9:19 p.m.: Just a a brilliant victory speech from Barack Obama. Confident and humble, respectful to his opponent, reaching out to those who voted against him, mindful of the challenges ahead but calm nonetheless. I got teary and I'm not the only one here who did.
8:49 p.m.: Email from Barack Obama:
I'm about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.
We just made history.
And I don't want you to forget how we did it.
You made history every single day during this campaign -- every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it's time for change.
I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.
We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next.
But I want to be very clear about one thing...
All of this happened because of you.
8:23 p.m. John McCain is giving an exceptionally gracious concession speech. He recognized the historic importance of this election to African-Americans and the importance of Obama's ability to bring millions of new voters into the democratic process. This John McCain would have been a much more formidable opponent.
8:02 p.m. NBC calls the West Coast for Obama!!!!!!!! I'm near tears! Our long national nightmare is OVER!!!!!!!!!
7:48 p.m. Pacific: This is so great. Also, I nominate William Bennett as the biggest blowhard on television.
7:21 p.m. Pacific: CNN calls Florida, N. Carolina, and Colorado for Obama! (Texas for McCain.)
7:12 p.m. Pacific: Damn. McCain pulled off major upsets in Utah and Mississippi. That sure puts a damper on my evening.
6:55 p.m. Pacific: The vibe in the K./T. house is great! Now, we just want to run up the score!
Obama has 207 electoral votes. California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii (70 votes) are mortal locks. Colorado, Virginia, Florida, and N. Carolina (64 votes) all look very possible. And Indiana and Missouri are still up for grabs, but they'll be tough.
6:24 p.m. Pacific: Fox and NBC have both called Ohio for Obama! This is over!
5:38 p.m. Pacific: Georgia to McCain. No upset there.
5:31 p.m. Pacific: Kay Hagan defeats Dole in North Carolina! +3!
With Pennsylvania and New Hampshire in the fold, Obama needs win only one red state and he's the next president. So watch Virginia, Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina of the states where polls have closed.
5:18 p.m. Pacific: NBC calls New Hampshire senate race for Democrat Jeanne Shaheen. +2!
My son just called to tell me that CNN's Ohio reporter left the McCain "victory" party there because no one had shown up. The Obama party is quite well attended.
Around these parts, young people have been really excited about voting. It's been great to see.
5:02 p.m. Pacific: Pennsylvania! McCain had to have it. Put the champagne on ice!
4:30 p.m. Pacific: For what they're worth, here are some exit poll numbers from this morning (Obama first):
Wi 58 42
Nate Silver outlines the drawbacks to exit polls here.
4:00 p.m.: NBC calls Kentucky for McCain, Vermont for Obama. McCain leads Obama in Indiana by 38 votes with 10% of the vote in. Polls also close in Georgia, Virginia, and South Carolina. Next poll closings are North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia at 4:30 Pacific.
African-American early voting turnout in Georgia was 35%. If total AA turnout in Georgia is 30% or more, Obama has an excellent chance of carrying the state.
NBC calls a Democratic senate seat pickup in Virginia (Mark Warner).12:20 p.m. Pacific Time: FiveThirtyEight.com projects that Barack Obama will carry 25 states totaling 353 electoral votes, 83 more than needed to be elected president. They also project that Obama will win 52.3% of the popular vote to John McCain's 46.2%. "Our model projects that Obama will win all states won by John Kerry in 2004, in addition to Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado, Ohio, Virginia, Nevada, Florida and North Carolina, while narrowly losing Missouri and Indiana."