People hold signs while waiting to hear results after Election Day in Washington. Photo: REUTERS

America is still on Thursday morning way from knowing who the next president will be.

However, Americans have one thing to be pleased with: early estimates indicate that this year’s election had the highest voter turnout in 120 years.

Exit polls show that rural voters favored the Republican president by 53% to 45%. Urban voters preferred the Democratic challenger by 60% to 37%.

Mr Biden has more paths to victory.

Both parties have filed lawsuits contesting the electoral process in Pennsylvania, a state that only started counting absentee ballots on election day.

The race for control of the Senate remains open, but Democratic hopes of a blue wave have been dashed. Republican candidates have prevailed in many red-tinged states where Democrats had hoped for an upset.

Democrats seem certain to retain control of the House of Representatives, but considerable uncertainty remains over the eventual size of their majority.

Republicans will wind up with at least the 59 state legislative chambers they held going into Election Day, but the final tally depends on Arizona where the results are still incomplete, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) said.

Democrats, who began with only 39 chambers, jacked-up their spending this year on campaigns in eight states, including Arizona, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas.

In 35 states, the prize that comes with controlling legislatures is the ability to design congressional districts for partisan advantage, as Republicans did before 2012 when they widened their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.