YOUR GUIDE TO THE EARLY SIGNALS ON ELECTION NIGHT 2016:
Polling places don’t close until 9 p.m. in New York, but we may have signals about the overall direction of the Election Night results around the country even before New York is called.
The polling places close in Indiana at 6 p.m. There is little doubt about the presidential race. Indiana votes frequently for Republican presidential candidates, and Donald Trump has had a comfortable lead in the polls. But all eyes are focused on the U.S. Senate race, where a Republican is retiring and the Democrats brought a popular former Senator out of retirement to run for the seat. It is one of the seats critical to Democratic chances at taking control of the Senate.
Most voting ends in New Hampshire at 7 p.m. The presidential race is very close, and a win by Trump could be a sign of a swing for Trump around the country. It is one of the states thought to be part of Hillary Clinton’s “firewall” of somewhat close, but seemingly safe, states. A Trump win could mean he is very close to winning the election. The Senate race is also very close. If Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte loses to Democrat Maggie Hassan, the Democrats will be very close to a Senate majority. A win by Ayotte could signal the Republican majority is safe.
The polling places close in Georgia at 7 p.m. A win by Hillary Clinton in a traditionally-Republican leaning state would nearly close the door on Trump’s already narrow path to victory. Democrats are encouraged by polls showing a close race.
The polling places close in Florida at 7 p.m. and in Ohio and North Carolina at 7:30 p.m. An early call for Clinton in any of those three effectively closes the door on Donald Trump’s chances at winning the White House. All three are critical elements in Trump’s campaign math. And all three states have hard-fought Senate races with Republican incumbents. Republican Rob Portman appears to be safe in Ohio and Marco Rubio appears to be safe in Florida, but a loss by either – or by Richard Burr in the very close North Carolina race -- would give a lift to Democrats’ chances of winning a Senate majority.
Pennsylvania polling places close at 8. It’s a state that Republicans would love to win. It’s the biggest state in the Clinton “firewall” and if it goes Trump, Clinton will be in big trouble nationwide. Polls show Republican Senate incumbent Pat Toomey is slightly behind in the Senate race. A Democratic pickup by Katie McGinty would get the Democrats very close to a Senate majority.
Around mid-evening, Donald Trump may be leading Hillary Clinton in the national popular vote. But that might not mean much. Polls close in Clinton’s strongest big states, including California, later in the evening.
ELECTION NIGHT COVERAGE BEGINS AT 6 PM ON NEWSRADIO WHAM1180. CONTINUOUS COVERAGE FROM NBC NEWS RADIO FROM 6 UNTIL 8 PM, FOLLOWED BY LIVE LOCAL COVERAGE AT 8 PM. BOB LONSBERRY WILL HOST OUR COVERAGE, AND WILL BE JOINED BY ANALYST ROBERT SCOTT GADDY, DEANNA KING, AND THE NEWSRADIO WHAM1180 NEWSTEAM; PLUS UPDATES ON THE NATIONAL STORIES FROM CBS RADIO NEWS,