11/05/2012 12:22 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014 Hour-by-Hour Guide to Election Night 2012 Part 2: 6:00-8:00


James Hazzard co-authored this post

6:00 p.m. polls close in most of Indiana and just over half of Kentucky. The other parts of both states are in the Central Time zone and their polls will close at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, but if one candidate is doing well enough against the projections, the networks could call the Indiana statewide races soon after 6 p.m.


It would be news indeed if either Indiana or Kentucky showed any chance for an Obama upset victory although Obama did eke out a narrow Indiana victory in 2008.

D -- R (Polling leader underlined in bold)

Indiana (11 electoral votes)

Kentucky (8 electoral votes)

If these states fall in line as expected within an hour or so of the polls closing, the electoral vote total would go to: Obama 0 -- Romney 19.


D -- R (Party controlling the seat underlined in bold)

Indiana -- Before incumbent Dick Lugar (R) lost his primary to tea-party backed State Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R), this state was firmly in the R column. The race between Mourdock and Joe Donnelly (D) had become competitive, and then Murdouck's comment in the final debate about a rape pregnancy being God's will turned the contest into a dead heat. Losing one of their own seats would be a serious blow to any Republican hopes of controlling the Senate this year.

D -- R (Party controlling the seat underlined in bold)

Rep. Ben Chandler (R) faces a rematch with his 2010 opponent, Andy Barr. Chandler beat Barr by just 700 votes two years ago, but has benefited from redistricting.

7:00 p.m.

Polls close in Florida, Georgia,South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. Some polls will remain open in Western Florida, but we can expect the networks to start sharing Florida results at 7:00 p.m.


Two of the blockbuster battleground states, Florida and Virginia, close in the hour; but do not expect any quick decision.

It is a safe bet that Vermont will be called fairly quickly for Obama, and Georgia and South Carolina will go early for Romney.

D -- R (Polling leader underlined in bold)

Vermont (3 electoral votes)

Georgia (16 electoral votes)

South Carolina (9 electoral votes)

Virginia (13 electoral votes)

Florida (29 electoral votes)

If these states fall in line as expected near the top of the hour the electoral vote totals could go to: Obama 3 -- Romney 44

Florida and Virginia will likely still be counting late into the night leaving their 42 electoral votes out of the tallies for some time.

D -- R (Party controlling the seat underlined in bold)

Virginia The race between former Senator George Allen (R) and former Governor Tim Kaine (D) has garnered national attention. And while Kaine has held onto a narrow lead in most polls, a late Romney surge could swing this state to a vital seat gain for the Republicans.

Florida"s tight Senate race pits long-time incumbent Senator Bill Nelson (D) and Representative Connie Mack IV (R),
who is trying to recapture the seat his father retired from in 2001. Nelson has won the fundraising battle between the campaigns, which he will need to fight off outside spending against him that could surpass $30 million dollars.


D -- R (Party controlling the seat underlined in bold)

FL-02: Rep. Steve Southerland (R) is a Republican freshman who has been redistricted into a tougher territory, had trouble raising money, and is facing a spirited challenger in State Senator Al Lawson (D).

Whoever wins could easily set the tone for the rest of the night.

FL-18: This West Palm Beach district is home to one of the most expensive and highly competitive house races in the country. Tea Party darling, freshman Rep. Allen West (R), has raised a huge war chest but found himself in a close race with Patrick Murphy (D).

FL-10: Rep. Daniel Webster (R) was put in a safe district, which may be enough to save him from the DCCC Red to Blue Project backed candidate Val Demings (D).

FL-26 Another Republican freshman, Rep. David Rivera (R), has been followed by accusations of fraud since he entered office. Attorney Joe Garcia (D) looks like a strong favorite for this seat.

GA-12: Redistricting may finally end the career of the tenacious Rep. John Barrow (D), who faces state Rep. Lee Anderson for this Eastern Georgia seat.

7:30 p.m.

Polls close in Ohio, North Carolina and West Virginia.

President: Casual observers may have noticed that Ohio has been a focal point for political obsessive- compulsives all year long. We will finally start seeing some numbers, but for many people this will just be the start of a long evening staring at the television or clicking "refresh" to see the counts as they trickle in. West Virginia may move to
Romney's column fairly quickly or hold out longer. North Carolina has been a battleground but has been seen as leaning toward Romney.

D -- R (Polling leader underlined in bold)

West Virginia (5 electoral

North Carolina (15 electoral

Ohio (18 electoral votes)

If these states fall in line as expected the total for Romney may start looking worrisome to Democrats as Romney may hold a lead of 49 to 3 without North Carolina or even 64 to 3 if the Tar Heel state gets called in his favor.

Democrats should take heart that the 8:00 closings will soon bring better news. Likely count just before 8:00: Obama 3 -- Romney 49 with 75 electoral votes
hanging by a chad.

D -- R (Party controlling the seat underlined in bold)


While the Buckeye state is the centerpiece of the presidential race, Senator Sherrod Brown (D) has kept ahead of State Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) since the race began. Absent a surprising red upset, this should be a hold for Democrats.


D -- R (Party controlling the seat underlined in bold)

NC-07: It feels like 2010 in North Carolina, where Blue Dog Rep. Mike McIntyre (D) faces a strong challenge from NRCC Young Gun state Sen. David Rouzer (R).

NC-08: After cancelling all of its ads in the district, the DCCC has confirmed what most already knew: Rep. Larry Kissel (D) is likely to lose his seat to Richard Hudson (R).

OH-06: Conservative Southeast Ohio is home to a rematch of Rep. Bill Johnson (R) and former Rep. Charlie Wilson (D). Johnson won the seat in 2010.

OH-16: In a rare match-up of incumbents, Reps. Betty Sutton (D) and Jim Renacci (R) have attracted national attention and money in one of the tightest races in the country.

Hour-by-Hour Guide to Election Night 2012
Part 1 -- Introduction is here.
Part 3 -- 8:00 to 9:00 is here.
Part 4 -- 9:00 to the end is here.