(CN) — Hardly unexpected but nonetheless unsatisfying to the boisterous incumbent president and those hoping for a clear result, Election Night came and went Tuesday without a winner due to a collection of uncalled battleground states flooded with a historic haul of mail ballots.
With major counties experiencing record early in-person voting and millions of ballots left uncounted, the race for the White House has boiled down to Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona.
President Donald Trump was predictably peeved by the lack of a call by the major networks and took to Twitter early Wednesday to baselessly claim the election was corrupt.
“We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!” Trump vented in a vague, archetypal incendiary tweet.
Twitter was quick to add a warning to the initially misspelled tweet, saying it could contain false information.
He took to the stage early Wednesday morning and vowed to take the election results to the Supreme Court. The president claimed falsely and without evidence that there had been election fraud and equated votes being counted after polls closed — a standard election practice — as fraudulent late votes.
“Millions and millions of people voted for us tonight, and a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people and we won’t stand for it,” Trump said in front of family, staffers and Vice President Mike Pence.
“The citizens of this county have come out in record numbers to support our incredible movement,” Trump said. “They are never going to catch up.”
Pence attempted to temper the president's comments, noting the long process of counting millions of ballots is ongoing.
Acknowledging the nationwide race is too close to call on Election Night, former vice president Joe Biden offered a more optimistic message and gave a vote of confidence in the election process. Biden assured his supporters in an address carried nationwide that despite trailing in the pending states, the campaign is still on track.
“We feel good about where we are, we really do,” Biden said in a brief speech. “We’re going to have to be patient until the hard work of tallying votes is finished. It ain’t over until every vote is counted.”
With a global pandemic and biting recession as a backdrop, the 2020 election has been nothing like previous races featuring presidents seeking reelection.
Instead of a tame, colorless race controlled by the incumbent, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have sparked a record-setting early run on the polls. Interest in the race skyrocketed this fall with over 100 million early votes cast nationwide and several states surpassed their 2016 vote totals ahead of Election Day.
Adding another element to an already volatile 2020 election cycle, Trump’s campaign has indicated it may sue to get mail ballots cast before but counted after Election Night tossed out.
“The Election should end on November 3rd., not weeks later!” Trump said last week on Twitter.
Trump’s assertion ignores the fact no state is legally required to finalize election results on Election Day nor does it account for the fact that a timely winner wasn’t declared in several modern elections, such as George W. Bush over Al Gore in 2000, Richard Nixon over Hubert Humphrey in 1968 and John F. Kennedy over Nixon in 1960.
As it turns out, Trump will get the opportunity to make good on his repeated threats after a back-and-forth Election Night.
After a tense start for the president in which Biden jumped ahead in critical areas like Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, Trump rebounded in each of the coveted states.