Every four years, Americans cast their ballots for president of the United States and then spend the next several hours biting their nails as the results trickle in precinct by precinct. Sometimes it’s all over quickly. (Both Ronald Reagan victories were called before 9:00 p.m.) Sometimes it’s a long, drawn-out night. (Mitt Romney didn’t concede to Barack Obama until well after midnight.) Other times, Americans wait weeks before knowing who their next president will be. (Bush/Gore, anyone?)
This year is an anomaly given that one of the major candidates has refused to say whether he’ll even accept the election results. So what happens if Donald Trump keeps us in “suspense” tonight, as he promised to do? The short answer: Even without a concession speech, media outlets can still call the election for Hillary Clinton. And if the latest polls are correct, they probably will. But it’s not over yet.
The Washington Post has compiled “call times” for the last 10 presidential elections. (These are the times the election was called by various media outlets.) As you can see, there is no typical time.