New York: In a burst of projected results an hour after the first poll closings, US President Donald Trump has won in the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Indiana, while his Democratic rival Joe Biden won in Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island.
The projections, a combination of races called by multiple television networks and The Associated Press (AP), are on fairly expected lines so far while US voters remain glued to the crucial Florida numbers even as the more typical results trickle in.
That map has begun lighting up like a slot machine, as anxiety swirls all around. Wild swings were expected in the early hours because of the split between mail in voting and final day numbers. Early votes are projected to generally favour Biden, final day numbers are likely to be strong for Republicans.
Biden's victory in Vermont is on expected lines as Democrats have kept the state in their column since 1992. Hillary Clinton got a huge win here in 2016. Trump won West Virginia by 42 points in 2016 and Kentucky by nearly 30 points. The last time a Democratic candidate carried West Virginia was Bill Clinton in 1996.
In parallel, the legal battle that Trump has been pointing to has begun, with Republican lawyers on Election Day challenging mail in ballots in a crucial Democratic-leaning district near Philadelphia. A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the US Postal Service to look for any missing ballots in its facilities across several battlegrounds.