'Almost impossible' for Trump to win now

Welcome back to our live coverage of the US election.

It's the day after the election now, and we are inching further towards knowing who has won this contest.

Mr Biden is now at 264 electoral votes, having won Michigan and Wisconsin today. If he maintains his narrow leads in Arizona and Nevada, that will bring him to 270, making him the next president.

I'll remind you that some media outlets, including Fox News and The Associated Press, already called Arizona for Mr Biden last night. The Trump campaign insists that call was wrong.

Nevertheless, going by those numbers, Mr Biden only needs one more state to win the election.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump is running out of options. He now absolutely needs to win Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia, plus overtake Mr Biden in Arizona or Nevada.

"It seems like the path for Donald Trump to get to victory is narrower and narrower and narrower," Republican pollster Lee Carter told Fox News earlier today.

"It's really, really almost impossible I think, at this point, without something being overturned. I think that is why you're seeing so many legal battles being threatened and started."

It's a narrow path for Mr Trump. But it could still happen. Let's see how the votes fall.

Read on for all the latest news

 

LATEST | 'Demonic confederacies': Prayers up for Trump

Here's Paula White, an alleged spiritual adviser to Donald Trump, having a very normal one.

White is a controversial televangelist preacher and proponent of "prosperity theology".

- Frank Chung

 

Trump's lead in Georgia narrows

Donald Trump's lead in Georgia has dropped by more than 40,000 in the past hour.

He now leads Joe Biden by just 31,748 votes, according to Decision Desk HQ.

- Frank Chung

 

More Georgia results coming at 4pm

The next batch of results from Georgia should be coming in about two hours.

An election official in Fulton County told CNN about half an hour ago that there were some 29,000 ballots left, and he expected counting to finish sometime between midnight and 3am.

That's 4pm to 7pm AEDT.

Fulton County, which takes in Atlanta, is the state's most populous county, but there are still other counties with ballots outstanding - nearly 110,000 as of 8.45pm.

State Republicans have made allegations of impropriety in the Democrat stronghold.

"Fulton County told our observers last night to go home because they were closing up and then continued to count ballots in secret," Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer said this morning.

- Frank Chung

 

Biden launches transition website

Joe Biden's campaign has launched a "Biden-Harris Transition" website.

"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."

- Frank Chung

 

 

Trump closes the gap slightly in Arizona

We just got an update from Maricopa County in Arizona, which encompasses the state's biggest city, Phoenix.

The split between Joe Biden and Donald Trump remains at about 52 per cent to 47.

The amount of the vote that's been counted across all of Arizona has ticked up from 82 per cent to 84. Joe Biden's lead of 79,000 votes is a teensy bit tighter than before, when it was around 90,000.

This state remains tight. We should have another update before the end of the night, but do not expect a final result.

 

Trump campaign files another lawsuit

The Trump campaign is filing another lawsuit, this time in Georgia.

It alleges a Republican poll watcher "witnessed 53 late absentee ballots illegally added to a stack of on time absentee ballots".

This reportedly happened in Chatham County.

 

Republican pollster: 'Almost impossible' for Trump to win

Republican pollster Lee Carter was on Fox News a little earlier, and she communicated some hard truths about Donald Trump's flagging chances in this election.

"It seems like the path for Donald Trump to get to victory is narrower and narrower and narrower," Ms Carter said.

"It's really, really almost impossible I think, at this point, without something being overturned. I think that is why you're seeing so many legal battles being threatened and started.

"Because I think the only way to victory at this point, realistically, it is through something that's going to come down to that."

 

Race gets even closer in Georgia

We're up to 95 per cent of the vote counted in Georgia now, and Donald Trump still leads. But that lead is getting thinner and thinner.

The current margin is a little under 50,000 votes, or 49.9-48.9. We're still waiting on batches of votes from Democrat-leaning counties, particularly around Atlanta.

This state is going to be very, very close. You'd still bet on the President winning it, I think. If he doesn't, it's game over.

 

'We're going to finish tonight'

Richard Barron is the Elections Director in Fulton County, Georgia. That's right in the heart of Atlanta, which is key to Joe Biden's chances of coming back and winning the state.

Mr Barron just held a media conference and said his county would deliver its final result tonight - but probably not until after midnight.

"We're going to finish tonight. As long as it takes, we're going to be here," he said.

 

Fox News justifies its decision to call Arizona

The Trump campaign has spent the better part of the last 24 hours fuming about Fox News' decision to call Arizona for Joe Biden. The campaign insists it is going to win the state.

Arnon Mishkin is director of the Fox News Decision Desk, which is responsible for calling states for the network. He justified its decision on live TV a short time ago.

"We strongly believe that our call will stand," Mr Mishkin said.

"There appears to be somewhere about 550,000 votes outstanding. Nobody knows the exact number.

"The President needs to make up a deficit of roughly 100,000 votes. Primarily it will come from Maricopa County. Maricopa County is a county where Biden is doing well.

"The President needs to get, basically, 60 per cent of the outstanding vote in order to overtake or tie Joe Biden. We don't believe he's going to get more than 45-46 per cent of that vote.

"What you have to appreciate is that voters in Maricopa County tended to be more Biden voters than Trump voters. Voters who voted by mail - and the bulk of this vote is the mail-in vote - tended to be even stronger for Biden."

Host Martha MacCallum put the Trump campaign's predicted scenario to him. That scenario involves more than 600,000 outstanding votes, which break to the President by more than 60 per cent.

"If that were the case, would this state move?" she asked.

"If a frog had wings," he replied.

"We believe fairly strongly that the vote is going to come in, it's going to confirm our call.

"We'll see when the data comes in. But we're confident."

 

Joe Hockey's dubious fraud claim

Former US ambassador and federal treasurer Joe Hockey went on 2GB radio today and told host Ben Fordham there had "for sure" been some voter fraud during the election.

He didn't cite the best example though.

"In Washington D.C., 93 per cent of the city voted for Joe Biden. I find it hard to believe," Mr Hockey said.

In fact, Mr Biden is the fourth Democratic candidate in a row to win more than 90 per cent in the American capital.

D.C. is very left-wing. And I mean VERY.

 

Actually ... no Nevada results tonight

Remember an hour ago, when we said Nevada was going to report some results tonight?

Yeah, that ain't happening anymore. A frustrating lack of consistency from election officials here.

 

Biden needs just six more electoral votes

For what must be the gazillionth time, let's look at the state of the race.

Joe Biden has won Wisconsin and Michigan today. Fox News and The Associated Press, two reputable organisations, called Arizona for him last night.

The Democrat currently leads, albeit narrowly, in Nevada.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump still leads in Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina.

The upshot is that Mr Biden has 264 electoral votes, just six short of victory. How many is Nevada worth, I hear you ask? The answer is six.

Donald Trump needs to win the three states in which he's leading, and then pry either Nevada or Arizona away from his opponent.

It's not impossible! It is improbable.

 

Nevada now reporting some results tonight

Nevada was originally going to wait until tomorrow, US time, to release any more results.

It appears to have changed its mind. We are now anticipating some more numbers from the state before the end of the evening.

Remember, Joe Biden is leading there, and if he maintains that lead (along with the one he has in Arizona) he wins the election.

Biden keeps closing the gap in Pennsylvania

Just checking in briefly on Rudy Giuliani, and … yeah.


He's talking about the numbers in Pennsylvania, by the way, so let's take a look at them.

We now have 85 per cent of the vote counted there, and we're firmly in the evening, so certainly don't expect a result before tomorrow local time.

Donald Trump leads 52-47, with a margin of just under 300,000 votes. From memory, that margin was as high as 700,000 when the day started.

Still a toss-up, then. But the Biden campaign will be pretty happy with the progress they've seen today.

 

Trump 'hereby claims' state he has lost

In the latest pronouncement from Donald Trump's Twitter feed, the President says he has claimed, "for electoral vote purposes", Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina.

All of those states remain in the balance. He might end up winning all of them, losing all of them, or some mix of the two. We'll find out later.

He is also claiming Michigan - a state he has already lost - because of a "widely reported" number of "secretly dumped ballots".

There is no evidence to support that claim. If Mr Trump has evidence, he should probably produce it.

No, by the way, presidential candidates do not just get to "claim" states on a whim, regardless of the vote totals.

 

Biden wins Michigan, Trump running out of options

CNN and CBS have projected that Joe Biden will win Michigan.

Assuming the other networks follow suit in the coming hours, Mr Biden is now at 253 electoral votes. If he maintains his narrow leads in Arizona and Nevada, that will bring him to 270, making him the next president.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump is running out of options. He now absolutely needs to win Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia, plus overtake Mr Biden in one of those two states mentioned above.

It's a narrow path. But it could still happen. Let's see how the votes fall.

 

Biden claims 'it's clear we're winning'

Joe Biden just addressed the nation from Wilmington, Delaware. His speech included some mixed messaging - at a few points he seemed to be claiming victory, and then at others he explicitly stopped short.

"Kamala and I are here to make a brief statement. And I'm sure we'll have more to say later, either tonight or tomorrow," he said.

"My fellow Americans, yesterday once again proved that democracy is the heartbeat of this nation, just as it has been for two centuries.

"Even in the face of pandemic, more Americans voted in this election than ever before in American history. Over 150 million. I think that's extraordinary.

"Here, the people rule. Power can't be taken or asserted. It flows from the people. It is their will that determines who will be the president, and their will alone.

"Now, after a long night of counting, it's clear that we're winning enough states to reach 270 electoral votes.

"I'm not here to declare we've won, but I am here to report that when the count is finished, we believe we'll be the winners."

To state the obvious, this is political spin from Mr Biden. While he is currently leading in enough states to make him president, the margins in a couple of them - Nevada and Arizona - are tight enough that they remain toss-ups.

"Michigan will complete its vote soon, maybe as early as today. And I feel very good about Pennsylvania," he continued.

"We've flipped Arizona and the second district of Nebraska. Of special significance to me is that we've won with a majority of the American people, and every indication is that majority will grow."

Again, it is not correct for Mr Biden to say "we've won" here. He may well be the winner when the votes are all counted, but we don't know that for sure yet.

"I'm very proud of our campaign. Only three presidential campaigns in the past have defeated an incumbent president. When it's finished, God willing, we'll be the fourth. This is a major achievement," he said.

"We've had hard campaigns before, we've faced hard times before. So once this election is finalised 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 listen to each other, and hear one another again. To unite, to heal, to come together as a nation. I know this won't be easy, I'm not naive.

"I know this, to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies. We are not enemies. What brings us together as Americans is so much stronger than anything that tears us apart.

"The presidency itself is not a partisan institution. It's the one office in this nation that represents everyone. And it demands a duty of care for all Americans. And that is precisely what I will do.

"Now, every vote must be counted. No one's going to take our democracy away from us, not now, not ever. America has come too far, fought too many battles, endured too much to ever let that happen

"We, the people, will not be silenced. We will not be bullied, we will not surrender.

"I'm confident we'll emerge victorious, but this will not be my victory alone or our victory alone. It will be a victory for the American people, for our democracy, for America."


Trump campaign claims victory in Pennsylvania

Donald Trump's campaign, and his son Eric, are claiming victory for the President in Pennsylvania.

"We are declaring a victory in Pennsylvania," campaign manager Bill Stepien said during a call with reporters a short time ago.

None of the news networks have called the state, for either candidate. Nineteen per cent of the vote still needs to be counted, which appears to equate to about a million mail-in ballots. Those ballots are expected to heavily favour Joe Biden.

Let me stress, there is every possibility that Mr Trump ends up winning the state. He currently leads by about 450,000 votes, a margin of 53-46, and that is a big gap for Mr Biden to make up.

Whether he's likely to or not, however, it is possible, and all the networks' experts still consider Pennsylvania to be undecided.

File this news in the same category as Mr Trump's premature declaration of victory last night, and a Biden campaign lawyer's premature declaration of victory earlier this morning.

Saying it doesn't make it so, for either candidate.

Officially, nobody has won Pennsylvania yet, and certainly no one has reached 270 electoral votes.

Where the race currently stands

As we wait for that media conference with the President's son Eric, let me give you a quick rundown of who is leading where.

Joe Biden is currently ahead, albeit by small margins, in Michigan, Nevada and Arizona.

Donald Trump leads in Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina.

As things stand, all Mr Biden needs to do is hold on to those leads. If he manages it, he'll be the next president.

Mr Trump's path is a bit more difficult, but his campaign thinks he has a shot at catching up in both Nevada and Arizona.

We'll see. Each of these states will be close until the very end.

Trump campaign files lawsuit in Michigan

The Trump campaign has filed a lawsuit in Michigan in an attempt to halt the state's vote count.

"President Trump's campaign has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law," campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement.

"We have filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted.

"We also 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."

Meanwhile, some of the Trump family - Eric and his wife Lara - are reportedly en route to Philadelphia for a media conference, where one can only presume they will impugn the integrity of the vote count.

I feel confident making that assumption because they're bringing Rudy Giuliani with them, and this is the kind of stuff he's saying right now.


Wisconsin called for Joe Biden

This isn't remotely surprising, given the Trump campaign has already requested a recount, but CNN has just officially called Wisconsin for Joe Biden.

That's a pick-up for the Democrats. Donald Trump won Wisconsin in 2016, by practically the same thin margin Mr Biden appears to have claimed it by this time.


Trump wins one more electoral vote

The Associated Press has called Maine's second congressional district for Donald Trump. It gives the President one extra electoral vote to play with.

Joe Biden won the single vote on offer in Nebraska's second district last night.


Huge win for Republicans' Senate hopes

Maine Senator Susan Collins, a moderate Republican, says her opponent Sara Gideon has conceded to her in a "very gracious" call.

The news networks haven't actually called this race yet, but if one of the candidates is conceding, I think we can safely say it's over.

This is a big deal for the balance of power in the Senate. The Democrats thought they were going to claim Ms Collins' seat.

So as things stand, we appear to be on track for divided government, with Joe Biden the favourite to be president, the Republicans likely to retain control of the Senate, and the Democrats maintaining their majority in the House of Representatives.


Trump campaign requests recount in Wisconsin


Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien says the President will request a recount in Wisconsin.

"Despite ridiculous public polling used as a voter suppression tactic, Wisconsin has been a razor-thin race, as we always knew it would be," Mr Stepien said.

"There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results. The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so."

Joe Biden is ahead by about 21,000 votes in Wisconsin with only a couple of hundred left to count.

Mr Trump won the state by a strikingly similar margin of 23,000 votes four years ago. That result also sparked a recount, which was originally requested by Greens candidate Jill Stein but later backed by the Clinton campaign.

So yes, the Trump campaign is well within its rights to demand a recount here. It's unlikely to change the result though. As Wisconsin's former Republican governor Scott Walker pointed out earlier, recounts in the state typically only shift a few hundred votes at most.


Viral tweet Trump pounced on comes to nothing


There's a bunch of stuff flying around on social media at the moment, mainly among supporters of Donald Trump, who have been looking for irregularities in the vote count to back up the President's claims.

One that was shared very widely a couple of hours ago came from Matt Mackowiak, a conservative media personality who used to be a US senator's press secretary.

Mackowiak spotted an update to the vote count in Michigan which gave 100 per cent of one batch of votes to Joe Biden. Fishy, right?

His post was then cited all over the place as proof that something nefarious was going on.

"This is reason enough to go to court. No honest person can look at this and say it's normal and unconcerning," said another conservative media figure, Matt Walsh, sharing the post.

It quickly found its way to Mr Trump, who tweeted in all caps: "WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?"

It turns out there had just been a typo.

Full credit to Mackowiak for acknowledging what really happened here after he learned the truth.

No doubt his tweet revealing it was just a typo, and not some grand conspiracy, will be shared much less widely than the original and pass through the President's Twitter feed without mention. That's just the unfortunate nature of social media.

Anyway I'm telling you about this to illustrate something.

There's a reason I'm cautious about chucking any old thing from Twitter or Facebook in our coverage here.

These posts are often extremely speculative, and if I had a penny for every time partisans online (left-wing or right-wing) seized on something supposedly explosive, only for it to quietly come to nothing a few hours later, I would be rich enough to be speaking to you from a far swankier part of New York right now.

Be conscious of this during your own travels on social media as well, particularly in the coming days. Because to paraphrase Steve Bannon, the zone is about to be well and truly flooded with excrement.

If any actual proof of misconduct around the voting process emerges, rest assured, I'll let you know.

Only a handful of votes left in Wisconsin

We just heard from Wisconsin's Elections Commission administrator, Meagan Wolfe. She said that as far as she was aware, only one small township in the state had yet to report its results.

How small? Fewer than 300 people.

Given Joe Biden leads by more than 20,000 votes in Wisconsin, it seems he will be the winner here.

Republican senator subtly rebukes President

One of the key factors in these coming days, should Donald Trump continue to claim he's being cheated, will be the reaction of top officials within his own party.

This statement from Rob Portman, a Republican senator from Ohio, includes an indirect rebuke of the President's rhetoric.

"Under our Constitution, state legislatures set the rules and states administer our elections," Mr Portman said.

"We should respect that process and ensure that all ballots cast in accordance with state laws are counted. It's that simple."

Biden campaign lawyer claims he 'has won' the election

This quote comes via MSNBC's Kyle Griffin. A lawyer for the Biden campaign, Bob Bauer, says Joe Biden "has won the election".

That claim is absolutely false. Neither candidate has reached 270 electoral votes yet.

When somebody has actually won the election, we will tell you, and in the meantime maybe all these people should just wait for the votes to be counted. Honestly.


Trump claims officials are 'finding' ballots

Donald Trump is still on Twitter, implying election officials across multiple swing states are conspiring against him.


Result might be imminent in Wisconsin

Wisconsin's Elections Commission administrator, Meagan Wolfe, has told NBC News the state has counted "all of the ballots".

We'll wait for more confirmation on that before calling the state.

Joe Biden currently leads by 21,000 votes, with a margin of 49.5-48.8.

The Trump campaign was telling reporters a short time ago that it thought Wisconsin was in "recount territory". A margin of 20,000 seems too high for that, as the state's former Republican governor Scott Walker has pointed out.

Both campaign managers are confident

Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon and Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien both held calls with reporters this morning, and as you would expect from a pair of people paid to engage in political spin, both projected immense confidence.

"Joe Biden is on track to win this election, and he will be the next president of the United States," Ms O'Malley Dillon said.

"If we count all legally cast ballots, we believe the President will win," said her opposite number, Mr Stepien.

They can't both be right. Maybe we should all just wait for the votes to be counted? There's an idea.

Anyway, Mr Stepien continued to insist Mr Trump would win Arizona, and he suggested Wisconsin would end up in "recount territory".

Maybe he's right! Again, we will know for sure when the votes have been counted.


President Trump has a question

"How come every time they count mail-in ballot dumps they are so devastating in their percentage and power of destruction?" asks Donald Trump.

Thanks for the question, Donald from Washington.

The answer's actually pretty simple. Mail-in ballots are favouring Joe Biden in this election because a high number of Democrats elected to vote early, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, the vote from ballots cast on election day itself is favouring you just as overwhelmingly, because Republicans preferred to vote in person.

Both methods of voting are legal and legitimate. And once all the ballots are counted, we will know who has won the election.

Hope that helps.


Pennsylvania pushes back against Trump

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, just held a media conference to update the public on the state of the vote count.

He was also, quite obviously, pushing back against Donald Trump's attempts to throw doubt on the integrity of the mail-in vote.

"These results are coming in more slowly than they have in the past, but we have to be patient. But I'm confident that these votes are going to be counted, they'll be counted accurately and they'll be counted fully," Mr Wolf said.

"There are millions of mail-in ballots that are being counted, and that takes longer than how we used to do it.

"We may not know the result today, but the most important thing is that the results are accurate.

"The basic rule of one person, one vote, that still stands. And it has to stand here.

"I will do everything within my power to ensure that the results are fair and the results are counted.

"Pennsylvania will have a fair election, and that election will be free of outside influences."

Trump claims counting of legally cast votes is 'very strange'

Donald Trump has posted his first tweet of the day. I'll write it out for you, because it's probably just a matter of time before the platform throws a misinformation warning on it.

"Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key states, in almost all instances Democrat-run and controlled. Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted," Mr Trump wrote.

"VERY STRANGE, and the 'pollsters' got it completely and historically wrong!"

So, he's not wrong about the pollsters screwing things up again. We'll have a separate story shortly looking at where they got the race wrong, and by how much.

Mr Trump is also correct when he says he was leading "strongly" in some states with Democratic governors.

The President is not correct that his leads "magically disappeared" because of "surprise ballot dumps".

What actually happened here is quite simple. As literally everyone expected ahead of time, the earliest votes reported from Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin were those cast in person on election day, which overwhelmingly favoured Mr Trump.

Why? Because those states, unlike many others, do not allow election officials to count mail-in ballots ahead of time.

This was the "red mirage" we'd all been writing and talking about ad nauseum for weeks. It made Mr Trump's support appear stronger than it actually was.

Then, gradually, the mail-in vote started to be counted. And as expected, it is very much favouring Joe Biden.

This is not the least bit fishy or "strange". It's just the opposite of the "blue mirage" effect we saw in some other states, like Florida and North Carolina, which do count mail-in ballots ahead of time.

Mr Biden jumped to an early lead in those states last night, because the first results they reported were the mail-in votes, which broke his way.

Then the election day vote came in, and Mr Trump clawed his way back. You didn't see any Democrats, let alone Joe Biden himself, calling for the election day vote to not be counted just because it wasn't going his way.

Let me stress the point again. Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and all the other undecided states are currently going through the process of counting every legally cast ballot. There is nothing unusual about it. The President is alleging foul play without evidence.

Trump close to victory in North Carolina

And so we come to the last of our undecided states, North Carolina.

Of everything left on the map, this one feels the most solid for Donald Trump, as he leads pretty comfortably with 95 per cent of the vote counted. The current margin is 50.1-48.7, or about 80,000 votes.

Joe Biden does still have a sliver of hope due to the counties encompassing Raleigh and Charlotte, where he's recording huge margins and there are still votes to come.

Complicating matters is the fact that, as mentioned earlier, North Carolina accepts mail-in ballots postmarked by election day as long as they arrive by November 12.

So it might be some time until an official result is declared here. We shall see. When that happens, though, expect North Carolina to end up in the President's column.

Georgia could still go either way

Our next undecided state is Georgia.

This one certainly appears to be leaning towards Donald Trump. A whopping 92 per cent of the vote has been counted, and the President leads 50.5-48.3, with a margin of 100,000 votes.

Why, then, is The New York Times needle saying Joe Biden is a slight favourite in the state?

The needle copped a fair bit of mockery four years ago, but last night it was actually pretty damn accurate, and it's giving the Democrat a 64 per cent chance.

The answer, once again, is down to where the remaining votes will come from. A group of strongly Democratic counties in and around Georgia's biggest city, Atlanta, have yet to report their full results.

According to FiveThirtyEight, which is far better at calculating such things than I am, we're looking at about 145,000 votes that are still to come in these counties.

That's larger than Mr Trump's current lead in Georgia, but not by a heck of a lot, and a chunk of the voters in question will have cast ballots for the President.

So, if Mr Biden is going to win the state for the Democrats for the first time since 1992, he'll have to rack up some large margins.

Sadly I can't give you a firm idea of when to expect results from Georgia, as even the state's officials don't seem to know for sure. We'll just have to patient.

Biden takes the lead in Michigan

I foreshadowed this earlier as we discussed the state of the race in Michigan. We just got another batch of votes, meaning 90 per cent of them have now been counted.

For the first time, Joe Biden is in front. He leads Donald Trump 49.3-49.1, with a margin of 12,000 votes.

We still have a ton of votes to come from Detroit, so expect Mr Biden's lead to grow in the coming hours. We should have a result in Michigan before the end of the day.

Pennsylvania Attorney-General responds to Trump

Pennsylvania's Attorney-General Josh Shapiro just appeared on CNN. He was asked to respond to Donald Trump's remarks last night.

"Put aside his threats, I don't pay a lot of attention to that, said Mr Shapiro, a Democrat.

"The President wants it settled. And the best way to settle this is to count, and to ensure that all legal, eligible votes are part of that process. What we need to do now is count the votes and follow the law."

One of the sticking points here is a recent ruling from the US Supreme Court regarding Pennsylvania's counting of mail-in ballots.

America's highest legal authority upheld a ruling from the state Supreme Court, which means the state will count any mail-in ballots that arrive within three days of the election - as long as they are postmarked by election day.

So to be clear here, we are not talking about votes cast after election day. We're talking about votes that were mailed before the polls closed, but arrived a little late.

This sort of rule is not unusual, and you see variations of it in a bunch of other states. North Carolina, for example, is going to count ballots if they arrive by November 12. Ohio's deadline is even later, on November 13.

Still, Mr Trump has labelled it an attempt to "steal" the election, presumably because he knows mail-in ballots tend to favour his opponent.

"These are legal, eligible votes according to our state's Supreme Court. In fact the question of trying to disqualify those ballots went up to the US Supreme Court on two separate occasions," said Mr Shapiro.

"This is a matter of state law. It has been interpreted by our highest court of law in the state. That court said count the ballots."

He was also asked when Pennsylvania would report a final result. His answer? When the votes are counted.

In other words, it could take days.

Trump campaign insists he can win Arizona

The Trump campaign was absolutely furious with Fox News last night over its decision to call Arizona for Joe Biden. The Associated Press, not known for jumping the gun, has since followed suit.

We have also awarded it to Mr Biden, though several of the US networks are still keeping it undecided.

Since the race is tight, and Mr Trump continues to insist he could win it, let's take a closer look.

With 82 per cent of the vote counted, Mr Biden leads 51.8-46.8, with a margin of about 130,000 votes.

The biggest chunk of ballots remaining is in Arizona's most populous county, Maricopa, which includes the capital city of Phoenix.

Officials say they will finish the count today, and announce the results at 7pm local time, which is a nice relaxed 1pm in the early afternoon AEDT.

Originally published as 'Very strange': Trump fumes as lead fades


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