Let me say off the bat that this is not going to be a nail biter. Hillary is going to end up with somewhere in the 320 electoral vote range. She’s actually going to do a little better than Obama did last time around.
Four years ago, I told everyone that it would all be over by 11:30 EST. The nervous among you didn’t believe me (and really, why would you?) but that’s fine. It was over a little before 11:30, and we didn’t even care how Florida voted. This time around, I can’t tell you what time the official call will be made.
But I can tell you when and why you can or should start drinking.
Once Pennsylvania is called for Hillary, you can start by pouring yourselves a glass of pre champagne bubbly (I recommend prosecco). It’s not a done deal at that point, but losing Pennsylvania means that Trump’s chances of pulling this off are so small that he can hold it in his tiny little baby hands.
Now if New Hampshire is called for Hillary (I believe with about 70% certainty that it will), you can start to eye the Veuve Clicquot you have waiting to celebrate with.
Trump is going to win Ohio. Do not panic, unless he also takes New Hampshire. At this point, you might want to take a small shot of whiskey or tequila to numb yourself, just a little.
If North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania are all called for Hillary, you can turn off your TV, open a magnum of Veuve and let the celebration begin because it will be over. O.V.A.H. So over, that she’s going to exceed my 320ish electoral vote prediction.
If Trump takes North Carolina in addition to Pennsylvania, you might need to increase the numbing dosage of your tequila or whiskey, but know that he still has a hard road ahead of him.
So to recap the key bellwethers on the east coast and what they mean:
PA, NC, NH for Hillary = election is done and she’s going to be the next president.
NC, NH for Trump – it’s going to be a long night and he’s still not likely to win, but there’s a chance it could happen.
If a minor miracle happens and Florida manages to count its votes in a timely manner (you know, like every other first world country does) and it’s called for Trump, it’s time to take three more shots of your numbing agent and also start foraging for Xanax. I will be pulling out a defibrillator to get the sinus rhythm back into my heart.
But I’m very certain that won’t happen.
I’m not going to go state by state, but if Trump wins North Carolina and New Hampshire, we’re all going to have to wait until Colorado is called to breathe a sigh of relief because that’s where she will have gotten to the 270 she needs. Trump will have to sweep virtually all of the tossup (Michigan, Maine, Virginia, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona) states to win. That’s just not going to happen.
I don’t think it’s going to get as far as the western states, but if it does, Colorado is the end of the road for Trump.
So everyone stay calm. This isn’t all going to go horribly wrong on us. I was very concerned about the transit union workers’ strike in Pennsylvania but now that it’s over, I’m positive we’re going to be just fine.
Tonight, we celebrate the fact that we managed to save the republic from cinnamon Hitler. Tomorrow, we begin the process of pushing Hillary to the left and keeping her honest about some of the promises she made to stave off Bernie’s very real primary threat. We didn’t get Bernie, the way some of us wanted, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t make sure that Hillary feels the Bern for the next four years.