The Election Chronicles, Volume 38: It’s Finally Here

For the third election in a row I’m live blogging. I normally start at 5PM Pacific Time (where I live), 8PM Eastern Time, and 1AM Greenwich Mean Time. I try to update this each hour. It’s been a long race, and a difficult one to watch. There have been hundreds of polls, but like four years ago I’ve been following Nate Silver at Five Thirty Eight. He was spot on four years ago in his predictions, and as of right now he believes Secretary Clinton has a 71.4% chance of winning the elction.

5:00PM Pacific Time, 8:00PM Eastern, 0100 GMT. I’m getting my information from National Public Radio. There are no surprises. At this point it appears that Hillary will pick up the following states: Vermont (3), Massachusetts (11), New Jersey (14), Maryland (10), Washington D.C. (3), and Delaware (3). Donald Trump should pick up Oklahoma (7), Indiana (11), Kentucky (8), and West Virginia (5). If my math is correct that gives Hillary 44 electoral votes and Donald 31. But the night is young.

The candidates always claim they are campaigning in all 50 states, but that’s not true. Most states were safe for one of the candidates and the race will come down to a few battleground states. I’m looking at Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida. I don’t have information on Pennsylvania, but as of right now Ohio shows Hillary ahead, 52.7% to 43.7%. Florida also shows Hillary ahead 49.2% to 47.8% and North Carolina has Hillary ahead 51.8% to 45.7%. These battlegrounds are far from settled and it’s much too early to read too much into these numbers.

I didn’t think my home state of Virginia would be a battleground, but as of now Donald is ahead 52.4% to 42.8%. That’s a surprise.

It’s now 5:50 and there’s a few updates. Hillary has picked up Rhode Island (4); Donald has picked up Tennessee (11), South Carolina (9) and Alabama (9). These are hardly surprising and as of right now Donald has 60 electoral votes to Hillary’s 48.

6:00PM Pacific Time, 9:00PM Eastern Time, 0200 GMT. This is the point in the evening when the Republican candidate rises fastest. It’s holding true here. Donald has been predicted the winner in Texas (38), Kansas (6), Wyoming (3), North Dakota (3), South Dakota (3), and Nebrasda (5). Hillary has picked up Illinois (20), New York (29), and Connecticut (7). If you look at the electoral map, Trump leads 129-97. Four years ago I was nervous and probably shouldn’t have been. Donald’s biggest state (Texas) is already in his category while Hillary’s biggest state (California) has polls open for another 2 hours. I’ll keep you posted.

I’m writing now at about 6:30 and at this time four years ago, Mitt Romney was leading President Obama 153 to 123. By about 7:00 it turned around and stayed there. I can only pray the pattern continues.

Last hour I spoke about Virginia. I grew up in Prince William County and it was pretty Republican when I lived there. It’s now more Democratic and I couldn’t be more proud. That said, I assumed Virginia would be safe for Hillary. But as I write this Donald is ahead 47.6% to 47.3%. Hillary had narrowed the gap but it’s hard to believe Donald will carry Virginia. If he does, Hillary probably needs to beat expectations somewhere else. I pray she does.

7:00PM Pacific Time, 10:00PM Eastern Time, 0300GMT. I promised myself I wouldn’t worry too much about the results, but I may have to break that promise. Since my last update Donald has won Missouri (10) and Louisiana (8) while Hillary picks up New Mexico (5).

My only note of optimism comes from the fact that Hillary is ahead in Virginia by a razor thin margin (47.7% to 47.2%). Hillary is trending ahead and at this late point the trend rarely reverses.

My pessimism is fed in the states of Michigan and Wisconsin. All the polls I watched had Hillary winning by a small but consistent margin. Most of the votes are not counted, but the early polling does not look good. This may be a long night.

Ok, it’s 7:40 and it appears that Hillary has won Virginia. This doesn’t guarantee she’ll win, but it makes it much better that she won’t lose. Keep posted.

8:00 Pacific Time, 11:00 Eastern Time, 0400GMT. OK by this time I hoped to declare Hillary the winner and go to bed. This isn’t going to happen. Donald picked up Montana (3), North Carolina (15) and Idaho (4) and Hillary picked up California (55). It’s going to be a long night. My apologies to the patients I visit tomorrow.

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