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’s Rosy But Bumpy Road To Victory

   Bookmark and Share  According to most of the latest data made available to the public through the mainstream media, there is no denying that President Obama holds an upper hand in his reelection effort. In fact, according to most pundits, pollsters, and network political prognosticators, President Obama is almost certain to be reelected.  However, given a number of factors including the depth and duration of our dire economic condition, a proliferation of polls that are based on a 2008 voter turnout model which overestimates the enthusiasm that exists for President Obama in 2012, and a growing trend toward Mitt Romney among the critical independent voting bloc , I am not convinced that this election can be called for President Obama just yet.

It’s The Economy Stupid! Maybe?

As for the economy, now over 5 years since the recession began, over 25 million Americans remain unemployed or underemployed  and despite approximately $800 billion in Obama deficit spending meant to stimulate the economy, the government’s official but undercounted unemployment rate remains above 8.0%  for 43 consecutive months.  And at the same time, all other economic indicators remain so sluggish or stagnant that it is clear that our  job growth and overall economic growth fails to even keep pace with the existing population growth rate.  Yet regardless of these glaring facts, polls would have us believe that a majority of Americans do not hold this worst economy since the Great Depression against President  Obama.  It is a conclusion which I find hard to fathom.  Especially given that if reelected to another term, the only solution President Obama seems to be offering is more of the very same Keynesian, deficit spending mentality which has sustained and prolonged the worst economic recovery in American history.  Still though,  even with history as a guide, I can not state for sure that a majority of Americans will blame the poor economy on the President.  During the Great Depression, voters did not blame FDR for the very slow recovery he commanded over, but in 1980 angry voters did hold Jimmy Carter responsible for inflation, stagflation, unemployment, and the misery index which he presided over.

The optimist in me wants to believe that most Americans do believe that President Obama should be held accountable for his failing economic policies which seem to lack the ability to turn the economy around.  However, the pessimist in me fears that the socialist tendencies promoted for generations through FDR’s New Deal, LBJ’s Great Society, and now BHO’s blatant focus on the redistribution of wealth, have finally been accepted by a majority of Americans as the new norm… a norm that has a majority of Americans proudly dependent upon government.  It is a mentality demonstrated in the clip below.

If a majority of voters agree with that woman, then Barack Obama will be a two term President.  But I am not yet ready to believe that the views held by the slave to government in that video clip are the views held by most respectable and  learned American voters.

Slanted Polls and the Blatant Media Bias

The second area of doubt that I have regarding the certainty of a successful reelection effort by President Obama is based upon the polls and the interpretations of those polls being offered to voters by the mainstream media.

Now to be clear, I am convinced that most reputable polling outfits want to be accurate in their polls.  Although the current regime in Washington, D.C. finds the free market to be an enemy of the people, the free market still drives entrepreneurs, even the political entrepreneur who wishes to make a buck by gauging the sentiments of voters.  That stated, it behooves pollsters who want to be in demand in the future to get things right in the 2012 election.  So I cannot in good conscience totally discount all the current polls that are out there.  But I can and do disagree with the decision by most pollsters to rely on the 2008 turnout model which tends to overstate the strength of President Obama’s support.

I am of the opinion that in 2012, a more accurate turnout model to base this election on is the turnout seen in 2010.  I see little reason to believe that the massive anti-Obama sentiment which existed in the 2010 midterm elections does not continue to exist in 2012.  In my view even those voters who are not quite excited by Mitt Romney will still be coming out to cast their ballot for Mitt if for no other reason than to vote against President Obama.

Independent Voters

Combine those two factors with the lack of appropriate reporting regarding the fact that the all important independent vote seems to be breaking for Mitt Romney by as much as 14 to 20 percent and I believe that the Romney-Ryan ticket is on the verge of establishing an Election Day lead over  the Obama-Biden ticket.

While an undeniably polarized electorate consisting of the 94% of voters who are firmly planted on one side of the political and ideological spectrum or the other make it certain that states like California and New York will be voting for Obama while states like Missouri and Texas will be going for Romney, the six percent of the undecided independent voters in the middle will make all the difference in the remaining states that are toss-ups… particularly Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hamphire, Nevada, and Virginia.  If this pro-Romney trend among independent voters continues, and I believe it will, each of those states will cast their lot with the Romney-Ryan ticket.

The Results

I cautiously arrive at that conclusion through a combination of factors that include polling, reporting, and my own judgments and political instincts regarding all the available data that could and should be reasonably factored in the electoral equation.  At the moment though, even my own unique formula finds Mitt Romney at a disadvantage.   Using the Real Clear Politics average of polls in six of the seven current toss ups states, as a rule of thumb, I have adjusted for the overestimated Democrat turnout in the polls by giving Mitt Romney the benefit of the average margin of error in the Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Virginia.  In those six states, the average margin of error is 3.7%.   Ohio and North Carolina are also considered to be tossups  however, I believe North Carolina is a reliable state for Romney and that Ohio may be out of Romney’s reach at this point.  Therefore; I have taken both of those states out of the toss-up category.

According to my formula, the adjusted 3.7% margin for Mitt Romney would swing Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Virginia to Romney, giving him a total of 267 electoral votes.  At the moment though, President Obama holds an RCP average lead over Romney in Nevada that stands at 4.%.  That is 0.3% outside of the existing margin of error which I give to Romney.  Unless Romney closes the gap, President Obama would win Nevada and reelection to the presidency with a total of 271 electoral votes… one more than needed.  However, given the closeness of the race in  Nevada and the momentum Mitt Romney has among independent voters, I see the Golden State as being quite winnable for Romney.  If that is the case Romney will defeat President Obama in the race for President with 273 electoral votes to Obama’s 265 electoral votes.

The Problem(s) Produced By a Race That is Too Close For Comfort

As politically divided as Americans are in 2012, a very close election result is fraught with problems that could trigger historic constitutional measures into action and lead to a level of discourse not seen since the Bush v. Gore case in 2000.

Thanks to the already incredibly polarized electorate and the left’s continued desire to exact revenge for the Supreme Court decision that thew the election to George W. Bush in 2000, if the presidential election turns out to be as close as it seems to be, we could easily another case of a Republican winning the White House by losing the popular vote but winning the Electoral College vote.   The ensuing tensions from such a result could reignite a popular backlash that will lead to varying degrees of civil unrest that have the potential to linger on for at the very least, a few months and possibly spark a very real attempt to do away with the Electoral College… a cause that would consume the national agenda for quite some while.

With extraordinarily large pluralities being produced for President Obama in some of the most densely populated states in the nation, i.e.: California and New York, it is quite likely that much smaller pluralities for Romney from less populated states such as Montana, New Hampshire, Utah, and Wyoming, will not be enough for the Romney-Ryan ticket to overcome the total popular vote that the Obama-Biden ticket receives but could easily allow the Romney-Ryan ticket to reach the 270 votes required to win the presidency in the Electoral College.

Making matters worse, is the fact that if the election is actually as close as the above projection indicates, in  addition to Romney losing the popular vote but winning the election in the Electoral College, if each state goes the way I predict but New Hampshire happens to go for Barack Obama instead of Mitt Romney, there would be a 269 to 269 vote tie in the Electoral College and with both candidates 1 elector short of the 270 needed to win the presidency, the election would be forced into the House of Representatives.  In that event, thanks to a likely makeup of each state’s congressional delegation, Republicans would have control in at least 26 states, enough to assure a Romney victory.  A result that will please conservatives like myself but which will send liberals running through the streets screaming.

Those are just some of the situations that could drag this election out if it remains as close as current data indicates.

But there still remains the possibility that this election will not be as close as we are led to believe it is.

With less than five weeks remaining, I contend that Mitt Romney will surprise many with a well coordinated and highly targeted campaign that will have the ability to attract the type of heavy Republican turnout that we saw in 2010.  Of course being a presidential election year, the Democrat turnout will be much higher than it was in 2010 and that will compensate a bit for the wide gap that existed in 2010, it will not be enough to overcome the anti-Obama sentiment that I believe still exists.  So much so that Romney may even be able to actually make a run at winning a state like Wisconsin and possibly also avoid becoming the first Republican to win  the White House without Ohio.  Unfortunately I do not yet see Romney winning either of those states yet though.

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