In less than 48 hours, our long, national nightmare will be over.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 8, is Election Day. I’d like to believe we’ll know who’s president when we wake up Wednesday morning, but who the hell knows, since this election cycle has been anything but conventional.
Anyway, four years ago, I wrote a blog post predicting the electoral votes in chronological order. It was so much fun (and I was fairly accurate, thanks to my keen mind and statistical analysis), I decided to do it again. Of course, a month ago, my predictive modeling looked completely differently than it does today. Will the FBI farce play out at the polls? Possibly. Given that information (or lack thereof), I’ve decided to take a run at it again this year.
Let me preface this by saying: if there are any deviations from what I lay out here, it’s because the data was inaccurate…or I flipped a coin (I’m looking at you, Florida). Those deviations should scare Clinton more than Trump, too, but I’ll get into that later.
Remember, it takes 270 electoral votes (out of 538 total) to win the presidency. Just wanted to throw that out there in case you slept through that day of your high school civics class (or that episode of The West Wing). With that in mind, here goes…
In the Beginning…
When we all wake up tomorrow morning, here’s how the map of our great nation will look.
Isn’t it pretty? We’re unified, together, only state boundaries separating us. Yeah, by night’s end, we should knock that unity all to hell.
7 p.m. EST
Polls are closing in six states:
South Carolina (9)
By 7:01 p.m. EST, I expect all the major news outlets to declare the red states for Trump. Vermont will be called for Clinton too, at this time. Virginia, while blue here, may take a little while to get there, but I haven’t seen anything take it out of her column yet.
7:30 p.m. EST
Polls are closing in three states:
North Carolina (15)
West Virginia (5)
West Virginia is Coal Country. It’s also Trump Country. It goes red, right away. Ohio will go red, too, but it might be late. Me, I think we’ll know fairly early about Ohio. And it’s going for Trump. North Carolina? Not so fast. It’s going to need a minute to get there.
8 p.m. EST…Here comes the Big Haul!
Polls are closing in 17 states:
District of Columbia (3)
New Hampshire (4)
New Jersey (14)
Rhode Island (4)
Now, the map is starting to fill in! This is the first big haul of the night and should level things off for Clinton as many traditionally blue states come in. In fact, I expect Clinton to take the lead from Trump during this hour of coverage.
You’ll notice Florida isn’t red or blue. That’s right. Settle in, kids. I think it’s going to be another bumpy ride in the Sunshine State! Yipeeee!! And yes, we’re still waiting on North Carolina, too.
8:30 p.m. EST: Arkansas Checks in
Polls are closing in :
Seems hardly worth a whole lot of fanfare for one, puny state that we already know is going to Trump. But don’t be surprised if North Carolina’s on the board by now; and I expect it to go blue for Clinton.
9 p.m. EST…Trump’s Last Stand (?)
Polls close in 13 states:
New Mexico (5)
New York (29)
South Dakota (3)
This is probably the most predictable set of states, really. Texas is a red, red state. New York is a blue, blue state. What’s worth pointing out here is Texas represents Trump’s last shot at a monster state (”…ahem!” says Florida). Texas is Trump’s Alamo (ha!) of sorts. But, yes, Florida is still hanging out there at this hour and could—could—prove pivotal…but not without help.
At any rate, it will still be a bit of a nail-biter at this hour because Michigan might take its time coming in…causing the Clinton campaign to likely begin drinking heavily as they have to white-knuckle it for another hour.
10 p.m. EST…Reply Hazy…Try Again
Polls close in four states:
Trump gets a trickle of votes here. Nevada is going to take a few more minutes past the 10 p.m. hour to make up its mind, I think. But by now, Michigan should be called for Clinton, so everyone in her camp gets their belts and shoelaces returned to them. Nevertheless, it’s still a tight one (on paper, at least).
11 p.m. EST…THIS IS THE HOUR WE ELECT A NEW PRESIDENT
Polls close in six states:
North Dakota (3)
Hillary Clinton will become President-elect Clinton around 11 p.m. EST.
And the winner is…
The only states left blank on the map at this point are Alaska and (perhaps) Florida. But it’s all perfunctory at this point. Trump will be drawing dead.
The only real drama will be whether or not he concedes.
1 a.m. EST…oh yeah…Alaska
Polls close in one state:
Trump’s last gasp comes in the wee hours from our friends to the north in Seward’s Icebox. I also have a sinking hunch he’s going to wrest Florida away from Clinton, but it won’t really matter at this point. President-elect Clinton will be tapping her watch, waiting for Trump’s call.
A month ago, I wouldn’t have predicted this close a race. I think Trump got his ass handed to him in the debates. I think he’s completely outgunned on policy, issues and basic understanding of civics and the job of being president. But I’m also keenly aware people are voting in anger this year. Many of those people also are holding to the myth of Hillary Clinton as this force of evil—a myth largely concocted by a.m. talk radio shouters, Trumpian distortions and Fox News.
But everyone gets to vote and there are no rules on how one decides their votes.
And, let’s be honest: I could be completely wrong. Take a look at this map below. These are the last four swing states, in my estimation:
Remember when I talked about deviations and unpredictability? The importance of Virginia and North Carolina to both candidates cannot be understated. Nevada may or may not matter, but those two states that share a border on the East Coast are holding more cards than any other states. Watch what they do tomorrow night. If they go red, we could be looking at a Trump presidency.
That is no joke.
Happy voting, everyone!
By the way…in case you wondered what I use for my predictive modeling, I ain’t tellin’!