Just one more day and then all the campaigning, ads, and polling are over and we finally find out what’s really going to happen.
Our election night results site is now live. There are a lot of great options and information for you to use, so take some time prior to Tuesday to familiarize yourself with all the features. You can have complete access just by signing up for a free account right now.
Now that you know where you’ll be following the results, you may want to think about what to watch for and when.
Decision Desk HQ Director Brandon Finnigan has broken down the night and what to watch for.
9:00pm- ALL polls have now closed in Texas, Michigan, New York, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Colorado begin counting their votes.
NBC News had called control of the US House in 2010 for the Republican Party at 9:06pm. Texas and Michigan’s respective Gubernatorial and Senatorial races should be called at this time, if polling holds.
With House races at this point likely called in Florida, Virginia, Georgia, New Hampshire, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, the focus shifts further west on states whose results are piling up by this point (Illinois 6th, Michigan 8th, Missouri 2nd, Nebraska 2nd, Kansas 2nd, Kansas 3rd, Texas 7th, Texas 23rd, Texas 32nd). If these races have been drawn-out slogs since polls closed, they would be nearing the end at this point.
Wisconsin’s Gubernatorial contest will either resolve rapidly or drag on, and we’ll know in the first twenty-five minutes. That’s how long you’ll need to wait for Dane, Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee, Milwaukee, Brown, Outagamie and Rock to start reporting- and for Waukesha and Dane to clear 25-35% of their total vote.If Walker is winning the WOW counties by a margin larger than Evers in Dane, he has a fighting chance for a third term. If not, his window closes rapidly as rural Wisconsin either saves or finishes him.
9:30pm– New York returns begin piling for NY1, NY11, NY-19, NY-22, while returns in downstate Illinois should be indicating either a sweeping R hold or, if the Democratic wave materializes with full force, becomes yet another region with gains. Minnesota’s returns in MN-1 and MN-8 should begin to roll in as well, providing Republicans with their two best chances of flipping seats, while MN-2 and MN-3 could be rolling in the opposite direction.
Meanwhile in Colorado, CO-06 and the Governor’s race should become obvious as Jefferson, Adams and Arapahoe County have dumped in the majority of their votes.
10:00pm- Iowa polls close, Nevada’s and Montana’s and Arizona’s too, and the final round of precincts in North Dakota. Early voting from Clark and Washoe county will post first in the Silver State, making or breaking incumbent Dean Heller’s re-election campaign. Early votes from Maricopa, Pima, Pinal and Yuma will report first in the State of Arizona. Arizona’s polls actually closed an hour earlier, but do to a state law prohibiting the reporting of returns for a full hour after close, a huge drop will roll in just minutes after the hour.
Tennessee, if a close contest, reaches its conclusion by now, as Shelby (Memphis) and Davidson (Nashville) drop in the last of their votes by this time.
10:30pm– Missouri has been considered one of the most contested Senate battlegrounds since McCaskill won re-election in 2012. With over 150 minutes of returns piling in, Kansas City and St Louis City will have finally reported the bulk of their votes by this point. Hawley may yet have rural areas remaining for votes, but McCaskill, if she is trailing at this point, needs those last drops of city returns to finish ahead.
Iowa’s rural counties begin to report their election-day returns as the early votes have fully reported by now. The Governor’s and House contests will begin to see calls if polling holds, if not it will be another hour or so before enough of the rural vote reports to determine if Republicans can hold on.
Nevada’s full early vote has reported by this time,and the rural counties begin to report their election day tallies. Clark is easily another hour away from posting its first dump of election day votes, but at this time if Heller is already down, he isn’t likely to turn things around.
Georgia started off the night with a considerable lead for Brian Kemp, because the rural southern third reports first. But by 1030pm, the early vote, and the election day vote, has begun to report in from the metro Atlanta area. Gwinnett, Cobb, DeKalb, and Fulton will have most of their eventual vote reporting by this time. Watch the margins- if neither candidate can bounce back above 50% as the ATL reports, we’re headed for a runoff in December.
Montana’s early vote is fully in by this point, and election day returns begin to report from Lewis and Clark County. Jon Tester has won squeakers before, so don’t take a small lead or a small trail to mean much quite yet. The at-large House race may also be competitive: if Gianforte isn’t running ahead of the Republican Senate candidate, he’s in serious trouble and we’re in for a long count.