Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States.
In an extremely narrow sense, I’m not that surprised by the outcome, since polling — to a greater extent than the conventional wisdom acknowledged — had shown a fairly competitive race with critical weaknesses for Clinton in the Electoral College. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, that Clinton will eventually win the popular vote as more votes come in from California.
But in a broader sense? It’s the most shocking political development of my lifetime.
We’re going to get some sleep, and then we’ll have much more to say over the next days and weeks about how Trump won and what it means for the country. We hope you’ll continue to join us on a regular basis.
To many people’s surprise, Trump won more Latino voters than Romney did in 2012.
Here’s how the firm Latino Decisions found the Latino vote broke out by state, for Clinton and Trump.
- Arizona — 84-12
- California — 80-16
- Colorado — 81-16
- Florida — 67-31
- Illinois — 86-10
- Nevada — 81-16
- North Carolina — 82-15
- New York — 88-10
- Ohio — 80-17
- Texas — 80-16
- Virginia — 81-15
- Wisconsin — 87-10
Trump’s margin among Latino voters in Florida, though thinner than it has been for Republican candidates in past races, likely helped him win that critical state.
Here are the states where Clinton’s likely to beat Obama’s margin from 2012, according to current projections:
- the District of Columbia
There are … not a lot of swing states on that list.
There are several really close contests that haven’t been called, so you might be wondering what the recount laws are in those states. Here’s what we know:
Florida (recount laws):
- A margin of 0.5 percent or less triggers an automatic recount of machine-tallied votes.
- If that recount brings the margin to 0.25 percent or less, that triggers a hand recount.
Michigan (recount laws):
- A margin of 2,000 votes or less triggers an automatic recount for the top two candidates.
- Candidates can petition for a recount if they believe there was fraud or counting error.
New Hampshire (recount laws):
- Candidates can request a recount if the candidate applying for a recount is behind by less than 20 percent of the total votes cast in towns where the election is contested.
Pennsylvania (recount laws):
- A margin of 0.5 percent triggers an automatic recount.
- Voters can petition county boards for a recount.
- Both voters and candidates can petition courts for a recount.
Johnson is at just 3 percent of the national vote. That may go up slightly, but he’s likely not going to get close to 5 percent. In the end, most voters ended up choosing either Clinton or Trump.
Trump has won one of Maine’s electoral votes. That means he’ll be the first Republican to win an electoral vote in New England since 2000. He’s the first to win an electoral vote in any New England state other than New Hampshire since 1988.
Something to remember: Whatever your feelings about the state of the country right now, it’s fundamentally not that different a place whether the final call is that Clinton has narrowly won or narrowly lost. Add just 1 percent to Clinton’s vote share and take 1 percent away from Trump’s, and she would have won Florida and Pennsylvania, therefore would probably have been on her way to a narrow Electoral College victory.
John Podesta just said that Hillary Clinton has no plan to concede tonight, as many states are still close (though most have been called for Trump). The last time we didn’t get a concession speech on election night was 2004. Kerry conceded the next day.
There was some talk about Trump winning in the Iron Range in Minnesota. Well, Clinton held onto it. For instance, she won St. Louis County (Duluth) by 12 percentage points.
Trump wins Pennsylvania. Our model now gives him a 93 percent chance of winning the election.
One thing I’ve been thinking about here is where the Democratic Party goes next. Three of the last four Congressional elections (2010, 2014 and 2016) were bad for the Democrats, leading to a thin bench. President Obama served out his two terms. The Clinton dynasty is over. But the most obvious alternatives to Clinton — Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden — are also pretty old. It seems that all of the energy in the party is on the left, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the 2020 nominee were someone from the Sanders wing of the party. But who is that candidate? I don’t know. There are a lot of opportunities for talented, up-and-coming, left-wing politicians, beginning with the 2018 midterms.
I wrote this morning about this election’s status as the first since a Supreme Court decision struck down portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, prompting states to close hundreds of polling places. Among the states affected were three crucial states won by Trump: Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina.
There’s been an ongoing debate about the sources of Trump support, and it will only heat up after tonight’s stunning result. But I wanted to offer a few quick preliminary thoughts. First, it’s critical to differentiate why candidates win primaries and why they win general elections. And second, in re-reading explanations from Trump’s primary supporters about why they backed him, one thing that stands out to me is their anger at the political system, a point Lynn Vavreck made as well. Any politician who wins a primary is going to gain support for lots of reasons. But as we are figuring out the reasons for Trump’s unexpected success, don’t discount the number of Republicans who saw politics as deeply broken — and saw a businessman and outsider as an answer.
CNN has called Alaska for Trump. Trump looks to be on his way to winning over 300 electoral votes, if current trends hold.
Which means, Harry, that the AP has essentially called the presidency for Trump.
The Associated Press has called Pennsylvania for Trump.
We expect that Trump will eventually finish with about 47 percent of the popular vote which, if he wins the Electoral College, would be the lowest vote share for a president-elect since Bill Clinton in 1992 (43 percent).
Pat Toomey, the incumbent Republican senator from Pennsylvania, will keep his seat. Our model now gives Republicans a 99 percent chance of retaining control of the Senate.
I’ve been watching to see if San Francisco would vote to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in local elections, as they’re allowed to do in a few other countries and a handful of places in the U.S. Prop F needed a majority, and it looks like it’ll come up just short, with 46.3 percent of the vote counted so far.
Jason Kander is probably going to lose the Senate race in Missouri. He’s down by 5 percentage points with 89 percent of precincts reporting. Still, he ran 16 percentage points ahead of Clinton in the presidential race in Missouri. Unfortunately for him, Clinton is losing by so much in the state (21 percentage points) that Kander’s overperformance is not enough.
With several news outlets calling Pennsylvania for Republican Senator Pat Toomey, the best the Democrats could plausibly now do in the Senate is to pick up 4 seats: Illinois (which they won earlier tonight), New Hampshire (not yet called), Missouri (not yet called, but Democrat Jason Kander is trailing significantly) and Louisiana (where they’ll probably have one of the top two finishers, leading to a runoff). Even if Democrats draw that kind of inside straight, however, the scenario would yield just a 50-50 Senate, probably with a President Trump.
We’ll never know exactly how much FBI Director James Comey’s letter to Congress on Oct. 28 about new emails in the Clinton investigation hurt her chances of winning the presidency or Democrats’ chances of winning the Senate. But we do know that her lead in polls fell by about 3 percentage points after the letter — and Democrats likely won’t soon forget that.
Would Bernie Sanders have done better against Trump than Clinton? Many people, including me, thought Sanders would do worse because of his very progressive ideology. But perhaps ideology isn’t as important a factor in voters’ minds. Given Trump’s victory, being an outsider may have trumped an ideology that some might see as extreme.
As of current vote counts, the number of voters who cast ballots for candidates other than Clinton and Trump exceeds Trump’s winning margin — or lead, in races that haven’t yet been called — in many important states, including Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. But don’t pin Trump’s win on those voters who eschewed the two major candidates. Not all of them would have voted for Clinton had they been forced to choose only between her and Trump. And some might not have voted at all. Far more Democrats in Florida in 2000 voted for George W. Bush than voted for Ralph Nader.
The Associated Press has called Toomey the winner of the Pennsylvania Senate race. The Republican Party has officially retained control of the upper chamber of Congress with that victory.
Thinking locally here in New York, the split in the vote in the city itself mirrored that in the country as a whole, with Trump making massive gains in Staten Island but getting even fewer votes than a Republican usually does in Manhattan:
Last week, I wrote that the key to understanding the current moment in American politics was that parties are weak but partisanship is strong. The parties have limited control over whom they nominate, but partisans will stick with their party and its nominee regardless. I stand by this: After everything that happened in the primaries, most Republicans lined up behind Trump. What I said works pretty well on the Republican side.
But if the Trump victory that looks likely becomes a reality — or even if it doesn’t — there will still be questions about what has happened in the Democratic Party, which generally enjoys an advantage in partisan identification. It seemed likely that a coalition of nonwhite voters, combined with women voters, would offer Clinton — or any Democratic candidate — a solid demographic advantage. I think we may have to ask some hard questions: Were Clinton’s scandals too much for partisanship to overcome? Do even Democratic partisans resist sending their party to the White House for a third term? Is Democratic partisanship intrinsically weaker than Republican partisanship? And then, the hardest question of all: Does partisanship break down when the nominee is a woman?
The marijuana ballot measure in Nevada passed, legalizing recreational pot for adults ages 21 and older. With 54 percent in favor and 46 percent opposed, the results lined up with the polls we looked at.
Three states have been grappling with capital punishment ballot measures. Nebraska reinstated its death penalty, Oklahoma strengthened its, and now we’re down to the most populous state in the union: California. With 24 percent of the vote reporting, California is voting to retain the death penalty, 55-45. California has more than a quarter of the country’s death-penalty population but hasn’t executed anyone since 2006.
Hillary Clinton could still conceivably win the election — or she could lose the national popular vote. But since both outcomes look unlikely, we should start preparing ourselves for the possibility of the second split between the national popular vote and the electoral vote in the last five presidential elections. A coalition of 11 states with 165 electoral votes between them has agreed to an interstate compact that, once signed by states with a combined 270 or more electoral votes, would bind their electors to vote for the winner of the national popular vote — in effect ending the Electoral College. New York just joined this week. It wasn’t enough to affect this election, but maybe today’s result will spur more states to join.
What’s behind Trump’s success? That is a massive question — one journalists, political scientists and, well, everyone will be asking for years to come. But let’s start with one potential answer, however small its eventual explanatory power: trade. Trump has lambasted trade deals like NAFTA and often pointed a finger at trade with China and Mexico as causing the decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs. He’s pitted his campaign against “the globalist elites” — the pro-trade politicians in both parties.
As we’ve noted before, though, the trade debate is really a debate about China. NAFTA’s effect pales, in comparison. So let’s focus just on Chinese trade for the moment.
Recent research has indicated that trade with China has been more disruptive than previously thought. MIT economist David Autor and co-authors have documented how rising Chinese imports wreaked havoc on competing U.S. industries. In total, their research found the surge of Chinese trade was responsible for the loss of more than 2 million jobs between 1999 and 2011. But, interestingly — and this is where Trump’s electoral map comes in — it had a concentrated geographic impact. States in the Midwest, Appalachia and the Southeast were where Chinese trade hit hardest. Take a look at these maps showing where the U.S. industries were most exposed:
At first look, this map sort of overlaps with Trump’s success. He has won or is currently leading in several manufacturing-heavy Midwestern states; anti-trade sentiment is rife there.
Furthermore, Autor and co-authors, in a separate paper, compared rising Chinese imports with the increase in political polarization. And, consistent with this fledgling thesis, they found that areas exposed to heavy trade later elected more conservative (or more liberal) politicians. Globalization might have begat polarization.
Now, to be clear: This is not the definitive story; it’s just a thesis to float. But it will be studied for years to come.
The polls are now closed everywhere. We’re left counting votes!
The national exit poll shows Trump making bigger gains among black and Hispanic voters than among whites. But I’d urge at least a little caution. I know that exit polls aren’t supposed to be used for projecting results, but they did an awfully bad job tonight, initially showing what had looked like a near-landslide margin for Clinton. Furthermore, as compared with pre-election polls, Trump clearly overperformed the most in whiter states. So on second thought, maybe that’s a lot of caution and not just a little.
Fox News has called Wisconsin for Trump. There doesn’t seem to be enough votes left in Pennsylvania for Clinton to come back. If that’s right, it means Trump is likely the president-elect.
FiveThirtyEight’s Walt Hickey and I are at ABC News’ studios in Times Square. A crowd gathered outside to cheer and boo when Clinton and Trump win states. The crowd is what you would expect in New York: multiracial, international (as tourists boggle at the American election spectacle) and showy, with one man draped in an American flag.
Without stroking our own ego, I find it striking that FiveThirtyEight’s model stood up to the uncertainty of this race while being criticized as opportunistic for not declaring a Clinton victory. I myself, to be honest, thought Clinton had a better shot at a comfortable lead. But while I was wrong, I also remember the passion of Trump’s true believers and the way that people on the knife’s edge of supporting Trump or voting third party or write-in fell on the side of Trump.
How do we parse this race? We can look at the influence of the Supreme Court on voter choice, with a fifth of voters marking it as their most important issue and voting overwhelmingly for Trump. We can look at the “change” voters — 87 percent of them picked Trump. But we can also look at the popularity of minimum-wage ballot initiatives, which passed in all four states where they were voted on — Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington. We can look at the participation of American men in the labor force, which has dropped from 87 percent in January 1948 to 69 percent this October. How do we disaggregate the effects of race, gender, class, social conservatism and labor economics?
Maybe in the end we cannot. But we have to begin to assemble the puzzle called America, which is far more diverse, in its own way, than the crowd gathered in Times Square.
At times, politics seems focused on tangible questions: Who can manage the economy, or how should we tax different groups? At other times, it seems to hinge more on symbols. Symbolic politics is emotion-laden and often grounded in questions of group status; as a result, it is often zero-sum. To make sense of this election, I’ve found myself returning frequently to a chapter by David Sears on symbolic politics. From a wall on the Mexican border to discussions of “deplorables,” from email security to paying for college, so many of the issues that have been foremost in our minds have been less realistic policy proposals and more symbols of group status. The question before us is how do we translate such a symbolic campaign into the concrete guidelines for governance.
Despite the amount of time we spend talking about these two states around nomination time, they don’t get quite as much attention during the general election. Both states have gone blue in four out of the last five elections (before today) — Bush won Iowa in 2004 and New Hampshire in 2000. In retrospect, that Iowa was predicted for Trump and New Hampshire was (and still is at the time of this writing) too close to call should have been a clue to the dynamics of this election. Perhaps partly because of their importance in nomination politics, these are two politically engaged states, with among the highest voter turnout in the nation. New Hampshire, in particular, boasts a brand of maverick-y and libertarian politics. The turn of the race in these states may have been an early clue about the appeal of Trump’s politics, a possible coming Republican wave and, of course, the tendencies of white voters.
Comparing pre-election polls — as based on our adjusted polling average in each state — against current results, as projected by the Upshot including their forecast of the outstanding vote, is pretty interesting. Clinton’s underperforming her polls by about 3 points in the average swing state, but with a lot of regional variation:
|CLINTON’S PROJECTED MARGIN|
|STATE||ADJUSTED POLLING AVERAGE||BASED ON VOTES SO FAR||SHIFT|
Her biggest underperformances are in Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa. Meanwhile, it looks as though Clinton might actually beat her polling average in New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado.
The Clinton campaign is basically hanging on by a thread at this point. She needs to pull out Michigan and Pennsylvania and then hit one of two scenarios: 1. Win Alaska and New Hampshire or 2. win Arizona. That’s going to be extremely difficult. It’s not impossible, but it’s a straight, if not royal, flush.
Hey friends. Just a word about our plans on the audio/video front. We’re not going to do any more live video updates tonight — the race is still in limbo, and we feel like our best contribution is on the blog itself. Some of our team is going to catch some sleep. We’ll record a podcast tomorrow, mid-morning New York time, and get it up as quickly as possible. Feel free to get in touch by Twitter with any questions you feel like we need to discuss during that show.
Yes, this probably wasn’t a huge polling miss — it looks like Clinton will win the national popular vote by 1 percentage point or so, not the 3 or 4 points she led by. But it’s still a miss, and what looks like a decisive one. Earlier I mentioned some other recent important polling misses worldwide — and readers reminded me of a few I didn’t list. They include the recent Colombia peace referendum, plus general elections in Argentina last year and in Brazil in 2014.
The marijuana ballot measure in Arkansas passed, legalizing medical marijuana for specific debilitating medical conditions. With 53 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed, the results lined up with the polls we looked at.
Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto has won the U.S. Senate race in Nevada. Our model now gives Democrats a 6 percent chance of winning control of the Senate.
Clinton wins Nevada. Our model now gives her a 21 percent chance of winning the election.
In the October 2016 wave of the ongoing Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics study, we asked respondents to place Trump and Clinton on a 7 point ideology scale. On average, voters put Trump 0.64 points to their right — and put Clinton a whopping 1.88 to their left. Put differently, the average voter saw Clinton as decisively to their left, while ranking Trump’s views as closer to their own. They also had more uncertainty about exactly where to place Trump. Should he win, one of the challenges he will likely face is that he may be forced to clarify just how conservative he is through the process of governing.
Clinton has won in Nevada, according to The Associated Press. That’s a consolation prize of sorts for her. The early vote in that state that pointed to a Clinton victory turned out to be predictive after all.
Pennsylvania is close, with Trump barely ahead. Here’s the Clinton problem: Lebanon County hasn’t reported yet. Romney easily won there four years ago. This is serious trouble for Clinton.
Trump has to be one of the oddest vehicles to prove certain theories about presidential elections incorrect. I had long thought that Democrats didn’t have a blue wall in the Electoral College. I had long thought that demographics weren’t destiny. Yet I didn’t think Trump would be the person to disprove these theories.
Immediately after the Brexit vote, British political scientist Rob Ford offered a thought that seems fitting here. He asked whether people were feeling like strangers in their own country — and said that’s how people voting for Brexit have felt for years. Seems like it has an analog here in the States.
Although Harry is right that the Trump-ward shift of non-college-educated-white voters is not the full story, it is, of course, a huge part of it. This simple chart from The New York Times shows just how dramatic that shift is.
That’s all I can think about right now. Carter, unlike Clinton, was an incumbent. But, similar to this year, the race looked close. Reagan, although a much more conventional politician than Trump, inspired doubts and fears about his qualifications. Carter had won the White House in a tight election in 1976 — closer than the 2012 election that Obama won — and it wasn’t an Electoral College blowout for Carter. Just like now, there was good reason to believe that the country was divided and the parties were too. Just as Clinton fought to beat Bernie Sanders in the primaries, Carter faced a challenger to the left in Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy. The Republican Party, too, was divided, between an establishment candidate —George H.W. Bush — and a newcomer from the entertainment industry.
And then on election night, the map went red.
While the third-party vote wasn’t all that high tonight overall, an exception came among younger voters. According to the national exit poll, 9 percent of voters ages 18 to 29 went for third parties, as did 8 percent of voters ages 30 to 44.
Clinton needs to win Pennsylvania. The problem is that her lead has dropped to about 7,000 with plenty of votes left to be counted in Republican areas. Meanwhile, the city of Philadelphia has had almost all of its votes counted.
In terms of how the polls did tonight: Well, the obvious answer is “terrible,” but it’s actually a bit more complicated than that. Clinton could easily win the popular vote by 1 to 2 percentage points, well within a reasonable range of error for national polls, which had her up by 3 to 4 points on average. And there likely will be a few coastal and southwestern states where she matches or even beats her polls: She’s only down by single digits in Texas based on votes counted so far. But pollsters are clearly having trouble capturing public opinion in the Midwest as voters there increasingly diverge from those on the coasts.
There’s going to be a lot of talk about white voters after the election, but looking at the exit polls, that’s not the full story. A big part of the story is that Clinton underperformed Obama with blacks and Hispanics. Clinton is winning only 88 percent of the black vote. Exit polls in 2012 had Obama at 93 percent. Clinton is only at 65 percent among Latinos. Obama won 71 percent of them.
With so many close races this time, FiveThirtyEight was unlikely to match its 2012 feat of calling every state and Washington, D.C., correctly: In that election, far fewer races were close. Given how low the win probabilities were for favorites in many states this time, our average pre-election simulation showed five or six races going to the underdog this time. So far that’s happened in Florida and North Carolina, and it could also happen in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Clinton was leading in our final forecast in all five of those states — Florida and North Carolina by less than a percentage point — but Trump is either the projected winner or ahead in the polls in all five. And each of the five states have at least 10 electoral votes. So these would be enormously important upsets.
Trump wins Georgia. Our model now gives him an 84 percent chance of winning the election.
We’re seeing in exit polls that the gender gap overall is going to be the widest since 1976 — Clinton wins women by 12 points, Trump wins men by 12 points.
But a deeper dive into exit poll numbers reveals something pretty fascinating, which is a split in the vote of college-educated white women and non-college-educated white women.
|Non-college white men||72%||23%||T+49|
|Non-college white women||62||34||T+28|
|College white men||54||39||T+15|
|College white women||45||51||C+6|
College-educated white women voted for Clinton 51 percent to 45 percent, but non-college-educated white women voted for Trump 62 percent to 34 percent. That difference is nothing but stark and something we saw inklings of in October, when I wrote about how many Republican women were willing to overlook Trump’s history of sexual harassment allegations and derogatory comments about women. Partisanship is a hell of a drug.
Trump is projected to win Iowa, which is no surprise — our forecast had him as a nearly 70 percent favorite to win the state. But perhaps it should have been a surprise. Iowa has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country (though it’s been rising a bit of late) and an economy that is strong by most measures. So it might be surprising that Iowans are so eager for a change.
Last year, I visited Davenport, Iowa, to try to learn why voters there were so pessimistic despite data showing economic growth — what I dubbed the “Iowa paradox.” Some people I met flat-out didn’t believe the data and suspected meddling by the Obama administration. (There’s essentially no evidence to support that theory.) But most people I spoke to in Iowa said they believed the numbers, they just weren’t comforted by them. Sure, they told me, unemployment was low and incomes were rising, but they worried about saving for retirement and paying for college. Even more than that, they worried about whether there would be good jobs available for their children.
“All the jobs that allowed middle-class people to prosper, a lot of those jobs went away,” Mary Britton, a Davenport office manager, told me. “A whole bunch of people are being left behind.”
The death penalty continues its quiet but successful Election Day. The Associated Press has called the vote in Nebraska, with “repeal” prevailing, meaning that the state will reinstate capital punishment after its legislature abolished it last year. And early results in California’s referenda are rolling in now. With 16 percent of the vote in, “yes” votes on Prop. 62, which would eliminate the death penalty in the state, are trailing 46 to 54. I’ll keep you posted.
One other extreme bankshot for Clinton would be winning Arizona, where she trails Trump by “only” 4 points. But Trump’s margin appears more likely to grow than to shrink based on where The Upshot’s model sees the remaining vote outstanding.
Is this right? If so, what does it mean?
Well, time for my mantra of the evening: We don’t know everything, and it’s not over yet. But this seems like a plausible way to think about this election. What it means seems fairly simple: Some subset of white voters is now conscious of a racial identity, and that consciousness is informing their vote. This doesn’t mean economic anxiety isn’t part of the picture; a sense of threat or scarce resources is often part of forming a group identity and acting on it politically.
Cohn’s idea also answers a question that someone (I think Rachel Maddow) posed on TV about half an hour ago: If the justification for Trump’s candidacy was that people are sick of Washington and want change, why aren’t more incumbents losing?
The change story is a tempting one — it comes out after lots of elections, especially because, in the modern era, it’s rare for a party to hold the White House for three terms. But that may not be the story at all.
Ron Johnson, the incumbent Republican senator from Wisconsin, will keep his seat. Our model now gives Republicans a 97 percent chance of retaining control of the Senate.
Fact is, unless Clinton somehow wins in Arizona, Trump is likely to be the next president.
The marijuana ballot measure in Massachusetts passed, legalizing recreational pot for adults age 21 and older. With 54 percent in favor and 46 percent opposed, the results lined up with the polls we looked at.
CORRECTION (12:49 a.m., Nov. 9): An earlier version of this post incorrectly described the marijuana ballot measure in Massachusetts. It legalized recreational marijuana, not medical marijuana.
We gave Trump a 27 percent chance of winning the election in our final forecast. Other forecasters gave him a much smaller chance — as low as 1 percent. Some people have raised the possibility of complacency among Democratic voters. There certainly seems to have been some among Democratic elected officials. Last week, Kate Nocera of BuzzFeed talked to some who said they basically had no plan for how to deal with a Trump presidency. “It’s never talked about in much depth or detail because the guy is such a joke,” U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey of Texas said. “We can’t fathom it and therefore are not planning for it.”
Trump wins Iowa. Our model now gives him a 78 percent chance of winning the election.
Two years ago, Americans voted for Republican representation in Congress but also for higher minimum wages — a policy most Republicans oppose. Tonight is looking similar. Republicans are holding the House of Representatives, are likely to hold the Senate and now look like they are more likely than not to capture the White House as well. Yet voters in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington all look set to approve ballot initiatives raising their states’ minimum wages.
Joe Arpaio, the controversial sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, has lost his bid for a seventh term. He was charged with criminal contempt earlier this month, over a nearly decade-old racial-profiling case, but as my colleague Farai Chideya detailed earlier this month, that’s just one of many reasons Latinos appeared to be registering to vote in outsized numbers in the county, which includes Phoenix, in order to defeat him.
With no inside information, I’ve suspected that many mainstream Republicans wanted Trump to lose, but to do so narrowly, helping the party preserve its majorities in the House and Senate. The reason: One of the regularities of American politics is that the party holding the presidency loses ground in midterm elections. Now 2018 is especially important: In various states, it sets up control over redistricting after 2020. The GOP would sorely like to maintain control over redistricting in states ranging from Pennsylvania to Michigan and block the Democrats from doing the same in Maryland and Illinois. Given the length of our current economic expansion, it’s also reasonable to expect that the economy might hit a rough patch before 2018. And neither Trump nor Clinton was exactly popular overall. If history is any guide, Trump is more of a threat to the GOP’s congressional majorities as president than as a presidential candidate.
This map is about the most hopeful scenario I can identify for Democrats if Trump wins Wisconsin, which Fox News has already called for him. And it would still only result in a 269-269 tie:
Clinton wins Washington. Our model now gives her a 21 percent chance of winning the election.
Trump wins Florida. Our model now gives him a 77 percent chance of winning the election.
If you’re thinking ahead to the 2018 midterms — and the possibility of a wave against a President Trump — keep two things in mind. The map that may cost Democrats the Electoral College tonight — perhaps despite winning the popular vote — is perhaps even more problematic for them in the House of Representatives, with Democratic voters packed into small, dense congressional districts. And the 2018 Senate map was already shaping up to be pretty terrible for Democrats — they’re defending a lot of red turf they won in 2012 as President Obama was reelected.
The Wisconsin numbers are something else, as others have said. This is a state that Trump lost in the primary by a wide margin. This is a state where conservative talk radio was against Trump. This is a state where Paul Ryan, who Trump went toe-to-toe with, is from. And it looks like the most likely state to put Trump in the White House right now.
We’ve repeatedly emphasized Clinton’s weak position in the Electoral College relative to the popular vote, but here’s a bit more data on that. According to our polls-only model, Clinton was projected to win the Electoral College in only 59 percent of cases where she won the popular vote by 1 to 2 percentage points, as she may eventually do tonight once all votes are counted. And she was projected to win it only a quarter of the time when she won the popular vote by less than 1 point.
|POPULAR VOTE RESULT||ELECT. COLLEGE CHANCES|
|loses by 0 to 1 points||7%|
|wins by 0 to 1 points||25%|
|wins by 1 to 2 points||59%|
|wins by 2 to 3 points||85%|
|wins by 3 to 4 points||96%|
The marijuana ballot measure in California passed, legalizing recreational pot for adults ages 21 and older. With 55 percent in favor and 45 percent opposed, the results lined up with the polls we looked at. Marijuana is now legal on the Pacific coast from Mexico to Canada.
Trump wins Utah. Our model now gives him a 59 percent chance of winning the election.
To Andrew’s point about what Trump could actually do as president, yesterday I looked at the big economic issues facing the next president (whoever it may be). Among them: slow productivity growth, declining economic dynamism and low trust in government.
Evangelical voters are potentially among the strongest demographic groups for Trump, and they help explain why he is doing unexpectedly well tonight. Trump’s margin among evangelical white Christians is 81-16 percent, according to exit poll results. That appears to be the widest margin for a Republican presidential candidate among evangelicals since 2004.
In Georgia, for example, preliminary exit polls show that Trump won 88 percent of white evangelical voters, compared with 6 percent for Clinton. The demographic makes up a third of the state’s voters. They are anticipated to be 20 percent of Florida’s voters.
During the primaries, many evangelical voters had questions about Trump’s values, but the demographic group consolidated around his candidacy because of issues like abortion and appointments to the Supreme Court.
As we grapple with Trump’s unexpected strength in key swing states, we face a key question: Are changes in turnout or persuasion at work? Is it more about who turned out or stayed home or who changed votes from 2012 to today? And while both factors are likely at work, there’s a basic piece of math that makes persuasion more likely to be the underlying driver: When turnout changes, a single vote goes into or out of a candidate’s column. But when a voter is persuaded to switch sides, a vote drops from one tally and joins another, in effect doubling its impact. There will be plenty of time to look at the data, but persuasion has an advantage out of the gate.
As the night ticks on, the question that seems to be on everyone’s lips is simply this: What is happening?
Clinton, considered the favorite going into the race is now an underdog — our live forecast now gives Trump a better chance to win the White House. So what are the factors at work, upending expectations of how this race would unfold?
At the heart of all this seems to be a Midwestern collapse by Clinton; she lost Ohio, which Obama won in both 2008 and 2012, the race in Michigan is currently too close to call, as is the one in Wisconsin. Obama won both these states in both 2008 and 2012. Pennsylvania, another state nudging into the Midwest, is also too close to call.
These states are filled with white voters without college degrees, a demographic that has in the past trended more favorably toward Democrats. But preliminary exit polls are showing that Trump’s margin in this group is unprecedented among exit polls that date back to 1980 — he is winning the demographic 67 percent to Clinton’s 28 percent, a spread of 39 points. By comparison, Mitt Romney won non-college-educated white voters by a margin of only 26 points in 2012.
One trend I’ve been tracking throughout the night is the increased turnout of rural voters — they tend to be white and overwhelmingly for Trump and feel significantly more pessimistic about the direction of the country.
Clinton, who just lost North Carolina, a key state, had been counting on a coalition of minority voters to propel her to victory, and there will surely be more to look into on that point. When the results have been tallied, will she have gotten enough minority votes to offset Trump’s surge in support among this particular white demographic?
I’m looking at this map right now, and it’s pretty clear that Trump is winning the states he needs to be winning in order to be elected. That doesn’t mean he will be. But if you aren’t a Trump fan, you better start coming to terms with the fact he will probably be president.
The story of faithless electors is short and boring. According to The Washington Post, 29 states have laws requiring electors to remain faithful to the statewide popular vote winner. There have been a few faithless electors over the years, but they’ve never changed the outcome of the presidency — the allocation of Electoral College votes did that. There’s a lot we don’t know right now, but a Democratic elector in Washington state has claimed he won’t vote for Clinton. As the map tightens, it could make the difference — we’ll see.
What could President Trump actually do on the economy? Evan Osnos of The New Yorker wrote a useful piece in September. From interviews with experts as well as Trump’s advisers, Osnos outlines a possible Trump game plan if he were to take office in January. Immediately, Trump has the executive power to do things like pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade policy negotiations, restart exploration of the Keystone pipeline, sign executive orders deregulating energy prices and bring trade cases against China. And much more.
Many of Trump’s major economic promises, however, would require cooperation with Congress and/or the Supreme Court. So repealing Obamacare, cutting taxes and building his infamous wall on the Mexican border — Trump couldn’t do that unilaterally. Bipartisan legislation would more likely come in the form of an infrastructure package or a bill on paid maternity leave.
But let’s not kid ourselves: This is uncharted territory, and no one really knows what would happen.
As Nate just mentioned, Trump is in a good position in Wisconsin, and if he wins there, he probably wins the presidency. Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, is very popular in the state though not nationally. He walked a delicate line over the last few months, often condemning things Trump said without pulling his endorsement. If Ryan had removed his tepid support entirely, would Trump still be ahead in the state?
It’s probably not much of a consolation for those in her camp, but Clinton might have a shot at winning the 2nd Congressional District of Nebraska which, like Maine, gives one electoral vote to the winner of each congressional district there. She leads in Omaha’s Douglas County by 8 percentage points in votes counted so far.
Clinton wins Oregon. Our model now gives her a 40 percent chance of winning the election.
North Dakota’s ballot measure regarding marijuana has passed, legalizing medical marijuana for specific debilitating medical conditions. The Associated Press called the measure with 69 percent of precincts reporting, saying 64 percent voted in favor and 36 percent were opposed.
North Carolina, which ABC News just called for Trump, is the first really big shoe to drop against Clinton, since it deprives her of her best backup plan if she loses a Midwestern or Rust Belt state. Now Clinton has to run the table in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. She could wind up losing several swing states by just 1 to 3 percentage points, losing just a little bit too much ground in the Midwest, and not making up quite enough in the Southeast.
Trump wins North Carolina. Our model now gives him a 61 percent chance of winning the election.
Were there “shy” Trump voters who wouldn’t report their intentions in the polls? Social scientists call this the “social desirability effect” and look out for its effects in all sorts of questions — personal habits, attitudes like racism, and occasionally vote intention. A famous instance of this is the “Bradley effect,” in which Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley was predicted to win the race for California governor but lost to Republican George Deukmejian. There aren’t very many other instances of this effect, but it remains a possibility.
The competing theory is that the polls mispegged who would turn out to vote, that something went wrong in their likely voter screens.
Of course, there’s no reason these both couldn’t be true.
The national exit polls are currently reporting that Clinton won Latinos by 65 percent to 29 percent. But keep in mind that exit polls have particular challenges when estimating voting patterns among spatially concentrated minority groups like Latinos or Asian Americans. In 2012, 73 percent of Asian-Americans were estimated to have backed Obama, while in 2014, only 49 percent of Asian-Americans did. Did Asian-Americans really swing so decisively — or did the exit polls shift from sampling communities with more Democratic-leaning Asian-Americans (say, Asian-Americans of Chinese descent) to those with more Republican-leaning Asian-Americans (maybe those with Vietnamese ancestry)? That’s just to say: Take the exit polls with a grain of salt, especially as estimates of minority attitudes.
(With the help of Jackson Gu, Max Kaufman, Thomas Munson, Owen O’Hare, Gabrielle Rothschild and Elizabeth Sanchez.)
With manufacturing looking like an important part of tonight’s narrative, it’s worth remembering that politicians tend to make big promises about bringing manufacturing jobs back — promises it is very unlikely they’ll be able to keep. Even if they could, today’s manufacturing jobs aren’t necessarily the high-paying, stable jobs that we tend to remember. As I’ve written before, I wish candidates would talk less about manufacturing and more about how to make service-sector jobs fill the hole they’ve left in the economy.
Democrats win Senate races in Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. Our model now gives Democrats a 20 percent chance of winning control of the Senate.
People are focusing on Michigan right now, but Wisconsin is just as much of a problem for Clinton. She’s trailing there by a slightly wider margin and more of the vote is counted.
Mike Crapo, the incumbent Republican senator from Idaho, will keep his seat. Our model now gives Republicans an 80 percent chance of retaining control of the Senate.
Trump wins Idaho. Our model now gives him a 49 percent chance of winning the election.
Clinton wins California and Hawaii. Our model now gives her a 49 percent chance of winning the election.
As Trump’s chances keep rising, the financial markets keep falling. That isn’t too surprising given recent research showing that investors favor Clinton over Trump and given that most forecasts (including ours) expected her to win.
But it’s worth remembering that even if markets crater over the next day or two, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll keep falling or that the economy as a whole will suffer. As I wrote a few week ago, initial market reactions don’t reveal much about longer-run movements. Just look at the surprise “Brexit” decision a few months back: Markets initially tumbled but have since rebounded.
In our final election update, Nate Silver wrote that we were giving Trump about three times the chance Romney had in 2012, despite Trump trailing by more in the national polls than Romney did. One big reason: the possibility of a polling error. As of now, it looks like the polls could be off by 2 or 3 points, well within the range of normal polling error. And there has been a lot of polling error lately: in the 2014 U.S. midterms, in Greece, in Israel, in the U.K. general election, in Scotland, in the Brexit vote and in many of this year’s U.S. primaries. I’ve been polling pollsters occasionally over the last two years, and I will be asking them questions about tonight’s result. Keep in mind that the term “polling error” is imprecise, because it encompasses both poll misses and late changes in voter intention after the final poll. But between the huge share of votes cast before today and what polls showed was a late move toward Clinton, not Trump, today’s possible miss looks a lot like error.
I haven’t looked at where the votes are distributed, but Clinton is winning Maryland by 27 points, New York by 32 points and Massachusetts by 26 points. That’s a lot of people voting who won’t do her any good in the Electoral College.
Fox News has called the Wisconsin Senate race for Ron Johnson. That isn’t shocking considering the closeness of some of the recent polls, but it pretty much cuts off the path for Democrats to win a majority in the Senate.
I’ll be doing a video update with Harry Enten about five minutes after 11 p.m. Eastern time. What questions — big or small — do you want answered? Tweet me.
There’s been a lot of talk about Clinton trailing in Michigan and Wisconsin. Pennsylvania may be a far bigger problem. Clinton is up by just 4 percentage points, and that lead is slipping as more of the vote comes in from outside the Philadelphia media market. Clinton cannot lose Pennsylvania and win the election.
ABC News has called Colorado for Clinton, her third swing-state win, in addition to Virginia and New Mexico. So she’s holding up just fine in diverse, wealthy states. But she’s lost Ohio and is in profound trouble in Michigan and Wisconsin, perhaps along with Pennsylvania. Her weakness in the Midwest could wind up costing her the Electoral College.
As Andrew noted a few minutes ago, Clinton seems to be struggling in Michigan, a state where she was favored but where there are a large number of manufacturing jobs. As of September, about 14 percent of nonagricultural jobs in Michigan were in the manufacturing sector, the third-highest share of any state. The two above it: Indiana, where Trump won comfortably, and Wisconsin, where Clinton is in more trouble than expected.
Nine states are deciding on marijuana legalization ballot initiatives today. We’re spotlighting each during the course of the day. California’s polls close at 11 p.m. Eastern.
If the ballot measure in California passes, adults age 21 and older will be able to possess up to 28.5 grams of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated marijuana, as well as grow up to six plants and consume marijuana it privately. Medical marijuana is already legal in California.
If the measure passes, it will create two new taxes: one at $9.25 per ounce for flowers and $2.75 per ounce for leaves, with exceptions for certain medical marijuana sales; the second would be a 15 percent tax on the retail price of marijuana. Revenue from these taxes would be spent on drug research, treatment and enforcement; health and safety grants addressing marijuana; youth programs; and preventing environmental damage resulting from illegal marijuana production.
According to the 10 state polls we’ve seen this year, the measure looks likely to pass easily.
Michael Bennet, the incumbent Democratic senator from Colorado, will keep his seat. Our model now gives Democrats a 20 percent chance of winning control of the Senate.
Clinton wins Colorado. Our model now gives her a 50 percent chance of winning the election.
Back when he was trying to win the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders repeatedly said he was more electable than Clinton, citing hypothetical polls pitting each of them against Trump in head-to-head matchups. There’s no way to know if Sanders’s lead would have held up if he’d won the nomination and faced the full force of opposition from Trump and the Republican Party, but some Sanders supporters must be wondering if their favored candidate would be holding up better today, considering what was perceived to be his appeal to at least some of what has become Trump’s general-election constituency.
Looking at the map of Wisconsin, Clinton is in big trouble. Much of the vote from Milwaukee is in, and Clinton is still down by nearly 3 percentage points statewide. If Trump wins here, Clinton is in big trouble nationally.
NBC News just projected Colorado for Clinton. That’s a necessary win for her, but it isn’t sufficient.
When Florida voters legalized medical marijuana tonight, it became the 26th state (plus D.C.) to legalize or decriminalize the drug. That means over half of all states in the U.S. have made medical marijuana legal. Now activists are looking toward California, where polls have not yet closed, to sway societal attitudes. The state could be massively important for the movement to legalize marijuana. The population of California is larger than the combined population of all seven other states (Maine, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Arkansas, Arizona, Montana and Nevada) whose marijuana ballot measures have yet to be called.
ABC News just called Virginia for Clinton, which improved her odds in our forecast. As a reminder, though, Clinton’s problems aren’t in the called states so far — they’re in the numerous uncalled states where Trump is either favored with most of the vote in (as in Florida) or states like Michigan where pre-election polls favored Clinton but the actual result is now too close to call.
Clinton wins Virginia. Our model now gives her a 52 percent chance of winning the election.
John McCain, the incumbent Republican senator from Arizona, will keep his seat. Our model now gives Republicans an 83 percent chance of retaining control of the Senate.
Right now, Trump leads in both Michigan and Wisconsin. If those leads hold, I don’t really see a path for Clinton to win. If, however, Clinton wins those two states, she’ll be on track to win. If she loses one of them, she still has a path that includes Arizona, where the race is tight. Even if she does win either Michigan or Wisconsin, though, Trump is the favorite.
The race in Michigan has tightened and, according to our live forecast, it’s now too close to call. Why? We’ve talked a fair bit about the divisions emerging between college-educated and non-college-educated voters in the country, and in Michigan, voters with a college education have voted for Clinton over Trump 50 percent to 44 percent, while non-college-educated voters are going for Trump, 48 percent to 45 percent.
But the race is incredibly close there because voters without a college education account for nearly six in 10 voters. Preliminary exit polls have shown that while Clinton is winning union households by a 16 point margin, that’s down from previous elections, where Democrats typically win that vote by about 20 points or more.
Maine is shaping up to be an interesting case study in the popularity of the minimum wage. The presidential race there remains too close to call, as does a ballot initiative on legalizing marijuana. An initiative to require background checks to purchase firearms is currently losing in a close vote. But based on preliminary results, it looks like the state will approve an initiative to raise its minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020. That shouldn’t be too surprising: Polls consistently show support for raising the minimum wage, even among Republicans.
The race is very close in Michigan. One motivating factor in the state is the decline of manufacturing jobs, particularly in the automobile sector. Although Clinton was favored to win the state by FiveThirtyEight’s forecast and many others, Trump has touted a message that could appeal to many voters there: International trade has harmed the county. Sure enough, exit polls indicate that 50 percent of Michiganders agreed that trade with other countries would “take jobs away” from the U.S. Only 31 percent thought trade “creates more jobs.” And among Trump supporters, a whopping 65 percent had a negative view on trade.
Could Clinton win Arizona to salvage her Electoral College chances? It’s not impossible — her numbers are holding up reasonably well in the western part of the country so far, and she’s down by only 2 to 3 points in votes counted so far. But the Upshot’s model thinks the remaining vote there is more favorable to Trump.
Trump wins Ohio. Our model now gives him a 55 percent chance of winning the election.
There’s not enough information to call any of the races in Wisconsin yet, including the competitive Senate race between incumbent Ron Johnson and former incumbent Russ Feingold. Preliminary exit polls, though, reveal the complexity of Wisconsin politics. Trump did poorly in the state’s fairly late primary, after failing to win over important Republicans like Gov. Scott Walker, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (who represents the state’s 1st Congressional District), and influential talk radio hosts like Charlie Sykes. However, Trump’s anti-trade message seems to have resonated with a substantial portion of Wisconsinites: Nearly half of Wisconsin voters (49 percent) reported feeling that trade with other countries takes U.S. jobs, and they preferred Trump by a nearly 2-1 margin. However, Trump’s other signature talking point, immigration, has a tougher audience in America’s Dairyland: According to the early exit polls, 57 percent of voters there think that immigrants do more to help the country than harm it. Those voters supported Clinton, 63 percent to 28 percent.
We’ve designated Wisconsin and Pennsylvania as too close to call also. I’d turn first toward betting markets, though, which see Trump as the Electoral College favorite.
The presidential races in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are too close to call. Our model now gives Clinton a 51 percent chance of winning overall; Trump now has a 48 percent chance.
Richard Burr, the incumbent Republican senator from North Carolina, will keep his seat. Our model now gives Republicans an 80 percent chance of retaining control of the Senate.
The AP has called the senate race in my home state of Iowa. Chuck Grassley, the state’s senior senator, is headed to a seventh term.
We’ve warned for a while that exit polls should not be used to project winners. Tonight is a perfect example of that. The races are far closer than the exit polls suggested.
Two nonbinding votes in the Florida Keys over whether to release genetically modified mosquitoes appear to be split: 58 percent of the county voted to release the mosquitoes somewhere on the islands, while 65 percent of the residents on the island where the release is proposed to take place voted against the experiment, according to a local paper, the FL Keys News. The final decision will be made by the Mosquito Control Board; three of the five members have said they would go with the will of the public. With the vote on the two measures split, it’s not clear whether the release will happen.
I’m going to keep it coming with this rural/urban split that we’re seeing emerge from preliminary exit numbers. National exit poll numbers are showing a demonstrable attitudinal difference between rural and urban/suburban voters. Forty-one percent of rural voters said in exit polls that life for the next generation will be worse than it is today; only 27 percent of urban voters and 35 percent of suburban voters felt the same way. A whopping 72 percent of rural voters think the economy is doing poorly, compared with 57 percent of urban voters. And as far as which candidate is best suited to solve the economy’s problems? Sixty-three percent of rural voters say Trump is the man for the job, and 49 percent of suburban voters agree; city-dwellers, meanwhile, think Clinton is best suited for the task — she garners 57 percent of their support.
That’s quite a stark city mouse/country mouse divide — those sentiments won’t be going away anytime soon. I traveled to Maine’s rural 2nd Congressional District this fall and heard a lot of frustration with the status quo from voters particularly with the idea that national Democrats fundamentally misunderstood rural cultural issues, like Second Amendment rights.
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Trump wins Missouri. Our model now gives him a 38 percent chance of winning the election.
Clinton wins New Mexico. Our model now gives her a 60 percent chance of winning the election.
The forecast you see on the right-hand rail is based only on called states. But we did build in a Plan B in the event of an election like tonight: We can override our initial forecast by declaring a state “too close to call” and changing the model’s forecast. We’re doing that in Michigan right now, setting the odds at 50/50 there, and we’ll be monitoring other states for whether they need similar treatment.
The presidential race in Michigan is too close to call. Our model now gives Clinton a 55 percent chance of winning; Trump now has a 44 percent chance.
A snapshot of Clinton’s struggles in Ohio in two counties: Obama won Athens County, home of Ohio University, by 35 points in 2012. She won there tonight by just 17 points. And Obama won by 12 points in struggling Ashtabula County — subject of a feature by my colleague Clare Malone — but Trump’s ahead there by 19 points.
The geographic divide in Pennsylvania is stunning. Outside of the eastern part of the state, Clinton is winning only two counties: Allegheny (Pittsburgh) and Erie. That said, there are a ton of votes in the southeastern part of the state. Still, the current Clinton lead of 12 percentage points will come down considerably.
Markets are taking a beating as Trump is hanging tight with Clinton in swing states. But not only that, market uncertainty is rising, injecting greater swings in the pricing of stocks. The VIX, also known as the “fear index,” is a measure of just this — volatility in the stock market. As the components of the VIX index are no longer trading, we can only look to futures to see what the VIX index is doing. And those futures are rising sharply. Market volatility is expected to increase dramatically — indicating investors did not expect a Trump victory, or don’t view it favorably.
Republicans win Senate races in Iowa and Utah. Our model now gives Republicans a 69 percent chance of retaining control of the Senate.
Trump wins Montana. Our model now gives him a 27 percent chance of winning the election.
Talking about shocking counties, look to New Hampshire. Trump is up by 3 percentage points in Grafton County. That’s amazing considering Obama won it by a little less than 25 percentage points in 2012.
As the presidential race unfolds dramatically, the death penalty is quietly having a successful night. The AP has called the vote on the death penalty ballot initiative in Oklahoma; the voters there have adopted a state constitutional amendment strengthening the punishment there, guaranteeing the state the power to execute and the ability to choose the means of execution. And Nebraska results are coming in. With 12 percent reporting, “repeal” leads in the vote on Referendum 426, 52-48. If that result holds, capital punishment will be reintroduced in the state. The state’s legislature had eliminated it last year.
Clinton and Trump together have 96.0 percent of the vote right now — third-party candidates have 4.0 percent. That’s about in line with expectations, but the third-party vote may nevertheless be enough to potentially have swung several swing states.
Nine states are deciding on marijuana legalization ballot initiatives today. We’re spotlighting each during the course of the day. Here are the states whose polls close at 10 p.m. Eastern:
If the ballot measure in Montana passes, it will repeal the three-patient limit for medical marijuana providers, giving qualifying patients easier access to the drug. Voters have had a wild ride with marijuana legalization in Montana. Medical marijuana was legalized in 2004, and the rules were amended in 2011 to stop advertisements for it and limit the scope of the business for providers and prescribers. Advocates tried unsuccessfully to repeal it in 2012. Then, after the 2011 bill was tied up in courts for five years, it went into effect in August.
We’ve seen only one poll for this measure, and it shows the measure losing by a 7 percentage point margin. With only one poll to look at, though, nothing is assured.
If the ballot measure in Nevada passes, adults age 21 and older will be able to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and consume it privately. Adults who do not live within 25 miles of a marijuana retail store would be allowed to grow up to six plants. Medical marijuana is currently legal in the state. A 15 percent tax on the drug would be spent first on enforcing the measure; remaining funds would go to K-12 education. As in many other states voting this into law, current medical marijuana facilities in Nevada would be encouraged to transition into recreational marijuana facilities.
All seven state polls we’ve seen this year suggest that the measure will pass.
As a reminder, the odds you see on the right-hand side of this page are based only on pre-election projections and called states. Clinton isn’t really a 73 percent favorite right now — Trump holds narrow leads in many swing states, some of which are likely to be called for him eventually, so her actual odds are probably lower.
With 17 percent of precincts reporting in Michigan, Trump is ahead by more than 4 percentage points statewide. One county’s early returns look particularly surprising: Trump leads Wayne County, which includes Detroit, by about 3 percentage points with 11 percent of precincts reporting. That result would be wildly different from those in the past two presidential elections, when Barack Obama won the county with more than 70 percent of the vote.
With the rising chance of a Trump presidency, there is also a very outside chance of a three-week Democratic majority. How would that come about? On the off-chance that the Democrats can take 50 Senate seats while Trump wins the presidency, the new Congress will be sworn in on Jan. 3. The new president doesn’t take office until Jan. 20, giving the sitting vice president — Democrat Joe Biden — three weeks to cast the tie-breaking Senate vote.
A lot of the important decisions about elections are made by states, which means there’s a lot of variation. One example of that for those looking at early returns is when polls close. For states in the Eastern time zone, some closed as early as 6 p.m. and a few as late as 9 p.m. Is there a partisan pattern?
It turns out there is — as the chart below shows, when we look at the states that close later, the percentage of votes won by Mitt Romney in 2012 shifts way down. We should be careful about making causal claims — this pattern could be caused by any number of factors. But it’s an interesting pattern nonetheless.
Markets are reacting very negatively as Trump is exceeding expectations in the electoral map tonight. One thing to watch is the Mexican peso. As Trump’s chances of winning improve — and thus the potential for negative trade and immigration policies relating to Mexico rises — markets would adjust by devaluing the peso and showing declines in Mexican stock markets. Sure enough, the Mexican peso has depreciated sharply since 8 p.m. eastern time. (Or, in other words, the Mexican peso-to-U.S. dollar exchange rate has risen.)
Clinton now leads in Virginia. There is still vote out in Democratic areas. It’s close, but Clinton should win there.
Stating the obvious, but it’s very hard for Clinton to win the Electoral College if she loses Michigan along with Ohio, North Carolina and Florida none of which look particularly safe for her right now. Even if she were to hold the rest of her firewall and win Nevada, she’d be stuck at 263 electoral votes and would need to do something unexpected like flip Arizona or Georgia into her column.
Increased turnout of rural voters for Trump could be an interesting subplot to emerge from this election. In addition to places like Michigan, which saw a surge in rural voters, preliminary exit poll numbers in Virginia, which has yet to be called, indicate that Trump is outperforming Mitt Romney in the more rural central and western parts of the state 29 percent to 23 percent. That could be helping Trump keep the race close with Clinton, whose strength lies in the more urban environs of Northern Virginia.
Fox News has declared Clinton the winner in New Mexico. That’s a sigh of relief for her campaign.
In Virginia, Clinton is now down by just 5,000 votes with 14 percent of precincts still remaining. Clinton still has a good chance of winning the state.
Clinton is leading by only a percentage point in Wayne County, Michigan. That’s a county Obama won by 48 percentage points. Either that result is wrong, a lot of the vote in Detroit (which is in Wayne County) is out, or the map is looking very different than it used to.
As a point of context — one reason people find Trump’s competitive margins across a wide range of swing states so surprising is because exit polls showed Clinton beating her pre-election polls in most states, instead of underperforming them. Remember not to pay too much attention to them next time around.
Prediction markets now have the Electoral College as being almost even money.
Trump wins Louisiana. Our model now gives him a 26 percent chance of winning the election.
Back in late September, our editor-in-chief, Nate Silver, wrote that Clinton was leading in exactly the states she needed to win — and that it wasn’t such a good position to be in. Now we can see why, as her firewall might be crumbling: According to the New York Times’s live forecast, Clinton has below a 60 percent chance of winning in Pennsylvania and Michigan, the two most electoral-vote-rich states in that firewall. She could still win them both; if she doesn’t, she has a much tougher path to winning the election.
One of the biggest splits in voting behavior this cycle has been between college-educated and non-college-educated white Americans. This map of American Community Survey data on educational attainment uses light orange to show states with lower rates of college degree holders. All of the states with lower rates of college education that have been called so far have gone to Trump: Wyoming, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Indiana and Kentucky. Nevada, when called, may well buck that trend.
Michigan — a state where Trump leads by 3 points based on votes counted so far — is a state that ought to be making Democrats nervous. With lots of white, working-class voters and lots of undecideds, it was underrated as a swing state. Clinton will gain a ton more votes in Detroit, but the Upshot’s projections have the state as very nearly being a tossup now, and it’s probably a bigger risk to Clinton than Pennsylvania.
Trump’s lead is down to a percentage point in Virginia, with 82 percent of the vote reporting. There are still enough votes outstanding for Clinton to make up this margin. But this doesn’t look like the big lead that Clinton would have wanted. It looks like the race will be close.
Republicans win Senate races in Arkansas and Georgia. Our model now gives Republicans a 70 percent chance of retaining control of the Senate.
Trump wins Arkansas. Our model now gives him a 26 percent chance of winning the election.
Clinton wins Connecticut. Our model now gives her a 73 percent chance of winning the election.
Some Senate benchmarks:
- In Florida, Republican Marco Rubio is outperforming Trump by 6.4 points. The race was called for him earlier tonight.
- In Indiana, Republican Todd Young is underperforming Trump by 10.9 points, but he nevertheless won the state.
- In Missouri, Democrat Jason Kander is outperforming Clinton by 10.1 points.
- In New Hampshire, Democrat Maggie Hassan is outperforming Clinton by 2.3 points.
- In North Carolina, Democrat Deborah Ross is underperforming Clinton by 2.3 points.
- In Pennsylvania, Democrat Kate McGinty is outperforming Clinton by 1.1 points.
Early returns in Michigan are not great for Clinton. Trump is winning by big margins in rural areas and by 2 percentage points overall. The New York Times’s live forecast, which takes into account where the votes are coming from, is now giving Clinton just a 54 percent chance of winning the state and a 58 percent chance of winning the election overall. Before votes were counted, Clinton had a 94 percent chance of winning in Michigan according to the Times and a 79 percent chance according to our forecast.
Our live forecast currently gives Clinton an 83 percent chance of winning the state of Michigan, but there are some interesting things to pull out of the exit polls in that state that speak to the strength of Trump’s candidacy. In 2008 and 2012, rural voters accounted for only about 19 percent of the vote in the state, but according to preliminary exit poll results, they account for 27 percent of the state’s vote. And Trump does well with those rural voters, winning them by about 15 points.
We’ve been talking all night about the historic gender gap that we are likely going to see come out of this election, with women favoring Clinton over Trump in huge numbers — it’s news to no one that Trump has been a controversial figure in no small part because of his comments about women.
And yet, we’re seeing some interesting figures coming out of the Florida exit polls — Clinton isn’t doing quite as well with women there as she is in other key states, which might be one reason the race in Florida is so close. According to preliminary exit poll results in Florida, Clinton is winning 51 percent of women, compared with 53 percent in Michigan and New Hampshire; 54 percent in Ohio, Wisconsin, Georgia and Colorado; 55 percent in North Carolina; and 58 percent in Pennsylvania
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The latest results seem a bit more favorable for Trump — our live model puts Clinton’s chances at 73 percent, down from 78 percent earlier tonight, and other models have likewise moved back toward Trump. Investors don’t seem to be happy about that — Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal notes that markets have fallen sharply over the past few minutes. That’s consistent with recent research finding that markets would prefer a Clinton victory.
Betting markets have shifted — quickly — in Trump’s favor. His chances of winning have risen to about 25 percent, according to Betfair.
The Upshot’s calculator has Clinton projected to eventually win the popular vote by 3 to 4 percentage points — right in line with where national polls had the race. And yet, they show her winning only 290 or so electoral votes, which obviously means that Trump has a decent shot to win the Electoral College. That potentially seems to validate our finding that Clinton was in a worse position in the Electoral College than the popular vote, since her coalition is not concentrated in swing states.
Election watchers right now are feeling a sense of déjà vu — in the 2014 Virginia Senate race and again right now, Virginia was expected to go easily Democratic, but the early returns are instead suggesting a tight race. In fact, Trump leads the state by just over 3 percentage points. From our look at the data, Clinton is running even with Obama except in the rural, southwestern part of the state, where Trump is outperforming Romney. Still, while 69 percent of precincts are in, just 54 percent of the 2012 major-party vote is in. We suspect that Clinton has a lot of outstanding votes in Virginia Beach and the Norther Virginia suburbs, but it isn’t crazy to think that Virginia could be the crack in the Clinton firewall.
Republicans win Senate races in Kansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Our model now gives Republicans a 69 percent chance of retaining control of the Senate.
Chuck Schumer, the incumbent Democratic senator from New York, will keep his seat. Our model now gives Democrats a 31 percent chance of winning control of the Senate.
Watch Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Hillsborough Counties in Florida for signs of a Clinton comeback. Especially Broward, which has been slow to count today’s votes; nearly 30 percent of people in the county are African-American. Obama won more than two votes for every one won by Romney there in 2012, and Clinton is leading by an even bigger margin in the southeastern county among votes counted so far this year.
Trump wins Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Texas, Nebraska, Nebraska’s 1st District, and Nebraska’s 3rd District. Our model now gives him a 25 percent chance of winning the election.
Clinton wins New York. Our model now gives her a 73 percent chance of winning the election.
Despite a broad decline in its use nationwide, the death penalty may be bolstered in a few states after tonight’s vote. According to pre-election polling, California, Nebraska and Oklahoma looked poised to retain, reinstate and reinforce capital punishment, respectively. And now some real results are starting to roll in. In Oklahoma — the state with the highest per-capita execution rate since 1976 — the “yes” votes on State Question 776 currently have a 66-34 lead, with 11 percent reporting. A “yes” vote would amend the state’s constitution, affirming the state’s right to execute and choose the method of execution.
We’re in something of a state of suspended animation right now. The results so far are pretty well in line with pre-election polls, which showed a close race in many swing states and Clinton more often having the lead. But the problem with having a lot of narrow leads is that you don’t always convert them to wins, and so far no major states have fallen to Clinton.
While the state of Colorado has already legalized recreational marijuana and statewide ballots there don’t feature any questions about marijuana legalization, the ballot in the county of Pueblo sure does. Voters are weighing two marijuana issues there today. If issue 300 passes, voters will ban recreational marijuana sales in the city of Pueblo. If issue 200 passes, all marijuana facilities across the county will be shut down by Oct. 31, 2017.
Here’s a potential sign of a shift: Barack Obama won the township of Bradley, Maine — in the largely rural, 2nd Congressional District — by 12 points in 2012. Trump just won it by 10 points tonight. Maine splits its electoral votes by congressional district, so more results like that would put Trump on his way to winning one electoral vote there.
It’s possible that Clinton will win Ohio while losing Florida, which might seem like a huge surprise given the narrative of the race, but the fact is that the two states weren’t polling all that far apart. Clinton trailed Trump in Ohio by only 1.9 points in our pre-election forecast and led him in Florida by only 0.6 points.
We have arrived at the third and final video in our “New Bellwethers” series. Throughout Election Day, FiveThirtyEight’s senior political writer Clare Malone has been exploring counties in key states where Clinton and Trump are polling very close to how they are nationally. Our last stop: Maricopa County, Arizona.
If you’re just joining us, the second episode of “The New Bellwethers” video series — Berks County, Pennsylvania — can be viewed here.
Trump and Clinton are neck and neck in Florida. The issue of immigration is a crucial — and divisive — issue in the state. No surprise, exit polls indicate that the candidates’ voters have radically different views on the impact that immigrants have on the country today: 50 percent of Trump voters believe immigrants hurt the country, while a whopping 83 percent of Clinton voters say the opposite, that immigrants help.
Nine states are deciding on marijuana legalization ballot initiatives today. We’re spotlighting each during the course of the day. Arizona’s polls close at 9 p.m. Eastern.
If the ballot measure in Arizona passes, adults age 21 and older will be able to grow up to six marijuana plants in their residence, possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and consume it privately. Medical marijuana is already legal in Arizona, and the existing pot industry could adapt to fill the recreational market. The retail industry would be capped at 10 percent of the number of liquor store licenses in the state. A 15 percent sales tax would cover implementation and regulation costs; any extra would benefit schools and the state health service, and cities would be allowed to pass their own restrictions.
According to the seven state polls we’ve seen in 2016, it looks like a toss-up. Three polls say the measure has a slight chance of winning, and four say the reverse.
Oh-me-oh, oh-my-oh, what’s up with Ohio?
Rob Portman is projected to win the Senate race, which we expected, and right now our live forecast is showing Trump with a 68 percent chance of winning the state. A quick dive into the state’s exit polls tells us that a plurality of voters there, 42 percent, said that being able to bring needed change was the most important attribute they looked for in a candidate. This would seem to favor Trump, not Clinton. Clinton also appears to be struggling with union households in the state; she and Trump are splitting that vote, whereas President Obama won that group by 23 points in 2012.
The question remaining in Florida is how much vote is left in the southeastern part of the state. Trump is ahead right now by a little over 100,000 votes. That is a lot of votes to make up, though it is possible for her to do it.
Betting markets — and The Upshot’s statistical model — now show Trump as slightly more likely than not to win Florida, expecting that he may pick up just enough votes in the Florida Panhandle and southwestern Florida to make up for what will be further Clinton gains in Broward County and Miami-Dade County.
What we’re waiting for in Virginia is results from the northern part of the state to come in. Right now, Trump is leading in the state by about 5 percentage points. There probably are enough votes left in the north for her to make up that deficit, but this race is definitely far closer than Clinton wanted it to be.
Political parties, partisan groups and nonpartisan organizations have sent election observers around the nation. One of them is Richard Burns, a New York nonprofit management consultant who has a law degree. He volunteered as a legal observer today — his fourth election doing so — in Pennsylvania as part of the Clinton Victory Counsel. Compared with the reports of problems in Pennsylvania, including reports from some voters that the machines changed Trump votes to Clinton ones, Burns found the Friends Meeting House in Lancaster calm.
“There were a number of recently naturalized citizens, middle-aged adults, beaming and saying this was their first time voting,” Burns said in an interview earlier today from the polling location. Lancaster is in Amish Country, a region that has seen a massive growth in the Latino population, which outstripped the Amish as of the 2010 Census.
One thing seems fairly clear, as we wait for the first swing state dominoes to fall: If Trump wins the Electoral College tonight, and it remains something of a long shot, it’s going to be with narrow wins in a large number of swing states instead of something more emphatic. And it’s going to be a very long night, possibly including an Electoral College-popular vote split.
As I told Clare in our video chat a few minutes ago, all the exit poll data so far has made me really despondent about the state of our politics. The gulfs are widening along gender, education, class, and urban/rural divides. This is, of course, nothing new — we’ve been talking about it for months — but I suppose Election Day is turning into a big, clarifying, heartbreaking reminder.
In Vermont, Republican Phil Scott is currently beating Sue Minter by 14 percentage points with 15 percent of the vote in. The race hasn’t been called, and with few votes in from heavily Democratic Burlington yet, that makes sense. But should Scott hold on to win, that victory wouldn’t be as surprising. Yes, gubernatorial elections are increasingly tracking trends in presidential elections. But paradoxically, on-cycle elections for governor have actually been less nationalized than gubernatorial elections held in midterm years. Maybe that’s because on-cycle elections attract more voters, including more moderate voters. That could be good news for some gubernatorial candidates today, including Montana Democrat Steve Bullock and Missouri Democrat Chris Koster.
NBC News has projected that Republicans will retain a majority in the House of Representatives.
Republican Todd Young has won the U.S. Senate race in Indiana. Our model now gives Republicans a 69 percent chance of retaining control of the Senate.
Clinton trailed Trump by 10 points in our Missouri presidential forecast — so we’ll be looking toward whether Democratic senate candidate Jason Kander can run 10 points better than Clinton tonight. So far, he’s toeing the line, outrunning Clinton by 9 points based on returns so far from Jackson County, which includes Kansas City, Missouri, and its suburbs.
Richard Shelby, the incumbent Republican senator from Alabama, will keep his seat. Our model now gives Republicans a 56 percent chance of retaining control of the Senate.
In ABC News’s preliminary exit polls, Clinton has a clear advantage over Trump in favorability ratings. In none of the states that were polled, however, did a majority of voters view either candidate favorably.
Trump’s lead is climbing in Florida as more of the Panhandle is reporting. He’s now up by about 65,000 votes or 0.75 percentage points. This could end up coming down to the wire.
Trump wins Alabama. Our model now gives him a 24 percent chance of winning the election.
As we all stare intently at results from Florida — it’s essentially tied right now — here’s an interesting tidbit from the exit polls there: Voters who consider the economy the most important issue facing the country favor Clinton over Trump by a 50-43 margin. Voters who are most concerned about immigration, meanwhile, went for Trump by a whopping 38 points, 68-30.
Trump wins South Carolina and Tennessee. Our model now gives him a 24 percent chance of winning the election.
Polling by the firm Latino Decisions on election eve found that Florida’s Latino population had cast an early ballot for or planned to vote for Clinton over Trump 67-31. In 2012, Obama bested Romney among Florida Latinos by 58-40. The state has a large Cuban-American population that has trended Republican but that was dissatisfied with voting for Trump. Still, nationally, the firm shows Clinton winning the Latino vote 79-18, a significantly higher margin than in Florida.
The Florida results also showed Senator Marco Rubio reaping a lower share of the Latino vote than his challenger, Patrick Murphy, in a 40-58 split, although Rubio led in statewide polls and has now won the race according to preliminary exit polls.
Nine states are deciding on marijuana legalization ballot initiatives today. We’re spotlighting each during the course of the day. Arkansas’s polls close at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.
If the ballot measure in Arkansas passes, medical marijuana use for patients with qualifying conditions will become legal. A medical marijuana initiative was defeated in Arkansas in 2012. The marijuana would be taxed, with half the revenue going to vocational training and the other half divided among the general fund and other state programs.
We’ve seen three state polls this year: One showed voters slightly in favor, one showed voters slightly against, and the third showed voters overwhelmingly in favor. So there’s a slight lean toward legalization, but nothing’s certain yet.
Marco Rubio, the incumbent Republican senator from Florida, will keep his seat. Our model now gives Republicans a 56 percent chance of retaining control of the Senate.
This is why it’s important to wait for the Panhandle to report in Florida. Trump has just jumped into the lead in Florida by 12,000 votes. Still a lot of votes to be counted in that state.
Clinton leads in the Electoral College 68-37 based on states called so far, and our live election night forecast is becoming slightly more confident in its predictions as the candidates bring in states from their respective bases. Clinton’s chances of winning are up to 78 percent in the forecast.
As Nate mentioned, Mark Kirk just became the first incumbent senator to lose his bid for re-election. Kirk has long been a top Democratic target: In 2010, he won the seat formerly held by Barack Obama in deep-blue Illinois. Outside spending to save him was relatively limited. During his time in the Senate, Kirk has cut a relatively moderate profile: He received an “F” rating from the NRA, is pro-choice, and among the Senate’s most centrist Republicans.
In that, Kirk fits a pattern. In recent years, the incumbent senators who have lost have been disproportionately moderates whose partisanship puts them at odds with their state. In 2012, the Democrats took out Republican moderates like Massachusetts’ Sen. Scott Brown — and Brown was the third most liberal Republican in the prior Congress. In 2014, Republicans returned the favor, beating moderate Democratic incumbents in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina. Alaska’s Mark Begich was the 39th most liberal Democratic Senator, and the other three incumbents were still more moderate. This replacement of moderates is one key driver of the polarization we see in the halls of Congress today: moderates whose partisanship doesn’t align with their state find it hard to keep their seats.
(University of Pennsylvania students Jackson Gu, Max Kaufman, Thomas Munson, Owen O’Hare and Liz Sanchez helped with this post.)
We’ll also be updating our snake chart as the night progresses. Here’s each candidate’s remaining path to 270 electoral votes.
Perhaps the most shocking result so far is in Missouri. Democrat Jason Kander looks to be running very strongly in the exit polls. That would be a huge pickup for Democrats.
ABC News has called the Illinois Senate race for Tammy Duckworth, making this the first pickup for either party so far tonight. Republican Mark Kirk previously held the seat. The call isn’t a surprise — Duckworth was up 12 points in our forecast — but it’s something of an indignity for an incumbent senator to have a race called against him immediately after polls close. Kirk’s problems went from bad to worse following a debate where he mocked Duckworth’s heritage.
Democrat Tammy Duckworth has won the U.S. Senate race in Illinois. Our model now gives Democrats a 48 percent chance of winning control of the Senate.
In preliminary exit polling from ABC News, more voters said they were bothered a lot by Trump’s treatment of women than by Clinton’s emails. However, state by state, the numbers ranged widely, with more voters in Arizona and Texas bothered by the emails.
|STATE||CLINTON’S EMAILS||TRUMP’S TREATMENT OF WOMEN||DIFFERENCE|
Clinton wins Delaware, Illinois, and Rhode Island. Our model now gives her a 78 percent chance of winning the election.
NBC News says that New Hampshire and Pennsylvania are too early to call. That is excellent news for Clinton. She is leading in both. Trump likely needs to win at least one of those two states if he wants to win.
According to exit polls from ABC, 36 percent of Pennsylvania voters say society gives more advantages to whites than to minorities. Thirty-one percent said society favors minorities more than whites, and the other third said neither group is favored. With Clinton holding her own among nonwhite voters and Trump prevailing with whites, this could add to the societal divide in the state.
James Lankford, the incumbent Republican senator from Oklahoma, will keep his seat. Our model now gives Republicans a 54 percent chance of retaining control of the Senate.
Right now, Clinton is up in Florida by more than 2 percentage points. The key counties look good for her. Keep in mind, though, that there are still plenty of votes to be counted in the Republican-leaning Panhandle.
Democrats win Senate races in Connecticut and Maryland. Our model now gives Democrats a 46 percent chance of winning control of the Senate.
Trump wins Mississippi and Oklahoma. Our model now gives him a 26 percent chance of winning the election.
New Jersey, which was just called for Clinton by ABC News, is the closest thing to a swing state that’s been called so far: Clinton had “only” a 96.9 percent chance of winning it, according to our pre-election forecast. Trump was a 97.5 percent favorite in Indiana, which was called earlier in the night. South Carolina — which other networks have called for Trump but ABC has not yet — is a little more competitive, however, as our forecast had put Trump’s odds at 89.7 percent there.
Clinton wins the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Our model now gives her a 73 percent chance of winning the election.
If you’re puzzling at the results in Virginia — more than a fifth of precincts are reporting and Trump leads by more than 10 points — don’t expect an upset there just yet. There’s still a ton of the vote left to report in Northern Virginia, specifically the heavily Democratic Washington D.C. suburbs.
NBC News has called South Carolina for Trump. (Our partners at ABC News have not, yet.)
Indiana and West Virginia have both been called for Trump. This isn’t surprising, but it does warrant a moment of thought. Until 2004, West Virginia was one of the most reliably Democratic states in presidential elections. Indiana has tended to lean Republican in presidential contests, going back to about 1968 (with the notable exception of Obama’s victory there in 2008). But it’s also home to moderate Democrats like Evan Bayh, who is competing for a Senate seat and was once considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. West Virginia is still represented by conservative, pro-gun Democrat Joe Manchin in the Senate — who has run on his opposition to the president whose party label he shares. The easy calls in Indiana and West Virginia for Trump probably don’t signal anything big about tonight’s presidential contest — but they do signal the kinds of changes that have happened in the two parties over the past few decades.
Not a surprise, but Clinton is really overperforming a typical Democrat in wealthy, highly educated areas. She’s winning Loudoun County, Virginia, by 16 points, for example, when Obama won it by just 4 points four years ago. If anything, these demographic shifts look even more profound in the vote so far than they did in the pre-election polls.
I’m a little worried about relying too much on bellwether counties for projecting results in Florida because the vote patterns in the state may have changed a lot since 2012. Still, Clinton is up by 10 percentage points in early returns from Hillsborough County. That’s good for her, but again, we need to wait for more data.
Georgia is still too close to call. Our final forecast gave Trump a roughly 80 percent chance to win the deep-red state. But Georgia has been undergoing a major demographic shift, with a growing share of African-Americans and Hispanics. This change is apparent in the exit polls from today: 39 percent of Georgia’s electorate is nonwhite.
Nine states are deciding on marijuana legalization ballot initiatives today. We’re spotlighting each during the course of the day. Here’s the batch of states whose polls close or start to close at 8 p.m. Eastern:
If the ballot measure in Maine passes, adults age 21 and older will be allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and consume it privately. Medical marijuana is already legal in the state.
A 10 percent tax would be placed on marijuana sales.
According to the three state polls we’ve seen, it looks like the vote will be close. All three have the measure favored to pass, but not by much.
If the ballot measure in Massachusetts passes, adults age 21 and older will be able to possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana, grow up to six plants for personal use and consume marijuana privately. Its use would be regulated similar to how the state handles alcoholic beverages. Medical marijuana is already legal in the state.
If the measure passes, the state will create the Cannabis Control Commission to oversee marijuana legalization. A 3.75 percent tax would be placed on marijuana sales. Revenue would be placed in a Marijuana Regulation Fund to pay for administrative costs. Cities and towns would be allowed to add a local tax of up to 2 percent.
Of the nine state polls we’ve seen in 2016, nine have the measure passing and two have it failing.
A yes vote on the ballot measure in North Dakota is a vote to legalize medical marijuana to treat specific debilitating medical conditions. A similar measure failed to reach the North Dakota ballot in 2012 after thousands of fraudulent signatures were found.
What’s the outlook? It’s not clear at all. No official poll has been done on marijuana legalization in the state in two years, and I haven’t found any polling on it.
One more note on education: Preliminary exit polls in Indiana indicate Clinton lost among voters without a college degree by 23 points. Among college graduates, however, she lost by just 4 points, and she won handily among voters with graduate degrees. Exact vote shares are different in other states that have reported, but the same basic pattern holds.
Democrat Evan Bayh, whose position tumbled in the polls of the U.S. Senate campaign in Indiana, is trailing Republican Todd Young by 15 points based on returns so far. The Democratic-leaning parts of Indiana haven’t reported much vote yet, so his position will improve. Still, Republican chances of winning the Senate will shoot up to 68 percent if Indiana is called for Young in our election night model.
According to ABC News exit polls, the state of West Virginia will lend its five electoral votes to Trump. This was expected, but it’s also an example of a state that was once blue becoming red.
The state was a touchstone of speeches at both the Democratic and Republican national conventions. At the latter, West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito gave a speech blasting the president and the Democratic candidate. “President Obama has hurt the heart and soul of my state, the proud coal miners and the communities where they live … creating a cycle of pessimism and disgust,” she said. “West Virginia voters are the backbone of this economy. And Hillary Clinton is promising to put them out of work?” The state has lost jobs as the Environmental Protection Agency has regulated mining and fossil fuel prices have stagnated.
Rob Portman, the incumbent Republican senator from Ohio, will keep his seat. Our model now gives Republicans a 55 percent chance of retaining control of the Senate.
Trump wins West Virginia. Our model now gives him a 28 percent chance of winning the election.
Preliminary exit poll results suggest that we may see a record gender gap among voters in Virginia — a 19-point advantage for Clinton among women, 57-38 percent. It’s not too much of a leap to suggest that this might be connected to Trump’s treatment of women — 62 percent of women in the state said they were “bothered a lot by Trump’s treatment of women.” In North Carolina, Clinton appears to have won among women by 13 percentage points, which ABC News says appears to be another record.
What’s interesting is that although there was a record gender gap nationally in 2012 — about 20 percent — it didn’t show up so much in these states. Obama won female voters in Virginia by 9 points and won that group by only 2 points in North Carolina. We are seeing something new.
Trump’s campaign slogan, as pretty much everyone knows by now, is “Make America Great Again.” Maybe it isn’t surprising, then, that Trump voters are pretty pessimistic about the direction the country is headed. According to preliminary exit polls, two-thirds of Trump voters (67 percent) think the country is headed in the wrong direction, and nearly as many (60 percent) think the next generation of Americans will be worse off than this one. Clinton’s voters are much more optimistic: 89 percent think the U.S. is “generally going in the right direction,” and 60 think the next generation will be better off than this one.
As dark as this campaign has been, however, voters are generally more optimistic in 2016 than they were in the midterm election two years ago. Overall, 37 percent of voters think the next generation will be better off, up from 22 percent in 2014.
Even if he loses tonight, Trump is likely to have places where he significantly outperforms past Republican nominees. In Vigo County, Indiana, for example — home to Terre Haute — Trump is winning by 13 percentage points, whereas Barack Obama won the county by 1 point in 2012.
Trump’s win in Indiana is no surprise — FiveThirtyEight’s model gave him a 97.5 percent chance of winning there, despite the fact that Obama carried the state in 2008. Trump’s big margin in Indiana signals Clinton’s challenges with less-educated voters. Just 25 percent of Hoosiers ages 25 and up have a bachelor’s degree, one of the lowest shares of any state. Trump also won Kentucky, where even fewer residents have a college degree, while Clinton won Vermont, one of the most educated states in the country. Of course, those are far from the only factors separating those states.
I’m looking at returns from two major counties in Florida: Duval and Palm Beach. In the early vote, Clinton is doing better than the amount that Obama won by overall in those counties in 2012. In Palm Beach, she’s running 7 percentage points ahead. If that holds, it’s going to be a very long night for Trump.
In preliminary exit polls according to our partners at ABC News, voters were more scared by the thought of a Trump presidency than a Clinton one. Women, especially, expressed fear at the thought of President Trump. Overall, though, voters are expressing more fear than excitement over both a Trump and a Clinton win.
If you’re looking for ticket splitting, look no further than Florida. In the initial returns from the Jacksonville area, Marco Rubio in the Senate race is running 8 points ahead of where Trump is running in the presidential race. That’s good news for Republicans looking to hold that Senate seat.
We’re getting reports that voting hours will be extended for anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes in a number of Durham, North Carolina, polling places. There were problems with voting machines in this area earlier today — computers broke down and some voting had to be done on paper — and polling officials are likely trying to account for this delay.
Rand Paul, the incumbent Republican senator from Kentucky, will keep his seat. Our model now gives Republicans a 54 percent chance of retaining control of the Senate.
Trump wins Indiana. Our model now gives him a 28 percent chance of winning the election.
We’ll know soon enough how much of the electorate was made up of women. Early-voting numbers, though, show that women’s share of the electorate has surged — by several percentage points compared to 2012, according to Drew Brighton of the voting-data firm TargetSmart. According to the firm’s breakdown of 46.3 million early votes, 56 percent were cast by women — consistent with earlier reports of big turnout among women. And that proportion was about the same across just about every age group, as well as among both women who are newly registered and those who’ve been on the rolls for longer. If the final vote tallies are consistent with the early ones, that could provide a boost to Clinton, who led by big margins among women in polls but trailed among men.
Rachel Maddow earlier said on MSNBC that we’re looking at “class warfare” in American politics and that there’s a possibility that Clinton will win among college-educated white voters (or at least come close). These comments highlight the complex nature of what we mean when we talk about “class.” It’s often used interchangeably with “income” — which is an important factor in determining partisan identification. But in this election, we’ve also heard a lot about education. Although higher incomes tend to correlate with identifying as a Republican, the education variable means something different in 2016. Trump appears to be poised to do much better with voters with less education than those with more years of school under their belt. In other words, education is correlated with income but has different political implications. Being clear about these variables isn’t just an academic exercise; it’s important for politics. When partisanship becomes a function of several correlated, mutually reinforcing social identities, party divisions become cemented — and ripe for resentment.
Tim Scott, the incumbent Republican senator from South Carolina, will keep his seat. Our model now gives Republicans a 51 percent chance of retaining control of the Senate.
Patrick Leahy, the incumbent Democratic senator from Vermont, will keep his seat. Our model now gives Democrats a 49 percent chance of winning control of the Senate.
Trump wins Kentucky. Our model now gives him a 27 percent chance of winning the election.
Clinton wins Vermont. Our model now gives her a 72 percent chance of winning the election.
In a bad early sign for Trump, exit polls in Georgia imply a close race there, with Trump leading only about 48-47 according to preliminary exit polls put out by CBS News.
We have our first calls of the evening. Trump has won Kentucky and Indiana, while Clinton has won Vermont, according to ABC News. On the Senate side, Republican Tim Scott has won re-election in South Carolina, as did Rand Paul in Kentucky. Democrat Patrick Leahy has won re-election in the state of Vermont. We’ll have new model odds shortly.
The story in Virginia is exactly what we thought it was. Clinton looks to be crushing Trump in the Washington, D.C., suburbs, while Trump is winning in the central and western parts of the state. The potential problem for Trump is that the regions he is winning make up a smaller percentage of the vote than the regions Clinton is winning.
With one of seven precincts reporting, Elliott County, Kentucky, is at 69 percent for Trump. If the result holds, this would break a historic streak: The county was formed in 1869, and the Democratic candidate has won it in every presidential election since then.
This wouldn’t be as big of a shock as it sounds. A narrow victory for Obama in 2012 foretold Elliott going red, like most of the state.
How important is Florida? (Polls in the eastern part of the state close in a few minutes.) If Clinton wins it, her probability of winning the Electoral College would shoot up to 93 percent from 71 percent, according to our election night model. And if Trump were to win it, his chances would increase to 59 percent from 29 percent.
This is a developing story, but the Los Angeles Times is reporting a shooting near a polling place in Azusa, California, a city in the San Gabriel Valley. It’s being reported that one person is dead, multiple people have been shot and the shooter is heavily armed and active. We will, of course, be keeping our eye on this.
Trump has repeatedly claimed the election is “rigged,” possibly positioning himself to not accept the results of tonight’s election. In exit polls, Trump and Clinton supporters, unsurprisingly, disagree on whether the votes in their state will be counted accurately. Among Clinton supporters, 91 percent are “very” or “somewhat” confident, but only 77 percent of Trump supporters are.
Virginia, where polls close at 7 p.m., was a consistently Republican state, at least at the presidential level, until Obama won it in 2008. But now it’s practically a blue state — our model gave Clinton a better than 85 percent chance to win the state.
One factor giving Clinton an edge in Virginia: 37 percent of residents ages 25 and up have a bachelor’s degree, making it one of the most educated states in the country. Clinton, of course, is expected to outperform Trump by a wide margin among college-educated voters.
Virginia is also in strong shape economically, with an unemployment rate of 4 percent (vs. 4.9 percent for the U.S.) and a median household income of more than $66,000 (vs. $56,000 nationally). But Virginia is to some degree a tale of two states: The eastern counties near Washington, D.C., are among the wealthiest and best-educated in the country. But many counties in the western part of the state have median household incomes below $40,000.
Nine states are deciding on marijuana legalization ballot initiatives today. We’re spotlighting each during the course of the day. Florida’s polls start closing at 7 p.m. Eastern.
If the ballot measure in Florida passes, it will legalize medical marijuana for specific debilitating diseases. Florida is particularly interesting because low-THC marijuana is legal in the state when consumed by a method other than smoking. The ballot measure would make it more widely available to patients. In 2014, a similar ballot measure failed. Unlike the 2014 measure, this year’s initiative requires parental consent if the patient is a minor.
According to the 13 polls we’ve seen in 2016, the measure is likely to pass. Every poll has the measure going through, with the smallest margin at about 25 percentage points and the largest margin at 70 percentage points.
We’re going to see our first states being called soon enough, but in the preliminary exit poll results from Pennsylvania, I was struck by respondents’ answers to questions about whether they had been affected by either candidate’s ground game. You’ll recall that Pennsylvania is a state that Trump really needs to win, and the effectiveness of his ground game has been doubted by many (earlier this year, I reported on an internal Trump memo that outlined the campaign’s unorthodox strategy of going after unlikely voters). In Pennsylvania, 23 percent of voters say they were only contacted by the Clinton campaign, 13 percent only by Trump’s, 16 percent by both. That could make the difference tonight.
Early in the night, before we have a critical mass of returns, one thing I’ll be looking for is whether and where Trump is doing better than Romney did four years ago. So I’m looking over the Kentucky counties that have reported votes so far. And it doesn’t appear that Trump is doing significantly better than Romney. Trump is doing better in some counties but worse in plenty of others.
The Philadelphia district attorney’s office is investigating a report that a man wearing a badge labeled “poll police” attempted to interfere outside a polling place near 39th and Haverford in West Philly.
A police report was filed in the 16th District; a spokesperson from the D.A.’s office confirmed that officials “are aware” of the incident and “we are investigating.”
BillyPenn learned the confrontation happened after a question about a voter’s eligibility that was eventually resolved. After the ordeal, a group arrived in a pickup truck and the man with the badge approached the poll watcher, asking whether the poll watcher was making trouble. He took off his jacket and showed the badge. The poll watcher apparently thought the man may have been a Trump supporter.
The report follows an Election Day that had largely passed without major incident and with few complications. At an afternoon press conference, the D.A.’s office said it had received 10 calls about machine malfunctions, a handful of calls about illegal assistance and 13 complaints of electioneering.
This post was produced in conjunction with BillyPenn, a website covering the Philadelphia area.
Remember when there was a kid with stickers all over his face behind Hillary Clinton?
Remember when Donald Trump gave out Lindsey Graham’s phone number during a speech? (I just tried calling it, by the way. No dice.)
Remember when the political press spent a few days running down the details of whether Ben Carson had stabbed a kid but had his blade deflected by the kid’s belt buckle?
If you have any nominations for “remember when,” get in touch by Twitter.
As you start to see how different demographic groups voted this year, it might be helpful to see how they voted in the past. We’ve got you covered:
One thing we’ll keep an eye on in Indiana is the amount of ticket splitting. In preliminary results, Bayh, in the Senate race, is running 8 points ahead of where Clinton is running in the presidential race. As more Democratic areas come in, we’ll see if that’s enough for Bayh to win the Senate race even as Clinton is losing the presidential race in Indiana.
The first states will be called soon, and the state-by-state results in 2016 will be added to the long history of presidential elections. Here’s that history so far:
We’re still looking at preliminary exit poll data, but how does the 2016 electorate look so far compared to 2012? The two electorates look mostly the same, as you would expect. But there may be some slight differences. (These numbers are likely to change.)
- College graduates are 50 percent of the electorate in 2016 versus 47 percent in 2012.
- Liberals are 27 percent of the electorate compared to 25 percent in 2012.
- Senior citizens (65+ year-olds) are 17 percent of the electorate in 2016 compared to 16 percent in 2012.
- Evangelical white voters are 27 percent of the electorate in 2016 versus 26 percent in 2012.
Exit polls ask voters how they feel about candidates and the issues. I wish they asked more about how people feel about the process of voting. Exit pollsters are there mainly to serve the media, including our partners at ABC News, and I get why they focus on the most newsworthy tidbits. But they’re also in a unique position to talk to people right after they’ve experienced voting, and it’d be fascinating to know how their experience went: How long did they wait? Was the ballot confusing? Did anyone try to stop them from voting?
My own experience voting this morning in Queens, New York, was both inspiring and troubling. Inspiring, because people lined up in the cold to vote in a state where the race at the top of the ballot is a foregone conclusion, and because poll workers were abundant and kind. Troubling because the process was inefficient and confusing — you had to figure out from watching other people where to take your ballot to fill it out, and then where to take it to scan it; no signs or people pointed the way.
This is far from a scientific exit poll, but I asked people on Twitter how their experience affected their faith in our electoral process. Most respondents so far said nothing changed for them; of the rest, more gained faith than lost it. You can still vote in this exit poll for a few more hours.
It’s not all politics today at FiveThirtyEight. Or maybe it is. … I called Walter Engelund of NASA’s Langley Research Center this afternoon to talk about a piece I’m writing about the technical challenges of sending humans to Mars. He told me that the U.S. space program is a politically charged topic. “Almost without exception, whenever a new administration comes in, we get a change in priorities,” he said. Sending humans to Mars will require sustained support, and that means politicians who are willing to fully fund NASA and prioritize its Mars program.
Both Clinton and Trump have expressed enthusiasm for the space program, but they’re vague on details. Trump has given at least one speech promising not to cut space funding, but he also told a town hall rally in New Hampshire back in August that he wants to “rebuild our infrastructure” before sending people to Mars. Clinton has called herself an “enthusiastic supporter of human space flight” and indicated that going to Mars is a “consensus horizon goal,” whatever that means.
The Paris Climate Agreement went into effect this week, and although the presidential campaign paid scant attention to climate change, there’s a relatively straightforward approach to the issue — one backed by most economists — that’s being offered to voters in Washington state. It’s a carbon tax, and if Initiative 732 passes, it will make Washington the first state to impose a tax on carbon emissions.
The new carbon tax would start at $15 per metric ton of carbon dioxide in 2017, climb to $25 per ton in 2018 and then automatically rise 3.5 percent plus inflation every year after that until it reaches $100 per ton (as measured in 2016 dollars). Proponents estimate that the measure would boost the price of gas by about 25 cents per gallon and raise the price of electricity from coal-fired plants by about 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. The tax is intended to be “revenue neutral” by swapping it for reductions in other taxes, such as state sales tax and certain business taxes. Ironically, the the legislation would give an inadvertent tax break to Boeing for its sale of commercial aircraft, an important contributor to climate change.
Recent polls show a tight vote. While economists generally favor a carbon tax, the devil is always in the details, and the details are what are being disputed. The measure is backed by more than 50 University of Washington climate scientists, climatologist and activist James Hansen, former Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Leonardo DiCaprio, who say the law puts a necessary price on carbon emissions. But some environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, oppose the initiative, saying that doesn’t do enough to help low-income people who might be hurt by the tax, it doesn’t shift enough money to clean energy and that the tax swap could lead to a state budget deficit. Interests funding the opposition campaign include the fossil fuel and manufacturing industries and local utility Puget Sound Energy.
When it comes to funding for science, Clinton’s priorities look a lot like Obama’s. But Trump’s are very different. (SPOILER ALERT for those of you who didn’t see that coming.) In particular, there are a couple of big changes that a Trump presidency would likely bring to the federal science budget.
First is NASA. Trump digs space exploration, and while it would be inaccurate to say Obama has been anti-astronaut or something, he has definitely de-prioritized NASA’s space-travel mission in favor of its earth-science mission (i.e., studying climate change). Over the course of the Obama presidency, the budget for NASA earth science research increased by 70 percent. His disinterest in returning to the moon, in particular, has been critiqued on both sides of the aisle. If a President Trump wanted to build bipartisan scientific goodwill, a moon mission would be a good way to do it.
The second thing is the Department of Energy, where funding has been heavily weighted toward research on and support for renewables. For instance, the DOE’s budget for energy-efficiency and renewable-energy programs grew by 40 percent between Obama’s 2016 and proposed 2017 budget — while funding for fossil fuel programs (think R&D and clean coal tech) fell by 27 percent, and it was lower than the clean-energy budget to begin with. It’s likely that a Trump administration would reverse these trends.
The urban-rural divide appears to be growing ever stronger this election season. But at least one rural part of the country continues to vote solidly Democratic: the so-called Black Belt. Made up of a swath of counties that sweep across the South and have large African-American populations, these counties were solidly blue in a sea of red in recent elections. You can see an example below in the 2012 results from Alabama.
John Zippert, secretary for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, has worked with African-American farmers in the rural South for nearly 50 years. Even without Medicaid expansion in most of these states, which Zippert thinks is desperately needed, he said President Obama has been good for the region. He is cautiously optimistic about what will come if Clinton is elected. “When you elect Hillary Clinton, you don’t just elect Clinton, you elect the 3,000 people she appoints, including 50 from the Department of Agriculture that we are going to have to work with every day,” he said. He hopes that group will be diverse.