US Election 2020: Biden takes lead in crucial state
Read on for all the latest news.
Just 665 votes between Trump and Biden in Georgia: Donald Trump's lead in the key state of Georgia is slipping by the second, with the President now holding onto the slimmest of leads. He's just 665 ballots ahead of Mr Biden as mail-in votes in Clayton Country continue to be tallied overnight.Mr Biden is expected to pull ahead at any moment - but there are still uncounted votes in other counties in Georgia outstanding, so it's far from a sure thing.
Secret Service bulks up protection for Biden: The Secret Service will beef up its protection of Democratic hopeful Joe Biden as his chances of seizing the presidency firm up. According to the Washington Post, several sources claimed extra agents would be added to Mr Biden's security detail as he prepared to make a major speech, potentially on Friday local time. However, it still won't be the same level of protection usually awarded to a president-elect. Trump's late-night Twitter rant: A defiant Donald Trump has unleashed on Twitter in the middle of the night US time. At almost 2.30am local time, the President posted a string of tweets which again slammed the electoral system. "I easily IN the Presidency of the United States with LEGAL VOTES CAST. The OBSERVERS were not allowed, in any way, shape, or form, to do their job and therefore, votes accepted during this period must be determined to be ILLEGAL VOTES. U.S. Supreme Court should decide!" he posted.
Cops foil alleged plot to attack vote counting centre: Some breaking news out of the US, with local media reporting a man has been taken into custody over an alleged plan to attack Philadelphia's Pennsylvania Convention Center where votes are being counted. Pennsylvania is one of the most critical states hanging in the balance, and if it falls Mr Biden's way, he will claim victory. According to ABC6 Action News, police got a tip-off that a group had hatched the plot to attack the centre, and later recovered a weapon.
'Gunmen' in crowd at Phoenix protest: Pro-Trump protesters have gathered at a vote counting site in Phoenix, Arizona as the contest in that state continues to hang in the balance.New York Times national correspondent Simon Romero was on the ground at the troubling scene, and he took to Twitter to describe the tense situation. According to Mr Romero, armed Trump supporters clashed with those against the president, sparking fearing of potential violence.
AP rejects Trump's vote counting. claims: AP has fact-checked a string of allegations made by Donald Trump on Thursday - and shut down some of his biggest arguments. Most notably, the organisation insists the President had failed to produce any evidence of fraud so far, despite claiming his rivals were trying to "steal" the election from him.
Philadelphia election 'crooked as a snake', Trump ally claims: Two of Donald Trump's Senate allies have echoed the President's allegations of electoral fraud as the vote count drags on. Speaking on Fox News, Senator Lindsey Graham said he planned to donate $US500,000 towards legal action regarding election procedures in key states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada. "Philadelphia elections are crooked as a snake. Why are they shutting people out? Because they don't want people to see what they're doing," Mr Graham said. Senator Ted Cruz also sided with Mr Trump and demanded access to the vote counting. "I'll tell you the president is angry and I'm angry and the voters ought to be angry," he said. "We need to get in there now."
Where the race currently stands: As mentioned below, Donald Trump's margin is down to less than 2000 votes in Georgia with more than 16,000 votes left. Joe Biden is probably going to end up ahead there, albeit by a small margin. Mr Trump is now ahead by just 26,000 in Pennsylvania. Really worrying signs for him there as well. The news in Arizona is more positive for the President. He has been cutting into Joe Biden's margin, and it's down to 41,000. As for Nevada, Mr Biden is still 11,500 votes ahead and we're not expecting any more to be reported until midday tomorrow, my time.
Candidates practically even in Georgia: We're now close enough in Georgia that both candidates are at 49.4 per cent. In more useful terms, the President is ahead by 1900 votes with about 16,000 left to count. Joe Biden is going to end up ahead here. But the margin is tight enough, I imagine, that you can expect the Trump campaign to request a recount.
Enough, Mr. President. Enough. Spewing conspiracy theories regarding this election will not change the results.— Ellen L 😷 Weintraub (@EllenLWeintraub) November 6, 2020
The votes have all been cast. The votes will all be counted. The will of the people will prevail.
Your lies undermine our democracy and harm our country. Just stop.
Election commissioner implores Trump to 'stop'
Ellen Weintraub, head of the Federal Election Commission, is a Democrat. That said, I have never seen a statement like this from her.
"Your lies undermine our democracy and harm our country. Just stop," Ms Weintraub tells the President.
Trump cuts Biden's Arizona lead again
And as promised, we have another update from Arizona. Donald Trump has cut into Joe Biden's lead again.
It now stands at 46,000 with 90 per cent reporting.
You can see why Mr Trump wants to keep counting the votes here. It's the opposite of what we're seeing in Pennyslvania and Georgia. In Arizona, his chances are looking increasingly good.
Trump still catching up in Arizona
Let's check in on Arizona. We haven't had a heck of a lot of data there today, but the race has tightened further.
Joe Biden currently leads by about 57,000 votes, with 88 per cent reporting. Stand by for more news here, as we're expecting another update from Maricopa County (the largest one, encompassing Phoenix) within the next few minutes.
Trump campaign remains defiant
A couple of updates from the Trump campaign here.
This one comes from Georgia. You'll notice Donald Trump Jr's girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, in the background there.
Trump Campaign election update - Georgia— News Addict (@addicted2newz) November 6, 2020
Vernon Jones: "We are not going to stand for it, we are not going to back down. We are going to fight. This is a battle cry."
"I just want to say to the press, we ain't bullshitting."#elections #Elections2020 pic.twitter.com/n1s2VIRPSR
Meanwhile, the Nevada Republican Party has made a criminal referral to the US Justice Department over what it believes to be "at least 3062 instances of voter fraud".
Trump Campaign election update - Georgia— News Addict (@addicted2newz) November 6, 2020
Vernon Jones: "We are not going to stand for it, we are not going to back down. We are going to fight. This is a battle cry."
"I just want to say to the press, we ain't bullshitting."#elections #Elections2020 pic.twitter.com/n1s2VIRPSR
This goes back to that media conference with former director of national intelligence Richard Grenell in Nevada earlier, when a reporter repeatedly pressed him for evidence to back up his claims and he provided none.
If a lawsuit's going to happen, presumably the Republicans will be required to reveal whatever evidence they may have. We all look forward to seeing it.
Republican governor: 'No defence' for Trump's comments
This is the Republican Governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan.
Also The New York Post, which endorsed Donald Trump before the election.
There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process. America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before. No election or person is more important than our Democracy. https://t.co/BOO2iaTsEf— Larry Hogan (@LarryHogan) November 6, 2020
As Trump speaks, his leads continue to collapse
While the President was speaking, more votes were reported in both Pennsylvania and Georgia.
Donald Trump's lead in Pennsylvania is down to 64,000 votes. In Georgia, it's now just 3000 votes.
He's almost certainly going to end up behind in both states, though Georgia in particular might be close enough to stop it from being officially called in the next few hours.
One of several false Trump claims
One of Donald Trump's baseless claims in that media conference was that Republicans have been stopped from observing the vote count in key states.
As reporters on the ground have said repeatedly, this is not true.
The Trump campaign did win a legal victory in Pennsylvania which meant their observers could stand a little closer to election officials. That's it.
There are literally dozens of Republican observers in Philly where the absentee ballots are being counted. And it’s being live streamed. Philly election officials are welcoming all qualified observers, as are all PA counties and everywhere in the US.— David Becker (@beckerdavidj) November 5, 2020
Pence tweets out his support for Trump
A short statement of support from Donald Trump's Vice President.
I Stand With President @realDonaldTrump. We must count every LEGAL vote.— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) November 6, 2020
Donald Trump 'believes he will lose'
Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum, with an admirable talent for understatement, said it was a "very remarkable" news conference from Donald Trump.
"What we saw is a President looking at the numbers tightening, and I believe what we saw tonight is a President who believes that at the end when all the votes are counted, he is not going to be in the White House," John Roberts, the network's chief White House correspondent, said.
Roberts said it seemed as though Mr Trump would look at the results come in, and then "pull the trigger on even more litigation than we've seen so far" if Joe Biden gets to 270 electoral votes.
Former senator calls Trump's statement 'dangerous'
Former Republican senator Rick Santorum reacted to Mr Trump's words on CNN just now.
"No Republican elected official is going to stand behind that statement. None of them are," Mr Santorum said.
"Much of that statement was not factual and was at times incendiary, and not something the President of the United States should say, or any elected official should say.
"How can you say we have to wait and count the votes in Arizona, but if you count the votes in Philadelphia, you're stealing them?
"The reality is, in Pennsylvania, Democrats voted by mail and Republicans voted in person. Because you asked them to.
"For the President to go out and claim (fraud) without any evidence of that is dangerous.
"To suggest that counting votes, by clerks all over 67 counties, was somehow rigged, no! Democrats voted by mail, that's why your lead went away! If they had voted in person, you'd be in the same position right now.
"I'm hopeful that Republicans will stand up at this moment and say what needs to be said about the integrity of our election.
"Counting absentee ballots and counting mail-in ballots is not fraud!"
One of the network's political analysts, Gloria Borger, pointed out that the same ballots Mr Trump considers fraudulent have delivered positive results for Republicans in the House and the Senate.
"If this was a big plot by Democrats, why don't they do better?" she asked drily.
Trump's statement on the election
OK. Quite the performance from Donald Trump at the White House just now. I'm going to give you his remarks and we'll fact check as we go.
"I'd like to provide the American people with an update on our efforts to protect the integrity of our 2020 election," Mr Trump said.
"If you count the legal votes, I win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us."
We've heard a lot of rhetoric from the Trump campaign alleging "illegal votes" are being counted. It has yet to provide any evidence.
"I've already decisively won many critical states, including massive victories in Florida, Iowa and Ohio," he said.
"The pollsters got it knowingly wrong. They got it knowingly wrong.
"They thought there was going to be a very big blue wave. That was wrong. Instead there was a big red wave. And it has been properly acknowledged by the media, they were very impressed."
Many of the polls were indeed wrong in this election. There has not been a "big red wave". Mr Trump has lost the popular vote and lost multiple states he won four years ago.
"For the first time ever, we lost zero races in the House. Zero races, very unusual thing. Zero," said the President.
"We grew our party by four million voters, the greatest turnout in republican Party history.
"Democrats are the party of the big media, the big companies, big tech.
"As everyone now realises, media polling was election interference in the true sense of the word.
"These phony polls were designed to keep our voters at home, to create the illusion of momentum for Mr Biden."
He highlighted a few examples of individual polls that were wrong.
"There are now only a few states left to be decided. The voting apparatus in those states are run in all cases by Democrats. We were winning in all the key locations by a lot actually, and then our numbers started getting whittled away in secret, actually."
Mr Trump did lead on election night in a number of states, particularly Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. As the entire vote count has come in, those leads evaporated. We have explained why here.
"I've been talking about mail-in voting for a long time. It's really destroyed our system, it's a corrupt system. And it makes people corrupt even if they aren't," Mr Trump said.
"They want to find out how many votes they need, and then they seem to be able to find them. And they find them. They're finding ballots all of a sudden."
They are counting ballots, yes. Legally cast ballots.
"We were up by nearly 700,000 votes in Pennsylvania, I won Pennsylvania by a lot, and that gets whittled down," he said.
"In Georgia, I won by a lot with a lead of getting close to 300,00 votes on election night. Got whittled down, now it's getting to be to a point where I'll go from winning by a lot to even being behind."
Mr Trump says he "won" Pennsylvania and Georgia. He did not. He led in those states, when millions of votes had yet to be counted.
"Our goal is to defend the integrity of the election. We will not allow the corruption to steal the election," said Mr Trump.
"They're trying to steal the election, they're trying to rig an election, and we cannot let that happen.
"They're trying obviously, to commit fraud. There's no question about that.
"Democrat officials never believed they could win this election honestly, that's why they did the mail-in ballots
"This was unprecedented in American history.
Something here certainly is unprecedented in American history.
"We have so much evidence, so much proof," he claimed, revealing none of that evidence.
Donald Trump to speak soon
The President is reportedly going to speak at 6:30pm local time, which is in about 40 minutes.
While we wait, it's worth noting that another batch of votes was just reported in Pennsylvania, bringing Donald Trump's lead down to 80,000. It continues to shrink, fast, with plenty of votes still to count.
Trump Jr says father should 'go to total war'
Another pronouncement from Donald Trump Jr here, which has been slapped with a misinformation warning by Twitter.
Like father, like son, I guess.
Anyway, he's suggesting the President should "go to total war" over all the rampant voter fraud that we still have no evidence for.
The rest of Donald Jr's Twitter feed is currently a parade of baseless assertions that I shan't repeat here.
The best thing for America’s future is for @realDonaldTrump to go to total war over this election to expose all of the fraud, cheating, dead/no longer in state voters, that has been going on for far too long.— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 5, 2020
It’s time to clean up this mess & stop looking like a banana republic!
Biden within 10,000 votes in Georgia
More worrying news for the President from Georgia. Donald Trump now leads by 9600 votes, or 0.2 per cent.
This one is very much down to the wire.
Biden asks Americans to 'stay calm'
Joe Biden just made a very brief statement. He mentioned the coronavirus briefing he attended a short time ago.
"Cases are on the rise nationwide, and we're nearing 240,000 deaths during COVID," Mr Biden pointed out.
Really though, this was just a chance for him to repeat many of the same things he said yesterday, urging Americans to remain patient as the votes are counted.
"In America, the vote is sacred. It's how the people of the nation express their will. And it is the will of the voters, not anyone else, who chooses the president. And so, every ballot must be counted," he said.
"Democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires patience as well.
"We continue to feel very good about where things stand. We have no doubt that when the count is finished we will declare the winners. So I ask everyone, all people, to stay calm.
"The process is working. The count is being completed. We'll know very soon. But thank you all for patience, we have to count the votes."
Fox News still stands by its Arizona call
Fox News is still standing by its decision to call Arizona for Joe Biden on election night, even as other networks hold off and the Trump campaign insists it's going to win the state.
"I checked in with our Decision Desk and they are not wavering," one of the network's anchors, Chris Wallace, said a short time ago.
"They said our call in Arizona is right. Which puts him at 264 (electoral votes). And if Biden wins Nevada, Pennsylvania or Georgia, he goes over the top."
This is going to become a dilemma for the news media (including me, yay) if either Georgia or Nevada is called for Mr Biden before Pennsylvania, or before the situation in Arizona becomes clearer.
Let me explain. If you don't put Arizona in Mr Biden's column yet, he is at 253 electoral votes. Pennsylvania is worth 20. So if Pennsylvania were called for Mr Biden right now, everyone would agree he had passed the 270 electoral vote threshold and won the election. No dramas.
If he were to win Georgia right now, however, he would be at 269, one vote short.
According to the Fox News tally, which includes Arizona, Mr Biden is currently at 264 electoral votes. Which means even a win in Nevada, with its six votes, would win him the election.
So you're potentially going to see a situation where Fox News (and The Associated Press) call the entire election for Mr Biden while other news networks maintain it's too close to call.
How wonderfully confusing.
Business Insider has interviewed the director of the Fox News Decision Desk to find out why it's so confident in its call. If you're interested, you can read about that here.
Yes, we could have a result today
Kathy Boockvar, the Secretary of State in Pennsylvania, has said we "definitely could" know the result in her state by the end of tonight (maybe late afternoon AEDT).
Remember, if Joe Biden wins Pennsylvania - and that seems more likely than not at the moment - he has won the election. Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, North Carolina - none of them will matter.
Biden receives coronavirus briefing
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris received a briefing on the state of the coronavirus pandemic today.
It is, in a word, bad. Yesterday the US reported more than 100,000 new infections, for either the first or second time (depending which network's data you follow).
The point is, daily cases in America have never been higher.
Could Trump run again in 2024?
This is interesting, from CNN's White House correspondent Jim Acosta. He reports there have been discussions about Donald Trump potentially running for president again in four years, if he ends up losing.
This is definitely something that could happen. Mr Trump would be no older, essentially, than Joe Biden is now. And should he lose, he will have served just one term. The two-term limit will not be a problem.
Duelling protesters in Philadelphia
Pennsylvania is one of those states where Joe Biden is steadily gaining on Donald Trump as the mail-in votes are counted.
Things are getting tense in the biggest city, Philadelphia.
Judges slap down Trump campaign's lawsuits
So far today, judges in two different states have denied legal challenges from the Trump campaign.
In Michigan, the campaign was suing to stop officials from counting absentee ballots, arguing that it had not been given access to observe the count.
Judge Cynthia Stephens promptly threw out the case.
In Georgia, the campaign alleged Chatham County might be mishandling ballots, based on an allegation from a Republican poll observer who said some late-arriving ballots had been mixed up with on-time ones.
"The court finds that there is no evidence that the ballots referenced in the petition were received after 7pm on election day, thereby making those ballots invalid," said Judge James Bass.
"Additionally, there is no evidence that the Chatham County Board of Elections or the Chatham County Board of Registrars has failed to comply with the law."
There was a legal victory for Mr Trump in Pennsylvania, as it won the right for observers to stand closer to election workers processing ballots in Philadelphia.
Where the popular vote stands
Checking in on the national popular vote, Joe Biden currently has 72.4 million votes in this election, compared to Donald Trump's 68.6 million. That's a 50.5-47.8 lead for Mr Biden.
The lead will continue to grow as the votes are counted, particularly in large Democratic states like California.
The popular vote has no bearing on the result, obviously. But it does illustrate how high turnout has been in this election. Mr Biden already has the most votes ever cast for a US presidential candidate, and when we're done, Mr Trump will have moved well clear of Barack Obama to claim second place.
Trump makes more baseless claims
The President appears to be getting around the misinformation labels on Twitter, or at least trying to, by posting his messages (still in all caps) through the Trump campaign's account instead.
Here's the latest one.
I'll reiterate, for the gazillionth time, that the states are currently counting legally cast ballots, and Mr Trump has provided no evidence to support his claims.
President @realDonaldTrump: “IF YOU COUNT THE LEGAL VOTES, I EASILY WIN THE ELECTION! IF YOU COUNT THE ILLEGAL AND LATE VOTES, THEY CAN STEAL THE ELECTION FROM US!”— Team Trump (Text VOTE to 88022) (@TeamTrump) November 5, 2020
More detail from that media conference
FiveThirtyEight reporter Kaleigh Rogers has a bit more detail from that Trump campaign media conference in Nevada.
She says the campaign claimed it had evidence of non-residents voting in the state, and said "we believe there are dead voters that have been counted".
The campaign staffers making the announcement (with the exception of Richard Grenell and Matt Schlapp) refused to give their names, telling reporters: "Do your job, it's pretty easy to find out."
They provided no evidence to support their claims.
'Where's the evidence?': Reporter grills Trump official
BREAKING: @jacobsoboroff demands evidence from Ric Grenell, Trump adviser and former acting director of national intelligence, to back up his assertions about votes in Nevada. pic.twitter.com/glaBjSHJk8— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 5, 2020
Tense footage here from MSNBC, whose reporter Jacob Soboroff was at a media conference with Donald Trump's former director of national intelligence Richard Grenell and conservative political activist Matt Schlapp in Nevada.
The pair alleged there was widespread fraud taking place in Nevada, said Trump campaign election observers were not being allowed inside vote-counting centres, and announced a lawsuit to stop the counting of "illegal" ballots.
They did not provide any evidence to back up their claims. Soboroff tried to get some.
"Can you talk about the evidence? You're talking about thousands of illegitimate votes here in Nevada. What's the evidence?" Soboroff asked Mr Grenell after the announcement, walking alongside him.
"You should go in and ask the question of the Clark County, which you haven't done yet," Mr Grenell told him.
"No no no, you guys just made the claim. You also said there's no election observers. There's Democratic and Republican election observers inside. Mr Grenell, where's the evidence of fraud? You haven't presented any evidence of fraud?"
At that point the former DNI got into his vehicle.
A short time later Mr Grenell posted on social media, saying the lawsuit was demanding "transparency". Soboroff and other reporters replied to him, again asking for evidence of any foul play.
It has yet to be provided.
Finally, some new numbers from Nevada
At last, for the first time in more than 24 hours, we have some fresh results from Nevada.
Overall, Joe Biden's lead has ticked up from 8000 votes to 11,500, thanks to a strong batch from Clark County. That is the state's most populous area (it includes Las Vegas), and we're eventually going to see tens of thousands of mail-in ballots there.
We also saw some results from Lyon and Elko counties, which are more rural. Combined, they helped Mr Trump by a few hundred votes.
But these early numbers suggest Mr Biden is still the favourite in Nevada, even as it remains tight.
Trump's lead narrows again in Pennsylvania, Georgia
The results keep trickling in, and Joe Biden continues to gain ground in two states Donald Trump won four years ago.
The President's lead is down from 19,000 to about 14,500 in Georgia, and he's up by just 0.3 per cent in the popular vote. It was 0.4 a few minutes ago.
We think there are still more than 50,000 ballots left to count there.
In Pennsylvania, Mr Trump has ticked down from a lead of 126,000 to 122,000. Hundreds of thousands of ballots still to come there.
Speaking of which, we have learned that one of the most heavily pro-Biden counties, Allegheny, has 35,000 mail-in ballots it isn't going to count until tomorrow.
Officials there aren't just being lazy. They are complying with a court order.
So, that's a sign that we might be waiting another day for a result to be declared in the state. But let's see how the count in other areas proceeds - in the end, those remaining ballots in Allegheny might not matter.
Trump campaign still thinks it will win Pennsylvania
On a conference call with reporters, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said he was still confident the President would end up winning Arizona, which has already been called for Joe Biden by both Fox News and The Associated Press.
He also said this about Pennsylvania.
"We still have confidence in Pennsylvania. Our data tells us that we are winning by more than 200,000 votes."
I'm … really not sure how the Trump campaign has arrived at that conclusion.
The President's lead in Pennsylvania, according to the actual vote count, has already shrunk to 126,000, and the vast majority of the remaining ballots are expected to favour Mr Biden.
Trump falsely claims certain ballots won't count
Donald Trump is still tweeting misinformation in all caps.
"ANY VOTE THAT CAME IN AFTER ELECTION DAY WILL NOT BE COUNTED!" the President says.
This is not up to him.
Under the US electoral system, each state sets its own rules. A bunch of them accept mail-in ballots that arrive by a deadline after election day (the specific deadline varies by state), as long as they are postmarked by election day.
To be clear, the votes in question here were not cast after election day. They were mailed on or before election day, and arrived to be counted afterwards. Big difference.
Mr Trump has been very critical of a Supreme Court decision allowing ballots in Pennsylvania to be counted if the postmark is illegible.
Now, if the entire election comes down to a handful of mail-in ballots with illegible postmarks in that one state, that argument might matter. You'll see a legal challenge, probably going all the way to the highest court.
As things stand, that scenario looks pretty damn unlikely.
Anyway I digress. The point is, Mr Trump can tweet whatever he likes, but he doesn't get to set the rules here.
Plenty of votes left in Georgia, Pennsylvania
Election officials in Georgia say there are about 60,000 votes left to count in the state. Donald Trump's lead is currently at 19,000, and with every batch counted, it's shrinking.
It's a similar story for the President in Pennsylvania. We're unsure exactly how many votes are left there, but it's something in the hundreds of thousands. Mr Trump is up by about 130,000 there.
He needs to hold Joe Biden off in both states. If Mr Biden wins Pennsylvania, and nothing else, none of the other undecided states will matter. He will already have reached the threshold of 270 electoral votes.
If he wins Georgia, Mr Trump's best-case scenario becomes a tie of 269 electoral votes each, which is a whole other kettle of fish.
I really can't stress this enough. The President cannot afford to lose Georgia or Pennsylvania, and both are looking dicey for him.
Misinformation all over social media
Yes, here I am again, the social media party pooper. I'm here to tell you, once more, that the OUTRAGEOUS viral video you saw on Twitter or Facebook was lacking essential context.
One such video doing the rounds shows a man setting a bag full of paper on fire. He says there are 80 ballots inside and they're "all for President Trump".
The contests these supposed ballots refer to are in Virginia. Local authorities have pointed out that they're obviously sample ballots, as they lack the bar code markings "that are on all official ballots".
In other words, it's fake. The guy in the clip is burning sample ballots and falsely claiming they're real ballots that were cast for Mr Trump.
Nevertheless, this clip has been shared all over the place. The President's son Eric posted it on Twitter, getting 1.2 million views. Gateway Pundit, a conservative site with a penchant for spreading conspiracy theories, also helped spread it.
A conservative “news” site reports catching a man wheeling in “suspicious” equipment to the Detroit convention center, implying it was used to steal ballots.— Ross Jones (@rossjonesWXYZ) November 5, 2020
The “ballot thief” was my photographer. He was bringing down equipment for our 12-hour shift. https://t.co/4UsRdOncZ3
Another viral story, this time from Michigan, reported a man had been spotted wheeling some "suspicious" stuff, including a box, into a vote-counting centre.
"The box may have been a ballot box that arrived long after all ballots were expected to have been received at the counting facility," Texas Scorecard, another conservative site, reported.
The man in question was a photographer for a local news station. He was transporting the equipment he needed to do his job.
There is so much of this stuff going around, including claims yesterday that election workers had given Trump supporters Sharpies to mark their ballots with, then rejected said ballots.
Not a thing. Didn't happen. But the US government has been forced to issue a fact check shooting down the rumour.
It's easy to see something out of context on social media and assume it's proof of a vast conspiracy to steal the election from your favoured candidate. There is usually a simpler and more plausible explanation.
'STOP THE COUNT,' Trump demands
Here is the President's latest message.
STOP THE COUNT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2020
So, a couple of things.
If election officials stopped counting the votes now and called it a day, Joe Biden would win Arizona and Nevada. That would give him 270 electoral votes, and make him president.
What Donald Trump actually appears to want is for the vote count to stop in states where he's ahead, and continue where he's behind.
Not how elections work.
Contradictory messages from protesters
Donald Trump's supporters have been assembling outside vote counting centres in a couple of different states.
Much like Mr Trump's legal arguments, their message has varied depending on what they think will help the President.
In Michigan last night, for example, protesters chanted: "Stop the count! Stop the count!"
Election officials were making their way through mail-in ballots, which have overwhelmingly favoured Joe Biden across the Rust Belt.
Meanwhile, in Arizona, Mr Trump's supporters chanted: "Count the votes! Count the votes!"
Officials were counting mail-in votes there as well, but these ones have generally been favouring Mr Trump, and they represent his only hope of winning the state.
Trump campaign plans 'major announcement'
The Trump campaign has foreshadowed some sort of "major announcement" in the state of Nevada about two-and-a-half hours from now.
It's keeping us all in suspense, but we all know what the campaign has been focused on since election night. Legal challenges.
'Oh god': One state shredding Democrats' nerves
Hey there, Australia. If you're reading this now, I have no idea why. Consider going to bed.
Otherwise, you are most welcome to death-ride through the night with us once again as we await a final result in this election.
I ran through the state of things at the top of this page, but just so it's here for posterity, let's see where we stand entering day three of the vote count. It all comes down to five states.
Joe Biden is rapidly catching up to Donald Trump in Pennsylvania, which comes with an invaluable haul of 20 electoral votes. With 89 per cent counted, he now trails by just 160,000 votes, or 51-48. That might sound like a lot, but early yesterday the President's lead was well over 600,000, and the remaining ballots are expected to keep favouring the Democrat.
Georgia, which hasn't voted for a Democrat since 1992, is incredibly tight. Mr Biden has closed the gap to 18,000 votes, or a margin of 0.4 per cent, with 96 per cent counted. We're still waiting on tens of thousands of ballots from the left-leaning counties in and around Atlanta.
Mr Trump can feel a teensy bit better about North Carolina, were he leads by 80,000 votes without many left to count. Unfortunately, due to the state's generous deadline for accepting late-arriving ballots, we are unlikely to have a final result there for some days yet.
It's been a while since Nevada actually reported a new batch of results, but we are finally going to learn more about the state of the race there today. Mr Biden leads by 8000, 49.3-48.7, and is thought to be the favourite, but it's a razor-thin margin and nobody knows for sure.
Finally, we have Arizona. This is an interesting one. Two highly respected news organisations, Fox News and The Associated Press, actually called Arizona for Mr Biden on election night. That's why some official tallies, including ours, have him just six electoral votes short of victory. His lead has been narrowing, though, and the latest batches of results have brought it down to 69,000 votes.
There has been an ongoing fight between the Fox News Decision Desk, which makes the network's calls, and the Trump campaign, which insists the President will end up winning the state. The Decision Desk isn't budging.
Suffice to say, we're still keeping an eye on Arizona. So are increasingly anxious Democrats. You could see those nerves on MSNBC late last night, as left-leaning host Rachel Maddow learned of the state's latest vote totals.
"The suspense has been would this be a Trump-favourable group, or would it be a Biden-favourable group? So we just got those new numbers," analyst Steve Kornacki said of the new data.
"Donald Trump is getting about 59 per cent of these votes."
"Oh god. That's crazy," Maddow replied.
A fitting quote to sum up this election in general. The Trump campaign, which at times - let's be honest - seems to exist purely to troll media figures it doesn't like, certainly enjoyed it.
Originally published as 'Oh god': State shredding Democrats' nerves