US election newest: Twitter to switch POTUS account to Biden on Jan. 20

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NEW YORK/WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Joe Biden has secured 306 Electoral College votes, enough to achieve victory in the 2020 U.S. presidential election and matching President Donald Trump’s 2016 total.

Trump has rejected Biden’s win, taking the issue to court.

Nikkei Asia is following the results live. For all our coverage of the election, visit our U.S. Elections 2020 page.


At least 270 out of 538 Electoral College votes are needed to win the U.S. presidency. States outlined in yellow are key swing states.

For more on the U.S. election — and the Asian angle — read our in-depth coverage:

— Biden says US needs to align with democracies after RCEP signing

— Three ways Biden will immediately shift US policy on Asia

— Biden affirms security treaty applies to Senkaku Islands in Suga call

— Analysis: Biden’s old friend Xi is not the man he once was

— What a Biden victory means for China

These are the latest developments (U.S. Eastern time):

Saturday, Nov. 21

12:30 p.m. Twitter will transfer the @POTUS to the administration of President-elect Biden on Jan. 20 when he is inaugurated as president, the social media group says. The official account is separate from the @realDonaldTrump account that President Trump currently uses to tweet. Other White House institutional accounts, like @FLOTUS, @VP, and @whitehouse will also be handed over.

Friday, Nov. 20

4:20 p.m. Hours after a premature announcement, Georgia certifies President-elect Biden as the winner in the state, giving the Democrat the 16 Electoral College votes in a state typically won by Republicans.

1:50 p.m. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says his state will certify its general election results by the end of the day, reversing an earlier announcement that the process was complete.

The certification, if it happens as planned, would affirm Biden’s narrow victory over Trump in Georgia after a hand recount of nearly 5 million votes cast for president statewide.

Among other battleground states, Michigan and Pennsylvania are slated to certify their results on Monday. Biden, the president-elect, has been declared the winner in both states by U.S. media.

After certification by states, selected Electoral College members will meet on Dec. 14 to cast their votes. This vote technically is what determines the next president.

Trump and his campaign team have been trying to delay the certification of results by states in order to encourage state legislators to appoint pro-Trump slates to the Electoral College. Trump has invited Michigan Republican lawmakers to the White House, possibly to discuss appointing their own electors. 

Thursday, Nov. 19

4:40 p.m. Biden says Trump’s attempt to challenge election results is “totally irresponsible, debilitating and sends a horrible message” to the world. 

The president-elect and his team have not ruled out legal action against the Trump administration and the General Services Administration over their refusal to cooperate with the transition, Biden says. 

4:00 p.m. Chris Krebs, the top federal cybersecurity official who was fired by Trump this week, blasts Rudy Giuliani’s news conference as “the most dangerous 1hr 45 minutes of television in American history” in a tweet. Giuliani, the president’s attorney, claimed that the election was the target of fraud at the national level.

3:30 p.m. Trump invites to the White House some Republican statehouse lawmakers from Michigan, a state where his legal team is contesting election results. Some on Trump’s team have raised the idea that state legislatures can overturn what they see as flawed election results and pick their own electors for the official Electoral College vote.


Sweat runs down the face of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, now a Trump attorney, during a news conference at Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington.

  © Reuters

2 p.m. Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, alleges during a news conference, without providing evidence, that voter fraud was nationally coordinated.

“It’s not a singular voter fraud in one state,” Giuliani says at the Republican National Committee Headquarters in Washington. “This pattern repeats itself in a number of states, almost exactly the same pattern…”

Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell pledges in a tweet to rectify the fraud, saying, “We will not be intimidated.”

Tuesday, Nov. 17

9:00 p.m. Trump says he has fired a top cybersecurity official who had defended the validity of the election, accusing him of making “highly inaccurate” statements. The president announced the dismissal of Chris Krebs, head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, in tweets that were given warning labels by Twitter. 

On Krebs’ watch, CISA has been running a website called Rumor Control that debunks unsubstantiated claims about election manipulation. After learning of his dismissal, Krebs tweeted on his personal account, saying, “We did it right.”

6:00 p.m. Biden speaks on the phone with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The President-elect “expressed his desire to strengthen and expand the U.S.-India strategic partnership alongside the first vice president of South Asian descent,” Biden’s transition said, referring to Vice President-elect Sen. Kamala Harris.

Modi tweets that Harris’ success “is a matter of great pride and inspiration for members of the vibrant Indian-American community.”

Biden also speaks with President Sebastian Pinera of Chile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin of Israel, and President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa.

4:00 p.m. Conservative commentator Bill Kristol says sources tell him that reducing U.S. forces in South Korea is also on the table as the Pentagon begins troop withdrawals from overseas.

2:30 p.m. White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said on Tuesday it is Trump’s hope that all U.S. troops will be home from Afghanistan and Iraq by May.

O’Brien spoke to reporters after the Pentagon announced troop drawdowns by Jan. 15, five days before Trump leaves office. “By May it is President Trump’s hope that they’ll all come home safely and in their entirety,” O’Brien said.

2:00 p.m. In a Pentagon briefing where he didn’t take any questions, Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller announces that he will implement Trump’s orders to reduce troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Miller, who recently took over at the Pentagon after his predecessor Mark Esper was sacked by the president, says both Afghanistan and Iraq will have 2500 American troops each by Jan. 15 2021. Miller hasn’t announce the role of these troops, however he did say that that this withdrawal is in line with the U.S. President’s “continuous engagement” to defeat terrorism.

1:00 p.m. Biden’s transition team announces top White House staff positions, that draws heavily from his campaign managers and close confidants.

Former campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon will serve as a deputy chief of staff, while campaign co-chair Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond and campaign adviser Steve Ricchetti will play senior roles in the new administration. Richmond will leave his Louisiana congressional seat to fill the White House job.

“Our White House senior staff is composed of individuals who demonstrate the President-elect’s commitment to building an administration that looks like America, has expertise in governing, and will be ready deliver results for working families on Day One” the transition team said.

Monday, Nov. 16

1:00 p.m. Trump’s National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien promised a smooth transition to the Biden-Harris team if their victory is confirmed.

“If there is a new administration, they deserve some time to come in and implement their policies… if the Biden-Harris ticket is determined to be the winner, and obviously things look that way now, we’ll have a very professional transition from the National Security Council,” he said in a discussion at the Global Security Forum. 

Sunday, Nov. 15


President Donald Trump, left, gesturing while playing golf at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia., as seen from the other side of the Potomac River on Nov. 15.

  © AP

12:30 p.m.  Trump writes on Twitter that Biden “won because the Election was Rigged.” In a follow-up tweet, Trump explains that Biden “only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA” and that “I concede NOTHING!” For the second day in a row, the president is golfing at his Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia.

Friday, Nov. 13

4:30 p.m. In a White House press briefing from the Rose Garden on the COVID-19 vaccine, Trump almost admits that a new administration is coming in.

“I will not — this administration will not be going to a lockdown,” he started. “Hopefully the — whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration it will be. I guess time will tell…” Trump said, coming close to referring to a new administration.

2:30 p.m. CNN, NBC and The New York Times call Georgia’s 16 Electoral College votes for Biden, making him the first Democratic presidential nominee to take the state since Bill Clinton in 1992.

They also project Trump to win North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes.


President Donald Trump walks from the Oval Office to a coronavirus (COVID-19) update briefing in the Rose Garden of the White House in April. (Photo courtesy of the White House)

2:20 p.m. Trump will deliver an update on Operation Warp Speed, the effort to get a coronavirus vaccine to market as speedily and safely as possible, at 4 p.m. from the Rose Garden. 

It will be the first time the president addresses the White House press corps in more than a week.

1:30 p.m. Trump tells veteran reporter Geraldo Rivera that he is a “realist” who will do the “right thing” when the time comes. Rivera revealed the exchange in a Friday tweet.

The conservative TV commentator had been urging Trump to “say goodbye with grace and dignity.”

The president told Rivera that he wants to see “what states do” in terms of vote certification first.

Rivera said the president will be shifting to talking about all he has accomplished, if the defeat is confirmed.

11:10 a.m. More than two dozen CEOs of major U.S. companies held a video conference three days after the election and discussed taking collective action if President Donald Trump does not acknowledge defeat, the AP reports. 

Making public statements and pressuring GOP legislators in their states to take action were some of the options discussed in the Nov. 6 call. Many are alarmed at what is going on, the report says.

10:10 a.m. Ron Klain, the incoming chief of staff to President-elect Joe Biden, tells MSNBC in an interview that the White House will appoint a “COVID coordinator” to lead the administration’s pandemic response.

The coordinator will have direct access to the president and will brief him daily on the pandemic, Klain says. A team under the coordinator will coordinate vaccine distribution, address supply chain disruptions and improve access to testing.

Klain served in a similar role in 2014 under President Barack Obama, as the administration’s Ebola response coordinator.


Then-Ebola coordinator Ron Klain seen in the Oval Office of the White House in October 2014.

  © AP

He also says Biden will issue a nationwide masking mandate, requiring that people wear masks where the federal authority extends, and then urging governors and other local officials to impose mask mandates.

“So, we’re going to start from Day 1 really moving to get this virus under control,” he says.

See also

3:09 a.m. China now officially congratulates Biden and running-mate Kamala Harris on their election victory.

“We respect the choice of the American people. We extend congratulations to Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin says at a regular daily briefing. “We understand the results of the U.S. election will be determined according to U.S. laws and procedures.”

Thursday, Nov. 12

11:24 p.m. Joe Biden has flipped Arizona, with various U.S. media outlets including The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN and ABC projecting it for the Democratic candidate and president-elect.

The state had only selected a Democrat for president once since 1948, voting for Bill Clinton in 1996. The race has not been called yet in North Carolina and Georgia, where the secretary of state said there would be a hand tally of ballots.

Earlier a group of federal, state and local election officials — the Elections Infrastructure Coordinating Council and the Election Infrastructure Coordinating Committees — issued a statement saying “there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, or was in any way compromised.”

The statement stands in contrast to posts being pushed by Trump on Twitter that claim widespread fraud.


Joe Biden on the campaign trail at the Carpenters Local Union 1912 in Phoenix, Arizona, on Oct. 8.

  © AP

4:00 p.m. More Republicans break with President Donald Trump’s refusal to cooperate with President-elect Joe Biden, saying Biden is entitled to intelligence briefings even if they were not ready to recognize the Democrat as the winner of the Nov. 3 election.

Republican senators, including John Cornyn, Ron Johnson, James Lankford, Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham, urge Trump’s administration to allow Biden access to presidential daily intelligence briefings.

The president-elect traditionally receives such briefings from the intelligence community to learn of threats facing the United States before taking office.


Senator Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina, is among the Republican senators who have urged President Donald Trump to allow President-elect Joe Biden access to daily intelligence briefings.

  © Reuters

11:50 a.m. Andy Card and John Podesta, White House chief of staffs to President George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, write an opinion piece in the Washington Post titled “The life-threatening costs of a delayed transition.”

While the two were on opposing ends during the 2000 Bush vs. Gore dispute in Florida, “we do agree on one thing: The 2020 election is not like 2000 and should not be treated as such,” they write.

“Given the realities of the pandemic, delaying the launch of the transition could have real costs. The transition process should begin now,” they say.

11:20 a.m. Sen. Bernie Sanders is ready to be labor secretary. In an interview with CNN, the progressive lawmaker says he would accept an invitation to join the Biden cabinet.

“If I had a portfolio that allowed me to stand up and fight for working families, would I do it? Yes I would,” Sanders says.

Asked if it is true that he is eying the position of labor secretary, Sanders says, “what’s true is I want to do everything I can to protect the working families of this country who are under tremendous duress right now. Whether that’s in the Senate, whether that’s in the Biden administration, who knows? Well, let’s see how that unfolds.”


Sen. Bernie Sanders would accept an invitation to join a Biden cabinet.

  © Reuters

5:20 a.m. The Kremlin said earlier this week that it would refrain from commenting on the U.S. election before the official results are out, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has dropped a vague hint on Moscow’s perspective. Reuters reports that he said U.S. foreign policy under Biden is likely to be similar to that under former President Barack Obama, especially when it comes to Iran and climate change.

Wednesday, Nov. 11

10:40 p.m. In addition to Japan, Biden’s round of phone calls with Asia-Pacific leaders also included South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Read the full story here.

9:55 p.m. Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga spoke on the phone for 15 minutes today, as the new U.S. president-elect begins the business of firming up alliances across the Asia-Pacific region.

8:45 p.m. Biden has named Ronald Klain his White House chief of staff. Klain, a veteran Democratic operative, briefly served as former President Barack Obama’s “Ebola czar,” tasked with coordinating the government’s response to that deadly virus.

2:10 p.m. President-elect Joe Biden’s popular vote lead over President Donald Trump surpasses the 5 million milestone.

Biden, with nearly 77.4 million votes, leads Trump, who has 72.3 million, by 5.1 million votes and 3.4 percentage points. according to U.S media reports. His lead grew from Friday’s 4 million votes and 2.8 percentage points.

1:10 p.m. President-elect Joe Biden has held his first call with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson since the presidential election, U.S. media report.

“They talked about the importance of implementing Brexit in such a way that upholds the Good Friday Agreement,” Reuters quotes a British official as saying after the call, which was said to have taken place Tuesday.

The Good Friday Agreement refers to 1998 accords on ending decades of political conflict in Northern Ireland.


U.S. President Donald Trump attends a Veterans Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

  © Reuters

11:45 a.m. President Donald Trump attends a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia to mark Veterans Day in his first public event since news organizations projected Joe Biden to be the winner of the presidential election.

Trump is joined by first lady Melania Trump, as well as Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence.

11:30 a.m. Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger orders all of the state’s 159 counties to conduct a hand recount and audit of all votes cast in the presidential race.

11;20 a.m. Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska wins reelection, according to CNN, giving Republicans 50 seats in the Senate.

10:10 a.m. CNN calls Alaska for Trump. An additional three electoral college votes pushes the president’s total to 217.

12:29 a.m. Nearly 80% of Americans, including more than half of Republicans, recognize President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the election, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The survey, which ran from Saturday afternoon to Tuesday, found that 79% of U.S. adults believe Biden won the White House. Another 13% said the election has not yet been decided, 3% said Trump won and 5% said they do not know.

Tuesday, Nov. 10

9:44 p.m. Japan is arranging a phone call between Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, to be held at an “appropriate time,” the government’s top spokesman says. Katsunobu Kato also said “nothing has been decided” when asked if the call might take place as early as Thursday.

7:10 p.m. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, calls the current stall in transition of power “really dangerous.”

“I think if the President and his team have real evidence of widespread voter fraud, they should come forward with it,” said during a news conference.

Hogan said he had not seen anything that would change the outcome of the election.

“I think in the middle of this pandemic, this economic collapse, people dying across the country to not know if we’re gonna have a transition, is the old coronavirus task force gonna be making decisions? Is the new one? There’s no transition, and how long is this going to go on? With no stimulus package getting done with, with no additional virus relief with you know, it’s crazy. We’ve got to move on.”

6:00 p.m. The Pentagon sees a slew of senior officials resign after Secretary Mark Esper was fired by Trump on Monday.

Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Policy James Anderson, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Joseph Kernan and Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense Jen Stewart submitted letters of resignation, the department announced Tuesday.

Acting Secretary of Defense Miller issued a statement thanking the three for their services. “Over their careers each has contributed greatly to the national defense and the future of the Department of Defense. We wish them the best in their next endeavors,” he said.

Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in Trump’s impeachment, noted in a tweet that Trump loyalists now sit in the number 1, 3, and 4 slots at the Pentagon and asked “why?”

4:00 p.m. Biden takes first questions from the media since election day. Trump has refused to concede. Most Republicans have not acknowledged Biden as the winner. And now, the Supreme Court is hearing a case which could axe Obamacare – or the Obama-Biden era Affordable Care Act. In a country that is increasingly divided along partisan lines, these are the key takeaways from Biden’s remarks:


President-elect Joe Biden smiles as he speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware on Nov. 10.

  © AP

On the Affordable Care Act:

“Let’s be absolutely clear about what’s at stake. The consequence of the Trump administration’s argument are not academic or an abstraction. For many Americans they are a matter of life and death in a literal sense. This argument will determine whether healthcare coverage of more than 20 million Americans who acquired it under the Affordable Care Act will be ripped away in the middle of the nation’s worst pandemic in a century.”

On healthcare during his administration:

“Regardless of the outcome of this case I promise you this beginning on Jan. 20, when Vice President-elect Harris and I, we are going to do everything in our power to ease the burden of healthcare on you and your families. I promise you that…we will not abandon you. That is a promise. We’ll not leave you to face these challenges alone. We’re going to get through this. We’re going to get through it together and we’re going to build a health care system that puts you and your families first and that every American can be proud of.”

On the transition to office:

“We are already beginning the transition. We are well underway. And the ability for the administration in any way by failure to recognize our win does not change the dynamic at all in what we’re able to do.”

On most Republicans not acknowledging his win:

“I think that the old Republican Party has been put in a position with a few notable exceptions of being mildly intimidated by the sitting president.”

On not receiving the classified Presidential Daily Briefing:

“Well, look, access to classified information is useful, but I’m not in a position to make any decisions on those issues anyway. There is — one president at a time and he will be president until Jan. 20th. It would be nice to have it, but it’s not critical. And — we’re just going to proceed the way we have. We’re going to do exactly what what we’d be doing if he had conceded and said we have won, which we have, and so there’s nothing really changing.”

On Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remarks today about how there is a “smooth transition” underway for “a second Trump administration”:

“Well I just think it’s an embarrassment quite frankly. I think it will not help the president’s legacy. I know from my discussions with foreign leaders thus far that they are hopeful that the United States’ democratic institutions are viewed once again as being strong and enduring.

On whether the Republicans will acknowledge his win:

“They will. They will.”


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised eyebrows Tuesday by saying that there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration. (Photo courtesy of the State Department)

1:25 p.m. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo weighs in on the election, saying “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” at a State Department news conference.

“The world is watching what’s taking place. We’re going to count all the votes,” he said.

“When the process is complete, there will be electors selected. There’s a process, the constitution lays it out pretty clearly. And the world should have every confidence that the transition necessary, to make sure that the State Department is functional today, successful today, and successful with the president who’s in office on Jan. 20th.”

10:50 a.m. Biden will not receive full intelligence briefings, as is customary with president-elects, until the General Services Administration officially “ascertains” the former vice president to be winner of the presidential election, according to a statement from the Office of Director of National Intelligence.

“ODNI follows the statutory direction provided in the Presidential Transition Act, which requires ascertainment of the candidate by the administrator of GSA prior to supporting a potential presidential transition. ODNI would not have contact with any transition team until notified by the GSA Administrator,” an ODNI spokesperson said, according to ABC News.


President-elect Joe Biden arrives at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware on Nov. 10.

  © AP

A continued delay in briefings could have national security implications for the incoming administration.

10:40 a.m. NBC reports that Trump is expected to launch a political action committee, or PAC, as soon as this month.

This would allow Trump to raise money once he leaves office as an intermediary vehicle and as he contemplates a potential 2024 run. Funds raised could pay for his travel and political consultants over the next few years, the network reports.


Supporters of President Donald Trump stand outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where votes are being counted, on Nov. 9.

  © Reuters

10:30 a.m. The Trump campaign has sent close to 150 fundraising emails since 11:00 p.m. on Election Night, Tuesday, CNN reports.

7:00 a.m. The U.S. election has sparked a political uproar in the tiny Baltic nation of Estonia. Finance Minister Martin Helme, the chairman of the right-wing Estonian Conservative People’s Party, on Monday faced a no-confidence motion over comments he and his father made in the press, arguing the American polls were rigged against Trump, the Associated Press reports.

“There is no question that these elections were falsified,” he had said of the U.S. “There is no point in talking about democracy or rule of law in a situation where elections can be faked so plainly, boldly and on a massive scale.”

Critics said Helme and his father, Interior Minister Mart Helme, put the country’s relationship with Washington at risk. The son survived the parliamentary vote, while the father — who called Biden and son Hunter Biden “corrupt characters” — is resigning from his ministerial post.

2:00 a.m. As the world waits to see how Biden’s foreign policy might differ from Trump’s, Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents have called for the next administration to abide by an agreement to withdraw U.S. troops, according to Reuters.

The deal, sealed by the Trump administration in February, calls for a complete exit by May, contingent upon security guarantees.

“The Islamic Emirate would like to stress to the new American president-elect and future administration that implementation of the agreement is the most reasonable and effective tool for ending the conflict between both our countries,” the militant group said in a statement.

Monday, Nov. 9

11:20 p.m. International election observers say they witnessed no fraud or irregularities at the U.S. polls, the Associated Press reports. An Organization of American States delegation of 28 experts from 13 countries watched the process in Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan and Washington, D.C.

An OAS report says candidates have a right to “seek redress” if they believe the contest was unfair, but stresses they should present “legitimate claims before the courts, not unsubstantiated or harmful speculation in the public media.”

10:30 p.m. Biden’s transition team is weighing legal action over a federal agency’s delay in recognizing his election victory, Reuters reports, citing a campaign official.

As reported earlier today, the head of the General Services Administration — a Trump appointee — has yet to sign a letter giving the Biden team access to funds and other resources to begin the transfer of power. The Biden side says there are no grounds for holding off, whereas a spokesperson for the administrator said the election winner is not yet clear.

Meanwhile, Attorney General William Barr, another Trump appointee, has ordered federal prosecutors to investigate any “substantial” allegations of voting irregularities, according to Reuters. Barr did tell them to set aside “fanciful or far-fetched claims.”

4:20 p.m. Four Republican senators have congratulated President-elect Biden: Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Susan Collins of Maine.

2:25 p.m. Christopher Miller, Trump’s choice to replace Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrives at the Pentagon, an hour after the president tweeted the firing.

It is unclear if Esper is still in his third-floor Pentagon office.

1:55 p.m. Republican Sen. Susan Collins congratulates “President-elect” Biden on his “apparent victory” in a carefully hedged statement. The moderate lawmaker from Maine says Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris “should be given every opportunity to ensure they are ready to govern on January 20th.”

1:15 p.m. Trump is telling advisers that he is considering running for president again in 2024, Axios reports, citing sources familiar with his thinking, signaling that the president understands he has lost the election despite his claims of election fraud.

Aides advising Republicans who are likely to run in 2024 are dreading the prospect of a Trump run, given the extraordinary sway he holds over Republican voters.

1:05 p.m. Trump announces in a tweet that Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has been fired.

“I am pleased to announce that Christopher C. Miller, the highly respected Director of National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be Acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately..” Trump says.

12:20 p.m. Joe Biden’s transition team unveils the members of his COVID-19 task force.

The list includes Rick Bright, the former head of the vaccine-development agency BARDA who was ousted by the Trump administration in April, as well as Atul Gawande, the surgeon and recently departed CEO of Haven.

Biden says the task force is “comprised with distinguished public health experts” who will help put the Biden-Harris COVID plan into action as soon as “Kamala and I are sworn into office on January 20th.”

“This group will advise on detailed plans, built on the bedrock of science, and keep compassion and empathy for every American at its core,” Biden adds.

Biden also urges Americans to wear masks.

“We could save tens of thousands of lives if everyone would just wear a mask for the next few months. Not Democratic or Republican lives. American lives,” Biden says. “I implore you. Wear a mask. Do it for yourself. Do it for your neighbor. A mask is not a political statement.”

10:50 a.m. The administrator of the General Services Administration is refusing to sign a letter allowing President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team to formally begin its work this week.

When a new president is elected, the agency, in charge of federal buildings, signs paperwork officially turning over millions of dollars, as well as giving access to government officials, office space in agencies and equipment authorized for the taxpayer-funded transition teams of the winner.

GSA Administrator Emily Murphy, a Trump appointee, has written no such letter, in another sign the incumbent president has not acknowledged Biden’s victory and could disrupt the transfer of power.

9:30 a.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opens 1,600 points higher on COVID-19 vaccine hopes. In a morning tweet, Trump calls it “SUCH GREAT NEWS!”

4:15 a.m. China, which has yet to officially congratulate Biden, says it will follow international custom when it comes to making a statement on the U.S. election, Reuters reports.

“We noticed that Mr. Biden has declared election victory. We understand that the U.S. presidential election result will be determined following U.S. law and procedures,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin says at a daily media briefing, when asked about the lack of a message for the president-elect.

“We always believe that China and the United States should enhance communication and dialogue, manage differences on the basis of mutual respect, expand cooperation on the basis of mutual benefit and promote sound and stable development of bilateral relations,” Wang says.


A barber in Beijing watches Joe Biden’s victory speech on a tablet.

  © Reuters

2:20 a.m. Now for some election comic relief: A Japanese small-town mayor has been blindsided by internet fame because his name can be read as “Jo Baiden.”

Yutaka Umeda, the 73-year-old mayor of the Kumamoto Prefecture town of Yamato, tells Kyodo News that his family informed him that he’d become an online sensation. Like most kanji Chinese characters, those used in his name have multiple phonetic readings, and in his case they can produce a name very similar to the U.S. president-elect’s.

“I feel very close to him,” Umeda says of Biden, according to Kyodo. “It feels as though I’ve also won the election.”


A profile of Mayor Yutaka Umeda, or “Jo Baiden” if read a different way, is displayed on the website of Yamato, Kumamoto.

1:45 a.m. German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier has told a local broadcaster that he is concerned America’s policy direction will not become clear until next spring, Reuters reports. With Trump committed to challenging Biden’s win in the courts, Altmaier fears months of uncertainty.

Meanwhile, his cabinet colleague, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, said he expects NATO defense spending will be less of an issue under Biden. Trump pressed Germany to meet the alliance’s 2% of gross domestic product requirement — much like how he pushed allies South Korea and Japan to carry more of the defense load.

1:30 a.m. A Republican lawyer who worked on former President George W. Bush’s legal strategy surrounding the 2000 Florida recount has told 60 Minutes, the current affairs TV program, that Trump needs to “take a step back.” He argues that the president should respect U.S. institutions, and that the “greatest institution of all” is the electoral process that leads to a peaceful transfer of power. “You cannot be destructive of that,” he says.

Sunday, Nov. 8

11:00 p.m. Trump intends to hold a series of rallies to drum up support for his legal fight against the election results, his campaign spokesman has confirmed, Reuters reports. The president is also putting together teams to pursue recounts, and plans to press his accusations of fraud by highlighting obituaries of supposedly dead voters.

State election officials have reported no major irregularities and the Trump side has yet to produce evidence.

The Biden team, meanwhile, plans to set up a coronavirus task force on Monday led by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler, according to the Reuters report.

9:45 p.m. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told reporters that he’s looking forward to the U.S. returning to international agreements and organizations, as Biden has pledged.

“We would be welcoming the United States back into the Paris Agreement, somewhere we’ve always been,” Morrison said, according to Reuters, referring to the global climate accord. Morrison added that Australia would also be pleased to see the U.S. back in the World Health Organization and, potentially, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

4:00 p.m. Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on surrounding countries to cooperate in achieving common interests, following U.S President Donald Trump’s defeat in the presidential election. “Trump is gone, and we and our neighbours will stay. Betting on foreigners does not bring security, and disappoints. We extend our hands to our neighbours to cooperate in achieving the common interests of our peoples and countries. We call on everyone to embrace dialogue as the only way to end differences and tensions. Together to build a better future for our region,” Zarif Tweeted in Arabic late on Sunday.


Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at a meeting in Moscow, Sept. 24.  Russian Foreign Ministry handout. 

  © Reuters

2:32 p.m. Saudi Arabia finally congratulated Biden over his election victory, more than 24 hours after he defeated Donald Trump, who had close personal ties with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. At 1932 GMT on Sunday, Saudi Arabia’s king Salman and his son, the crown prince, congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on winning the presidential election, state news agency SPA reported.

12:40 p.m. Former U.S. President George W. Bush said he has spoken to Biden to congratulate him on his victory. In a statement, Bush said Americans can have confidence the U.S. election was “fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear.”

11:30 a.m. Biden visited family graves where his son Beau, his first wife Neilia and their daughter, Naomi are buried after a church service in Wilmington, Delaware. President Trump went to Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia again.


U.S. President-elect Joe Biden visits family graves in Wilmington, Delaware, Nov. 8.

  © Reuters

10:08 a.m. Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel acknowledged Joe Biden’s victory in the U.S. presidential elections, tweeting that his government recognized “the people of the United States has chosen a new direction”.

8:15 a.m. This is how Irish TV station RTE ended its broadcast Saturday, in tribute to the Irish American president-elect. Biden reads a poem from Irish poet Seamus Heaney.

7:05 a.m. Meanwhile, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa looks to be in disbelief. Jansa, leader of the homeland of first lady Melania Trump, was the only leader who congratulated Trump even before all votes were counted.

He has been retweeting videos and articles that claim there was voter fraud in the U.S. election, and has himself tweeted: “The courts have not even begun to decide.”

6:15 a.m. Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Biden, in a Facebook post: “Singapore looks forward to working with you and your administration to deepen the partnership between our two countries, enhance the U.S.’ role in Asia-Pacific, and overcome COVID-19. You can count on Singapore to remain a friend and partner.”

5:40 a.m. Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who is under relentless pressure from pro-democracy protesters, releases a statement congratulating Biden and Harris on the “trust” they have “earned from American voters.”

Prayuth highlights “the long-standing ties of friendship between our countries dating back more than 200 years,” and says he looks “forward to working closely with you and your administration to further enhance our cooperation at all levels.”

4:30 a.m. While Trump transformed America’s Asia policy, so too did he leave a mark on the Middle East. His administration was instrumental in orchestrating a series of normalization deals this year between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan — moves that upset the Palestinians but that many hailed as a chance for a new beginning.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who as of this writing still had a picture of himself and Trump as his Twitter banner, congratulated Biden and noted they had enjoyed a “warm personal relationship for nearly 40 years.”

Netanyahu’s political rival, defense minister and alternate prime minister, Benny Gantz, was even quicker to reach out to Biden on Twitter. Both Israeli leaders also made a point of thanking Trump.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, apparently eager to reset relations with Washington, said in a statement that he looks “forward to working with the president-elect and his administration to strengthen the Palestinian-American relations and to achieve freedom, independence, justice and dignity for our people.”

Hamas, which controls the Palestinian enclave of Gaza and is on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations, demanded that Biden “rectify the course of unfair U.S. policy towards our people, which has made the United States a partner in the injustice and aggression.”

2:30 a.m. It’s party time in and around Thulasendrapuram, India. Villagers in the area Kamala Harris’ grandfather called home are celebrating the victory of a woman they consider a “daughter.”

1:15 a.m. We’ve published the full transcripts of the victory speeches by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Read them here.

12:30 a.m. Southeast Asian leaders are joining the growing list of world figures reaching out to Biden. Indonesian President Joko Widodo tweets that Biden’s victory is a “reflection of the hope placed on democracy,” and says he looks forward to working together closely.

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has released a similar statement, saying: “Malaysia looks forward to strengthening further this partnership with the United States under President-elect Joe Biden’s leadership, as the international community seeks to address the many global challenges, including the disastrous impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman also released a congratulatory statement, saying the government is eager to enhance relations “anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit, and shared commitment to democracy, freedom and the rule of law.”

Saturday, Nov. 7

9:50 p.m. One of the bigger questions about Biden, from an Asian perspective, is how he will approach Taiwan. One expert told Nikkei Asia that “we might see U.S.-Taiwan relations go from great to good. But still good.”

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen famously called then President-elect Donald Trump in late 2016. His decision to pick up the phone made it the first direct contact between U.S. and Taiwanese leaders in decades — much to the chagrin of China as well as some of Trump’s American critics.

Tsai on Saturday tweeted a congratulatory message at Biden, noting he had done the same for her earlier this year.

8:50 p.m. Biden, introduced by his running mate Kamala Harris, delivers his long-awaited victory speech in Delaware. Vowing to get COVID-19 “under control,” he says: “I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify. Who sees not red states and blue states, but United States.”

8:00 p.m. South Korean President Moon Jae-in chimes in.

7:50 p.m. World leaders continue to reach out to Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris. From the Middle East, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and the United Arab Emirates’ Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan tweet their congratulations.

The leader of Turkey’s main opposition, the secularist Republican People’s Party, beat President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the punch. Erdogan had yet to weigh in as of about 12:30 a.m. local time.

Back in December, Biden told New York Times editors that Erdogan is an “autocrat” and that the U.S. should “embolden” his opponents to defeat him at the ballot box. The opposition party may be sending a subtle signal to Biden to keep his word.

6:15 p.m. Biden’s granddaughter Naomi Biden posts a photo of the family upon receiving the big news.

5:40 p.m. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga sends his congratulations to Biden and vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris in a tweet. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tweeted hours earlier.

4:40 p.m. After a nail-biting four days of waiting, citizens went out to the streets to celebrate.

3:15 p.m. After a round of golf at the Trump International Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, the president returns back to the White House.

He was on the course when major news outlets projected that Biden will be elected the 46th president.

The press pool has been told that there are no more public events for the day, meaning Trump will not be talking before or after Biden’s 8 p.m. victory speech.

2:40 p.m. China’s People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party weighed in.

1:10 p.m. Biden and his vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris celebrate over the phone after being called the winning ticket.

12:25 p.m. Biden changes his Twitter bio to say “President-Elect.”

12:15 p.m. Fox calls the states of Pennsylvania and Nevada for Biden, pushing his Electoral College votes to 290. Whether Biden surpasses 300 votes will determine the strength of his mandate.

12:00 p.m. Trump issues a statement rejecting the call. “We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over,” he said, through his campaign.

11:40 a.m. Conservative network Fox News also calls a Biden win. “The Fox News Decision Desk can now project that former Vice President Joe Biden will win the state of Nevada and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, putting him over the 270 electoral votes he needs to become the 46th President of the United States. So Donald Trump will be a one-term president, losing an election that amounted to a referendum on his four years in the White House,” the network said.

11:30 a.m. CNN projects that Biden will win the state of Pennsylvania. With 273 Electoral College votes, Biden wins the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, the network says. NBC, AP and other news media also call Biden’s win.

9:11 a.m. A key Republican leader has said that he will not block the confirmation of a Biden cabinet, but will want to have a say in the appointment of the Secretary of State.

“I have reached across the aisle and will continue to do so,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said in a Zoom call with reporters Friday, according to The Hill. “When it comes to finding common ground, I will do that. The vice president deserves a Cabinet.”

But he added: “I will give him my input about who I could vote for as secretary of state, attorney general.”


Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, left, opposed the nomination of Susan Rice to Secretary of State in 2012. (Source photos Reuters)

This is important because it may influence the nomination of former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice. Rice is considered one of Biden’s top choices for the State job, but in 2012 she withdrew from consideration for the same position citing that “the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly.”

Graham, along with former Sen. John McCain, was one of the senators to oppose Rice’s nomination back then due to her defense of the Obama administration’s handling of the attacks on the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the ambassador.

9:00 a.m. Here are how things stand as of now.

Pennsylvania: Biden leads by 28,833

Georgia: Biden leads by 7,248

Nevada: Biden leads by 22.657

North Carolina: Trump leads by 76,515

Arizona: Biden leads by 29,861

8:50 a.m. In a morning tweet, Trump claims that votes were manipulated behind closed doors during the vote counting process.

“BAD THINGS HAPPENED INSIDE. BIG CHANGES TOOK PLACE!” he writes. He has not presented evidence.

5:00 a.m. Biden’s lead in Georgia has widened slightly, after more numbers were released in the wee hours. He’s now ahead by 7,248 votes there.

3:00 a.m. America and much of the world are still waiting on the election outcome, but the leader of Fiji is not. Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama took to Twitter earlier tonight to congratulate Biden, saying they have a planet to save from climate change and a global economy to rebuild from COVID-19.

Friday, Nov. 6

10:57 p.m. “We may be opponents but we are not enemies. We are Americans,” Biden says. He concludes his short speech by saying: “I hope to be talking to you tomorrow.”

10:54 p.m. Biden says that the large number of votes his ticket has won “give us a mandate for action on COVID, the economy, climate change, systemic racism.”

The people made clear, “they want the country to come together, not continue to pull apart, ” he says.

Biden says he and vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris have been holding meetings with health experts to discuss measures on COVID -19.

He called on the nation to be patient and calm “as we count all the votes.”

“Democracy works. Your vote will be counted,” Biden says. “I don’t care how hard people try to stop it. I will not let it happen.”

Regarding the increasingly divided nature of the country, the former vice president says “We hold strong views, we have strong disagreements and that’s OK.”

“The purpose of our politics, the work of the nation, isn’t to fan flames but to solve problems.”

10:50 p.m. “What the numbers tell us is clear … We’re going to win this race,” Biden tells the nation in a late-night speech. The address was originally planned at around 8 p.m.as a victory celebration, but with television networks yet to call his win, he stopped short of declaring a victory.

Listing the battleground states in which he has now overtaken the president, the Democratic candidate says that he is on a path to win over 300 Electoral College votes.

Of the 74 million votes the Biden-Harris ticket has won so far, the says: “That’s more than any presidential ticket has ever gotten in the history of the United States.”

“We’ve rebuilt the blue wall,” he says, pointing to Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, “the heartland of this nation.”

10:45 p.m. Biden arrives at his speech venue in Wilmington, Delaware, where he will shortly address the nation.

6:10 p.m. Trump preempts Biden’s prime time speech with a tweet saying that his opponent should not “wrongfully claim” the office of the president.

“I could make that claim also,” he says.

5:15 p.m. Angry Republicans are clashing with angry Democrats in battleground states across America. The divide was clear in a recent Pew Research center poll.

Both Biden and Trump supporters said that if the other candidate wins they would not only be very concerned about the country’s direction, but that this would lead to lasting harm to the nation.

Fully 90% of Biden voters said this about the prospect of a Trump victory, and 89% of Trump voters said it about the prospect of a Biden win. And around eight-in-ten in both camps said Biden and Trump supporters not only disagree over politics and policies, but that they also disagree over core American values and goals.

Our reporters saw the divide first hand: America at boiling point: Rage engulfs both Republicans and Democrats


An election worker in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania displays a ballot that has a tear in it while they count ballots on Nov. 6.

  © AP

3:15 p.m. How is China watching the U.S. elections? “No champagne corks in China, but U.S. election results go Beijing’s way,” writes New York-based geopolitical consultancy Eurasia Group in a memo Friday.

Assuming that Biden wins, the election will have worked out well for China’s leadership, analysts Michael Hirson, Jeffrey Wright and Paul Triolo write. “A Biden win brings stability and predictability, which authorities will use to try to reduce reliance on U.S. technology and build China’s economic resilience. It also lowers the tail risks of conflict over flashpoints such as Taiwan,” they say.

“Second, Beijing will welcome the reality of a deeply divided U.S. political system, including the fact that Republicans will probably retain control of the Senate. …The prospect of policy gridlock reduces the ability of the U.S. to get its own house in order and mount ambitious policies responding to China’s rise.”


The U.S. election results have gone Beijing’s way, Eurasia Group says. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

“Lastly, the messiness and uncertainly of the election, including Trump’s efforts to cast doubt on the results, are a propaganda victory for the Chinese Communist Party, which will cast it as further evidence of the instability that comes with democracy,” they say.

One thing Beijing may be guarding against, is for the Trump administration to take some hard parting shots at China.

Here is our report: Many ordinary Chinese see win for Trump as blessing for Beijing

1:40 p.m. The Democratic Mayor of Philadelphia Jim Kenney says Trump needs to “put his big boy pants on, he needs to acknowledge the fact that he lost, and he needs to congratulate the winner, just as Jimmy Carter did, just as George H.W. Bush did, and frankly just as Al Gore did.”

1:35 p.m. Trump issues a statement that reiterates his stance on vote counting transparency. “This is no longer about any single election,” he says, adding “I will never give up fighting for you and our nation.”

1:18 p.m. Biden’s campaign says the Democratic candidate will give a speech during prime time Friday. No announcement on where or what he plans to say.

12:35 p.m. Former Republican presidential candidate Sen. Mitt Romney says Trump is wrong to say that the election was rigged and stolen. “Doing so damages the cause of freedom here and around the world,” and inflames “destructive and dangerous passions.”

Whether Trump gains the backing of his party will determine the outcome of his “election fraud” claim.

11:25 a.m. Both campaigns issue statements about the race Friday morning.

The Trump campaign’s statement reads: “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.” It pointed to voting irregularities in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Nevada. It also added: “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.”


A supporter of President Donald Trump wears a mask made from a photograph of Vice President Joe Biden outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center where votes are being counted on Nov. 5. 

  © AP

Meanwhile, Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates says: “As we said on July 19th, the American people will decide this election. And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.”

11:05 a.m. Georgia is heading to a recount. “With a margin that small, there will be a recount in Georgia,” the state’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger tells reporters Friday.

Biden currently has a small lead over Trump of just over 1,500 votes.

9:55 a.m. The Secret Service has sent additional personnel to Wilmington, Delaware, where Biden is located, in anticipation of the former vice president’s win, CNN reports.

9:10 a.m. The Trump family has expressed frustration that Republican lawmakers have not rallied to support the president’s claim of election fraud. The president’s son Donald Trump Jr slammed “2024 GOP hopefuls” for a “total lack of action.”

Former Campaign Manager Brad Parscale warned Republicans that if they wanted to win in 2024, “I would probably start saying something.”

8:55 a.m. Biden takes the lead in Pennsylvania. His Electoral College vote tally will reach the 270 threshold if he wins the state.

5:20 a.m. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says the U.S. is more than a one-man show and that good losers are more important for the working of democracy than great winners. “Those who continue to add fuel to the fire in the current situation are acting irresponsibly,” Maas says in an interview with the Funke media group.

4:40 a.m. Biden has taken a 917-vote lead in hotly contested Georgia, as counting continues, according to CNN and the Wall Street Journal. No Democrat has carried the state and its 16 electoral votes since Bill Clinton in 1992.

4:25 a.m. Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, at his regular Friday briefing, says he wants to refrain from commenting on the “very, very close” race. “In either case, the U.S.-Japan alliance is the linchpin of Japan’s diplomacy,” he says. “President Trump has not left office, his administration still continues. The U.S. government still functions.”

On concerns about possible post-election violence, he said: “In the U.S., there are many Japanese nationals as well as Japanese enterprises. Therefore, it is important to secure the safety of the Japanese nationals and companies in the United States. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.”

2:40 a.m. Trump seems to be wide awake. In a series of tweets, he reiterates his victory claim and call to take the election to the Supreme Court. In one post, he says Twitter itself is “out of control,” presumably in response to the platform’s policing of his remarks.

2:25 a.m. Outgoing U.S. presidents have a tradition of leaving encouraging letters for their successors — regardless of party and even after bitter campaigns. The election that is still unfolding, however, is anything but usual.

1:45 a.m. Trump’s lead in Georgia is down to 1,267 votes, according to The New York Times’ figures.

1:00 a.m. The Secret Service is ramping up security around Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, in anticipation of a victory speech, reports The Washington Post. The reinforcements will not be the full security detail that he would receive as president-elect, if declared the winner.

Thursday, Nov. 5

11:20 p.m. One Republican who is not backing away from Trump is Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, who tells FOX that he intends to donate $500,000 to support the president’s legal challenges in multiple states.

11:00 p.m. Ben Rhodes, former President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser, highlights some coincidences about the states that are still in play. Biden hails from Pennsylvania. John Lewis, the Georgia congressman and civil rights leader, died earlier this year. Arizona was the home state of the late Republican senator and former presidential candidate John McCain, highly regarded for his ability to reach across the aisle. And then there is Nevada, where Trump backer and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is a powerful force.

10:45 p.m. Facebook earlier today took down a group calling itself “Stop the Steal,” as the battle over the integrity of the election intensifies online and offline. The group, which was pushing accusations that the election is being rigged in Biden’s favor, had attracted some 350,000 members, AP reports.

“The group was organized around the delegitimization of the election process, and we saw worrying calls for violence from some members of the group,” Facebook said in a statement.

10:30 p.m. Tokyo stocks touch their highest level since November 1991 as Asia warms to the prospect of a Biden presidency.

9:35 p.m. Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, the only Republican senator who voted to convict Trump in the impeachment proceedings earlier this year, urges faith in the democratic process the president has called into question.

9:20 p.m. Just how close is Georgia? Biden has whittled Trump’s advantage down to fewer than 2,500 votes, according to The New York Times’ figures, with 98% reporting. On the slip side, Trump is cutting into Biden’s edge in Arizona, where there’s a gap of about 46,000 votes between them with 90% counted.

8:51 p.m. Trump’s leads in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Georgia are quickly diminishing. Trump leads Biden 49.4% to 49.3% in Georgia, by 49.7% to 49% in Pennsylvania.

8:25 p.m. Republicans are at a crossroads over whether to stand with Trump’s claims that the election was rigged. Former Republican Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge says the President “disrespected every single American” with “shameful” claims.

Meanwhile, Republican hopeful Sen. Josh Hawley says that he will introduce a new “election integrity law” to ban ballot harvesting, guarantee poll watcher access and make ballot counting transparent.

7:40 p.m. The New York Post, owned by conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch, calls Trump’s claims about election fraud “baseless.”

7:16 p.m. Calls mount for Republicans to speak up against the president. This from a 35-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency.

7:02 p.m. Without evidence, Trump says there have been a number of disturbing irregularities related to the election across the nation. The president says there will be a lot of litigation because “we can’t have an election stolen like this.”

He said that ultimately “Judges are going to have to rule.”


President Donald Trump tells reporters at the White House on Nov. 5 that only “legal votes” should be counted.

  © AP

6:47 p.m. In the White House press room, Trump tells reporters “If you count the legal votes, I win.”

The president casts suspicion on mail-in ballots, saying it is “strange” that most of them are for Biden.

The president says pre-election “phony polls” were designed to keep voters at home.


A note left behind on the podium by President Donald Trump reads “Won Texas” after the president reacted to early results from the election in the East Room of the White House on Nov. 4.

  © Reuters

6:33 p.m. Even as the president is about to make remarks from the White House, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel opens an investigation into the Trump campaign’s use of the White House for campaign-related activities to see if federal law has been violated – Reuters.

6:25 p.m. Biden seeks to project leadership by tweeting that he has spent the afternoon attending briefings on COVID-19 and the economy.

4:40 p.m. As Biden moves one step closer to the finish line, Asian countries ponder whether he will be Obama 2.0 or Trump-lite. On China, on tech, on trade and North Korea, Trump has fundamentally rewritten America’s strategy. We asked experts what they see happening.

4:23 p.m. Biden in a press appearance in Wilmington, Delaware, urged “everyone to stay calm,” as the counting continues and amid Trump’s calls on Twitter to “STOP THE COUNT!”

We “continue to feel very good about where things stand” and “have no doubt that when the count is finished Sen. [Kamala] Harris and I will be declared the winners,” the former vice president said. “The process is working. The count is being completed, and we’ll know it very soon.”

4:10 p.m. The nail-biting 2020 U.S. presidential election has been one of a kind. But it has also exposed the dangers that democracy is facing. Nikkei Washington bureau chief Mikio Sugeno writes that Trump’s early declaration of victory and undermining of votes come straight from the authoritarian playbook of the likes of Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping.

2:20 p.m. Kathy Boockvar, Pennsylvania’s secretary of state, tells CNN that the state’s winner “definitely could” be announced by the end of the day. “Counties are furiously at work, and it is looking like we’re ahead of schedule,” she said.

As of Thursday afternoon, Trump leads the state count by 108,772 votes with 92% of estimated votes reported. While the president is ahead by 50.2% to 48.5%, the gap has reduced significantly. If Biden succeeds in flipping the state, which Clinton lost in 2016, he will reach the goal line of 270 Electoral College with the single state.

1:45 p.m. A Michigan judge dismisses the Trump campaign’s lawsuit over whether enough Republican challengers had access to vote counting facilities handling absentee ballots.


An election personnel examines a ballot as vote counting in the general election continues at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on Nov. 4.

  © AP

1:20 p.m. A breakdown of the remaining votes in Georgia, posted on social media by a reporter based locally, shows a large portion of ballots in urban areas. Of the 61,367 absentee ballots yet to be counted, 17,000 are in Chatham (which includes Savannah), 11,200 in Fulton (which includes Atlanta) and 7,338 in Gwinnett (just outside Atlanta). Trump currently leads Biden by 13,540, but the geography favors the Democrat.

12:09 p.m. Nevada restarts vote counting. Biden expands his lead to 12,042 from 7,647, putting the race at 49.5% to 48.5%.

11:00 a.m. Will Trump facilitate a peaceful transition of power if Biden were to win? His former chief of staff says he should.

“I recommend that he accept a peaceful transition of power, which I think he would do absolutely anyway,” Mick Mulvaney said on CNBC Thursday morning.


Then-White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney attends a lunch for ambassadors to the U.N. Security Council at the White House in December 2019. 

  © Reuters

“Look, the president is a fighter, there’s no question about it, and you’ll see him fighting down to the very last,” Mulvaney said.

But “at the end of that process, [if] Joe Biden’s the president, you can absolutely guarantee a peaceful transition of power. I just hope the same is true on the other side,” he said.

10:25 a.m. The two candidates start the morning with two opposing messages. Biden tweets that “Every vote must be counted.”

President Trump, in all caps, tweets “STOP THE COUNT!” and reiterates that any vote that came in after election day “WILL NOT BE COUNTED!”

10:20 a.m. The post-election rally continues on the New York Stock Exchange. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed over 600 points, marking the fourth day of gains. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are also up more than 2% in morning trading.

8:00 a.m. Michigan may not have been as razor thin as expected. After more counting, Biden leads Trump by 50.6% to 47.8%. An analyst points out that the margin is 12 times larger than Trump’s margin over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

7:40 a.m. As of Thursday morning, here are how the votes stand in the states still counting. Biden need to win two of these states, or one if Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes, 89% of estimated votes reported): Trump 50.7% Biden 48.1% (Difference 164,414 votes)

Georgia (16 electoral votes, 96% reported): Trump 49.6% Biden 49.2% (Difference 18,540 votes)

North Carolina (15 electoral votes, 95% reported) : Trump 50.1% Biden 48.7% (Difference 76,737 votes)

Arizona (11 electoral votes, 86% reported): Biden 50.5% Trump 48.1% (Difference 68,390 votes)

Nevada (6 electoral votes, 86% reported): Biden 49.3% Trump 48.7% (Difference 7,647 votes)

5:24 a.m. Duong Hoai Nam, vice spokesperson at the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says at a news conference regarding the impact of the election on bilateral relations: “We believe that every U.S. president will support” efforts by both countries to continue promoting and expanding them.

5:00 a.m. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng has said he hopes the next U.S. administration will work with Beijing to mend ties, while a columnist for the Communist Party mouthpiece Global Times called the American election a “farce.” We’ve wrapped up some of the reactions from across Asia.

4:00 a.m. The race for Arizona’s 11 electoral votes remains tense.

Although FOX called the state for Biden on election night — reportedly infuriating the Trump campaign — and AP later followed, The New York Times calculates that the president still has a shot. The next release from a key Phoenix county where Trump was cutting into Biden’s lead, however, is not expected until Thursday evening.

Trump supporters rallied outside the county’s election office earlier tonight, with some of them carrying guns, according to Reuters. In stark contrast to other states, where Team Trump wanted counting halted, they demanded that the tabulations continue.


Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump demand that all votes be counted outside the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in Phoenix, Arizona, on Nov. 4.

  © Reuters

1:50 a.m. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen has posted a message on her Facebook page, offering her people three assurances:

1) That her government will closely monitor the Taiwan Strait situation and maintain domestic political and economic stability.

2) That Taiwan will continue close exchanges with U.S. Republicans and Democrats alike.

3) That she has confidence that “supporting Taiwan” is the mainstream consensus in the U.S.

1:30 a.m. In Thailand, the chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries is hopeful that a Biden win would ease tensions between the U.S. and China — with knock-on benefits for his country, the region and the world economy.

FTI Chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree tells Nikkei Asia that although the trade war will not end immediately, “we still believe that the trade and investment outlook would be better and world trade would get back to normal, which is good for every country.” But he says Thailand would be closely watching Biden’s policies on the environment and human rights, wary that these issues could become nontariff trade barriers that “disrupt Thai exports in the future.”

12:45 a.m. The next update on Georgia is likely to come when the secretary of state there briefs the press at 10:30 a.m., according to a CNN correspondent, who notes there were about 90,000 outstanding ballots at last count.

12:30 a.m. In Indonesia, Trump’s premature victory claim in the early hours of Wednesday gave some a feeling of deja vu.

Trump’s speech “is actually not too surprising for Indonesia because Prabowo had done that, too,” Kompas TV executive producer Aiman Witjaksono said earlier on a talk show, referring to Prabowo Subianto’s claims and accusations of fraud after two bitterly fought races he lost to President Joko Widodo.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s former ambassador to the U.S., Dino Patti Djalal, is hopeful that bilateral relations would improve under a Biden administration.

“Biden is an international relations expert” Djalal notes, citing his experience as a senator and vice president. “That is different from Trump, who had dealt with businesses all the time before he became the president.”

12:15 a.m. As “Election Day” drags into yet another day, tentative reactions from around Asia continue to trickle in.

India’s foreign secretary, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, tells Germany’s DW News that his country’s ties with the U.S. can withstand any election outcome.

“Our relations with the United States are really based on bipartisan support — you see it in Congress, you see it at the public levels,” he said. He acknowledged that Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi developed a “special” rapport, but stressed Modi had a good relationship with former President Barack Obama and that Biden clearly “values a strong India-U.S. strategic partnership.”

Wednesday, Nov. 4

11:40 p.m. Pennsylvania’s secretary of state, Kathy Boockvar, has told U.S. media that the swing state is on track to finish counting its remaining ballots by Thursday local time.

11:20 p.m. Tensions flared in New York earlier tonight, after protesters took to the streets to demand that all ballots be counted. Demonstrators also chanted Black Lives Matter slogans, and sporadic clashes with police resulted in arrests.

10:45 p.m. The race in Georgia is tightening. Trump now leads Biden by fewer than 32,000 votes, according to figures from The New York Times, which has pointed out that most of the remaining ballots are from counties that lean Democratic.

10:20 p.m. Speaking to media, Biden said he was confident of winning Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

“Democracy is the heartbeat of this nation,” he said. “When the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners.

“Every vote must be counted. No one is going to take our democracy away from us. Not now, not ever.”

10:06 p.m. Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, is also calling for the electoral rules to be followed.

10:04 p.m. Japan’s equity benchmark Nikkei Stock Average topped the 24,000 line for the first time in more than nine months with investors buying semiconductor and other tech stocks after a rally in Wall Street. However, the index struggled to maintain the momentum and quickly lost steam as the election outcome remains unclear and the Trump campaign’s lawsuits weighing heavy on market sentiment.

9:53 p.m. In an interview with CNN Philippines, President Duterte’s spokesperson Harry Roque was asked about the impact of the US presidential election’s outcome on ties between the countries. Roque said he expects no major changes in relations with the U.S. but acknowledged “personal relations” between Duterte and Trump.

“And even of there is a new president, I am not saying that there will be, but in case there is a new president of the United States in the person of Senator Biden, I am confident that the resident can also developed close personal friendship with Mr. Biden,” Roque said. “May the best man win as of now.”

9:21 p.m. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said Wednesday that Taiwan would respect the U.S. people’s choice of the leader, and would do whatever Taiwan can to continue to seek strong support from the U.S. “Currently, we see strong and solid support for Taiwan from U.S. mainstream public opinions, and we will continue to deepen that trend of engagement and support.”

A spokesperson said on Thursday morning that Taiwan’s presidential office has closely monitored the developments of the vote counts and would not comment on other country’s internal affairs.

9:19 p.m. Following the tech-stock rally in the U.S., markets across Asia rose on Thursday morning. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average climbed 1.2% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped over 2%. China and Australia’s benchmarks also rose over 1%, and South Korea’s Kospi is up 1.6%.

Investors speculate a scenario where the Republican party maintains a majority in the Senate, which will make the U.S. government less likely to impose tighter regulations.

8:46 p.m. The AP corrects its story on the Trump campaign’s legal challenge in Georgia. The campaign has filed suit asking a judge to order Georgia election officials to follow the law on storing and counting absentee ballots, not on having Georgia pause the vote count.

8:44 p.m. On the day the U.S. officially withdraws from the Paris climate accord, Biden reiterates his pledge to rejoin it as soon as he takes office. His green policies could send ripples through Asia.

8:05 p.m. The Nikkei 225 stock index gains 1.06% on Thursday morning on expectations that the Republicans are likely to keep control of the Senate. Semiconductor manufacturers and tech related-stocks are surging in Tokyo on speculation regulations on the U.S. tech industry will not be as tough as in a Senate controlled by the Democrats.

7:42 p.m. Trump has tweeted a couple of times in the past hour, citing Breitbart News.

7:42 p.m. Trump campaign files lawsuit in Georgia — the third state in which it is making a legal challenge — as its seeks to pause the vote count in key battlegrounds.

7:05 p.m. All eyes on whether Republican lawmakers distance themselves from the president. Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois replied to Trump on Twitter in harsh language. “Stop. Full stop. The votes will be counted and you will either win or lose. And America will accept that.”

If similar voices spread among the GOP, Trump will face an uphill battle.

6:10 p.m. As Trump claims victory in states that are still counting their votes, Biden supporters congregate in New York’s Bryant Park with “Count Every Vote” signs.


(Photo by Saqib Tanveer)


(Photo by Saqib Tanveer)


A person speaks on a stage as labor union activists rally at a park near the White House the day after the 2020 U.S. presidential election in Washington on Nov. 4.

  © Reuters

5:53 p.m. Biden has won the most votes out of any candidate in history, according a tally from The AP.

The former vice president has gained over 70 million votes nationwide as of Wednesday afternoon, surpassing the 69.4 million votes former President Barack Obama won in 2008.


People call for the counting of every vote at New York’s Bryant Park. (Photo by Saqib Tanveer)

5:00 p.m. Twitter again adds a disclaimer to the president’s tweet. “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process,” it wrote.

4:57 p.m. Trump tweets that he is claiming Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and North Carolina.

4:17 p.m. CNN calls Michigan for Biden, giving him two of the three most crucial swing states. With the win, Biden needs only Arizona’s 11 votes and Nevada’s six votes to reach the 270 electoral college votes needed for victory.

4:10 p.m. Biden makes a brief statement in Wilmington, Delaware, appearing on stage with vice president candidate Sen. Kamala Harris.


Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden takes off his face mask as he arrives to speak in Wilmington, Delaware on Nov. 4. 

  © AP

“I’m not here to declare that we’ve won, but I am here to report, when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners,” Biden says.

“Now, every vote must be counted,” he said. “No one’s going to take our democracy away from us, not now, not ever.”

U.S. recount law is governed by state law, and in Wisconsin “the rules are quite liberal, in the sense that any aggrieved candidate can bring a petition for a recount,” said Rebecca Green, co-director of the Election Law Program at William & Mary Law School.

In Michigan, where the Trump campaign has filed suit to demand observer access to counting locations and that officials halt the count until such access is given, “there’s an easy fix, which is just to give them access,” Green said.

“But the idea that that could translate to stopping the count or the count being declared illegal does not have a basis in law,” she added.

4:02 p.m. The post-Election-Day rally on the New York Stock Exchange saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average close 367 points, or 1.35%, higher at 27,847.66, marking three consecutive days of gains. The Dow rose over 800 points at one point. The wider S&P and the tech heavy Nasdaq rose 2.2% and 3.9% respectively.

The market is rife with speculation over a Biden presidency, a Republican Senate and a Democratic House.

4:00 p.m. The Trump campaign is requesting the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in the vote counting at a key battleground state, saying “Bad things are happening in Pennsylvania.”

A statement issued by Deputy Campaign Manager Justin Clark alleges that Democratic officials “forced our observers to stay 25 feet or more from the counting process,” making it impossible to verify if the votes are being counted correctly.

The Trump team is asking the top court to temporarily halt the vote counting in the state “until there is meaningful transparency.”

3:10 p.m. The world watches closely.


An employee of the foreign exchange trading company Gaitame.com watches a TV broadcast of U.S. President Donald Trump’s speech at a dealing room in Tokyo on Nov. 4.

  © Reuters


A member of a conservative group waves a flag bearing a message of support for President Trump in front of the U.S. embassy in Seoul on Nov. 4.

  © Reuters


A news report of the U.S. presidential election is seen on a television screen in Hong Kong on Nov. 4.

  © Reuters

2:17 p.m. AP agrees that Biden has won Wisconsin.

2:01 p.m. CNN projects Biden win in Wisconsin, one of the key three swing states.


Election officials unpack blue bags containing ballots after Election Day at the Kenosha Municipal Building in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Nov. 4.

  © Reuters

1:50 p.m. In India, supporters of U.S. vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris hold prayers near her ancestral village.

The southern Indian region where Harris’ maternal grandfather was born is rooting for the Democratic Party to win because of the family connection.


A villager carries a bucket of water and walks past a hoarding featuring U.S. Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris in Thulasendrapuram village, south of Chennai, in India on Nov. 4.

  © AP

Meanwhile, a Hindu group that claims to have the support of 5 million believers is seeking divine blessings for Trump. It says it wants the president to be re-elected in order to keep India’s main rivals — Pakistan and China — in check.


A picture of U.S. President Donald Trump is seen as activists of Hindu Sena, a Hindu right-wing group, perform a special prayer to ensure his victory in the elections, in New Delhi, India on Nov. 3. 

  © Reuters

Over in Europe, one foreign leader seems to have jumped the gun. Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa congratulates Trump for “four more years.”

1:05 p.m. The Trump campaign issues a statement requesting a recount in Wisconsin, citing irregularities.

12:45 p.m. The race to 270. Here’s our take.

12:15 p.m. The 2020 presidential election had the highest turnout rate since 1900, according to preliminary estimates by the United States Election Project.

University of Florida Professor Michael McDonald says that 160 million people voted in Tuesday’s election, for a turnout rate of 66.9%. That’s the highest in 120 years, since 73.7% turned out for the 1900 election.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, at least 101 million Americans cast ballots before Election Day, compared with 47 million in 2016.

11:55 a.m. All of Wisconsin’s ballots have been counted. That’s according to the state’s Elections Commission Director Meagan Wolfe, who appeared on NBC via phone.

While there are no official announcements, most TV stations have Biden leading in the state. Ten electoral votes are on the line.

11:30 a.m. Amid the nail-biting vote count, the U.S. on Wednesday officially exited the Paris Agreement on climate change, fulfilling Trump’s promise to withdraw the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas emitter from the global pact.

10:30 a.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbs more than 600 points Wednesday morning, as investors see the possibility of a blue sweep — where the Democrats win the White House, Senate and House — become less likely, easing fears of tax hikes and tougher regulations.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped around 3.7%, with shares of Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Alphabet all up, reflecting an understanding that breakups of Big Tech were now less likely.

10:20 a.m. Trump and Biden open the day with morning tweets. The president expresses skepticism toward the vote-counting process. Biden calls for every vote to be counted.

9:30 a.m. Though the Democrats will retain a majority in the House of Representatives, hopes to flip anywhere from five to 15 Republican seats failed to materialize. “Instead, it was the Republicans who scored big,” The Hill reports, “knocking out at least a half dozen vulnerable Democrats with several more clinging to the ropes.”

“It was a reversal of fortunes for the Democrats, who had led big in the polls and the money race and were betting that President Trump at the top of the ticket would be a drag on GOP lawmakers all the way down the ballot,” the congressional news website wrote.

8:40 a.m. All four members of the “squad,” the Democratic lawmakers elected in 2018 who represent the younger political generation, won their seats. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan easily won reelection Tuesday night after fending off conservative challengers.

8:10 a.m. Trump leads in Pennsylvania — the largest swing state left on the table — with 85% of precincts reporting, but the race is still on. Only 44% of mail ballots have been counted as of 7:18 a.m., according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Mail ballots that arrive by Friday, by rule, should be counted. This could change if the Supreme Court intervenes, as the president is suggesting.

7:55 a.m. Here is the state of Michigan, with 90% of the vote counted:

7:20 a.m. Democrats have a firm grip on the House of Representatives, but their roadmap to seizing a Senate majority from Republicans is rapidly narrowing. Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz, said Wednesday morning on CNBC that meaningful tax changes were now unlikely in the next two years.

“The Senate’s too close. The Senate’s not going to allow this,” he said.

7:10 a.m. Biden’s lead in Wisconsin widens a smidge as votes from Brown County (Green Bay) come in.

6:50 a.m. China’s media is making hay out of the tense and still-undecided U.S. election and Trump’s better-than-forecast performance. “The political demands of populist groups in U.S. society are becoming stronger,” says the author of an opinion piece published early Wednesday in The Global Times, a Communist Party mouthpiece. “A large swath of people firmly believe in a presidential candidate who does not believe in science at all. It mirrors the anti-intellectualism [that] is becoming a trend, even a culture in the U.S. Those populist forces and trends will pose an increasing influence in U.S. domestic politics and diplomacy. This is not a positive sign for the U.S., and the world.”

Global Times editor Hu Xijin tweeted earlier tonight that the polls are being “ridiculed” by Chinese netizens.

Another U.S. adversary beginning to chime in is Iran. President Hassan Rouhani says it does not matter who wins, but that the next U.S. president should “return to law” and respect international treaties, according to Al Jazeera.

6:40 a.m. Officials in Nevada, where Biden leads by around 8,000 votes, say further results will not come until noon Eastern time on Thursday as they work to include mail-in ballots received Tuesday. Six electoral votes are up for grabs there.

6:00 a.m. While we wait, Nikkei Asia continues to look into a burning question: How might this election affect the U.S.-China relationship?

We spoke with Jonathan Choi, chairman of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, the largest pro-Beijing business organization in the territory. He believes Washington’s tough stance against Beijing — and the Beijing-backed Hong Kong government — will persist regardless of who wins the White House. Trump “may be more serious” while Biden could engage “in a more gentle way,” but for Choi, “American policy toward China and Hong Kong is quite clear, no matter who the president is.”

Earlier, Graham Allison, a Harvard University professor and leading national security analyst, offered his thoughts at an online forum hosted by Credit Suisse. He predicted a “more orderly, business-like relationship” if Biden prevails, while Trump would be “very idiosyncratic.”

“Even though [Trump] blamed China for everything, you could even imagine him going back and doing some grand deal,” Allison said. In any case, the professor predicted, “We may not know who the clear winner is for some days.”

5:35 a.m. A Wisconsin vote counting machine reportedly ran out of ink, holding up the results. The ink is being replaced.

5:30 a.m. U.K. bookmaker Ladbrokes now makes Biden the favorite to win the election. It’s still a tight market, though, with the Democratic candidate’s odds coming down to 8/11, compared with Trump’s 11/10.

4:55 a.m. Biden has taken a razor-thin lead in Wisconsin, according to multiple U.S. news outlets. But only around 10,000 votes separate him from Trump and there are still ballots to be counted.

4:35 a.m. The Democratic chair in Wisconsin expressed optimism a short while ago that Biden will ultimately carry the swing state Trump won in 2016. Ten electoral votes are up for grabs.

4:15 a.m. Biden’s campaign manager slams Trump’s victory claim and demand to stop counting votes, in a statement reported by U.S. media outlets. “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 is quoted as saying.

3:50 a.m. Trump boasted earlier that he was up by 600,000 votes in Pennsylvania, arguing his lead was insurmountable. But the state’s governor, Democrat Tom Wolf, has insisted that every ballot must — and will — be counted.

3:35 a.m. U.S. media reports suggest a software issue is holding up the counting in Georgia — the outcome of which could have a major impact on who wins the White House. The New York Times estimates 130,000 votes for Biden in the state remain uncounted.

3:30 a.m. Biden has won Maine, according to AP. That gives him another four electoral votes in a race where it seems every one might matter.

3:15 a.m. Trump’s speech sends Dow Jones futures diving over 400 points, or 1.6%, while S&P futures slip 0.5%.


U.S. President Donald Trump, in an unprecedented Election Night speech from the White House, says the delay in declaring him the winner is a “fraud on the American public.”

  © Reuters

2:55 a.m. AP calls Arizona for Biden, backing up FOX’s early call. This makes him the first Democrat to win the southwestern state since Bill Clinton — and marks the first state to flip sides from the 2016 election.

2:50 a.m. U.S. Treasury yields quickly fell as Trump claimed he would “go to the Supreme Court” to stop the voting. The benchmark 10-year yield was down 0.1 of a percentage point, trading at 0.77%.

Earlier, the Nikkei Stock Average closed up 1.7%.

2:25 a.m. Trump speaks off the cuff at the White House, telling supporters to get ready for a celebration and claiming that he’s won states that have not yet been called, including Georgia and North Carolina. “This is a fraud on the American public,” he says of delays in declaring the winner.

“As far as I’m concerned, we already have won,” Trump says.

“We’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 a.m. in the morning and add them to the list.”

2:05 a.m. Trump is expected to speak at any moment. While we wait, here’s a tweet from the attorney general of Pennsylvania, a crucial state that remains up in the air. It sounds like the result there may not be known anytime soon.

1:35 a.m. Meanwhile, Oregon earlier tonight became the first state in the nation to approve the use of psilocybin, also known as hallucinogenic mushrooms, according to the AP.

1:20 a.m. Rhode Island’s four electoral votes go to Biden, according to multiple outlets. With Trump’s tweets suggesting he’s ready to declare himself the winner, Biden fired back a little while ago.

1:08 a.m. AP calls Texas and its 38 electoral votes for Trump. Democrats were not counting on the typically solid red state to turn blue, but there had been signs they might be making inroads.

12:49 a.m. Trump accuses Democrats of trying to steal the election, despite his apparent position of strength at the moment. Twitter slaps a warning about possible misinformation over the tweet.

In a separate tweet, Trump says he intends to make a statement tonight, writing, “A big WIN!” Ahead of the election, many critics had expressed concern that the president might declare victory early, before the results in key states are clear.

12:45 a.m. Biden speaks at a drive-in election event, with his wife Jill. “We believe we’re on track to win this election,” he says, asking for patience while mail-in votes are counted.

“Keep the faith guys,” Biden says as supporters honk their horns. “We’re going to win this.”


Democratic candidate Joe Biden and his wife Jill arrive to address supporters in his home state of Delaware. “Keep the faith,” he tells them.

  © Reuters

12:35 a.m. After a long wait, AP agrees with FOX: Trump has won Florida, repeating his victory there in 2016.

12:30 a.m. Biden is expected to speak at any moment. Let’s see what he has to say.

12:20 a.m. State by state results keep coming: AP calls Iowa and Montana for Trump, with Minnesota going to Biden. Georgia, a state Trump won in 2016, is tilting toward Biden, according to The New York Times.

12:10 a.m. U.K. bookmakers make Trump the favorite to win the election. Ladbrokes puts the odds on the president being re-elected at 8/13, with Biden at 6/5. Biden appears to have picked up Hawaii and Virginia.

12:05 a.m. Broadcasters NBC, ABC and CNN join FOX in calling Ohio for Trump.

12:01 a.m. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who won in South Carolina against a well-funded Democratic challenger, says he has had two calls from the president tonight. “He’s going to win. To all the pollsters out there, you have no idea what you’re doing,” Graham says at his victory party.

Tuesday, Nov. 3

11:55 p.m. FOX, once again quick with its trigger, calls Ohio for Trump after giving him Florida. If these results hold, that would be two huge wins for the president, who also carried both states and their combined 47 electoral votes in 2016. But other media outlets still consider these races too close to call.

11:50 p.m. Google searches for “how to move to Canada” and “emigrating to Canada” have soared more than 600% in the last few hours in the U.S., amid the tight race.

11:30 p.m. After calling Florida for Trump, FOX again jumps ahead of the pack and chalks up Arizona’s 11 votes for Biden. The president carried the state in 2016.

11:25 p.m. Nate Silver, editor-in-chief of polling site FiveThirtyEight, tells U.S. network ABC that it might take days for the election to be resolved.

11:13 p.m. FOX is the first major U.S. network to call Florida and its critical 29 electoral votes for Trump. Other media outlets are still holding off, however.

11:10 p.m. U.S. stock futures turn volatile as the election results show Biden and Trump neck and neck. Nasdaq futures jumped over 3% at one point, enough to trigger a trading halt mechanism. S&P futures swung between gains and losses before climbing nearly 2% in the early afternoon, Tokyo time.

11:05 p.m. American networks are calling another batch of states: California, Oregon and Washington go to Biden, while Idaho goes to Trump. All are in line with expectations.

11:00 p.m. New Hampshire stays blue, with Biden picking up its four electoral votes, according to AP and other outlets. Clinton won the state narrowly in 2016. Most networks are calling Utah and its six votes for Trump.

10:40 p.m. Trump has won Missouri, AP projects. He also carried the state and its six electoral votes in 2016.

10:32 p.m. The Chinese yuan is falling, with the race between Trump and Biden going down to the wire in key battleground states — Ohio, North Carolina, Michigan and Pennsylvania among them. Bloomberg data shows the offshore yuan down as much as 0.7% to 6.7270 per dollar, with investors apparently factoring in the possibility of a second Trump term and continued pressure on Beijing.


Both candidates are shown on a screen in New York’s Times Square on Nov. 3. (Photo by Maho Kawachi)

10:30 p.m. U.S. networks are saying the Democrats will retain control of the House.

10:20 p.m. Republican Bill Hagerty, Trump’s former ambassador to Japan, has won his Senate race in Tennessee, according to AP. Meanwhile, the news agency has put New Mexico and its five electoral votes in the Biden column.

10:01 p.m. AP calls Kansas for Trump. The president’s key ally Sen. Lindsey Graham projected to win reelection from South Carolina.

9:52 p.m. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tweets that the battle for Florida is “over,” and that the president won.

9:40 p.m. AP predicts Biden will win Colorado, one of the more contested states. Clinton won the state by 4.9% in 2016.

9:12 p.m. Young Republicans in New York boo at a watch party when their heavily blue state is called for Biden.

9:03 p.m. AP calls the states of Nebraska, Louisiana, Wyoming, South Dakota and North Dakota for Trump. New York for Biden. Once again, no surprises.

8:57 p.m. With over 70% of votes counted in the swing state of North Carolina, Biden leads Trump 51.7%- 47.2%. The state was won by Trump by 3.6% in 2016.

8:50 p.m. Americans across the country are holding watch parties to follow the election results. In this Republican watch party in New York, the crowd burst into loud cheers for conservative FOX anchor Tucker Carlson.


A young Republicans’ watch party in lower Manhattan, New York. (Photo by Marrian Zhou)

8:40 p.m. AP calls Arkansas for Trump. The president won the state by 26 percentage points last time.

8:33 p.m. While votes are still being counted, Biden looks to be making gains in Ohio and Texas, two major states Trump won in 2016. With over 50% of votes counted, Biden is leading Trump by double digits. The state, with 18 electoral votes, was won by Trump by 8 points in 2016. No Republican candidate for the presidency has ever won election without winning Ohio.

8:17 p.m. CNBC projects Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell to keep his seat in Kentucky.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell holds a post-election news conference as he declares victory, in Louisville, Kentucky on Nov. 3.

  © Reuters

8:03 p.m. AP calls Rhode Island, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey and Massachusetts for Biden. Oklahoma, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi and Tennessee for Trump. CNN gives the District of Columbia to Biden. No surprises.

7:40 p.m. AP calls Virginia for Biden. Clinton won the state by 5 points in 2016, so the early call suggests the former vice president is performing well.

7:31 p.m. AP says Trump wins West Virginia. The president won the state by more than 40 points in 2016.

7:15 p.m. Japan’s equity benchmark Nikkei Stock Average opened higher on Wednesday morning, at one point rising over 500 points, or 2%, following an Election Day rally on Wall Street as investors hoped a clear winner would emerge.

7:01 p.m. CNN makes its first projection, giving the red state of Indiana to Trump. The president won the state in 2016 by 19 percentage points. AP calls the blue state of Vermont for Biden. Former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won the state by 26 points. AP also gives Kentucky to Trump. But all eyes are on Florida, with 29 electoral college votes. Experts agree that the president will suffer a major setback for reelection if he loses the state.

6:40 p.m. While the world watches Americans cast their ballots, U.S. presidents are not directly elected by popular vote. Instead, they are chosen by 538 so-called electors through a process known as the Electoral College.

Each state has a certain number of electors based on population. Based on Tuesday’s polls, the electors then are expected to cast a vote based on the popular vote of each state.

So even if a candidate wins a state’s vote by a wide margin, he or she is only awarded the electoral votes for that state. Sometimes, this results in a president winning an election despite losing the popular vote as was the case in the 2000 and 2016 elections.

It takes 270 electoral college votes for a candidate to win the presidency.

Tuesday’s results give the country a projected winner as the electors don’t actually cast their votes until more than a month after citizens vote. This year, electors are scheduled to cast their votes on Dec. 14. This gives election officials time to resolve any controversies before the electors vote.

While electors are not required by the U.S. Constitution to follow their state’s popular vote, many states’ laws do. Though it’s rare, electors have challenged those laws and voted for someone else.

The electoral votes then must arrive within nine days to president of the Senate and the new Congress counts the electoral votes on Jan. 6.

The President-elect and Vice President-elect are then sworn in on Jan. 20.

6:10 p.m. Trump and Biden get Twitter endorsements from family and friends aimed at turning out the vote.

6:05 p.m. Polls have closed in Kentucky and Indiana. A stage has been set up in Wilmington, Delaware where Biden is expected to address the nation later in the night. Security is tight.


Biden’s speech venue in Wilmington, Delaware waits for results. (Photo by Tatsuya Goto)

5:00 p.m. One hour until the first polls close on the East Coast. Never a dull moment in front of New York’s Trump Tower.


A man wearing a Trump masks gives a thumbs up in front of the Trump Tower on Election Day. (Photo by Saqib Tanveer)


 Trump supporters start showing up on Fifth Avenue near Trump Tower, where NYPD is bracing for potential demonstrations. (Photo by Alex Fang)

4:00 p.m. Will there be post-election unrest? Our reporters go live from Trump Tower.

3:30 p.m. As voters headed to polling stations across America, key buildings stepped up security measures anticipating possible unrest. Here are some scenes from Election Day.


Apple Store on Fifth Avenue, a mere block away from Trump Tower, fortified itself with black fences. (Photo by Alex Fang)


Erin Doherty hugs her mother Susanna Dew, 61, who is voting for the first time in her life, as they wait in line at a polling place on election day in the Mid City section of New Orleans on Nov. 3.

  © AP


Security fencing surrounds the White House in Washington on Nov. 3.

  © AP

2:45 p.m. What will the election mean for the tech industry? Silicon Valley correspondent Yifan Yu asks Robert Atkinson, president of Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, world’s top ranked tech policy think tank.

And TikTok?

2:30 p.m. Biden has been leading pre-election national polling since September 2019, with a steady double-digit advantage over Trump. The latest average polling numbers on tracking site RealClearPolitics (Oct. 25 – Nov.2) has Biden leading Trump nationally by 51%-44%, a 7-point difference.

Polling in swing states have been much closer.

1:30 p.m. A federal judge ordered the U.S. Postal Service to sweep facilities by 3 p.m. Eastern time, including in battleground states such as Pennsylvania and Florida, to ensure that no ballots have been held up and that they are immediately sent out for delivery. The decision is seen as a win for Biden, many of whose supporters have opted to vote by mail this year.

1:15 p.m. “We’re gonna have a great day. And we’re going to have — much more importantly — we’re gonna have a great four years,” Trump told reporters at his campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia early Tuesday afternoon, upon his return from campaigning in key swing states.

“Winning is easy, losing is never easy. Not for me. It’s not,” Trump said, saying he is not yet thinking of how to do a concession speech when asked by a reporter.


President Donald Trump speaks at campaign headquarters on Election Day in Arlington, Virginia.

  © AP

The president talked up his experience going college in Pennsylvania, a battleground state both he and Biden are trying to win over, and again sowed doubt over the legitimacy of mail-in ballots, which no evidence suggests are more likely to be associated with fraud.

1:00 p.m. Biden visits his childhood home in Scranton, Pennsylvania on Election Day. He signs one of the living room walls, writing: “From this house to the White House with the grace of God. Joe Biden 11-3-2020.”

Both side have spent most of the last few days of campaigning in the Keystone State. In 2016, Trump narrowly won the state by less than 1 percentage point. But he also made history, for Pennsylvania voted for a Democratic president for the last six elections.


Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden gestures outside of his childhood home on Election Day in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

  © Reuters

12:30 p.m. First Lady Melania Trump votes in person at a community center in Palm Beach, Florida, about two miles north of Mar-a-Lago. The secret service cleared out the facility for the First Lady, who wore no mask.

Her husband voted early days ago.


U.S. first lady Melania Trump arrives to cast her vote during the 2020 presidential election at Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center in Palm Beach, Florida on Nov. 3.

  © Reuters

11:48 a.m. Here is the latest from New York’s Chinatown.


Alex Fang and Waj Khan discuss the election in New York’s Chinatown. (Photo by Saqib Tanveer)

Watch our facebook live here.

11:40 a.m. Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweets that she voted.

11:30 a.m. U.S. stocks are on an Election Day rally. The Dow Industrial Average gained over 680 points, or 2.5%, at one point. The S&P 500 gained 2.3% and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 2.2%.

In an election note released Monday, Wall Street firm BlackRock noted that a scenario under which the Democrats win the White House, the House and the Senate may have the most impact across fiscal policy, investment, taxation, regulation and trade. “A Democratic sweep would tip us to a more pro-risk investment stance,” the world’s largest asset manager said.

10:30 a.m. Trump tells Fox & Friends that he will declare victory “only when there’s victory,” and that “there is no reason to play games.” The president says the crowd size at his events are unprecedented and that he sees a “very solid chance at winning.”

9:30 a.m. Almost 100 million people, equivalent to roughly the entire population of Vietnam, voted early in the 2020 U.S. election, according to Michael McDonald, a political science professor at the University of Florida. About 35.7 million votes were cast in person while 63.9 million came from mail-in ballots.


Mail-in and absentee ballots that have arrived at the Allegheny County Election Division are kept in a secure area at the Elections warehouse in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a key battleground state.

  © AP

8:00 a.m. One notable store that is not boarded up: The Gucci store in Trump Tower.


The Gucci store at Trump Tower on New York’s Fifth Avenue seen on election day. (Photo by Ken Moriyasu)

5:00 a.m. The first polling places open in the state of Vermont. The first polls close on the East Coast at 6:00 p.m.


People line up to vote in the 2020 U.S. presidential election at P.S. 198 in the Manhattan borough of New York City on Nov. 3.

  © Reuters

Here are the times when voting closes in some of the key states:

— 7:00 p.m. Georgia. If Biden wins Georgia, it will be the first time a Democrat has carried the state since 1992 and a big boost to the former vice president. Trump won here by five points in 2016.

The Senate races in Kentucky and South Carolina involve Republican heavyweights Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham, respectively.

— 7:30 p.m. North Carolina and Ohio.

— 8:00 p.m. Florida and Pennsylvania. Maine has a Senate race that is key to the Republicans holding on to their majority in the upper house.

— 9:00 p.m. Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Texas and Wisconsin. Key Senate races in Arizona, Michigan, Colorado and Texas.

— 10:00 p.m. Iowa and Nevada

Monday, Nov. 2

9:00 p.m. Trump and Biden spent their final day of the campaign in key battleground states. Both spent time Monday in Michigan and Pennsylvania.


U.S. President Donald Trump tosses a cap to supporters during a rally in Avoca, Pennsylvania on Nov. 2, the final day of the election campaign. 

  © Reuters


Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden stands next to pop star Lady Gaga at the University of Pittsburgh’s voter activation center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 2.

  © Reuters

7:00 p.m. Stores across New York are boarded up on Monday, as the city braces for possible protests following the election. This summer, many shops in New York and other cities across the country were vandalized and looted during protests over the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Following monthslong shutdowns driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers can ill afford more damage to their businesses. Here are some scenes from New York.


Workers in New York put up plywood boards to protect the windows of a Disney Store in New York on Nov. 2. (Photo by Marrian Zhou)


Pedestrians stand outside a boarded up Saks Fifth Avenue store in New York on Nov. 2. (Photo by Marrian Zhou)


A Michael Kors shop in New York is boarded up as the high-end clothing and accessories retailer braces for possible unrest following the U.S. presidential election. (Photo by Alex Fang)

6:40 p.m. Like Trump, Biden spends part of his last day campaigning in Pennsylvania, pitching himself as a “union man” and slamming the president in a strongly worded tweet.

5:50 p.m. According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Monday, probably the last of its kind ahead of election day, Biden appeared to hold a narrow lead over Trump in Florida.

The election is expected to come down to six swing states. Florida, with 29 electoral votes, is the biggest prize. The others are Pennsylvania with 20 votes, Michigan with 16 votes, North Carolina with 15 votes, Arizona with 11 votes and Wisconsin with 10 votes.

The Reuters poll shows Biden with a 50%-46% lead over Trump in Florida, a wider gap than the 49%-47% in the previous poll.


President Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 20, 2017: Trump trails Democrat Joe Biden in national polls ahead of the election. 

  © Reuters

Here are the numbers for the other battleground states:

Pennsylvania: Biden 49%, Trump: 47%

Michigan: Biden 52%, Trump 42%

North Carolina: Biden 49%, Trump 48%

Arizona: Biden 49%, Trump 47%

Wisconsin: Biden 53%, Trump 43%

5:00 p.m. In the last 40 years, all U.S. presidents bar one have been elected to two consecutive terms. The exception, George H.W. Bush, was booted out of office by Bill Clinton, whose campaign theme: “It’s the economy, stupid,” resonated with voters frustrated by a recession.

4: 24 p.m. In a tweet aimed at swaying voters in the critical battleground state of Pennsylvania, Trump criticized the former Democrat vice president as soft on China.

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