Election 2020 results: Michigan and Wisconsin called for Biden as Trump begins legal battles

The coverage on this live blog has concluded. For up-to-the-minute coverage on the election, visit the live blog from CNBC's U.S. team. Read our previous coverage here.

It is the day after Election Day, and the race between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is still up in the air. Several states remain uncalled. Trump, however, was able to successfully defend big states such as Florida, Texas and Ohio, according to NBC News projections. Biden, meanwhile, was projected to be the apparent winner in Wisconsin and Michigan. Trump tried to claim victory, but millions of votes were still outstanding, and NBC had not called the race yet. Democrats were projected to hold onto control of the House, while the balance of power in the Senate remains in question. Republicans won key Senate races in Iowa and Montana, according to NBC.

Demonstrators gathered across the U.S. to call for every vote in the 2020 election to be counted

Protesters gather outside Maricopa County Election Center

Protesters gathered outside the Maricopa County Election Center in Arizona, where Joe Biden leads Donald Trump.

A spokesperson for the county sheriff's office told NBC News that authorities are monitoring the crowd, but that "everyone is peaceful and no arrest has been made."

Another batch of results are expected early Thursday and election officials said they will release the results as planned.

— Christine Wang

Democrat incumbent Gary Peters is projected to win Michigan Senate race

Democratic Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan is projected to win reelection, according to NBC News.

The tight race between Peters, the first-term incumbent, and his Republican challenger John James, a businessman and veteran, had been the most expensive Senate contest in Michigan history.

"It's an honor to serve you for another six years in the U.S. Senate," Peters said in a statement Wednesday evening.

The call came hours after NBC projected that Joe Biden would win the state's 16 electoral votes in the race for the White House against President Donald Trump.

Kevin Breuninger

Trump sues over ballot counting in Georgia county

President Donald Trump's campaign and the Georgia Republican Party filed a lawsuit Wednesday over the counting of absentee ballots in a Georgia county.

The campaign asks the court to require the Chatham County Board of Elections to "collect, secure, and safely store" absentee ballots it received after 7 p.m. on Election Day.

It requests the county to provide the campaign and party an accounting of the ballots and wait for further instruction from the court after securing them.

"President Trump and his team are fighting for the good of the nation to uphold the rule of law, and Georgia's law is very clear: to legally count, mail ballots must be received by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day," Deputy Trump Campaign Manager and Senior Counsel Justin Clark said in a statement.

Clark claimed a Republican poll observer "witnessed 53 late absentee ballots illegally added to a stack of on-time absentee ballots in Chatham County."

Georgia has remained too close to call, according to NBC News. The state carries 16 electoral votes and Trump currently leads with by just 1% with 95% of the vote tallied so far as of about 8 p.m. ET.

The filing comes after the campaign said it had filed suits to halt counting in Michigan and Pennsylvania as well.

—Lauren Feiner

Biden transition team launches website

Biden team turns to transition

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he expects to win the election — and his campaign is acting accordingly.

Biden's transition team, which had been assembled months earlier, has launched, named after one of Biden's well-worn campaign slogans.

The site is bare at present, featuring a splash page with little other than a photo of the former vice president and a short message assuring that the transition team is ready to get to work.

"The American people will determine who will serve as the next President of the United States. Votes are still being counted in several states around the country," the text says.

"The crises facing the country are severe — from a pandemic to an economic recession, climate change to racial injustice — and the transition team will continue preparing at full speed so that the Biden-Harris Administration can hit the ground running on Day One."

Kevin Breuninger

University of Wisconsin law professor analyzes Trump campaign's possible lawsuit arguments

University of Wisconsin law professor on whether Trump can successfully sue in Michigan and Pennsylvania to stop ballot count

University of Wisconsin constitutional law professor Franciska Coleman joined CNBC's "Closing Bell" to discuss the Trump campaign's threat of election litigation in key swing states Michigan and Pennsylvania.

In Michigan, in particular, Coleman said she believes the campaign "doesn't have a lot of recourse," suggesting that stopping ballot counts would be an "extraordinary remedy." The Trump campaign said its lawsuit calls for it having the opportunity to review certain ballots that "were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access."

"We don't quite know the facts underlying this complaint, as far as: Where are they being denied access? Are they denied access completely or are they just farther away than they want to be?" Coleman said. "So I think this may be more posturing more than a legitimate claim that has legal validity."

Kevin Stankiewicz

Republicans projected to hold 48-46 Senate edge with several races uncalled

Republicans will hold at least 48 Senate seats in the next Congress, while Democrats will have at least 46, according to the latest NBC News projections.

A day after the 2020 election, six races remain uncalled. After Democrats entered Election Day with high hopes of flipping Senate control, their chances have appeared to dwindle with every projected GOP defense of a competitive seat.

The latest came when NBC News declared Republican Sen. Susan Collins the apparent winner of Maine's Senate race.

Among the uncalled races, Arizona's special election is too early to call as Democrat Mark Kelly leads Republican Sen. Martha McSally. Races in North Carolina and Georgia, where GOP Sens. Thom Tillis and David Perdue, respectively, aim to defend seats, are too close to call.

Democratic Sen. Gary Peters' bid to keep his seat in Michigan is too early to call.

So far, Democrats and Republicans have each flipped one Senate seat.

—Jacob Pramuk

North Carolina's vote count will be largely unchanged for next 8 days, election board says

Elections specialists pack up bags in a room filled with counted ballots the day after the election at the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections office on November 4, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Michael Ciaglo | Getty Images

North Carolina, a crucial state for President Donald Trump's path to victory, won't update its total vote count until Nov. 12 "with very few exceptions," the North Carolina State Board of Elections said, NBC News reported.

Officials said in a public meeting that the count will largely stay the same for the next eight days because most county election boards will not start checking absentee and provisional ballots until they hold previously scheduled meetings.

The county officials cannot legally move those meetings sooner even if they wanted to, NBC reported.

Kevin Breuninger

Trump campaign seeks to get involved in Supreme Court fight over Pennsylvania ballots

President Donald Trump's reelection campaign asked the Supreme Court to let it join the fight at the court over Pennsylvania's absentee ballot deadlines.

Jay Sekulow, an attorney for the president, wrote in a filing submitted to the justices that Trump has a "direct, concrete stake in the outcome" of the case that was distinct from the interests of the state lawmakers and Republican Party of Pennsylvania that initiated the suit.

In the case, Republicans are suing over the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's extension of the deadline for elections officials to receive absentee ballots in order for them to be counted. The state court extended the deadline to Nov. 6 from the previous deadline of Tuesday.

The Supreme Court rejected the Republican challenge in a 4-4 split on Oct. 19. On Oct. 28, the justices refused to decide a second GOP challenge before Election Day but left open the possibility of a ruling favoring Republicans after Nov. 3.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed onto the bench too late to weigh in on either decision but her presence on the court is thought to favor the Republican challenge moving forward.

The case at the Supreme Court is just one of the many legal battles that the Trump campaign is pursuing in the wake of Tuesday's election.

Early Wednesday morning Trump threatened that "we'll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court" and that "we want all voting to stop," though voting had already concluded. Later in the day, his campaign announced new suits in Michigan and Pennsylvania aimed at stopping the counting of ballots.

Trump has claimed for weeks that he might not accept defeat and would challenge a loss in court regardless of the circumstances.

—Tucker Higgins

Protests erupt outside Michigan vote counting center

GOP poll challengers react after being asked to leave due to room capacity at the TCF Center after Election Day in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., November 4, 2020.
Rebecca Cook | Reuters

Protests erupted outside a vote counting center in Michigan on Wednesday after Joe Biden took the lead there.

The protesters appeared to be calling for those inside the TCF Center in Detroit to stop counting the votes, according to an NBC News correspondent. NBC News projected Biden the winner over Donald Trump in Michigan.

Trump's campaign has said they are filing lawsuits in that state and Pennsylvania. With Biden's apparent victory in Michigan, he crept closer to capturing the necessary 270 electoral votes needed to claim the presidency.

—Brian Schwartz

Biden is projected to win Michigan's 16 electoral votes

NBC News projects Joe Biden wins Michigan

Democratic nominee Joe Biden will win Michigan over President Donald Trump, NBC News projected.

Michigan has 16 electoral votes. Biden's projected win flips a state that Trump won over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Kevin Breuninger

'We are not enemies' — Biden says he expects to win, calls for healing after brutal election

Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks about the 2020 U.S. presidential election results during an appearance in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., November 4, 2020.
Kevin Lemarque | Reuters

Democratic nominee Joe Biden said he expects to defeat President Donald Trump when all the votes are counted and delivered a call for healing and unity in the wake of the brutal election.

"We are not enemies," Biden said in a speech delivered from Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday afternoon.

"We've faced hard times before. So once this election is finalized and behind us, it will be time for us to do what we've always done as Americans: to put the harsh rhetoric of the campaign behind us, to lower the temperature, to see each other again, to listen to one another, to hear each other again," Biden said.

"To unite, to heal, to come together as a nation. I know this won't be easy. I'm not naive, neither of us are," Biden said. "But I know this as well: To make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies. We are not enemies."

"We are campaigning as Democrats, but I will govern as an American president," he said.

'We are campaigning as Democrats, but I will govern as an American president': Joe Biden speaks in Delaware

Biden is currently projected to have 253 electoral votes in his column, while Trump has 214, according to NBC News' analysis of the race. Key swing states have yet to be called by NBC.

But Biden said that his team sees the finish line in sight.

"After a long night of counting, it's clear that we're winning enough states to reach 270 electoral votes," the former vice president said.

"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," he said. 

Kevin Breuninger

Biden speaks in Wilmington, Delaware

Trump campaign suing in Pennsylvania to halt ballot counting, after announcing legal action in Michigan

The Trump campaign said it would take legal action to temporarily halt ballots from being counted in Pennsylvania, where President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden appear to be in a tight race.

Trump deputy campaign manager Justin Clark in a statement announced two legal actions in the Keystone State, one to "stop Democrat election officials from hiding the ballot counting and processing" from GOP observers, and one to "temporarily halt counting until there is meaningful transparency."

The announcement comes hours after the Trump campaign said it had filed a similar lawsuit to halt the ballot count in Michigan.

A person at the Michigan Court of Claims clerk's office told CNBC in a phone call that the court has not yet received the Trump campaign's lawsuit.

Michigan and Pennsylvania are both key swing states rich in electoral votes that could open or close pathways to victory for either Trump or Biden.

NBC News has not yet made a call on the projected winner of either state — but Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien nevertheless declared victory in Pennsylvania during a call with reporters Wednesday afternoon.

Kevin Breuninger

McConnell says economic stimulus deal is 'job one' when Senate returns

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said at a press conference Wednesday that passing more economic stimulus will be the chamber's top priority when it reconvenes.

The Kentucky Republican won his reelection bid on Tuesday and will serve a seventh Senate term. In remarks following his victory, McConnell said that inking another stimulus deal is a chief issue before the end of 2020 and could include more support for state and local governments.

More fiscal support for state and local municipalities has for months been a key demand from Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

"As I've said repeatedly in the last few months, we need another rescue package," McConnell said. "Hopefully, the partisan passions that prevented us from doing another rescue package will subside with the election. And I think we need to do it and I think we need to do it before the end of the year."

"I think that's job one when we get back," McConnell said. 

Thomas Franck

Biden projected to win 3 votes in Maine, Trump to win 1

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to supporters, early Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Del.
Paul Sancya | AP

Democratic nominee Joe Biden is projected to win three of Maine's electoral votes, while President Donald Trump will win one, according to NBC News.

Maine is one of two states that does not use a winner-take-all system when distributing its four electoral votes. Maine and Nebraska have both adopted laws that distribute their electoral votes in part by the statewide popular vote winner and in part by who gets more votes in each of their congressional districts.

Maine's more rural, more conservative 2nd Congressional District was seen as a toss-up heading into Election Day.

The call leaves Biden with 237 electoral votes and Trump with 214, by NBC's count Wednesday afternoon.

— Kevin Breuninger

Biden is the apparent winner in Wisconsin

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry in Manitowoc, Wis., Monday, Sept. 21, 2020.
Carolyn Kaster | AP

NBC News projected that Joe Biden is the apparent winner in Wisconsin, a state President Donald Trump won in 2016.

Winning the state enhances Biden's edge in the battle for the Electoral College. The Trump campaign has said it would seek a recount in the state. With 99% of precincts reporting, Biden had a 20,000-vote lead, according to NBC.

Read more here.

—Mike Calia

Trump campaign says it's suing to halt Michigan election count, demands ballot site access

The Trump campaign announced it had filed a lawsuit to "halt counting" of ballots in Michigan until it is granted "meaningful access" to observe key ballot-counting locations.

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien also said in a statement that they "demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access."

"President Trump is committed to ensuring that all legal votes are counted in Michigan and everywhere else," Stepien said.

A person at the Michigan Court of Claims clerk's office told CNBC in a phone call that the court has not yet received the Trump campaign's lawsuit.

The lawsuit comes as Trump and Biden appear to be in an extremely tight race in Michigan. NBC News has not yet made a call on which candidate is projected to win the state's 16 electoral votes.

Kevin Breuninger

Joe Biden and DNC launch new joint legal fund

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks about the coronavirus outbreak, at the Hotel Du Pont, March 12, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee unveiled a new joint fundraising committee that's intended to raise money for a possible election legal fight with President Donald Trump.

Biden announced on his Twitter page the creation of the Biden Fight Fund, a fundraising operation that can raise six-figure checks for any legal battles that could unfold in the coming days.

"To make sure every vote is counted, we're setting up the largest election protection effort ever assembled. Because Donald Trump doesn't get to decide the outcome of this election — the American people do," Biden said in the tweet.

The ActBlue site says that the Biden Fight Fund will split donations to the DNC and Biden's recount account.

Trump has threatened numerous legal maneuvers, including a recount in Wisconsin. NBC News has yet to project the winner of that race for either candidate. His campaign said Wednesday that they would sue to halt the count in Michigan. That state has yet to be called, too.

Going into the middle of October, the DNC's legal fund had raised over $22 million, and the Republican National Committee's fund had brought in just over $14 million, according to data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

—Brian Schwartz

NBC declares Sen. Susan Collins the apparent winner in Maine

Sara Gideon, U.S. Democratic Senate candidate, speaks during a 'Supper with Sara' campaign event in Scarborough, Maine, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020.
Sarah Rice | Bloomberg | Getty Images

NBC on Wednesday called Sen. Susan Collins the apparent winner in Maine's U.S. Senate race.

NBC News calls a candidate the "apparent winner" when they are projected to win but the race remains close enough that it could be affected by a recount or other factors.

Sara Gideon, a Democrat who challenged the Republican incumbent, conceded on Wednesday afternoon.

In the hard-fought campaign, Gideon was seen leading in the polls in the runup to Election Day. Even so, Collins, who has served as a senator for Maine since 1997, was able to hang on to her seat, giving Republicans an important win as they battled to retain control of the upper chamber.

"Mainers rallied around our campaign in a way I've never seen before. And while we came up short, I do believe Mainers in every corner of this state are ready to continue to work together to make a difference," Gideon, who is the speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, said on Facebook.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) announces that her competitor Sara Gideon, called to concede on November 4, 2020 in Bangor, Maine. Collins won the Maine Senate race for her fifth term after beating Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Sara Gideon.
Scott Eisen | Getty Images

"Just now I spoke with Sen. Collins. I congratulated her on winning this election. And I told her that I will always be available to help serve the people of Maine. Ultimately, that's why I entered this race. And it's why I got involved in public service in the first place."

Democrats criticized Collins for supporting the nomination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court as well as her vote to acquit President Donald Trump at his impeachment trial.

— Valerie Block

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the year Susan Collins became a Maine senator. It was in 1997.

Financial advisory firm that predicted 'blue wave' changes tune

A stock trader wearing a mask walks near social distancing signs the day a new IPO is launched at the New York Stock Exchange as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on August 27, 2020 in New York City. The fourth phase allows outdoor arts and entertainment, sporting events without fans and media production.
Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images

Financial advisory firm Signum Global is telling clients that the election will not be going the way they first predicted back in June.

The Wall Street advisory firm gave the update to their client in a note written in part by the group's chairman, Charles Myers. While it did say they are standing by their prediction of Joe Biden defeating President Donald Trump, they conceded that the Senate is likely a lost cause for Democrats.

"Our updated view is that the Senate will now be kept by Republicans, as the Democrats, having lost Alabama (as we expected), need four pickups to get to 50 and, with a Democratic Vice President, Senate control," the note reads. "We had thought they would win Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and North Carolina, and possibly Montana and Iowa."

Myers was the vice chairman of the investment firm Evercore before opening Signum. During the presidential election, Myers was one of many Wall Street executives bundling for Biden's campaign.

"Clients are happy because one of the two best possible outcomes are going to happen. First Trump wins with the Senate and we see large stimulus, more tax cuts and deregulation. Or second Biden win with divided government, so no real tax increases, much more centrist administration, cabinet and policies," Myers said. "Our base case is the latter. But for the markets those are the top two best outcomes. And one of them will happen."

Though Democrats did win the Senate race in Colorado, and are leading in Arizona, they appear to be on the path of falling short of becoming the majority.

The firm conceded that Trump and Republicans as a whole outperformed their expectations, including gaining some seats in the House of Representatives.

"At this stage, it seems fairly clear that Trump and the Republicans far outperformed our expectations," the note says. "While the Democrats will likely keep the House, they will do so by a narrower margin than we had expected."

Markets on Wednesday seemed to be surging on the idea that there could be a few years of a divided government in Washington.

—Brian Schwartz

The paths Biden and Trump have to winning the presidential race

Avishek Das | LightRocket | Getty Images

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden could take very different paths to win 270 electoral votes and the presidency.

Biden had notched 227 electoral votes, and Trump had won 213, by Wednesday afternoon, according to NBC News projections.

Holding on in Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin and Nevada — states where Biden leads but NBC considers the races too early or too close to call — would get Biden to 270 electoral votes exactly. If Trump keeps his leads in several key uncalled states — Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and Alaska — he would fall short of the threshold needed to win.

Therefore, Trump would have to pick off some combination of states where Biden currently leads. Most of those still have significant swaths of votes to count, and absentee ballot counting is expected to benefit Biden in Pennsylvania and Michigan, in particular.

—Jacob Pramuk

Trump campaign says it will request a recount in Wisconsin

Portraits of the candidates for the presidency of the USA and a chart with values from the Madrid stock exchange, one day after the elections were held in the American country, on November 04, 2020, in Madrid, Spain.
Eduardo Perra | Europa Press | Getty Images

President Donald Trump's campaign manager said Wednesday that Trump plans to request a formal recount in Wisconsin, where Democratic nominee Joe Biden holds a slim lead after nearly all the votes have been counted.

"Wisconsin has been a razor-thin race as we always knew that it would be," Bill Stepien said in a statement.

Stepien claimed that there have been numerous "irregularities" during the voting in Wisconsin, and said, "the President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so."

Nearly all the votes in the state have been counted in the presidential election, although NBC News has not independently called the race yet.

As of Wednesday afternoon, NBC shows Biden leading Trump by more than 20,000 votes, with an estimated 99% of the vote in. 3.3 million votes have been cast in total in the state.

—Christina Wilkie

Tight election adds to retailers' uncertainty during already uncertain holidays

People walk past a Macy's store in a Manhattan shopping district on August 12, 2020 in New York City.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Retailers have faced nothing short of whiplash this year. And now, one day after Election Day, they face another threat during the all-important holiday season: Americans who may be distracted or anxious as they await results. That could deal a blow to consumer confidence, when retailers would rather shoppers to be centered around gift-giving and decking their homes with holiday decor.

Greg Portell, lead partner in the global consumer practice of Kearney, a strategy and management consulting firm, said the delayed results "will absolutely pause consumer spending."

"Consumers have been on a great run of spending coming out of the lockdowns," he said. "We were looking at a great holiday season. All of that is on pause until we see some clarity on who is going to win."

If history is a guide, at least a temporary drop in spending is likely, according to a recent survey from Adobe Analytics. Adobe found online sales dropped 14% the day after the 2016 election, when Donald Trump was elected to office. They dropped 6% the day after the 2018 midterms, the firm's research showed.

"Retail requires some modicum of tranquility on the part of consumers who can take the time to enjoy the holiday and divert their attention from things that are making them crazy," said Mark Cohen, director of retail studies and adjunct professor at Columbia Business School. "100% of this country is probably feeling somewhat crazy right now and when this is finally decided in the next few days or weeks, 50% of this country is going to be in a state of anger."

—Lauren Thomas and Melissa Repko

Trump and Biden campaigns claim to be winning the race

Donald Trump and Joe Biden
Brendan Smialowski AFP | Getty Images; Drew Angerer | Getty Images

The campaigns for President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden hosted dueling press calls Wednesday morning, each insisting their candidate will emerge victorious in their presidential battle.

"I want to share with all of you that Joe Biden is on track to win this election and he will be the next president of the United States," Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon said.

Dillon pointed to anticipated returns in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, as well as Biden's leads in Arizona and Nevada, as the reason for her optimism.

The Trump campaign argued the president would prevail.

"There are anywhere between 1.2 to 1.4.million ballots yet to be counted in Pennsylvania, and we know there are upwards of 500,000 in Arizona," Trump campaign aide Jason Miller told reporters.

"We know that there are outstanding ballots to be counted in Nevada's outlying Republican counties, and right now [Trump and Biden] are within 1% in Michigan and Wisconsin."

Outstanding returns in several of these states were expected later Wednesday, but some states could take as long as three days to finalize tallies.

—Christina WIlkie

Biden campaign expresses confidence and 'patience' as final votes get counted

Postal Service shows large percentage of mail-in ballots not delivered to swing states

Workers at the Orange County Supervisor of Elections office process mail-in ballots received on the election day.
Paul Hennessey | LightRocket | Getty Images

A significant number of mail-in ballots were not delivered on Election Day to swing states in the presidential contest between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden, the Postal Service said in a new court filing Wednesday.

The percentage of mail-in ballots delivered was less than 80 percent in areas of Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina and Wisconsin. None of those states has so far declared a victor in the race, and razor-thin margins separate Trump and Biden in each of them.

The data also showed that in south Florida, only 85.12% of the mail-in ballots were delivered on Election Day.

The court filing came in Washington, D.C., federal court, where a judge is monitoring the Postal Service's performance during the election. The judge on Tuesday ordered Postal officials to sweep facilities for ballots in a number of states with low-performing mail delivery rates. A hearing in the case is set for Wednesday afternoon.

In central Pennsylvania, just 61.3% of the mail-ballots were delivered on time, In Philadelphia, slightly more than 66% of the mail-in ballots had been delivered.

In Atlanta 82.2% percent of the mail-in ballots were delivered on Election Day, Detroit facilities delivered less than 79% of such ballots.

In Greensboro, North Carolina, 72.9% percent of the mail-in ballots were delivered, and in Lakeland, Wisconsin, slightly less than 77% of such ballots got delivered.

—Dan Mangan

Biden projected to win Maine with three of four electoral votes

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks during election night at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, early on November 4, 2020.
Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

Democratic nominee Joe Biden is projected to win Maine with three of four electoral votes, according to NBC News.

President Donald Trump is projected to win one electoral vote.

Maine is one of two states that does not use a winner-take-all system to allocate electoral votes. In both Maine and Nebraska, two votes are awarded to the winner of the plurality of votes in the state while the rest are allocated based on the plurality in congressional districts.

The call leaves Biden with 227 electoral votes and President Donald Trump with 213, according to NBC News' current tally as of early afternoon on Wednesday.

—Lauren Feiner

Georgia and Michigan Secretaries of State give updates on vote counts

Detroit election workers work on counting absentee ballots for the 2020 general election at TCF Center on November 4, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan.
Jeff Kowalsky | AFP | Getty Images

Georgia expects to complete its vote count Wednesday, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said in a press conference. "Every legal vote will count," Raffensperger said.

Raffensperger said about 200,000 absentee ballots and 40,000 to 50,000 early votes still need to tallied. With 93% of the expected vote, NBC News projects President Donald Trump leads by more than 87,000 over Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said the state will complete tabulation within 24 hours as tens of thousands of ballots are still being counted. The state counts mail ballots last.

Benson said Michigan is focused "on counting every single ballot." With 92% of the expected vote, NBC News projections show Biden leading Trump in Michigan 49.5% to 48.9%.

Hannah Miao

Trump and Biden campaigns claim to be winning the race

Donald Trump and Joe Biden
Brendan Smialowski AFP | Getty Images; Drew Angerer | Getty Images

The campaigns for President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden hosted dueling press calls Wednesday morning, each insisting their candidate will emerge victorious in their presidential battle.

"I want to share with all of you that Joe Biden is on track to win this election and he will be the next president of the United States," Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon said.

Dillon pointed to anticipated returns in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, as well as Biden's leads in Arizona and Nevada, as the reason for her optimism.

The Trump campaign argued the president would prevail.

"There are anywhere between 1.2 to 1.4.million ballots yet to be counted in Pennsylvania, and we know there are upwards of 500,000 in Arizona," Trump campaign aide Jason Miller told reporters.

"We know that there are outstanding ballots to be counted in Nevada's outlying Republican counties, and right now [Trump and Biden] are within 1% in Michigan and Wisconsin."

Outstanding returns in several of these states were expected later Wednesday, but some states could take as long as three days to finalize tallies.

—Christina WIlkie

Biden campaign expresses confidence and 'patience' as final votes get counted

Mike Bloomberg's $100 million investment in key states doesn't pan out

Former Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg addresses his staff and the media after announcing that he will be ending his campaign on March 04, 2020 in New York City.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg's over $100 million investment in Florida, Ohio and Texas may not have panned out the way Democrats hoped.

NBC News is projecting that President Donald Trump will defeat Joe Biden in those states. Bloomberg's team believed that if they spent big in Florida, it would have forced Trump and his allies to shift resources away from other regions of the country and into the key battleground state.

The 2020 loss is a major blow for Bloomberg, considering he's known as one of the leading kingmakers in the Democratic Party. He has a net worth of more than $54 billion and spent $1 billion on his primary run for president that ended up winning only a few dozen delegates, including some from the American Samoa caucus

The respect that Bloomberg had within the party was evident in the buildup to Election Day as he plowed millions into the Sunshine State.

Democratic leaders were privately becoming more convinced that they were going to defeat Trump there, in part because Bloomberg was flooding the airwaves with ads, according to people familiar with the matter who declined to be named. They believed that Bloomberg's messaging machine was enough to push Biden over the edge and flip Florida back to the Democrats after losing there in 2016.

—Brian Schwartz

Pennsylvania officials say state has processed nearly half of mail-in ballots

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said Wednesday the state has now processed nearly half of all mail-in ballots and that its relatively slow count will help guarantee that all ballots are recorded.

"We will make sure that every vote is counted," Boockvar said during the press briefing. "Every eligible voter has the right to cast their vote."

Boockvar added that even though Pennsylvania has processed almost 50% of its mail-in ballots, "millions" remained to be counted.

The election fight in Pennsylvania has been fierce and the Keystone State continued to count thousands of mail-in ballots as of Wednesday morning in what could clinch the election for either President Donald Trump or Democrat Joe Biden.

As of 10:30 a.m. ET, Biden had 224 to Trump's 213 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, according to NBC News projections.

Trump held a lead in tallied votes as of 7:30 a.m. ET, but the Keystone State had yet to count a significant amount of mailed ballots that are expected to favor Biden, according to GOP pollster Frank Luntz.

In dueling press briefings Wednesday, both campaigns claimed they would win.

Thomas Franck

Trump critic Barry Diller feels humbled by election

IAC's Barry Diller: The business landscape won't change if Biden wins

Billionaire media mogul Barry Diller told CNBC on Wednesday he is "humbled" by the undecided presidential election because his hoped-for "repudiation" of President Donald Trump had not happened.

Democrats failed to convince around half of voters that Trump is a "bad character," said Diller, a major Democratic donor and chairman of Expedia and IAC. He said the party must assess where it went wrong.

A divided government may be "good for business" though, Diller said in the "Squawk Box" interview. "The hordes of liberal policies and taxation and all this stuff, forget it, that's gone for now. Probably for at least four years."

—Michelle Gao

Trump falsely tweets his lead 'magically' disappeared

President Donald Trump falsely claimed that his lead in Democrat-led states that could be key to winning the election "magically" disappeared as "surprise ballot dumps were counted."

While Trump didn't name specific states, Joe Biden has tightened the race in Pennsylvania and Michigan where Trump was leading overnight. However, those states count their day-of ballots first, , before tallying mail-in ballots. The day-of votes largely favor Trump. NBC News considers both races too early to call.

This isn't the first time the president has made false claims against the ballot count. Early Wednesday, Trump tried to claim victory prematurely, despite millions of outstanding votes that had yet to be counted, while pushing false accusations of election fraud. 

—Noah Higgins-Dunn

U.S. stock market rally gains steam, Dow up 500 points

U.S. stocks posted strong gains within the first hour of trading as the Dow Jones Industrial Average joined the Nasdaq Composite with a healthy move to the upside.

The Nasdaq Composite added as much as 4.1% as investors crowded back into popular consumer technology and communications stocks. The Dow, though not up as much, jumped 530 points, or about 2%, in the volatile session. The S&P 500 traded 2.7% higher.

Shares of major tech-related companies jumped with Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, Netflix, Facebook and Apple all gained at least 4%.

Thomas Franck

Billionaire investor Barry Sternlicht says Trump-Biden election was a repudiation of far-left policies

Fear of far left taking over worked for Trump, says Starwood Capital CEO Barry Sternlicht

Starwood Capital CEO Barry Sternlicht told CNBC on Wednesday the close election demonstrated the effectiveness of President Donald Trump's attacks on Joe Biden as being an extremely liberal politician.

"I really think the nation repudiated the far left," Sternlicht said on "Squawk Box," suggesting that Biden, while running as a moderate Democrat, was unable to transcend the president's portrayal of him.

"I think Donald was very effective in showing the anarchy of the big cities, and a lot of the nation said, 'I don't want to see that happen to us,'" the billionaire investor added. According to NBC News exit polls, 71% of people who indicated that crime and safety was the issue that mattered most in determining their vote supported Trump.

The race between Biden and Trump remains unsettled as votes across the U.S. continue to be counted. In the contest for 270 electoral votes, Biden has 224 versus Trump's 213, according to NBC News projections.

Kevin Stankiewicz

Here's where the 7 uncalled Senate races stand

Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Democratic challenger Mark Kelly at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona, on October 6, 2020.
Getty Images

No winner has been called in seven Senate races, according to NBC News projections.

Here's where the seven uncalled races stand:

Alaska — too early to call — 36% of expected vote in

  • Dan Sullivan (R - incumbent): 61.7%
  • Al Gross (D): 33.7%

Arizona — too early to call — 82% of expected vote in

  • Mark Kelly (D): 53.4%
  • Martha McSally (R - incumbent): 46.6%

Georgia — too close to call — 91% of expected vote in

  • David Perdue (R - incumbent): 50.8%
  • Jon Ossoff (D): 46.8%

In Georgia, if no candidate reaches 50%, the race will move to a runoff election in January.

Maine — too early to call — 70% of expected vote in

  • Susan Collins (R - incumbent): 49.6%
  • Sara Gideon (D): 43.6%

Michigan — too early to call — 88% of expected vote in

  • John James (R): 49.4%
  • Gary Peters (D - incumbent): 48.7%

North Carolina — too close to call — 94% of expected vote in

  • Thom Tillis (R - incumbent): 48.7%
  • Cal Cunningham (D): 46.9%

The Georgia Senate special election will advance to a runoff, NBC News projected Tuesday. Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock emerged as the top two candidates who will compete in the Jan. 5 runoff.

Hannah Miao

Biden takes the lead in Michigan, NBC News tally shows

Democratic nominee Joe Biden's vote total in Michigan has surpassed President Donald Trump, according to the latest tally from NBC News.

With 89% of the expected vote in, Biden had 2,485,743 votes, or 49.2%, compared with Trump's 2,478,801 votes, or 49.1%. Biden's lead in the key battleground state comes as mail-in votes get tabulated, many of them in areas viewed as Democratic-leaning. Michigan has 16  of the 270 electoral votes needed for a victory.

However, NBC News considers the race still too early to call.

Kevin Stankiewicz

North Dakota Republican wins seat in state House despite dying of Covid-19

North Dakota Covid-19 cases are rising sharply.
Johns Hopkins University

A Republican in North Dakota was elected to a seat in the state's House of Representatives during Tuesday's elections despite dying of Covid-19 last month, according to preliminary data from state elections officials.

Republican Dave Andahl, whose death shook up the race in the state's 8th District, was elected alongside fellow Republican Dave Nehring to one of the two seats for that district that were up for grabs. Andahl earned more than three times the number of votes as his nearest Democratic rival.

State officials said at the time of Andahl's death that he could not be removed from the ballot, but that it was unclear what would happen if he won.

North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger said Wednesday the state would follow an opinion issued by the attorney general last month. That opinion indicated that Andahl could be legally elected but that his death creates a vacancy, which should be filled via an appointment from the state's Republicans.

Covid-19 cases are climbing in North Dakota, where nearly 50,000 have tested positive and 555 people have died of the virus, according to data from local health officials. The state has a population of about 750,000.

Tucker Higgins

At least 159.8 million Americans voted in the 2020 election, NBC News projects

At least 159.8 million Americans voted in the 2020 presidential election, according to NBC News projections as of 8:20 a.m. ET.

With 85% of the expected vote tallied, here's how NBC News breaks down the vote so far:

  • Democrat Joe Biden: 68,517,543
  • President Donald Trump: 65,927,558
  • Other: 2,137,208

An estimated 23,234,691 votes have yet to be tallied, according to NBC News.

The projected 159.8 million votes marks a record high number of ballots cast in a presidential election. In 2016, more than 136.6 million Americans voted.

In 2020, around 239.2 million Americans were eligible to vote, according to the U.S. Elections Project. If around 159.8 million Americans did indeed vote in the 2020 election, that would represent about a 66.8% turnout rate among eligible citizens — the highest since 1900.

Hannah Miao

U.S. reports second highest daily number of Covid cases on Election Day

The United States reported 91,530 new coronavirus cases on Election Day, the nation's second highest daily total, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

As of Tuesday, 21 states reported record-high daily new Covid-19 cases, based on a weekly average to smooth out the reporting, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Hopkins.

  • Michigan is reporting a record average of roughly 3,631 cases a day, growing more than 55% compared with a week ago.
  • Pennsylvania is reporting a record average of nearly 2,365 cases a day, a more than 22% rise compared with last week.
  • Wisconsin is averaging roughly 4,536 new cases a day, 14% higher than a week ago.

There are now more than 9.38 million reported Covid-19 cases in the U.S. and at least 232,635 deaths, according to Hopkins. Despite the recent surge in cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance to clarify that all voters — including those infected with the coronavirus — have the right to vote, cautioning them to follow recommended public health guidance at polling sites.

— Noah Higgins-Dunn

Justices prepare for major LGBT rights case as Trump threatens to bring election to Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett attends a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., October 12, 2020.
Win McNamee | Pool | Reuters

Justice Amy Coney Barrett is due to confront her first major arguments at the Supreme Court on Wednesday morning, even as President Donald Trump is threatening to bring a case over the previous night's election to the panel.

Trump said in an early morning address to supporters that "we'll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court, we want all voting to stop." The president did not provide more details, and the nature of such a possible case was unclear. The top court generally hears appeals of lower court decisions.

Trump had for weeks suggested he would contest any outcome that was not a victory and pressed to get Barrett, his third Supreme Court nominee, confirmed before Election Day. NBC News has not called the race, and votes continue to be tabulated.

Despite the prospect of a contested election, the court has a normal — if important — day of business scheduled. At 10 a.m. ET, the justices will hear arguments in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, a major LGBT rights case.

The dispute concerns a Roman Catholic adoption agency that is arguing that Philadelphia's decision to exclude it from the city's foster care system because it will not work with same-sex households is unconstitutional. Philadelphia has said it is simply enforcing its laws against discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.

Advocates have warned that if the agency, Catholic Social Services, wins its case, the result could effectively reverse years of gains for the LGBT community, and weaken anti-discrimination laws that protect other minority groups as well. A decision is expected by the end of June.

Tucker Higgins

Stock futures point to higher open on Wall Street as traders await election results

A trader walks by the New York Stock Exchange.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Contracts tied to the U.S. equity market pointed to strong gains when regular trading begins at 9:30 a.m. in New York as election results in key battleground states trickle in.

Futures tied to the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 hinted at the most robust gains as traders crowded into large technology companies known for safe returns in times of uncertainty. Those futures rose 3.3% as of 7:40 a.m. ET.

Dow and S&P 500 futures rose 0.5% and 1.45%, respectively.

Additionally, some viewed the potential for Republicans to hold onto the Senate as a positive for Big Tech and communications companies since higher capital gains taxes from a unified Democratic Congress could have weighed on the high-growth sector.

Thomas Franck

GOP Pollster: Trump must win Pennsylvania for a shot at reelection

US President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally at HoverTech International in Allentown, Pennsylvania, October 26, 2020.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump must win Pennsylvania to have a shot at winning reelection against Democrat Joe Biden, GOP pollster Frank Luntz told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday.

Pennsylvania remains too early to call, according to NBC News. Trump holds a lead in tallied votes, but Pennsylvania has yet to count a significant amount of mailed-in ballots.

Luntz's prediction includes Trump winning Georgia and North Carolina, while Biden picks up Arizona and Nevada. NBC News has not projected winners in any of those crucial states.

Pennsylvania has 20 electoral votes of the 270 needed for victory.

Hannah Miao

Explaining the 'red mirage' in Michigan and Pennsylvania

For a while on election night, it looked like Joe Biden was down for the count in Michigan and Pennsylvania, two states that are important to his chances to win the White House. Michigan has 16 electoral votes. Pennsylvania has 20.

But that's because Election Day votes largely favored President Donald Trump. These two states count their mail-in ballots after tallying day-of ballots, as opposed to states like Florida, which had their early votes counted in time for polls to start closing.

Michigan already started to see some tightening Wednesday morning, as Biden closed to within 2 points following a large vote count from Wayne County, which is home to Detroit. Read more here.

Mike Calia

It's far from over

The presidential race is a long way from being decided. Wisconsin, Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina are all either too early or too close to call, according to NBC News. Arizona has yet to be called, too, although NBC has Joe Biden leading there.

Results continue to trickle in from Wisconsin, while results in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and North Carolina may not be clear for days.

Democratic hopes for a blue wave were dashed on election night after President Donald Trump won projected victories in Florida, Texas and Ohio. Those wins ensured that the contest would drag on for at least another day, and perhaps longer.

Trump tried to claim victory early Wednesday and leveled false accusations of election fraud. Earlier, Biden sought to project confidence and said he believed he was still on track to win.

As of Wednesday morning, Biden held a 224-213 electoral vote lead, according to NBC's tally.

Mike Calia

Read CNBC's election night live coverage here: