UPDATE at 11:46 p.m.: Georgia is now in the Donald Trump column, and the White House is almost within his grasp.
With our 16 electoral votes, plus 10 from Wisconsin, which has been called by Fox News, Trump has surpassed 250. His path to 270 still includes several options: Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, perhaps Nevada. It is getting harder at this hour to see how Hillary Clinton manages to get to 270.
UPDATE at 11:07 p.m.: For the U.S. Senate, the question at this point is not whether the GOP will maintain control, but whether it can manage to stay at 54 seats.
This is an unbelievable development. Going into today, most analysts projected a 50-50 tie as the likely — and, for the GOP, best-case — scenario. But despite losing a seat in Illinois, Republicans could offset that with a pickup of their own in Nevada and still look to have a great shot at retaining seats in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. They’ve already won an upset by keeping the seat in Wisconsin.
UPDATE at 10:20 p.m.: Wow. Just wow.
Donald Trump said he was going to redraw the electoral map. No one believed him. And I mean no one: I don’t know of anyone who had him winning the presidency without states like New Hampshire, Colorado or Nevada. And yet, as things stand right this moment — subject to change, of course — it looks like he just might get to 270 without them.
He is winning in Michigan. Winning in Pennsylvania. Winning in Wisconsin. Those are three states that have been Republican fool’s good for a generation. But as of this moment, he is ahead in all. And the forecast at the New York Times, has him ending up ahead in all three. If everything else holds, that would put him over 300 electoral votes — the biggest Republican win since 1988.
And he would be doing it while winning only some of the swing states — and a handful of states from the vaunted “blue wall.”
This could still change. There could be a surprise somewhere. But as of now, you are looking at Republicans holding all the levers of power in Washington, D.C.
UPDATE at 9:05 p.m.: I wrote earlier today that we’d know by this time whether Donald Trump and Senate Republicans had a chance of winning, or whether it’d be an early night.
The verdict: Put on a pot of coffee.
Trump is leading in Florida, although there are still a good number of votes still out in the southern part of the state. He’s also holding a lead in Virginia — with a lot of ballots still to be counted in the D.C. suburbs — and he just went ahead in Ohio. But altogether, it makes for enough of a showing by Trump to think he has a shot of winning. I’m not saying it’s likely. I’m just saying it’s far from over.
There’s also reason for Democrats to be nervous in a pair of states they might’ve thought they had in the bag:
Meanwhile, in the Senate it is shaping up as a good night for the GOP. Their candidates have won in Florida and Indiana, are leading in North Carolina and Missouri, and FiveThirtyEight.com has pushed their chances in New Hampshire up to 61 percent. Put it together, and that website gives Republicans just better than 2-to-1 odds of maintaining Senate control with at least 51 seats.
UPDATE at 8:34 p.m.: There won’t be a repeat of 2008’s total Democratic victory in the House, Senate and presidency:
Whether we’ll end up with total GOP control of all three or (at least) two years of divided government remains to be seen.
UPDATE at 8:18 p.m.: We have our first result that was in question, as Florida voters have returned Marco Rubio to the Senate. Rubio had been favored to win a second term, but the state was only considered a “Republican lean” by most — and it was an absolute must-win if the GOP was to maintain control of the Senate.
Things are looking less good for Republicans at the moment in the Missouri and New Hampshire Senate races. The GOP probably has to win Missouri to achieve even a tie in the Senate, and New Hampshire was probably the party’s best bet for winning 51 seats and maintaining a majority.
Meanwhile, at this moment the presidential race in Florida is practically tied. More to come …
The polls are now closed in Georgia, along with five other states and most of Florida. The counting is under way.
I’ll be updating this post as results come in, with fresh content always posted at the top. Feel free as always to share what you’re seeing in the comments thread.
All we have at this hour are some early exit-poll results, which may or may not reflect the final exit polls, which may or may not reflect the actual vote totals. But they are all we have so …
The demographic data are interesting. Whites as a share of the electorate continued a long-term trend by declining 2 points, to 70 percent. Blacks were also down by 1 point, to 12 percent. Latinos were up 1 point to 11 percent and Asians up a point to 4 percent. Among two of those groups, Donald Trump appears to have improved slightly on Mitt Romney’s performance according to this information from MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki:
That’s a net gain of 8 points among black voters for Trump compared to Romney, and of 6 points among Latinos. I don’t know what the margin of error is for subgroups like those, so the differences may or may not be statistically significant.
Also of interest is how Trump did with white voters. Check out the breakdowns by sex and education level here:
Trump’s gains among whites without college degrees appear to have been roughly offset, in percentage terms, by his losses among those with degrees (though I don’t know how large each group was, which we would need to know if this means a net gain or loss). But look at those numbers for men vs. women: Trump’s margin among white men was larger than Hillary Clinton’s margin among white women, in both education groups. I don’t know about the white, non-college women, or the white men in either group, but Clinton’s edge among white, college-graduate women is a reversal from 2012, when Romney led among that group — which was in turn a reversal from 2008, when Barack Obama did.