Going into tonight’s election many on the left—myself very much included—thought that the election would be close, but only close-ish, and that Clinton would win with a safe margin of popular and electoral votes. She had many paths to victory, whereas Donald Trump had very few. If he lost Florida, for instance, he pretty much had no chance.
Well, Donald Trump is on track to win Florida. And he’s doing it because his voters—white voters, and rural white voters in particular—are turning out in droves for him, and off-setting Clinton’s gains with educated whites and minority voters. This is a scary sign, in part because there are lots of these voters in the Rust Belt states that Trump will need to pick off to really have a shot to win. No swing state has been called yet, but the surge in white voters appears to have caught many off-guard. Uncertainty—and, in some cases, outright panic—has set in for many.
It’s very early, but every sign points to a long night. And a much, much closer election than most people were expecting.