6:38 PM: Our Election Night headquarters this year is Admiral Bird, which took reservations for its cozy space and is filling up.
Results have been on the big screen here for almost an hour and a half. “If anything is certain about tonight, it’s uncertainty,” said one of the CBS anchors just now. A moment later, CBS called Connecticut for Democrat Hillary Clinton, and a cheer erupted – first one of the night. We’ll have updates from here and from the West Seattle ballot dropbox, where WSB photojournalist Leda Costa is stationed as the 8 pm voting deadline approaches. (added) Jon sent this photo of daughter Sydney “helping me vote!”
6:50 PM: If you’re looking for somewhere to watch – we just checked a couple nearby spots; nobody at the West Seattle Library (2306 42nd SW), which has results on until 7:45, and not many at Parliament Tavern (4210 SW Admiral Way).
7:02 PM: “White-knuckles kind of night,” declares another CBS anchor, suggesting people are drinking. Yes, here at Admiral Bird, where wine and beer are offered as well as coffee, and it’s a pro-Clinton crowd, they are. Meantime, LOTS of voting. Leda sends this photo of an overflow bag, brought in after the dropbox has already had to be emptied twice today:
7:50 PM: A few minutes ago, the 15-minute warning was sounded at the dropbox:
As for the race, Trump has retained the electoral edge. The pro-Clinton crowd here has cheered when there was a reason to, such as the recent call of Colorado in her corner:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) November 9, 2016
Minutes left to get your ballot in. And we’ll get local results – which we’ll publish separately – within half an hour or so.
8:02 PM: More cheers as projections came in with the West Coast poll closings.
8:22 PM: King County’s results release has been delayed. Meantime, here’s the countdown from the West Seattle dropbox at the top of the hour:
Here at Admiral Bird, the big screen remains on CBS and the current estimated electoral-vote count is 197 Clinton, 193 Trump, with some major states as-yet-uncalled.
8:29 PM: Local TV has put up some early numbers in the statewide races but with conversation continuing to buzz, few realize that those numbers include no King County results yet. Meantime, CBS has called Florida for Trump, who is back in the electoral lead, 222-197. “This night has gone much differently than anyone has predicted,” says an anchor. Meanwhile, a TV photographer has showed up here.
8:40 PM: “I don’t understand how it’s this close,” says one of the 25-plus people here. Meantime, the one person in the room who seems oblivious to what’s unfolding on screen is many years away from voting:
On screen now, Trump 227 electoral votes, Clinton 197.
9:02 PM: The King County votes are finally tallied in a readable way – so we’re tracking the local and statewide races/measures here.
9:16 PM: The presidential race hasn’t yet been called; Trump 244, Clinton 209, is the current count. The CBS anchors also have shown a number suggesting the financial markets are not happy about it. “Holy s–t!” is the exclamation here, in reaction to that. Some have gone home.
9:30 PM: Two rounds of cheering, but not related to the presidential race – they cheered reports that Pramila Jayapal has won the 7th Congressional District seat, and that Sound Transit 3, set to bring light rail to West Seattle in 2030, is winning. Meantime, the electoral tally is 244 Trump, 215 Clinton.
10:02 PM: The electoral #’s haven’t changed (if you’ve lost track, 270 is required to win). A local TV cut-in brought a brief glimpse of Governor Inslee, who’s winning re-election tonight, and that sparked a cheer among the remaining partygoers here at Admiral Bird.
10:21 PM: Another couple comes up to the bar at the Bird, where we’ve been sitting. Going home, they say. “Going to sleep?” they’re asked. “Probably not” is the reply.
10:40 PM: Someone just walked in, saying she didn’t want to be sad by herself. The CBS people on the TV keep pointing out how late it is, Eastern time, and wondering what’s holding things up – “absentee ballots?” asks one.
10:46 PM: Next to us at the Bird bar, a woman talks of a friend or relative whose 6-year-old half-Latino child is worried, saying that “Trump hates Mexicans, and I’m half Mexican.” The sadness is palpably mixed with fear.
11:40 PM: After six hours, the laptop died and we headed back to HQ, right after a Clinton campaign official told her supporters to go home, that she wouldn’t have anything to say tonight. Donald Trump, meantime, is expected to speak sometime soon. We’re watching NBC, which says Clinton has called Trump to concede.