Daniel Berrier of ElectoPundit also contributed to this Post.
Part 5: 10:00 to the bitter end.
All times are Eastern Standard Time (EST).
10:00 PM: Polls close in Iowa (7), Montana (3), Nevada (5), North Dakota (3) and Utah (5). With the exception of Iowa, these are all western states Bush won twice that have been viewed as reliable Republican states, but Obama has more than a hope of pulling off upsets in Nevada and possibly North Dakota and even Montana. Utah is not likely to go for Obama.
Because the Pacific Time Zone states of California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii (totaling 77 electoral votes) are polling strongly for Obama, between 9:00 and 11:00 Obama's magic number will be 193. With only Idaho and Alaska (totaling 7 electoral votes) to look forward to in the far west, McCain's magic number will be 263.
House of Representatives: If Republican Jon Porter loses to Democrat Dina Titus in NV-3, it would add to evidence of a western state shake up favoring the Democrats. A much bigger coup for Democrats would be a pickup in rural NV-2, where Republican Dean Heller is facing a rematch with Democrat Jill Derby.
11:00 PM: Polls close in California (55), Hawaii (4), Idaho (4), Oregon (7), and Washington (11). Other than Idaho, which is likely to go to McCain, anything other than an Obama sweep of these Pacific states would be a major surprise. Together California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii add up to 77 electoral votes and pre-election polls show very large Obama leads, so if Obama has not gone over the top by this point he has a good chance to cross the finish line quite close to the top of the hour if he has reached the magic number of 193. We are likely to get the results from vote-by-mail Oregon right at the top of the hour.
Senate: Oregon Republican Senator Gordon Smith is locked in a close contest with State Senator Jeff Merkley. Sensing the anti-Bush sentiments of his state, former conservative Smith has been running adds promising to work in tandem with Barack Obama to bring about change.
House of Representatives: The only truly competitive race in California is in rural northern CA-4, where Democrat Charlie Brown is running for a second time, this time in an open seat against 2003 recall candidate for Governor, conservative Tom McClintock.
In Washington, Republican Dave Reichert faces a rematch against Democrat Darcy Burner in WA-8. A strong showing by Obama in the presidential race could help her this time.
12:00 PM: Polls close in Alaska (3). John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin are not likely to lose in her home state, but Alaska is likely to deal one more Senate loss to Republicans if convicted felon, Republican Senator Ted Stevens is defeated by Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.
House of Representatives: Democrats could score one final pick-up in Alaska's at-large congressional seat if Democrat Ethan Berkowitz is able to defeat Republican Don Young. Young may go down with Senator Ted Stevens unless Sarah Palin's coattails manage to come to the rescue in this traditionally Republican state.
The full Hour By Hour Guide to the Election Returns is available at CenteredPolitics.com.