Election Day live: Can Trump pull off a 2016 repeat?

A federal judge ordered the U.S. Postal Service to send inspectors to sweep facilities in a number of swing states for any remaining ballots and send them out for delivery — a ruling that comes ahead of some states’ end-of-Tuesday deadlines to receive mail-in ballots

In an order issued Tuesday in Washington, D.C., District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said the Postal Service must sweep its facilities in Central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Detroit, Colorado/Wyoming, Atlanta, Houston, Alabama, Northern New England, Greater South Carolina, South Florida, Lakeland, and Arizona.

With many Americans turning to mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic, controversy has swirled around the Trump administration’s handling of these ballots. The Trump-appointed postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, initially ordered cost-cutting measures that could have slowed down delivery (he later agreed to drop these). The mail-in voting process has also been the subject of multiple lawsuits around the country. Some states require ballots to be received by Election Day in order to be counted, while others say ballots must only be post marked by the deadline.

“Defendants shall send Postal Service inspectors or their designees, to processing facilities in the following Districts and direct them to sweep the facilities between 12:30 PM EST and 3:00 PM EST to ensure that no ballots have been held up and that any identified ballots are immediately sent out for delivery,” Sullivan wrote.

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Live Updates: 2020 Elections

The president was joined by top aides and advisers during his first public appearance of Election Day.

Updated

President Donald Trump remarked that “losing is never easy” during his first in-person appearance of Election Day, as he was surrounded by top aides and advisers accompanying him on a brief trip to his campaign headquarters in Arlington, Va.

Asked by reporters Tuesday whether he had prepared alternate versions of speeches in preparation for the results of the election, Trump replied that he was “not thinking about [a] concession speech or acceptance speech yet.”

“Hopefully, we’ll be only doing one of those two,” he said. “And, you know, winning is easy. Losing is never easy. Not for me, it’s not.”

But Trump also said he heard his reelection effort was “doing well all over,” specifically mentioning the campaign’s performance in the battlegrounds of Arizona, Florida and Texas.

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PHILADELPHIA — Pennsylvania has received more than 2.5 million mail-in and absentee ballots so far, according to new data from election officials here.

That means that 81 percent of state voters who were sent those ballots have returned them. To break it down, more than 1.6 million of those ballots were from registered Democrats, 586,000 were from Republicans, and 278,000 were from independents or third-party voters.

This isn’t surprising or necessarily revealing: Political insiders have expected for months that Democrats would vote disproportionately by mail, while Republicans would vote disproportionately in person.

One stat that is interesting, though, is that 84 percent of registered Democrats who have been sent mail-in or absentee ballots have returned them, compared with 74 percent of Republicans.

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Election officials are warning that voters are being targeted by misleading robocalls, as reports surface nationwide of various calls telling people to vote on the wrong day or to stay home.

“We received reports that an unknown party is purposefully spreading misinformation via robocalls in Flint in an attempt to confuse voters there, and I want to ensure everyone who plans to vote in person understands they must do so — or be in line to do so — by 8 p.m. today,” Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, said in a statement Tuesday morning.

Separately, people across the country have reported receiving a similar call with a robotic woman’s voice urging them to stay home and suggesting that it could be dangerous to do otherwise.

“This is just a test call. Time to stay home. Stay safe and stay home,” the voice says, according to audio of the call posted by a North Carolina voter who said he received the call this morning.

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Live Updates: 2020 Elections

Public polling indicates a Trump victory is possible, though it is unlikely to be by the margins that Trump and other allies say they’re envisioning.

President Donald Trump’s top surrogates are painting a rosy picture of an overwhelming reelection victory, even as polls have him trailing in many key battleground states.

Lara Trump, a senior adviser to Trump’s reelection campaign and the president’s daughter-in-law, said Tuesday that they believe the president will decisively beat Democratic nominee Joe Biden without the need for a protracted ballot count.

“People have not been talking to pollsters, and we think it’s going to be a landslide victory and we aren’t even going to need to take this into further days,” Lara Trump said on Fox News.

Public polling and election forecasts indicate that a Trump victory is possible, though it is unlikely to be by the margins that Trump and other allies say they’re envisioning — and potentially with less than the 306 electoral college votes he earned in the 2016 election.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden signed one of the living room walls of his childhood home during a stop in Scranton, Pa., on Tuesday morning.

“From this house to the White House with the grace of God. Joe Biden 11-3-2020,” the message reads.

Biden has often played up his working-class roots on the campaign trail, and has especially focused on Pennsylvania, a battleground state that could determine the outcome of the election.

The Democratic presidential nominee spent his young childhood in Scranton before moving to Delaware when he was 10 after his father lost his job in the area.

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The deputy campaign manager and communications director for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was optimistic about the state of the White House race as voting continued Tuesday.

“We believe we have a lot of options. We have a lot of pathways to get to 270,” Kate Bedingfield said in an interview on MSNBC, referring to the number of electoral votes required to win the presidency.

In addition to visiting the Great Lakes-area swing states that propelled President Donald Trump to office in 2016, Biden has spent the final days of the 2020 general election campaign making stops in more Republican-leaning battlegrounds such as Georgia and Iowa.

Bedingfield also pointed on Tuesday to “record levels of enthusiasm and turnout in the early vote,” specifically mentioning increased levels of African-American turnout in Georgia and youth turnout in North Carolina.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden joked Tuesday that his five-vote sweep of Dixville Notch, N.H., would allow him to declare victory in the presidential election, a jab at allegations that President Donald Trump might try to claim a second term in the White House before all ballots are counted.

“Based on Trump’s notion, I’m going to declare victory tonight,” Biden said, eliciting laughs from a group of about 50 to 60 supporters outside a carpenters union in Scranton, Pa. Dixville Notch, a tiny township in northern New Hampshire, is famous for being the first to count its votes.

Biden delivered brief remarks in Scranton and hit on themes familiar to his campaign including rebuilding the middle class, restoring the soul of the nation and recalling the violence in Charlottesville, Va., that spurred him to run for president.

Biden’s jab at Trump comes after Axios reported on Monday that Trump told multiple aides he plans to declare victory on election night if he’s “ahead.” But in an interview with Fox News Tuesday Morning, Trump said he would declare himself the winner of the 2020 election “only when there’s victory,” acknowledging that “there’s no reason to play games.”

POLITICO asked British voters across all 650 election districts who they support as U.S. president, and found that not a single district would back Trump.

Conservatives and progressives alike rejected Trump, who didn’t exceed 30 percent support among any age group, in the poll conducted by Hanbury Strategy. Trump is least popular among Britons over the age of 65: just one in six would vote for him.

The poll gathered responses from 3,991 British voters between Oct. 9-15 and then ran the findings through a model to calculate estimated results for each parliamentary constituency in Great Britain.

The poll is the latest example of tremendous British interest in the election, driving a flood of election content, including right-wing pundit Nigel Farage touring the boarded-up downtown of Washington D.C. and announcing “democracy in crisis”, and on the left, Channel 4’s documentary “American Nightmare: Trump’s Breadline Kids.

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President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have kicked off Election Day before a night — or many nights — of anxiously awaiting results.

Compared to the frenetic pace in the final days of a presidential campaign, Election Day is typically a demure affair as staffers are exhausted and there’s relatively little candidates can do to make a sizable difference to their fates.

Biden stopped early at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church and visited his son Beau’s gravesite before hitting the trail and heading to his birthplace of Scranton, Pa., and later Philadelphia. The campaign is keeping the exact location of his events close to the vest.

Trump has several media hits scheduled, leading off with a “Fox and Friends” interview that started more than a half hour behind schedule.

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President Donald Trump on Tuesday offered a bitter assessment of his tenure in the White House, saying the experience has been “mean” and marked by “horrible people.”

The comments came in an Election Day interview on “Fox & Friends,” after co-host Ainsley Earhardt asked Trump whether he has enjoyed being president and if the job has been “worth it.”

“Well, it’s been mean. It’s been — you’ve dealt with horrible people,” Trump replied, adding: “You deal with people that are very deceptive.”

Trump, who participated in five campaign rallies Monday, sounded noticeably hoarse throughout his phone interview Tuesday, and seemed relatively despondent compared with his previous appearances on his preferred cable morning news show.

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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden began Election Day by going to church with his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, and two of his granddaughters.

The family members entered St. Joseph on the Brandywine in Wilmington, Del., at 7:10 a.m. EST, according to pool reports and left the historic Roman Catholic Church at 7:27 a.m. Biden then walked across the street to the cemetery where his son, Beau, his first wife and his daughter are buried.

The former vice president plans to visit Pennsylvania later Tuesday — making stops in Scranton, where he was born, as well as in Philadelphia, where he has based his campaign headquarters. He is expected to return to Wilmington in the evening to deliver his election night remarks.

President Donald Trump won Pennsylvania by 1.2 percentage points in 2016, but Biden maintains a narrow lead there now. The state’s 20 electoral votes are widely viewed by pollsters and political analysts as potentially having the power to determine the outcome of the White House race.

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he would declare himself the winner of the 2020 election “only when there’s victory,” acknowledging that “there’s no reason to play games.”

The remarks from the president came in the morning hours of Election Day in an interview on “Fox & Friends,” during which he was asked when exactly he planned on declaring victory over Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

“When there’s victory. If there’s victory,” Trump responded. “I think we’ll have victory. I think the polls are, you know, suppression polls. And I think we’ll have victory. But only when there’s victory. I mean, you know, there’s no reason to play games. And I think we’ll have victory.”

Democrats have warned in recent weeks that Trump could seek to distort the results of the election and take advantage of delays in the reporting of vote counts, which are expected to take longer to process due to the expansion of mail-in balloting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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President Donald Trump predicted Tuesday that he will outperform his 2016 Electoral College victory, cruising to a second term in the White House with more than 306 electoral votes.

“I ended up with 306. That was good numbers. 223 to 306 and that was — that was a big number,” Trump told Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” Tuesday morning. “And I think we will top it. I’ll leave it at that. I think we’ll top it. I think we’ll get better. People appreciate the job that we’ve done.”

Trump won a surprise victory in 2016 against Democrat Hillary Clinton, pushed across the 270-vote Electoral College threshold by upset wins in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Although the president won 306 electoral votes in 2016, he technically received only 304 thanks to two so-called faithless electors who refused to cast their electoral votes for Trump.

He also ultimately lost the popular vote to Clinton by almost 3 million votes.

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Live Updates: 2020 Elections

The New Hampshire communities vote for president just after the stroke of midnight on Election Day.

DIXVILLE NOTCH, N.H. — Two tiny New Hampshire communities that vote for president just after the stroke of midnight on Election Day have cast their ballots, with one of them marking 60 years since the tradition began.

The results in Dixville Notch, near the Canadian border, were a sweep for former Vice President Joe Biden who won the town’s five votes. In Millsfield, 12 miles to the south, President Donald Trump won 16 votes to Biden’s five.

Normally, there would be a big food spread and a lot of media crammed into a small space to watch the voting, Tom Tillotson, town moderator in Dixville Notch, said last week. But that’s no longer possible because of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s also hard to observe the 60th anniversary of the tradition, which started in November 1960.

“Sixty years — and unfortunately, we can’t celebrate it,” he said.

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