So tonight’s the night that hundreds of political hacks, opinion makers and general election nerds all over the world, stay up or get up early to see what happens in an election that they have no influence over, but arguable has the most effect on them outside of their own national elections, the US Presidential Election. So whats the story?
Well if you haven’t taken a nap, I hope you have tomorrow off because it will be a long night. The first polls begin to close at 2300 GMT in Kentucky and Indiana and the last poll closes at 0500 GMT (Wed) in Alaska.
But these arent the important ones. The battle ground states polls close as follows:
- Virgina 0000 GMT
- North Carolina 0030 GMT
- Ohio 0030 GMT
- Florida 0100 GMT
- New Hampshire 0100 GMT
- Pennsylvania 0100 GMT
- Colorado 0200 GMT
- Wisconsin 0200 GMT
- Iowa 0300 GMT
- Nevada 0300 GMT
Each state should be called based on exit polls and early results soon after. So we should have an idea who will win between 0300 and 0500, as I said it will be a long night.
Is it just about Obama, Romney, the popular vote and the electoral college (there is a lot written about those elsewhere so I wont bother). Well it mainly is but there is plenty else going on 11 State Governors, 33 Senate Seats and all of the 435 seats in House of Representatives.
Some interesting races here to watch including can Scott Brown hold his Senate seat from Democrat Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. Will Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana two Republicans who made bad statements on rape manage to get elected? Will Tammy Baldwin a Democrat in Wisconsin become the first open Lesbian in the Senate? Connecticut too has an interesting race with Linda McMahon (yes her from the wrestling) trying to win a seat and has spent a lot of her own money. It is highly unlikely that the Republicans will gain control of the senate, but will Democrats increase their control? Also will Maine elect independent candidate and former Governor Angus King?
In the House it is expected that the Republicans will retain control, but will Michelle Bachmann retain her seat in the Minnesota 6th? The Californian 30th, 31st and 44th are also interesting thanks to redistricting and Open Primaries. The 30th sees two incumbent Democrats, Brad Sherman and Howard Berman battle it out. The 31st sees Republican Incumbent Gary Miller take on a Republican challenger Bob Dutton. While the 44th again sees two Democratic Incumbents Laura Richardson and Janice Hahn fight for a seat
In terms of ballot measures, four states are voting on Marriage Equality. Maine, Maryland and Washington are voting to allow Marriage Equality while Minnesota is voting on the definition of Marriage (between a Man and a Woman). Arkansas is voting on Medical Marijuana and Colorado, Oregan and Washington is voting on legalising it, while Montana is voting on banning Medical Marijuana. California is voting to ban the Death Penalty and to Increase Taxes to pay for education. Florida is voting to Limit Obamacare (as is Montana and Wyoming) and also on limiting public funds to abortion.
A long but interesting night ahead, and one which will show how Americans are moving on some interesting questions. Enjoy fellow elections nerds!
- U.S. election day voting in full swing (nzweek.com)
- How to follow the US election on the BBC (bbc.co.uk)
- US Analysts Still Expect GOP To Hold House, Dems Hold Senate (forexlive.com)
- Americans vote after long and bitter campaign for White House – Reuters UK (uk.reuters.com)
- What to watch for on Election Night (cnn.com)
- US Election key times: When & where (newstalk.ie)