New Times' 2016 Election Day Live-Blog

New Times' 2016 Election Day Live-Blog
Photos: Oslo rådhus/Gage Skidmore via Flickr CC

Well, here we are. It's been 17 months since Donald Trump announced his candidacy by declaring that Mexican immigrants are criminals and rapists. It's also been two days since the FBI announced it won't charge Hillary Clinton for her deleted emails, but those last 48 hours somehow felt longer than that first year-and-a-half.

Regardless: Today marks the end of what might go down as the most tumultuous, poisonous presidential election in American history. Reuters says Hillary Clinton has a 90 percent chance of winning.

But a hell of a lot can happen between now and 7 p.m., when Florida's polls close. (Alaska, the final poll, closes around midnight EST.) In fact, Trump and Clinton are neck-and-neck in Florida, though the latest early-voting tallies show Clinton with a slight edge.

Today also marks the end ofMarco Rubio's apology tour, Debbie Wasserman Schultz's campaign to avoid getting eaten by rabid Bernie Sanders supporters, utility companies' quest to lie to voters about solar power, and (let's hope) a multiyear effort to legalize medical cannabis for sick Floridians, among many other races. It's gonna be a wild night.

Scroll down for live updates. In the meantime, we'll be filling in Miami-Dade's ballot as the results come in. (Winners in bold.)

President: Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton

U.S. Senate: Marco Rubio vs. Patrick Murphy

U.S. House of Representatives:

District 23: Joe Kaufman vs. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
District 25: Mario Diaz Balart vs. Alina Valdes
District 26: Carlos Curbelo vs. Joe Garcia
District 27: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen vs. Scott Fuhrman

Miami-Dade County Mayor: Carlos Gimenez vs. Raquel Regalado

State Senate:

District 36: René Garcia vs. Anabella Grohoski Peralta
District 37: Miguel Diaz de la Portilla vs. Jose Javier Rodriguez
District 38: Daphne Campbell vs. Phillip Brutus
District 39: Anitere Flores vs. Debbie Murcarsel-Powell
District 40: Frank Artiles vs. Dwight Bullard

State House:

District 103: Manny Diaz Jr. vs. Ivette Gonzalez Petkovich
District 105: Carlos Trujillo vs. Patricio Moreno
District 110: Jose Oliva vs. Carlos A. Puentes Sr.
District 111: Bryan Avila vs. Sevi Miyar
District 112: Rosy Palomino vs. Nicholas X. Duran
District 113: Jonathan H. Parker vs. David Richardson
District 115: Michael Bileca vs. Jeffrey Doc Solomon
District 116: Jose Felix Diaz vs. Heath Rassner
District 118: David Rivera vs. Robert Ascenzio
District 119: Jeanette M. Nuñez vs. Jeniffer Pinell
District 120: Holly Raschein vs. Dan Horton

Amendments:

Amendment 1: Utilty-backed anti-solar amendment FAILED
Amendment 2: Medical cannabis legalization WON

Circuit Judge, 11th Circuit

Group 34: Mark Blumstein vs. Luis Perez-Medina
Group 52: Carol "Jodie" Breece vs. Oscar Rodrigez-Fonts

School Board:

District 1: Steve Gallon vs. Wilbert T. Holloway
District 6: Modesto "Mo" Abety vs. Maria Teresa Rojas

Live Updates:

10:53 p.m.: Well, scratch all that about the wait. The Associated Press has called Florida for Trump.

10:38 p.m.: Well, now we wait. With 95 percent of Florida's vote in, Trump is more than 100,000 votes ahead — and he's cleaning up nationwide. It's still too early to call, but it's getting harder and harder to see how Clinton could possibly come back and take the Sunshine State. It'll be a while until the state officially gets called, but if Clinton takes the state, it will be a shocker.

9:28 p.m.: We've now got 92 percent of the precincts in. We can call most of the down-ballot races now:

Mario Diaz-Balart, Carlos Curbelo, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen have clearly won their U.S. congressional races, to the surprise of pretty much nobody. Ros-Lehtinen — one of the LGBT-friendliest Republicans in Congress — had taken a polling hit, but her opponent, Scott Fuhrman, had neither experience (he ran a juice bottling firm) nor a clean resumé (he openly acknowledged he'd been arrested a bunch of times in the past).

In the state Senate, Republicans Rene Garcia, Anitere Flores, and Frank Artiles won seats. The wins for Flores and Artiles should be particularly upsetting to people across all ends of the political spectrum: Flores has a record of ethical issues stemming from her past work for charter schools, and Artiles is a gigantic mess. Artiles was once accused of punching a college kid at a bar and also sponsored a failed North Carolina-style bill that would have forced transgender people to use the bathrooms of their birth gender.

Artiles' win is also upsetting given the fact that he beat out Democratic candidate Dwight Bullard, a schoolteacher and medical marijuana proponent.

Perpetual vomit-tsunami Daphne Campbell, a Democrat who pretended New Times had the wrong number when we called her this summer, also somehow got promoted from state representative to state senator.

In one Democratic upset, Jose Javier Rodriguz will likely defeat incumbent state Senate judiciary chair Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, who famously killed two open-carry gun laws this year, to the chagrin of his conservative base. Rodriguez eked out a win, taking just 54 percent of the vote.

In the state House, nightmare candidate David Rivera, whom New Times panned almost two weeks ago, appears set to lose his state House race — by just tens of votes. He's down by only 81 right now.

8:52 p.m.: With 75 percent of the votes in, it appears:

A. Trump has a 110,000-vote lead in Florida, and:

B. Gary Johnson and Jill Stein sucked up more than 220,000 votes between them.

8:48 p.m.: "I'm so nervous," the man next to me said into my ear. "Aren't you nervous?"

He introduced himself as Pontus, a Swede who's been traveling across the U.S. on business. Leaning against the rail of the lobby bar at the Standard, he had some questions about election night: What were we all watching for on the projection screens? And how long until we'd call a winner — one hour? Two hours?

He wanted to know why the U.S. announced results from eastern states before polls closed on the west coast.

"In Sweden, we wait," he said.

Pontus and his friends had money on the outcome — he said he had $10 on Hillary winning Florida. Still, he had spent the past three weeks traveling to American cities like Clearwater, Tallahassee, New Orleans, and Memphis, where it seemed everyone he talked to was on the Trump train.

"All the yards had Trump/Pence signs," he said.

Watching the electoral vote count on the bottom of a TV screen, he shook his head at the prospect.

"It would be a disaster," he said before walking away.

Jessica Lipscomb

8:34 p.m.: Miami-Dade can also, finally and thankfully, say goodbye to a strange, contentious county mayoral race. With 94 percent of the county's precincts reporting, Carlos Gimenez has earned 55 percent of the Miami-Dade vote.

It's been a really weird year for county politics: Gimenez, a former fireman and city manager with the same relative charisma of a pencil eraser, fought hard to fend off Regalado, the daughter of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado. But if Gimenez tasted like eraser shavings, Regalado consistently made you feel like you were biting into a ghost pepper: She seemed exciting every time you looked at her from afar, but once you bit in deep, everything started burning up. She consistently blamed Gimenez for things he didn't do, was caught in a few small-time financial scandals, tried to put the entire Zika crisis on her opponent, and then sued Gimenez to knock him off the ballot when it seemed like she would lose.

In an era when voters crave authenticity, both candidates were centrist Republicans who spent months sidestepping questions about who they would support for president and offered few exciting proposals to help Miami-Dade. In fact, Gimenez somehow won reelection after taking millions in donations from local developers, and then fending off very public accusations that he was working to kill county-wide campaign finance reform. Gimenez won, but Miami doesn't have a ton to celebrate tonight.

8:27 p.m.: With close to 70 percent of the vote counted, the state's major amendment races look pretty clear. The Associated Press says Florida has officially legalized medical marijuana, opening up a host of new options for people with diseases like cancer and Altzheimer's, and a score of new zoning fights. Tomorrow, Miami Beach will vote on a measure that could ban cannabis dispensaries from the barrier island for six more months.

Amendment 1, meanwhile, is sitting at 50 percent — almost certain to die off for good.

8:20 p.m.: Incumbents Alcee Hastings, in Broward County, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in Broward and Miami-Dade, have won reelection as well. Neither win was a surprise.

8:18 p.m.: As polls close across Florida, American Social is filling up. The Las Olas bar is throwing an election watch party, with most of its large screen televisions turned to Fox News, MSNBC and Channel 7. One woman, walking into the bar, quips, "Maybe I don't want to see it," and laughs.

A crowd of people in Andrea Leigh McGee duds fill one corner booth, propping their signs against the wall and peering up at the TV screens.

Around the bar, people wearing "I voted" stickers — which net one free drink — are talking politics. A guy in a jersey tells his neighbor he predicts "a major upset" for Trump. "People hate Hillary," he explains.

When the Fox News ticker shoes Trump ahead in one state, he leans over and says loudly to a stranger, "Gooo Trump!"

Brittany Shammas

8:06 p.m.: With polls now closed statewide, the Associated Press has called the senate race for Marco Rubio. Rubio is currently up by 538,180 votes, which means we're in for four six more years of shameless flip-flopping, pandering, and missed senate votes.

And should that really surprise anyone? A charismatic candidate could have mopped the floor with Rubio, a man as politically exciting as warm toast with a cold slab of butter on top. Rubio's challenger didn't even need to do a lot of heavy lifting: Donald Trump mopped the absolute floor with Rubio during the presidential race, and exposed him as a gutless coward willing to say whatever he needs to retain power. The work was done.

Instead, the state got democratic challenger Patrick Murphy, a rich kid who misrepresented huge parts of his resumé and acted like an establishment parrot in a year when voters craved candidates with guts.

Don't worry: The Washington Post already named Rubio as an early contender for the 2020 race today, so Rubio almost definitely won't stick around too long.

7:50 p.m.: Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is already shaping up to be a legitimate spoiler candidate this year. With 17 percent of the state reporting, Clinton pulled in 3,328,872 votes, to Trump's 3,135,001.

But Johnson vacuumed up 129,032 — which exactly covers the margin between the two candidates. (Support for Jill Stein, meanwhile, appears to be anemic statewide, despite what random iPhone apps say.)

7:47 p.m.: Statewide, things are really looking good for both of Florida's major constitutional amendments. With 6 percent of the vote in, 53 percent of the state is supporting Amendment 1, which is a gigantic lie perpetrated by utility companies and ExxonMobil. That's not enough support to win.

On the other hand: Amendment 2, the state's medical cannabis measure, is sailing, with 69 percent of the vote.

7:31 p.m.: Early-voting results in Miami-Dade are now in, and Clinton appears to have sailed to a huge lead among early and absentee voters. With 56 percent of county voters reporting, 64 percent of Miami voters pulled the lever for Clinton, while about 34 percent went Trump. With 6 percent of the state's results in, Trump and Clinton are basically tied — Trump leads slightly, 49.8 percent to 47.3 percent.

Down the ballot, Patrick Murphy is actually out to an early lead over Marco Rubio in his home county. Murphy took 55 percent of the early voting haul to Rubio's 45, but Rubio still appears to be leading his opponent statewide.

Voters also went hard for medical cannabis in Miami-Dade — enough to cross the 60-percent threshold the bill needs to pass. But the anti-solar amendment 1 didn't trick enough early voters: Just 56 percent went for it.

6:56 p.m.: If Clinton wants to take Florida, she'll need a heck of a lot of help from the state's bluest counties, Miami-Dade and Broward. So far, it appears voter-turnout is on her side: CBS Miami reports that Broward County, one of the most solidly blue areas in America, broke an all-time turnout record, which means Trump might have a rough night once analysts call the Sunshine State.

In Miami-Dade, analysts are projecting a 70 percent voter turnout, which is lower than historical averages. But thanks to population and voter-registration growth, it appears that more people will cast votes this year in Miami than in years past. Overall, the numbers favor Clinton.

6:00 p.m.: With an hour left before polls close, it's worth parsing out which races are even worth worrying about. Obviously, people are reporting so much Trump/Clinton anxiety that the New Yorker is recommending everyone sit down and listen to the Five Stairsteps' "Oooh Child" on repeat, so obviously, the presidential race is going to be close. And Trump can't win without taking Florida. But you all knew that already.

But Florida's two amendment races are set to be nail-biters, as well. Despite the fact that roughly 80 percent of Floridians say they support medical cannabis legalization, the measure needs to hit a very high approval threshold — 60 percent — to become law. It failed in 2014, despite approval from 58 percent of the voting bloc. Average Floridians seem like they really want medicinal weed, but things sure seemed that way in 2014, too.

Likewise, the vote on Amendment 1 — the fraudulently written, utility-backed amendment that would actually make it harder for Floridians to get solar panels at home —is going to come down to the wire as well. The amendment's ballot language should honestly be illegal, as the ballots themselves just tell citizens that the measure will let people keep solar panels at their houses. But thanks to a hard-nosed effort from newspapers and environmental activists, people have gotten hip to the fact that the bill would actually give companies like Florida Power & Light added control over who can have solar power. Support for the bill sunk like a stone in the last few weeks, dropping from around 84 percent in September to 59.8 percent in October — just .2 percent under the threshold it needs to pass.

At least two big races seem to be headed for blowouts. Most analysts predict Marco Rubio will cruise to victory over Patrick Murphy. The latest Quinnipiac Poll, which previously said the race was "too close to call," now has Rubio up seven points on Murphy. Murphy could still win, but it'd be a massive upset.

And despite the fact that county mayoral challenger Raquel Regalado forced the Miami-Dade mayor's race into a runoff last August, Carlos Gimenez is all-but-certain to earn a second stint as county mayor. Perhaps that's why Regalado sued him to knock him off the ballot last week. She failed.

In the meantime:


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