Well we are finally here; it is Election Day. Much of America will be glued to the television watching the results come in. For my part I will have one (but more likely two) computers and a television on. Here are the things I’ll be watching for.
270 electoral votes are needed to win. I have Hillary Clinton with 261, Donald Trump with 180 and 97 up for grabs. For the details of how I arrived at those numbers please read Sunday’s article, It’s Nerdy Time – Fourth Edition. Operating on that premise here are some of the key indicators most of which come fairly early in the evening.
The first polls close at 7pm and Georgia’s are among them. There has been some chatter among Democrats that they might take Georgia. Because of changing demographics, I think they will in the future but I don’t see 2016 being the year. If somehow Georgia and its 16 electoral votes go to Clinton it’s looking like game over for Trump and a very bad night for the Republicans.
Also closing at 7pm is Virginia. I gave its 13 electoral votes to Clinton weeks ago. The Trump campaign still contents they are a player in Virginia. If Trump somehow pulls out Virginia it begins to shoot some holes in my projections and we will have to watch a few more things. If Virginia goes to Clinton it means things are progressing well for her.
Trump must win Florida, North Carolina and Ohio to have any chance of winning. I have all three in the toss-up column. North Carolina and Ohio close their polls at 7:30 with Florida closing at 8pm (a part of Florida’s panhandle region is in the Central Time Zone). While a Clinton victory in any of the three spells the end for Trump I expect it to be some time well after closing that any of the three states get called. Ohio is notorious for reporting late especially in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) which is a Democratic stronghold.
The Trump campaign asserts that it will win both Michigan and Pennsylvania. I have both of them in the Clinton column. Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes) closes at 8pm and Michigan (16 electoral votes) closes at 9pm. If either of them goes to Trump he starts to have a path to 270.
If Trump pulls an upset or two and things get tight the most interesting state will be Utah and its six electoral votes. Clinton cannot win Utah but it is the only state where a third party candidate could possibly win. Trump will need those six votes and Evan McMullin could very well deny them to him. Utah closes at 10pm.
So there are a few things to be looking for between trips to the bathroom and refrigerator. Remember to look for the signals and not get distracted by the noise. Whatever happens we will be sure to talk about it here in the future.
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