AMERICA MAY KNOW ITS NEW LEADER BY 6 P.M. PACIFIC
election'08: the race to clean the place
If you can't be home watching Wolf Blitzer in front of the CNN's large Situation Room screen, here's how the election may go down when the polls begin to close starting with Indiana and parts of Eastern Kentucky at 3 p.m. pacific.
3 p.m. Sen. John McCain should jump out to a quick 19 electoral vote lead with a hard-fought victory in Indiana and an easy win in Kentucky. If, for some reason, Indiana switches to Sen. Barack Obama, the election is over. The networks would also delay calling the Hoosier State until later in the hour or more. McCain leads 19-0.
4 p.m. With wins in Georgia, South Carolina McCain will extend his lead, but ominous sign of his eventually demise will creep with a bitter loss in Virginia and an easy win for Obama in Vermont. McCain leads 42-16.
4:30 p.m. North Carolina and West Virginia go to McCain. Polls also close in the battleground state of Ohio, but, again the networks will hold off calling a likely win for Obama until after five just in case. McCain leads 62-36.
5 p.m. Twenty states begin counting votes as primetime hits the East Coast. The election may well be decided during this hour or, at least, Obama could clinch the presidency with sure-fire large blue states remaining to be won. Florida, Pennsylvania and Missouri could be called within this hour. The combination of Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio earlier will likely knock all the air out of any possibility of a McCain presidency. The bellweather Show Me State of Missouri may go to McCain without consequence. Obama leads 177-152.
5:30 p.m. Bill Clinton casts his vote reluctantly for Obama as Arkansas goes to McCain (I know he votes in New York). Obama leads 177-158.
6 p.m. While Obama has not reached the requisite 270 to become president-elect, the writing is definitely on the wall. With McCain roughly 118 electoral votes shy of 270 and large can't-miss states remaining such as New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the big mama--California--McCain is seeking far more than a miracle. Obama leads 246-185.
7 p.m. The state where it all began, Iowa, closes polls for Obama. Utah and Idaho easily go for McCain, while Montana shows signs of turning blue for Democrats in the future, but, today goes McCain's way. Nevada by way of an influx of Latinos and Californians goes blue. Obama leads 258-197.
8 p.m. Officially, the presidency will be won in the West as California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii go to Obama. Obama becomes president-elect of the United States, 335-197.
9 p.m. Unofficially, the state where McCain's campaign ultimately derailed with the selection of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska sends its three electoral votes to McCain. Obama wins 335-20o.