File: President Donald Trump, left, and former Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio. Sept. 29, 2020. - Copyright Patrick Semansky/AP
With the result of the US presidential election on a knife-edge, President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are now battling for a handful of states that will prove crucial in determining who wins the White House.
The key states that the race now hinges upon are Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina and Georgia.
Wisconsin and Michigan are projected to be Democrat wins, so if Biden wins Nevada, his electoral vote count would be 270, which is the exact number he needs to claim the White House.
Nevada is expected to update its results tally at lunchtime on Thursday local time - early evening in Europe.
Georgia could go either way. While it initially looked like Trump would win, the president now only has a narrow lead of 0.5 points, with 98% counted. If Biden wins Georgia he would be safely over the line with 280 electoral college votes.
Trump needs Pennsylvania and the three other outstanding states to win. If he does not win the "keystone state" of Pennsylvania, the president will not be able to reach 270.
It was unclear when or how quickly a winner could be determined. Many votes were also outstanding in Pennsylvania, where Trump currently leads.
The high stakes election was held against the backdrop of a historic pandemic that has killed more than 230,000 Americans and wiped away millions of jobs. Both candidates spent months pressing dramatically different visions for the nationís future and voters responded in huge numbers, with more than 100 million people casting votes ahead of election day.
Trump claims Florida, Biden turns Arizona
The margins were exceedingly tight, with the candidates trading wins in battleground states across the country. Trump picked up Florida, the largest of the swing states, while Biden looks to have flipped Arizona, a state that has reliably voted Republican in recent elections. Neither have yet cleared the 270 Electoral College votes needed to carry the White House.
Maricopa County in Arizona has become a focus as only 88% of the votes have been counted as of 1100 CET. The Elections Department have thanked the local police department for providing security as its workers continue counting votes, with heavily armed Donald Trump supporters protesting outside.
Trump, in an extraordinary move from the White House, issued premature claims of victory on Wednesday and said he would take the election to the Supreme Court to stop the counting.
Biden, briefly appearing in front of supporters in Delaware, urged patience, saying the election "ainít over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted."
"Itís not my place or Donald Trumpís place to declare whoís won this election," Biden said. "Thatís the decision of the American people."