Election Live Blog: 7 PM PT Hour

Projected EVs: Obama 165, McCain 118

McCain leads auto-projected and confirmed states 8-0.

7:02: New York to Obama. That is the largest prize I’ve awarded so far tonight. A reminder that Politico says the Democrats hang on to the Senate. Obama now has a full-on four-point lead in North Carolina with 41% of precincts reporting.

7:05: People are projecting Ohio for Obama. So am I. Politico has him over 200 electoral votes. It may be over before the West Coast closes. Certainly if that’s the case it’s hard for Obama to lose with the West Coast in his pocket.

7:07: Calling Oklahoma for McCain. But also calling Pennsylvania for Obama, a far bigger prize, and Obama’s over the halfway mark.

7:10: NYT has Obama up 155-17! NYT has called all of two states for McCain! What’s up with Rhode Island being so slow with its count?

7:11: South Carolina for McCain. South Dakota, incredibly, is a dead heat with 11% in.

7:13: A major reason I’m calling SC: Few counties are going Obama’s way and those are counties with most of the vote counted. Richland and Charleston Counties may be Obama’s best hope but the counties with Greenville and Rock Hill in them are going for McCain. Calling Tennessee for McCain as well; Memphis may be Obama’s best chance to bounce back.

7:17: Texas to McCain. Even Politico hasn’t called this yet, so my electoral vote count for McCain is higher than Politico’s. Add Texas to the Politico count and McCain has 114 electoral votes.

7:21: Not quite ready to call Wisconsin, but getting close.

7:23: Obama might be able to come back in Clay county, but calling West Virginia for McCain.

7:27: Alabama for McCain. Arkansas for McCain. Obama’s attempt to steal Arizona is failing early. NYT has Obama leading 169-58, so maybe some more Obama projections in the offing.

7:29: Obama up in Colorado, but there are rural areas that could go for McCain. BTW Al Franken leads Norm Coleman in Minnesota but with 44% of the vote.

7:32: Obama hanging on to a 3-point lead in Florida with 72% of precincts reporting. Most of the counties that haven’t reported are on the Atlantic coast. Neither NYT nor Politico is calling Georgia yet. What do they know that I don’t?

7:36: Obama leading in Iowa! Indiana may be giving Virginia a run for its money as the new Florida/Ohio. 90% reporting and the margin is .6… and neither side has won enough electoral votes for victory, by any measure. That could change at the top of the hour when polls close on the West Coast. That’s 73 electoral votes for Obama right there between CA, OR, and WA. By Politico’s reckoning, that puts him over the top. Kansas to McCain.

7:41: Still not calling Louisiana just yet but very tempted to.

7:43: Michigan for Obama. The Minnesota Senate race has really tightened; Franken leads 42.7% to 41%. Rural parts of Minnesota prevent me from calling the Presidential race there. Add Missouri to the list of potential Florida/Ohio states. Has anyone noticed that, for all the red states becoming swing states, most of the traditional swing states were still swing states this year? Is the real story of this election Republicans being so turned off by McCain (and Palin) they decided to vote Obama instead?

7:46: Mississippi for McCain. Not sure what others are seeing I’m not. Obama leads early in Montana! Add NC to the list of states crawling to a dead heat. McCain leads in Nebraska but pro-Obama counties are early in their count.

7:51: Obama leading in NM, but he might not have last time I looked.

7:54: Obama AUTO PROJECTED to win New York. Obama takes the 31-8 autoprojection lead. This is not confirmed yet. McCain is taking a lead in NC.

7:57: McCain to win North Dakota.

7:58: McCain AUTO PROJECTED and CONFIRMED to win Oklahoma. Up 15-0 in the confirmations, down 31-15 in the auto projections. See you in a new thread.

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