zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Nov 8, 2016 11:17 AM
With polls tight heading into election day, everyone will be intently looking for early clues as to which way the U.S. electorate will swing tonight. Even if the race turns out to be a blow out, which the online bookies seem to be predicting, the networks likely won’t officially call the race until around midnight EST. That said, there are a couple of helpful clues that will emerge earlier in the evening that could indicate which way the presidential race will swing.
The first thing to watch for is exit polling data, which according to The Hill, should start to emerge around 5pm EST. While exit polls have serious limitations in predicting the ultimate outcome of a state, they can provide very helpful insights into the demographic mix of voters. As we’ve written numerous times in the past, the key for Hillary tonight will be whether or not black voters will turn out at the same levels they did in 2008 and 2012 to support Obama. Certainly, as we recently pointed out, the early voting data coming out of Florida and North Carolina would indicate that she’s in trouble on this point.
Clinton has performed best among women, the college educated, minorities and young voters, so her campaign will be hoping for strong numbers among those groups. Trump, meanwhile, is strongest with men, white voters and older voters.
Election analysts will be focused most intently on Hispanic turnout in states like Arizona, Nevada and Florida. Democrats have talked up the early-vote totals among the group, arguing they point to a “surge” among that demographic that could doom Trump.