Muscat: Election day is underway in the US and the spotlight is on for the race for the White House between Donald Trump, who is seeking a second term and veteran Democrat Joe Biden.
As Trump addressed supporters in Virginia, Biden made last minute stops at Pennsylvania.
With results coming in from eastern and central America, no battleground states have been identified yet, with all eyes on Florida.
Early voting surged to levels never seen before in the US elections with over a 100 million votes being sent by mail or in person.
COVID 19 and the economy seem to the top issues for voters, exit polls show.
- European stocks have dropped sharply amid uncertainty over the US election, with the outcome too close to call in a number of key states. At the start of trading on Wednesday, the eurozone's STOXX fell 1.6%, London's benchmark FTSE 100 lost 0.5%, while the pound slumped more than 1% against the dollar. Germany's DAX fell 1.8% and the Paris CAC 40 lost 1%.
- Joe Biden has won the state of Maine, taking at least three of a possible four electoral votes, AP reports. Maine and Nebraska are the only two states that divide their electoral votes. The others operate on a "winner takes all" basis.
- Joe Biden has won the crucial battleground of state of Arizona, giving him 11 electoral college votes. The victory in the southwestern state — traditionally a Republican stronghold — is a blow to Trump, who won there four years ago. It's only the second time in 72 years that Arizona has backed a Democratic presidential candidate.
Donald Trump giving a statement at the White House
Donald Trump has told his supporters that the results of the election have been "phenomenal," but fell short of declaring victory.
"We will win this. As far as I'm concerned, we already have," he said. "The citizens of this country have come out in record numbers … to support our incredible movement."
The president claimed he had won the key states of Georgia and North Carolina, despite the fact that vote counting is still underway there. He also touted a "good possibility" of winning the battleground state of Arizona, and said he was winning the crucial state of Pennsylvania by "a tremendous amount of votes."
Without giving evidence, Trump also said that "a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise" millions of people who voted for him, echoing an earlier tweet in which he claimed "they are trying to STEAL the election."
Trump has won Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Indiana, Wyoming, West Virginia, South Carolina, Idaho, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa and Montana.
Joe Biden has sealed Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, New Mexico, California, New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois, Delaware and Connecticut, as well as the District of Columbia.
Polls indicate clearly which way 38 of the 50 states will go
The focus is on tightly contested "swing states" like Pennsylvania and Florida.