Ok, I’m going to wrap the blog up here – we’ve started a new live blog over here: US election 2020 – Biden to announce Covid task force as Trump still protests defeat– live updates

In the meantime, here’s a quick reminder of where we are up to:

Reuters have a quick snap here that the Kremlin has said it would wait for the official results of the US presidential election before commenting on its outcome, and that it had noted incumbent Donald Trump’s announcement of legal challenges related to the vote.

Vladimir Putin has remained silent on the issue since Democrat Joe Biden clinched the presidency on Saturday. Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow deemed it was better to wait for the official results before commenting.

Peskov added that Putin had repeatedly said he was ready to work with any US leader and that Russia hoped it could establish dialogue with the new administration and find a way to normalise relations.

Bettina Love, Mahogany L Browne and Mikki Kendall have written for us today on what having Kamala Harris as vice-president elect means to them. In a hard-hitting section Browne says:

I know what it means for your name to be misspelled. I know what it means for your name to be mispronounced in order to mock you. I know what it means to be part of a community that suffers because of the American justice system. Kamala Harris, daughter of the Bay Area of California, we are alike in this way, except my family falls on the other side of the law enforcement fence. You were a California prosecutor; my father has been incarcerated in one of the state’s 35 prisons for 20 years and counting. My uncles, several living and the rest deceased, have all been victims of the mass incarceration system: petty crimes, drug possession, and probation violations kept them behind metal bars as their children graduated, became parents, or were shot and killed. My hopefulness, when thinking of you, returns to your past role. I need to believe you can help to change this unethical and biased justice system.

Read more here: A woman of colour as US vice-president – three writers on what Kamala Harris means to them

After celebrating the winning of a Joe Biden presidency, Democrats are waking to the hangover of figuring out how to govern under the shadow of a runaway pandemic and the potential for gridlock imposed by the man who likes to call himself the Grim Reaper, the Republican Senate leader, Mitch McConnell.

The imagined “blue wave” that was to bring Democratic control over the Senate did not materialize, but Biden’s party has not entirely given up hope. There will be two Senate run-off races in Georgia on 5 January, and if Democrats win both, that will scrape a 50-50 tie in the chamber, allowing Kamala Harris, as vice-president, to cast tie-breaking votes.

McConnell was just reelected in Kentucky by 20 points.
McConnell was just reelected in Kentucky by 20 points. Photograph: Timothy D Easley/AP

It is not impossible. Voter registration drives look to have succeeded in turning the state blue in the presidential election for the first time since 1992. But it will be an uphill task, and most Georgia observers expect the parties to emerge from the runoffs with one seat apiece, leaving the Senate split 51-49 in the Republicans’ favor.

In that case, a Biden presidency would have to contend with the veteran senator from Kentucky who relishes the nickname of Grim Reaper for his lethal treatment of almost all Democratic legislation. He said in 2010 that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president”.

McConnell failed in that task but made up for it by killing off mounds of Democratic legislation and Obama nominations for administrative positions. So despite winning more votes than anyone in US political history, Biden will have to share power with the head of a chamber in which Wyoming (population 586,107) has the same clout as California (nearly 40 million).

“Mitch McConnell will force Joe Biden to negotiate every single cabinet secretary, every single district court judge, every single US attorney with him,” the Democratic senator Chris Murphy told Politico. “My guess is we’ll have a constitutional crisis pretty immediately.”

Read the full piece here:


A surge in youth voter turnout may have helped propel Biden to victory, writes Poppy Noor:

In an election of many firsts, it appears that surging youth turnout in a number of key states may have helped propel Joe Biden to victory.

Analysis suggests an increase of as much as 10% in youth voter turnout – with particularly high engagement in 11 key battleground states. That may have been game-changing for Joe Biden, who had the support of 61% of people aged 18-29.

“This election feels so much bigger than anything before it,” said 20-year-old Alondra Alvarez, who voted early in Michigan, a state which saw youth voter turnout triple since 2016.

On the University of Pittsburgh campus.
On the University of Pittsburgh campus. Photograph: SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

“I remember how I felt in 2016 after Trump was elected. It wasn’t good – but it also wasn’t my fault, I didn’t have a say in what the outcome was going to be,” she said.

Now, young people have had their say. Projections suggest young people made up 17% of the vote share this time around, with young people also having the potential to make a decisive difference in key Senate races in states such as Georgia, Arizona and North Carolina.

A number of initiatives look to have made all the difference this year, with same-day registration now allowed in 21 states; and secure ballot drop-off boxes on college campuses in almost every state.

Read the full piece:


Donald Trump was a unique American president. He was the only one to be impeached, fail to win re-election AND lose the popular vote – TWICE.

This Venn diagram captures Trump’s historic uniqueness:

The definitive Venn Diagram of troubled presidencies. pic.twitter.com/LehTdpjQsu

— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) November 9, 2020

This tedious repetition of the patently false accusation of voter fraud by the peculiar shirt-tucker Rudy Giuliani, who will say literally anything to sustain the next Trump grift which is coming as sure as the sunrise, bears mentioning only because of how long is his list of the states where they got beaten.

Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin, Nevada – oh don’t forget Arizona, that was bad, and Maine, that district in Nebraska …

The Biden selection by the Crooked Media is based on unlawful votes in PA, Mich, GA, Wisc, Nevada et al.

We will prove it all.

— Rudy W. Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) November 9, 2020


To the genre of the cathartic Trump sayonara, Tim Miller of the conservative anti-Trump Bulwark adds this prize:

On the eve of the 2016 election, the one thing that I most looked forward to was the prospect of never having to consider Donald Trump again. Never having to waste another solitary brain particle on him.

Alas it wasn’t to be then. It certainly hasn’t been the case during this week’s 50+ hour Steve Kornacki Big Board binge fest. Nor will it be going forward. We are not done with Donald Trump as a malignant force in American politics just because he was defeated in his re-election bid. He will still be in office for eleven critical weeks. Then we will have to contend with him for years to come. He may have broken something fundamental in our country that will take a generation to fix. I understand all that.

But those impending threats shouldn’t minimize the enormity of what we accomplished in brushing him back.

And it doesn’t make this next sentence any less sweet.

Donald Trump: You’re Fucking Fired.

Read the full piece here.

How is the national healing going? Some prominent Americans on the Biden side are preaching reconciliation:

the first thing I did when the presidency was called is text and call my family members who do not agree and tell them I love them and am here for them. #FamilyFirst. Call your family today. Happy Sunday. ♥️

— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) November 8, 2020

If someone you love and care about voted the other way, today might be a good day to reach out. Not to talk politics, but to talk about things that will remind them (and yourself) why you love and care about them.

— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) November 8, 2020

But judging by the replies to those tweets, many people do not see reconciliation as a possibility, and some accuse the tweeters of blindness to the threat Trump represented and the damage he has done.

Financial markets around the world have received a marked boost in the wake of Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential election, with Japanese shares hitting their highest level for nearly three decades and oil prices also climbing.

Stock prices in Europe and New York were also expected to rise sharply on Monday after the president-elect pledged to try to bring unity to the US after four tumultuous years under the Trump administration.

Good morning: It's risk on in Asia! Best so far in USD in 5 days:

Nikkei 225 +9.6%
Australia +9.1%
Singapore +8.6%
Indonesia +8.4% pic.twitter.com/ttQs9GgWlZ

— Trinh (@Trinhnomics) November 9, 2020

The Nikkei index in Tokyo led the way with a rise of 2.3% as traders in Asia Pacific got the first chance to give their verdict on the Biden victory declared over the weekend.

In China, the Shanghai Composite was also up more than 2%, Hong Kong shares rose 1.5% and the ASX200 in Sydney jumped 1.74%.

Read further:


I’m handing off our live coverage to my colleague Tom McCarthy. Here are some links and key events from the day:

Trump has not made any public appearances since the race was called for Biden. Today, he has been posting Fox News clips on Twitter and spreading misinformation and unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud.

In about half of the tweets he has posted since Biden became the president-elect, Trump’s messages and videos have required labels from Twitter noting that his allegations are disputed, or messages from the social media site clarifying that mail-in voting is safe and secure.

Trump, who has been golfing this weekend, has no public events scheduled for Monday. Biden is launching his Covid-19 task force and moving forward with transition efforts.

Philadelphia’s city commissioner, a Republican who runs the vote count, says his office has received death threats, in a new 60 Minutes interview:

Republican Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt says his office, which runs the vote count, has received death threats. https://t.co/LNXfXwJrbk pic.twitter.com/ouxX0xGhKX

— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) November 9, 2020

Al Schmidt told the news program:

At the end of the day, we are counting eligible votes cast by voters. The controversy surrounding it is something I don’t understand. It’s people making accusations that we wouldn’t count those votes or people are adding fraudulent votes or just, coming up with, just, all sorts of crazy stuff...

In the birthplace of our Republic, counting votes is not a bad thing. Counting votes cast on or before election day by eligible voters is not corruption. It is not cheating. It is democracy.

Election officials across the country from both parties have been forced to repeatedly debunk misinformation and false claims about fraud and election security pushed by the president and his allies.

The Republican governor of Utah has announced a statewide mask mandate and declared a state of emergency amid a surge of Covid cases:

Declaring a state of emergency because of the recent surge of coronavirus hospitalizations in Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert announced new restrictions, including a statewide mask mandate and limiting social gatherings to people who live in the same household.https://t.co/yMrQv8At6X

— The Salt Lake Tribune (@sltrib) November 9, 2020

Governor Gary Herbert had long refused to adopt a mask requirement for the state, saying it was unnecessary for the government to mandate people “do the right thing”.

But he shifted today, after the state’s most devastating week of the pandemic. The announcement comes the same day as reports that Biden will be reaching out to governors and mayors to encourage mask policies given the worsening pandemic. Biden is set to announce details of his own coronavirus task force on Monday.

👉Biden, in coming days, to reach out to governors and mayors on mask mandates

“If a governor declines, he’ll go to the mayors in the state and ask them to lead,” said a senior Biden adviser.https://t.co/N61Os06p3X via @NBCNews

— Heidi Przybyla (@HeidiNBC) November 9, 2020

Here are some details on the reaction to Biden’s win in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and other Pacific nations, from Ben Doherty, the Guardian’s Pacific editor:

Joe Biden’s presidential ascension had not even been settled when Fiji’s forthright prime minister was already urging greater US action on climate change from the incoming American leader.

“Congratulations Joe Biden,” Frank Bainimarama tweeted on Saturday afternoon. “Together, we have a planet to save from a climate emergency and a global economy to build back better from Covid-19.”

Bainimarama said the whole world, but particularly the imperilled Pacific, would look to the US for global leadership in addressing the climate crisis.

Read more:

New alarming Covid records in the US

There are a number of troubling statistics out today on the current state of Covid-19 in the US, the most urgent crisis Biden will inherit. Reuters has published an analysis of where things stand in the worsening pandemic in America, as the country nears 10m cases, becoming the first nation in the world to surpass that figure. Some specifics from the news agency’s report:

  • The US has reported about a million cases in the past 10 days, the highest rate of infections since the start of the pandemic.
  • The country has reported over 100,000 infections four times in the past week.
  • The latest reported seven-day average in the US is more than the combined average for India and France, two of the worst affected countries in Asia and Europe.
  • The daily average of reported new deaths in the US account for one in every 11 deaths reported worldwide each day, Reuters found.
  • The number of reported deaths across America climbed by more than 1,000 for a fifth consecutive day on Saturday, a trend last seen in mid-August.
  • Illinois emerged as the new epicenter in the midwest, and Texas is now the hardest-hit state and first to surpass a million cases in the US.

You can follow our live global coronavirus coverage here:

Trump’s “voter fraud hotline” has been experiencing prank calls from anti-Trump teenagers, as well as disturbing unsolicited adult images, numerous reporters have now confirmed:

Trump campaign aides manning the “voter fraud hotline” describe mostly fielding prank calls from lefty teenagers and dealing with some disturbing unsolicited adult images.

— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) November 9, 2020

Earlier, ABC News reported that the hotline has “turned into a nightmare for some, as staffers, some of whom have contracts that expire in the coming days, have been bombarded with prank calls from people laughing or mocking them over Biden’s win before hanging up”.

The prank calls have also become a popular trend on TikTok.

Both disturbing and unsolicited https://t.co/WD1xgFceO0

— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 9, 2020

Biden to begin transition process this week

Biden and Harris are moving ahead with their transition process this week and planning for the start of a new presidency, even as Trump is defying presidential norms and refusing to concede while spreading misinformation.

On Sunday night, they released their first public schedule as “president-elect” and “vice president-elect”, which noted that on Monday, Biden will receive a briefing from his Covid-19 transition team and then deliver public remarks. Here’s what we know so far about what lies ahead in the Biden planning and transition efforts:

  • On Monday, Biden is launching a 12-member coronavirus task force, which will be co-chaired by former surgeon general Dr Vivek Murthy and former food and drug administration commissioner Dr David Kessler. Yale epidemiologist Dr Marcella Nunez-Smith is also expected to join. The task force will be responsible for executing his promises for tackling Covid-19, which include doubling the number of drive-through testing sites, establishing a US public health job corps to mobilize 100,000 Americans on contact tracing; and ramping up production of masks, face shields and other PPE.
  • Biden will be moving forward with efforts to choose the officials who will serve with him in his administration. He has not offered a timeline for cabinet picks, but he and Harris have pledged that his administration leaders will reflect the country, with representation of women and people of color.

Mike Pence to lead Covid-19 task force meeting on Monday

The vice-president will lead a coronavirus taskforce meeting tomorrow – the first in weeks after the campaign schedule had halted the meetings, NBC reports:

.@VP @Mike_Pence will lead a coronavirus task force meeting Monday afternoon. There had not been a meeting in weeks due to the campaign schedule. pic.twitter.com/1bI9ba8Yxr

— Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO) November 9, 2020

This meeting will occur the same day that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris plan to unveil their 12-member taskforce to deal with the pandemic, two days after they were declared the winner over Trump.

Earlier today, the president-elect revealed that his Covid group would include the former surgeon general Dr Vivek Murthy and the former food and drug administration commissioner Dr David Kessler as co-chairs.

The ongoing and worsening pandemic will be one of the most critical issues in the final months of Trump’s presidency – and one of the most urgent matters after Biden is inaugurated in January.


Trump appointee delays transition process, report says

One obstacle to a smooth transition between Trump and Biden may be Emily Murphy, a little-known Trump appointee who is in charge of the General Services Administration, according to a new story out this evening from the Washington Post:

What will it take for the formal transition between Trump and Biden to begin? The signoff of Emily Murphy, the head of the General Services Administration. And that Trump appointee isn't budging. By @Reinlwapo @OConnellPostbiz and @jdawsey1https://t.co/mFVkshIsmX

— Juliet Eilperin (@eilperin) November 9, 2020

Murphy is “refusing to sign a letter allowing Biden’s transition team to formally begin its work this week”, the Post reported, noting that her job includes signing “paperwork officially turning over millions of dollars, as well as giving access to government officials, office space and equipment authorized for the taxpayer-funded transition teams of the winner”.

This is a rarely-discussed duty, typically executed without incident in the period after a new president is elected. It’s a formal letter from the federal government acknowledging the winner of the race, separate from the media calls. But the Post found that almost 36 hours after the projection of a Biden win, Murphy had not written the letter, and that the “the Trump administration, in keeping with the president’s failure to concede the election, has no immediate plans to sign one”.

That refusal would lead to the first delay in modern history of a transition process, other than the supreme court dispute in 2000 surrounding the Florida recount, the paper said. A Biden spokesperson told the Post in a statement:

Now that the election has been independently called for Joe Biden, we look forward to the GSA Administrator quickly ascertaining Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the President-elect and Vice President-elect. America’s national security and economic interests depend on the federal government signaling clearly and swiftly that the United States government will respect the will of the American people and engage in a smooth and peaceful transfer of power.”

Will Trump continue to hold rallies in the final months of his “lame duck” presidency?

Multiple reports out today suggest that he is considering holding campaign-style rallies centered around potential recount battles and ongoing lawsuits, despite the victory call for Biden-Harris, and the reality that the recounts are not expected to flip any state or change the outcome of the election.

While Trump’s litigation efforts have gotten nowhere so far and have been widely regarded as frivolous and PR stunts, Axios reported this evening that: “Team Trump is ready to announce specific recount teams in key states, and it plans to hold a series of Trump rallies focused on the litigation.”

And CNN’s Jake Tapper reported tonight that Jared Kushner, Rudy Giuliani and Jason Miller are urging Trump to hold recount rallies, while others in his inner circle are encouraging him to think about conceding. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

Sources close to POTUS tell me he’s being urged by Jared Kushner, Rudy Giuliani, & campaign adviser Jason Miller to hold rallies throughout the US pushing for recounts of votes.

Dave Bossie and WH chief of staff Mark Meadows are urging the president to think about a concession.

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 9, 2020

It’s worth noting that the president remains in charge of handling the US response to coronavirus as the pandemic and devastation is expected to worsen in the final months of his presidency.

Earlier today, the Center for Presidential Transition, a non-partisan group that advises incoming administrations, urged the president to move forward with the traditional transition process.

While the race was called yesterday for Biden after his victory in Pennsylvania, the count is ongoing in a number of states where the margins have been close. Here are where things stand at this moment on Sunday evening:

  • In Georgia, Biden is ahead by 10,353 votes.
  • In Arizona, Biden is ahead by 16,985 votes.
  • In Nevada, Biden is ahead by 34,283 votes.
  • In Pennsylvania, Biden is ahead by 43,251 votes.

In Arizona, the AP and Fox News have for days called the race for Biden, though other news outlets have yet to call it, remaining more cautious as Biden’s lead has narrowed, while acknowledging he is favored to win.

Experts say the margins in general appear to be large enough that any recount would make no difference in impacting the final results. And either way, Biden’s electoral college lead does not hinge on one of these states alone.

At the current count, Biden is ahead in the popular vote by 4,424,676 votes.

Trump, it appears, is not making his first public comments on Fox News on the Mark Levin show this evening after all. After the president tweeted, “Will discuss the Mail-In-Ballot Hoax!” at 8pm EST, we and other media assumed he meant he would be discussing the election, which would have been his first appearance since the Biden-Harris victory was called. But after an hour, the president has not appeared.

Instead, Levin continued to spread falsehoods about voter fraud, including with his guest Ken Starr, a member of Trump’s legal team during the impeachment.

As a reminder: there is no evidence of a mail-in-ballot hoax or widespread fraud of any kind. Trump also has no public events scheduled for tomorrow:

President Trump has no public events scheduled tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/XlqCUnyl7e

— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) November 9, 2020

Another Republican figure has congratulated Biden and Harris on their victory, instead of boosting Trump’s false claims that the election was “stolen”: Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state in George W Bush’s administration congratulated the Democrats and “the American people who voted in record numbers showing the strength and vibrancy of our democracy”.

Congratulations President-elect @JoeBiden and Vice President-elect @KamalaHarris, and to the American people who voted in record numbers showing the strength and vibrancy of our democracy.

— Condoleezza Rice (@CondoleezzaRice) November 9, 2020

Her tweet is not a surprise given that she has been long outspoken against Trump, starting during the 2016 election. Top Republicans have either spread Trump’s baseless claims of widespread vote rigging or said nothing this weekend, with a few moderates sticking with tradition and offering congratulations.

More on the GOP response to the president’s continued falsehoods:

Fact check: Trump's false claims of 'dead' voters

The president continues to promote the false claim that there is voter fraud in the form of dead voters submitting ballots, when there is no evidence this occurs, and officials have directly debunked it.

Citing multiple Trump advisers, Axios reported this evening that “Trump plans to brandish obituaries of people who supposedly voted but are dead ... in an effort to prolong his fight against apparent insurmountable election results”. Senator Lindsey Graham and Fox News have also promoted the false conspiracy theory today, and Trump this evening tweeted footage of that interview, which Twitter has once again labeled as “disputed”.

The facts: there has been no evidence of widespread fraud anywhere this election, according to election officials and experts. When it comes to claims of allegedly deceased voters that have gone viral and have been promoted by rightwing figures this past week, there have been a number of mundane explanations.

In some cases, voters with nearly identical names to people who have died are casting ballots. Other times people’s ages appeared inaccurately due to clerical errors with their birth dates. In Michigan, election officials also clarified in a statement that: “Ballots of voters who have died are rejected in Michigan, even if the voter cast an absentee ballot and then died before Election Day. PolitiFact found that claims of dead voters casting ballots have not been substantiated in Detroit, Virginia, Nevada and Wisconsin.

It is unclear if Trump will actually speak on Fox News tonight. Earlier, the president promoted the Mark Levin show at 8pm EST, tweeting, “Will discuss the Mail-In Ballot Hoax!” but now Levin is talking to Ken Starr, who was part of Trump’s legal team during his impeachment.

Levin has been sympathetic to the president’s false and unsubstantiated claims about fraud and the ongoing efforts to undermine the integrity of the election. He has also called for GOP state legislatures to ignore the election results and send electors who will vote for Trump instead of Biden.

The president has presented the counting of mailed ballots received after election day as illegitimate, but in fact that is explicitly allowed in roughly 20 states. The supreme court has also not blocked it.

Twitter’s “disputed” labels are coming quick for Trump’s false and unsubstantiated claims today – the latest added within less than a minute of the inaccurate tweet.

Wow, it didn’t take Twitter long. Less than a minute! pic.twitter.com/irEve5Wlob

— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) November 9, 2020

The president tweeted a video of Senator Ted Cruz spreading false and debunked claims about an error in Michigan. The GOP senator falsely suggested that a problem with “election software” led to votes for the president mistakenly going to Biden, when in actuality, there was an “accidental error” by a clerk in election night reporting that did not impact the vote count.

The president is due to speak soon tonight, at 8pm ET on Fox News, his first public remarks since the race was called for Biden.


Good evening – Sam Levin, in Los Angeles here, taking over our live coverage for the rest of the night.

The Trump campaign has announced that congressman Doug Collins, who lost in a special election to Senator Kelly Loeffler, will lead the campaign’s recount team in Georgia, a state where Biden is in the lead, but the results are too close to call.

Collins has been an avid Trump supporter, and has been critical of the media for calling the election on Saturday.

In Georgia, Biden currently leads by 10,353 votes. The secretary of state has said there will be a recount given the thin margin, and the process could take up until the end of the month. Losing candidates are allowed to seek a recount if they lost by less than 0.5% of votes cast.

Collins said in a statement that the campaign was “confident” it will find evidence that “prove that President Trump won Georgia fairly again on his way to re-election as president”. There has been no evidence of widespread fraud in Georgia or elsewhere, and experts have predicted that, despite the thin margin in Georgia, a recount will yield the same result – a Biden win in the historically Republican state. Even if Trump were to win a recount, it would not give him enough votes to win the electoral college.

More from the Guardian on the state of Georgia:


The Center for Presidential Transition, a non-partisan group that advises incoming administrations, has backed Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, even as Donald Trump refuses to accept the results.

Donald Trump departs the White House for his golf club in Virginia on Sunday. He has yet to accept defeat in the presidential election
Donald Trump departs the White House for his golf club in Virginia on Sunday. He has yet to accept defeat in the presidential election. Photograph: Mike Theiler/EPA

“We urge the Trump administration to immediately begin the post-election transition process and the Biden team to take full advantage of the resources available under the Presidential Transition Act. This was a hard-fought campaign, but history is replete with examples of presidents who emerged from such campaigns to graciously assist their successors,” the group wrote in a letter published on Sunday.

The group also praised the Biden-Harris campaign. “We congratulate Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris on their successful and historic campaign for the White House. In our role we have observed the seriousness with which they have taken the transition planning process. They embraced transition planning early, recruited a seasoned and disciplined team and resourced their transition effort commensurate with the challenges that President-elect Biden will face on January 20. While there will be legal disputes requiring adjudication, the outcome is sufficiently clear that the transition process must now begin<” read the letter.

The group includes prominent Republicans, such as George W Bush’s chief of staff, Josh Bolten.


With 97% of votes counted in Arizona, one of the states Biden flipped from Trump this election, the challenger’s lead has grown to 20,102 votes.

Joe Biden's lead has grown in Arizona to 20,102 votes. @MSNBC

— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 8, 2020

For a full rundown of the results of the election so far, take a look at our interactive map:

The Associated Press has reported on Donald Trump’s legal challenges to the results of the presidential election. And AP’s sources admit Republicans don’t think they have much of a chance of winning their cases:

The Trump campaign’s strategy to file a barrage of lawsuits challenging President-elect Joe Biden’s win is more about providing President Donald Trump with an off-ramp for a loss he can’t quite grasp and less about changing the election’s outcome, according to senior officials, campaign aides and allies who spoke to The Associated Press.

Trump has promised legal action in the coming days as he refused to concede his loss to Biden, making an aggressive pitch for donors to help finance any court fight. Trump and his campaign have leveled accusations of large-scale voter fraud in Pennsylvania and other states that broke for Biden, so far without proof.

But proof isn’t really the point, said the people. The AP spoke with 10 Trump senior officials, campaign aides and allies who were not authorized to discuss the subject publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Trump aides and allies also acknowledged privately the legal fights would at best forestall the inevitable, and some had deep reservations about the president’s attempts to undermine faith in the vote. But they said Trump and a core group of allies were aiming to keep his loyal base of supporters on his side even in defeat.

According to one Republican granted anonymity to discuss the private conversation, Republicans on Capitol Hill were giving Trump the space to consider all legal options, and allowing the process to play out.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has not yet made any public statements - neither congratulating Biden nor joining Trump’s complaints about the results.

“I’m not sure his position would have changed from yesterday - count all the votes, adjudicate all the claims,” said Scott Jennings, a Republican strategist in Kentucky allied with McConnell. “My sense is there’s won’t be any tolerance for beyond what the law allows. There will be tolerance for what the law allows.”
It was a view being echoed by several other Republicans neither supporting or rejecting the outcome.

“Nothing that I’ve seen regarding the election raises a legal issue that could succeed. There is just is nothing there,” said Barry Richard, who represented George W Bush in the 2000 recount in Florida that ended up before the US supreme court. “When these kind of lawsuits are filed it just breeds contempt for the whole legal system.”

Donald Trump refuses to accept Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election, but his former chief economic adviser has praised the Biden-Harris campaign.

Gary Cohn, who was Trump’s chief economic adviser from 2017 to 2018, tweeted on Sunday: “Congrats to President-elect @joebiden and Vice President-elect @kamalaharris. I wish them great success in leading our country. With over 145M votes cast, both campaigns should be applauded for getting an unprecedented number of citizens engaged in the democratic process.”

Congrats to President-elect @joebiden and Vice President-elect @kamalaharris. I wish them great success in leading our country. With over 145M votes cast, both campaigns should be applauded for getting an unprecedented number of citizens engaged in the democratic process.

— Gary Cohn (@Gary_D_Cohn) November 8, 2020

Cohn’s break with Trump is perhaps not a huge surprise. He was a registered Democrat when he served in Trump’s team, and was quoted in Michael Wolff’s expose of the Trump White House, Fire and Fury, as describing the president as “dumb as shit”. In September he told CNBC that he was not sure who he would vote for in the election.


Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most prominent progressive voices among Democrats, accused the party of being incompetent during an interview with the New York Times this weekend. She said the party’s relative failure in congressional races was not down to progressive agendas such as the Movement for Black Lives and the Green New Deal but rather a lack of “core competencies” to run such campaigns.

During an appearance on NBC’s Meet The Press on Sunday, Joe Biden’s campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, said the president-elect was committed to progressive policies.

“He’s going to make good on those commitments,” she continued. “I mean we, you know, he spent time during this campaign bringing people together around, around this climate plan. He was able to get the endorsement of groups like the Sunrise Movement and the endorsement of labor for this plan.”

Trump to make first media appearance since election called

The president will make his first media appearance since the Joe Biden was widely called as the winner of the presidential election. Donald Trump tweeted that he will appear on rightwing host Mark Levin’s show on Fox News at 8pm ET tonight, where he says he will discuss “the Mail-In Ballot Hoax!” Although keen observers will point out that the main “hoax” around mail-in ballots has been the president’s baseless assertions that there has been some kind of conspiracy to deprive him of victory over Joe Biden.

Watch @marklevinshow at 8:00 P.M. Will discuss the Mail-In Ballot Hoax!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2020

Don’t expect Trump to get a grilling from Levin. After initially starting out as a “never Trumper”, Levin has fallen in line with the president. He has called for Republican-controlled legislatures to ignore the results of state elections and send electors who will vote against Biden in the electoral college.

The president ultimately did not appear on the show.


Although Democratic nominee Joe Biden is now president-elect Joe Biden, there are still quite a few steps left in the US electoral process. He is projected to win, but a few more things have to take place before it becomes official. Here’s what happens now, and when it has to be done by.

When American citizens vote for a presidential candidate, they really are voting for electors in their state. Those electors in most cases are committed to support the voters’ candidate of choice. The number of electors is equal to the number of electoral votes held by each state.

8 December: this is the deadline for resolving election disputes at the state level. All state recounts and court contests over presidential election results are to be completed by this date.

14 December: electors vote by paper ballot in their respective state capitols and also in the District of Columbia, which while it is the seat of the US government, is not actually a state. Thirty-three states and DC have laws or party regulations requiring electors to vote the same way the popular vote goes in the state. In some states, electors can even be replaced or subjected to penalties if they do not toe the line. An elector who doesn’t vote according to who won the popular vote is known as a “faithless elector”. The votes for president and vice-president are counted and the electors sign six “certificates of the vote”. The certificates, along with other official papers, are sent by registered mail to various officials, including the president of the Senate.

23 December: the certificates must be delivered to the designated officials.

6 January 2021: the House and Senate hold a joint session to count the electoral votes. If one ticket has received 270 or more electoral votes, the president of the Senate, currently vice-president Mike Pence, announces the results.

If neither presidential candidate wins at least 270 electoral votes, each of the 50 state delegations gets one vote, based on the 12th amendment to the US constitution. The winner needs to get 26 out of 50 votes. That is not going to happen in 2021 – Joe Biden will easily clear the 270 threshold.


When Michigan flipped from Donald Trump to Joe Biden in this year’s election, the Democrat’s path to victory looked a lot more assured. The state’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer, told the New York Times today that she believed that women and black voters were crucial to Biden’s victory.

Gretchen Whitmer: ‘I always said the road to the White House runs through the state of Michigan.’
Gretchen Whitmer: ‘I always said the road to the White House runs through the state of Michigan.’ Photograph: AP

“I always said the road to the White House runs through the state of Michigan,” she said. “And you can’t get on this road without going through the city of Detroit. And I loved how Joe Biden last night acknowledged how important African American voters were in this election. And how Kamala Harris recognized how important female voters were in this election. This was a coalition that I think came together because of the personal stake every one of us has come to appreciate we have in this moment.”

You can read more on a tumultuous few months in Whitmer’s life below:

The popular vote does not decide the presidential election in the US, but it is a reflection of the general feeling in the country. And Joe Biden’s lead continues to grow. And it is likely to grow further in the coming days as more votes are counted in states where Democrats traditionally perform strongly, such as New York and California. By the Guardian’s count, Biden now leads by more than 4m votes.

*POPULAR VOTE UPDATE* + change since last night
Total vote: 148,502,630 (+342,739)

BIDEN: 75,215,986 (50.6%) (+205,527)

TRUMP: 70,812,803 (47.7) (+126,574)

MARGIN: 4,403,183 (+78,953)

What's left...
NY 79%
WA 85%
CA 86% reporting (up from 66%)
TX 98% (up from 85%)

— Domenico Montanaro (@DomenicoNPR) November 8, 2020

The Trump campaign has deleted a tweet in which it claimed The Washington Times prematurely called the 2000 election (won by George W Bush) for Al Gore. The tweet came as the president and his supporters insist the media called this year’s election for Joe Biden too early, and repeat baseless claims that Trump was a victim of widespread voter fraud.

Those photos have been doctored. The Washington Times never ran a "President Gore" headline.

— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) November 8, 2020

The Washington Times is a conservative newspaper, but was quick to rebut the Trump campaign’s claims. “Those photos have been doctored. The Washington Times never ran a ‘President Gore’ headline,” the newspaper said on Twitter.

Donald Trump looked in an upbeat mood as he left his Virginia golf course this afternoon, giving the thumbs up to supporters. But then again in the president’s head (or maybe, more accurately, in the face he presents) he won the election.

Donald Trump gives two thumbs up to supporters as he departs after playing golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia
Donald Trump gives two thumbs up to supporters as he departs after playing golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia. Photograph: Steve Helber/AP

“Since when does the Lamestream Media call who our next president will be? We have all learned a lot in the last two weeks!” he tweeted earlier, possibly just before hitting his tee shot on the 15th.

Since when does the Lamestream Media call who our next president will be? We have all learned a lot in the last two weeks!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2020

The media (lamestream or otherwise) do not decide who the next president will be. They can call who they think has won (and everyone, including Fox, says that is Joe Biden) but it is the electoral college of the United States, who officially rule on the next president. And, barring a legal miracle, they will soon confirm Joe Biden as the next president after Biden secures the votes to become the next president.

Here’s more on how the system works:

Who elects the US president?

When Americans cast their ballots for the US president, they are actually voting for a representative of that candidate’s party known as an elector. There are 538 electors who then vote for the president on behalf of the people in their state.

Each state is assigned a certain number of these electoral votes, based on the number of congressional districts they have, plus two additional votes representing the state’s Senate seats. Washington DC is also assigned three electoral votes, despite having no voting representation in Congress. A majority of 270 of these votes is needed to win the presidency.

The process of nominating electors varies by state and by party, but is generally done one of two ways. Ahead of the election, political parties either choose electors at their national conventions, or they are voted for by the party’s central committee.

The electoral college nearly always operates with a winner-takes-all system, in which the candidate with the highest number of votes in a state claims all of that state’s electoral votes. For example, in 2016, Trump beat Clinton in Florida by a margin of just 2.2%, but that meant he claimed all 29 of Florida’s crucial electoral votes.

Such small margins in a handful of key swing states meant that, regardless of Clinton’s national vote lead, Trump was able to clinch victory in several swing states and therefore win more electoral college votes.

Larry Hogan, the governor of Maryland, wants to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, as a moderate in party very likely still under the firm and dreadful thrall of the Trumpists. We know that, he knows that – he’s already written a campaign biography – but of course he won’t quite admit it on national TV. Here’s his exchange with Jake Tapper from CNN this morning:

Tapper: All right, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, just a very quick question. Yes or no, are you thinking about possibly running for president in 2024?

Hogan: I think we have got a long time before we start talking about that, Jake.

Tapper: Oh. Are you thinking about it? Is it something you’re thinking about?

Hogan: A lot of people are encouraging me to think about it. But I’m in the middle of a state of emergency, focused on the virus, the pandemic, and our economic recovery.

Tapper: Yes.

Hogan: And we have a long time to talk about this over the next four years.

Tapper: All right.

Hogan: Let’s get beyond the 2020 race first.

If it comes to a run, which it will, Hogan might hope Republican voters will look past the fact he didn’t vote for Trump in 2020. He might also hope any floating Democrats or independents don’t mind that by his own admission he didn’t vote for Joe Biden either. He wrote in Ronald Reagan. Who died in 2004.

As the Washington Post reported at the time:

On social media, in comments on news stories and in a newspaper editorial over the past four days, the moderate Republican with national ambitions endured heavy criticism and open mocking for picking a man who has been dead for 16 years.

The comments ranged from jocular “Who is going to tell him?” reminders that Reagan is ineligible to outright condemnations of Hogan’s choice as “clownish,” childish or an act of cowardice.

“The vitriol that I’ve seen – he’s being made fun of,” said political scientist Todd Eberly, a professor at St Mary’s College who studies polarization and presidential politics. “It’s become a national joke that he voted for Reagan.”

Jill Biden’s spokesperson, Michael LaRosa, says the future first lady will concentrate on education, veterans and cancer research when her husband assumes power.

“Joe Biden will be a president for all Americans,” La Rosa said in a statement on Sunday. “She is spending time with her children and grandchildren in Wilmington, Delaware. Dr Biden is focused on building her team and developing her priorities focused on education, military families and veterans, and cancer.”

Jill Biden has a personal interest in all three of those areas. Her stepson Beau was a veteran who died of brain cancer, a loss she has described as “totally shattering”. She has also been a teacher and professor of English.

My colleague Daniel Strauss has more on the new first family below:

There is, of course, a pandemic raging in the United States as the man who has done little to contain it refuses to relinquish power. But New York governor Andrew Cuomo believes a Joe Biden administration could well be a turning point in America’s battle against Covid-19.

“I think you’ll see a different tone now. I think you’ll even see some governors start to take a different tone now that Mr Trump is out of office,” Cuomo said on ABC’s This Week on Sunday. “I think the political pressure of denying Covid is gone. I think you’ll see scientists speak with unmuzzled voice now. And I think the numbers are going to go up and Americans are going to get how serious this is.”

Cuomo knows all too well the devastation Covid-19 can bring after his state was hit hard in the early days of the virus’s spread in the US. However, New York steadily brought the pandemic under control as the summer wore on. Cuomo warned that may not be possible across the country as a whole while Trump remains in power.

Joe Biden and Andrew Cuomo earlier this year during a ceremony to mark the 9/11 attacks
Joe Biden and Andrew Cuomo earlier this year during a ceremony to mark the 9/11 attacks. Photograph: John Minchillo/AP

“If this administration rolls out a flawed vaccination plan, it’s going to be a problem because it’s going to be very hard for the Biden administration to turn it back,” he said.

Cuomo also said that the results of the presidential election were a repudiation of Trump. “I think the overwhelming message was the country was - it was about President Trump. And the country rejected the negativity, the personality, the controversy,” he said. “He did everything he could ... to divide the nation, right? He disunited the states of America. And Joe Biden is the exact opposite. You heard him speak from his heart last night. That’s who he is. He is an authentic person.”

My colleague Jessica Glenza has more on how Trump’s final months in power could prove deadly for thousands of Americans:

South Dakota’s Republican governor, Kristi Noem, has appeared on ABC’s This Week to claim “people have signed legal documents ... stating that they saw illegal activities” during the election. That was quickly dismissed by the show’s host, George Stephanopoulos.

Kristi Noem is a longtime ally of Donald Trump
Kristi Noem is a longtime ally of Donald Trump. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

“This isn’t just about this election. This is about every election in the future and the fact that the American people, the everyday people who get up and work hard, that are suffering through this pandemic, that have tragically lost family members, that they need to know at least America still functions and we care about doing things right,” Noem continued.

“It starts with providing evidence. You still have not provided it,” Stephanopoulos answered.

It was only the rotting complacency of mainstream American politics that made Donald Trump smell refreshing. In a world without blatant voter suppression and disenfranchisement, there might be more concern for Trump’s criminality. In a world where campaigns didn’t pit millionaires against billionaires, where it was not a risky proposition to speak honestly of the country’s glaring structural inequalities, voters might not have thought Trump’s crude insults made him “straight talking”.

These clues were there all along. The Republican political strategist Sarah Longwell, who highlighted Trump’s declining appeal among suburban women, also reported that her research found these same voters losing trust in both the media and political institutions. “They sort of throw their hands up a lot and say, I just don’t know what to believe,” Longwell told NPR. “There’s just this sort of total collapse of faith in anything.”

Into that stagnant bog, Trump came to stir the muck. His incoherence was seen as a kind of unpractised honesty; his ignorance as a mark of accessibility; his vileness as a sign of his fighting spirit. He wasn’t nice, but he was going to shake things up.

The shock of 2016 and the trauma of the past four years has intensified a belated anxiety about the crumbling state of American democracy; it has raised an alarm that is decades overdue. Too many voters looked at Trump and did not see a wicked man, they saw a man willing to break the rules of a broken system. For as long as that doesn’t fundamentally change, there is more wickedness in store.

You can read the full article below:

More evidence has emerged to undermine reports that members of Donald Trump’s inner circle have urged the president to concede defeat to Joe Biden (and if there’s one thing we know about Trump it’s that he will do anything to avoid losing). Melania Trump has tweeted her support of her husband’s efforts to overturn his electoral defeat.

The American people deserve fair elections. Every legal - not illegal - vote should be counted. We must protect our democracy with complete transparency.

— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) November 8, 2020

“The American people deserve fair elections,” she tweeted on Sunday. “Every legal - not illegal - vote should be counted. We must protect our democracy with complete transparency.” There is, of course, currently no evidence that the presidential election this year was anything but fair and transparent.

Meanwhile, one of Trump’s closest allies in the Senate, Linsey Graham, urged the president to “keep on fighting”.

“Keep fighting for every legal and live vote,” the South Carolina senator said on Fox Business on Sunday. “If we don’t fight back in 2020, we’re never going to win again presidentially. There is a lot at stake here.”

That view was backed up by another Republican senator, Ted Cruz, who also spoke on Fox on Sunday. “The media is desperately trying to get everyone to coronate Joe Biden as the next president, but that’s not how it works,” the Texas senator said. “The media does not get to select our president. The American people get to elect our president.

“I believe President Trump still has a path to victory and that path is to count every single legal vote that was cast, but also not to count any votes that were fraudulently cast.”

Again, there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the presidential election.

The New York Times is now also pouring cold water on reports that Jared Kushner asked Donald Trump to concede. The Times’ Maggie Haberman says that, according to a White House source, Kushner is advising his father-in-law to look at “legal remedies” to win the election, which are looking increasingly remote.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s senior campaign advisor, Symone Sanders, says that the president elect has heard from a number of senior Republicans but nothing from the White House.

Symone Sanders, senior adviser to President-elect Joe Biden, says the White House has yet to reach out. "I think the White House has made clear what their strategy is here...they are going to continue to...push forward these...in many respects, baseless legal strategies” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/G6pXY7gdt6

— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) November 8, 2020

“I think the White House has made clear what their strategy is here and that they are going to continue to participate and push forward these flailing and in many respects, baseless, legal strategies,” she said during an appearance on CNN on Sunday. “But the people ... are the folks who decide elections in this country and the people have spoken.”

The dark skies over London were lit up with joyous fireworks after Joe Biden was announced the winner on Saturday, according to several US-based news organisations. Or were they for someone else?

Fireworks lit up the night sky over London, England, after Joe Biden was characterized to be the apparent winner of the presidential election. https://t.co/viPrOyYEiN pic.twitter.com/6bNg2zCyFC

— ABC News (@ABC) November 8, 2020

Sorry Americans, but those likely weren’t for you. Us Britons have been celebrating the survival of King James I after an assassination attempt in 1605. Well, most were just having a good time with little regard for the story.

Guy Fawkes’ night, named after the man who failed to commit regicide, is celebrated every year on 5 November, although many wait until the weekend to set off their colourful explosives.

WATCH: Fireworks in London, Edinburgh as Biden win celebrated abroad https://t.co/Fa6AELqYXe pic.twitter.com/1JB0sRpwhQ

— The Hill (@thehill) November 8, 2020

I should note that its possible some Londoners were, in fact, celebrating Biden with their leftover stash of fireworks.

The leader of the British Labour party, Keir Starmer, has said Joe Biden’s election is a “chance to reset” the special relationship between the two countries.

Writing in the Guardian, the opposition politician said “the American people have voted for a better, more optimistic future: for unity over division, hope over fear and integrity over dishonesty.”

This election also had stark lessons for those of us who want to see progressive values triumph over the forces of division and despair. The Democrats’ path to victory was paved by a broad coalition, including many of the states and communities that four years ago turned away from them.

To win back the trust of voters takes time. It takes political leaders who listen, learn and renew. Biden spoke to the soul of the nation, with a focus on who people are and what they value: family, community and security. One election victory does not mean that work is now finished for the Democrats; for us in the Labour party, it is only just beginning.

Most world leaders rushed to congratulate Joe Biden on his election, but Russia and China, two likely losers from the defeat of Donald Trump, remained silent, perhaps waiting for the outgoing president to concede defeat.

The president of the Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, is thought to be the first to have congratulated Biden, tweeting his welcome within 24 minutes of the US networks declaring Biden victorious. By contrast, Vladimir Putin, accused of collusion in Trump’s 2016 victory, and Xi Jinping kept their counsel.

Iran, suffering from Trump-inspired sanctions and now recording nearly 500 Covid-related deaths daily, celebrated Trump’s demise and said the US should now compensate Iran for its mistakes.

Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, due to leave office next summer, said he will wait to see what Biden does before deciding if there is any difference between Trump and his successor.

Rouhani said: “Trump’s damaging policy has been opposed by the American people. The next US administration should use the opportunity to make up for past mistakes.”

Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, said Washington’s deeds not words will matter most. On Saturday the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, mocked the US elections, saying it was “an example of the ugly face of liberal democracy”, which has shown the “definite political, civil, and moral decline of the US regime”

So #shapeshiftingcreep is trending on Twitter in the UK, a reference to the British prime minister, Boris Johnson.

Let me explain.

There are serious jitters in the UK over the future relationship with Washington, with Johnson seen as Donald Trump’s closest personal transatlantic ally. As the Guardian’s diplomatic editor, Patrick Wintour, reports, some of Biden’s allies – not official aides – have made clear their hostility towards Johnson.

After Johnson finally congratulated Biden on Saturday evening in a fairly bland statement, Tommy Vietor, a former Obama press aide, launched a brutal takedown on Twitter.

“This shapeshifting creep weighs in,” Vietor wrote, replying to Johnson’s tweet. “We will never forget your racist comments about Obama and slavish devotion to Trump.”

The UK prime minister had previously suggested that Barack Obama’s “part-Kenyan” heritage made him remove a bust of Britain’s wartime leader Winston Churchill from the Oval Office out of “dislike of the British empire”.

This shapeshifting creep weighs in. We will never forget your racist comments about Obama and slavish devotion to Trump but neat Instagram graphic. https://t.co/aXga8j5Jpv

— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) November 7, 2020

Clyburn: John Lewis doubted wisdom of 'defund the police' slogan

Richard Luscombe reports...

James Clyburn, the House majority whip and Democratic party “kingmaker” who played an outsized role in Joe Biden’s successful presidential run, has said the “sloganeering” of Black Lives Matter and other social justice efforts this summer might have hampered the party at the polls.

Likening the “defund the police” mantra of some activists to more radical messaging among civil rights activists in the 1960s, which eroded some public support, the South Carolina congressman invoked memories of John Lewis, the civil rights icon and Democratic representative who died this year.

“I came out very publicly and very forcibly against sloganeering,” Clyburn said on CNN’s State of the Union.

“John Lewis and I were founders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. John and I sat on the House floor and talked about that “defund the police” slogan, and both of us concluded that it had the possibilities of doing to the Black Lives Matter movement and current movements across the country what “Burn, Baby, Burn” did to us back in the 1960s.

“Burn, Baby, Burn” became a slogan during the Watts Riots of 1965 in Los Angeles, at the time the argest and costliest uprising of the civil rights era.

“We lost that movement over that slogan,” Clyburn said. “And a lot of people don’t realize it, but John Lewis walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in February 1965. A year later, we got the Voting Rights Act out of that. And it wasn’t a year after that that John Lewis was ousted as chair of the SNCC.

“We saw the same thing happening here. We can’t pick up these things just because it makes a good headline. It sometimes destroys headway.”

As an example, Clyburn cited the defeat of South Carolina US Senate hopeful Jaime Harrison, who was beaten comprehensively by the incumbent Republican, Lindsey Graham, in a race many expected him to win.

“Jaime Harrison started to plateau when ‘defund the police’ showed up with a caption on TV, ran across his head,” Clyburn said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “That stuff hurt Jaime. And that’s why I spoke out against it a long time ago. I’ve always said that these headlines can kill a political effort.”

Clyburn also had thoughts about the Democratic party’s “progressive” left wing, members of which have already broken ranks and fired the first shots in a looming battle for the direction of the party.

“Sometimes I have real problems trying to figure out what progressive means,” he said. “My father was very conservative. He was a minister. I never heard him ask his congregation to give conservatively. He always asked for a liberal offering. And so I believe that it’s good to be conservative at times and in many ways, but it’s also good to be liberal at times. You have to balance all of this out.”


George W Bush congratulates Joe Biden on election win

My colleague David Smith, the Guardian’s Washington DC bureau chief, has just forwarded a statement from George W Bush, who said he has spoken with Joe Biden.

“I extended my warm congratulations and thanked him for the patriotic message he delivered last night. I also called Kamala Harris to congratulate her on her historic election to the vice-presidency,” the statement read.

Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country. The president-elect reiterated that while he ran as a Democrat, he will govern for all Americans. I offered him the same thing I offered Presidents Trump and Obama: my prayers for his success, and my pledge to help in any way I can.”

Bush also congratulated Trump and his supporters on “a hard-fought campaign” and added that Trump voters’ “voices will continue to be heard through elected Republicans at every level of government”.

While Bush said Trump had the right to request recounts and pursue legal challenges, he added the American “people can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear”.


US news website Axios is now contradicting an earlier report by CNN that Jared Kushner had advised Trump to concede.

The Axios report quoted an unidentified source “close to Jared Kushner” as saying he has advised Trump to pursue “legal remedies” to the election.

Not clear what legal remedies there are to a US election that votes in your opponent.

Sorry for close followers who are tired of hearing it, but to repeat again – the Trump administration has provided no credible evidence of widespread election fraud. Furthermore, even isolated counting discrepancies are unlikely to change the result at this point.

Joe Biden’s ancestral home in the west of Ireland celebrated his victory with champagne, Guinness, flags and a declaration it was now Bidenland.

Ballina, a County Mayo town near the Atlantic coast, toasted the US president-elect as a native son on Saturday night and early Sunday after he defeated Donald Trump.

Families gathered under a pop art-style mural of Biden in Market Square to clink glasses and express relief that the Blewitt didn’t blow it. The Democrat is the great-great-great-grandson of Edward Blewitt, who emigrated to the US after the 1840s famine and settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

“The count just dragged out and dragged and finally it happened. We’re thrilled, we’re delighted,” said Joe Blewitt, 41, a plumber who is a third cousin of Biden.

He had endorsed his relative during the campaign with a sign on his van – “Joe Biden for the White House, Joe Blewitt for your house” – that spread on social media, prompting abuse from some Trump supporters in the US.

Biden has expressed pride in his Irish roots – another branch of his family came from County Louth – and visited Ireland many times, meeting relatives whom he then hosted in the US.

JFK began a tradition of US presidents exploring family roots on visits to Ireland, a precedent followed by Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and even Barack Obama, who visited Moneygall in County Offaly in 2011. A nearby motorway service station was named Barack Obama Plaza in his honour. Ballina residents said they hoped to find a grander way to honour Biden, but have not yet decided how.

Joe Biden, who is set to become the country’s second Catholic president, spent Sunday morning at church.

President-elect Joe Biden arrives at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington, Delaware.
President-elect Joe Biden arrives at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington, Delaware. Photograph: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

The side story of the election has got to be a bizarre Trump campaign press conference in the car park of a Philadelphia landscaping business situated between a crematorium and sex shop.

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani spoke to reporters at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, which many had presumed was the more upscale Four Seasons hotel. It was not clear if the campaign booked the wrong venue by mistake.

I know the world has been waiting on the edge of its collective seat for Four Seasons Total Landscaping to comment. With pleasure, here it is:

“Four Seasons Total Landscaping is a family-owned small business run by life long Philadelphians,” a Facebook post said. “We were honored to be asked to host a press conference at our facility.

“We thank all of those that have shown support for our business and while we understand the negative comments, it saddens us that we have received such harsh judgement,” it said, adding the team would have “proudly hosted any presidential candidate’s campaign at our business.”

The business said it will update its website on Monday for people who are interested in purchasing shirts.

Patriots? Capitalists? Democracy-defenders? All three?

The world’s most awkward family conversation?

CNN is now reporting that Melania Trump has added her voice to the argument that the president should accept his loss.

“She has offered [her opinion], as she often does,” CNN quoted an unnamed source it said was familiar with the conversation.

Earlier, the news network said Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, had addressed the subject with the president.

To be a fly on the wall inside the Trump White House...

Biden picks two health experts for coronavirus task force

Joe Biden is planning to name former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and former FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler as co-chairs of the coronavirus working group he’s launching this week.

The president-elect’s campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, announced that the two public health experts would lead the task force during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

Murthy, a surgeon general for Barack Obama, and Kessler have been part of a group of experts and doctors that have briefed Biden on the pandemic for months throughout the campaign.

Biden said during his victory speech Saturday night that he’d unveil the full Covid-19 task force on Monday.

No doubt a pretty sour mood in the White House this weekend, and not just due to the election result.

With the avalanche of news yesterday, you may have missed that Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, tested positive for Covid-19, along with at least one other aide to the president.

The New York Times is now reporting that five other people working in the White House have contracted the virus.

A Republican governor in Maryland, Larry Hogan, had said he hopes that President Trump will concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden.

Hogan told CNN that Trump “ought to at least acknowledge that he will” concede, “even if it may take a few more days for cooler heads to prevail and to convince him it’s the right thing to do for the nation.”

He added that he had not “seen any evidence” of the election fraud alleged by the president.

“A couple of Republican governors are the ones responsible for the states in question,” Hogan said. “They haven’t questioned the results.”

Hogan has been critical of Trump, particularly on the coronavirus response.

Stacey Abrams, the former Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia who is credited with motivating voters against Donald Trump in a traditionally red state, believes Joe Biden’s presidency could be defined by two US Senate run-off elections in her state in January.

Stacey Abrams.
Stacey Abrams. Photograph: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Victories for the Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock would secure a 50-50 split with Republicans, making Kamala Harris, as Vice-President, the tie-breaking vote.

“This is going to be the determining factor of whether we have access to healthcare and access to justice in the United States,” Abrams, a former Georgia House minority leader, said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

“Those are two issues that will make certain people turn out. We know this is going to be a hard fight, it’s going to be a competitive fight [and] these are two men who are going to make certain that Joe Biden has the leadership, the support and the congressional mandate that he needs to move this country forward.”

Both parties will be directing massive resources into Georgia ahead of the 5 January elections. Abrams believes it is an “anachronistic notion” that her party cannot win in a state that has two Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, a Republican governor in Brian Kemp, and a GOP-controlled legislature.

Biden holds a narrow lead in the presidential election in Georgia, a race not yet called and heading for a recount.

“We’re so proud of the work that the Biden campaign did in Georgia but we’re incredibly excited about the work that’s been done on the ground for the last decade to bring us to this point, and we’re so excited to be going blue,” she said.

The support of Georgia’s black voters has been key to Biden’s strength there, but Abrams said it would take a diverse coalition to seat two Democrats in the Senate.

“We began early on saying that this is not about black and white, this is about pulling together a coalition of people of color, of the poor, of the disadvantaged, of the marginalised, and being consistent with our engagement not waiting for an election to meet them, and certainly not waiting till the end of an election to acknowledge their value,” Abrams said.

“We’ve been doing this work from the very beginning, but I also want to acknowledge the very strong work of progressive whites, who’ve been working to help build these opportunities as well.

“We are not a majority minority country yet. And that means that this is a coalition that has to be built and sustained across racial lines, across demography, across geography, because our mission should be the protection of our democracy, and the action of progress for all.”

Today so far

Here is the latest:

  • Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris have updated their official presidential transition website and also launched a Twitter account: @Transition46.
  • Donald Trump’s motorcade was reported this morning arriving at one of his golf courses.
  • The US has recorded its fourth consecutive record daily total of new Covid cases. According to Johns Hopkins University, 127,399 cases were recorded on Saturday, bringing the total recorded to nearly 9.9m. More than 1,000 deaths were recorded, bring the national toll close to 237,000.
  • CNN has reported that Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, has approached the president about conceding.
  • Trump and his allies continue to allege foul play in the election, without presenting any meaningful evidence.
  • Utah senator and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has described Trump as a “900lb gorilla when it comes to the Republican party” and will have “an enormous impact on our party going forward”.

  • This section was amended on 8 November 2020 to correct the year in which Mitt Romney was the Republican presidential nominee; it was 2012, not 2008.


Trump goes golfing, again

Hello. Oliver Holmes here, taking over the live blog for the next few hours.

‘Surely, this election is over’, I hear millions of fatigued voices cry out. Well, yes, it is. Joe Biden is president-elect after winning the election, but the full count has still not finished and Donald Trump has hunkered down, refusing to concede.

The latest update is that the current president appears to have gone golfing for the second day in a row. His motorcade recently arrived at Trump National Golf Club, in Sterling, Virginia, according to a White House reporter.

A handful of demonstrators lined the sidewalks near the entrance of the club. Two signs read: “ORANGE CRUSHED” and “TRUMPTY DUMPTY HAD A GREAT FALL.”


Michael Goldfarb, former London bureau chief of NPR and fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, has written for us today. He says that Trump was no accident, and the America that made him is still with us.

It’s a measure of the bizarre, outsize impact of the man that pundits are already speaking of Trumpism. Liberal leftish types anticipate his return like Brian de Palma movie devotees anticipate Carrie’s hand coming out of the grave – Trump’s coming to drag them into the darkness. Rightwing radicals – conservative doesn’t seem the right term any more — speak of Trumpism because he was the person who energised their disparate coalition in a way no other person has. I almost typed politician rather than person but Trump is not a pol. He is a “leader”, someone on whom people project their own desires.

Trump’s presidency was the end product of two strands of American life coming together after a quarter of a century of independent development. First, the Republican party’s evolution from a bloc of diverse interests into a radical faction built around a single idea: winning absolute power and making America a one-party state ruled by people dedicated to tax cuts for the wealthy and stacking the federal courts with judges who would roll back the New Deal/civil rights-era social contract.

The former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, began this process more than a quarter of a century ago. He was the first prominent Republican to see in Donald Trump the man who could fulfil the modern party’s dreams. Gingrich later wrote, in 2018: “Trump’s America and the post-American society that the anti-Trump coalition represents are incapable of coexisting. One will simply defeat the other. There is no room for compromise. Trump has understood this perfectly since day one.”

Read more here: Michael Goldfarb – Trump was no accident. And the America that made him is still with us

And I’m done for the day – I’ll see you again tomorrow. Oliver Holmes will be with you shorty…

You are going to see this attack line from Republicans a lot in the coming days. Here’s conservative radio and TV host Mark Simone.

Didn't they keep saying Russia tampered with the election, that 17 intelligence agencies, 4 committees confirmed it and all news organizations were investigating it.
Now we hear there's never been any voter fraud and it's impossible to tamper with an election. #election

— MARK SIMONE (@MarkSimoneNY) November 8, 2020

Donald Trump Jr made a similar point earlier.

We went from 4 years of Russia rigged the election, to elections can’t be rigged really fast didn’t we???

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 8, 2020

It bears repeating that despite team Trump repeatedly dismissing it as the ‘Russian hoax’ and similar, the CIA did find in December 2016 that Russia had interfered to try and help Trump win. Here’s the details:

Officials briefed on the matter were told that intelligence agencies had found that individuals linked to the Russian government had provided WikiLeaks with thousands of confidential emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and others.

The people involved were known to US intelligence and acted as part of a Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt the chances of the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton. “It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favour one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” one said.

The emails were steadily leaked via WikiLeaks in the months before the election, damaging Clinton’s White House run by revealing that DNC figures had colluded to harm the chances of her nomination rival Bernie Sanders.

A separate report in the New York Times, also sourced to unnamed officials, claimed US intelligence agencies had discovered that Russian hackers had also penetrated the Republican National Committee’s networks, but conspicuously chose to release only the information stolen from the Democrats.

A third report, by Reuters, said intelligence agencies assessed that as the campaign drew on, Russian government officials devoted increasing attention to assisting Trump’s effort to win the election. Virtually all the emails they released publicly were potentially damaging to Clinton and the Democrats.

Important to note one key thing there – the Russian interference was all about the selective leaking of stolen and hacked information to assist Donald Trump, not changing the counting of votes. There was no evidence found that Russia hacked voting machines or faked ballot papers.

Trump’s campaign staff don’t seem in any mood to concede this morning.

Greeting staff at @TeamTrump HQ this morning, a reminder that the media doesn’t select the President. pic.twitter.com/3ACjkBhxVn

— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) November 8, 2020

A reminder that as it stands, Joe Biden has won over over 75m votes, some 4.3m more than the incumbent. He is projected to win at least 290 electoral college votes, and will be the 46th president of the United States.

In 2000, while Bush did indeed prevail after those earlier calls for Gore, the election ended up hinging on just 537 votes in Florida. In order to prevent Biden reaching the White House, the Trump campaign are going to have to proved evidence that tens of thousands of votes in multiple states should be discounted as fraudulent.

The 45th president, meanwhile, departed the White House at 9.15 this morning. The press pool were not informed where he was headed. Yesterday’s unscheduled trip was to play golf, during which Trump was informed that he had lost.

Donald Trump plays golf as news media announces that Democratic nominee Joe Biden has won the 2020 election.
Donald Trump plays golf as news media announces that Democratic nominee Joe Biden has won the 2020 election. Photograph: Brian Bartlett/Reuters


Qasim Rashid, who failed in his bid to be elected to the House to represent Virginia this week, has this point to make about whether racial justice issues are “ancient history” or not.

If you’ve seen this iconic image of Kamala Harris, first Black VP, & Ruby Bridges, first child to desegregate an all white school—think about this

Ms Bridges is alive & well & only 10 years older than VP Harris🤯

This isn’t ancient history—It’s now

[Image credit—Bria Goeller] pic.twitter.com/0gxFj0kwv8

— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) November 8, 2020


Five states this week voted to cleanse the public sphere of words, phrases and symbols that to many were painful reminders of the nation’s history of slavery and the systematic oppression of Black people.

Brendan Skip Mark, who teaches political science at the University of Rhode Island, believes the decisions were linked to the revulsion and widespread protests that followed the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota in May.

“In many ways this has sparked a national conversation on race, and I think we’ve seen a lot of people who are more willing to take concrete steps to address racism than they were in the past,” Mark told Jay Reeves of the Associated Press.

Alabama voted to removed racist vestiges of segregation from the state constitution, while Rhode Island has decided to eradicate the word “plantations” from the state’s official name.

Residents of Utah and Nebraska decided to strip their constitutions of unenforceable provisions that allowed slavery as a punishment for criminal convictions. And Mississippi voters approved a state flag without the familiar X-shaped design of the Confederate battle flag.

The votes are a positive sign in a nation where racial tension always has existed, said Stacy Moak, who teaches in the social work department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

“Affirmative votes for these changes shows a willingness on the part of Americans to provide for a more inclusive community. These changes, by themselves, are not enough but they are encouraging signs of progress in the right direction,” she said.

The Alabama measure begins the process of removing Jim Crow language from the 1901 constitution that was intended to entrench white supremacy. Voters in the mostly white, conservative state had rejected similar proposals twice since 2000.

Courts had previously struck down the legality of the segregationist provisions that were enshrined in the document long ago, but the language banning mixed-race marriage, allowing poll taxes and mandating school segregation remained.

Mississippi voters eliminated an 1890s provision that aimed to ensure white control of the state by requiring majorities of both the popular vote and the 122 state House districts to win statewide office. Now, only a popular vote majority is required.

But the fact that states even placed the measures on ballots shows that protests and the national discussion on racism are having an impact, said Deirdre Cooper Owens, director of the humanities in medicine program at the University of Nebraska. “Symbolism matters, and so does language.”

It wasn’t a uniform change across the nation though. All those successful ballot measures involved changing symbols or wiping away reminders of injustices of long ago. In California, where voters were asked to reconsider a more contemporary race-related issue, they balked.

The state rejected a proposition that would have repealed a 1996 initiative prohibiting affirmative action programs in public employment, education or contracting.


Romney – Trump is '900lb gorilla in the Republican party'

Donald Trump, stewing at the White House, reportedly approached about conceding by Jared Kushner but as yet unmoved, “is without question the most powerful voice in our party”, Utah senator and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said this morning.

Mitt Romney.
Mitt Romney. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The presidential election was called for Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, on Saturday, when Pennsylvania moved into his electoral college column five days after the election.

Trump, who responded with defiance, “will have an enormous impact on our party going forward,” Romney told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.

“I believe the great majority of people who voted for Donald Trump want to make sure that his principles and his policies are pursued. So yeah, he’s not disappearing by any means. He’s the 900lb gorilla when it comes to the Republican party.”

Romney is a relative moderate in Trump’s Republican party and a relatively independent voice – he voted for impeachment but he also voted to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the supreme court with unprecedented haste.

“The presidential race,” he told NBC, considering Republican successes in congressional, state and local elections, “was more a matter of a referendum on a person. And that when it came to policy, we did pretty well.”

Trump is still claiming without evidence that voter fraud meant his election defeat was rigged. Asked what he would like to see Trump do different, Romney said: “We’re not going to change President Trump or his nature in the waning days of the presidency. And so I don’t think I’m going to be giving him advice as to what to do.

“Clearly, the people in the past, like myself, who lost elections, have gone on in a way that said, ‘Look, I know the eyes of the world are on us. The eyes of our own people are on the institutions that we have. The eyes of history are on us.’

“In a setting like this, we want to preserve something which is far more important than our self or even our party. And that is preserve the cause of freedom and democracy here and around the world. But the president’s going to do what he has traditionally done, what he’s doing now.

“… And by the way, he has every right to call for recounts. Because we’re talking about a margin of 10,000 votes here or less, in some cases. And so a recount could change the outcome. He wants to look at irregularities, pursue that in the court. But if, as expected, those things don’t change the outcome, why, he will accept the inevitable.”

Host Chuck Todd did goad Romney into slightly harsher words about Trump’s behaviour.

“I think it’s fine to pursue every legal avenue that one has,” Romney said. “But I think one has to be careful in the choice of words. I think when you say that the election was corrupt or stolen or rigged, that that’s unfortunately rhetoric that gets picked up by authoritarians around the world.

“And I think it also discourages confidence in our democratic process here at home. And with a battle going on right now between authoritarianism and freedom, why, I think it’s very important that we not use language which can encourage a course in history which would be very, very unfortunate.”


From California to Washington DC yesterday, supporters of Joe Biden took to the streets, banging pots and honking their car horns after the former vice-president, alongside his running mate Kamala Harris, claimed the White House with victory over Donald Trump.

Our community team would like to find out what you make of it all. Whether you’re in the US or watching from a distance: how are you feeling? What are your hopes, or expectations, or concerns for a Biden presidency? What issues do you think need to be tackled first?

Fill in the form here and let us know: How do you feel? Share your reaction to Joe Biden winning the US election



On his road to the White House, Joe Biden has had a dramatic journey, overcoming family tragedy and political tumult along the way. Today we’ve a look at ten key moments that have taken the 77 year old from Scranton, Pennsylvania to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

There’s a new Twitter account in town. Joe Biden’s team have just launched @Transition46 – the official account of the Biden-Harris presidential transition.

We stand together as one America. We will rise stronger than we were before.https://t.co/97NKAZksSL pic.twitter.com/PRvzygWxRI

— Biden-Harris Presidential Transition (@Transition46) November 8, 2020

I note that it only follows two people – Biden and Harris – and so will have missed out on another long and incorrect rant from Donald Trump’s account this morning about mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, which are perfectly legal. They’ve been used in many, many US elections in the past, and will be used for many more elections to come in the future.

Trevor Hunnicutt for Reuters brings us a little bit more on what to expect when Joe Biden outlines his plans to combat the US coronavirus crisis.

On Monday, the president-elect will announce a 12-member taskforce to deal with the pandemic. Biden spent much of his election campaign criticising Trump’s handling of the pandemic, which has now caused the deaths of 237,000 people in America.

The coronavirus taskforce will be charged with developing a blueprint for containing the disease once Biden takes office in January. It will be headed by three co-chairs, former surgeon general Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler, and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith of Yale University, according to two people familiar with the matter.

“I will spare no effort – or commitment – to turn this pandemic around,” Biden said in his victory speech on Saturday in Wilmington.

The taskforce announcement will kick off a busy week that will see Biden and the vice president-elect, Kamala Harris, moving forward with the presidential transition on a number of fronts.

During the campaign, Biden had a page on his website dedicated to his Covid plans, stating:

Public health emergencies require disciplined, trustworthy leadership grounded in science. In a moment of crisis, leadership requires listening to experts and communicating credible information to the American public. We must move boldly, smartly, and swiftly.

It outlined five key points to follow:

  • Restoring trust, credibility, and common purpose.
  • Mounting an effective national emergency response that saves lives, protects frontline workers, and minimizes the spread of Covid.
  • Eliminating cost barriers for prevention of and care for Covid.
  • Pursuing decisive economic measures to help hard-hit workers, families, and small businesses and to stabilize the American economy.
  • Rallying the world to confront this crisis while laying the foundation for the future.


US sees fourth consecutive record daily total of new Covid cases

The the US has recorded its fourth consecutive record daily total of new Covid cases.

According to Johns Hopkins University, 127,399 cases were recorded on Saturday, bringing the total recorded to nearly 9.9m. More than 1,000 deaths were recorded, bring the national toll close to 237,000.

Bearing out Dr Anthony Fauci’s recent warning of cases rising and staying above 100,000 a day, the seven-day average for cases was 103,973. Hospitalisations were also rising, at around 56,000.

Fauci, who has served six presidents since 1984, and other respected public health experts have struggled to influence Donald Trump’s response to the crisis. The president has followed advisers many say are unqualified, while insisting the US is “rounding the turn” and staging White House and campaign events at which mask-wearing and social-distancing are not enforced.

Cases have proliferated in the White House and around the president and are surging in states across the US, many Republican-run states suffering particularly badly.

Former Greek finance minister and economist Yanis Varoufakis writes for us today, warning that the discontent that swept Trump to power in 2016 has not gone away, and that to pretend it has will only invite future disaster.

Normalcy and the restoration of a modicum of decorum to the White House: that is what many elite supporters of Joe Biden hope for now that he has won the election. But the rest of us are turned off by this meagre ambition. Voters who loathe Trump celebrate his loss, but the majority rue the return to what used to pass as normal or ethical.

When Trump contracted Covid-19, his opponents feared he might benefit from a sympathy vote. But Trump is not a normal president seeking voters’ sympathy. He doesn’t do sympathy. He neither needs nor banks on it. Trump trades on anger, weaponises hatred and meticulously cultivates the dread with which the majority of Americans have been living after the financial bubble burst in 2008. Obscenities and contempt for the rules of polite society were his means of connecting with a large section of American society.

The reason 2008 was a momentous year wasn’t just because of the magnitude of the crisis, but because it was the year when normality was shattered once-and-for-all. The original postwar social contract broke in the early 1970s, yielding permanent real median earnings stagnation. It was replaced by a promise to America’s working class of another route to prosperity: rising house prices and financialised pension schemes. When Wall Street’s house of cards collapsed in 2008, so did this postwar social contract between America’s working class and its rulers.

Read more here: Yanis Varoufakis – Hoping for a return to normal after Trump? That’s the last thing we need

Rudy Giuliani has demonstrated the forensic approach of his quest to find evidence of enough widespread voter fraud that would account for Joe Biden’s 4.3m lead in the US election by asking Twitter users to “tweet me your guess”. It’s gone about as well as you’d expect.

Up early working on PA.

@realDonaldTrump election night 800,000 lead was wiped out by hundreds of thousands of mail in ballots counted without any Republican observer.

Why were Republicans excluded?

Tweet me your guess, while I go prove it in court.

— Rudy W. Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) November 8, 2020


As the numbers become clearer, there will be all sorts of attempts to draw broader trends out of the election result. This morning, Riley Vetterkind for the Wisconsin State Journal has had a crunch of the votes there, and writes that it was the cities that propelled Joe Biden to his Wisconsin win, while rural areas double down on Donald Trump

In battleground Wisconsin, an electoral win by 21,000 votes, roughly the population of Middleton, came along different paths for Democrat Joe Biden this year compared with President Donald Trump in 2016.

Biden’s path wound its way through the state’s largest urban centers of Milwaukee and Madison, mid-size cities of Green Bay, Eau Claire and La Crosse, the Milwaukee suburbs, and through the state’s rural heart.

“It’s such a tiny difference between the last election, albeit at much higher levels for both sides,” said Republican strategist and former assembly speaker Scott Jensen. “I’m not sure that there’s a whole lot of things that made that difference. You can’t point to one thing and go, ‘That’s what got you the 22,000 votes you needed to win.’”

Democratic strategist Joe Zepecki agreed with Jensen that there was no single factor determining the race. If he had to pick something, Zepecki said the most likely factor was that Trump was an incumbent president with a record. “People were ready for change,” he said.

A data analysis by Marquette Law School researcher John D Johnson in the publication Urban Milwaukee shows Biden outperformed Clinton in areas of the city with higher white populations while significantly underperforming Clinton in places that have a majority Hispanic or Latino population.

Read it here (not available in the EU I’m afraid): Wisconsin State Journal – Cities propelled Joe Biden to Wisconsin win as rural areas double down on Donald Trump


The reason why that Trump campaign press event took place at Four Seasons Total Landscaping will forever remain shrouded in mystery, but what it was about was very clear. Rudy Giuliani was laying out Donald Trump’s plan to sue himself back into office. If you are concerned about how likely that outcome is, then this piece from Time by Alana Abramson from last night might reassure you. She writes:

“Networks don’t get to decide elections,” Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said later at a press event at a landscaping company in Philadelphia, “Courts do.”

That is, of course, not the case. With the notable exception of the 2000 presidential race, which was effectively decided by the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore, it is voters who decide elections. And that, legal experts say, is the main flaw with Trump’s strategy: Biden has won too many votes for the Trump campaign to mount any legal challenge that would actually change the outcome.

For an election to be successfully litigated, experts say, the margins between the candidates have to be exceedingly close. The dispute between George W. Bush and Al Gore two decades ago, for example, hinged on just 537 votes in Florida. Election litigation is only consequential, says Nathaniel Persily, a professor at Stanford Law School, “if the number of contested ballots exceeds the margin of victory.”

As of November 7, Biden is leading Trump by over 4 million votes. The state-by-state count that determines the electoral college count is even more daunting for the President. Biden leads Trump by 41,233 votes in Pennsylvania, 27,530 in Nevada, 18,713 in Arizona and 10,195 in Georgia. Trump needed victories in nearly all of these states

Read more here: Time – President Trump can’t sue his way to a second term. Here’s why he is trying anyway

They say you’ll always remember where you were the moment you found out that Donald Trump had become the first US president to fail to be re-elected since 1992.

Rudy Giuliani certainly will.

He was inexplicably in the parking lot outside Four Seasons Total Landscaping, a suburban business situated between a crematorium and an adult book store on the outskirts of Philadelphia.

Lauren Gambino in Washington has more for us on that topic. She reports on how once united over the shared priority of removing Trump from office, Democrats are now anxious and uncertain after unexpected losses.

Moderates accused liberals of embracing “socialism” and supporting leftwing proposals to “defund the police”, which Republicans weaponized against vulnerable Democrats. Progressives argue that the base powered many of the party’s biggest victories and that it was the lack of an inspiring message – and not their politics – that hurt members. Meanwhile, Democrats were alarmed by Trump’s apparent success with Hispanic voters in some battleground states.

In the weeks before the election, Democrats had begun to imagine the legislative agenda their party could deliver with an undivided Congress and a new Biden administration. House Democrats anticipated expanding their majority by a significant margin – potentially even double digits. In the Senate, Democratic challengers, fueled by a historic wave of donations, appeared poised to knock off enough Republican incumbents to take the gavel from Mitch McConnell, even in states such as Iowa and South Carolina where Democrats rarely win statewide.

As Democrats engage in what has become a ritualistic practice of soul-searching, there are unlikely to be any easy answers. The election delivered a mix of successes and disappointments for both parties, raising complex questions about their coalition and their message.

“This has been a life‑or‑death fight for the fate of our democracy,” the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, told reporters on Friday, with tens of thousands of votes still uncounted. “We did not win every battle in the House, but we did win the war.”

Tensions came to a head during a private conference call with House Democrats on Thursday, part of which was made public by the Washington Post, when the congresswoman Abigail Spanberger, a freshman who narrowly held on to her seat in a conservative-leading Virginia district, accused her liberal colleagues of costing the party seats by referring to themselves as “socialists”.

“If we are classifying Tuesday as a success,” she added, using an expletive, the party will get “torn apart in 2022”.

Read more of Lauren Gambino’s report here: Democrats left to sift through aftermath of ‘blue wave’ that never crested

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has criticised the Democratic party for incompetence in a no-holds-barred, post-election interview with the New York Times, warning that if the Biden administration does not put progressives in top positions, the party would lose big in the 2022 midterm elections.

Signaling that the internal moratorium in place while the Democrats worked to defeat Donald Trump was over, the leftwing New York representative sharply rejected the notion advanced by some Democrats that progressive messaging around the Movement for Black Lives and the Green New Deal led to the party’s loss of congressional seats in last week’s election.

The real problem, said Ocasio-Cortez, was that the party lacked “core competencies” to run campaigns.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York in her campaign office in the Bronx, New York.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York in her campaign office in the Bronx, New York. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

“There’s a reason Barack Obama built an entire national campaign apparatus outside of the Democratic National Committee,” she told the Times’ Astead Herndon. “And there’s a reason that when he didn’t activate or continue that, we lost House majorities. Because the party – in and of itself – does not have the core competencies, and no amount of money is going to fix that.”

Ocasio-Cortez and her closest allies in Congress – a four-woman group known as “the squad” who all won reelection last week – toed the party line while calling on grassroots activists to boost Biden and Democrats down-ticket.

The truce is over. The failure of the party to operate an online strategy “in a real way that exhibits competence”, Ocasio-Cortez told the Times, made it hypocritical for the party to advance criticism of progressive messaging.

“If I lost my election, and I went out and I said: ‘This is moderates’ fault. This is because you didn’t let us have a floor vote on Medicare for all.’ And they opened the hood on my campaign, and they found that I only spent $5,000 on TV ads the week before the election?” Ocasio-Cortez said. “They would laugh. And that’s what they look like right now trying to blame the Movement for Black Lives for their loss.”

Read more of Tom McCarthy’s report here: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ends truce by warning ‘incompetent’ Democratic party


If you are a media and politics nerd – and let’s be honest you are currently reading a live blog about the US election on a Sunday so the odds seem pretty high – you’ll probably enjoy this animation of how the Washington Post put their front page together last night.


— Tyler Remmel (@tylerremmel) November 8, 2020

British politicians have been speaking about the US election and Joe Biden this morning. Prime minister Boris Johnson has just said that “the US is our closest and most important ally.”

On the prospect of a trade deal between the two nations after Britain exits its European Union transition period at the end of the year, Johnson said “I’m a keen student of the United States’ trade policy and they’re tough negotiators. And I’ve never believed that this was going to be something that was going to be a complete pushover under any US administration. I think there’s a good chance we’ll do something.”

Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi have in the past both appeared to be critical of how the British government was safeguarding the Good Friday agreement which brought peace to the island of Ireland. A recent move by the British government to bring forward an Internal market bill has been seen by some as a threat to the UK’s obligations over the British border in Ireland, but Johnson insisted today that the point of the legislation was to help uphold the peace process.

Elsewhere, British foreign secretary Dominic Raab has attracted criticism after appearing on British television and refused to say unequivocally that all votes should be counted in a democratic election.

Should all votes be counted in a democratic election, as people called to in the #USelection ?

"I'm not going to get drawn in" says @DominicRaab and accuses @SophyRidgeSky of dragging him into questions about recounts and appeals - before conceding "yes, in principle". #Ridge pic.twitter.com/6qPIRx956w

— Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) November 8, 2020

Raab said, of criticism of the way he had congratulated Joe Biden:

It’s a statement of fact that we haven’t had the formal statement by the Electoral College and of course there are appeals going on. I make no apologies as foreign secretary for treading very sensitively and carefully whilst we waited for the clarity of the result… it is not for us to start adjudicating on the appeals, the legal claims and the counter-claims but what we have said is that the result is now very clear, I think it’s beyond reasonable doubt in my view and we welcome the new administration.

He had been attacked over the wording of his tweets yesterday, where before congratulating the president-elect he stated “while some of the processes are still playing out.”

He also, quite unusually, offered praise to the defeated Donald Tump for fighting hard in a message offering congratulations to his opponent.

(2/2) It was a close contest and @realDonaldTrump fought hard. Looking forward to working with the new administration – the UK 🇬🇧 US 🇺🇸friendship has always been a force for good in the world.

— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) November 7, 2020

Kamala Harris has made history as the first woman of color to be elected US vice-president. “It brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart,” said the former US national security adviser Susan Rice, while Atlanta’s mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, said: “She represents the best of us.”

Stephen Farrell has this despatch for Reuters on the differening views of outgoing president Donald Trump in Israel and Palestine. He reports that perhaps nowhere outside his own country did one-term president Trump polarise opinion more, where to many he was either hero or villain.

A billboard depicting Trump and his wife Melania with the American flag and the words, “God Bless You” is seen along a highway in Tel Aviv, Israel.
A billboard depicting Trump and his wife Melania with the American flag and the words ‘God Bless You’ is seen along a highway in Tel Aviv, Israel. Photograph: Amir Cohen/Reuters

“God Bless You Donald and Melania”, read a poster hanging over an Israeli highway during the campaign. While in nearby Palestinian areas, anti-Trump graffiti adorned walls.

Israel treasures its ties with leaders of the US, traditionally the country’s closest ally. But Trump and the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, had an especially close public relationship.

That bond meant Trump’s face was everywhere in Israel. His image even adorned Netanyahu’s own election posters and featured prominently on the Israeli premier’s Facebook page.

Trump Heights was the name given to a new settlement in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, after he recognised Israel’s claim to sovereignty over the plateau that was captured from Syria in a 1967 war. Trump’s name also adorns the wall of the US embassy he moved to Jerusalem in 2018.

Such decisions infuriated Palestinians, who claim East Jerusalem as a future capital and considered Trump’s backing for Israel as undermining their own goal of statehood. Palestinians had no political contacts with Trump for most of his presidency.

A Palestinian man walks past an anti-Trump mural in Gaza City, Palestine.
A Palestinian man walks past an anti-Trump mural in Gaza City, Palestine. Photograph: Mahmoud Issa/Quds Net News/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock

The animosity between Trump and the Palestinian leadership made him a target of protest art.

Huge Trump images – one of the US leader embracing an Israeli watchtower – have been painted on the Israeli military wall that cuts through the occupied West Bank, joining other acerbic political graffiti.


Reuters has put together this little list of the US election in numbers. You’ll like it.

65 million – the coronavirus crisis made voting by mail the go-to option for some 65 million Americans, close to half of those who voted.

18% – from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt, Biden won more votes than Trump in suburbs and other areas that skew towards affluence. Turnout in suburban counties was on track to rise about 18% as college-educated voters repudiated Trump.

58% – that’s the percentage of white male voters who supported Trump this year, but the president had less pull with this key slice of his political base than in 2016.

2 million – compared with four years ago, Trump gained more than 2m votes in the counties most ravaged by the coronavirus. That was fewer than Biden picked up relative to his party’s take in 2016, but still an increase.

42-7 – this might look like an American football score, but it’s a key measure of how the political landscape changed from 2016. Biden was on track to win 42 counties that were won by Trump four years ago. Trump, meanwhile, was on track to flip just seven.

7 – Trump lost Florida’s Miami-Dade County, a Democratic stronghold, by a mere 7 percentage points, compared with the 29-point loss he suffered there in 2016. The president won the state in part because he got more support from Latino voters. His anti-socialism message was especially aimed at Cuban-American and Venezuelan-American voters.

92/70 – this represents the biggest victory margins in a state or the district of Columbia for Biden and Trump, respectively. Biden’s came in the Democratic bastion of DC, while Trump’s made his mark in Wyoming. The blowout wins, while impressive, netted just three electoral votes for each.

2 - Trump’s ranking as the all-time vote getter in one election, right behind Biden. Two is also the number of times Trump lost the popular vote.

0 - the number of times Trump has conceded a presidential election. His lawyers are currently mounting legal challenges to Biden’s victory.


The election of Joe Biden as president of the US could reduce global heating by about 0.1C, bringing the goals of the Paris agreement “within striking distance”, if his plans are fulfilled, according to a detailed analysis.

Biden’s policy of a target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and plans for a $1.7tn investment in a green recovery from the Covid crisis, would reduce US emissions in the next 30 years by about 75 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide or its equivalents. Calculations by the Climate Action Tracker show that this reduction would be enough to avoid a temperature rise of about 0.1C by 2100.

However, Biden is likely to face stiff opposition to many of his proposals, from the Republican party nationally and at state level, while his room for manoeuvre will be limited by the Democrats’ showing in the Senate. If legal challenges to his plans are brought, they will be decided by a heavily conservative supreme court.

The US is the world’s biggest economy and second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, but Donald Trump reversed measures taken by Barack Obama to reduce greenhouse gases, and rejected the Paris agreement on climate change, which binds nations to hold global heating to well below 2C, with an aspiration to limit temperature rises to 1.5C.

Trump’s stance left the US increasingly isolated among major economies. In recent weeks, China’s president, Xi Jinping, surprised the world by pledging to reach net zero emissions by 2060, and to cause emissions to peak by 2030. That would be enough to reduce the world’s projected temperature rise by 0.2C to 0.3C, according to Climate Action Tracker.

Japan has also recently endorsed a net zero target, as has South Korea, and the EU has its £1tn green deal. If Biden’s pledges were to be followed through, that would mean economies producing more than half of global carbon emissions had a publicly stated pledge of reaching net zero emissions by about 2050.

This adds up to the potential for a “historic tipping point” on the climate, according to Climate Action Tracker.

Read more of our environment correspondent Fiona Harvey’s report here: Joe Biden could bring Paris climate goals ‘within striking distance’

The next 11 weeks could be the most dangerous in US history, some analysts believe, with a vengeful and fearful lame duck incumbent president. Richard Luscombe in Miami reports for us on the damage Trump could do while still president until January.

Some of the mayhem that will follow Donald Trump losing the presidential election is already known. The US exited the Paris climate agreement on Wednesday regardless. The coronavirus pandemic that has already claimed almost a quarter of a million lives in America will worsen. Trump has hinted he will attempt to fire Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading expert in infectious diseases.

“If Trump loses power he’ll spend his last 90 days wrecking the United States like a malicious child with a sledgehammer in a china shop,” said Malcolm Nance, a veteran intelligence analyst and political author, speaking before the result of the election was known.

“We’re likely to see the greatest political temper tantrum in history. He may decide he wants to go out with a bang, he may decide he will not accept the election result. Who knows what a cornered autocrat will do?”

“He’ll pardon himself. Absolutely no question about that,” Nance said. “He expects the supreme court to cover for him. He has always fixed things in his life, and he now believes he owns the American judicial system.”

Disgraced Trump associates who have fallen foul of the law could also be beneficiaries of the outgoing president’s benevolence, among them his former campaign chair Paul Manafort, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Steve Bannon.

There will be new scrutiny on Trump’s own financial dealings. The Manhattan district attorney’s office has been investigating Trump and his business empire for possible criminal bank and insurance fraud, but has been unable to take action while he is in office.

Trump will soon lose the protection of Bill Barr, the attorney general whom critics have accused of acting like the president’s personal lawyer. That means Trump has a shortening window of opportunity to prepare for whatever legal consequences may await.

Read more of Richard Luscombe’s report here: Wrecking ball – the damage Trump could do while still president until January

Although the election has been ‘called’ for Joe Biden, vote counts continue. Biden leads in Pennsylvania by 41,233 and in Nevada by 27,530. Those states count for 26 electoral college votes between them.

It is much tighter in Georgia, which has already announced that it would be holding a recount. There, Biden has the edge by 10,195 votes.

It is unlikely that a recount would change the outcome. Over the last 20 years in 5,778 statewide elections in the US, there have been 31 recounts. Only three races have been overturned in that time – but in each case the final margin was only shifted by between 239 and 440 votes. Biden’s lead is narrow, but is much higher than that.

In Arizona, the president-elect’s lead is just 18,713 out of the nearly 3.3 million votes cast. Libertarian party candidate Jo Jorgensen has amassed 49,366 votes so far. If those who had voted for her had opted for Donald Trump, then the state would have stayed red.

Trump’s campaign said on Saturday that it had filed a lawsuit in Arizona, alleging that the state’s most populous county incorrectly rejected votes. Filed in the state’s Superior Court in Maricopa County, the campaign alleges that poll workers told some voters to press a button after a machine had detected an “overvote.”

The campaign said that decision disregarded voters’ choices in those races, and the lawsuit suggested those votes could prove “determinative” in the outcome of the presidential race.

Political commentator Van Jones didn’t hide his feelings about the result when he cried as CNN called the US election for Joe Biden. Jones said: ‘It’s easier to be a parent this morning ... to tell your kids character matters’.

Our community team would like to hear from those of you in the US and abroad about how you feel after Biden’s victory over Trump.

Let us know here: How do you feel? Share your reaction to Joe Biden winning the US election

Also on coronavirus, this is something you’ll be able to watch in real-time. You’ll recall that president Donald Trump had insisted that from 4 November you would no longer hear anything about Covid, on the basis that the media were only reporting it as a cudgel to impact his re-election chances.

You may also recall that up to that point, any scientists expressing scepticism about how dangerous the coronavirus was, or how negative the impact of lockdowns might be, or how masks weren’t effective etc, was hailed as an expert in Republican Covid-skeptic circles.

No more.

This morning Donald Trump Jr has retweeted Daily Wire contributor Ryan Saavedra. He’s linked to a Daily Mail article reporting a group of academics saying that official data is ‘exaggerating’ the risk of Covid and that “talk of a second wave is ‘misleading’”.

Are these supposed academic whistle-blowers heroes? Are they fighting the good fight against draconian measures to combat coronavirus? Hell, no. They are clearly now part of some plan to diminish the significance of Covid now that Biden is president-elect.

Less than 1-day after the media declares Biden the winner: https://t.co/AFmoFVzyLp

— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) November 8, 2020

For the record, regardless of who is president, the Guardian will continue to report on the coronavirus pandemic in the US, which has already killed over 237,000 people under Donald Trump’s administration.


On Saturday, the US set another new world record for the highest number of confirmed new coronavirus cases in a day: 127,399.

It is the third consecutive day that the US has recorded over 120,000 cases. There were, according to Johns Hopkins University figures, 1,040 new deaths.


North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming and Illinois are among the states reporting the sharpest growth in cases. The New York Times states that “there were almost no hopeful signs in the data”.

The Washington Post adds: “Some scientists predict the crisis will peak for the United States in mid-to-late January, just as Joe Biden is sworn into office.”


A lame-duck presidency and political gridlock after a bitterly fought election are set to worsen the US’s coronavirus crisis just as the pandemic enters its deadliest phase, according to health experts.

With two months to go before a presidential handover from Donald Trump to Joe Biden, the federal government’s strategy for containing the virus has experts worried.

Outside of embracing conspiracy theories, Trump administration officials appear to have pinned their hopes on improved testing and eventual vaccine approval.

“The strategy, if you can summarize in one word, is hope,” said Dr Carlos del Rio, executive associate dean of the Emory School of Medicine and Grady Health System in Georgia. “And hope is not a strategy.”

And as Covid-19 cases surge, the economic recovery falters and coronavirus government aid runs out, the lack of a coordinated response to the pandemic during the interregnum will have serious consequences, according to experts.

“We are heading into the very worst of the pandemic right now,” said Dr Megan Ranney, an emergency room doctor at Brown University who has lobbied to protect healthcare workers during the pandemic. “The degree of spread of this infection and its toll on our country is going to be, to a large extent, determined by what happens in the next two months.”

The swell of autumn Covid-19 cases is already proving to be the most intense period for new infections of the entire pandemic. By various counts, the US broke a world record for new cases – 100,000 in a day – this week. Those new infections will portend new hospitalizations, and eventually deaths. Already, more than 230,000 Americans have died from Covid-19.

“If we don’t do anything to stop it, we are in the trajectory going straight up,” said Del Rio.

Read more of Jessica Glenza’s latest coronavirus report here: ‘Very worst of the pandemic’ ahead in US with no apparent strategy, experts say

Although Democratic nominee Joe Biden is now president-elect Joe Biden, there are still quite a few steps left in the US electoral process. He is projected to win, but a few more things have to take place before it becomes official. Here’s what happens now, and when it has to be done by.

When American citizens vote for a presidential candidate, they really are voting for electors in their state. Those electors in most cases are committed to support the voters’ candidate of choice. The number of electors is equal to the number of electoral votes held by each state.

8 December: This is the deadline for resolving election disputes at the state level. All state recounts and court contests over presidential election results are to be completed by this date.

14 December: Electors vote by paper ballot in their respective state capitols and also in the District of Columbia, which while it is the seat of the US government, is not actually a state. Thirty-three states and DC. have laws or party regulations requiring electors to vote the same way the popular vote goes in the state. In some states, electors can even be replaced or subjected to penalties if they don’t toe the line. An elector who doesn’t vote according to who won the popular vote is known as a ‘faithless elector’. The votes for president and vice president are counted and the electors sign six “Certificates of the Vote.” The certificates, along with other official papers, are sent by registered mail to various officials, including the president of the Senate.

23 December: The certificates must be delivered to the designated officials.

6 January 2021: The House and Senate hold a joint session to count the electoral votes. If one ticket has received 270 or more electoral votes, the president of the Senate, currently vice president Mike Pence, announces the results.

If neither presidential candidate wins at least 270 electoral votes, the House can decide the election, based on the 12th Amendment to the Constitution. If required, it would elect the president through a majority vote. That’s not going to happen in 2021 – Joe Biden will easily clear the 270 threshold.

Sen. Chuck Schumer looks on as Donald Trump talks to president Barack Obama and vice president Joe Biden at the 2107 Inauguration ceremony.
Sen. Chuck Schumer looks on as Donald Trump talks to president Barack Obama and vice president Joe Biden at the 2107 Inauguration ceremony.
Photograph: Paul J Richards/AFP/Getty Images

20 January 2021: The president-elect is sworn into office on Inauguration Day. The outgoing president welcomes the president-elect to the White House. Then in a ceremony traditionally attended by all living former presidents, the new president swears the Oath of Office. This is presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, which is currently John Roberts.


Can you remember a time when it wasn’t the US election 24 hours a day? It feels like it has been forever. Here’s our “five days in five minutes” video wrap of what just happened in front of our eyes …


Here’s another view of how Joe Biden might start his presidency, from our own Daniel Strauss and Julian Borger in Washington just before the election. This is a key point though:

Control of the Senate is crucial for a Biden presidency. Without it, much of his agenda is all but certain to stay in limbo. Biden has said there is a hidden swath of sitting Republican senators open to working with Democrats under a Biden administration. But current senators are a bit more pessimistic.

Senator Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, shrugged when asked if there were more than a handful of Republican senators who could work with Democrats under a Biden presidency.

“All I know is we’ve seen 46 and a half spineless Republicans the last four years and however many in the House who have shown no courage in standing up to the most corrupt, divisive president of our lifetime,” Brown said.

At the moment, Democrats do not have that control, and in his address to the nation last night Joe Biden made much of appealing to Republicans to work with him, not against him. There is still, with the Georgia Senate run-offs in January, a chance that the Senate’s balance of power could be flipped in the Democrats’ favor.

Read more here: If Biden wins what would the first 100 days of his presidency look like?

It is still a while away – the inauguration isn’t until 20 January 2021 – but the Hill this morning have a wrap of some of what can we expect from the opening days of a Biden-Harris administration. Jordan Williams writes:

People close to Biden’s plans said he plans to rejoin the Paris climate accords, which the US officially left on Wednesday. He’s also reportedly planning to reverse the US’s withdrawal from the World Health Organization, which is slated to take effect 6 July.

Biden also wants to immediately repeal the ban on immigration that targeted many Muslim-majority countries and reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The New York Times reported Friday that he is planning to announce his choices for Cabinet positions around Thanksgiving should he win the election.

Meanwhile, Biden said on Saturday night that he would announce his Covid-19 taskforce next week.

“On Monday, I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisers to help take the Biden-Harris Covid plan and convert it into an action blueprint that will start on 20 January” he added.

Read more here: The Hill – Biden plans to issue orders reversing Trump policies immediately upon taking office: report


Donald Trump’s favorite niece Mary has written for us today, saying that all he has now is breaking things.

He’ll be having meltdowns upon meltdowns right now. He has never been in a situation like this before. What’s interesting is that Donald has never won anything legitimately in his entire life, but because he has been so enabled by people along the way, he has never lost anything either. He’s the kind of person who thinks that even if you steal and cheat to win, you deserve to win.

But there is some poetic justice here because he has been cheating for months. Now his tactics are coming back to bite him. He told Republicans not to vote by mail and they didn’t, but the result is he has been experiencing this slow drip-drip of disaster over the past few days. Oh, you have these huge margins! Now your margins are shrinking. Oh, Joe Biden’s ahead. Now his margins are growing. It must have been like slow torture, but he set up this failure for himself.

The fact that the Republicans have done better than expected in Congress and the Senate will have made him extraordinarily angry. It means that people were voting against Donald Trump in this election, but not necessarily against this party. That will have added so much salt to his narcissistic wounds.

I worry about what Donald’s going to do to lash out. He will go as far as he can to delegitimise the new administration, then he’ll pass pardons that will demoralise us, and sign a flurry of executive orders. Remember, he will also still be in charge of the US response to the pandemic. There could be a million Americans dead by then under his watch.

Read more here: Mary Trump on the end of Uncle Donald: all he has now is breaking things


Kamala Harris accepted her place in history on Saturday night with a speech honoring the women who she said “paved the way for this moment tonight”, when the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants would stand before the nation as the vice-president-elect of the United States.

With her ascension to the nation’s second highest office, Harris, 56, will become the first woman and the first woman of color to be elected vice-president, a reality that shaped her speech and brought tears to the eyes of many women and girls watching from the hoods of their cars in the parking lot of a convention center in Wilmington, Delaware.

Wearing an all-white pantsuit, in an apparent tribute to the suffragists who fought for a woman’s right to vote, Harris smiled, exultant, as she waved from the podium waiting for the blare of car horns and cheers to subside. Joe Biden, the president-elect, would speak next. This was a moment all her own.

She began her remarks with a tribute to the legacy of the late congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis.

“Protecting our democracy takes struggle,” Harris said. “It takes sacrifice. But there is joy in it. And there is progress. Because we, the people, have the power to build a better future.”

With Harris poised to become the highest-ranking woman in the history of American government, this milestone marks the extraordinary arc of a political career that has broken racial and gender barriers at nearly every turn. As a prosecutor, she rose to become the first Black woman attorney general of California. When she was elected to the Senate in 2016, she became only the second Black woman in history to serve in the chamber.

In her remarks, Harris paid tribute to the women across the country – and through history – who paved the way for this moment. She specifically honored the contributions of Black women to the struggle for suffrage, equality and civil rights – leaders who are “too often overlooked, but so often prove that they are the backbone of our democracy”.

Read more of Lauren Gambino’s report here: ‘I won’t be the last’: Kamala Harris, first woman elected US vice-president, accepts place in history


Here’s a reminder of the highlights from the speeches given last night by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as they were projected to be the winners of the 2020 US election. They offered a message of unity.

Harris, who will be the first woman to be vice-president, paid tribute to her mother. For Biden, his speech was an opportunity to offer an olive branch to his political rivals after nearly four years of division under Donald Trump. He called for Republicans and Democrats to decide to co-operate, instead of deciding not to co-operate. He’ll know that scene only too well from the final years of the Obama presidency.

I’ve got to be honest, if you came to me a week ago and told me that the major networks would call an election victory for Joe Biden at the exact moment Donald Trump was arriving at one of his golf courses, and Rudy Giuliani was giving an evidence-free press conference about voter fraud from the parking lot of a random landscape gardener a block down from an adult book store in Philadelphia, I’d have said, sure, but this is the US presidential election, not the next season of Arrested Development. And yet here we all are.

Welcome to our live coverage of the day after the result was declared. Here’s what’s up so far…

  • Joe Biden is president-elect of the United States of America after defeating Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
  • “I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify,” he said, delivering an acceptance speech from Wilmington, Delaware. “I’m proud of the coalition we put together the broadest and most diverse coalition in history,” he noted. “Democrats, Republicans, independents, progressives, moderates, conservatives, young, old, urban, suburban, rural, gay, straight, transgender, white, Latino, Asian, Native Americans. I mean it.”
  • Kamala Harris is the first Black woman and South Asian American woman to be elected vice president. Wearing suffragette white, Harris walked onto the stage to deliver her acceptance speech to a song by Mary J Blige. She spoke about her late mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris. “When she came here from India, at the age of 19, she maybe didn’t quite imagine this moment. But she believed so deeply in an America where a moment like this is possible,” she said.
  • In cities and towns across the US, people took to the streets to celebrate the historic win
  • Donald Trump has not formally conceded. The president has insisted, incorrectly, that he is the winner. His lawyers have continued to lob ineffectual lawsuits to challenge the vote count and attempted to sow doubt in the legitimacy of the US election system.
  • World leaders have begun congratulating Biden. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, UK prime minister Boris Johnson and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi have all offered congratulations.

And if you want to scroll back through what happened overnight, here’s the live blog that we’ve just closed.



Martin Belam (now), Tom McCarthy, Sam Levin,Tom Lutz, Oliver Holmes and Martin Belam (earlier)

The GuardianTramp

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