How it’s going to go down tonight. Maybe.

7p –
Romney: 44 (Ga., S.C., Ky., Ind.)
Obama: 3 (Vt.)
Undeclared: 34 (Va., Fla.)

Virginia and Florida will be our first undecided states, and in 2008 they were the ones that finally got called at 11 p.m. and allowed TV networks to project that Obama would win.

7:30 –
Romney: 49 (W.Va.)
Obama: 3 (Vt.)
Undeclared: 43 (N.C., Ohio, Va., Fla.)

In 2008, McCain conceded even while he was still ahead in North Carolina. Of course, after all precincts reported it was Obama who won became the first Democrat since Jimmy Carter to win the state. It will be at least 9:30 before the state is called and I suspect that the longer it stays open the worse it looks for Romney.

West Virginia hasn’t gone Democratic since 1996. Sometimes I forget that.

8 p.m. –
Romney: 130 (Tenn., Ala., Miss., Mo., Tex., Okla.)
Obama: 98 (Mich., Maine, N.H., R.I., Conn., N.J., Del., Md., D.C., Ill.)
Undeclared: 59 (N.C., Ohio, Va., Fla.)

If N.H. and Mich. don’t go for Obama right away, then he may be in trouble there.
If N.J. doesn’t get called right away, it’ll probably not be an indication of anything other than storm-related voting issues.

8:30 p.m. –
Romney: 136 (Ark.)
Obama: 98 ()
Undeclared: 59 (N.C., Ohio, Va., Fla.)

9 p.m. –
Romney: 174 (La., N.D., S.D., Neb., Kans., Wyo., Ariz.)
Obama: 152 (N.Y., Minn., N.M., Wis.)
Undeclared: 68 (Colo., N.C., Ohio, Va., Fla.)

Colorado is another of those states that didn’t get called in 2008 until after McCain conceded shortly after 11 p.m.

In 2008 at about 9:30 p.m., the networks projected Obama would win Ohio. They also projected Wisconsin going for Obama about the same time. It looks like they both may go Obama’s way this year, too – but Wisconsin before Ohio.

10 p.m. –
Romney: 185 (Mont., Utah)
Obama: 164 (Nev., Iowa)
Undeclared: 68 (Colo., N.C., Ohio, Va., Fla.)

Iowa went for Obama right away in 2008. And he eventually got 54 percent of the vote there. If the state goes to Romney, it would be the second time since 1988. A slow call for Obama here might point in that direction.

I seem to recall that Nevada is very slow to report, but a slow call in Nevada might also be an indication that the state will return to the Republican column.

In 2008 at about 10:45 p.m., Fox called Virginia for Obama.

11 p.m. –
Romney: 185 ()
Obama: 269 (Ohio, Va., Calif., Wash., Ore.)
Undeclared: 50 (Colo., N.C., Fla.)

Hope will remain for Romney if Ohio doesn’t go to Obama by 11 p.m. But also note that Ohio is expecting more than 200,000 provisional ballots, and will be forced into a recount if the difference between the two candidates is about 14,000 votes.

Of the five remaining undeclared states, Nate Silver predicts that Obama is most likely to win Virginia and Colorado. But winning Virginia would still leave Obama one electoral vote shy of the 270 he needs to win the presidency. So expect this election night to go later than it did four years ago.

Florida and Virginia got called for Obama shortly after 11 p.m. in 2008, allowing networks to project him as the winner. Obama had about 53 percent in Virginia and 51 percent in Florida when all the votes were counted in 2008.

Nevada didn’t get declared until after McCain conceded. Obama ended up with 55 percent of the vote there.

12 a.m. –
Romney: 185 ()
Obama: 273 (Hawaii)
Undeclared: 37 (Colo., N.C., Va., Fla.)

1 a.m. –
Romney: 188 (Alaska)
Obama: 273 ()
Undeclared: 37 (Colo., N.C., Va., Fla.)

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