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Is This Election Already Over? A Look At The Early Winners And Losers

by James Poulos

November 8, 2016

This election night could be over almost before it starts.

With so many swing states with such thin margins, the electoral math could quickly tip in one candidate’s favor very early on in the night. Most prognosticators share a clear predictive preference for Hillary Clinton, whose camp is already claiming they’re increasingly confident about key prize Florida. But even though the first few waves of poll closures could prove decisive, until then, it’s tossup city.

Because Trump’s got the toughest lift, let’s look at the crunch times for his campaign:

At 6:00 pm, Indiana and Kentucky closed polls. Both those states, as predicted, went Trump.

At 7:00pm, Trump’s first—and possibly biggest—hurdle arose. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia all closed their polls, and though New Hampshire remains one of a basket of potential states for Trump to flip, he’s all but certainly locked out of Virginia, and if he loses Florida, his deficit could quickly prove insurmountable.

Then, at 7:30 p.m. North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia closed out, presenting Trump with two more swing states he’s dying to win. No Republican has won the White House without winning Ohio. But if Clinton racks up wins in Florida and North Carolina, Trump could be the first to win Ohio but not the presidency.

And with victory in the bag for Florida’s most famous former Trump nemesis-become-supporter, Sen. Marco Rubio, some Republicans could start turning on Trump the minute the state is called for Clinton. But this being Florida (remember Bush v. Gore?), there isn’t even a guarantee that the state will be called this month.

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Is This Election Already Over? A Look At The Early Winners And Losers