WASHINGTON, D.C. – Polls are beginning to close in parts of the U.S. and some Election Day results are coming in.
The first states to close at least a portion of their polls are Indiana and Kentucky, at 6 p.m. ET. Those races won’t tell us much, because they’re largely Republican strongholds.
Some of the first key states to close their polls are Georgia and Florida at 7 p.m. ET. Not all counties in the Sunshine State will close then, but a good chunk will start reporting around that time. Georgia is a swing state this year, so keep your eyes on the suburbs of Atlanta.
At 7:30 p.m. ET, North Carolina and Ohio will close their polls. Ohio is expected to report results right away and a projection in the state is possible on election night. As for North Carolina, the state has ordered some polling locations to stay open longer than 7:30, so don’t expect results from there until after 8 p.m. at least.
At 8 p.m. ET, polls will close in Texas, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Although, it’s very unlikely, we will know the results from the last two. State laws prohibit early processing of ballots.
At 9 p.m. ET, Arizona, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nebraska will close polls. Remember, former Vice President Joe Biden could win an electoral college vote in Nebraska, because the state hands out votes based on individual congressional district results.
As far as key counties, keep an eye on Cuyahoga County, where Cleveland is. In 2016, 49,000 fewer votes were cast for Hillary Clinton than for Barack Obama in 2012. If turnout is high there, Ohio could be competitive tonight. It’s the same story in Wayne County, Michigan, where Detroit is, where there were over 76,000 fewer votes in 2016. If that county breaks voting records, it could be a good night for Democrats. It’s a similar story tonight in Milwaukee County.
Again, the key tonight will be patience. Some states will take a while to count votes this election night. Election officials from coast to coast are telling their workers not to worry about being fast, but to worry about being right.
The Senate races
As the first presidential results gradually come in, don’t forget to keep an eye on the U.S. Senate results as well. After all, whoever wins the presidency will need Congress to help pass their agenda.
As a reminder, currently there are 53 Republican senators and 47 Democratic senators. There is a total of 35 Senate races this year. Republicans think they can pick a seat up in Alabama, while Democrats think they are in good position to pick up Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina and Maine.
Remember, the Senate confirms judges, helps pass bills and confirms cabinet positions.
The presidential race
As for the race for the White House, one state to keep an eye on is Wisconsin, with 10 electoral college votes. It’s a state President Donald Trump and Joe Biden have campaigned heavily in the last few days. Trump won there in 2016. His margins were thin though. In Kenosha County for example, he won by just 255 votes four years ago
Four years ago, Trump won by carrying Pennsylvania and the upper Midwest. Democrats are hoping to flip each one of those states.
Polls have shown Biden leading the Midwest, at least in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. But can u trust the polls this year? We asked University of Southern California’s Bob Shrum what’s different this year.
“The state polls were changed drastically in the sense that most of them didn’t have a filter for education,” said Shrum. “And they had too many college educated whites and not enough non-educated whites.”
As far as what’s driving voters, a CNN exit polls shows that 34% consider the economy the top issue, with racial inequality at 21%, followed by the coronavirus at 18%.
Biden is watching the results come in from Delaware, while Trump is at the White House.
Watch Joe St. George discuss what to be on the lookout for