****THE BIG UPDATE: At 2:40 AM 9 Nov, Fox calls Pennsylvania for Trump. Since they’ve already called Wisconsin for him (unlike the other news outlets; see all the way at the bottom below), that puts Trump at 274 and bags him the Electoral College.****
Pence just introduced Trump for a victory speech. Fox said earlier and I saw on Twitter that Hillary had called to concede.
We’re boldly going where no man has gone before…
One last electoral map for the night down at the bottom.
Well, I voted (J.E.). If you haven’t cast your ballot yet, we’ll hold a spot for you. Come back with that “I voted” sticker. Alternatively, come back with your shield, or on it. It’s been that kind of year.
We’re about half an hour out from the first official returns, so we’re opening the world-famous Liberty Unyielding Election Day Open Thread to keep you updated and welcome updates from you, our treasured correspondents. Let’s get through this thing together.
First off the bat, we have news we know will warm the hearts of many (especially my colleague HP). The Grand Moff Tarkin and Darth Vader reportedly endorse Donald Trump. Each of you must make his or her own decision on whether to be influenced by that or not. FWIW, Gisele says it’s not true (at least not the part about Darth).
There’ve been a few problems at the polls so far. We published on one of them earlier, when topless protesters from the group Femen USA created a minor ruckus at Trump’ polling place in Manhattan.
But there are also reports of voting machine problems, including the usual Democrat-biased machines in Pennsylvania, which seems to keep having this problem election after election.
No general election is complete without a fistfight and at least one good instance of poll-worker misconduct. South Florida has taken the bullet for us on both counts. The fight reportedly involved a woman pepper-spraying a man, and the man then pummeling her with his fists, so we feel sure someone got video of that. We’ll let you know.
(Notably, it was positively bucolic and sedate at my polling place this morning. I seem to have arrived just when a lull set in after the morning rush. Didn’t have to wait very long. But the poll-workers were heaving sighs of relief and chatting about how busy it had been earlier.)
Sadly, I didn’t see anyone demonstrating with a Hillary effigy hanging from a pole, as some voters did in Pompano Beach.
Politico has some news for us from the exit polls, about what voters are looking for in a candidate this year. The consensus seems to be “a strong leader.”
I guess there may be people who hear “strong leader” and think “Hillary Clinton.” But for those who remain dubious, video of her coming off her plane last night probably won’t help her case.
I don’t see quite as much of the “drunken staggering” effect as other people do. But she doesn’t look steady on her feet. And there’s no way to adjust people’s minds and their reflexive reactions to that. It’s a natural reaction so visceral there’s no fixing it, to see an older person walk unsteadily and need help, and think “weak.”
Hillary Clinton is greeted by Bill at the Philadelphia airport pic.twitter.com/CDDIXt0UGL
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) November 8, 2016
The folks in Guam, meanwhile, have tallied their vote. The Guamanian vote doesn’t yield any electors, but it has been an accurate predictor of the general outcome in every year since 1980, when Guam first cast ballots for the office of president. That’s too bad, as Hillary has won Guam in a landslide.
All this, and much, much more as the night wears on. To whet your appetite for the next round, I’m slipping out one word: “Frogs.”
7:00 PM EST As we await the first actual returns, I’m going to spot you the frogs.
Two brief video commentaries on the 2016 election teed up in tandem here. In one, a Pennsylvania woman startles a CNN reporter with her decided lack of enthusiasm for the idea of Hillary as the first woman president.
My goodness pic.twitter.com/BF3vzVAxHx
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) November 8, 2016
In the second, veteran journalist Bob Schieffer laments the state of America in 2016, saying that it’s after if the nation is “enduring some kind of curse.” But not just any kind of curse. Schieffer is having a biblical turn here:
“I have seen a few, but I’ve run out of ways to say I’ve never seen one like this. It’s as if the nation is enduring some kind of curse,” Schieffer said on the CBS Evening News Monday. “What should we expect next – that it will rain frogs? I wouldn’t bet against it.”
On balance, if he’s taking money, I do think I’d bet against the raining frogs.
…and we have our first calls from Fox: Hillary wins Vermont, Trump wins Kentucky. More to come.
7:10 PM – Stirewalt (Chris?) on Fox saying that it bodes ill for Trump that “Hispanic” turnout in Florida is “ginormous.” Huh? Doesn’t he understand the difference between the Cuban vote and the vote of people from Mexico and Central America? I hate to see everyone, even Fox, misstating the potential import of the high “Hispanic” turnout in Florida. Maybe Hillary will win there, but I think they’re wrong to think the “Hispanic” vote there will go overwhelmingly for her.
7:42 – Tucker Carlson on Fox saying Trump is doing twice as well with blacks as Mitt Romney — that maybe pundits underestimated how much Trump’s message was resonating with this demographic.
8:00 – Fox called SOUTH CAROLINA, a big prize, for Trump about 10 minutes ago.
As reader rbj notes, Rob Portman has been tagged by Fox to keep his Senate seat by a big margin.
Fox calls MISSOURI, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Tennessee for Trump at the top of the hour.
…and Massachusetts, Rhode Island, D.C. for Hillary. At the moment, Fox has Hillary at 68 electoral votes, Trump at 67.
8:15 – Fox calls the Rubio-Murphy race for Rubio. I should certainly hope so.
Los Angeles is reportedly preparing for “riot mode in some neighborhoods” if Trump wins. Frankly, this sounds like overkill (or even incitement). It’s not like it’s the Lakers in the Final Four or anything. It’s just an election.
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) November 9, 2016
This is what you call neck and neck.
8:30 – Fox has called the Indiana Senate race for Republican Todd Young over Evan Bayh. BIG margin, 54.6% for Young to Bayh’s 41%.
Fox calls Alabama for Trump.
In Florida, with 91% of the vote in, Trump is now up by about 68,000 votes. Total vote is over 8.1 million so it could still swing back. Nail-biter.
8:40 – A lot of instances and detail in this summary of voting misconduct in Philadelphia. Note how GOP poll-watchers were literally barred from doing the legal and authorized work they came for.
8:55 – Just before 9 PM, Trump up by over 110,000 votes with 93% reported. Could still turn. Virginia still too close to call; Trump UP over Hillary about 50-45% with 60% reporting. We can definitely expect that to tighten, but I don’t think anyone foresaw a run of Trump going ahead by over 135,000 votes, at any time in the Holy Commonwealth’s vote count.
9:00 PM round-up: Trump declared by Fox in TEXAS, Arkansas, Kansas, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Hillary wins New York, of course.
Four Republicans are projected to retain their Senate seats: McCain (AZ), Thune (SD), Hoeven (ND), and Moran (KS).
First lead of the night for Trump in North Carolina.
DONALD TRUMP LEADING IN OHIO. 45% in.
— Jack Murphy (@RealJack) November 9, 2016
…and first lead of the night for Trump in Ohio.
9:30 – Fox calls Connecticut for Hillary.
Fox’s map at 9:30 PM. With 94% of the Florida vote counted, Trump is holding with a lead just under 140,000.
9:40 – English teachers across America stepping into the breach.
Fox projects New Mexico for Hillary, Louisiana for Trump.
— Art of the Deal ???????? (@ArtoftheDealPAC) November 9, 2016
Trump lead widening in Ohio as the count goes up.
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) November 9, 2016
Trump up early in Michigan. That will change, but still interesting.
10:10 – Fox calls tight North Carolina Senate race for Richard Burr — another key Senate seat stays GOP.
10:30 – Fox just called OHIO for Trump. They called Virginia for Hillary earlier (not a surprise), and just moments ago called Colorado for her as well.
Trump’s lead is extending in both Florida and North Carolina at the moment. In Florida, with 95% of the vote counted, his lead is back to over 125,000. (It had dipped down below 115,000 earlier.) In North Carolina, 84% of the vote is now in, and he’s up over 50% of the vote, with a lead of nearly 155,000. If he’s going to fade in these states, it hasn’t started yet.
10:45 – Fox calls NORTH CAROLINA for Trump.
Huge. We’ll do a new electoral map at the top of the hour.
***** 11:00 – Fox calls FLORIDA for Trump. *****
More in a moment…
I was really expecting that when California was added to Hillary’s electoral total, it would put her ahead. But it didn’t. Trump is unquestionably still in this thing.
11:10 – Fox calls UTAH for Trump. Not a big electoral vote haul, but Utah was the last faint hope of many of the #NeverTrumpers, who were imagining an Evan McMullin win there and vote thrown into the House of Representatives. That scenario is off the table now.
11:30 – Fox calls WISCONSIN for Trump. Hillary’s path to 270 looking dimmer by the hour.
11:40 – Fox calls GEORGIA for Trump.
11:55 – Just before the hour, it’s worth noting that Pennsylvania has closed significantly for Trump. With 85% of the vote in, he’s down by about 47,000 votes — a much smaller deficit than most of the night. Fox has been wise to hold off calling the state, in spite of Hillary’s persistent lead.
…and major update: Trump has pulled to within 6,000 votes of Hillary in Pennsylvania, with 89% of the vote counted.
**12:15 AM 9 Nov** –
Unreal: Trump surge has him up now by over 10,000 votes in Pennsylvania.
12:30 – France’s ambassador to the U.S. needs a safe space.
That’s OK, mon ami. We’ve got safe spaces, counseling, and therapy for you on almost any college campus within a 200-mile radius.
12:35 – CBS babblers, Charlie Rose have rare flash of insight.
Charlie Rose: "The first woman President — that may have not been as powerful a factor in this circumstance as we might have imagined" pic.twitter.com/Hfj0ulUt03
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 9, 2016
Apparently they still don’t understand that millions of voters see America’s situation as an emergency. Selecting leaders to satisfy an abstract bags of P.C. aspirations just isn’t on their radar scope.
2:00 AM – Watching Podesta pumping up the Clinton crowd in NYC. He tells them “Go home, get some sleep,” and hilariously, a bunch of people in the background of the camera shot immediately stand up and start gathering their stuff. They’re SO outta there…
2:20 AM –
Here’s the deal as the 2:00 AM hour develops.
Several major news organizations have already called Pennsylvania for Trump. Fox hasn’t. But Fox has called Wisconsin for Trump, and those other news organizations haven’t.
So the other news outlets have Trump at 264, while Fox has Trump at 254.
If Trump wins both states, he’s at 274, and takes the Electoral College vote.
The tally in Pennsylvania with 97% of the vote counted is a difference of right about 75,000 votes in Trump’s favor. It’s looking pretty dim for Hillary. But I think Fox is holding off on the call because making it would put Trump over the top. They don’t want to have to walk that back.
Trump is still holding steady in Wisconsin, where Fox has already called it. He’s up 85,000+ with 90% of the vote counted.
Michigan and Minnesota are a couple of others still outstanding. Michigan is still looking good for Trump. With 88% counted, he’s up by about 75,000 votes. Michigan would be 16 electoral votes.
Minnesota (10 electoral votes) was never expected to go for Trump, but he has closed the early gap considerably at this point. With 89% reporting, he’s within 37,000. Notably, no one has called Minnesota yet.
Arizona won’t be called until later on Wednesday at the earliest, because of the way they count votes now. Trump is well ahead at the moment.
I’m just waiting for Alaska to be called for Trump. He’s expected to win there, currently up 54-37%, with 34% of the vote counted.
2:30 – Freudenfreude busting out all over from a lot of quarters over Podesta remarks at Clinton HQ — “wait and see, the race is not decided tonight.” A Trump campaign official put it this way:
Sr. Trump campaign aide calls Podesta remarks a "joke." Aide added via text: "So everything they predicted we would do….They are doing."
— Dan Gallo (@dangallo) November 9, 2016
You decide if Hillary/Podesta are doing what they were horrified Trump might do. Given that things might still go south for Trump in the next few hours, it seems a bit soon to be crowing. But nobody asked me.
Trump is reportedly in the HQ and will appear before his faithful any moment. Since there’s no call or verified vote total that puts him at 270, a victory lap would obviously be premature. But he knows his supporters, I think, and that it will matter to them for him to show up and speak words of encouragement and thanks. It’s what any experienced CEO would do. You don’t have to wait until you’ve officially won to pass out hugs and cheers to your people.
2:50 – The last electoral map for the night.