Guide For Watching Election Night Results

   Bookmark and Share  The following is a schedule of the times that polls close in each of the states and the District of Columbia.  Keep in mind that many states are in between time zones.  This means that polls in certain parts of these states close an hour earlier than in other portions of each state.  However; the networks and their cable affiliates can not by law, officially call a state for any candidate until all the polls in that state have closed.  The times indicated here reflect the time when all polling sites in each state have officially closed.

In addition to these closing times, White House 2012 offers a timeline which includes when each state will probably be projected for Governor Romney or President Obama and it also provides an estimated running total of the Electoral College vote that each candidate probably will have at the top and bottom of each hour.

Throughout the day, the networks will be conducting exit polls.  By law they cannot reveal what the results of these polls are.  However; once voting has stopped, the networks can start using these exit polls to make their projections.  If there exit polls did not show a clear a winner in a state, that state may not be called right away.  In this election, expect that to be the case in several states.  The following timeline offers a prediction of approximately when each state will be called.

Of course there is a very good possibility that in several states, a combination of irregularities and extremely close vote totals could prohibit them from being projected for hours, days or even weeks.  If the race is actually as close  as we are being led to believe by the mainstream media in places like Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia, Wisconsin, Florida, and Ohio, it could be a long night.  However, Wh12 believes that most states will be called promptly and that the longest delay we may see in the official projection of a state will be an hour or an hour and a half.  And the two most likely states for such a delay are Ohio and Wisconsin, where the election could actually be as tight as predicted.

7:00 pm Eastern Standard Time:

At 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, the first 6 states and 60 electoral votes in the presidential election could be called.  Unless there is a surprise result in the works, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, and South Carolina should quickly be called for Governor Romney, while Vermont is quickly called for President Obama.   Media outlets probably will not be quick to call Virginia.  That may not happen till some time around 8:00 pm.  But if the official returns show Romney with a lead in certain key districts within Virginia and their exit polls showed similar trends throughout the state, Virginia could be called relatively quickly.  If it is, expect it to be  a very good sign of who will win the election.  An early projection for one candidate or the other here would be a good sign that whoever won is running much stronger than expected, not just in Virginia but nationally as well.

Obama 3 / Romney 44+ (not including Virginia)

Possible Surprises:

If Virginia is called for Romney within a half an hour of 7:00, it would be a clear indication that the race in Virginia was not quite as close as some expected and a sign of just how inaccurate polling has been due to their use of 2008 turnout models, a decision which significantly underestimates Romney’s strength.  It would also be a sure sign that Romney is probably doing far better nationally than most analysts thought possible.

7:30 pm Eastern Standard Time:

On the half hour, polls close in North Carolina, West Virginia and Ohio.  Expect West Virginia to be called for Romney about one second after the polls close there.  North Carolina may take a little longer.  If it is called before 8:00 pm, that will be another sign of a strong night for Romney.

Obama 3 / Romney 49+ (not including Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio)

The Ohio Factor:

Based upon White House 2012’s analysis and projection, if Romney wins Ohio he is certain to win the election.  If he does not win Ohio, Romney still has a good chance pulling a victory off.  That said, unless exit polling from throughout the day indicates a much stronger than expected show of support for one candidate or the other, the networks are not likely to call Ohio for at least an hour.

If Ohio is called early for Obama, it could be a sign that Romney is underperforming.  It would also indicate that Obama may be benefiting from a last minute surge that could possibly play out in other battleground states in the region, such as Iowa and Wisconsin.

If Ohio is called early for Romney, start playing Hail to the Chief for him.  Not only would a quick call of Ohio for Romney  mean that he is running much stronger than he was expected in Ohio but nationally as well.  Furthermore, according to the White House 2012 analysis, President Obama can not win the Electoral College vote without Ohio in his column.

8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time:

At 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time, the results of 17 states and 172 electoral votes are to be determined.  The only surprises that could possibly occur within this set of poll closings exists in Florida, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.

Obama 99 / Romney 92+ (not including Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio)

Pennsylvania:

In Pennsylvania the surprise could be that it is not called for President Obama within a half hour of 8:00 pm.  If it is not called for the President by 8:30 pm, it will be another sign that the election is much tighter than anticipated in a state that should be solidly behind the President, and that he is in trouble.  While Pennsylvania should ultimately go for President Obama, in the small outside chance that it goes to Romney, the election will over and so is the presidency of Barack Obama. Given the certainty in how the bulk of other states are going, it is impossible for Barack Obama to reach the 270 electoral votes he needs to win reelection without Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes in his column.

New Hampshire:

New Hampshire is suppose to be close and while most polls give President Obama a slim lead there, White House 2012 is confident that these polls are over-estimating Democrat turnout by incorporating the 2008 turnout models into their 2012 polls.  This is a main reason why WH12 believes Governor Romney will ultimately win New Hampshire.  The only surprise here will be whether or not New Hampshire is called quickly for Romney.  If Romney is having a better night than expected, New Hampshire will be called for him within 15 or 20 minutes.  If President Obama happens to win New Hampshire, all this will actually mean is that Romney may not win with the electoral landslide that WH12 anticipates.

Florida:

Here again, an early call for either Romney or Obama will be quite telling.  In addition to proving the race is not as close as we have been led to believe, if it goes to Barack Obama, Mitt Romney is in trouble.  If it goes to Romney, the night is not over, but the fat lady will be warming her vocal chords up to offer a a final musical tribute the Obama years.  The only real surprise in Florida will be whether or not it is called for Romney early.  If  Florida is called for Romney within a half hour of polls closing, consider that to be further indication of Romney  outperforming  expectations nationally and a good sign that he will be President-Elect before the night is over.

Late Call in North Carolina and Virginia:

During the  8 o’clock hour, if North Carolina and Virginia had not yet be called for Romney, they will be.  If Florida, Ohio and New Hampshire still have not been projected for either candidate, late projections for Romney in Virginia and North Carolina would bring his total electoral vote count to 120.  At this same point, President Obama will have 99 electoral votes.

Obama 99 / Romney 120+ (not counting Florida, New Hampshire and Ohio)

8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time:

No race here.  Arkansas should be called for the Romney-Ryan ticket before the clock hits 8:31 pm.

Obama 99 / Romney 126+ (not counting Florida, New Hampshire and Ohio)

Late Calls from Ohio, New Hampshire

Somewhere between 8:30 and 9:00 pm, unless exit polls indicated that Romney was running much stronger than expected and the networks already called them, Ohio and New Hampshire should be projected for Romney.

That would leave us with;

Obama 99 / Romney 148+  (not counting Florida)

9:00 pm Eastern Standard Time:

**Romney declared the winner sometime during this hour**

13 states and 153 electoral votes will be determined during the 9 o’clock hour.  60 of them are likely to go to president Obama and at least 83 will be won by Mitt Romney.

Obama 159 / Romney 231 (not including Florida and Wisconsin)

Watch Out For Wisconsin and Michigan:

Both of these states have long been considered solid blue states for the Obama-Biden ticket but in the closing days of the campaign they have become much closer than Democrats had anticipated.  White House 2012 believes Wisconsin will be won by Romney.  The big surprise here is may be whether or not it is called for Romney quickly.  A quick decision in Wisconsin for Romney’s will most likely mean that if he has not yet been declared the President-Elect, he will be within the hour.  If Barack Obama wins Wisconsin this may only mean that Romney is not winning a landslide victory in the Electoral College, but he will still be on track to winning.

Michigan should not be much of a contest.  While Romney may poll far better than most polls indicate, President Obama should still pull this state out in his favor.  Again a late call of Michigan for him means the election is too close for comfort for President Obama and that a sign that he is underperforming nationally.  A quick call of Michigan for President Obama simply means that Romney is still on target to reach the 270 votes he need to win the presidency.  If Michigan happens to be called for Mitt Romney, he will officially become the President-Elect.

Late Call in Florida and Wisconsin Puts Romney Over the Top

Florida may not be called until some point during the 9 o’clock hour, probably towards the top of the hour.  Exit polls may convince networks that his lead is strong enough to allow the networks to project Florida before 9:00 pm but if they haven’t they will now, and that will give Romney the 260 electors votes to the President’s 159.

At some point during this hour, Wisconsin will also be called.  If it goes to Romney as WH12 projects, that will give Romney 270 electoral votes and make him the President-Elect.

Obama 159 / Romney 270

10:00 pm Eastern Standard Time:

Montana and Utah will be called quickly for Mitt Romney.  Nevada and Iowa may take a little longer to  but at some point during the 10 o’clock hour, expect all 4 states to go to Mitt and for Romney.

Obama 159 /Romney 291

11:00 pm Eastern Standard Time:

No surprises here and each state will be called quickly.

Obama 237 / Romney 298

12:00 am Eastern Standard Time

Alaska which Barack Obama has never been competitive in, goes for Romney and is called as soon as the polls close.

Obama 233 / Romney 305

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 White House 2012’s final Electoral College Projection

For a deatiled analysis visit here.

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Romney Projected to Win the Electoral College With 301 Votes to Obama’s 237

CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED ANALYSIS AND PROJECTION

Romney Holds Lead In Electoral College as Ohio Now Becomes Do or Die for the President

New analysis gives Romney a 53% chance to win while President Obama finds himself with a 44% chance to win. Meanwhile the newest analysis also shows that Ohio is do or die for the President while Wisconsin becomes a possible make or break state for Mitt Romney

White House 2012’s newest analysis of data, polls, trends, and circumstances, nationally and on the ground in individual states, continues to project Mitt Romney the winner of the presidential election.  While the closeness of the race in several states continues to make it impossible to say with absolute certainty that Romney will win the Electoral College vote, White House 2012’s analysis does currently project that at the very least, Romney will receive 285 electoral votes.  That is 15 more electors than he needs to defeat President Barack Obama who according to White House 2012’s prediction will walk away from Election Day with 253 electoral votes.

The states that are too close for comfort and continue to be responsible for  the uncertainty of the results in the Electoral College are, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Bookmark and Share Of these states, White House 2012 is currently projecting New Hampshire, Ohio, and Iowa to go to Mitt Romney, with President Obama taking Nevada and Wisconsin.  All other states are solidly behind one or the other candidate.  But the most dramatic conclusion gleamed from the information found in the analysis used to make this recent projection, is that if you consider Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Wisconsin to be tossups, President Obama is left with 237 electoral votes and Romney holds 257 electoral votes.  This means that from among the remaining 5 tossup states the President has only three possible paths to victory.   Romney on the other hand has 5 possible paths to victory.

Making matters worse for the President is that this latest WH12 analysis sees a sharp turning of the tables on him.  Up till now, the narrative had been that Mitt Romney can’t win without Ohio.  This newest analysis shows just the opposite.

For President Obama, while he has three paths to victory… two less than Romney, each of one them requires that to win the election, the President must win Ohio.

For Mitt Romney, of the five routes to victory available to him, only one of them requires that he wins Ohio, and as seen in the graphic below, that path is the one which he needs only if he losses each of the other remaining tossup states.

Ultimately this means that the odds are now clearly in favor of Mitt Romney winning the election, hence the current White House 2012 electoral projection.  Based upon the winning combinations available to Obama and Romney, the President has a 44% chance of winning and Mitt Romney has a 53% chance of winning.  With less than two weeks to go before the election is held, this 9% upper hand held by Mitt Romney puts the Governor in a far better position than the President.  That is especially true given the fact that the momentum continues to be behind the Romney-Ryan ticket, not the Obama-Biden ticket.

Ohio Is Do or Die for the President

White House 2012 adds 2.2% to Mitt Romney’s final total in the Real Clear Politics average of polls.  This is a figure intended to compensate for the use of 2008 turnout models that are being used in establishing current poll results.  WH12’s formulas believes these models are under-counting Republican turnout by as much as 2.2%, hence the 2.2% added to Romney’s numbers that are ultimately figured in to White House 2012’s analysis.  Currently in Ohio, the Real Clear Politics average has President Obama ahead of Mitt Romney by 2.1%. According to the WH12 formula, that means Romney is a head by a mere .01%, far too close for comfort for either candidate.  But the good news for Romney here is that the WH12 analyses now finds that whereas Ohio was once considered a must win for Romney, it is now just the opposite.  President Obama is the one who now can’t win reelection without Ohio.

Wisconsin could be make or break for Romney

While Romney now can easily win the White House without Ohio, if he doesn’t take Ohio, Wisconsin becomes the state he really needs to ensure victory.  Of the 5 paths to victory available to Mitt Romney, 3 include winning Wisconsin.  Only two of the available paths do not require Badger State victory.   So while the best way to ensure Romney of winning the election is by taking Ohio, if he can pull that off, a win in Wisconsin and either Iowa, New Hampshire, or Colorado will be enough to put Romney over the top.  If Ohio is not in the picture for Romney without Wisconsin, Romney must run the table on Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada and win all three of them.

That is possible but it points to the fact that strategically, Mitt Romney should really drop Paul Ryan in Wisconsin and have him campaign in every town, of every county in the state and use his favorite son status to deliver Wisconsin and provide the cushion the Romney-Ryan tickets needs in the Electoral College.

3% Chance of a tie in the Electoral College

Having Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin as tossup states leaves us with numeric equations that provides a 3% chance of their being a tie in the Electoral College

If this Electoral College result were to come to fruition, although there is truly no guarantee, Mitt Romney would most likely win the election in the House of Representatives where according to the constitution, in the case of a tie in the Electoral College, the election for President would ultimately go.  The House is largely expected to remain controlled by a majority of Republicans .  However, the election for Vice President is held in the Senate where Democrats are control.  At the moment, there is a good chance that Republicans can win at least a one seat majority in the Senate.  If that is so, a republican controlled Senate will elect Paul Ryan Vice President.  If Republicans fail to take control of the Senate, it is not likely but quite possible that Democrats will elect Joe Biden Vice President.

Potential for a Romney Landslide

While WH12’s currently projects Romney to win 285 electoral votes, with the closenes of the race in the five tossups states spoken about in the analusis and the momentum that is behind Romney, White House 2012 is looking at the potential for Romney to pull off a landslide win in the Electoral College that will rival the size of Bill Clinton’s lopsided total in the 1992 election.   In that matchup, Clinton won 370 electoral votes to Bush’s 168.  At the moment, WH12 to sees evidence that Romney may be on his way to a final 302 electoral votes to the President’s 236.

That includes a split in Maine’s electoral vote where some polls show Romney winning the 2nd Congressional District.  In Maine, Elecotrs are awarded by congressional districts, not on a statewide basis.

Furthermore; Wh12 sees the putside chance for Michigan to go to Romney.  That would bring his total Electoral College count to 318.

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Romney Still Winning the Election in the Electoral College But Wisconsin and New Hampshire Are Becoming Critically Important

Bookmark and Share   The latest White House 2012 analysis of polls, conditions, and circumstances in individual states projects a slightly smaller Electoral College vote total for Governor Mitt Romney than he had last week, but Romney still remains above the magic number of 270, that he needs to win in the Electoral College.

This week, WH12 has seen the battleground states of Iowa and Nevada taken out of Romney’s column and designated as toss-up states.  This switch has taken away 12 electoral votes from the Romney-Ryan ticket and brought  them from last week’s total of 291 electoral votes , to 279 electoral votes this week.  But as Mitt Romney sees 12 votes go from him to the undecided column, President Obama sees his previous Electoral College projection decrease by 10 votes as WH12 now takes Wisconsin out of the President’s column and classifies it as a toss-up state.  So President Obama now finds  his Electoral College vote drop from 247 last week, to 237 this week.

But the big story here ends up not being the new numbers projected in White House 2012’s analysis.  The real story here is the increasing importance that these numbers places on New Hampshire, Nevada, Iowa, and probably most of all… Wisconsin.

Based upon WH12’s  current level of confidence in Mitt Romney having solid leads in all his base states* and strong leads in the once very competitive states of Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia, combined with our increasing confidence in Romney’s ability to at least squeak out a win in Ohio, what we find ourselves with here is a race that really hinges upon Romney’s need to win any combination of New Hampshire, Nevada, Iowa, and or Wisconsin.

With former toss-up states like Colorado, Virginia, and Florida projected to be solidly behind Romney, as seen in the map below, all the Romney-Ryan tickets needs to secure victory is Ohio.    With Romney’s base states, and locks on the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, North Carolina,and Virginia, if Romney can squeak by in Ohio, he can lose New Hampshire, Nevada, Iowa, and  Wisconsin and still win with 5 more electoral votes than he needs to secure the presidency.  That would produce an electoral vote of 275 for Romney, to 263 for President Obama.

But Ohio is too close for comfort for Romney to count on.  So the Romney-Ryan ticket must secure an optional path to victory to rely upon.  Based upon the current projection which gives Romney the battlegrounds of Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and New Hampshire, ,  if President Obama wins Ohio, the only state that Romney needs is Wisconsin.   In that scenario, even if the Obama-Biden ticket won the remaining battleground states of Iowa and Nevada, Mitt would still win in the Electoral College with 271 electoral votes to Obama’s 267 electoral votes.

Without Ohio, this New Hampshire plus Wisconsin combination to victory for Romney is currently the best and most logical strategy to pursue.

In New Hampshire, the Romney-Ryan ticket is behind Obama-Biden by only approximately 1%.  That is well below the 2.2% margin of error that WH12’s projection formula adds to Romney’s numbers in an attempt to compensate for the erroneous turnout models that pollsters are using in their polls.  So by WH12’s standard, Romney is actually ahead of President Obama in New Hampshire by approximately 1.2%.    Then there is Wisconsin.

While Real Clear Politics has Obama ahead of Romney by approximately 2.8% in Wisconsin according to White House 2012 that is only a .06% lead for the President.  It is a lead so small that that it could easily by overcome.  Especially if its favorite son, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan,  focusses on Wisconsin during this last two weeks of the election. That is a point White House 2012 made last week in a post entitled  “Checkmating Obama with Wisconsin: A Romney Win in the Badger State Dooms Obama“.   Furthermore, Ryan’s focus on Wisconsin could also produce an overflow effect that impacts the close contest in Iowa which borders Wisconsin and possibly provide the margin of victory for the G.O.P. ticket there.

What this all means is that if projections that give Romney his base states and the critical battlegrounds of Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia, but he losses Ohio, the Romney-Ryan ticket can still win the election if they take Wisconsin and either New Hampshire, Iowa, or Nevada.   But under this situation, if Romney does not win Wisconsin,  Romney would have to win all three states of New Hampshire, Iowa, and Nevada.

So it becomes clear to us that while several states remain quite important in this election, if Mitt Romney’s momentum  continues to hold, Wisconsin and New Hampshire may be the states that offer him the best assurance of a victory in the Electoral College. Especially if Ohio remains as tight as it currently is and goes down to the wire as a state so close that its results might not be known until days or even weeks after they are litigated in the courts.  However, the outcome of such litigation would be meaningless  if Romney can put New Hampshire and Wisconsin safely in his final Electoral College vote total.

In the meantime, while White House 2012’s current projection classifies 22 electoral votes as toss-ups, no matter which way they ultimately go, the most Barack Obama could get is 259 electoral votes.  That would leave and Romney with at least 20 more electoral votes than Obama and nine more than Romney needs to win in the Electoral College.

Meanwhile, if Barack Obama fails to curtail the Romentum that we currently see, it won’t be long before White House 2012 finds itself issuing the very best but still realistic projected outcome that Mitt Romney could see.  That projection may end up with a far more lopsided Electoral College than anyone is expecting.  As seen in the map below, existing trends may soon establish a projection that looks like th e map below.  It’s a Romney led Electoral College result of of 302 electoral votes to 236 electoral votes.

Right now, that is the best case scenario for Romney but if current trends to continue, it is the result we are most likely to see.  It is also a result that would include something new… the splitting of Maine’s electoral vote between Romney and Obama.  Maine, like Nebraska splits their electoral vote between their congressional districts.  Some recent polling has shown that in  Maine’s second congressional district, Romney was leading Obama 49 to 44%.  If that holds up, it would be the first time Maine ever actually split it’s electoral vote.  And it would also give Romney at least 1 electoral vote from a region of the country that Romney has been all but written off in.

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Romney Increases Lead in White House 2012 Electoral College Projection

   Bookmark and Share In what is now a verifiable trend, White House 2012’s newest Electoral College projection has increased the size of Mitt Romney’s lead in the Electoral College over President Obama for the third time in a row.  In the previous projection, after forecasting Ohio for Romney for the first time, New Hampshire and Nevada where switched from Romney to Obama.  This latest forecast now places both of those states back in Mitt Romney’s column, increasing Romney’s lead in the Electoral College by a combined total of 10 electors.  This now puts Romney’s Electoral College count at 291 to the President’s 247.

According to the White House 2012 formula, Nevada and New Hampshire are still very competitive and not solidly in Romney’s camp.  The same goes for Iowa and Ohio where WH12 considers the Romney-Ryan ticket to be currently holding a slim but still growing lead. But the most significant development in the latest forecast model is that the apparent bounce Romney received in the wake of his first debate, is now proving to be a definite trend.  More importantly, it is a trend that is revealing itself to be so pronounced that it has forced White House 2012 to now add three more states to our battleground map… Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

That is a dramatic development. Especially in the case of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is to Barack Obama what Ohio is to Mitt Romney.  Without Pennsylvania solidly in the Obama-Biden column, the Democrat ticket finds itself with significantly fewer paths to victory in the Electoral College.  This is a switch from the narrative that had defined Romney’s need to win Ohio.  No Republican has ever won the White House without it.   If Romney can’t win Ohio, he will find significantly fewer ways to accumulate the 270 electors needed to win.  White House 2012 has however stipulated that we are sure Romney can win without Ohio and in fact originally projected him to do so.  But recently polling and other factors have now turned the tables and are forcing the President to have to focus us on his m.

While White House 2012 still projects Pennsylvania to go for the President, if current trends continue, that can quickly change.  In the meantime White House 2012 is forced to now make Pennsylvania a battleground state and in what is turning out to be continued trend that is putting the President’s campaign in a more defensive posture when it comes to the electoral map, White House 2012 has also moved Wisconsin and Michigan to battleground status.

Of these three new battlegrounds, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are most profound.

Without them, President Obama must win Ohio and various combinations of other states that include such states as Florida, Virginia, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and/or Colorado.

While many factors will continue to change future projections, the analysis behind this forecast is most notable for the conclusion that at the moment, the Romney-Ryan ticket is turning the tables in the Electoral College and forcing the Obama-Biden ticket to take a more defensive electoral strategy.  It is forcing the Obama campaign to spend time and much needed resources and money in state’s that at this point in time, they had hoped were in the bag.  Meanwhile, the need to reinforce his standing in places like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and even Michigan, is taking time and money away from President Obama’s ability to work on winning other important states like Ohio, Florida, Virginia, New Hampshire, Nevada, Iowa, and Colorado.

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