5:22pm – So I’m going home. With the Presidency, it appears that Obama will pick up North Carolina and Indiana, while Missouri will go to McCain. Montana is going down to the wire, with McCain just taking the lead, with a lead of 850 votes, out of 250,000 votes cast. In the Senate, the Democrats have gained five Senate seats, and should pick up Alaska when the results flow in. In Oregon, the Democrat leads by 9500 votes, with 40% of the precincts reporting. In Minnesota, Democrat Al Franken has fallen behind, with Senator Coleman leading by 3300 out of almost 2 million votes. However, at least 150,000 votes are yet to be counted in Hennepin County, which covers Minneapolis. Franken is leading 52-35 in Hennepin County, so it’s not over yet. Anyway, I’ll post a summary post hopefully tonight or maybe tomorrow. Until then, goodbye.
4:20pm – So Obama’s speech finished. He is slightly ahead in Indiana and North Carolina, leading substantially in Montana and behind in Missouri. It appears the result will be 368-170. In the Senate, the Democrat is ahead by 1% in Oregon and only 15,000 votes behind in Minnesota. Polls are yet to close in Alaska, while the Democrats have won five other Senate seats. I probably won’t keep updating this now.
3:08pm – All the networks called the result immediately after polls closed on the West Coast. Barack Obama elected President of the United States. He’s now pulling even in Indiana and North Carolina and is in a strong position in Virginia and Florida. The Senate race in Minnesota is on a razor’s edge.
2:05pm – Oz wants a summary. Obama looks to have made modest gains in the electoral map, winning Ohio and New Mexico, possibly also Colorado, Virginia and Florida with outside shots in North Carolina, Indiana and Missouri. In the Senate, the Dems have gained 4, will almost certainly gain 3 more, with Minnesota a toss-up. No idea about the House of Representatives.
1:57pm – The sole remaining Republican in New England, Chris Shays, has been defeated in his congressional race.
1:46pm – In the Senate, the Democrats have gained 4 seats. In Colorado it is too early to call, Minnesota is too early and too close to call, and Alaska and Oregon are still voting. Minnesota has Coleman leading 45-38, but only 1% has been counted. Udall is leading 47-35 in Colorado with 3% counted.
1:34pm – The presidential race is over. Obama has now picked up New Mexico and Ohio, plus all Kerry states which have closed. The only four remaining Kerry states, Hawaii, California, Washington and Oregon, will be safely Obama and put him over the top. I’m gonna focus on the Senate now.
1:25pm – If you take MSNBC’s number of 195 for Obama, add 55 in California, 4 in Hawaii, 11 in Washington and 7 in Oregon, you come up with 272. Those four states are the only four Kerry states not to be called already for Obama. It’s almost over.
1:22pm – Obama has won Ohio, according to MSNBC. The first state to flip. MSNBC has the race as 195-76. He could lose Virginia and every other Bush state and still win.
1:19pm – Some interesting factoids: Ohio now, with 8% counted, has Obama leading 57-41. Texas has McCain only leading by a slim margin, although I don’t expect that to hold. McCain’s lead in Virginia has shrank to a slender 25,000 votes with over 60% counted. This is going to be one close state. Incredibly, South Dakota is close while North Dakota appears to be safely going to McCain.
1:03pm – Chris Matthews says they won’t be able to decide the race until after 11pm (3pm our time).
1:00pm – MSNBC has called a bunch of states with the latest poll-closing. The only toss-up was North Dakota, which went to McCain. MSNBC now has it as 175-70, with no states changing from the 2004 race so far.
12:54pm – Republicans hold a solid lead in Senate race in Georgia, although the race is only 51-49 for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell with a lot of votes counted. Polls close in much of the Mountain West at 1pm. 2% of votes counted in Texas senate race, and it’s extremely close
12:51pm – McCain has held onto Georgia. In Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia Obama is leading, although the numbers are miniscule in Ohio and West Virginia and the lead is slim in Florida. In North Carolina, Obama leads by 9% with 16% reporting.
12:49pm AEDT – Democrats have also won Elizabeth Dole’s Senate seat in North Carolina. 3 gains so far. No states have switched parties in the presidential race so far, although Obama is neck-and-neck in three key Bush states.
12:44pm AEDT (8:44pm EST) – Just got back to the office, sorry about the absence. In the Senate, the Democrats have already gained two seats, in New Hampshire and Virginia. MSNBC has Obama on 103 EVs, with McCain on 58. It appears that Indiana, Florida and Virginia are all extremely close. The only two blue states in danger, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, are holding firm.
7:50am AEDT (3:50pm EST) – I recommend this map, showing closing times in both US eastern time and AEDT for the entire US. Very useful to know when to watch where.
6:30am AEDT (2:30pm EST) – Votes are being cast across the entire mainland USA by now. First exit polls should come through around 9am AEDT. For a guide to which states close their polls when, read Slate’s hour-by-hour guide. The first races of interest are Indiana and Kentucky at 10am. If Indiana goes to Obama, then he’s on track for a solid victory. If Kentucky falls to the Democrats in the Senate, the Dems are on track for a 60-seat majority, and will have knocked off the Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell. Liveblogging is also available at Pollbludger and an open thread on the topic has been posted at Larvatus Prodeo.