Let’s Watch Western Democracy Crumble Together: Junkee’s Live US Election Blog

Rolling updates of everything happening in the US.

US election 2020 live blog

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They’re calling the US presidential election 2020  “the most important election in living memory”, whatever that means. But after four years of Donald Trump, and an America that can generously be described as being “in crisis”, it’s definitely a supremely important race.

I think we all know this won’t be a normal election. In addition to watching who’s going to  pass the critical threshold of 270 electoral college votes to officially win the presidency, we’re also going to be keeping an eye on whether or not Donald Trump actually concedes and if any civil unrest breaks out because of the results.

Both of these less than ideal results are incredibly likely, I regret to inform you, so keep the hard liquor nearby. It’s airport rules today, baby.

Read our guide to Everything You Need To Know About The 2020 US Presidential Election to get started.

Where To Watch The US 2020 Election Coverage?

All major TV channels in Australia will be doing a rolling coverage of the election. This includes ABC, SBS, Channel 7, 9 and 10. Coverage has already started and will continue on most channels till 5pm.

Don’t have a TV? No worries. Who does these days?

You can tune into ABC’s coverage on ABC iView here, SBS OnDemand here, and 10 Play here.

If you prefer socials, you can tune into ABC’s facebook here and Channel 7’s youtube here.

US coverage will be livestreamed on Youtube, so take your pick out of NBC News, ABC News, and PBS News Hour.

For an international perspective, tune into Al Jazeera‘s live coverage if you have cable, which you probably don’t, so here’s the youtube link.

You can also follow along The Guardian‘s liveblog, or the New York Time’s, Washington Post’s, and here’s a link to Wall Street Journal‘s too.

The kind folk at The Guardian Australia also put together a list at the bottom of this piece of places you can head down to if you feel like being amongst people and drowning your election sorrows.


FINAL UPDATE: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won, thank God.

11:36 AM: What the hell is happening man. At Donald Trump Jr.’s press conference in Georgia Vernon Jones is inciting violence. I missed the exact wording but this is about the gist of the first part of his speech:

Later, he said:

“Let me tell you, we’re not going to stand for that. We’re not going back down. We are going to fight. We don’t cut and run. We are going to fight. This is a battle cry! You are damn right, this is a battle cry. We have worked too hard and too long and that Donald Trump has been fighting for every American, doesn’t matter what your colour was, or your gender.”

Oh. My. God. This is happening even as Georgia’s margin narrows and heads toward Biden.

11:06 AM, Day 3: Donald Trump has held a press conference after not being seen for literal days. He’s doubled down on his claims of voter fraud, even as the (legal) vote counting continues and his lead narrows in Pennsylvania and Georgia. If Joe Biden wins either of those states he will take the presidency.

Here are some excerpts from Donald’s speech. I’ll mark the lies.

“If you count the legal votes, I easily win [lie]. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us [lie]. If you count the votes that came in late, we’re looking into them very strongly. A lot of them have come in late. I already decisively one critical states including Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio. It is despite interference from a big-money, big tech [I’m pretty sure this is a lie]. We won by historic numbers [lie] and the pollsters got it knowingly wrong [kind of a lie].”

He goes on to sook for a bit, but then turns to the violence we were seeing at the poll counting offices, seemingly blaming the counters for refusing to allow observers (and armed mobs) to get into the offices.

“In Pennsylvania, Democrats have allowed ballots to be received three days after the election and we think much more than that and they accounting those without even postmarks or any identification whatsoever so you do not have postmarks, you do not have identification, there have been a number of irregularities, disturbing irregularities across the nation [lie]. Campaigners being denied access to observe any accounting in Detroit. Detroit is another place and I would not say it has the best reputation for election integrity [lie]. Pollsters in Michigan were duplicating pallets [lie]. When our observers attempted to challenge the activities, the bowlers jumped in front so they could not see what they were doing. — the pollsters [lie]. It became a little bit dangerous.”

This is a ways from being over people. Basically this it where Trump appears to be mentally:

Also, a lot of US networks dumped his live feed, presumably because of the lies and potential to stir up violence. Fun.

9:55 AM: The Prime Minister didn’t condemn Trump at his press conference this morning, which if you ask this live-blogger is a Bad Thing. He made similar platitudes to Marise Payne earlier in the day.

“First of all, I don’t share the impatience of others when it comes to a result being arrived at,” Scott Morrison said. “By that, I mean the speculation in the media and the commentary around that.

“I think it’s important to simply just be patient. And there’ll be a result and we’ll soon know what that is and then we’ll be able to provide the appropriate recognition of that and get on with what is an amazing and wonderful and very important relationship with Australia.”

Yikes. Joe Hockey has also been repeating false claims that there has been voter fraud.

8:39 AM: The Herald Sun’s Rita Panahi appears to be repeating Trump’s lies that what’s happening in Pennsylvania is the result of “underhanded” tactics by the Democrats. To be very clear, it is not illegal to count votes after election day or anything like that. Here’s friend-of-the-blog Osman Faruqi’s take on her column:

I also think it is a pretty awful laundering of a Trump lie. It is true that it may end up in the courts however, but the legal basis of it appears very weak.

Here’s enemy-of-the-blog Andrew Bolt eating up the lies too:


8:24 AM: Joe Biden has stumped up to speak. He asserted that he believes he will win and laid the groundwork for a campaign to unite the country in the wake of Trumps exit (if that happens). Read some more of it below:

My fellow Americans, yesterday once again proved that democracy is the heart beat of this nation …

“Here, the people rule. Power can’t be taken or asserted. It flows from the people. And it’s their will that determines who will be the president of the United States, and their will alone.

“And now, after a long night of counting, it’s clear that we’re winning enough states to reach 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. I’m not here to declare that we’ve won. But I am here to report, when the counting is finished, we believe we will be the winners.”

Michigan has also been declared for Biden by CNN, which leaves Biden with 253 EC votes by their count and 213 for Trump.

7:56 AM: Looks like Trump supporters are physically trying to stop the count in Michigan, which is worrying. That state is yet to be called and has Joe Biden ahead at the moment. So, yikes. See the video below.

7:46 AM: Kanye conceded last night, in case you missed it or cared. It looks like he got in excess of 60,000 votes which is kinda funny, I guess? In the tweet where he “concedes” he says “KANYE 2024” so I don’t think this hasn’t discouraged him.

7:33 AM Turning to the House and the Senate, it’s unclear who will emerge the victors in each race. Some reports say it’s unlikely that the Dems will win the Senate, which means it will be incredibly difficult for Joe Biden to do anything if he becomes the president. That could translate to two more years of nothing really happening, which would be pretty bad for a country that ostensibly needs to do a lot right now.

7:11 AM: Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne appeared on ABC News Breakfast, and was a bit hesitant to condemn Trump’s handling (lol) of the election. She told Lisa Millar that she “won’t provide a running commentary” on the crisis which, as we all well know, is a very typical “I don’t want to talk about it” answer.

“Well, that is a matter for the US,” Payne said. “There is a lot of claims and counterclaims being made.

“And one thing that we have been very careful to avoid, as we should, is providing a running commentary on each candidate, no matter who it is.”

In contrast, overnight while tired live-bloggers were resting their weary fingers, Penny Wong made a fairly extraordinary statement. She said that it was “in Australia’s interest that America remains a credible, stable democracy.” This is a fairly big thing for anyone, let alone the foreign affairs spokeswoman for a major political party, to say about the US. See the full tweet below.

6:45 AM, DAY 2: We’re back. In some ways, things are better, and in others, they’re worse. Let’s start with the good news: Joe Biden has won Wisconsin, which has netted him another 10 electoral votes. Overnight, he also won Arizona, which has helped to knock his total up to 248, according to the Guardian. At this stage, it’s looking like he may be able to reach that magic 270 number, but this isn’t over yet.

Now, the bad news: Trump is standing by his (very incorrect) claims that he’s won the election, and is the victim of voter fraud. In fact, he’s doubled down on them, as Twitter has begun labelling some of his tweets as misleading this morning.

Trump’s campaign manager is demanding a recount in Wisconsin, which will apparently be difficult to achieve because the gap of votes is in the tens of thousands. If Joe’s lead holds that seems unlikely.

Rudy Giuliani, who famously got caught with his hand on his you-know-what by Borat, has also been spreading lies that there’s been vote tampering in Pennsylvania, a very tight race. At the moment, his team is still ahead, so I don’t know what he’s trying to achieve there. Trump is at 214 EC votes.

6:35 PM: I don’t know who needs to hear this, but Donald Trump has not — I repeat, has not — won the election. (At least, he hasn’t won it yet.) As predicted, Donald Trump has prematurely, and incorrectly, announced his victory saying, “As far as I’m concerned, we already have won it”. Trump also shared that he will be going to the Supreme Court to challenge the election result in an unprecedented attempt to disenfranchise millions of American voters.

5:55 PM: In a not at all surprising turn of events, Sky News Australia is being called out for spreading election misinformation. Here, they have falsely claimed that Joe Biden prematurely tried to claim the election.

5:46 PM: Looks like a Republican candidate who died of COVID in October has won a seat in the North Dakota state legislature. Which is kinda nuts but this is America right. If I’m being real I have no idea what this means but I thought you’d enjoy it. Donald will be up in about 10 minutes. Stay tuned.

5:12 PM: One of Trump’s tweets has been flagged by Twitter as misleading, where he says votes can’t be cast after polls are closed. Which is a weird thing to say but whatever. Twitter also added a link to their civic integrity policy. This probably won’t go over well when he gets up to speak. See the tweets below.

5:06 PM: History is continuously being made by newly elected members. The first two openly gay black men, Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones, have been elected.

Also, joining Rashida Tlaib who was the first Palestinian-American to be elected to Congress back in 2018, now has Iman Jodeh joining her.

– Written by Rashna Farrukh

4:49 PM: Joe Biden has addressed his supporters briefly in Delaware. Here are some excerpts from his speech.

“We feel good about where we are. We really do. We believe we’re on track to win this election. We knew because of the unprecedented early vote it would take a while. It ain’t over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted. We’re feeling good.”

From what he said it looks like they’re still hopeful about the postal votes, and haven’t given up on Pennsylvania yet. He also felt that Georgia might swing his way, despite not being a state they thought they would win.

“Keep the faith guys we’re gonna win this,” he closed.

Donald has tweeted and sounds like he’s going to declare victory despite it not being clear at all, so love that for me. Also, I can’t every spell Pennsylvania on the first try ever. Stop talking about it please.

4:39 PM: The first openly trans person has been elected to the Delaware senate, the highest ranked elected trans official in the states yet. Her name is Sarah McBride and we love this for her.

4:32 PM: Oregon has decriminalised possession of just about all drugs. Yes, even meth. The US continues to be the weirdest country.

4:23 PM: Things are getting interesting again, but alas, I have lost the ability to feel joy. The US networks are starting to catch up with the ABC’s count, with CNN ruling that it’s 205/136 EC votes for Biden and Trump respectively. For the Guardian, it’s 223/118. The ABC has it at 226/137 There have been some fights and what appear to be anarchists getting about in DC, the capital, too. See below for some video.

And Joe is expected to speak soon and he should say “let’s wait to see how this shakes out overnight” or “Partick Lenton, please let Jim Malo go to sleep” or something to that effect. Both statements would be equally welcome.

3:41 PM: I think we can all agree AOC is the best thing about US politics right now, so please all join me in breathing a sigh of relief as she has been re-elected for another term. The former bartender has led a wildly successful grassroots campaign in 2018 to get elected for the Democrats in a New York congress seat.

3:15 PM: Seeing as this has become like wading through treacle I’ve shifted my attention from the presidential race to house and the senate contests. Nancy Pelosi has given a speech where she claims victory in the lower chamber or the “house”. Most places you’d look will have both looking fairly neck-in-neck at about 104 seats for the Dems and 133 for the Republicans according to Vox, but Pelosi must have been fairly confident of the win. For the senate it’s 43 seats for each.

I’m also hearing early reports of clashes at protests and I’ll update with some footage if I can find it.

2:55 PM: Things are continuing to look worse for the Democrats. Despite the Dems maintaining a strong lead of 212 to 119 (according to the ABC) against Trump, a lot of the states where he’s ahead are yet to be called. Pennsylvania is another one I’m keeping a close eye on, but despite Biden pouring a lot of time and effort into the east coast state he hasn’t been rewarded by the looks of it. Yikes.

2:20 PM: Donald Trump is now ahead in Ohio and Texas, despite trailing Joe Biden earlier in the day. This does not bode particularly well for Ol’ Joe. Ohio emerged as a crucial win for Biden, and if he loses the mid-western state his path to victory will be much less clear. Texas would have been a great win, but I doubt the Democrats were hinging their hopes too heavily on the typically-Republican state.

The ABC has updated their tally to 212 for Biden, 109 for Trump. 270 is the magic number.

1:32 PM: Decision Desk has called Florida for Trump. This appears to be the first I can find, and the consensus across other outlets appears to be that it’s becoming increasingly unlikely Biden will take the state. This is not a big deal for Biden, but if Trump failed to win it he would have had a much smaller chance of taking the presidency outright (or legitimately).

1:15 PM: Hope you’ve missed me. There hasn’t been much movement on the election tallies here or abroad, but the ABC has given six more EC votes to Trump since my last update. The grumbling elsewhere is that Florida is very likely to stick with Trump which will significantly boost his tally and his chances of winning. It looks like CNN has called it but I’m trying to verify. UPDATE – They are yet to call it but they believe it’s becoming much less likely Biden will take Florida.
The Guardian’s tally is showing that Texas is leaning towards Biden, which is fairly significant. If It were to flip, it would be the first time Texas had voted blue since 1976.

12:11 PM: American networks are beginning to call more states. Many of them appear to be in line with what the ABC here has said so I won’t bore you by going over them each time. The most complete tally I can see is Fox (lol) which is sitting at 91/56 for Biden/Trump. That’s in comparison to the ABC which is at 203/97.

In some of the first Totally Bonkers news of the night, a QAnon believer has been elected to congress for the first time in Georgia.

Marjorie Taylor Greene supports the conspiracy theory that Donald Trump is fighting a secret war against a cabal of pedophiles which control the world, which is pretty weird because he was mates with one of the most famous pedophiles yet, Jeffery Epstein. But what would I know, I’m in the media.

11:45 AM: Alrighty, so a bit of bad news if you’re pulling for Joe. Some of the early results in Florida (which is shaping up to be a key state in the race) show some counties tipping further towards Trump than they did toward Hillary in 2016. High voter turnouts have been perceived as a bit of a good thing for Joe Biden, but it doesn’t seem to have worked out that way in Florida for now. Florida will be crucial for Trump because it translates to 29 EC votes, but would only be a feather in the cap for Joe.

The ABC has updated its tally with 88 votes for Trump and Joe is steady at 190. The only two states called by any US networks are Vermont and Indiana.

11:17 AM: Our ABC has finally called some results, and it’s looking very good for Joe. They have him coming in at 190 EC votes, and 77 for Trump. A lot of the states which typically don’t change loyalties are already finalised accord to the coverage by the beloved Antony Green and numbers gremlin Casey Briggs.

11:07 AM: The first votes are in. The ABC in Australia is yet to call any electoral college votes for anyone, but the CNN have given 11 to Trump, and Fox has called 16 for Biden and 8 for Trump.

A fun little thing about US election coverage is that each of the different networks will call seats in different ways. This will significantly contribute to the rate at which my brain will melt today.