Elec­tion Night in Amer­ica

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Amer­i­cans are get­ting set for a long Elec­tion Night of wait­ing to see who the 45th US pres­i­dent will be-Hillary Clin­ton or Don­ald Trump. Here are the key things to know: what it takes to win, which states are the ones to watch, and how long it all might take for the win­ner to emerge:

The magic num­ber is 270

Rather than one big na­tion­wide elec­tion, this is re­ally 51 small ones-in the 50 states and the US cap­i­tal Wash­ing­ton. As the re­sults come in, they will form an elec­toral map that col­ors each state red for the Repub­li­cans and blue for the Democrats. This shaded map is a fix­ture of Amer­i­can pol­i­tics ev­ery four years, with news me­dia and web sites fash­ion­ing them to give a real-time pic­ture over the course of Elec­tion Night to il­lus­trate how the can­di­dates and par­ties are do­ing. In the White House race, the win­ner needs at least 270 of the 538 elec­toral votes up for grabs.

Drama and sur­prises

The first polling sta­tions close on the East Coast at 7:00 pm, and the last far out in Alaska at 0600 GMT to­mor­row. The drama be­gins at 0000 GMT when polling sta­tions close in Ge­or­gia, South Carolina, Ver­mont, In­di­ana and Ken­tucky. The first sur­prises could come from Ge­or­gia if Trump loses that nor­mally Repub­li­can-lean­ing state, and if Vir­ginia, won by Barack Obama in 2012, eludes Clin­ton. Half an hour later, the sur­prise could come from the bat­tle­ground states of Ohio and North Carolina, which have 18 and 15 elec­toral votes, re­spec­tively. Ohio, a fallen in­dus­trial pow­er­house, is his­tor­i­cally Demo­cratic ter­ri­tory while North Carolina tends to vote Repub­li­can. But ei­ther could swing the other way this year. Over the next 90 min­utes or so, a burst of re­sults from some 30 states ac­count­ing for dozens of elec­toral votes will fur­ther fill in the red and blue elec­toral map.

All eyes will be on Florida

Florida- an eth­ni­cally and po­lit­i­cally mixed snap­shot of Amer­ica that ac­counts for a whop­ping 29 elec­toral votes. Obama won it nar­rowly in 2012. Back in 2000, in the his­toric dis­puted elec­tion that kept the na­tion on the edge of its seat for days, Ge­orge W. Bush de­feated Al Gore there. Much at­ten­tion will also be paid to the small north­east­ern state of New Hamp­shire, which nor­mally votes for Democrats but is seen as pos­si­bly up for grabs this time, and Penn­syl­va­nia, an­other for­mer in­dus­trial pow­er­house that nor­mally leans Demo­cratic and holds a prize of 20 elec­toral votes. Head­ing west, Ari­zona and Texas-con­ser­va­tive states that bor­der Mex­ico are seen as pos­si­ble prey for Clin­ton. And in the other di­rec­tion, Colorado, Michi­gan and Wis­con­sin-Demo­cratic strongholds that ac­count for 35 elec­toral votes be­tween them-are seen as maybe go­ing to Trump.

How the re­sults come in

US TV sta­tions an­nounce win­ners in each state one by one through par­tial vote tal­lies, exit polls and their own pro­jec­tions. They tend not to bother to wait for word from heav­ily Demo­cratic Cal­i­for­nia and its 55 votes, where polls close at 0400 GMT, to call the race on who will be the next pres­i­dent. But this year, the race could stretch well into the night if the fi­nal polls are cor­rect and some of the states, es­pe­cially Florida, are in near-dead heats.—

— AFP

PENN­SYL­VA­NIA: Cam­paign of Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump Sup­port­ers cheer as the plane car­ry­ing Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump ar­rives for a cam­paign rally at At­lantic Avi­a­tion in Moon Town­ship.

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