Tag Archives: New Hampshire

Election Night 2016 — What to Look For (Part Three)

animated flag glitterAs evening turns into night in the Eastern and Central time zones, the pace picks up.  For whatever reason, 8:00 p.m. is a popular time for states in the Eastern time zone to close their polls as is 7:00 p.m. in the Central time zone.  As discussed in part two, lines at the polls means that the networks typically only have enough results to call races if the races are not close.  Most of the states that will be called by 8:00 p.m. are not the races that will decide the election.  Because most of the polls will have been closed for two hours, there is a good chance that the Indiana senate race may be called by 8:00 p.m.  There is some chance that Georgia (an at-risk state that Trump needs to win) or Virginia (an at-risk state that Clinton needs to win) will be called before 8:00 p.m.  Sixteen states will close their polls at 8:00 p.m. as will the polls in part of several other states.  While the results from the early states give some clues about the shape of the race, the shape of the race will become much clearer when the returns from these states start to come in.

8:00 p.m. (EST) — The remainder of the polls close in Florida.  The polls close in Alabama, Connecticut, D.C., Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.  The polls close in the eastern part of Michigan, Kansas, South Dakota, and Texas.  Several of these states should have quick calls for president, but several states are key states for the outcome of this election.  (Assuming that none of the “close” states from early are called by 8:15 p.m., the projected electoral vote should be approximately 76 for Trump and 55 for Clinton.)

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Iowa Post-mortem: The Good, the Bad, and the Gone

While the parties did not have much choice about including Iowa and New Hampshire in the window of early states, the theory behind the early states is that all four are small enough and different enough to help narrow the field.   While winning is nice, the real goals of the campaigns are:  1) to seem viable enough that supporters (both voters and donors) don’t go looking elsewhere; and 2) to meet targets for delegates.  Candidates who are unable to show signs of life quickly find that their campaigns have no life.

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Last Second Decisions

One of the thing that makes it difficult to forecast primaries (as opposed to general elections) is that people tend to make last second decisions.  This problem is not because primary voters are more indecisive than general election voters, but mostly because they have more choices.  In the general, 96% of the voters know well in advance whether they will be voting Republican or Democrat.  In a primary, voters have to choose which Republican or which Democrat will best represent them and their party in the general election.  That choice involves every voter deciding what is more important — pragmatism or ideology.

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The Road out of Iowa

In less than four days, voters in Iowa will head to some location in their precincts and cast the first official votes of the 2016 presidential campaign.  Both because of its small size and because of the unique compositions of the respective parties in Iowa (compared to the national parties), winning in Iowa is not essential to winning either party’s nomination.  What does matter is how Iowa sets up the rest of the race.

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