10.48pm. Oregon Senate race still close: Republican incumbent Gordon Smith leads Democrat Jeff Merkley 47.7 per cent to 46.7 per cent with 74 per cent of precincts reporting. Coleman now leads Franken by 676 votes (0.02 per cent) with 99.9 per cent reporting.
9.25pm. An extra 0.3 per cent of precincts in Minnesota have widened Coleman’s lead to 2591.
8.45pm. Norm Coleman back ahead of Franken in Minnesota – by 490 votes, with 98.7 per cent reporting.
7.54pm. Al Franken seizes a late lead for the Minnesota Senate (188,073 to 185,786) with 98 per cent reporting.
7.45pm. All precincts reporting from Missouri, and McCain leads 1,442,577 to 1,436,724. Possum writes in comments that there are not enough contested votes to cover the gap.
6.29pm. MSNBC calls Indiana for Obama. Only Missouri and North Carolina still outstanding.
6.26pm. Missouri has gone right back down to the wire with 0.7 per cent still to report: McCain 1,426,779, Obama 1,426,381.
6.06pm. With all precincts reporting, Obama leads in North Carolina by 12,160 votes out of over 4.2 million (0.2 per cent cent).
5.57pm. Earlier chat suggested Republican Senator Ted Stevens was dead meat in Alaska, but he leads 49.4-45.4 with 37 per cent reporting. Partial counts can be misleading though.
5.50pm. Back to lineball in Minnesota Senate. Analyst on Fox News says outstanding precincts are likely to favour Republican incumbent Norm Coleman over Al Franken.
5.16pm. McCain hanging on to his slender lead in Missouri, which is looming as my only wrong call.
5.11pm. McCain now ahead in Montana.
5.00pm. Al Franken continuing to fade in Minnesota Senate – probably gone now.
4.46pm. Obama’s lead in Montana rapidly evaporating as the count proceeds to 51 per cent.
4.36pm. Ohio still quite tight: Obama leads 50.0-48.4 with 72 per cent reporting.
4.31pm. Oregon Senate race has tightened up considerably: within 1 per cent now.
4.11pm. My reading of the Senate: Democrats to gain seven Senate seats – Colorado, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Virginia, Oregon, North Carolina and Alaska (no actual votes yet from the latter) – or eight if Al Franken wins Minnesota, where he trails by 0.8 per cent with 53 per cent counted.
4.09pm. Norm Coleman now leads Al Franken by 0.8 per cent for Minnesota Senate.
4.07pm. Obama now with a relatively handy 0.6 per cent lead in North Carolina.
3.55pm. Obama back in front in North Carolina, but not going to win Missouri. I’ve only just noticed he’s looking a surprise winner in Montana, although with only 24 per cent counted.
3.32pm. Correct me if I’m wrong here somebody, but the Democrats stand to gain seven Senate seats – Colorado, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Virginia, Oregon, North Carolina and Alaska – eight if Al Franken wins Minnesota.
3.17pm. McCain concedes defeat.
3.14pm. Close as close can be between Norm Coleman and Al Franken for Minnesota Senate.
3.10pm. Fox reports Roger Wicker holds Mississippi Senate seat for the Republicans, ending the chances of a Democrat supermajority.
2.59pm. CNN calls the election for Obama.
2.58pm. Obama takes the lead in Indiana.
2.54pm. McCain strengthening in North Carolina and Missouri.
2.51pm. Fox reports Virginia went 60-39 to McCain among white voters, but 92-8 among black voters.
2.42pm. McCain’s lead has vanished in Missouri: now 49.4-49.3.
2.41pm. Franken in fact leads Republican incumbent Norm Coleman 43-40.
2.40pm. Fox calls Virginia for Obama. Al Franken reportedly looking good for Minnesota Senate.
2.37pm. Obama leads in New Mexico 50.1-48.7 with less than half of dominant Bernalillo County reporting, where Obama is leading 57.3-41.5.
2.33pm. Crikey blog commenter Stuart: “Wilson and Franklin in North Carolina unreported. Wilson =44000 people total, 47% black. Franklin 2000 in total people 95% white. Looking good for O.”
2.32pm. McCain now narrowly ahead in North Carolina.
2.20pm. McCain leads by 12,839 in Indiana, but extrapolating unreported precincts from Lake County suggests Obama stands to gain over 22,000 votes.
2.18pm. Still tight in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, but Obama has a handy lead in each case with most precincts reporting. North Carolina his weakest of the three.
2.16pm. Missouri bouncing around the place, but McCain’s lead currently at 2.6 per cent.
2.12pm. McCain’s lead in Missouri reflating.
2.04pm. McCain’s lead in Missouri is narrowing.
2.01pm. Obama narrowly ahead in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia (in ascending order of narrowness).
1.59pm. Fox calls Iowa for Obama.
1.58pm. Obama takes the lead in Virginia.
1.50pm. Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight calls the election for Obama.
1.47pm. CNN calls New Mexico for Obama.
1.33pm. Gap continues to close in Virginia, Obama now only 0.5 per cent behind.
1.25pm. McCain fairly well ahead in Missouri, but nobody’s calling it yet.
1.21pm. Discussion of Indiana on Fox: “central city plus rich suburbs” emerging as the “Obama alliance”, but rural areas holding relatively well for McCain.
1.17pm. Fox calls Ohio for Obama.
1.09pm. Nate Silver: “MSNBC and Fox call Georgia for McCain.”
1.00pm. Fox calls North Dakota for McCain.
12.46pm. Nate Silver on Virginia: “Obama is outperforming Kerry by a 12-15 point net in the Eastern half of the Virginia. In the Western half, he’s not performing much better than Kerry and is actually underperfoming him in some counties. I think that equation works out favorably for Obama on balance, though Virginia will be fairly close.”
12.28pm. Heavily populated Florida counties Orange and Polk are swinging double digits to Obama, blowing away those weaker rural results I was mentioning earlier.
12.12pm. Possum says: “PA has gone Dem, VA has gone Dem – election over”. Adam Carr says: “It’s true that the FL panhandle hasn’t reported yet, but Obama is leading in Orlando and St Petersburg, which are GOP towns. You’d think he’ll win FL from here. Note also Obama’s 75% in Broward – the Jews stuck with Obama despite Lieberman’s defection.”
12.08pm. Discussing Virginia on CNN, confirming the impression that early reporting precincts are rural and we haven’t seen any black areas in the big cities come in. I’m only seeing slight swings to the Democrats in the rural areas.
11.53am. Swings I’m seeing in Florida are also below par: 4.0 per cent in Lake, 2.4 per cent in Manatee, 4.1 per cent in Pinellas. He needs 5.0 per cent.
11.45am. Another substantially reporting Virginia county, Augusta, swinging inadequately to Obama by 5.7 per cent. However, the cities and DC outskirts might tell a different story.
11.37am. Culpeper and Amherst counties in Viriginia swinging 5.1 and 1.8 per cent, against required swing of 8.3 per cent.
11.33am. Manatee County in Florida swinging 2.4 per cent to Democrat – statewide margin is 5.0 per cent.
11.26am. Double digit swings in more counties in Indiana (Clinton, Fayette), but Obama needs 20 per cent across the state.
11.21am. Chesterfield County in Virginia swings 8.9 per cent to Democrat with 94 per cent reporting – the statewide margin in 2004 was 8.2 per cent.
11.09am. Reasonably consistent swings in rural counties in Indiana of around 10 per cent – good, but well short of what Obama would need to win the state if consistent.
10.58am. Swing in Steuben County, Indiana with 68 per cent of precincts reporting is 8.9 per cent: well short of the 20 per cent needed to win the state.
10.52am. 69 per cent of precincts reporting in Vigo County, Indiana – Obama leads by 16 per cent. Bush carried it by 6.4 per cent in 2004 (I’ll be double-posting here on special occasions).
10am. Further efforts will be concentrated above.
4am AEDT. Rain and gusty winds in North Carolina, with rain extending into Virginia. Storms through the north-west, bringing snow to Nevada and Colorado. Weather otherwise very good: fine and warm in Florida and throughout the south, fine and mild through the north-east to the mid-west. You’ll next hear from me at around 9.30am AEDT.
Author: William Bowe
William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics. View all posts by William Bowe