Election 2020 live updates: Northern battleground states remain too close to call


President Trump and Joe Biden battled into Wednesday morning with no clear winner, as major contests remained too close. Biden urged patience, while Trump called the election into question.

President Trump and Joe Biden staked a series of expected victories. In battleground states, the president took Florida, Ohio and Iowa while Biden won in Arizona.

Democrats’ hopes of taking the Senate faded as GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham won reelection in South Carolina and Democratic challengers fell short in other key races. Democrat John Hickenlooper rode Trump resistance to win in the Colorado Senate race.

Our reporters are bringing dispatches from more than a dozen cities in battleground states. Follow our live coverage.

2020 presidential election: Live results | Your guide to the 2020 election | How to vote in California | Where to vote in Southern California | Editorial board endorsements | How we’re covering the election | Nine Senate races to watch | 12 California propositions on the ballot | Photos: Vote counting continues in race too close to call

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas declares victory in 10th District

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas declared victory over attorney Grace Yoo in his race to represent a Koreatown-to-Crenshaw district on the Los Angeles City Council, setting the stage for a return to City Hall after an 18-year absence.

While returns were still being tabulated, Ridley-Thomas held a commanding lead over his opponent Wednesday, with 61.4% of the vote compared with Yoo’s 38.6%.

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Holly Mitchell wins seat on L.A. County Board of Supervisors

Holly Mitchell wins seat on L.A. County Board of Supervisors

State Sen. Holly Mitchell wins the L.A. County Board of Supervisors 2nd District seat, which spans southwest from Culver City to Carson.

Mitchell will not only assume a four-year term on the board, which acts much like a five-headed executive with broad control to create social programs, build medical clinics and appropriate money, but is generally expected to stay in the position for the next 12 years, as supervisors rarely lose a race once elected.

In recent months, following a summer of protests and a national reckoning on racism, the candidates have focused far more resources on highlighting their records on criminal justice reform and building skepticism among voters about which candidate is being most forthright.


With several successful female candidates, GOP makes small gain in the House

WASHINGTON — Democratic control of the House was never realistically in question in 2020, but Democrats’ and pundits’ prediction that they would increase their margins by five to 20 seats by making inroads into President Trump’s strongholds didn’t pan out.

Instead, Republicans exceeded expectations, netting at least six seats. That included defeating one of the few remaining rural Democrats in the House, Minnesota’s Rep. Collin Peterson, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

But the biggest victory might have been for Republican women, who secured at least five seats, bringing the GOP closer to its pre-2018 numbers. There are currently 13 Republican women and 88 Democratic women in the House, according to Rutgers’ Center for American Women and Politics.


Wisconsin has a track record of extremely close presidential contests

In the last three presidential elections, Wisconsin has gone to the winning candidate. The Badger State is looking crucial again, with votes still to be counted to see if Joe Biden can maintain the wafer-thin lead he took over President Trump in the tabulation early Wednesday.

Wisconsin has a track record of extremely close races for president, most recently in 2016, when Trump beat Hillary Clinton by fewer than 23,000 votes. Trump scored 47.22% of the tally and Clinton 46.45%, crumbling the “Blue Wall” that Democratic candidates had traditionally relied on in the Midwest.

In 2004, when George W. Bush was running for reelection, challenger John Kerry bested him by only about 11,400 votes in Wisconsin, but Bush went on to win a second term anyway. Four years before that, Bush narrowly lost to Vice President Al Gore as well, by a mere 5,700 votes, but became president because of a Supreme Court ruling.

In this century, only the 2008 and 2012 presidential races in Wisconsin were decisively won, both times by Barack Obama, first against John McCain and then against Mitt Romney.

Obama’s running mate, of course, was Biden.


GOP Sen. Susan Collins holds lead in Maine, but race is tight

PORTLAND, Maine — The costliest political race in Maine history didn’t conclude on election day: Neither Republican Sen. Susan Collins nor Democratic Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon were able to declare victory.

Ballots were still being counted to determine a winner in the hard-fought contest, one of several that were crucial in determining whether Democrats would be able to take control of the Senate.

“We’re doing really well, but I know it’s not over until it’s over,” Collins told reporters late Tuesday in Bangor before calling it a night.

Gideon, for her part, did not appear before reporters at a Portland hotel but issued a statement saying she was grateful to her supporters.

“It’s clear this race will not be called tonight, and we are prepared to see it through to the finish. Over the coming days, we will make sure that every Mainer has their voice heard in this election,” she said.

The Senate race was the most expensive in Maine history, with Gideon raising nearly $70 million, more than double the $27 million that Collins raised. But that didn’t include so-called dark money. All told, more than $120 million was spent by both candidates and their allies on advertising.

With most but not all votes counted, Collins held a slim majority, but it was too early to declare a winner.

Further complicating the picture is Maine’s ranked-choice voting system. If no candidate wins a majority of first-place votes, then there need to be additional tabulations, aided by computers, in which last-place candidates are eliminated and votes reallocated to ensure a majority-vote winner.


Northern battleground states prove their importance once again

The fate of the presidency hung in the balance Wednesday morning as President Trump and Joe Biden dueled over three familiar battleground states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — that could prove crucial in determining who wins the White House.

It was unclear when or how quickly a winner could be determined. A late burst of votes in Wisconsin gave Biden an extremely narrow lead, but it was still too early to call the race. Hundreds of thousands of votes were outstanding in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

By Tuesday night’s end, the margins were exceedingly tight, with the candidates trading wins in other battleground states across the country. Trump picked up Florida, the largest of the swing states, while Biden flipped Arizona, a state that has reliably voted Republican for decades.

Neither candidate has yet reached the 270 electoral college votes needed to capture the White House.

In an extraordinary move from the White House, Trump issued premature claims of victory and said he would take the election to the Supreme Court to stop the counting. It was unclear exactly what legal action he might try to pursue.

Biden, appearing in front of supporters in Delaware, urged patience, saying the election “ain’t over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted.”


With many ballots still outstanding, Nevada is too close to call

LAS VEGAS — Early results showed Joe Biden with a slim lead over President Trump in Nevada, but it was too early to declare a winner in the race Wednesday with a large number of ballots yet to be counted.

The Nevada secretary of state’s office said a new batch of results would be released Thursday after 9 a.m. Mail-in ballots received on election day had not yet been counted, along with any mail ballots postmarked no later than Nov. 3 that arrive over the next week and any provisional ballots.

The number of outstanding mail ballots is difficult to estimate, the elections office said, because Nevada opted to automatically mail ballots to all active registered voters this year, and it’s hard to predict how many will choose to return them.

No Republican presidential candidate has carried Nevada since 2004, but the state has remained a battleground. Trump fell just shy of winning Nevada and its six electoral college votes four years ago, and this year he campaigned hard in the state hoping for better luck.

Democrats and Joe Biden’s campaign said that while they have been successful in recent elections in Nevada, they weren’t taking anything for granted this year.

By Tuesday evening, shortly before polls closed, turnout in Nevada was already 8% higher than all of 2016.


With Milwaukee counted, Biden takes razor-thin lead in Wisconsin

Joe Biden moved past President Trump to take a razor-thin lead in Wisconsin early Wednesday after the state counted mail-in votes from the overwhelmingly Democratic stronghold of Milwaukee.

A victory in the state could help Biden find a path to the 270 electoral college votes required to win the presidency. Other key states such as Pennsylvania and Georgia, where Biden currently trails, were still waiting to count votes from significantly pro-Democratic cities that could tip the balance away from Trump.

Votes were still being counted in Wisconsin, and the state was still too close to call early Wednesday after the crop of Milwaukee votes was tallied. As of about 2 a.m. Pacific time, Biden led 1,582,605 votes to Trump’s 1,574,461, an extremely narrow advantage of 49.4% to 49.1%.


Democrats’ hopes for capturing a Senate majority fade

WASHINGTON — Democrats’ hopes of sweeping to a Senate majority faded as marquee contests stretched into overtime early Wednesday and some of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents remained in contention while the vote counts dragged on.

Sens. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine, whose defeats had been considered essential building blocks of a new Democratic majority, held narrow leads over their opponents in nearly complete results. If they eke out wins, Democrats’ path to a majority would all but vanish.

Given the races remaining to be called, perhaps the best Democrats could achieve is a 50-50 split, which would give them a majority only if Joe Biden won the presidential election and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, then became vice president and presided over the Senate as its tie-breaker.

Democrats had headed into election day favored to win a slight majority in the Senate, but returns were mixed early on as polls closed across the country.



News Analysis: No blue wave — or winner — as election outcome waits on a long count

WASHINGTON — As the country settles in for a prolonged count to determine the winner of the 2020 election, this much is clear: Democratic hopes for a wave of votes that would sweep away barriers to progressive policy changes have suffered a significant setback.

Joe Biden continues to have a strong chance of winning the presidency by carrying the big industrial states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as Arizona, where he holds a strong lead. The party will also retain control of the House.
But in the final weeks of the campaign, favorable polls and a flood of campaign money had raised Democratic hopes of a significantly larger victory, one that would decisively repudiate the Trump-era Republican Party, expand Democrats’ House majority, give them clear control of the Senate and open the way to passage of long-stalled legislation on voting rights, climate change, immigration reform and other Democratic priorities.

Instead, the election results so far have proved the continued strength not only of President Trump, but of the country’s deeply entrenched partisan divide. Democratic hopes of a Senate majority dwindled through the night, raising the likelihood that even if he’s elected, Biden will face a divided Congress as well as a Supreme Court with a conservative majority that was strengthened last month with the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Biden publicly expressed confidence Tuesday night while Trump accused Democrats and the media of trying to “disenfranchise” his supporters.



Peaceful protests in Portland, Ore., and Seattle

PORTLAND, Ore. — Protesters marched in Portland and Seattle on Tuesday night, calling for racial justice as election results came in.

In Seattle, two groups of demonstrators took to the streets. Speakers said that as president, neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden would do enough to protect the lives of Black and Indigenous people.

On Portland’s east side, Black speakers and performers appeared on a stage in front of a few hundred people who began a march about 7 p.m. “No cops, no prisons, total abolition,” protesters chanted.

Also on Tuesday, lawyers for the U.S. Department of Justice asked a judge to put an emergency hold on his order limiting crowd control by federal officers during protests to a nine-block area in downtown Portland.

U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman issued the injunction Monday, finding that federal officers had infringed on protesters’ rights.


Biden campaign reacts to Trump’s claims of fraud

Joe Biden’s campaign manager called President Trump’s comments at the White House statement “a naked effort to take away the democratic rights of American citizens.”

“The president’s statement tonight about trying to shut down the counting of duly cast ballots was outrageous, unprecedented, and incorrect,” Jen O’Malley Dillon said of Trump’s claims that the election outcome would be fraudulent if ballots continued to be tallied.

“It was unprecedented because never before in our history has a president of the United States sought to strip Americans of their voice in a national election,” she said in a statement. “Having encouraged Republican efforts in multiple states to prevent the legal counting of these ballots before Election Day, now Donald Trump is saying these ballots can’t be counted after Election Day either.”


Wisconsin governor says election ends when every vote is counted


‘I think the president is confused,’ election law expert says

LAS VEGAS - “I think the president is confused, if you want to treat it charitably,” election law expert Edward Foley said after watching President Trump’s statement from the White House.

“What he describes doesn’t match the reality of the legal process as it applies to counting votes. The votes will be counted in each and everyone of these states.

”Trump falsely claimed the pending election outcome was “a fraud on the American public” and called for a stop to the counting of the remaining ballots. “He doesn’t have any role to play in that as a candidate. And the office of the presidency doesn’t have any role to play in that,” said Foley, a law professor at Ohio State University, where he directs its election law program.

As a candidate Trump could file lawsuits if he has a legal claim, Foley said, “but you can’t just try to stop the counting of votes because you don’t want them counted.”He also called Trump’s conception of the role of the Supreme Court as “mistaken.”

“There’s a chance the Supreme Court could get involved on a narrow category of ballots that might have some questionable validity, but it’s not in anyway inevitable that that small slice of ballots would be outcome determinate in any of these states,” he said. “The Supreme Court is not going to stop the counting of votes in general. There wouldn’t be any legal basis for that.”


Governor vows: ‘Pennsylvania will have a fair election and we will count every vote’


President Trump makes baseless claim of fraud, calls for counting of remaining ballots to stop

President Trump addressed supporters at the White House and said he would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in the continued counting of ballots to “stop a major fraud in our nation”.

“This is a fraud on the America public, this is an embarrassment on our country. We were getting ready to win this election — frankly we did win this election. So our goal now is to ensure the integrity for the good of this nation … so we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court, we want all the voting to stop, we don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 o’clock in the morning and add them to the list.”

Trump, speaking after 2 a.m. to a packed room of maskless supporters, sounded disappointed as he alluded to an early projection from Fox News calling Arizona for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, a pickup that could clear Biden’s path to victory.

“We were getting ready for a big celebration, we were winning everything, and then all of a sudden it was just called off,” Trump said.

Citing “millions” of votes cast in his support in several states, Trump said “a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people” as states continue to count ballots in narrow contests, including in major Democratic strongholds in Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Trump listed off voting statistics from Ohio, Texas and Florida, which have been called in his favor by media observers. He then implied that continued vote counts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia, where remaining votes are expected to show Democratic pickups, would illegitimately tilt the election away from him.

“It’s a very sad moment, to me it’s a very sad moment,” Trump said. “We will win this, and as far as I’m concerned, we have. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election.”


Trump calls on Supreme Court to stop counting in undecided, cliff-hanging presidential race

President Trump delivered a hazy claim of victory early Wednesday morning over Democratic challenger Joe Biden even as millions of votes remained to be counted, calling on the Supreme Court to “stop a major fraud in our nation” and hand him the presidential election.

In an extraordinary 2:30 a.m. appearance at the White House, Trump called the pending outcome “a fraud on the America public” and “embarrassment on our country.”

“We were getting ready to win this election -- frankly we did win this election,” he said, citing victories in some states that had yet to be decided. “So we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court, we want all the voting to stop, we don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 o’clock in the morning and add them to the list.”



Biden wins Arizona

Joe Biden won Arizona on Tuesday, becoming just the second Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state since 1948.

President Trump won four years ago with just 48% of the vote, and Democrats made a major effort to flip the Grand Canyon State, counting on a growing Latino population, an influx of newcomers from places like California and resistance to Trump among voters in the sprawling Phoenix suburbs.

The last Democrat to carry Arizona was Bill Clinton, who scratched out a win with 47% in support in 1996.

Arizona has 11 electoral votes. It takes 270 to be elected president.



GOP Sen. Daines keeps Senate seat in Montana

GOP Sen. Steve Daines has won his bid for reelection in Montana, beating back a surprisingly strong challenge in a solidly Republican state.

His victory over Gov. Steve Bullock moved Republicans a step closer to retaining their majority in the Senate, where they now have a 53-47 advantage.

Bullock, who won reelection as governor in 2016 even as Trump won the state by 20 percentage points, failed to repeat that feat of ticket-splitting success against the GOP incumbent in a state where Trump has remained very popular.

But Daines had a tougher than expected challenge from Bullock, who ran unsuccessfully for Democrats’ presidential nomination. He bested Daines in fundraising and was boosted by praise for his handling of the state’s coronavirus crisis.


Voters approve Proposition 17, giving Californians who are on parole from prison the right to vote

Voters have approved Proposition 17, giving Californians who are on parole after being convicted of a felony the right to vote in future elections.

The measure restores the vote to some 50,000 parolees by changing the state Constitution, which disqualified people with felony convictions from voting until their incarceration and parole are completed.



Watch President Trump address the nation

President Trump speaks to the nation. As some tightly contested battleground states continue to count ballots, the president has gone onto Twitter to make unsubstantiated claims about the legitimacy of the election, claims that were flagged by the social media company.


Voters reject Proposition 20, which proposed new property crime punishments and limits on parole

Voters rejected Proposition 20, a California initiative that sought to toughen sentencing in criminal cases and reduce the number of prison inmates eligible for early parole.


Voters reject Proposition 21, which would have allowed local governments to apply new rent controls

California voters have rejected Proposition 21, which would have allowed cities and counties to apply rent controls to housing more than 15 years old. The measure’s defeat marks the second time since 2018 that voters have opted against expanding rent control.



Twitter flags Trump’s election night tweet as misleading

When President Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday night to share his opinion that “they” are “trying to STEAL the election,” Twitter was ready.

Within 15 minutes of the post going up at 9:49 Pacific time, the president’s tweet had been flagged with a noticeable disclaimer, stating “some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic processes.” The warning label included a link to “learn more” that led to detailed company policy for flagging and slowing the spread of misinformation.

Beneath the president’s message, Twitter also appended a notice linking to the same policies.

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Prop. 23, which would have imposed new regulations on dialysis industry, fails

A $100-million effort to impose new regulations on the dialysis industry was defeated Tuesday.

Proposition 23 would have required dialysis clinics to employ at least one doctor who would be on site whenever patients are receiving treatment. Supporters of the measure, including the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West, said dialysis clinics were putting profits over patient care by not having a doctor available in the event of complications or an emergency.

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