The talk from Wolf Blitzer on CNN is all “Florida, Florida,” but for Hillary Clinton the first win of the night Tuesday was the much-expected Vermont and its three electoral votes. The home state of the Clinton’s primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, was called right after 7 PM ET on CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC as polls closed in the Green Mountain State.
With Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia going in Donald Trump’s column, the GOP candidate holds an early Electoral College lead of 19-3. The night has already seen some “computer glitches” in North Carolina, where polls in Durham County will now stay open an extra 90 minutes, state officials have decided. In the closely contested state, that county is seen as heavily Democratic with its large African-American communities.
Along with Vermont, polls closed at 7 ET in Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, New Hampshire and pivotal Florida. West Virginia and Ohio are expected to close at 7:30 PM ET, as is the rest of North Carolina. A win in Florida by Clinton would make it very hard for Trump to find a route to the White House unless he took all the other battleground states in play and more.
Of course, as small percentages trickle in among those states, cable news networks are starting to froth at the calling-it mouth. At least John King had the reserve to say “we’ve got a long way to go in Florida” when looking at the first batch of numbers from the Sunshine State. Then again, “senior advisors” from both the Clinton and Trump camp are being cited left, right and center too — is the night we’re facing.