So it’s been four years, and it’s time to fire up the old “when is the election over” site.
If you were to visit the site in late January and I had a posting, we could have talked about a Rubio – Clinton general election. And then the Trump steamroller happened, with a side of Bernie-mania. Things were interesting, and then the summer happened, and well…there you go. Now we are in the final two weeks, and it’s almost over.
Before we break down how election night could go, let’s revisit how election night happens. As noted four years ago, there is a lot of work that goes on. When it comes to what I say will happen, your mileage may vary – and if they haven’t called any of these states within a few minutes after the polls close, you might as well buckle up, it could be a fun night. Since this site prefers to talk about election night as we go, here’s what we’ve got (methodology – and maps will come next week as we get closer):
7:00PM Eastern / 4:00PM Pacific
At seven o’clock, six states will close: Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. I think most will be called – Georgia being the possible exception, I think it will be called within the first 30 minutes after polls close. If it takes any longer than 30 minutes, whoo boy.
7:30 Eastern / 4:30 Pacific
So they called West Virginia, and we will add Georgia. If Georgia goes for Clinton and it’s within the first half hour, it’s going to be a LONG night for the red team. You also have North Carolina and Ohio. Just for fun, we’re not calling either until 7:30PM Pacific.
8:00 Eastern / 5:00 Pacific
Big batch of states called: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington DC, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Maine (maybe not all of Maine, but for this conversation it will be all of Maine). Three to look for here: Florida, Missouri, and New Hampshire. If Missouri isn’t called for Trump that won’t be good for the Republican Senate candidate. New Hampshire and Pennsylvania are similar in that if it goes quickly for Clinton, bad news for the Republican Senate candidates because it could be Trump supporters stayed home. Florida is projected to go Clinton, but does it take a while? With Maine, the question will be does Trump get an electoral vote due to the state splitting on congressional districts? If all but Florida are called before 8:30PM Eastern, and called in the way they’re predicted to go, it’s almost over. If they call Florida for Clinton, it’s over – so we’ll keep it as not called for now and call it at 7:30PM Pacific.
8:30 EASTERN / 5:30 PACIFIC
Arkansas is the only call. Again, no surprises here.
9:00 EASTERN / 6:00 PACIFIC
Home stretch: Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Still not over.
10:00 EASTERN / 7:00 PACIFIC
Iowa, Montana, Nevada, Utah. Not calling Iowa or Nevada until after 7:30 Pacific.
10:30 EASTERN / 7:30 PACIFIC
So we haven’t called North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Iowa, or Nevada and we haven’t called the west coast (Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, and Hawaii) and here’s why that is important: the Election in 1980, when the election was called and conceded before the polls closed on the west coast.
If you call any of those states for Clinton before 8PM Pacific, the election is over if everything else we’ve talked about before this holds true. Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii are all slated to go to Clinton and that is 78 electoral votes. If Clinton has 192 or more electoral college votes before 8:00 Pacific, that’s the ballgame and we’ve been watching the bloviate class discuss the more interesting Senate races and whether or not the House will flip. The bet you might want to have with your friends is what state is called to put it past that threshold of 192 electoral college votes before 8:00 Pacific.
11:00 EASTERN / 8:00 PACIFIC
Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Hawaii. Ballgame. To me, the key is Ohio, followed by Pennsylvania. If either race is called before 6PM Pacific, it doesn’t matter what happens in Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, or Nevada. Without calling those six states, it’s 253-191 for Clinton and Trump has to win Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio and he is given less than 40% of a chance in each of all three. Tough sledding for any candidate.