This is going to be a difficult election to predict at least with a lot of precision. Questions I have going into today:
1) How will the large numbers of absentee ballots be handled? In some places they are transferred to the polling place on election day and included in the precinct counts. Other places hold them. Some places allow upwards of two weeks for them to make their way via the postal service. Without knowing the answer to this question, there will not be much value to knowing the number of ballots cast at various polling spots and comparing them to last year, because like items may not have been compared.
3) Related to 2, most likely McCain will have received more votes than any Republican presidential candidate in history, regardless of the outcome tonight.
4) Indicators one should reach for the hard liquor:
a) South Carolina isn’t called by 9:00 EST.
Obama: 414 (includes 2 NE electoral votes.)