It’s now 9:45 Eastern. At about 9:20 MSNBC, with NBC itself rapidly following suit, called Ohio for Obama and most of the other networks have fallen in line. The Illinois senator is now at about 200 electoral votes with McCain at numbers between 69 and 95, depending on the network. Virginia and North Carolina are still up in the air, but the counties yet to report fully in Virginia include some strongly Obama-leaning ones.
Sen. Mitch McConnell held on in Kentucky, and in Georgia a strong finish by Sen. Saxbe Chambliss helped keep that state in the McCain column, despite some blue-leaning poll numbers in the preceding weeks. New Mexico has just been declared for Obama. Grant Park in Chicago is getting packed and the atmosphere is thoroughly joyful; the feed from McCain’s Arizona HQ showed a more subdued scene.
At this point, as Fox News has pointed out, the best news for the GOP so far has been that it looks certain that the Dems won’t get a filibuster-proof majority of 60 in Congress. Which isn’t that much of a consolation; Reagan, in the days when the Republicans had a Senate majority but less than 60, always had a knack for bringing around some Democrats when it came time for major legislation, so if the Dems get something like 55 or 56 the same would probably apply for Obama.
In about 10 minutes it’ll be 10 pm, and the polls will start closing in the west. Can Obama secure Colorado? Or Nevada? Will he address the assembled in Grant Park before midnight, either Eastern or Central?