9:55 p.m.: Moving on. Your blogger is required to move on to other subjects -- I'm covering local transit races tonight, too. But let's leave with a few links, if you're not following them already, and a screengrab of the middle of The New York Times web frontpage, which I think lays out the story quite clearly. This isn't quite over yet, but it's getting close.
- The New York Times live results forecast. Good stuff here -- this site caught the direction of the evening very early on.
- FiveThirtyEight's live election night coverage and live election night forecast.
- And from the red side of the coverage sphere, here's live election updates from Breitbart.
9 p.m.: National results again. FiveThirtyEight has flipped again, and maybe for the last time. Now the site shows Trump with a 77 percent chance of winning, thanks to unexpectedly robust showings in Pennylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
With about 78 percent of precincts reporting, Trump held a 4 percentage point lead. Here's what FiveThirtyEight says about Wisconsin, which the site had given Clinton a roughly 3-1 chance of winning:
The Wisconsin numbers are something else, as others have said. This is a state that Trump lost in the primary by a wide margin. This is a state where conservative talk radio was against Trump. This is a state where Paul Ryan, who Trump went toe-to-toe with, is from. And it looks like the most likely state to put Trump in the White House right now.
8:35 p.m.: Hey, a Democrat's going to the U.S. Senate. AP has made another unsurprising call: State Attorney General Kamala Harris, facing off with a fellow Democrat, Southern California Rep. Loretta Sanchez, has been elected. Harris enjoyed a big lead in polls throughout the election season.
8:20 p.m.: California speaks. News services raced each other to call California for Clinton just milliseconds after the polls -- or most of them -- were closed here.
Also of note, in case you're of the persuasion who wants an escape from the reality of the election returns: the Associated Press says that Proposition 64, a measure to legalize recreational marijuana, has passed. The Los Angeles Times agrees.
7:50 p.m.: Projection flickering. Well -- we won't keep this up, but let us note that FiveThirtyEight's live forecast is flickering, having flipped back to Clinton by a razor-thin percentage -- 50-48 percent. The FiveThirtyEight electoral vote projection gives Clinton 272 -- the barest of majorities.
The New York Times -- have we mentioned it before -- continues to offer the downer of all downers for Clinton supporters, forecasting Trump with a 94 percent chance of prevailing when the night is over.
7:40 p.m.: Markets rattled. The financial markets -- stock futures and some foreign currencies, including Mexico's peso, plunged as election returns indicate a possible Trump victory. Here's our post: U.S. Markets Fall Steeply on Early Election Results.
7:30 p.m.: Keystone drama. Another drama to watch: Pennsylvania. Here's a state that, according to FiveThirtyEight's survey of surveys taken in the Keystone State, showed Clinton ahead in every single poll taken for months. As of this writing, she's ahead. The New York Times projection, though, shows Pennsylvania falling into Trump's column. The Times also projects Trump winning a series of other battlegrounds seen as crucial to Clinton's campaign, including Wisconsin and Michigan. If they all go red. ... Well, last Jan. 20, I asked folks in the newsroom what they would be doing on Inauguration Day 2017, when President Trump took office.
7:15 p.m.: Virginia, by the way ... Returns from suburban Washington, D.C., appear to have put Clinton over the top in the Old Dominion. Even Fox News has called the state for her.
The New York Times forecast continues to portray a dire result for Clinton, rating Trump's chance of winning the Electoral College at 82 percent. FiveThirtyEight's live forecast has also flipped Trump's way, showing him with a 55 percent chance of winning..
7:05 p.m.: The joint is jumping. California polls close in less than an hour, but we already have our first Election 2016 postmortem: Journos watching TV and shouting out every single percentage point change in the returns -- and obsessing about a bunch of statistical projections we may or may not understand -- are sure a jumpy lot.
By the way, I don't exempt myself from the description above. Case in point:
For the past half-hour or so, I and others have watched in surprise (surprise,not horror) as The New York Times presidential returns tracker has showed Donald Trump gaining a higher and higher likelihood of being elected president. It's currently showing a 73 percent chance that Trump will capture the White House.
Meantime, let's go over to FiveThirtyEight, which has its own live forecast, driven, I imagine, by a markedly different set of assumptions and algorithms. Until the last 10 minutes or so, it was showing Clinton's chance of winning at 72 percent. Now ... it's down to 60, with Trump at 38.
What gives? Hell if I know. Although what I've been saying to folks based on my reading of the data reported on these and other sites is that this will be a very, very close election. Maybe I was right.
6:45 p.m.: Who do you love? Something to digest while we're contemplating the next chapter of the republic. The L.A. Times reports on exit polling today in California:
Hillary Clinton has battled issues of trustworthiness throughout her presidential campaign, but in California more than twice as many voters see her as trustworthy compared with those who feel the same way about Donald Trump.
Early exit polls conducted by Edison Research found 47.2% of voters agreed that Clinton is an honest and trustworthy candidate. Just 17.2% said the same of Trump.
But nearly a third of California voters (30.7%) said they don't trust either candidate. Just 1.9% said they trust both.
6:35 p.m.: A forecast surprise? The New York Times Live Presidential Forecast page is causing a stir. It's showing Donald Trump with a better-than-even chance to win a majority in the Electoral College.
The page comes with a caveat: "Heads-up: Forecasts may be volatile early in the night. These numbers will become more trustworthy once more votes have been counted."
Our question: Is it still early?
Take a look at the Times' forecast page and decide for yourself.
6 p.m.: Virginia surprise? It's just after 6 p.m. here in San Francisco's beautiful semi-Potrero Hill area, and California's polls won't be closed for another two hours. But vote counting has commenced on the East Coast and parts of the Midwest, so if you're inclined to get jumpy about the results, your adrenaline is already pumping.
If you're in the mood for one surprise, take a look at Virginia. That's the home state of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's running mate, Tim Kaine. The state has reliably shown up in Clinton's column in pre-election polling. But the results right now show Republican Donald Trump hanging on to a four-point lead with about 80 percent of the vote counted there. (Yes, blue counties in suburban Washington, D.C., and around Richmond have yet to report.)
FiveThirtyEight rates Clinton as having an 86 percent to take Virginia as of 6:20 p.m.
The import, should Trump capture Virginia, is that it could signal that he'll capture other battleground states -- especially North Carolina -- and gain a path to the presidency that had appeared to be foreclosed.