When Can I Go to Bed? A Guide to Turning in on Election Night.

When polls close, states get called and you can finally rest

By Matthew Hedge

 
Trump
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08 November 2016

Matthew Hedge is a teacher at St. Jean Baptiste High School. In 1992, when he was in third grade, he made a guide to following the presidential election. He’s continued this tradition every four years since. He hands out these charts — listing the last voting times and (theoretical) hours when each state will be called — to students, friends, and family.

Tonight, we present to you this year's edition.

Below is a list of states grouped by when the last poll in the state officially closes. Below each time is a list of the states that appear closest in public opinion polling, and in brackets is the time that state was “called” by the Associated Press in 2012.

It should go without saying that if any of the non-bolded states are won by the underdog, that spells tragedy for the previously assumed victor.

Also included are states where there are close Senate races. In order to get control of the Senate, a party must either win 4 of the 8 toss-up contests and win the presidency, or win 5+ of the toss up contests.

7 p.m. Indiana (r?), Georgia (r?), Virginia (d?), Kentucky (R), South Carolina (R), Vermont (D)

  • Indiana [7:56 p.m.]
    • Pence’s Home state. Assumed Trump win. If Trump loses, go to bed, it’s over.
    • Senate: Todd Young (R) vs. Evan Bayh (D) – Toss Up
  • Georgia [8:28 p.m.]
    • Solid Republican state, polling showed a close race as little as 2 weeks ago. If Trump loses, feel free to go to bed, it’s a Clinton landslide.
  • Virginia [12:37 a.m.]
    • Kaine’s Home state. Very close in 2012. Assumed Clinton win. If Trump wins here, Clinton’s path to victory is severely complicated.

7:30 p.m. North Carolina (???), Ohio (r?), West Virginia (R)

  • North Carolina [10:53 p.m.]
    • Pure toss up. This might be the closest state in the union. A loss for either side would be bad, but Trump is counting on this state far more than Clinton.
    • Senate: Richard Burr (R) vs. Deborah Ross (D) – Toss Up
  • Ohio [11:17p.m.]
    • Normally one of the closest states, Trump has led in the last few polls. Trump needs this state to hope to compete, unless he wins both Florida and North Carolina.

8:00 p.m. Alabama (R), Connecticut (D), Delaware (D), Florida (???), Illinois (D), Maine (d?), Maryland (D), Massachusetts (D), Mississippi (R), Missouri (r?), New Hampshire (???), New Jersey (D), Oklahoma (R), Pennsylvania (d?), Rhode Island (D), Tennessee (R)  

  • Florida [3:21 p.m. Nov. 10, FOUR DAYS AFTER THE ELECTION]
    • Pure toss up. Florida is a must-win for Trump. Without it, he would need to win both Ohio and Pennsylvania.
    • Senate: Marco Rubio (R) vs. Patrick Murphy (D)
  • Maine [8:01p.m.]
    • Leans to Clinton, but due to the odd Electoral Vote rules of Maine, Trump has a good chance to pick up a single electoral vote from Maine’s second electoral district.
  • Missouri [11:09 p.m.]
    • Leans Trump. A loss here would be a major setback.
    • Senate: Roy Blunt (R) vs. Jason Kander (D) – Toss Up
  • New Hampshire [10:04 p.m.]
    • Was safely Clinton until a week ago, when it suddenly shifted to Trump. Whoever loses here can balance a loss with a win in Nevada.
    • Senate: Kelly Ayotte (R) vs. Maggie Hassan (D) – Toss Up
  • Pennsylvania [9:48 p.m.]
    • Leans Clinton. A loss here would be catastrophic for her. She would need to carry two of Ohio, North Carolina and Florida to make up for the loss.
    • Senate: Pat Toomey (R) v. Katie McGinty (D) – Toss Up

8:30 p.m. Arkansas (R)

9:00 p.m. Arizona (r?), Colorado (d?), Kansas (R), Louisiana (R), Michigan (d?), Minnesota (d?), Nebraska (r?), New Mexico (d?), New York (D), North Dakota (R), South Dakota (R), Texas (r?), Wisconsin (d?), Wyoming (R)

  • Arizona [10:36 p.m.]  
    • Leans Trump. If Trump loses here, he is in deep trouble, and must win Minnesota or Wisconsin to make up for the loss.
  • Colorado [11:39 p.m.]
    • Leans Clinton. If she loses Colorado, she must make up for it in Nevada, North Carolina or Florida.
  • Michigan [9:02 p.m.]
    • Leans Clinton, though both campaigns admit it’s closer than anyone thought. A loss here would mean she must win Pennsylvania and North Carolina or Florida. If she loses Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, go to bed it’s over.
  • Minnesota [10:57 p.m.]
    • Leans Clinton. One of several upper northwestern states Trump thinks he can win. Not must-win for either side, but it would make Trump’s job much easier to pull out a win here.
  • Nebraska [9:02 p.m.]
    • Leans Trump. In the flip of Maine, Clinton thinks she can pick up a single electoral vote from Nebraska as Obama did in 2008. If Trump wins ME-2, Clinton can balance that with NE-2.
  • New Mexico [11:09 p.m.]
    • Assumed Clinton win. If Clinton loses, things are likely already going very badly for her, as this is one of several states that Clinton expects higher than average Hispanic turnout.
  • New York [9:02 p.m.]
    • Assumed Clinton win. If Clinton loses, hell has likely frozen over and you may need to duck flying pigs on your way to school. Also, Trump is almost assuredly president.
  • Texas [9:02 p.m.]
    • Should be a solid Trump state, but polls taken about 2 weeks ago showed it nearly a toss up. Heavy rain in rural areas may see it back in play. If Trump loses here, the election is over.
  • Wisconsin [11:47 p.m.]
    • Leans Clinton. If Trump wins here, the importance of North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Florida are amplified greatly for Clinton.
    • Senate: Ron Johnson (R) vs. Russ Feingold (D)

10 p.m. Iowa (r?), Montana (R), Nevada (???), Utah (R/?)

  • Iowa [11:19 p.m.]
    • Leans Trump. A Clinton win here would mean he needs a pickup in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado or New Mexico.
  • Nevada [11:54 p.m.]
    • Pure toss up. Trump leads slightly in the polls, but lagged in early voting. A loss for either party could be balanced with a win in New Hampshire.
    • Senate: Catherine Cortez Masto (D) vs. Joe Heck (R)
  • Utah [10:00 p.m.]
    • The Evan McMullin state. Recent polls showed third-party “Independent Conservative” candidate McMullin close to Trump and Clinton. If McMullin won, it would be the first electoral votes for a third party since 1968. A loss here would be catastrophic for Trump.

11 p.m. California (D), Hawaii (D), Oregon (D) Washington (D)

1 a.m Alaska (R)

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