FIVE THIRTY EIGHT: How To Watch The Midterms: An Hour-by-Hour Guide

An Hour-by-Hour guide to watching midterm election results from Five Thirty Eight:

Starting when the first polling places close at 6 p.m. Eastern, election night will be a whirlwind of tweets, numbers, emotions, speeches, pizza and live blogs. To see when polls close in each state, check out this map; to learn what to watch in each state, read the following hour-by-hour preview of key races (all times Eastern).

6 p.m.

Polls close in: most of Indiana, eastern Kentucky

As the first polls close, we’ll start to see results in two districts that could hold clues for how the rest of the night will unfold: the Kentucky 6th and Indiana 9th. The Kentucky 6th is rated1 as Toss-Up in the Classic version of our model. If Democratic challenger Amy McGrath is able to oust GOP Rep. Andy Barr, it will be an early sign of a Democratic wave, as the Kentucky 6th is about 10.5 points more Republican-leaning than the nation as a whole, according to FiveThirtyEight’s partisan lean metric.2 On the other hand, our model rates the Indiana 9th as Likely Republican, so if Democrat Liz Watson somehow pulls off an upset against Republican Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, it may point to a very long night for Republicans. The 6 p.m. poll-closing hour will also yield early returns in the Indiana U.S. Senate race, a seat that Democrats must hold in order to have any hope of capturing the Senate. Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly currently has a 7 in 10 chance there.

7 p.m.

Polls close in: most of Florida, Georgia, the rest of Indiana, the rest of Kentucky, most towns in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia

Florida and Georgia are hosting two of the most interesting gubernatorial campaigns in the country this year; both races highlight the parties’ ideological divisions and have the potential to make history. Georgia is a Lean Republican race, according to our model, and there’s a chance that race may bleed into a December runoff if neither major-party candidate — Democrat and former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams or Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp — can win 50 percent of the vote. But things look a little more straightforward in Florida. Our forecast gives […]


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