and the potential for a possible vote recount. 8:20

“We’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Trump declared. “We want all voting to stop.”

In fact, there is no more voting — just ballot counting.

Trump also accused Democrats without evidence of trying to “disenfranchise” Republican voters. “We were getting ready for a big celebration,” he said to a room full of 200 supporters. “The results tonight have been phenomenal.”

WATCH | ‘We did win this election,’ Trump tells supporters:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said as far as he’s concerned he and the Republican Party have won the U.S. election. He said he will go to the U.S. Supreme Court and wants voting to stop. However, several states are still counting votes that have already been cast. 1:12

Trump claimed prematurely to be winning in several states that have not been called — including Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Biden’s campaign responded to Trump’s claims, calling them “outrageous, unprecedented and incorrect.”

“The counting will not stop. It will continue until every duly cast vote is counted. Because that is what our laws — the laws that protect every Americans’ constitutional right to vote — require,” Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s campaign manager, said in a statement. “Donald Trump does not decide the outcome of this election. Joe Biden does not decide the outcome of this election. The American people decide the outcome of this election. And the democratic process must and will continue until its conclusion.

“If the president makes good on his threat to go to court to try to prevent the proper tabulation of votes, we have legal teams standing by ready to deploy to resist that effort. And they will prevail.”

WATCH | Politics professor calls situation ‘a full-blown constitutional crisis’:

Scott Lucas, American politics professor at the University of Birmingham, called Donald Trump’s claim that he has won the U.S. election ‘false’ and explained why he sees this as a ‘constitutional crisis.’ 1:56

Several states allow mailed-in votes to be accepted after election day as long as they were postmarked by Tuesday. That includes Pennsylvania, where ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 can be accepted if they arrive up to three days after the election.

Biden camp confident as ballot counting continues

O’Malley Dillon said she expected Biden will have more than 270 electoral votes later in the day.

Trump’s campaign manager, conversely, expected that the outstanding votes will eventually produce victory for Trump. “If we count all legal ballots, we win, the president wins,” Bill Stepien told reporters on a conference call, furthering Trump’s unfounded allegation of illegal ballots.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell discounted Trump’s claim that he’d already won the election, saying it’s going to take a while for states to conduct their vote counts. The Kentucky Republican and Trump ally said “claiming you’ve won the election is different from finishing the counting.”

McConnell, who won re-election for his senate seat on Tuesday, also said he is untroubled by Trump’s vows to contest the vote count in key states, telling reporters in Louisville that “you should not be shocked that both sides are going to have lawyers there.”

A worker with the Detroit Department of Elections carries absentee ballots as tabulation continued on Wednesday. (Elaine Cromie/Getty Images)

Battleground state updates

Stepien said Trump plans to request a recount in the battleground state of Wisconsin, where Biden picked up a win. In Wisconsin, if a race is within one percentage point, the trailing candidate can force a recount.

“There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results,” Stepien said in a statement, without providing details of any reports. “The president is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so.”

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said the state focused “on counting every single ballot,” while Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said more than 200,000 ballots still need to be counted.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf reiterated the state’s commitment to accurately counting ballots.

“Pennsylvania will have a fair election, and that election will be free of outside influences,” he said. “I will vigorously — and we all will vigorously — defend against any attempt to attack that vote in Pennsylvania.

“Make no mistake: our democracy is being tested in this election. This is a stress test of the ideals upon which this country was founded.”

WATCH | Pennsylvania will have a fair election, governor says:

Saying the results may not be known today, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf assured the public that every vote cast in the U.S. presidential election will be counted and that the process will be free of outside influence.   2:42

Kathy Boockvar, Pennsylvania Secretary of State, said the state was nearing 50 per cent of mail ballots calculated. “There are still millions of ballots left to be counted,” she told reporters, noting that there are 10 times the number of mail ballots this year as in 2016.

Earlier, officials in Philadelphia did not give a timeline on when they expect results. Philadelphia Commissioner Lisa Deeley said city officials were “segregating” ballots received after polls closed.

“When half of the votes in the city are cast by mail and half of the votes are at the polling place, counting votes cast by mail — if you’re going to do it right and you’re going to do it accurately because there’s no other choice — takes a little bit of time,” said fellow city Commissioner Al Schmidt. “We’re pushing out the results as quickly as we can.”

WATCH | Vote count must be done ‘accurately,’ Philadelphia official says:

Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt says things have changed in the counting process due to unprecedented levels of mail-in voting and it’s important to take the time to count the votes accurately. 1:18

The tight overall contest reflected a deeply polarized nation struggling to respond to the worst health crisis in more than a century, with millions of lost jobs, and a reckoning on racial injustice.

Trump and Biden have spent the better part of this year in a heated fight over how to confront those challenges, and each has argued in apocalyptic terms that his opponent would set the country on a devastating path.

Nevada, meanwhile, will not resume counting votes until Thursday at noon ET, according to Edison Research.

WATCH | Howard University professor concerned about potential Trump win:

Professor Ravi Perry of Howard University says that as a Black, gay man he’s ‘quite distressed’ over the possibility of a second term for U.S. President Donald Trump. 1:30

Predictable states and some surprises

Trump carried Florida — possibly the country’s most prized battleground state — and kept several other key states, including Texas, Iowa and Ohio, where Biden had made a strong play in the final stages of the campaign.

WATCH | Trump supporters celebrate in Miami’s Little Havana neighbourhood:

Trump supporters began early celebrations in Miami’s Little Havana neighbourhood following a Florida win, despite final presidential election results still being unknown 1:07

Both candidates picked up some predictable victories:

Trump took Indiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, West Virginia, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Missouri, Wyoming, Mississippi, Idaho, Iowa, Montana and Kansas.

Biden won Vermont, Connecticut, New York, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Illinois, Colorado, Virginia, Washington, Oregon, Minnesota and California.  

Four of Nebraska’s five electoral votes went to the president, while Biden won one electoral vote from the state. In 2016, Trump won all five of Nebraska’s electoral votes.

WATCH | CBC’s Ellen Mauro discusses Trump’s early claim:

Donald Trump has already said he will win the 2020 U.S. presidential election, but the CBC’s Ellen Mauro explains why it’s too early to make a call.  5:37

‘Keep the faith,’ Biden tells supporters

No major problems were reported during voting, and fears of large-scale voter intimidation or harassment had not materialized by the end of the day. 

Biden entered the night with two paths: winning back the states Hillary Clinton lost in the Midwest in 2016 or winning states in the South and southeast, some of which haven’t voted Democratic for decades.

“With Trump holding on to North Carolina and Florida, that leaves the election to be decided in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania,” said CBC polls analyst Éric Grenier — a situation that will play out over the coming days. 

WATCH | State of the U.S. presidential race not a surprise, says Keith Boag:

Former CBC News chief political correspondent Keith Boag says a delay in the result of the presidential election was expected due to measures taken for the coronavirus and mail-in voting. 1:02

Despite the narrowing path, Biden said he remained optimistic. The first of the candidates to make a public statement after polls closed, Biden came out about two hours before Trump and told supporters the election would not be decided early Wednesday and would not be final until every vote was counted.

He zeroed in on Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, which he said he would win. 

“Keep the faith, guys,” he said to gathered supporters in a parking lot in Wilmington, Del. “We’re gonna win this!” 

WATCH | Biden tells his supporters he still feels good: 

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden spoke to a crowd at a drive-in rally in Wilmington, Del., where he said he believes he and his party are on track to win the election. 0:59

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