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Joe Biden is now the favorite to win the presidency, and Republicans are preferred to maintain control of the Senate – but both outcomes are far from certain. And the Democrats failed to win the sweeping victory suggested by pre-election polls.

Here we are after a bad election night in which the situation has changed several times:

  • The outcome is unclear in six swing states – Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – and all of them are still counting votes. We could get some final voting results today while others could take a few days.

  • “Biden is the favorite, albeit tight, almost everywhere,” tweeted Nate Cohn of The Times, listing five of the six states mentioned above (all but North Carolina). RealClearPolitics’ Sean Trende agreed, “Would probably rather be Biden than Trump.”

  • The pending ballot papers are mostly postal ballots, which are likely to favor Biden, as more Democrats than Republicans voted earlier this year. He leads the current vote in Nevada and Wisconsin, while Trump leads the remaining four. “I don’t think people have fully internalized how democratic these postal and postal ballot papers will be in MI / PA / WI,” Nate wrote.

  • If Biden holds on to his leadership in Nevada and Wisconsin, he would only have to win one of three states – Georgia, Michigan, or Pennsylvania – to get a majority of the vote (and North Carolina could still lose).

  • Michigan and Pennsylvania are likely to have the slowest ballot counting. Pennsylvania officials have announced that all votes will be counted through Friday.

  • Even with Biden’s apparent advantages at this point, the country has never seen an election with such a high level of postal voting, creating significant uncertainty. It is entirely possible that Trump will retain his leadership in the states he is now leading and win the election.

  • The situation in the Senate is different – and more favorable for Republicans. They appear to be in a strong position to maintain control of the Senate, which would give them a veto of almost all of President Biden’s legislative plans.

  • Democrats have had to win at least five of the 14 competitive races in the Senate and have only won two so far. Six races remain in the air. The only incumbent Republicans who have lost are Martha McSally in Arizona and Cory Gardner in Colorado.

  • Biden reached out to supporters after midnight and urged them to be patient. “We believe we are on the right track to win this election,” he said. “We have to be patient until the hard work of counting votes is finished. And it’s not over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted. “

  • Trump falsely declared himself the winner around 2:30 a.m. Eastern. He said he would ask the Supreme Court to stop counting ballots in the states he was leading, while calling for more counts in states he stayed behind. He claimed “fraud” (for which there is no evidence) and called the election an “embarrassment for the country”.

  • Many of the state polls were wrong and underestimated Republican support – again. A big question in the coming days will be why: Have the polls again not included enough white working class voters, as they did in 2016? Or was it something else?

  • The Democrats struggled to hit their 2016 margins among Hispanic voters. We covered this topic extensively in this newsletter and it hurt Biden, especially in Florida and Texas.

  • You can visit The Times all day for the latest coverage.

Below is information on some of the other races this year – including more detailed information on the Senate as well as the latest information on state election initiatives. But first I would like to give you a selection of comments on the national scene.

“The vote count that is taking place now is…. exactly what we knew and reported would happen. This is a legitimate count of ballots returned before or on election day. – Scott Detrow, NPR

“This is an extremely flammable situation and the president just threw a match in it,” Chris Wallace said on Fox News following Trump’s remarks. “He didn’t win these states.”

“Donald Trump called it a ‘fraud’ to keep counting votes. That doesn’t sound like a democracy. “- Olivia Nuzzi, New York Magazine

“What Trump did tonight is shocking, although he’s been telegraphing this for some time. He prepared his supporters to believe that any outcome that he does not win is a cheat. “- Rosie Gray, BuzzFeed News

“Trump can actually win. But he certainly hasn’t done it yet. And he can’t say your vote shouldn’t be counted. “- SE Cupp, CNN

“Every single serious analysis I have read of this election has shown that it was going to be lengthy and tedious, and that Trump would try to steal the election by trying to devalue late-arriving Biden votes. And now that it happens everyone seems shocked. “- Anne Applebaum, The Atlantic

“It’s unbelievable how competitive Trump is with 230,000+ deaths and children locked in cages and everything else. Even if Biden wins, he’ll have to rule a Trump country. That’s who America is. “- Gabriel Sherman, Vanity Fair

“In a normal presidential democracy, this would not be a narrow choice at the moment. It’s only around because of our weird electoral college. – Lee Drutman, New America Think Tank

“An important question for the future is whether the opinion poll will be irreparably interrupted or whether the vote will only be interrupted in elections with Trump on the ballot.” – Nathan Gonzales of Inside Elections.

“Biden POTUS with the GOP Senate is a recipe for terribly bad politics for the next year.” – Matt Glassman, Georgetown political scientist

“The Democrats had been hoping for a massive, outright rejection of Donald Trump for his abuse of the pandemic, his furious incompetence in the White House and his disdain for the rule of law. Instead, there was the sobering message that Trump’s support in key states like Florida was actually greater than the polls predicted. “- Walter Shapiro of the New Republic.

  • Democratic Senate candidates lagged Biden slightly in several states, making it difficult for the party to regain control of the Senate.

  • The Republicans flipped one seat: Tommy Tuberville beat Democrat Doug Jones in Alabama. Gary Peters, the Democratic incumbent in Michigan, is in a close race with his Republican challenger John James. it will depend on the outstanding votes.

  • Democrats switched two seats: John Hickenlooper defeated Gardner in Colorado and Mark Kelly defeated McSally in Arizona.

  • In Iowa, Republican Senator Joni Ernst won re-election. The Republicans also won races in Montana, South Carolina – where Lindsey Graham held his seat – and Texas.

  • Several other races are yet to come, including in Maine, where Senator Susan Collins leads Democratic nominee Sara Gideon. In a special Senate election in Georgia, incumbent Kelly Loeffler faces a runoff election in January against Democrat Raphael Warnock.

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Cornbread Tamale Pie, a recipe from The Joy of Cooking, is a crowd-pleaser. It elevates a beef chili by baking it with a simple cornbread batter.

The pangram from yesterday’s Spelling Bee was Chantey. Today’s puzzle is up – or you can play online if you have a game subscription.

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