Election Day: 10:31pm

The continued lack of calls from all battleground states, and a couple supposedly secure states, is a very bad sign for Clinton. Ohio was called for Trump but that wasn’t really a battleground state after the Comey letter. It’s beginning to look like Clinton will be losing at least one state she was supposed to win. Maybe Wisconsin, Michigan, or Minnesota. Maybe Colorado. Her path to the White House is turning more precarious with every minute that goes by. Incredulity grows alongside. The massive turnout for Trump is confirming the existence of a country that so many of us did not, or chose not, to believe in. Even if Clinton manages to squeak out a victory tonight, the dread will not leave any time soon.

Virginia was just called for Clinton.

Election Day: 9:47pm

It might be time for America to begin girding itself for bad news. None of the battleground states have been called so far, and all of them are very, very close. A race that was in no doubt just a couple of weeks ago now appears to be a tossup. Or not. Just one call going Clinton’s way will end the drama. Ohio, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina. One of those goes Clinton and this massive tension evaporates. Florida is currently creeping away from Clinton, and Michigan is showing signs of going Clinton. The Detroit Free Press called Michigan for Clinton, but no one else is taking that leap.

This is a much more nervous early phase of the election than it should be.

Election Day: 9:26pm

I was just trying to think of the thing I dislike the most about Donald Trump, and I couldn’t pick just one thing. But, I’ve never been comfortable with the man. I remember when he first got famous back in the 1980s. He was always associated with sleaze and greed. Those were his two defining characteristics. He owned casinos and had mistresses. He was a prime, grade-A shithead, from day one to election day.

North Carolina, Ohio, and Florida keep see-sawing back and forth, causing much consternation on the internet and in my notifications. Those three states don’t bother me nearly as much as Michigan. Hillary can lose Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina and still squeak by, but Michigan is an essential state to keep. It’s turning out that Trump motivated more Republican voters to turn out than expected. His support is quite impressive for someone who has been condemned so consistently by the members of his party who are not craven.

I had thought for a while that when push came to shove, GOP voters just couldn’t bring themselves to pull the lever for Clinton, no matter how much they hate Trump. They would get in that booth, and months of declarations and decisions would melt away as they did their duty as good Republicans and voted for Trump.

There’s that old line, “Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line.” That’s not hyperbole. The Republican Party’s strength has always been enforcing discipline among the coalitions and the voters. Of course GOP voters would come home in droves when it came time to vote. They’re like trained dogs.

Election Day: 9:07pm

No battleground states have been called yet, so the election has entered a weird sort of stasis. Friends, alternately worried or appeased, have been texting. How should we feel? Who is really winning? As to who is winning, neither of them is, yet. As to how to feel? Try not to feel anything until the call is made.

There are some worrying signs coming out of Michigan. It would be very bad for Clinton if she loses Michigan.

Election Day: 8:31pm

Chuck Todd, lord help me, just brought up an interesting point. If our method of electing a president is confusing to foreigners when you try to explain it to them, maybe it should be changed. He’s right. The Electoral College is a poor leftover from a time when only landholding men could vote, and when it took George Washington the same amount of time to travel 100 miles as it took Julius Caesar. The Electoral College has been the source of the most egregious violations of the will of the American electorate. The time when the president should be elected by direct popular vote is long past. Any concerns that candidates would focus too much on urban issues is belied by the fact that America’s largest cities equal a far smaller percentage of the population than would be needed to win an election.

As it exists, right now, the majority of votes that are cast in this country today will have little effect on the outcome, because they were cast in states whose electoral votes were not in doubt. Doing away with the Electoral College would make a Republican vote in New York, and a Democratic vote in Utah, matter.

The House was just called for the GOP, which is no surprise. That chamber has been gerrymandered to death. There will be no Democratic majority in the House until either demographic changes make it inevitable, or the courts call bullshit on the gerrymandering.

Election Day: 7:58pm

Over in the Senate, Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, has fended off a challenge from former governor Ted Strickland. Strickland was a decent governor, taking over from a GOP administration that was on the wrong side of the law on multiple occasions, but he was blindsided by the tea party movement. He was a true casualty of Obama hate.

Pat Leahy wins reelection in Vermont, as he was always going to. Besides being the Batman franchise’s best guest star, he’s also popular back home. He can keep that seat for as long as he wishes.

Rand Paul won reelection, as well. I dismissed his chances at being more than a one-term senator back in 2010, because he was such an uncompromising libertarian. Senators who spend their terms in conflict with just about everyone in the chamber tend to not get reelected. But, despite Paul’s refusal to support just about anything the government does, ever, he got the trust of enough Kentucky voters to win another term.

Florida, believe it or not, is counting its votes quickly. They’ve already reported results from 17% of districts. Back in 2012, Florida couldn’t be bothered with reporting its results before 11pm. Thank goodness our most schizophrenic state is showing some stability. Otherwise this night could be unnecessarily lengthy.

Election Day: 7:35pm

Trump wins West Virginia. No surprise, there. West Virginia used to be reliably Democratic because of the presence of the mining unions. But those jobs have been gutted by changing extraction processes. Much of West Virginia is isolated by geography. It’s always been socially conservative and the unions exercised influence that outweighed what the population really desired. West Virginia is the prime example of the devastation wrought by America’s transition from the Industrial Revolution to the Information Age when communities are unprepared. Such is life.

Election Day: 7:27pm

Ohio and North Carolina are about to close. In my picks column, I wrote that Ohio is probably out of reach for Clinton. It’s so disappointing to me, personally. I haven’t lived in Ohio since 1999, but I still have strong social and familial connections to the state.

North Carolina going Trump would be a fairly significant blow to Clinton’s night. It, and New Hampshire, going for Trump would basically require a Clinton win in Florida to stop Trump from winning. That’s why NBC’s reporting on Hispanic turnout in Florida is significant. An extra 4 million Hispanic voters could represent a net gain of 2.5 to 3 million voted for Clinton. Fingers crossed.