There’s not much time left until Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump claims victory. Like most of us, you’re probably hoping to keep up with the 2016 election results live, which might have you wondering how late you’ll have to be up. Here’s an estimate of what time the election results will be called based on past elections and what we know about this year’s contest.
So what time will the race be called?
The short answer is: It’s complicated.
Out of the past 10 elections, five of them have been called between 11 p.m. and 11:40 p.m ET. The quickest election to be called was Reagan’s 1980 landslide, in which he ultimately won 44 states, and NBC News announced the winner at 8:15 p.m. The most drawn-out election decision was the infamous 2000 contest between George W. Bush and Al Gore, with a recount of Florida’s extremely close results not allowing for an official decision until Dec. 12 of that year.
The other three elections not called between 11 p.m. and midnight are:
- 2004, where George W. Bush was declared winner at roughly 11:20 a.m. the morning after Election Day.
- 1996, where Bill Clinton was officially re-elected at around 9 p.m.
- 1976, with Jimmy Carter beating Gerald Ford at approximately 3:30 a.m.
However, it looks like unless an election is a tight race or hit by a huge controversy, they tend to be over before midnight about half the time.
The 2016 election is never done throwing surprises our way, and it’s entirely possible that we’ll get yet another thrown at us tonight.
Based on a report by Natasha Guzman of Bustle.