UPDATED: 9:38 p.m. ET —

After Joe Biden‘s Democratic nomination was all but sealed by winning the South Carolina primary on the strength of Black voters, Donald Trump on Tuesday night was projected to win the Palmetto State’s nine electoral college votes in the presidential election.

South Carolina is the same state where Democrat Jaime Harrison was vying to outlast Lindsey Graham in a tight U.S. Senate race. As of shortly before 10 p.m. ET, Graham was maintaining a lead of about 10 percentage points with fewer than half of the precincts reporting, according to data provided by the New York Times.

UPDATED: 9:04 p.m. ET —

The counting of votes in Georgia’s Fulton County will not be counted until Wednesday, the local NAACP chapter announced Tuesday night. The cause was a water pipe bursting at State Farm Arena, a polling place.

This development in Fulton County — which includes Atlanta — is important because Georgia is one of the key battleground states that could help determine the outcome of the election. But it’s also significant because more than 44 percent of the Fulton County population of about 1 million people is Black, a group with which suspected voter-suppressor Gov. Brian Kemp has had a contentious relationship.


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Exit polling data was trickling in Tuesday night as Election Day came to an end for much of the country, but there was still no immediate indication of who might declared winner. As voting officials continued to receive ballots that were sent via mail, the data was beginning to paint a broader picture of the election and the role that Black voters were playing, in particular.

Political observers have said to pay attention to several key, battleground states that are expected to largely determine the winner of the election. Among them are Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Texas, all of which have sizeable Black voter contingencies from which Joe Biden and Donald Trump have been vying for support.

An interactive graphic from the New York Times that’s updating in real-time shows how certain voting demographics have been performing in the 2020 election thus far. Early results were showing Trump likely winning Florida and Georgia, with Biden probably winning North Carolina.

But a closer look at the data revealed that, at least early on, Trump was out-performing with Black voters compared with the 2016 election. For instance, in majority Black voing precincts, Trump had slightly more support than Biden. Perhaps even more telling was how Trump was doing better with Hispanic voters by more than 10 percentage points than the last election.

As New York Tmes reporter Nate Cohn tweeted, Biden is “doing better in older and relatively white areas, as you can see. But not by much–and that doesn’t cut it in diverse FL.”

It’s important to remember that these figures are early estimates and may not include the ballots that were mailed.

Results from other elections of national importance were coming in, as well, including the Kentucky Senate race between incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Amy McGrath. McConnell has played a villainous role against Democrats in a stretch that includes blocking action initiated by President Barack Obama, who, of course, is the first Black president. It was in that context that the news McConnell had won his election Tuesday night was likely received from his political opponents.

The presidential race has been marked by a decided contrast in styles with Biden’s measured traditional approach to campaigning compared to Trump’s reckless racist rhetoric while deflecting responsibility for the coronavirus pandemic.

National polling showed Biden clinging to a slim lead as the polls opened on Election Day following a record number of ballots cast during the early voting period.

There were fears that the U.S. Postal Service’s slowdown of deliveries could prevent hundreds of thousands of ballots from being counted. That was because of Trump’s appointment of one of his cronies to lead the postal service as an increased number of people planned to vote early with absentee ballots sent via mail.

There were early reports of voter suppression Tuesday morning as voters reported everything from unbelievably long lines to faulty voting machines to polling places not opening on time in key battleground states. However, none of the claims seemed to fit into officials’ definition of voter suppression and voters ultimately experienced a smooth voting process, for the most part.

One of those battleground states is Pennsylvania, where Trump held a razor-thin lead over Biden going into the election. Both candidates spent a disproportionate amount of time campaigning there in the days ahead of the election looking to shore up support in a state that pollsters say will help decide who wins.


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Results Trickle In As Black Voters Play Key Role In Election 2020  was originally published on