Important States to Watch Tuesday, Poll Closing Times

The time is now and the end has finally come to this massive two year election cycle we’ve all been in. Starting around 7AM Eastern time, the polls will be opening on the east coast and continue across the country on Tuesday, November 4th. The closing times all vary from state to state and we’ve highlighted some important times below with the states to watch.

Note: We’ll have the live results as they come in tomorrow, starting sometime around 7pm eastern time. Also putting a little BlogTalkRadio show together which I’ll personally host for a few hours tomorrow evening. More on that tomorrow with a link. The results will be in a new post and directly on the front page, which will be taken over with the results all night.

On a side note, I’m expecting the exit polls to come out showing Obama doing well. However, they can’t really be trusted since based on the 2004 results they were dead wrong showing Kerry winning in a landslide. We’ll report on them as they come out, sometime around 5PM eastern time, though I’m expecting some type of lead for Obama at that point since polling shows that Obama supporters are much more likely that McCain supporters to actually spend 10 minutes taking the exit poll.

The key states and times to watch:

All times Eastern:

6:00PM – Most of Eastern Indiana closes
– Part of Indiana is in Central time and part is in Eastern. The eastern time side closes at 6PM, the central portion closes at 7PM eastern. If Obama leads in Indiana, could be bellwether for Obama, otherwise it’s typically very red, should go for McCain

7:00PM – Virginia, Florida – Two of the the most important states, watch closely
– McCain needs at least one of these states to continue, Florida will probably go his way, watch Virginia closely. If Virginia swings McCain, things are looking very good for him. If Virginia goes Obama, could be a short night but wait and see.

7:30PM – Ohio, North Carolina – Ohio is probably the most important
– If Ohio goes Obama, this is probably over. If it’s too close to call, we’ll be watching more states. North Carolina will probably swing to McCain, however, if it goes Obama, it will be nearly over for McCain

8:00PM – Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Missouri – Pennsylvania will be interesting to watch, along with Missouri
– McCain’s been banking on Pennsylvania, they obviously think they have a good chance to win it. If McCain has done well so far and then wins Pennsylvania, he’ll probably be president. If Pennsylvania goes Obama along with earlier states, he will probably win the Presidency. Missouri has the “Missouri bellwether” effect and the state is currently a dead even tie, we’ll see what happens.

9:00PM – Dozens of states around the country close, plus we’ll likely get results from many east coast states if they are too close to call since closing around 7pm or 8pm eastern.

10:00PM – Iowa, Nevada, Oregon – Nevada and Iowa to watch
– Nevada went red last time and Obama’s up in the polls, if McCain secures it, he’s looking good. If it also goes Obama, that bodes well for him if earlier states went his way as well. Public polls have Obama way up in Iowa, though internal McCain polling says they’re tied, so I don’t know what will happen there.

The swing states will be key and we should know sometime around 8PM eastern how the night will be headed. It will either be good for McCain, good for Obama, or a split and we have to wait for Ohio/Pennsylvania to break the tie.

Here, via CNN, are the poll closing times for every state across the land:

Video report from CNN on the key states to watch:

Harry Smith and Michael Crowley play with a big electoral map puzzle:

I’m thinking of having one of those installed.

Just a reminder, we will have all the coverage and complete, easy to use results on Tuesday night right here for you live as they come in.

So go Vote Tuesday! If you haven’t already..


More on what to watch for on Tuesday from the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) – Election watchers won’t have to wait for polls to close in the West to know how things are going. The first clues will come early, when voting ends in Georgia, Indiana and Virginia. If Democrat Barack Obama wins any of the three, he could be on his way to a big victory, maybe even a landslide.

If Republican John McCain sweeps them, he could be headed for a comeback. And if any of these three are too close to call quickly, that could indicate a long night ahead – and, perhaps, a squeaker of a result.

President Bush comfortably won the trio four years ago. But Obama has used his financial muscle and his draw as the youthful first black Democratic nominee to put them, and other historically reliable Republican states, into play.

Thus, the Democrat has several routes he can take to reach the 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory. McCain’s strategy has no room for error; he must win nearly all the states that went to Bush in 2004, and possibly even one or two that voted for Democrat John Kerry that year.

So that’s it right there, especially Virginia. If McCain holds Virginia, we’ll be in for a long night. If Virginia slips blue, then things will be looking good for Obama moving forward to other battlegrounds.