What We Still Don't Know After Election Night — and When We Should Have Answers
We do not yet know the results of the 2020 presidential election between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Seven states have yet to be called, according to projections by The Associated Press.
Biden, 77, said "we're going to win this" and told supporters to be patient as local election officials count remaining ballots.
Meanwhile, Trump, 74, falsely claimed victory early Wednesday morning in a number of states where legally cast ballots were still being counted.
To track reliable, real-time results, PEOPLE is using the data collected by the team at The Associated Press, which emphasizes precision and caution in gathering vote totals across the country.
As the election results are not yet clear or final, here's where the the count stands as of early Wednesday morning.
What States Are We Waiting On?
Americans are still awaiting results in the closely contested states of Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—plus Alaska.
How Did the Initial Results Come in?
The Electoral College vote tally was mostly even in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, with many states going the predictable route.
Trump won conservative Deep South states such as rural Alabama, Tennessee and Arkansas; Biden easily won Democratic strongholds with populous urban areas like California, Illinois and New York.
The president did pick up a key early win in Florida, which handed him a path to win re-election, while Biden flipped Arizona to claim its 11 electoral votes and pulled out a win in Maine. AP projections show Biden in good shape to win Nevada, though results are not yet final or certified in any states.
There have been some Senate wins for each side, though it appears Republicans will maintain their majority in the Senate.
The AP had not yet projected that Democrats will keep their majority in the House of Representatives, though other news organizations had.
What Did Biden and Trump Say?
Biden and Trump struck strikingly different tones early Wednesday morning as Americans on both sides of the aisle anxiously awaited the election results.
"We need to be patient and it ain’t over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted,” Biden told supporters in a brief and optimistic speech in Delaware, adding, “It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare who’s won the election. That’s the decision of the American people.”
Trump, on the other hand, baselessly claimed on social media that "they" are trying to "STEAL" the election. Twitter quickly flagged the president's tweet as "misleading," while news anchors were emphatic about the ongoing legal count of legally cast ballots.
“We will not know who the President of the United States is tonight," ABC News anchor George Stephanopolous told viewers.
“We won’t know who wins until all the votes are counted,” CNN White House correspondent Abby Phillip said. “That’s the end of the story.”
When Will We Know a Winner?
We may not know the official winner of the general election until at least later Wednesday, though ballot counting could take upwards of days, or "maybe even longer," as Biden cautioned in his brief speech to car-honking supporters at a socially distanced, drive-in returns-watching party in Wilmington, Del.
As state officials around the country have long warned ahead of Election Day, the increased use of mail-in ballots during this COVID-19 pandemic will cause careful and extended counts that could last days.