Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Live Blogging The Election Results, 2016

Best anecdotal sign of a disappointing outcome? I just realized that I'm fall-down tired, and am going to bed. I'll leave you with my best guess as to where the map will stand when we all get up tomorrow -- assuming there *is* a tomorrow. My best guess now is that Trump will finish with 289 electoral votes, to Clinton's 249 (or 248, if that guy in Washington keeps his word.)

Hillary Clinton is being projected as the winner in Nevada.

If Donald Trump wins Pennsylvania, and Steve Kornacke thinks he will, Hillary Clinton has no remaining path. All three of Arizona and Wisconsin and Nevada get her to 270, but only if she carries all of Maine and the elector in Washington State doesn't keep his word about not voting for her. Oh, and the NASDAQ and S&P 500 futures have both just hit the "5% loss break," which means that trading has been suspended until the market opens tomorrow, to avert a wider wave of panic selling.

CNN is calling Iowa for Donald Trump.

...And no sooner did I upload those words, than Trump has taken the lead in Pennsylvania. The only county left to report even a single precinct is one that went +60,000 for Romney in 2012.

I'm on the Wisconsin Supervisor of Elections website, and the issue of Wisconsin doesn't seem exactly out of reach for the good guys, yet. There are still 23% of the precincts left to report in Milwaukee. I begin to think that this matter will not be decided this evening either way.

Reuters is calling the Nevada Senate seat for Catherine Cortez-Mato. Which is a Democratic *hold*, not a pickup, since she will replace Harry Reid. That's how far this night has fallen: We're cheering for holds, now. In the Senate.

In case you didn't have enough to worry about, consider these two words: President Pence. And if you think that's less scary than President Trump, don't overlook the possibility that it could be both.

Mainstream media types are talking about Trump's agenda and likely cabinet appointments. Steve Kornacke reports that Trump's lead is widening in Wisconsin. If he peels Wisconsin from the Democratic "blue wall," then only a flip of Arizona will save Clinton. And the rest of us.

Is it possible that Barack Obama set up this whole dynamic by criticizing Mitt Romney, four years ago, for standing on the convention stage and calling Russia our biggest threat? It does appear that Russia didn't take too kindly to being publicly dismissed as a threat.

Donald Trump is within 7,000 votes in Pennsylvania. Obviously, if Donald Trump wins Pennsylvania, the whole shooting match is completely over.

Andrea Mitchell is reporting that the mood at the Clinton HQ is "shell-shocked." There is no live entertainment and no surrogate contacts with the reporters on the floor of the ballroom.

11:55 PM
This is a long and increasingly discouraging night for progressives like me, but let's take a moment to consider how historic it is for things to be this uncertain like this. We don't routinely have elections like this, and it's worth a line or two of column space to say that it's a pretty special moment to be a part of, even if it doesn't turn out the way a lot of us would want.

James Carville isn't expecting Wisconsin to come back to the Clinton campaign. "I'm distraught about the whole thing."

GOP team reportedly "jubilant" at the prospect of Donald Trump becoming the President-elect. Clinton campaign, meanwhile, reportedly has "gone dark" -- with none of their surrogates speaking to the networks, and no social media presence. These are not signs that can easily be spun or ignored, folks.

Here's a pretty astonishing idea: If Trump wins Wisconsin, which shouldn't have happened -- and Clinton wins Arizona, which also shouldn't have happened -- they effectively trade their electoral votes, and nothing changes.

Reuters and MSNBC are calling Georgia for Donald Trump. No surprise.

Steve Kornacke showing that Milwaukee and Madison are going to make things extremely close in Wisconsin. "She needs big numbers out of Milwaukee and there's a good chance that Trump can make some of that back with the western counties."

Reuters calling the Arizona Senate race for John McCain.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Donald Trump is clinging to a 9,000 vote lead in the partial precincts in New Hampshire, but with only about 65% of the precincts reporting and no discernible pattern. Advantage: PUSH

MICHIGAN: Trump still clings to a 15,000 vote lead but there's less than 70% of the vote in from Wayne County and Detroit. Advantage: CLINTON

WISCONSIN: Trump's partial-precinct lead is about 75,000 but Clinton is waiting on a third of Madison and a quarter of Milwaukee. Advantage: CLINTON

NEVADA: Clinton leads with less than half of Clarke County reported. Advantage: CLINTON

ARIZONA: Trump's partial precinct lead is about 100,000, but less than half of Tucson is in. Advantage: ...CLINTON???

MAINE: Clinton leads with most of Bangor and Portland still to report. Advantage: CLINTON

PENNSYLVANIA: Clinton leads with most of Pittsburgh left to report in. Advantage: CLINTON

Let me see if I can mine the data a little and get everyone a better picture of where things stand. This will probably take a few minutes....

Here, feel better: This is the map I made two days ago for my highest-ever-pageview blog column. You'll notice that Hillary Clinton stands on 274 without North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, or Iowa.

There begins to be the very real possibility that this thing won't be decided tonight either way. If it's close enough in Nevada and Wisconsin to require the provisional and mail-in ballots, then one or the other of those could mean a mandatory automatic recount. Which would mean the Brooks-Brothers riot all over again, of course, but this time with armed militia.

"People are pushing the 'change' button. I mean, Bernie Sanders was never going to be President; nobody cared! And a plurality of Sanders supporters said their second choice was Trump." -Chris Matthews

The MSNBC talking heads are saying, "It is far more likely that he wins tonight, than she does." 

Steve Kornacke just said, "If Trump wins Nevada, Wisconsin, or Michigan, he's the next President." I think that's indubitably true, and has been for weeks. And I also don't think it's going to happen.

Since about 7:45pm or so, this election night has careened from one crisis to the next, and narrowly averted disaster at every turn. It begins to look like Hillary Clinton is going to win in Michigan, and the Clinton team was effectively writing off North Carolina after only narrowly holding in Virginia. But the thing is, if Wisconsin starts to look tricky from the perspective of how quickly the Senate race was called.


AP and ABC calling CA, OR, WA, HI for Hillary Clinton and ID for Trump. No surprises. The big surprise (and disappointment) is that Ron Johnson will beat Russ Feingold for US Senate from Wisconsin.

Wayne County (where Detroit is) is showing a 100,000 vote lead for Hillary Clinton with 50% of the precincts reporting. If you multiply that margin by two, it closes Trump's lead completely.

"Pennsylvania will hold for Hillary Clinton." -Chris Matthews.

Great local friend of mine reminded me of a quote from Chris Matthews just before the first debate: "All Hillary Clinton has to do, to win this debate, is solve a sixteen-sided Rubick's Cube; all Donald Trump has to do, is not eat somebody and then set the building on fire." 

Are we seeing the equivalent of Brexit, here in the US? As you may recall, the polls showed "remain" with a 2-3% tailwind on the eve of the referendum, and the pissed-off old white people just came completely out of the woodwork and overwhelmed the polling metrics. Not much room to doubt that something similar is happening here, tonight. Big poll closings at the top of the hour, so hang tight.

Steve Kornacke showing that Trump needs to find 130,00 more votes in Pennsylvania -- which is closer than we would have wanted, but still too much for Trump to find. 

There's not much going on right now, so my home-state followers will like to hear that Amendment #1 -- which would have monopolized solar power generation for the utility companies -- was defeated. 

My social media feeds (and my text-message inbox) are positively overtopped with Democratic angst about this thing, and make no mistake: Donald Trump has seriously over-performed most people's expectations so far this evening. OK, got it. But here's the thing: Which campaign would you rather be, with the Detroit Free Press already projecting Michigan, and seasoned veteran Jon Ralston already calling Nevada? Because with those two, you understand, Hillary Clinton surpasses 270 electoral votes and she's the next President.


"There are paths to 270 opening up for Donald Trump at this hour." -Steve Kornacke.

ABC calls the Colorado Senate race for Democratic incumbent Michael Bennett, and MSNBC calls the Iowa Senate for Republican incumbent Chuck Grassley.


The official margin in Florida is 133,000 votes, and the big Democratic counties are down to counting their vote-by-mail ballots. I think it's over in the Sunshine State. Also, ABC and Reuters are calling the NC Senate race (very quickly!) for Richard Burr. This is shaping up to be a long -- perhaps even disappointing -- night for Democrats.

If you look at what's happened so far tonight, the polling error is definitely favoring Trump -- which is exactly the opposite of what I predicted, perhaps importantly so.

"We make the mistake of assuming that the south's all in the south." -Chris Matthews.

AP making it sound like Michigan is consolidating for Clinton, and MSNBC calls New Mexico for Clinton. And Missouri for Trump.

I hate to say this, but I might be the "journalist" to break that Trump is going to win Florida. The precincts left to report in Broward and Dade just aren't big enough.

Iowa is being called "Too Close to Call," which means Clinton is doing better than expected. Nevada is too close to call, which means either that Trump is doing better than expected, or the networks are being gutless. 

Only Nevada counts as a big state to close at the top of the hour, except possibly for Iowa -- if you call Iowa a big state. And both MSNBC and AP are hedging on Michigan. 


So far no luck determining which precincts have yet to report in from The Granite State. Will continue to try to track that down for you.

NBC's Chris Matthews -- who I can't help but love to listen to -- says there's no chance that Trump can win in Pennsylvania. ("Ed Rendell said that his bosses in Philadelphia have all broken through their targets.")

Here, this will make everyone feel better. Let's assume Hillary holds very narrowly in Virginia, and give everything else that has surprised us so far to Donald Trump (including both Florida and Ohio). In that case, the whole thing comes down to Nevada -- where I've been reporting all week that Jon Ralston thinks the early vote for Clinton is insurmountable.


The Florida vote is extremely close, but the reason we're effectively standing still on precincts is because the ones which haven't reported yet still have people standing in line to vote. And that much is terrific news for the Clinton team. 

"The votes appear to be there for Hillary Clinton in Virginia." -MSNBC.

There is, of course, that other possibility for things being this artificially tight. The one of which we dare not speak. So I won't. But it rhymes with Bladdimir Klutin. Is that tinfoil-hat of me, to think out loud? That if the desire was to cook this outcome electronically, the best way to do it would be in a manner that was so razor-thin that there was no obvious place to point and say, "That can't be right"?

Here's your updated map:

Finally some good news for the Clinton team! The Detroit Free Press is projecting that Clinton will hang on in Michigan, and win. That's not exactly the election-consortium, but that cuts both ways since the DFP wouldn't stick their necks out like that if they weren't sure. Hat-tip, fellow Iowa State Cyclone and Yankee Fan, and all-around incredibly terrifically nice guy, Mike Patterson. 

No polls close at the bottom of the hour, so I'm going to see if I can get a county-level read on what's the matter with New Hampshire.

Trump is doing better with men than Romney did four years ago, according to Larry Sabato. This could be the hidden X-factor of this election, if things stay this tight. Is it possible that men outside of Trump's electoral wheelhouse are making it a point of voting against a woman President? I sure hope not, but it's one possible explanation for why things seem so incredibly tight right now. The Orange One is making it genuinely difficult to call at least some states that were considered safe for Clinton, and he's doing it with effectively no turnout operation whatsoever. If he continues to over-perform Romney among men, that could well be the reason why.

At the moment, Trump leads in the partial precincts of Virginia by 1.33million to 1.28million, and if you take the remaining precincts to report in Fairfax County, and you award them proportionately to Clinton and Trump, the state comes out exactly -- exactly -- tied. 

AP and Reuters are both showing the first congressional district in Nebraska as too close to call, which would be good news for Warren Buffet's promise to Hillary Clinton to deliver it. There's no sugar-coating that the Democrats are enduring a really, really nervous stretch of this election night right now. It isn't nearly as likely as it was even thirty minutes ago that Team Good Guys are going to win Florida, Michigan is going to go down to the wire, and Virginia comes down to Fairfax County, which won't report until late.

Chuck Todd honestly doesn't know -- and I've heard him in four elections now -- whether Clinton is going to win Florida when the rest of the precincts come in. "She gets 100,000 more votes from Broward, but she has to find another 30,000 from the I-4 corridor."

Great quote by Chuck Todd on MSNBC: "These two campaigns weren't fighting over a single voter. Instead they were each just trying to turn out their own voters." Good news for Clinton, all other things equal, since the Clinton turnout operation was assumed by everyone (including me) to be so much better.

No real surprises from the top-of-the-hour closings. Michigan was looking like a slow call for about a week now, and that's really the closest thing to a surprise in these closings. Also, AP has called South Carolina and Alabama for trump. Map to follow.

Let's all use the little dead-spot before the top-of-the-hour closing times to just step back and take a breath. Yes, Donald Trump is doing better than expected. (Heck, I'd put it that way if Trump got a single vote, anywhere in the country, if it comes to that.) But Hillary Clinton is doing much better than expected in several areas, too. And for proof, look no further than the fact that neither South Carolina nor Georgia have been called.

Just tried (semi-successfully) to scan the Virginia Supervisor of Elections website, and it looks like effectively all of the un-reported vote left in Virginia is in pro-Clinton parts of the state.

MSNBC is reporting a pro-Republican imbalance in turnout in Michigan, and that Virginia is too close to call on account of unusually high turnout across all regions of the state. 

I misspoke earlier and it's a doozy: It's not that 15% of the vote is still outstanding in Broward County. It's that only 15% of the vote has *reported* in Broward County. That's positively enormous, and I think the difference will be more than enough to deliver the state for Secretary Clinton. The blue precincts are always the last ones to report in, regardless of the state or circumstances.

Yes, partial precincts are useless. No, that doesn't make this graphic out of Texas any less fun to look at. (It's faint to read, but it shows HRC with a substantial lead among a rather sizable clump of votes already counted. Again, useless but fun to look at.)

CBS is calling the Indiana Senate race for Republican Todd Young, who defeats centrist Democratic candidate and high-name-recognition darling, Evan Bayh. So far things are going improbably well for Republicans in the Senate, which could indicate a significant amount of ticket-splitting that was targeted specifically at trying to block Hillary Clinton's "agenda," assuming she wins. Here's the updated (Presidential) map:

MSNBC says that some unofficial Democratic Party operatives are "nervous" about Michigan. It rained all day in Detroit and the turnout numbers aren't what the Democrats are used to.

ABC and MSNBC both calling the House of Representatives for the GOP. That's a big disappointment, but the upside is that the partial precincts in Florida show Trump with a 60,000-vote lead, despite the fact that 20% of Palm Beach, 15% of Broward, and 15% of Dade are still un-reported, together with all of (reliably Democratic) Alachua County, where your intrepid columnist lives. Also, Arkansas is being called for Trump. Map to follow.

AP showing Clinton with an "official lead" in all four of North Carolina, Ohio, New Hampshire, and Michigan. This implies that the polls are closed, but there are still people standing in line to vote -- which would make it inappropriate to call the state. But as with 2012, we may consider it highly unlikely that a state which is shown with a "lead" for one candidate, would then subsequently be called for the other one later. And that, folks, would be the 2016 Presidential election. Trump simply cannot win if he loses all four of those states.

Arkansas the only state to close at the bottom of the hour.

MSNBC reporting that Trump is over-performing with union members in Ohio, and that Hillary Clinton has already vastly exceeded Barack Obama's margins in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, at this hour. And you've waited long enough for the first map which, aside from an un-called South Carolina, has no surprises on it so far.

8:14 PM
Thanks for your patience, everyone! We have some news -- both in the positive and the negative. Marco Rubio and Rob Portman appear to be victors in two closely-watched Senate races, and South Carolina (as I predicted earlier today) so far stubbornly refuses to be called for Donald Trump. Map to follow, but I wanted to at least let it be known that I hadn't collided with a pickle truck, or something.

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