Liveblogging The 2016 General Election

Having done a few other liveblogging experiments [1], I thought it would be worthwhile to spend my Taco Tuesday that happens to be Election Tuesday liveblogging the 2016 General Election while I drink sweet tea and eat tacos in downtown Beaverton. Although my main focus will be the presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I will focus as well on any House and Senate races that are of interest as well, and see if there is a decision by the time I finish my dinner.

4:52PM:  I have set up my computer at Azteca in Beaverton, where I will be having Taco Tuesday while also liveblogging the election.  The question is, who wins and will we know by the time I finish my dinner and return home for the event?  Let’s see.

4:54PM:  Four states have been called so far, with Vermont in Clinton’s column and Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia in Trump’s column.  None of these are particular surprises, and what is of greater interest is that Clinton has leads in Florida and North Carolina.  It’s difficult to see a path for Trump to 270 electoral votes unless he takes both of those states.

4:58PM:  So far Trump has a lead in Virginia and Clinton has a lead in Ohio, but there are a lot of precincts that have yet to report, and Trump, unsurprisingly, leads in Georgia and South Carolina.  The polls are about to close in a few more areas, so that ought to give us some more states to look at soon.

5:01PM:  A few more states called and there are no surprises here.  Oklahoma called for Trump as soon as the polls closed, and Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, the District of Columbia and Massachusetts called immediately for Clinton.  Nothing to see here.

5:03PM:  Alright, I’m going to take a bit of a break from blogging to eat some tacos that have my name on them.  We’ll see if there is anything more to report when I finish tearing into the first three tacos.  If not, I’ll get some reading done or look at some of the downticket races.

5:13PM:  The first three tacos are done, the next three are on the way, and there is a bit more to report.  South Carolina has called for Trump, which is not a surprise, and Trump has shown leads in Alabama and Tennessee, while Clinton has an early lead in Texas, which Trump is expected to win with some room to spare.  The early pattern of Clinton holding a lead in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and New Hampshire and Trump leading in Virginia has held so far.  As far as the senate races go there are no surprises yet, as all of the incumbents have won so far in Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky, and South Carolina, with three of those going to Republicans.

5:16PM:  That Clinton lead in Texas didn’t last long.  That’s more like it.  Clinton has opened up early leads in Michigan and Connecticut too.  Michigan is one of the more obvious targets for Trump to cross the line to 270, as it is one of a handful of blue collar states that present realistic opportunities for Trump to take states that normally vote Democratic.

5:18PM:  Tennessee has called for Trump and Trump has an early lead in Kansas.  Neither of these are any surprise, as any loss in either of those states would signify a landslide against him.

5:21pM:  Trump now has a razor-thin lead in Florida.  It looks like this is going to be another close one.  In the Senate we have more incumbents winning in OK, MD, and CT.  Everyone wants to hate Congress but Congressmen keep on getting re-elected for the most part.

5:22PM:  Rubio is announced as re-elected in Florida and Trump has a lead in Rhode Island.  That’s probably not going to last long.

5:23PM:  Clinton has gone ahead again, however briefly, in TX and Trump has opened a lead in Missouri.  Let’s see if any battleground states call early, which would give an indication of how this night is going to go.

5:26PM:  Trump is back ahead in TX, his lead his grown in FL, and PA and IL are now on the board as well, with Trump having an early lead in some rural precincts while Clinton leads early in IL.  No new calls yet.  Time for more tacos.

5:28PM:  I spoke too soon.  AL calls for Trump, who opens up an early lead in Maine as well.  Okay, back to the tacos.

5:33PM:  Only one taco to go.  Clinton has an early lead in Mississippi and leads again in TX as well as PA, but no more calls yet.  The major eastern battlegrounds are all in play, so far at least.

5:36PM:  North Dakota shows a Trump lead, and the rest of the states that haven’t called yet are still releasing counts.  It’s a bit of a surprise that GA hasn’t called for Trump yet, but he has led the whole night.  Maybe they’re just being cautious.

5:40PM:  Arkansas shows a very early lead for Clinton; that’s not likely to last long.

5:43PM:  Time for some reading as the counting goes on and a few states, like Missouri and Arkansas, switch briefly (Missouri) or likely for the remainder of the night (Arkansas).  I’ll be back if there are any changes worth mentioning.

5:45PM:  Rhode Island has called for Clinton.  No surprise here.  Moving on.

5:56PM:  Mississippi has called for Trump, which again, is not a surprise.  They are still counting in the battleground states that will give us an idea of whose path to 270 is still in play.  The fact that none of the battlegrounds has been called yet suggests that this will be a fairly close election.

6:01PM:  We see a premature call for IL that was then walked back.  Of course, it is widely expected that Clinton will take that state with a fair margin.  Trump has edged ahead in Ohio and still leads in VA and FL with a very close margin in NC.  When those states and a couple of others call we should have a better picture of how this night is going.

6:03PM:  We just got a bunch more calls, with Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, and Wyoming being called for Trump and New York and Illinois being called for Clinton.  All of these states are playing out exactly as expected, with the battleground states still in play and no results final from the upper Midwest.

6:09PM:  Some more states are in play, with Trump having early leads in New Mexico and Louisiana and Clinton having an early lead in Colorado.  None of the eastern battleground states have called yet, and there are plenty of potential outcomes.  The Senate looks close to deadlocked and so far the Republicans are maintaining their hold in the House of Representatives.

6:12PM:  Arkansas has called for Trump, which is not remotely a surprise.  It is more of a surprise that Missouri is still in play for both the Senate and Presidential election.  No news from Iowa, Minnesota, or Wisconsin yet.

6:16PM:  Finally, we are starting to get some results from Wisconsin.  Both Virginia and Florida are showing more than 80% of precincts in, and Trump has narrowed the gap in New Hampshire.  It looks like we have a nailbiter in at least a few states here, but given the progress of the counts so far we should start seeing some results before too long in some more states.

6:22PM:  We’re starting to get results from Minnesota, and no more states have been called yet.  The margin in New Hampshire is razor thin right now, and it’s not much bigger in some of the other states.

6:29PM:  Connecticut finally calls for Clinton, with everything else still in play.  The Republicans have a slight lead for the Senate and a healthier lead for the House of Representatives.

6:31PM:  Louisiana called for Trump and we’re still seeing the counts everywhere else.  Trump has taken a very narrow lead in New Hampshire.

6:45PM:  Still here, and still no calling in the eastern battleground states where this election will most likely be decided.  Nearly 95% of Florida’s precincts and almost 90% of Virginia’s are in.

6:57PM:  No new states have called yet, but Clinton has edged ahead in Virginia by a few thousand votes.

7:04PM:  Montana calls for Trump immediately after closing polls and Trump opens with a lead in Arizona.  We’re still waiting on some states to call, though, as the counting goes on.

7:07PM:  No new states have called, but more incumbents have won and it looks like Republicans will have at least 47 seats in the Senate, with a few still in doubt.

7:08PM:  Oh, and Iowa is finally starting its vote count.  Some poor people must have been at those precincts very late.

7:19PM:   No more states have called.  Over 99% of Florida’s votes are in and Trump has a margin of over 100,000 votes so far, but all of the remaining precincts yet to be counted are in Democrat-leaning South Florida.  Elsewhere the picture is the same as the counting goes on.  There are still a variety of scenarios still in play, but it remains to be seen if Trump can lock down the states he needs to break Clinton’s firewall like Michigan or New Hampshire, or sweep through states like Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina that are critical for him to have any chance at reaching 270 electoral votes.

7:24PM:  New Mexico has been called for Clinton, pushing her total to 109 electoral votes so far.  The rest of the states we have been watching all night are still open, though, despite the fact that nearly all of the precincts in Virginia and Florida have been counted.  Given the importance of these states and the closeness of the vote, it is likely that they will want to be sure that the votes are counted before a winner is declared there.

7:28PM:  Missouri has been called for Trump and it looks like the polls in Idaho have closed, giving Trump an early lead there.  So far there haven’t been any real surprises and the crucial states remain close.

7:35PM:  No new states have called for the presidential election, but the Republican Senator from North Carolina has been re-elected, removing another opportunity for Democrats to pick up seats in the Senate.

7:38PM:  Pennsylvania remains close and Utah goes on the map with Trump gaining an early lead in one of this election cycle’s more odd battlefield states.

7:39PM:  Ohio just called for Trump, in a state that he had to win for any realistic chance at 270 electoral votes.

7:44PM:  Virginia calls for Clinton in a tight vote, which definitely narrows Trump’s path to 270 electoral notes, pushing it through New Hampshire, Maine, Michigan, or Pennsylvania.  Florida still hasn’t finished its counting and Trump continues to lead in Georgia and North Carolina, pivotal states for him to have any chance.

7:48PM:  Colorado calls for Clinton, taking another battlefield state off the map, but Florida and several other states on the east coast remain uncalled, and Nevada has started its counting.

7:53PM:  It looks like Florida has been called for Trump, which gives him a narrow draw for victory if he can pick off at least one state that has traditionally gone for Democrats in recent years (New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, or Michigan being the most obvious options).  Republicans have claimed another Senate race pushing their total to 47.

8:02PM:  California calls for Clinton as soon as the polls close, which is absolutely no surprise.  What is perhaps more of a surprise is how many states have yet to finish their counting back east, as margins continue to be tight in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and other states.

8:05PM:  To nobody’s surprise, Oregon opens up its counting with a heavy lead for Clinton.

8:04PM:  Idaho halls for Trump, pushing him over 200 electoral votes.  Also, unsurprisingly, Hawaii called for Clinton as soon as their polls closed.

8:08PM:  Oregon has called for Clinton, making the count 201-197 in Trump’s favor with a lot of battlefield states still open.  This is still anyone’s race so far.

8:12PM:  Republicans have picked up a few more seats in the House, and Clinton opens with a lead in Washington as soon as they start counting in yet another non-event.

8:13PM:  North Carolina has finally called for Trump, giving him another key battleground state needed to keep this election close.

8:16PM:  It looks like McMullen’s challenge was not as strong in Utah as feared, as Trump maintains a heavy advantage here in a state where polling showed him and the Mormon third party candidate close.

8:23PM:  It looks like Wisconsin holds for the Republicans in the Senate bringing their total to 48 senators, and making it likely that they will maintain control of the Senate.  With 189 members of the House already clinched for the Republicans it looks like control of Congress will remain in the hands of Republicans for another two years at least.

8:31PM:  My live blogging appears to have drawn the attention of my fellow patrons here at Azteca, and Washington has just declared for Clinton, to no one’s surprise at all.  There are still a lot of states (including, surprisingly, Georgia) that have yet to declare a winner, and so far it looks like Trump is performing on the high end of expectations, making this an extremely tight election where any upsets would likely tip the balance.

8:35PM:  It looks like Georgia has (finally) called for Trump, bringing his total to 232.  There is a mood of depression among some of my fellow patrons here at Azteca, but it’s still too close to call, and definitely the most exciting election I have witnessed since I nearly perished in a mob in 2000, but that is another story.

8:55PM:  It’s been quiet for the past few minutes and I caught up on some reading, but it looks like Utah has called for Trump, giving him 238 electoral votes in the bag.  There are still quite a few paths to victory for both parties, but they tend to go through Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and the Midwest.

9:01PM:  Republicans have locked up 210 House seats so far, and some of my fellow patrons are talking about moving to Canada for the nationalized health care.  Ah, there’s nothing like election day to inspire the vagabond and paranoiac among all of us.

9:05PM:  It looks like Iowa has called for Trump, giving him another key battleground state, as the remainder of states still open continue to count. Pennsylvania is still too close to call.

9:23PM:  Nevada has called for Clinton.  This was a state she had to win to have any chance, especially given how badly things have gone for her in New Hampshire, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.  About the best news she has gotten is that Arizona has not called for Trump yet, as that would put another battleground state out of reach.  As it is, both candidates still have a chance in a dwindling set of states.

9:27PM:  Republicans have locked up 220 seats in the House, clinching control for another two years.

9:28PM:  In other news, Clinton has taken a narrow lead in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania is the new Florida, potentially deciding the whole enchilada.

9:43PM:  For the last few minutes I’ve been breaking down the electoral count and the states still counting votes for my fellow patrons here.  The floor for Trump at this point is 258, which considers him very likely to take Arizona and Alaska.  That gives him a lot of paths to 270, including wins in Wisconsin + New Hampshire (272), Pennsylvania (278), and Michigan (274), and one path to a tie that is plausible, namely Wisconsin + Maine congressional district 2 (269).

10:24PM:  Alaska finally goes on the board, with an early lead for Trump, and since Iowa called for Trump no other states have called.  It looks like there is the possibility that Republicans will take the presidency as well as hold on to both houses of Congress among a fiercely divided electorate, but although there are many ways this could happen, the election has not yet been called, there have been no concession speeches, and more than half a dozen key states have yet to finish counting, some of which are extremely close, like Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.  It seems pretty clear that very few pollsters called this election correctly–most notably USC/LA Times.  Fight on!

10:38PM:  They just called Pennsylvania for Trump, which means that it looks like he will be the next President of the United States, as he would only need one state among the following states where he is leading:  Wisconsin, Arizona, or Michigan, and that is not including possible gains in Maine congressional district #2 or Alaska’s three electoral votes, which are very likely his.  At this point, Mrs. Clinton should be preparing her concession speech, as she has no realistic path to 270 votes at this point beyond a vain hope of winning all of the states that have yet to call a winner yet, which appears unrealistic to the extreme.  It’s time to call it a night here.  Dewey wins!

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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