House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a press briefing that she believes Democrats have held the majority in the House as votes continue to be counted in the election.
“Thank you for joining us virtually here this evening so that I can praise you for retaining our House Democratic majority,” Pelosi said at a briefing. “We have held the House,” she said, adding, “when all the votes are counted, we will see how much better we do than that.”
“Our purpose in this race was to win so that we could protect the Affordable Care Act and that we could crush the virus, stop the spread of it, reward our workers who risked their lives to save lives and might be losing their jobs, and put money into the pockets of the American people,” she said.
In Senate races, Democrat hopes for control of the upper chamber appear to be fading amid a disappointing Election Day performance. Republican Senate candidates resisted the Democrat onslaught, winning seats in Alabama, South Carolina, Iowa, Texas, Kansas, and Montana. Several races remained undecided into Wednesday and at least one headed to a January runoff.
The fate of the presidency hung in the balance Wednesday morning, as President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden jousted over three familiar battleground states—Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania—which could prove crucial in determining who wins the White House.
Trump said early Wednesday that his campaign will ask the Supreme Court to get involved in the election and that “we want all voting to stop,” in possible reference to arrangements in states like Pennsylvania, which have extended deadlines for receiving mail ballots for several days after Tuesday, provided they’re postmarked by Election Day.
“We will be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 o’clock in the morning and add them to the list,” Trump told supporters at the White House in Washington.
Trump recounted winning Florida, Texas, and Ohio just hours earlier and pointed to leads he has in Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
“It’s not like we’re up 12 votes and we have 60 percent left. We won states. And all of a sudden I said, ‘what happened to the election?’ It’s off,” Trump said, referring to how some counties in crucial battleground states stopped processing ballots late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
“This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,” he added, before bringing up the Supreme Court.
While it remains unclear what path of litigation the president was specifically referring to when he referred to the Supreme Court, there is a pending Republican appeal at the Supreme Court over whether Pennsylvania can count votes that arrive in the mail from Wednesday to Friday, an extension ordered by the state’s top court over the objection of Republicans. That case does not involve ballots already cast and in the possession of election officials, even if they remain to be counted.
Biden, appearing briefly in front of supporters in Delaware, urged patience and said the election “ain’t over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted.”
“It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare who’s won this election,” Biden said. “That’s the decision of the American people.”
Vote tabulations routinely continue beyond Election Day, and states largely set the rules for when the count has to end. In presidential elections, a key point is the date in December when presidential electors meet to cast their votes, a process governed by federal law.
Several states allow mailed-in votes to be accepted after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Tuesday. That includes Pennsylvania, where ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 can be accepted if they arrive up to three days after the election.
Democrats typically outperform Republicans in mail voting, while the GOP looks to make up ground in Election Day turnout. That means the early margins between the candidates could be influenced by which type of votes—early or Election Day—were being reported by the states.
Throughout the campaign, Trump has cast doubt about the integrity of the election and repeatedly suggested that mail-in ballots were prone to fraud and should not be counted. Both campaigns had teams of lawyers at the ready to move into battleground states if there were legal challenges.