How Late Will We have to stay up Election Night?

I am on the east coast. Polls here close at about nine, I suppose, with some variation based on state. It seems that the states that are both big and close (Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, and to a lesser extent Virginia) will all close at about the same time I guess.

If the election is close in those states, about what time will we be able to declare someone the winner in these states? If the election breaks more or less along the electoral college lines we now see, how soon will we know who has won the White House?

Unless Obama has a landslide (which is not out of the question), you’ll probably have to wait until at least some of the mountain states have decided, such as Colorado and New Mexico. They close at 9 pm Eastern, but it may take some time after that before a winner in those states is declared, depending on how close they are.

And then, it depends on whether you want to go to bed when YOU know who the president is going to be or when they actually declare the winner. The latter will happen when they declare the winner in enough states to put him over the 270 electoral vote limit, and if that’s Obama it definitely won’t happen before the polls close in California at 11 pm Eastern.


We did this exact thread just a few weeks ago.

The only factual answer is “nobody knows.”

Three states were too close to call in 2000, and Florida obviously wasn’t known for weeks.

Either that will happen or it won’t. Either the states too close to call will decide the election or they won’t.

If there are no close states and the election isn’t close and all the states report properly then expect to see an answer when California closes, which is I think at 11:00 EST.

If anything spoils perfection, then any time might be the answer.

Really? Sorry.

I will them to midnight my time.

Those of us in Charlotte (and, I’m sure, plenty of other places) weren’t even served well in 2000 by deciding to go to bed and let the newspaper tell us in the morning. I still wish I’d saved that paper.

Here it is.


Man, I didn’t sleep for a couple of months back in 2000. :wink: