US election 2020 – How the first 48 hours unfolded

The US election hangs in the balance with neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden having cleared the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the White House.

Here’s how the first 48 hours unfolded after the polls began to close on Tuesday evening:

(All times in GMT)

12.05am Wednesday
Kentucky was called for Mr Trump with eight electoral college votes.
Vermont was called for Mr Biden with three electoral college votes.

West Virginia was called for Mr Trump with five electoral college votes.

Virginia was called for Mr Biden with 13 electoral college votes, taking him up to 16.

A flurry of states were called in quick succession.
Mr Trump took South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Oklahoma, giving him another 42 electoral college votes – a total of 55.

Meanwhile, Mr Biden was called to win in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island, which handed him another 69 votes, taking him to 85.

Six electoral college seats were called for Mr Trump with victory in Arkansas.

Donald Trump won Indiana.

US presidential election 2020 latest results
US presidential election 2020 latest results

Trump – North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Louisiana, Nebraska.
Biden – New York and New Mexico.

Another three votes are given to Mr Biden from DC.

Colorado gives Mr Biden another nine votes.

Mr Trump retained the state of Kansas, with six more electoral college votes

Missouri hands Mr Trump another 10 votes.

A victory for Mr Biden in New Hampshire gives him another four votes.

Another flurry of states put Mr Biden further ahead with victory in California handing him 55 electoral college votes, Oregon giving seven, and 12 from Washington.

White House
White House

Mr Trump gains another six votes with victory in Utah.

Hawaii gives Mr Biden another four votes.

Mr Biden wins the first swing state with Minnesota and gets another 10 electoral college votes, taking him to 223 in total.

The second swing state then goes to Mr Trump with 18 votes from Ohio, and another three from Montana.

Shortly after Mr Trump gets another six from Iowa, giving him a total of 145.

In the biggest coup yet for Mr Trump, he was declared the victor in Florida, seen as one of the crucial states with its 29 electoral votes.

Mr Biden says he is “on track” to win the race for the White House as he addresses supporters in Delaware.

Mr Trump tweets: “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!” An initial tweet says “Poles” before it is corrected to “Polls”.

Mr Trump wins the state of Texas.

Mr Biden wins one electoral vote from Nebraska, with Mr Trump taking the other four.

Mr Trump claims there is a “fraud on the American nation” and that “we did win this election” and says he will go to the Supreme Court to get vote counting stopped.

Mr Biden wins Arizona.

Mr Biden wins Maine.

Prominent Democratic opponents, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, condemn Mr Trump’s claim of victory.

Mr Trump tweets: “Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled. Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the “pollsters” got it completely & historically wrong!”

Part of the tweet is flagged by Twitter as containing information about the election that may be “misleading”.

Mr Biden vows that: “We won’t rest until everyone’s vote is counted.”

Democratic campaign chief Jen O’Malley Dillon says Mr Biden is “on track to win this election and he will be the next president of the United States”.

The Biden campaign says it believes it will take Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nevada.

Mr Trump tweets: “They are finding Biden votes all over the place — in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. So bad for our Country!”

Donald Trump’s campaign manager says the president will “immediately” request a recount in the battleground state of Wisconsin.

Mr Trump tweets: “We are winning Pennsylvania big, but the PA Secretary of State just announced that there are ‘Millions of ballots left to be counted’.”

Mr Biden wins Wisconsin.

Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Delaware
Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Delaware

Campaign manager Bill Stepien reveals that the Trump Campaign party has taken legal action over ballots being counted in Michigan.

Donald Trump’s campaign says it is suing to temporarily stop the vote count in the state of Pennsylvania.

Several US networks project Mr Biden to have won Michigan.

Joe Biden gives a short speech in Delaware, in which he says that democracy is the “heartbeat” of America – adding that power cannot be “taken or asserted”.

He says that it is “clear” the Democrats are winning enough states to reach the number of required votes and that the people of America “will not be silenced”.

Mr Trump tweets: “We have claimed, for Electoral Vote purposes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (which won’t allow legal observers) the State of Georgia, and the State of North Carolina, each one of which has a BIG Trump lead. Additionally, we hereby claim the State of Michigan if, in fact,…..there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported!”

Part of the tweet is flagged by Twitter as containing information about the election that may be “misleading”.


Mr Biden wins Michigan

12.01am Thursday

The Trump campaign files a lawsuit in Georgia over vote counting.


Downing Street says it is too early to speculate on the outcome of the poll, with the PM’s official spokesman saying: “US is our closest ally and we are absolutely confident that the relationship will go from strength to strength whichever candidate wins the election.”


Joe Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said it was clear he would be the next president.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, continued his Twitter protest at the election process, saying: “All of the recent Biden claimed States will be legally challenged by us for Voter Fraud and State Election Fraud.”


Mr Biden, speaking from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, calls for the public to “stay calm” as the votes are counted because he has “no doubt” that he will win the presidency.


President Trump claims in a statement at the White House: “If you count the legal votes I easily won. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.”

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2020


During a press briefing, Mr Trump says the Republicans were “winning in all the key locations” but then their lead had been “whittled away in secret”.

On the postal vote system, he adds the unsubstantiated claim it has “really destroyed our system, it’s a corrupt system”.


The president says his goal was to “defend the integrity” of the election, despite offering no evidence of voter fraud during his press conference.


Vice President Mike Pence tweets his support for his leader, posting: “I Stand With President Donald Trump. We must count every LEGAL vote.”