As usual, TAC will have an open thread for election night. In regard to the presidential contest, most of the polls show Clinton with a three to four point advantage. However, two of the most accurate polls from 2012, the Los Angeles Times Daybreak Poll and IDB, show Trump ahead by three and two points respectively. Additionally, while national polls were placing Clinton ahead yesterday, most electoral college projections showed Trump’s position improving, with him nipping at Clinton’s heels. This really does not make much sense, but that is par for this skunk-fest of an election. My hypothesis is that the polls have been off because of an inability of most them to accurately gauge Trump’s support. We shall all find out soon enough.
Things to watch for tonight: If Trump takes Florida and Ohio he will likely need just one or two blue states to win, assuming that Iowa and the Romney states from 2012 fall to him. There will be likely a titanic contest in the upper Midwest tonight over Michigan, Wisconsin and, perhaps, Minnesota. The Dems also seem worried about Pennsylvania. If Trump flips one of these states, than he can likely start calling himself Mr. President. New Hampshire and Maine 2 could be absolutely critical if the contest is close and Trump does not flip one of the states in the Upper Midwest or the Keystone State. In such a scenario, assuming that Trump takes Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, they set him up to win if he takes Nevada or Colorado. Additionally, keep your eyes on Oregon. If there is one state I think might shockingly flip from blue to red, in defiance of all the polls, it would be that one.
In regard to the Senate, it could be a nail biter to see which party controls it. In the House the GOP is expected to hold, but the margin in the House could be critical over the next two years.
It promises to be an exciting election night if not an edifying one! As always, put your comments in the comboxes.
All times are Central Standard Time
6:30 AM-Just got back from voting. One of the perks of living in a small town is little waiting in order to vote. It seemed to me as if the polls were less busy than in 2012 and 2008.
5:05 PM-First polls close in an hour. Lots of exit poll chatter that I won’t bore you with due to my conviction that exit polls tend to be unreliable.
6:00 PM- Vermont called for Clinton. Indiana and Kentucky called for Trump. Too close to call: Virginia, Georgia and South Carolina. Georgia and South Carolina being too close to call is not good news for Trump.
6:30 PM-West Virginia called for Trump. North Carolina and Ohio too close to call. Republican Senator Portman of Ohio has won re-election.
6: 45 PM-Go here to see the latest vote tallies for states whose polls have closed.
6:50 PM-South Carolina called for Trump.
7:00 PM-Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee called for Trump. Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and Massachusetts called for Clinton. Democrat pickup in Illinois in the Senate where Tammy Duckworth unseats Mark Kirk.
7:07 PM-Rhode Island called for Clinton.
7:15 PM-Marco Rubio has won re-election to the Senate from Florida.
7:25 PM-Young beats Bayh for the Senate seat in Indiana. An important victory in the Republican attempt to retain control of the Senate.
7:30 PM-Alabama called for Trump.
7:35 PM-The Republicans will retain control of the House.
7:50 PM -One can never be sure about anything when it comes to Presidential elections in Florida, but it looks like Trump is going to have a narrow win.
8:00 PM-New York is called for Clinton. Donald Trump sweeps the states of the Great Plains and Texas.
8:05 PM-Arkansas called for Trump.
8:22 PM-Connecticut called for Clinton.
8:40 PM-New Mexico called for Clinton and Louisiana is called for Trump.
8:57 PM-Virginia called for Clinton.
9:00 PM-Montana called for Trump.
9:10 PM-Burr, the Republican Senator in North Carolina has won re-election. Likely that the Republicans will retain control of the Senate.
9:25 PM-Ohio called for Trump. Colorado called for Clinton.
9:30 PM-Florida called for Trump.
9:45 PM-The New York Times now projects that Trump has a 92% chance of winning the Presidency. Right on cue North Carolina is called for Trump.
9:50 PM-Republican Senator Ron Johnson has won re-election in Wisconsin. Grand! One of my favorite conservative senators!
10:00 PM-California, Washington and Hawaii called for Clinton. Idaho called for Trump.
10:10 PM-Utah called for Trump.
10:25 PM-Oregon called for Clinton.
10:30 PM-Wisconsin called for Trump. That is the blue state he needed. Iowa called for Trump. I’m calling it. Trump is going to be the 45th President of these United States. In the year of Brexit and the Cubs, the improbable was probable. The ladies have been waiting to sing this song in celebration of the defeat of Hillary Clinton:
10:40 PM-Georgia is called for Trump.
11:24 PM-Nevada called for Clinton.
11:40 PM-My bride’s reaction to the election results:
12:07 AM-Maine called for Clinton, but not Maine 2 with its one electoral vote.
12:25 PM-Roy Blunt, Republican Senator from Missouri has won re-election.
12:27 PM-Pat Toomey has won re-election in Pennsylvania. Hurrah! It is certain that the Republicans have retained control of the Senate.
12:50 PM-Pennsylvania is called for Trump. Trump will have at least 290 electoral votes, and quite possibly he will end up north of 300.
With that, I will be turning in. Much analysis tomorrow and in the days to come. The Democrats had a very bad night, and the Republicans find themselves in control of the Congress and the Presidency, although admittedly Trump makes an odd sort of Republican. I will end this night’s blog coverage with this observation that I have made on other election nights:
After the 2008 elections many on the Left, giddy with victory, predicted that in future the Republican party would be only a rump party of the South, doomed to wander in the political wilderness for 40 years. Typical of this commentary was a piece written by frequent commenter Morning’s Minion:
For look at what the Republican party has become in recent years: a rump party of the south and the plains, mired in an anachronistic culture that has little resonance with the modern world and with the younger generation.
Of course this commentary betrayed a fundamental misunderstanding of American political history. In that history there are no final victories and no final defeats. The great issue in contention since the days of the Federalists and the Republicans, the role of government in the lives of a free people, has remained with us no matter what names the two parties call themselves. When a party dies, the Whig party for instance, a new party steps forward to carry on the fight. The parties themselves shift and change, but the large issues involved tend, at bottom, to remain the same. Kipling wrote long ago:
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
That is sound advice in American politics, no matter if an election is good for your party or bad for your party.