Election Night 2016

5:25 PM

25th Floor. The sun’s gone down across the sound. It’s a warm evening, no jacket on the balcony. Cars are jammed up and down Denny Way and 99.

FL is tight. Fuck Florida. It’ll go on till the wee hours, if not later this week, deciding how to count votes. If Florida goes Clinton, this is over, and we can all go imbibe large amounts of drugs and alcohol and erase 2016 from our memories. It’ll go Trump, and we’ll stay away from the good stuff for a while longer.

5:35 PM

Matt Taibbi sounds tired.


We’ve moved down to the 7th floor party. The standard midwest state exit polls are coming through now in a pile of red cards. CNN considers ambiguity as breaking news these days. There’s more work in the presentation of news than actual journalism. I’d like to get a job paying large sums of cash to put up my notes from 24 hours ago as “Breaking News” at 6:00PM prime time election night coverage.


I’d like to see poll numbers vs. actual results. I want FiveThirtyEight to provide this to me in some measurable numbers. I should probably do that myself.

With Trump’s states, the probabilities of a Trump win are going up, and the markets are going down. Money doesn’t like these outsiders. Is it the instability? The predictability?

When I see WI red, I have a visceral reaction. I have to then explain to folks why it’s just measuring the current numbers, not probability or called state status. Living in WI, and doing my best election night work in 2008 from a basement compound in WI, I have a love and loathing with my longtime home.

And next door MI is looking close. From Carl Bialik:

The New York Times’s live forecast, which takes into account where the votes are coming from, is now giving Clinton just a 54 percent chance of winning the state and a 58 percent chance of winning the election overall.

I worry for my friends back in WI. They’ve got Feingold, had Ed Thomspon, strange and notorious folk, and used to have a fierce independence. They know good beer, music, and the power of neighborhood friendship. When I see Scott Walker usurp that good will towards a national bend, I see good folks turn sour towards their local butcher or gas station clerk. These long, local friendships are so fragile. When we charge the air around our friendships to pick a side, we feel this need to justify our friendships instead of accepting them as the higher power. We forsake our friends to appease our rational bent.



Clinton is leading by only a percentage point in Wayne County, Michigan. That’s a county Obama won by 48 percentage points. Either that result is wrong, a lot of the vote in Detroit (which is in Wayne County) is out, or the map is looking very different than it used to.

6:42 PM

Obama took Grand Rapids, and Clinton isn’t. MI is rural, like WI, and she needs MI.

7:03 PM

Dow Futures are down 500 points.

7:21 PM

The flatline we’re detecting now is absolute. Multiple states are on edge. What we considered safe is clearly not. The reality we face now is that Trump is entitled to a recount; he’ll legitimize his anti-democratic rhetoric.

8:01 PM

WI, MI, and PA are Clinton’s problems right now. We’re literally counting county by county percentages multiplied by current exit poll numbers, and extrapolating possible outcomes. If we had CNN’s money, we’d be a lot more accurate. CNN’s spending its money on the thrill ride; whether we wanted to buy the ticket or not, we’re all strapped in.

 8:05 PM

NC is called for Trump somewhere out of earshot. That’s one of those states that give Hillary options, and one more option is off the table.

 8:16 PM

NV, WI, MI, PA are now the main road for Clinton. NH and ME2 are still in play, but losing NV means NH/ME2 result in a tie. These aren’t good options.

 8:26 PM


8:38 PM

Most of the champaign has already been drunk. The rumble of confusion, hysteria, and yelling is broken by the next cork being popped off. At least for me, there’s comfort of both TVs are playing different channels, the volume of analysis competing for headroom.

There’s a big burst of cheer as WA goes to Clinton. It’s clear that this crowd is grasping for what little Good News comes through the pipe.

County by county. Handfuls of votes. Thousands, hundreds. If there’s a silver lining, perhaps it’s that this election more than any other in the last 20 years has pointed out the power of a given vote in states once thought stable and safe. It’s easy to throw back a few facebook comments, feel comfortable, and sleep soundly on a bed of years of predictions. But that ain’t today.

It’s hard not to see a cosmic connection between forsaking WI six years ago and WI losing this election. A grand play for retribution and loss. My safe house in the Pacific Northwest mountains and sound, many places to hide, many places to escape…

9:50 PM

Hubba hubba hubba, money money money, who you gonna trust?

10:22 PM 

Washtenaw County, MI. Dane County, WI. Someplace around 50,000 votes in each of those counties. Fractions of fractions, slivers, edges, the minutiae of detail left tonight. These are the mechanics that belie the harder reality that we have to wake up to tomorrow. It’ll rain in Seattle tomorrow. My son will still have his cold. Little pieces of lives that make up votes that elect someone who directs the course of humanity on the one planet we can inhabit.

11:00 PM

The Associated Press has called Pennsylvania for Trump.

11:01 PM

There’s a dark side to hope.

11:15 PM

The window is mostly black. It’s late. There’s lights on outside, across the distance to the other high rise buildings, some with TVs flickering, others with Christmas lights with a low, quiet look. Some large with details into their lives, others small and insignificant. Some bright. Some dim.

This is America, then, in Seattle WA, in the dark year of our lord two thousand and sixteen.

One thin line above the skyline atop Columbia Tower glows red. It winks a salacious nod to the evening past and stands tall, looking east towards the gray light that rises early tomorrow. As the world goes to sleep forsaking any result, we know what the lawyers will find in the dark corners of designated human interaction. Quick; it will be while we hit snooze. Results will come with even more distance than tonight; we’ll have forgotten that we voted. We’ll reel from news that feels old and wrong, as if it was from another age and another people.

We will have a new leader tomorrow. This will be the person we’ve placed above all others.

Many of us will ignore this, some will pretend it’s not true. We will do this because it is so inconvenient to do something about it. We’ll pretend we did, and we’ll watch the world burn in the comfort of our own blissful ignorance of how the world really works. We’ll take refuge until our daughters are lost and our partners disappeared and all we have left is the comfort of our own nonexistence.

It’s dark outside. The party is getting loud, rough, violent. Clinton won’t speak tonight. The lawyers will get to work. The few counties left have gone dark. People will wake up tomorrow to work the fields and shops and factories. The planet will hum with mechanics and production. It will burn, fuel, bark smoke into the thin atmosphere. Money will exchange hands. In places we don’t think about, weapons will fire into the soft tissue of brothers, fathers, mothers. The faithful bullets will have imprinted on them the pride of quiet, midwest jobs. We will be proud. We will praise.

The debt is tallied, contained and owned.

WI is called for Trump, the death knell my once and longtime home. The home of my loved ones, my friends, my family.

I find hope in music, in art, in my son, and in knowing these things will be my testament, will, and my tomorrow.

– Dave

Celebrating Low Black Turnout in North Carolina

From FiveThirtyEight’s CLARE MALONE on North Carolina

But Republicans in the state are heartened by the lower turnout thus far. The state party sent out a release trumpeting what it called the “crumbling” Obama coalition, specifically pointing out the decline in the black vote:

African American Early Voting is down 8.5 percent from this time in 2012.

Caucasian voters early voting is up 22.5 percent from this time in 2012.

As a share of Early Voters, African Americans are down 6.0 percent, (2012: 28.9 percent, 2016: 22.9 percent) and Caucasians are up 4.2 percent, (2012: 65.8 percent, 2016: 70.0 percent).


24 Hours from now.

Let me share some raw notes.

General assumptions: states that go RED: IA, OH, GA, AZ, NE, ME2.

If these states go RED

PA + NC must, Or OH (unlikely)
Still need NV or NH
PA + NH + MI
FL or NC or OH
PA (panic)
Need MI + NC + NV
Need OH + NH + MI + NC + NV
PA is a must, MI or OH
In theory could be offset by NC
but would still need MI or OH
ME (right?!)
NH or NV must
NV or NC must
if ME goes blue results in a tie. And if FL hasn’t been called, we wait around for a recount.

If these states go BLUE

If MI + OH + FL are RED, still need NV or NH
Otherwise, it’s over
Still need PA + MI
If OH + FL are RED: NV or NH
If MI is RED: panic, need NC + (NV or NH)
PA (It’s not over yet.)
Still need MI or (NC + (NH or NV))
Can lose NH, but so what? Doesn’t make up for losing PA or MI.
OH (likely means win)
Still need PA, though.
W/O PA, would need MI + (NV or NC or NH)
can lose MI + FL + NC + NV + NH
FL or OH
It’s over
interesting, but still need MI or NC
weird and interesting, but only 6 EV

As it stands right now, I’m giving Trump FL and OH, and Clinton CO. That means PA and MI are a must for Clinton, as well as NH or NV. This is not nearly as neat and clear as 2012 for Clinton.

What’s up for some good ol’ speculation is how much the relatively large amount of undecideds will fuck with the polls, and how much the low popularity of both candidates have driven voters to stay home or vote third party.

I’m going to save the flame thrower and vice for tomorrow; I’m listening to David Bowie’s Blackstar and just don’t have it in me tonight. Trump’s a mean fucker, and this is a mean country. DST has come, and dark doesn’t begin to cover it here in Seattle these days.