As the first polls closed Tuesday, anxious Americans awaited an indication of who would prevail at the end of a historically bitter presidential contest — whether Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would hold on to her narrow pre-election lead or Republican Donald Trump would secure a stunning upset.
At 7 p.m. Eastern time, the Associated Press said that Clinton was projected to win Vermont’s three electoral votes, while Trump was projected the winner in Indiana and Kentucky, locking up 19 electoral votes. South Carolina and Georgia remained too close to call.
The pivotal state of Virginia also remained too close to call. Clinton is hoping to outperform President Obama in the commonwealth’s northern suburbs outside of Washington, D.C., where a growing immigrant population has helped Democrats expand their hold. Obama won Virginia by 6.3 percent in 2008 and 3.9 percent in 2012 — the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to prevail twice in the state.
During the day on Tuesday, there were reports of long lines at some polling places, and scattered reports of intimidation by people outside.
The loudest complaints came from Trump’s campaign.
In Nevada, it filed a lawsuit arguing that polls were improperly kept open late during early voting in Clark County, home of Las Vegas. The county said it was following the law, by allowing those who were in line at the time polls closed to continue and vote. A judge in the case seemed skeptical of the Trump campaign’s claims, and denied its request to preserve evidence in the case.
In a possibly worrisome sign for the GOP, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told NBC’s Chuck Todd about 6:15 p.m. that Trump “didn’t have the full support of the Republican infrastructure.”
Also Tuesday, Trump himself tweeted out what he said was a CNN headline: “Utah officials report voting machine problems across entire country.”
CNN reporters quickly replied that Trump’s message contained a key typo: the problems in Utah had been reported across a county, not the entire United States. Washington County — in the southwest corner of the state — had experienced some problems with voting machines on Tuesday morning. They used paper ballots in the meantime, and had the problem with the machines fixed by noon.