Your Complete Guide To Election Day And Night: What To Watch For And When

Tyler Durden's picture

It's almost over: the most divisive, theatrical, dramatic and dirty presidential campaign will be in the history books in just a few hours, with more than 130 million Americans expected to cast ballots across 50 states. However, just winning the popular vote will be insufficient: indeed, it may well be that the popular-vote winner does not win the electoral college.

So which states should one be looking at, and how long is the final day's drama set to continue?

For the benefit of the traders out there, last week we showed a primer from Citigroup explaining when traders can hope to go home on election evening, according to which it was "all about Florida, North Carolina and Ohio."

As Citi said, for traders hoping to capitalize on volatility next Tuesday as the election results come trickling in, it may all be over by early evening, at least if Trump loses. That is the calculation of Citi's Steven Englander, who determined that if Trump loses either Florida or North Carolina or Ohio "the math doesn’t work and it tells us that the shift to Trump was not as pronounced as feared."

Those states close at 7:00 or 7:30 ET. As Citi adds, even if Trump loses by a little in one of these states, it becomes almost impossible for him to win. It would take a tidal wave in a couple of states that look firmly Democrat.  Citi helpfully added that "the odds that he loses, say a Florida or North Carolina, but wins a Pennsylvania do not seem high" at which point "vol collapses, MXN rallies and we go home early."

However, in a hint that tomorrow may be a very long night for traders - recall that Brexit was an all-nighter, which briefly saw ES halted limit down - the just released "no toss up" map from RCP based on the latest polling, shows Trump winning all three of these key states, and suddenly opening up the prospect not only for much more volatility, and yet another all-nighter, but potentially a Trump victory, something the market after today's furious rally, is certainly not prepared for.


In any event, no matter the fate of these three states, here is a full preview of tomorrow's election night.

The following chart from Morgan Stanley summarizes what times polls close for any given state as well as the number of electoral votes afforded to each:

As the FT observes, this year’s election is being fought hardest in 10 states: Arizona (11 electoral college votes), Colorado (9), Florida (29), Iowa (6), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), North Carolina (15), Ohio (18), Pennsylvania (20) and Virginia (13). Clinton starts with an advantage in the electoral college and can afford to lose traditional battlegrounds such as Florida and Ohio. But if that happens, falling short in states such as Pennsylvania and North Carolina could prove fatal to her presidential ambitions. On the other hand, as noted above, if Trump does not win in Florida and Ohio, his chances of victory will be non-existent. One key could be the size of the turnout of Latino voters in Arizona, Florida and Nevada, which have large Hispanic populations. Another could be whether African-American voters go to the polls at a high rate in North Carolina and Ohio.


What to watch for during the day, courtesy of Bloomberg:

  • 12 am - Voting is already over in Dixville Notch, the New Hampshire hamlet that delivered a 5-5 tie in the 2012 race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. This time, Clinton received four votes, Trump two and Gary Johnson one, with a write-in vote for Mitt Romney, AP reported. Election Day has, finally, arrived.
  • 6 am - Polls are open in eight states, including battlegrounds Virginia and New Hampshire, as well as in New York, where Clinton votes at a public school in Chappaqua, Trump at a public school in Manhattan.
  • 8 am - VoteCastr, which aims to break Election Day’s "traditional information embargo," goes live on with estimates based on early voting in Florida, Colorado, Nevada and Iowa. Those are four of the eight states, representing 102 electoral votes, where VoteCastr is concentrating its data-crunching. More results, from more states, are made available in rolling fashion throughout the day.
  • 2 pm -  The VoteCastr/Slate partnership will probably have data from all the battleground states by now, reflecting broad election-day voting patterns.
  • 4 pm - Late afternoon is when leaks and rumors about exit polls may begin to spread, as they did in the last three presidential elections. (The actual results of exit polls are supposed to be closely held by the TV networks and the Associated Press until voting closes, state by state.) Trust these early unconfirmed reports at your own peril, as they indicated in 2004 that the next president would be named Kerry and that Romney was on track to carry Florida in 2012.

And after markets close, here is the hour by hour guide to closing polls:

  • 6pm EST  — The first polls close in Indiana (11), home to Trump running mate Mike Pence, the state’s governor, and Kentucky (8). Both states are heavily Republican and likely to be carried by Mr Trump
  • 7pm EST — Polls close in the battleground states of Florida (29) and Virginia (13). As well as Georgia (16), South Carolina (9) and Vermont (3). The counting of ballots across the nation will go on well into Wednesday. You can, however, expect US media outlets to begin calling the races in safe Democratic and Republican states such as Kentucky, Vermont and South Carolina. But do not expect early calls in Florida or Virginia. In 2012, a winner was not declared in Florida until days after the election. A result in Virginia was not declared until after midnight.
  • 7:30pm EST  — Polls close in two more important states: Ohio (18) and North Carolina (15). They also shut in West Virginia (5), where Trump is heavily favoured. Trump has done a lot of campaigning in Ohio, hoping to capitalise on the appeal of his protectionist trade policies in the rust belt state. In 2012, Mitt Romney had been declared the winner in four of the five states called before 8pm. President Barack Obama had won only Vermont.
  • 8pm EST — Things start to heat up. Polls close in the crucial states of Pennsylvania (20) and Michigan (16), and in Alabama (9), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), the District of Columbia (3), Illinois (20), Kansas (6), Maine (4), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), Mississippi (6), Missouri (10), New Jersey (14), Oklahoma (7), Rhode Island (4) and Tennessee (11).  Expect a flurry of declarations in safe Republican and Democratic states. If Mrs Clinton does not take Pennsylvania it will be a big blow — especially because she chose to spend the last night of her campaign in Philadelphia alongside her husband and the Obamas. In 2012 it took almost two hours for Obama to be named the winner in the state. It was the first real battleground to be called. Maine is the first of two states that do not allocate their electoral college votes on a winner-takes-all system. Maine and Nebraska allocate some of their electoral votes by congressional district.
  • 9pm EST — The polls close in Colorado (9), Wisconsin (10) and Texas (38). They also shut in Louisiana (8), Minnesota (10), Nebraska (5), New Mexico (5), New York (29), South Dakota (3) and Wyoming (10).  Look for early calls for Clinton in the population-heavy states of New York and New Jersey where she is firmly favoured. 
  • 10pm EST — Polls are closing in western states Arizona (11), Idaho (4), Montana (3), Nevada (6) and Utah (6) as well as the mid-western farm state of Iowa (6). In 2012, this is when Mr Obama began really piling up the victories. Although it has a long tradition of voting Republican in presidential races, Arizona has been seen as more of a battleground this year. Utah is also interesting this year as conservative Mormon Evan McMullin has been polling well in the state and could even win it. 
  • 11pm EST — The polls close in the biggest electoral prize on the map — solidly Democratic California (55) — as well as Washington state (12), Oregon (7) and North Dakota (3).
  • 1am EST — Polls close in Alaska (3) and Hawaii (4).

* * *

Time for the concession speeches?

In 2008 and 2012, John McCain and Mitt Romney each gave nationally televised concession speeches shortly after midnight eastern time. 

But what if there is no winner by the end of the night? In the event that neither candidate gets to 270, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives will decide who the next president should be.

* * *

What are the main factors to watch? 

With polls showing voters having negative opinions of both major candidates, one of the key factors on election day could be the enthusiasm of their bases. If black, female, Latino and young voters do not turn out in significant numbers, it could represent a blow to the Clinton camp. Likewise, if white working class voters do not go to the polls in significant numbers it would hurt Mr Trump.

Turnout among African-American voters looks likely to be lower than it was in 2008 and 2012. But Trump’s provocative immigration policies mean a growing Hispanic electorate is expected to vote heavily against him.

What other races should I keep an eye on? 

Americans will also be voting for 34 of the US Senate’s 100 seats and for all 435 seats in the House of Representatives. Twelve governorships are up for grabs this year. The big question beyond the presidency is what will happen in the Republican-controlled Congress. A good night for Democrats would see them win five seats and regain control of the Senate (four if Mrs Clinton wins as that would mean vice-president Tim Kaine would cast the deciding vote) while also whittling down the Republicans’ 30-seat majority in the 435-seat House. It is extremely unlikely Democrats will regain control of the House.

* * *

Here is Goldman's own guide to election night:

  • Poll closing times and the estimated time each state will be called: we note the time that polls close in each state. For states in multiple time zones, we include the latest poll closing time. We also include a rough estimate of when media outlets will announce a winner of the presidential race in each state, based on the polling margin (close votes take much longer to call).
  • Prediction market probabilities: we note the implied probability of a Democratic win in each state for the presidential and Senate contests. Probabilities are taken from as of 2pm ET on Nov. 7.

* * *

Finally, here is an election survival guide from Credit Suisse.

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Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Nov 7, 2016 10:33 PM

If he wins Michigan its all over.

I am worn out I feel like have run for President personally.

Trump Wins!

Tallest Skil's picture

The Trafalgar Group has Trump winning in Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.


Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Stocked up on popcorn and butter.  And beer!!!  Ready for the action!!  Should have a Trump drinking game, every time he gets an electoral vote---DRINK!  If you are laying in a heap hung over in the morning, you will know its a good thing!!

cayman's picture

My wife is really worried about election day, so I told her that I'm going to call it erection day.  Now she's more worried.

Also I voted for Trump in the supposedly critical Wake County, NC, so fuck you cankles, you lizard-brained, child-eating satanist jellyfish!  There I feel better now.

Infocat's picture

When the demographics progress further as they have in the last couple of decades it won't matter who you vote for anymore. We will have a one party system.

Eeyores Enigma's picture

The United States Electoral College is the body that elects the President and Vice President of the United States every four years. Citizens of the United States do not directly elect the president or the vice president; instead they choose "electors", who usually pledge to vote for particular candidates.[ elector is required by federal law to honor a pledge.


On four occasions, most recently in the 2000 presidential election, the Electoral College system has resulted in the election of a candidate who did not receive the most popular votes in the election.

Get it? Got it? Good!

DosZap's picture

Be glad the winner is not selected by popular vote.That wold make this a Democracy........which is Mobacracy.

GreatUncle's picture

Why you bothering to vote at all, anybody anywhere? It would be pointless then would it not ...

No more presidential elections ever ... not needed the electoral college appoints.

The election is now bigger than Trump, bigger than the whole of the government ...

TRUMP 2016.

schatzi's picture

If the white middle class cannot win this time, it never will. Last chance really. Future demographics are working against them. They will be the disenfranchised backbone of the USA. Will be interesting to see how they react to being disenfranchised and bled dry by taxes benefiting mostly others. How long will they accept their fate?

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

No doubt Trump’s thugs will be out harassing minority voters for voter IDs, and intimidating Democrats under the guise of conducting exit polls. I think Hillary has this wrapped up, but if for any reason Trump should win, we need to have a second election because of the foul and dirty tactics, lies and smear attempts conducted by the Trump campaign. 

BeanusCountus's picture

Like having a voter id is a problem?  Who the hell doesn't have identification of some sort?

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) BeanusCountus Nov 8, 2016 10:43 AM

Friking lazy cheaters:

"Eventually we realized that about 15 percent of the accounts on the Twitter feed discussing elections in the U.S. are bots,”

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

A large number of minorities, women and trans people don’t have voter IDs. That’s why Republicans demand them – because they know it will disproportionately affect these victim groups.

pazmaker's picture

shut da fuck up I'm tired of it!

KFBR392's picture

Please. Go. Away. If you're going to dissent, please bring some intelligence and value along with it.  Otherwise, go play with yourself some more.

Ag Tex's picture

There will be a great deal of fraud, but Donald Trump will become our next president and inaugurated in January 2017!

Ag Tex's picture

There will be a great deal of fraud, but Donald Trump will become our next president and inaugurated in January 2017!

Ag Tex's picture

There will be a great deal of fraud, but Donald Trump will become our next president and inaugurated in January 2017!

Tall Tom's picture




Oh the Supreme Court can always invalidate the result and use some excuse like Voter Intimidation. Then they can appoint the President.


It is not like that they have never done that before...We do not need another election...ever


The problem is that Americans are not as creative as their British cousins. 


What does the Court do because of the Brexit vote going against their goal? Thet make a requirement that Parliament must have a vote before initiating Article 50. In that way they can invalidate and subvert the will of the people. Legislating from the bench is nothing new.


In that way you can have your Totalitarian State, MDB. Isn't that what you are suggesting?


The sad truth is that it is already here.


And instead of these people, these PUSSIES here, getting angry enough to DIRECT THEIR ANGER TO THE APPROPRIATE PARTIES by taking it to the streets TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, they are more than happy to junk your satire, congratulating themselves, and believing themselves to be patriots 


It is easier because in that way because they risk nothing.


Tomorrow needs to be "Key a Car" Day. Stick it to the Insurance Companies every day that Hildabeast is in office.



fbazzrea's picture

suggestions circulating if Hellery wins without popular vote majority, Americans should not go to work, stop paying taxes, stop paying mortgages, withdraw as much cash from banks as possible, truckers unhitch their trailers and go home, etc., in unity to shut our govt down. according to the suggestion's author, mortgage companies/banks will be overwhelmed by the sheer numbers, bankruptcy/eviction courts will take years while people can live mortgage-free and outlast the financial institutions.

President Trump 2016!

kidbroge's picture

I read that too, but it's a pipe dream. Where were the folks when we got marched into war on false pretenses and had their sons maimed and slaughtered. I was waiting for the protests. They never came. What makes this any worse and where is the organization for it. People still have got to eat. Are they really all that fired up. I'll believe it when I see it. 





fbazzrea's picture

i'll be marching if Hellery wins... in Oklahoma. guaranteed! wherever you live, do likewise. maybe we can inspire the masses. IF we can get enough media coverage to expose our actions to the world.

fbazzrea's picture

also... let's be the change.

and it wouldn't take long to bring 'em to their knees. a week? stock up on groceries and be ready.

Orc from Mordor's picture

You were waiting for the protests, eh? What stopped you from starting them? You're all too fat now to have any rights. You're too fat to defend your own constitution and freedom. You're not a nation any more, you're a pack of fat pigs.

crossroaddemon's picture

Why the fuck aren't we doing that anyway? It should happen whether Trump wins or not. But you know it won't.

fbazzrea's picture

let's do it... if Hitlery cheats and is elected, i'll hit the streets. maybe march on Washington?

crossroaddemon's picture

I haven't worked for a wage or salary for15 years. Where the fuck have you been?

fbazzrea's picture

what do you mean where have i been? 

and if you want to truly know... grab a chair, it will take a while.

Akzed's picture

Insurance companies? most of that would come under deductibles. Plus it's a crime.

ali-ali-al-qomfri's picture

a Colostomy bag?, a Body bag?, a Garbage bag?

please be more specific which bag contains this hag?


VZ58's picture

Ah look, our little DNC monkey is already calling for a revote. Trump did make you sh** your pants after all. That makes me happy.

fbazzrea's picture

yeah, i see the DemoBrats circulating:

"Today, armed Trump supporters with fake badges will be patrolling minority precincts. They say they are "preventing voter fraud," but the real reason is intimidation.

For months, Trump has called on his nearly all-white audiences "go around and watch other polling places."

getting their shpiel all set for election-robbing maneuvers, i see.

yogibear's picture

You mean Soros has the machines rigged. It's the big money against the basement dweller s.

Perimetr's picture

We can always count on you to fuck up a thread

The Gun Is Good's picture

We can count on ourselves to allow it. (If only ppl would just ignore MDB posts....)

Tiwin's picture

Serious question to you MDB. We all get your schtick yada yada
what are you going to do if Hillary wins? Can you finally answer one of your replies? Ever?

Syrin's picture

We will be a minority and get to have affirmative action, the NAAWP, WET, and call each other nigga then attack anyone else who does the same.  We can kill cops them form the WLM movement.  

Bastiat's picture

Its not just the "white" middle class.

canisdirus's picture

It won't last that long. Those of us that still have money can leave and we're already prepared to do so, but the problem is deeper. The problem is finding a place worth going. There's simply nowhere that hasn't been overrun with socialists with their hands out. Short of a total collapse of social order that lasts long enough to literally kill off the people with their hands out, you'll never be free of them.

canisdirus's picture

It won't last that long. Those of us that still have money can leave and we're already prepared to do so, but the problem is deeper. The problem is finding a place worth going. There's simply nowhere that hasn't been overrun with socialists with their hands out. Short of a total collapse of social order that lasts long enough to literally kill off the people with their hands out, you'll never be free of them.

MagicHandPuppet's picture

Is it too early for a Scotch?  This is going to be a long day.

J S Bach's picture

"If he wins Michigan its all over."

Agreed.  This is why they've both been campaigning hard there for the last 2 weeks.

Michigan will be this year's 2000 Florida.  (hopefully, no hanging chads this time around -- only a hanging Hillary)

Jim in MN's picture

Not too early for a Trump win:


32-25 Trump in first New Hampshire towns.

VinceFostersGhost's picture



Is it too early for a Scotch? 


Dunno.....I'm shooting vodka.

CaptainObvious's picture

No.  I've been drinking scotch steadily since last night.  I plan on calling out of work drunk tomorrow no matter who wins.  My boss has a two-year token from AA, so he will understand.

pazmaker's picture

My son, his girlfriend and my daughter just went ot vote in the charlotte, NC area.  When they got there my son voted no problem...his girlfriend and my daughter were told they voted already!


Such bullshit and fraud going on all over.   They had to file some type of paperwork and were given a provisional ballot.