Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rudimentary Guide to Election Night

Sadly, work is getting in the way, and I won't be able to post as extensive a guide as I hoped before polls close. The basic thing to remember is that states are typically called immediately only when the margin is greater than 10%. Looking at my state-by-state map, this means that while most states in dark blue/red will be called right away, most (if not all) other states won't. Obama supporters certainly shouldn't freak out if PA isn't called right at 8pm ET, or MI/MN aren't called right at 9pm ET.

We likely won't get a call in any battleground state (tossups and those coloured in the lightest blue or red) until at least 10pm ET. So if you're on the East Coast, you can probably go have a nice long dinner and still not miss any big calls.

If any of PA, MN or MI is called before 10pm ET, Obama is performing at least a little better than expected, and he should probably be viewed as a 95%+ favourite. (Right now, it's more like 90%.) On the other hand, if NC is called for Romney before 10pm ET, then Romney is overperforming, and we're likely in for a long long night.

The Democrats have a decent chance of winning the Senate as early as 11pm ET; if not, it shouldn't be too long a wait after that time. Obama will likely not win the presidency that early, and while I do expect him to win before sunrise tomorrow (most likely between midnight ET and midnight PT), there's a chance that we're headed for long legal battles...

Also, keep an eye out for Marriage Equality propositions in ME, MD and WA, as well as MN's proposal to enshrine discrimination in their state constitution.

Happy viewing!

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