Chris Wallace, on Fox News, reacted to Trump’s speech by saying: “This is an extremely flammable situation and the president just threw a match into it. He hasn’t won these states.”
Emily Cochrane in Bangor, Maine
See Montana results
Danny Hakim in Raleigh, N.C.
See North Carolina results
Despite spending millions of dollars in Texas and fashioning it as the center of their offensive campaign to expand their majority, Democrats failed to make significant gains in the state.
In multiple districts where Democrats had hoped to flip a seat and make inroads toward the goal of making Texas more competitive, Republican incumbents and candidates in open seats were able to beat back their challengers. Most House Democrats in the state, however, were able to hold on to their seats.
Senator John Cornyn, one of the state’s two Republican senators, easily defeated M.J. Hegar, a former Air Force pilot, despite Democrats’ pouring money into the race and singling it out as a possible target for regaining the Senate majority.
Representative Chip Roy, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, successfully held off a challenge from Wendy Davis, a Democrat who gained national attention in 2013 for filibustering an anti-abortion bill and later ran for governor.
In the Houston suburbs, where Representative Pete Olson’s retirement led to a competitive race, Sheriff Troy Nehls of Fort Bend County, a Republican, defeated Sri Preston Kulkarni, who narrowly lost to Mr. Olson in 2018.
It was still possible for two Democrats to pick up seats in the state early Wednesday: Gina Ortiz Jones, a former Air Force intelligence officer, is making a second run for Texas’s 23rd Congressional District, and Candace Valenzuela, a Democratic school board member who would be the first Afro-Latina member of Congress, is running in the 24th Congressional District.
In Georgia, which is shaping up to be a pivotal state in the presidential race, state officials warned against drawing any conclusions from the results that are currently posted.
“We are only showing partial returns right now so there’s not enough to clearly say that the state is going for one candidate or another,” Jordan Fuchs, the Georgia deputy secretary of state, said early Wednesday.
In Fulton County, the state’s most populous county and home to Atlanta, a burst water pipe in a room being used to process ballots at the State Farm Arena, the basketball stadium being used by elections workers, delayed the counting of about 50,000 ballots Tuesday morning.
Because absentee ballots are manually opened and placed into a scanner before tabulating, they require extra time. In some cases, ballots kicked out by scanners as ambiguous must be reviewed by special adjudication panels. Richard Barron, the director of elections for Fulton County, said this week that of a batch of 40,000 ballots processed by his office, approximately 700 required review.
Delays in counting ballots were being reported in other metro counties as well. Some ballots placed in drop boxes on Tuesday could not be collected until after polls closed at 7 p.m.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had said that he hopes results from most races in the state will be available Wednesday.
With no winner in the 2020 race and votes still being counted in several battleground states, President Trump entered the East Room of the White House at 2:21 a.m. on Wednesday and asserted without evidence that the election was being taken from him by “a very sad group of people.”
“This is a fraud on the American public,” he told a crowd of supporters, in a reckless and unsubstantiated string of remarks about the democratic process. “This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win the election.”
The president said he wanted to stop the counting of votes and put the outcome of the election in the hands of the Supreme Court. “We want all voting to stop,” he said.
“We will win this,” he continued. “As far as I am concerned we already have won it.” He had not, in fact, won the battleground states he claimed as victories, like North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Many states were still counting votes and had not reported any vote totals.
His remarks were an escalation of his monthslong effort to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the race and previewed what is expected to become a protracted legal battle. Before Trump’s false claims, his campaign was already fund-raising off the uncertain outcome. A 12:03 a.m. plea asked for money to help “protect the integrity of this Election.”
They also stood in contrast with remarks made earlier in the evening by former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who urged his supporters to have patience until all the votes were counted.
“It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare the winner of this election,” Mr. Biden tweeted. “It’s the voters’ place.”
An early call of Arizona for Mr. Biden by Fox News was another check on any legitimate claim that Mr. Trump had won, or was even the likely victor in the race. And that call appeared to have enraged him. He told supporters that he had been watching Arnon Mishkin, the leader of the network’s decision desk, who appeared just after 12:30 a.m. and insisted Mr. Trump could not win the state.
“We have a lot of life in that and somebody declared that it was a victory,” Mr. Trump said. “Maybe it will be. I mean that is possible. But certainly there were a lot of votes out there that we could get because we’re now just coming into what they call Trump territory.”
Danny Hakim in Raleigh, N.C.
See North Carolina results
At a small election night victory party at a hotel in downtown Tucson, Ariz., Mark Kelly, a Democrat, told supporters that he expected to emerge victorious in Arizona’s U.S. Senate special election against Senator Martha McSally, a Republican.
Fox News called the race for Mr. Kelly, a former astronaut, around 9:30 p.m. local time, but The Associated Press and other news organizations had not yet done so. Several hours later, with 77 percent of the vote counted, Mr. Kelly led Ms. McSally by just over nine points, 54.6 percent to 45.4 percent.
In front of a crowd of about 100 reporters and supporters, Mr. Kelly stopped just short of declaring victory.
“I’m confident that when the votes are counted, we’re going to be successful in this mission,” he said.
Mr. Kelly thanked his wife, Gabrielle Giffords, the former Democratic congresswoman who survived a 2011 assassination attempt. He said she taught him about public policy and public service, and also “to never ever give up.”
Ms. McSally launched her political career in the wake of the shooting of Ms. Giffords, running three times for her old congressional seat before securing a win.
Mr. Kelly highlighted his support for the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers, as well as his pledges to secure the border, part of the bipartisan message that he employed throughout the campaign.
“Some of you watching tonight did not vote for me,” he said. “That’s OK. I’m going to be your senator, too.” He invoked the name of John McCain, whose seat he expects to fill. If his victory is confirmed, Mr. Kelly will be up for re-election in 2022, when the term of Mr. McCain, who died in 2018, would have ended.
The McSally campaign did not concede defeat, and instead issued a statement that charged Fox News as “irresponsible” for calling the race. The McSally campaign’s statement echoed complaints from the Trump campaign, which had publicly criticized Fox for declaring Joseph R. Biden Jr. the winner of the state in the presidential race.
“There are more than 1 million votes to be counted with no Election Day votes yet reported,” Ms. McSally’s campaign spokeswoman Caroline Anderegg said.
Ms. McSally lost a 2018 U.S. Senate race against Kyrsten Sinema before being appointed to Mr. McCain’s seat after his death. Her defeat would be the first time in modern history that a candidate has lost both of a state’s Senate seats to the opposing party.
Republicans took back South Carolina’s First Congressional District, as State Representative Nancy Mace defeated the Democratic incumbent, Joe Cunningham, by a narrow margin.
When Mr. Cunningham won the district in 2018 — also by a narrow margin — it marked the first time since the early 1980s that Republicans had lost the seat, and prompted Democrats to seize on what they saw as a promising trend in shifting voter demographics. Mr. Cunningham ran, in 2018 and again in 2020, on occupying “the middle” and being able to broker compromise between both parties.
But Ms. Mace, the first woman to graduate from the Citadel military college, portrayed Mr. Cunningham as closely aligned with the left- wing of his party and too liberal to represent South Carolina’s conservatives in Congress.
President Trump, who has strong support in South Carolina and handily won the state on Tuesday, had repeatedly praised Ms. Mace on Twitter over the course of the race. Both candidates had campaigned with their respective party’s Senate nominee, with Ms. Mace appearing with Republican incumbent Senator Lindsey Graham, who won his race, on the weekend before Election Day.
“Nancy Mace is Nancy Pelosi’s worst nightmare,” Mr. Graham said at a rally over the weekend, calling Mr. Cunningham “nice” but an aberrant choice for South Carolinians.
“She’s not going to talk one way and vote another,” Mr. Graham said of Ms. Mace. “She’s going to vote like you would want her to, the conservative values that made the low country of South Carolina someplace special.”
Nate Cohn in New York
Biden is ahead by 5 points in Nevada now. That’s probably enough; it did loom as a potential complication for him after results in heavily Latino parts of Florida/Texas.
Nate Cohn in New York
See the forecast
Trip Gabriel in Butler County, Pa.
See Pennsylvania results
OMAHA — For weeks, pundits have been predicting a curious scenario in the presidential race that is starting to look more possible: A single congressional district in Nebraska appears as though it could be pivotal in deciding the presidential race.
Nebraska is a solidly Republican state but like many states, its two major cities swing more liberal. It matters for 2020 because the state splits its electoral votes. While the bulk of the state voted overwhelmingly for President Trump, Joseph R. Biden Jr. won in the second congressional district that includes the Omaha metropolitan area.
In a tight race like this nail-biter of a presidential election, every single electoral vote counts.
The second district here is in large part a mishmash of cul-de-sacs and cookie-cutter housing developments that blur into each other. It also includes a population that has become increasingly less white, notably with more Latinos moving into South Omaha.
While Keep America Great signs dot the rural parts of the state, signs for Mr. Biden are propped up across the wide lawns in the tony, historic district of Dundee-Happy Hollow and in front of homes and business in the largely Black neighborhood of North Omaha, the birthplace of Malcolm X.
In Omaha, like in most of Nebraska, cases of coronavirus are soaring but outside of hospital wards and facilities for senior citizens under lockdown, life seems relatively normal. Schools are open, restaurants and bars are less crowded but allow some indoor patrons, high school football playoffs took place last week, a major milestone here in the transition to the holiday season.
On Tuesday, voting in Omaha proceeded more or less as normal, with more hand sanitizer.
Representative Don Bacon, a Republican, fresh from being chided by Mr. Trump at a rally in Omaha, as well as in a phone call, to deliver the district for him, paused before he voted at a polling site in a suburban church to consider what it would take for Mr. Trump to win.
“I always thought if he could make this about results versus the Twitter and the name calling — I don’t think this district responds well to that,” he said.
Many people who were voting for Mr. Trump cited the economy as the main reason they supported him. They blamed the recent downturn on the virus and said Mr. Trump could not be held responsible for something that they said China should take the blame for.
“He didn’t have nothing to do with it,” said Chuck Kopystynsky, a 70-year-old former Marine who was voting at a Honda dealership that had been converted to a polling place because the usual spot was an assisted-living facility housing seniors vulnerable to the virus.
His wife, Vikki Kopystynsky, said she liked the president’s stance on immigration. She resents the idea that Democrats want to give free college education to “Dreamers,” who were brought to the country illegally as children.
“My daughter couldn’t go to college because we couldn’t afford it,” said Ms. Kopystynsky, who is white.
Allison Lindgren, a 26-year-old stockbroker from Millard in southwest Omaha, said she had never even stopped to consider that Mr. Biden could lose. If that happens, she said, “The first thing we’re all going to do is go to the internet,” and post about feelings of outrage. “I don’t think the country can stand another four years of him. I don’t want him representing us to the world anymore.”
Stephanie Saul in Atlanta
Twitter and Facebook both attached labels to posts from President Trump early on Wednesday after he falsely claimed that the election was being stolen.
Twitter hid Mr. Trump’s tweet, in which he said “they are trying to STEAL the Election,” behind a label that cautioned people that the claim was “disputed” and “might be misleading about an election or other civic process.” Twitter also restricted users’ ability to like and share the post.
Facebook separately added a label to Mr. Trump’s identical post on the social network saying that the votes had not all been counted and that “no winner of the presidential election had been projected.”
Facebook did not restrict users from sharing or commenting on the post. It was the first time Facebook had used such a label, part of the company’s plan to add context to posts about the election.
A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In a tweet sent about 10 minutes after Mr. Trump’s post, the Democratic presidential candidate, Joseph R. Biden Jr., said: “It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare the winner of this election. It’s the voters’ place.”
Twitter began fact-checking and labeling Mr. Trump’s misleading tweets in May. Mr. Trump responded with an executive order designed to strip legal protections from Twitter and other social media companies. Facebook has also increased its initiatives around protecting the election.
Todd Heisler/The New York Times
Sharon Chischilly for The New York Times
Nitashia Johnson for The New York Times
Ryan Christopher Jones for The New York Times
Bridget Bennett for The New York Times
After months — years — of anticipation, all that is left for people to do is wait for results to be announced, whenever that may be.
Voters in Florida on Tuesday approved a ballot measure that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2026.
Florida becomes the eighth state in the country to enact a minimum wage of $15, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but the first of them that Donald Trump carried in the 2016 presidential election. The District of Columbia has also enacted a $15 minimum wage.
Florida’s measure, known as Amendment 2, earned a place on Tuesday’s ballot in December and needed at least 60 percent of the vote to pass. With 99 percent of the vote counted, the measure had slightly more than 61 percent.
Under the measure, the state minimum wage would rise from its current hourly rate of $8.56 to $10 in September, and then increase by $1 every September through 2026. After that, annual increases would be tied to inflation.
A study by the Florida Policy Institute, a think tank backing the increase, found that the higher wage would directly benefit 2.5 million workers in the state.
A number of studies have found that moderate increases in the minimum wage have not led to significant job losses. But economists caution that the effects on employment depend on the size of the increase relative to a city or state’s wage scale.
That could make a $15 minimum wage more costly in a state like Florida, where wages tend to be substantially lower than wages in other states that have enacted a $15 minimum wage.
Representative Kendra Horn, the lone Democrat in Oklahoma’s congressional delegation, conceded to her Republican challenger, Stephanie Bice, early Wednesday morning, offering a bright spot for Republicans who had braced for losses in the House.
“Oklahoma’s Fifth District doesn’t belong to a party, it belongs to the people,” Ms. Horn said in a statement, reflecting on her surprise victory two years earlier. While The Associated Press has not yet called the race, if Ms. Horn comes up short, she would be the third Democratic freshman to lose out on a second term.
“We changed minds and built a movement of support in a district that pundits thought was unwinnable,” Ms. Horn added. “When many voters in this district had lost faith that their vote counted for something, we gave them hope.”
The victory of Ms. Bice, 46, returned the Fifth District to Republicans, who had held it for more than 40 years before Ms. Horn’s stunning upset in 2018. Republicans had singled out Ms. Horn’s seat, which represents Oklahoma City, as a likely opportunity to counter Democratic gains anticipated in other parts of the country.
Seen as a rising star in the State Legislature, Ms. Bice will bolster the ranks of Republican women in the House, whose numbers have shrunk even as Democrats have made history with the racial and gender diversity of their members. She overcame a tough primary and runoff race by framing herself as more moderate than her opponents, though she later highlighted her conservative credentials and an endorsement from the National Rifle Association.
Thomas Kaplan in Wilmington, Del.
After giving brief remarks, Biden has returned home and his campaign has called a lid, meaning he is not expected to make any further in-person appearances tonight.
Emily Cochrane in Bangor, Maine
See Oklahoma results
Annie Karni in Washington
Biden’s win in Minnesota secured another state the Trump campaign had hoped to flip. Trump has long fixated on the state as one that got away in 2016, when he lost by only 1.5 points.
Katie Glueck in Wilmington, Del.
Biden issued a warning shot on Twitter: “It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare the winner of this election. It’s the voters’ place.”
Sara Gideon, the Democratic challenger to Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, said on Wednesday that she would not be making a statement imminently and that she planned to wait for all votes to be counted, acknowledging that the tight race would likely not be called before morning.
“It’s clear this race will not be called tonight and we are prepared to see it through to the finish,” Amy Mesner, Ms. Gideon’s campaign manager, said in a statement. “Over the coming days, we will make sure that every Mainer has their voice heard in this election.”
Ms. Gideon had mounted a fierce challenge to Ms. Collins, framing her as a Washington insider who has lost her ability to serve as a moderate voice for Maine. She sought to capitalize on liberal anger against Ms. Collins and her key votes to approve the Republican tax plan in 2017 and confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Democrats have long targeted the race as a top target on their path to the majority. But with just over half of the votes counted, Ms. Collins maintained not just an overall lead, but held more than 50 percent of the vote.
Annie Karni in Washington
Twitter placed a warning label on Trump’s tweet that claimed without evidence that Democrats were trying to steal the election, noting that the tweet contained misleading information.
Trump officials publicly criticized Fox News for its call of Arizona for former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., calling the network a “complete outlier” and warning that “other media outlets should not follow suit.” But the network — whose conservative prime-time stars are beloved by the president — stood by its call.
The skirmish started as Jason Miller, the Trump campaign’s chief strategist, said on Twitter that there were still more than one million votes waiting to be counted in Arizona and that Fox News was trying to “invalidate their votes.” A second campaign official accused Fox News of combining exit polling with results and called the decision to call the race for Mr. Biden — which would represent the first flip of the night — “insane.” The network is the only major news outlet to call Arizona so far.
But far from caving to the public and behind-the-scenes pressure from the campaign, the Fox News decision desk, which is highly respected in the world of political polling, doubled down on its early call. Arnon Mishkin, the leader of the desk, appeared on Fox News shortly after 12:30 a.m. and said the Trump campaign’s insistence that it would pick up enough votes to secure a win was wrong.
“That’s not true,” Mr. Mishkin said. “I’m sorry, the president is not going to be able to take over and win enough votes.”
He added: “We’re not wrong in this particular case.”
With almost 80 percent of the Arizona vote counted late Tuesday, Mr. Biden was leading Mr. Trump by more than six percentage points.
Mr. Mishkin faced skepticism from some pro-Trump Fox News colleagues, as well. The conservative pundit Katie Pavlich, a native Arizonan, told viewers she was doubtful about the network’s call, and the host Tucker Carlson said on air that Trump officials were deeply skeptical that Mr. Biden had won the state.
In 2012, Mr. Mishkin appeared on-air to explain to Fox News viewers why he had called Ohio for Barack Obama, a projection that one of the network’s analysts, Karl Rove, had doubted. Mr. Obama ultimately won the state.
Emily Cochrane in Bangor, Maine
See Maine results
MIAMI — Pedro R. Pierluisi leads Carlos Delgado Altieri, who is known as Charlie, in the close Puerto Rico governor’s race. The candidates are separated by about 1 percentage point, or less than 10,000 votes.
Mr. Pierluisi, a former resident commissioner representing Puerto Rico in Washington, celebrated with his supporters late on Tuesday night.
But Mr. Delgado, the mayor of the town of Isabela, said he would not concede until all the votes had been counted. Enough votes were still outstanding that Mr. Pierluisi could lose his lead, or it could be narrowed further and trigger a recount, Mr. Delgado said.
Third-party candidates received an unusually large share of the vote — 36 percent — a reflection of Puerto Ricans’ growing dissatisfaction with the two dominant political parties.
A victory by Mr. Pierluisi would keep the governorship in the hands of the New Progressive Party, which supports statehood for Puerto Rico. But unlike his predecessor, Wanda Vázquez, who is a Republican, Mr. Pierluisi is a Democrat. Mr. Pierluisi served briefly as governor last year, after the resignation of former Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló.
Political parties on the island do not match up with those on the mainland. Mr. Delgado’s Popular Party supports keeping Puerto Rico’s current status as a U.S. territory.
Puerto Ricans also voted on Tuesday on a nonbinding referendum that asked, “Should Puerto Rico be admitted immediately into the union as a state?”
Statehood was leading with about 52 percent of the vote.
Nate Cohn in New York
See the forecast
DES MOINES — Senator Joni Ernst, Republican of Iowa, won re-election on Tuesday, overcoming a serious and well-financed Democratic challenge and deep discontent with President Trump to score a victory that bolstered her party’s efforts to save its Senate majority.
Ms. Ernst, 50, the only woman on Senator Mitch McConnell’s leadership team, defeated Theresa Greenfield, 57, a businesswoman, in one of the most expensive Senate races in American history, according to The Associated Press.
Democrats are now looking to North Carolina, Maine, Montana and Arizona as their last significant possibilities to pick up the four seats they need to secure the Senate majority, in addition to a runoff race in Georgia in January.
A progressive party in New York appears poised to retain its automatic ballot line, overcoming new barriers backed by the state’s Democratic governor, Andrew M. Cuomo.
According to late Tuesday night voter tallies, at least 283,000 New Yorkers voted for Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Kamala Harris on the Working Families Party line, amounting to 4.5 percent of all votes cast in the presidential election.
Those numbers far exceed the state’s new thresholds for third-party ballot access. According to the new rules, a third party must garner 130,000 votes in a presidential election, or 2 percent of the total vote — whichever is higher — if that party wants to retain its ballot line.
The previous threshold was 50,000 votes in a race for governor.
The Working Families Party has sparred with Mr. Cuomo in recent years. The new rules posed such a risk to the party’s electoral influence that it directed significant financial resources away from competitive races and toward preserving its ballot line.
“Working people and Black and brown communities are historically challenged when we grow in power — and the threat to our ballot line is no different,” Sochie Nnaemeka, the Working Families Party’s state director for New York, said in a statement Tuesday night. “What’s clear, though, is our campaign to protect the ballot line has only resulted in a stronger, more united progressive movement in New York State.”