The Guardian’s Sam Levine reports:
A Republican candidate for Congress has defeated an incumbent Democrat in California, a major victory for the GOP and rare loss for Democrats in the blue state.
Republican Michelle Steel won her race against first-term Congressman Harley Rouda, who conceded this morning. The seat is in Orange county, a traditionally Republican stronghold in southern California that has become increasingly liberal in recent years. Rouda won in 2018 against longtime GOP congressman Dana Rohrabacher, one of seven House seats swept by Democrats in California that election.
Roud was the first Democrat to represent the district:
Steel won about 51% of the votes, according to the AP, even though Trump lost by huge margins in California, backed by roughly 33% of voters. Steel and Washington state’s Marilyn Strickland (a Democrat elected last week) are the first Korean American women to join Congress. Steel is currently the head of the Orange county board of supervisors.
Read more from my colleague Lauren Gambino on the aftermath of the Democrats’ losses in the House this year:
This is Lauren Aratani taking over for Joanna Walters.
Cal Cunningham, a Democratic candidate for Senate in North Carolina, conceded to his opponent Thom Tillis, the incumbent Republican senator.
Before Election Day, the race was seen as a possible flip that would help the Democrats gain a majority in the Senate. But Cunningham fell short of about 95,000, getting about 47% of votes casted. About 97% of votes have been counted.
“The voters have spoken and I respect their decision,” Cunningham said in a statement. “Though this isn’t the electoral outcome we worked for, I’ll always be grateful to be a North Carolinian.”
In the weeks leading up to the election, Cunningham faced scrutiny for leaked, sexually suggestive texts between him and a woman who is not his wife. Despite the scandal, Cunningham was still polling neck-to-neck with Tillis.
“America is back” – Biden to world leaders
Joe Biden just spoke of his contacts with various world leaders since he won the US presidential election.
Biden received a phone call from the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, this morning.
At the address and press conference in Delaware moments ago, Biden signaled that his presidency will be a repudiation of Donald Trump’s nationalist, insular “America first” policy.
Biden said his signal to the world was: “America is back. We are back in the game. I’m not going to be ‘America alone’.”
Biden said he had taken with six world leaders and had some calls to return.
“Great Britain, France, Germany, Canada, etc … Ireland,” he said, which obviously leaves out the major powers of China and Russia and Middle East nations.
He said the attitude of those calling was “fulsome, energetic” and said “I feel good” despite the recognition that he is “going to inherit a divided country” in “a world in disarray” because of the coronavirus pandemic.
at 8.22pm GMT
Biden labels Trump’s refusal to concede the election an “embarrassment”
At an address and press conference in Wilmington just now, Biden said that he has not spoken to Donald Trump since the election was called in Biden’s favor on Saturday, but joked: “Mr President, I look forward to speaking with you.”
But Biden was solemn, almost downbeat, about Trump’s refusal to concede defeat.
“It’s an embarrassment, quite frankly,” he said in response to a press question.
He went on: “How can I say this tactfully? It will not help the president’s legacy. I think that … from my discussions with foreign leaders so far, they are hopeful that US democratic institutions are strong and have endured and at the end of the day it’s all going to come to fruition on January 20 [2021, the date when Biden will be inaugurated].”
at 8.08pm GMT
At Joe Biden’s speech and press conference, the president-elect just said: “We are already beginning the transition.” The answer was in response to a press question about his response to Donald Trump’s refusal to concede that Biden and Harris won last week’s election.
“The fact that they are not willing to acknowledge that we have won at this point if not of much consequence in our planning and what we are able to do between now and January 20,” he said.
Biden said he hoped to avoid legal action to resist the Trump administration’s efforts to overturn the result of last week’s election.
“Nothing will slow up our efforts to put things together,” he said of the transition team’s efforts to prepare to take power… “nothing is going to stop that.”
‘Families are reeling’ – Biden on effects of coronavirus on US
President-elect Joe Biden has promised that America will “get through this together” about the coronavirus pandemic.
“Families are reeling,” he said. He promised to expand the reach of Obamacare after taking office in January.
“We have a moral obligation to ensure that health care is a right for all, not a privilege for a few,” Biden said.
at 7.50pm GMT
Biden condemns ‘rightwing ideologues’ for trying to tear down Obamacare
Joe Biden is giving an address in which he has condemned the latest attempt by Republican “right wing ideologues” to strike down the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, in the latest case before the supreme court.
He pointed out that previous attempts have been rejected by the court, in 2012 and 2015, “and Congress has rejected numerous efforts.”
“In the middle of a deadly pandemic that’s affecting more than 10 million Americans, these ideologues are once again trying to strip health coverage away from the American people,” he said.
at 7.51pm GMT
Kamala Harris is speaking….
That’s vice president-elect Harris to you, Mr vice president.
Harris is lamenting the death toll in the coronavirus pandemic and warning that if the Affordable Care Act is struck down by the supreme court, “communities of color will be particularly hard hit” in the US.
“Joe Biden won the election decisively,” Harris just said.
She says they won’t let Trump overturn the election. Here’s comes Biden now.
at 8.23pm GMT
We’re waiting for president-elect Joe Biden to make his latest speech, this time on healthcare and the Republicans’ attempt to scupper the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
But the dude appears to be running a bit late.
We have a live stream poised, so do tune in, surely won’t be long, they’re doing microphone checks now.
Biden will be accompanied by vice-president elect Kamala Harris.
The supreme court held an oral hearing this morning to air arguments out of Texas, backed by the Trump administration to, ultimately, tear down the signature legislative achievement of the Obama-Biden administration.
Led by chief justice John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh, both considered part of the conservative wing of the court, the bench signaled that it’s unlikely to go along with the destruction of the ACA. A ruling will come before the end of the current supreme court term, at the end of June, 2021.
at 7.24pm GMT
Here’s a terrific explainer from my Guardian US senior politics colleague, Lauren Gambino, with our video team in London, about the work ahead for president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris to unite a very divided America.
The major issues that the team will have to tackle include the coronavirus pandemic and racial injustice and inequality in the US, which Biden acknowledged in a recent speech was systemic, and the climate crisis.
And there are the issues to be addressed of re-humanizing immigration and related policies after Donald Trump’s hardline approach to immigration, migration and refugee assistance.
It’s an excellent five minute watch and it’s here, and here:
at 7.09pm GMT