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Dublin: 3 °C Wednesday 19 February, 2020


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IT’S 8 NOVEMBER 2016. 

D-Day as millions of Americans went to the polls to choose their next president after one of the most fascinating, disturbing and bad-tempered election campaigns in US history. 

Will we be calling Donald Trump POTUS in January? Or shall the people return Hillary Clinton to the White House – but in a very different role from when she was there last?

Join in the conversation in the comments section, on Twitter @thejournal_ie or by email

UPDATE 23:00 As the polls are closing, we have started a new liveblog to track the election results as they flood in. Join us over here.

Good afternoon… Sinéad O’Carroll here for the first stint of Election Day!

The polls have already opened in nine states on the east coast of America.

As we kick off, Clinton has a narrow lead in the polls.

BUT… nobody has ruled out Trump at all at this stage.

We *should* know who the next president of the United States will be though by 5am tomorrow morning (if not a little earlier).

Stay tuned.


Looks like some of you have taken the day off tomorrow so you can watch overnight. Here’s some material to get you fired up today…

Bostonian and lawyer Larry Donnelly has been examining what a Donald Trump presidency could look like. He writes:

A President Trump might find more common cause with pro-labour union, anti-war Democrats than members of his own party on trade and on the potential use of military force. The coalitions he would have to assemble to advance his agenda would put the “politics can make for strange bedfellows” maxim to the ultimate test.

“He could bypass the Congress and use the president’s executive authority in certain areas, such as trade, immigration and the environment. Observers have warily noted that he would have the power to impose tariffs, to order more deportations and to roll back environmental protections.

And some fret openly about someone with a volcanic temper like Donald Trump having access to the nuclear codes. The world can only hope and pray that there is no real cause for worry on this final point.

“And the robust legislative and judicial branches of government in the US, often lamented because they ensure that change happens at glacial pace, would be a powerful check on President Trump’s more malignant impulses.”

Read more here>

It’s going to be a long day (and night) for the candidates and for those waiting on a result.

Here are some of the key times (Irish) to set alarms for. All come with huge caveats of ‘we really don’t know exactly what will happen and when’ (see Brexit):

  • 11pm: The first polls close.
  • Between midnight and 1am: Voting stops in the swing states of Florida, Ohio, North Carolina
  • 1am: Networks in the US will begin calling results and we’ll get initial indications of who will be victorious (unless it’s really, really close)
  • 3am: This will be the earliest time (probably) that a winner will be called by the networks (CNN, ABC, CBS etc).


  • 5am: The concession speeches *may* start.

Did you see Trump talk about Beyoncé yesterday?

Which we are grateful for, because it gives us reason to post this from Radio Kerry. (If you’ve never listened to it, please do so now. It will make your day, regardless of what happens in America).

Source: colly72/YouTube


Meanwhile, the first messages from Irish in America are starting to filter through. This one from a New York-based Dubliner.



Polls in this unpredictable political world are not what they once were. Trying to ascertain a true picture of what 300 million individuals are going to do on any given day is a daunting task.

Let’s take a look anyway though, heh?

BBC News’ poll of polls (with data from Real Clear Politics) has Clinton on 48% support and Trump on 44% today.

FiveThirtyEight has Hillary’s chance of winning at 71.6% and Donald at 28.4%.

Yesterday, the YouGov/Economist poll had Clinton with a four-point lead (49% to 45%).

Heard of the Mannequin Challenge? It’s some pointless internet phenomenon where everyone in a room stays still for 30 seconds.

Clinton’s campaign plane did it…

No word whether Trump can stand still for 30 seconds.

Watch the video here.

Our highlight? The Bill waxwork.


Another tidbit from an ex-pat in America.

This one from a Dubliner in Boston who is watching the election closely.



As I sat ready to take over‘s liveblog for the Brexit count, the late-night reporters were leaving the office.

“Let us know if you need anything.”

“Should be pretty straight forward….”

All the thinking that day was that the Remain camp had done enough and even Nigel Farrage was offering quasi-concessions throughout the day.

This is, obviously, a whole different beast as maths can be a lot more reliable when looking at the electoral college… BUT, there are still a lot of things that are impossible to know (as Larry Donnelly outlined in a recent piece for

That small percentage chance for a shock is still there.

You’ve been warned.

Jon Stewart Hiding Gif

One side of the US system that we wouldn’t be familiar with here is how long the queues for voting get…

Some people could end up waiting for over an hour today before being able to cast their vote.


Orla Ryan is going to take over now to take you through some more of the afternoon.

I’ll leave you with this image of 99-year-old Minerva Turpin….

If you’re in the mood for a musical interlude, Jon Stewart popped up on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night.

Late night TV in the US has been gifted with a LOT of material throughout the election campaign.

Stewart and Colbert are leaning towards one candidate, but a singing girl from the audience, like many voters, isn’t so sure…

Source: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube

In case you were in any doubt about what people are talking about online, nine of the 10 trending topics on Twitter in the US relate to the election:


The other one is Prince Harry, on foot of a statement from the British Royal family asking for the media to respect the privacy of his girlfriend Meghan Markle.

Two female protesters have been removed from a polling station in New York where Donald Trump is expected to vote today.

Can’t watch the video? Click here

The women, who were topless, are not fans of Trump.

Rosemary Hennigan, who has previously written for, is doing some polling monitoring in the US today.

She’s currently at the University of Pennsylvania.

Here’s what she told us from there: “I’m not starting my monitoring shift until 3.15am our time (so 8.15am Irish time), but reports from people I know at the polling stations for the morning shift are that the turnout in west Philly, which is predominantly African American, is strongly pro-Hillary, and it’s the same in the Latino north Philly, which is no surprise whatsoever. No incidents so far.”

Some women have been sharing photos of themselves wearing pantsuits in a show of support for Clinton.

Lady Gaga, meanwhile, has been channeling Michael Jackson:

Looking at the bigger picture, FiveThirtyEight has this interesting insight about media coverage for both candidates:

According to monthly data provided by MediaQuant, a company that quantifies media mentions, Trump got $1.01 billion (about €905 million) worth of coverage in September and October, compared with $940 million (about €850 million) for Clinton.

That’s consistent with an earlier report from the firm, which showed that once Trump was sharing the spotlight with just one rival instead of his many Republican primary challengers, he stopped getting the lion’s share.

One of the top trending topics on Twitter is #PostVotingStressRelief.

With long queues in many places, and the most divisive election campaign in recent times, here is what some people are doing to de-stress after voting:

Can’t watch? Click here.

Can’t watch? Click here.

soul Source: Twitter

On what could be a very historic day, people have been paying their respects at the grave of Susan B Anthony, an activist who campaigned for women to get the right to vote:

That’s it from me this afternoon, thanks for your company. I’ll hand you back to Sinéad O’Carroll.

Enjoy the rest of your election evening!

Donald and Melania Trump have just cast their votes.

Asked afterwards who he voted for, he joked that it was a tough choice to make.

donald Source: CNN

He also said that it was “looking good” for him right now.

More from our roving reporter Rosemary Hennigan who is at a polling station at 36th and Chestnut Street in West Philadelphia.

“It’s the University City areas so a lot of students are registered here,” she says.

There have been long lines and a big turnout so far.


Our sister site, Fora, has been looking at what a Trump presidency could do for business.

Investors are spooked by The Donald, writes Conor McMahon.

Andy McLevey, head of dealing at stockbroker Interactive Investor, says:

Having had their fingers burnt in the aftermath of the UK EU referendum, it is of little surprise many have paused for breath, as despite polls signalling a Hillary Clinton victory seems likely, it is still too close to call and we may see some jitters as the day progresses.

Read more here>

There is a weird amount of talk about the donuts in Donald Trump’s war rooms…

We’re working on getting you images.

Where will the president-elect be celebrating tonight?

AFP reports on the locations for both candidates’ after parties.

Both in New York, they will actually just be two miles apart.

Clinton has booked out the Javits Center, where construction crews have been working through the night to ready it for the Democratic nominee.

Campaing 2016 Clinton Source: J. David Ake

Trump will be down the road at the New York Hilton Midtown, a hotel with a capacity to sleep over 2,300 people.

Campaign 2016 Trump Hilton Source: Bebeto Matthews/PA Wire

Here are some reactions from voters across the US, as compiled by AFP.

Katie Kope, 19, a first-time voter in Staten Island, New York

“I was kind of torn between the two but I don’t trust Hillary, so that’s what it came down to.”

José Maria Molleda, 63, also a first-time voter after becoming a US citizen.

“I’m excited. I can’t believe I finally get to vote.”

Leonor Perez, 74, from Hialeah near Miami

“I voted for Hillary because it’s time for a woman to wear the pants in this country.”

Our resident Factchecker Dan MacGuill is in Philadelphia and has this mini-analysis for us.

“So the reports from Philadelphia appear to be that turnout is exceedingly high in the city, which definitely favours Clinton, and appears to be a bit slack in the suburbs, which is evenly balanced between Trump and Clinton.

“However, the real question is whether, overall, the turnout – particularly among blacks and Latinos – in Philadelphia, will approach the historically high levels seen for Obama in 2008 and 2012, which will go a long way to determining whether it can outweigh the very strong support for Trump in the massive swathe of Pennsylvania in between Philly and Pittsburgh.”

“Clinton is up by a few points in Pennsylvania, though, according to FiveThirtyEight, Clinton has a 77% chance of winning the state’s 20 electoral votes.”

The Associated Press has been looking at some international reaction to the election thus far.


Chancellor Angela Merkel says a victory for Clinton would be a step toward gender balance among world leaders.

Germany Norway Source: Michael Sohn/PA Wire

Merkel says she’s awaiting the election result “with suspense”, while declining to comment directly on Clinton or Trump.

But asked about the possibility of a woman winning the White House, she said:

“Then we’d come a little bit closer to a balance of women and men in leading positions.”

Germany’s first female leader was speaking alongside Erna Solberg, Norway’s second female prime minister. Solberg said it “may be inspiring for many young women to see politics not just as something that belongs to men”.

But she added:

There isn’t some kind of global girlfriends network that wants to rule the world.

Meanwhile, Germany’s foreign minister says the bitter US election campaign will leave a “difficult legacy” for the next president because it has deepened the country’s divisions.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier says both Germans and many Americans “are glad that this special election campaign is coming to an end”.

He says the campaign “has left a more or less divided country” and it will be difficult for the incoming president to bridge the differences.


Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra says a win for Trump would stall recent moves to improve relations between the countries.

Malcorra told an Argentine television channel that the conservative government of President Maurico Macri had opened a new phase of cooperation and trade with Washington after years of strained relations.

But she said that there might be a “big stop” in this process if Trump wins, and “depending on the results, there might be big changes” in US-Argentine relations.

The Argentine foreign minister said the “more closed, isolationist and xenophobic” model represented by the Republican candidate would have a major impact on the world and relations with Latin America.

Meanwhile, there was a mock poll held in the ancestral home of Barack Obama. AP reports:

“It was held in Nyangoma-Kogelo, the birthplace of Obama’s father. Kenyan comedian Laurence Oyange was an organiser. He says it’s a way Kenyans can connect to America.

Oyange said the poll was boycotted by Malik Obama, the president’s half-brother who has said he supports Trump.

There were 105 voters and 78% of them favored Clinton. Eleven percent went for Donald Trump. Other ballots were spoiled or disqualified.

Oyange says the community also held mock US elections during Obama’s elections.”

And here are some more thoughts from another ex-pat Dubliner in Boston….


And this highlights what is the unpredictability of this race:


Hi - Susan Daly here with you for another few hours – polling will begin to close from 11pm our time.

In the meantime, says this resident of South Philadelphia, YES WE ARE VOTING AND NO, YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOCK.

Can you imagine?

Source: Dan Mac Guill

Is this a sign for what is to come should Trump not prevail?

Reuters is reporting that Trump is already planning to sue Nevada – he has filed a suit saying that election officials at Clark County allowed voters to join the line “at a polling location at a Latino market” after 8pm. The law in Nevada state says those who are in line at 8pm, as polls close, can cast their vote.

The Daily News Bin is drawing the conclusion that Trump thinks Nevada is already lost to him.

The clear upshot here is that Trump wouldn’t be filing this suit so early unless he’s concluded that he’s basically lost the state.

Reminder: Trump said in the final presidential debate that he couldn’t promise that he would accept the election result, whatever the outcome. “I’ll keep you in suspense.”

It’s okay though.

Everyone is otherwise keeping calm:

We’ve gotten this from Virginia, “where sign theft is a big concern for my neighbours”:


Twelve months in jail AND a $2,500 fine. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

There are still two and a half hours to go before the very first polls close in the US. Even so, people are DONE with talking about how they are going to vote. D.O.N.E. you hear?

This vignette comes from Conor in Virginia:


Just to return to that Trump challenge to Nevada state. A judge has already thrown it out saying, “I am not going to issue any order. I’m not going to do it.”

Read more from Rónán Duffy on that story here.

What is turnout looking like in this most heated of US presidential votes in living memory?

Some early voting data released from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona and the contentious (for Trump, anyway) Nevada is showing a large increase in turnout from Latin-American voters, who traditionally vote Democrat. The New York Times is saying that one-sixth of early votes cast in Florida were from Hispanic voters, an increase of 75% on 2012.


We’re hearing from west Philly that there’s a “very slow trickle” of voters while in Virginia, “Modest lines outside Rockbridge County VA polling station with three and a half hours left [it closes at 7pm local time]“:


No-one, especially not the big US networks, are willing to call it this early but it should get heavier as the polling stations get closer to shutting up shop.

For the record, the turnout in a US presidential election hit its highest level since 1968 when Obama was voted into office in 2008 – it was 57.1%. That dropped to 54.9% for his re-election in 2012.

Our resident FactChecker Dan Mac Guill has been down at the Trump and Clinton offices in Philadelphia to check the temperature of the hardworking campaign staff there.

He reports:

“On South Street in Philadelphia, the Clinton and Trump field offices are separated by less than 50 yards. Inside the Trump office, four or five men sit at desks, a couple of them making phone calls.

IMG_0475 Source: Dan Mac Guill

“One volunteer, named Jerome, steps outside to answer questions. He’s immediately very keen to talk at length about his Irish heritage, but demurs when asked how he feels the day is going for the Trump campaign in the city and in Pennsylvania. ‘Oh I don’t know.’

“He starts a digression, comparing Clinton’s “big money” campaign with that of his preferred candidate. When he’s asked for his sense of how things are going at the polling stations, he breaks off: ‘No, this isn’t even fun.’ He’s in no rush to answer questions about Election Day, and if he’s going to be hurried, he says, ‘then I won’t participate’, and he goes back inside.

“In the Clinton staging office, less than a minute’s walk away, there are at least 30 volunteers milling about, giving or getting instructions. There are signs all over the walls, including a three-step flow chart on effective canvassing.

IMG_0481 Source: Dan Mac Guill

“Elizabeth Weinbloom, a volunteer trainer, says 400 people came through the door on Saturday, offering their time as part of the ‘get out to vote’ operation. She expects the number for today to be even greater. On Saturday, canvassers organised and dispatched through this office alone, knocked on an estimated 15,000 doors.

IMG_0482 Source: Dan Mac Guill


“‘There’s a lot of people who think of election day as the time to help out, and not about the previous six months…Where were you four weeks ago?!’”

“She laughs, and then quickly adds, ‘But we’re very glad they’re here today’.”

IMG_0479 At the Trump field office in Philadelphia Source: Dan Mac Guill


IMG_0479 At the Clinton field office in Philadelphia Source: Dan Mac Guill

We think he means county, not country, but safe to say that The Donald is back on the tweet machine.

As we reported earlier, Clinton and Trump will be celebrating (or mourning) the election results just two miles apart in Manhattan. Clinton will be at the Javits Center and Trump has booked the New York Hilton Midtown.

For now though, Trump is watching the results come in at his eponymous skyscraper, also in Midtown.

On a serious note, there are dump trucks filled with sand apparently guarding a sealed-off Trump Tower – to prevent potential attacks.

On a less serious note, we are cringing at this report from Yahoo News that a campaign volunteer for the Clinton campaign got an earful when she rang a prominent Trump supporter, Ohio pastor Darrell Scott, as he sat in Trump Tower. Awkward.

Let’s just suppose that Donald Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States.

Our columnist Larry Donnelly envisaged the prospect in a piece for us this morning.

And over on our sister business site,, there’s a take from investment consultant Vincent McCarthy on what a Trump win would mean for business abroad – and here.

Rosemary Hennigan, originally from Dublin but monitoring polling in West Philadelphia, is telling us of some tension at a polling station on North 39th Street. Trump and Clinton poll watchers argued over whether Clinton people were too close to the polling station (the legal requirement is to be 10 feet or more from the room where voting is taking place). While Trump watchers were making that allegation, Clinton watchers were alleging that Trump people were taking pictures of them.

Basically, there is a lot of suspicion around in these final few tense hours.

Let’s relieve the tension with this image sent in by Moia in Boston of the bipartisan election-themed cookies in her office:


In case you didn’t know/care, MSNBC are calling the seasonal ice-rink spot in front of Rockefeller Center ‘Democracy Plaza’.

MSNBC, plz.

In less sweet news for Donald Trump, we were previously told that the first Bush president, George H.W., would not be voting for the Republican candidate.

Apparently, the second Bush president, George W., didn’t cast his ballot for Trump either.

Cliodhna Russell and Christina Finn are at the US Embassy’s election count night in the Guinness Storehouse right now, up to their oxters in ice sculptures and giant hot dogs. #MakeAmericanSnacksGreatAgain

Are you at a US election night party right now? Send us your pics to or tweet at us @thejournal_ie

And do you have a US Ambassador to Ireland at yours?

This is Kevin O’Malley right now at the Storehouse:

IMG_4226 Source: Cliodhna Russell

And back to the food to keep the stomachs lined for the night:

IMG_4213 Source: Cliodhna Russell

The parties are warming up and the first exit polls are close to being revealed, so we’re going to sign off on your voting day liveblog and bring you over to the excitement of election night count.

Click here now and fingers crossed we will have a victor for you in the early hours. Stay with us.

About the author:

Fora Staff