The 2016 presidential race is coming to an end on Tuesday as millions of Americans head to the polls across the country in what has been one of the wildest elections in U.S. history.
The winning candidate will need to secure 270 electoral votes out of a possible 538 votes in the electoral college to become the 45th president.
Hillary Clinton, who could become the first female president if elected, holds a slight lead over GOP candidate Donald Trump, according to multiple polls leading up to Tuesday. Also on the presidential ballot are independent candidates Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Jill Stein (Green Party).
The first results are expected at 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET on Tuesday when polls start to close in Indiana. At 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET, polling stations will close in Florida, Georgia, Indiana (complete), New Hampshire, South Carolina and Virginia.
See the full list of poll closing times below.
Stay tuned for live updates right here on Variety.com.
1 a.m PT. Chris Evans, “Captain America.”
12:49 am PT. Madonna.
12:48 am PT. Carl Reiner.
12:25 am PT. Trump’s mission. What was striking about his concession speech was that the focus was on a giant infrastructure program, to put Americans to work. That proposal has been stalled out in Congress throughout the Obama administration, and could very well be a flashpoint with fiscal conservatives.
12:18 am PT. Katy Perry.
11:43 pm PT. Trump will speak soon. Trump is expected to speak to his jubilant supporters in a bit, as the crowd there is stunned by his upset win.
11:41 pm PT. Clinton concedes. Hillary Clinton called Trump this evening to concede the election, according to CNN. The Trump celebration erupts in loud cheers as the news is flashed at Trump headquarters.
11:29 pm PT. Trump wins Wisconsin. He surprises by winning the state, one that the Clinton campaign thought they had in the bag. He also won Maine’s 2nd congressional district — even as Clinton won the rest of the state.
11:22 pm PT. Stars at Clinton rally. Cher and Lady Gaga are at the Clinton event at the Javits Center, but are backstage crying, according to NBC News’ Kasie Hunt.
11:17 pm PT. Warning signs. Michael Moore, who has been warning that Michigan was not the guarantee that Democrats thought it was.
11:03 pm PT. John Podesta. “It has been a long time, and it has been a long campaign. But I should say we can wait a little longer.” He tells everyone to head home and “we will have more to say tomorrow.” So Clinton will not concede tonight, but I suspect Trump will speak.
11:01 pm PT. ‘Lock her up.’ The crowd at the Trump victory party at the Hilton is now chanting “lock her up, lock her up.”
10:48 pm PT. ‘Deplorables.’ There will be a lot of dissecting of what went wrong for Clinton, but her statement that half of his supporters could be put into a “basket of deplorables.” It was at a fundraiser for her campaign on Sept. 9, with Barbra Streisand as the entertainment.
10:40 pm PT. AP calls Pennsylvania. The Associated Press just called Pennsylvania for Trump, a major firewall for Clinton. The race is essentially lost for the Democrats. EV total: Trump 264, Clinton 215.
10:34 pm PT. Judd Apatow.
10:22 pm PT. California initiatives. In addition to recreational marijuana use, California voted to extend income taxes for the wealthy, repealed a ban on bilingual education and approved background checks for ammunition purchases,
10:10 pm PT. Rob Lowe. He notes the number of people from entertainment who vowed to move to another country if this moment that looks about to happen actually happens.
9:51 pm PT. Evan McMullin. “Tonight there are millions of Americans who, I am sad to say, fear their liberties will be challenged by a Trump administration,” he said. He suggested that he will try again in 2020. Trump is projected to win the state.
9:45 pm PT. Van Jones. On CNN, Van Jones congratulated frequent CNN commentator Jeffrey Lord, a Trump backer, on the disbelief among many who did not vote for Trump. “This was a whitelash against a changing country. This was a whitewash against a black president,” he said, adding that he’s heard from Muslims asking if they should leave the country.
“You got a lot of people who feel that we are not represented well either,” Jones said, calling a “deeply painful moment tonight.”
9:34 pm PT. Clinton wins Nevada. She needs to win it. Many people from entertainment trekked there on the thinking that it would be a make-or-break swing state. As it turns out, it was Wisconsin and Michigan. EV count: Trump 244, Clinton 215.
9:30 pm PT. More pessimism. Just chatted with a Clinton bundler, who says that the atmosphere is obviously downcast. Hopes for a victory are very slim. There is absolute shock.
9:04 pm PT. Losing hope in Clinton camp. From Brent Lang: Disbelief has blanketed the Javits Center. What was a celebratory mood only a few hours before grew bleak, with a few onlookers fighting back tears as results ticked in that seemed to indicate that Trump was poised to capture the White House.
8:39 pm PT. Trump wins Iowa. Trump gains another state that Democrats have claimed the last two cycles. EV count: Trump, 216; Clinton, 209.
8:31 pm PT. Kamala Harris wins. In California, state Attorney General Kamala Harris has won a race to succeed Sen. Barbara Boxer in the Senate. Harris was well ahead of her challenger, another Democrat, Loretta Sanchez. But Democrats appear to have lost their chances to take a majority in the Senate.
8:29 pm PT. Marijuana legalization. Californians are projected to approve an initiative legalizing recreational marijuana use. A few people out here may need it.
8:24 pm PT. Florida for Trump. Florida is called by several news outlets, once again boosting his prospects. This was a state in which Clinton supporters had a lot of confidence of winning.
8:18 pm PT. The path. Overconfidence about Wisconsin may turn into the Clinton campaign’s biggest miscalculation. It has been a reliable Democratic state, as have other Rust Belt states. CNN’s Jake Tapper calls it “less probable by the hour.”
8:10 pm PT. The mood turns. Brent Lang, at the Javits Center. “I feel sick,” one supporter says as she watches ABC recount Trumps possible path to victory. People are starting to peel away from the event. It’s a trickle but the mood has shifted.
8:06 pm PT. North Carolina for Trump. Clinton loses a major battleground state, according to a number of projections. A Clinton win is looking more unlikely, given the huge margins that Trump has racked up in rural areas in Wisconsin and Michigan. EV count: Clinton, 190; Trump, 186.
8:00 pm PT. California for Clinton. No surprise, but Clinton wins the Golden State. It’s the biggest electoral prize, but has been safely blue since 1992. EV count: Clinton, 190; Trump 171.
7:52 pm PT. Alarm at the Javits Center. From Brent Lang: “Lots of panicked phone calls and typing into smartphones as attendees try to game out different electoral scenarios. Great alarm over Michigan.”
7:46 pm PT. Cher. The singer campaigned for Clinton, and also has been one of her most outspoken of celebrity activists.
Her mood tonight:
7:40 pm PT. Clinton wins Colorado. She needs this state — she needs every state now — so this is a significant victory. But Trump is stunning with his performance across the upper Midwest, including Wisconsin and Michigan.
7:26 pm PT. Trump wins Ohio. Trump is projected to win in Ohio, the first battleground state to be called. Several news outlets have called Virginia for Clinton, which generates some cheers at the Javits Center. But it is small solace. EV count: Trump 167, Clinton 122.
7:13 pm PT. New Mexico and Missouri. Clinton is projected to get New Mexico, and that Donald Trump will win Missouri. EV count: Trump. 149, Clinton, 109.
7:05 pm PT. The markets. A lot of jitters. The Financial Times reports that the Mexican peso has seen its steepest dive in more than 20 years. Dow futures are down 400. EV count: Clinton, 104, Trump 140.
7:01 pm PT. More projections. Trump wins in Montana, but so far no battleground states called. High anxiety among the Clinton team.
A sample, from one of her campaign bundlers.
6:54 pm PT. Sigh of relief. From Variety’s Brent Lang: At the Javits Center, there is a sigh of relief as CNN shows Clinton taking a lead in Virginia. But it may be small solace, as she was thought to be in a prime position to have a healthy lead there.
6:45 pm PT. Trump wins Lousiana. Again, no surprise. But it was a state that went Democratic for governor just last year. So far, Trump appears to be over performing by racking up large margins in rural areas — perhaps giving some credence to the missing working class vote. EV count: Trump, 136, Clinton, 104.
6:40 pm PT. Pollsters. They already are saying that the polling industry is in for an upheaval, given that Trump is already are over performing. “We are seeing a credible path for Donald Trump to the White House,” says Jake Tapper of CNN.
6:34 pm PT. Shocker? The New York Times is now forecasting a Trump win.
6:26 pm PT. Clinton Wins Connecticut. Hey, it’s something. EV count: Trump, 128, Clinton 97.
6:21 p.m. PT. From the Javits Center. Tension has gripped the Javits Center as early returns show Trump leading in Virginia, Florida and other battleground states
6:15 p.m. PT. Trump’s prospects brighten. It is starting to look like a better-than-expected night for Trump, with Florida now looking more remote for Clinton. A long night, more likely than not. Trump wins Texas, which also was expected, but more to their favor is an unexpectedly close showing so far in Virginia. EV count: Trump, 128, Clinton, 97.
6 p.m. PT. More projections. Clinton wins New York (her home state, but also Trump’s), Trump wins Kansas, Nebraska (3 of 5 electoral votes), North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. As of yet, no swing states are being called. EV count: Clinton, 97, Trump 84.
5:48 pm PT. Sunshine State ever so close. Some worry in the Clinton campaign over Florida, obviously, as Trump holds a 112,000 vote lead. EV count: Clinton, 68; Trump, 66.
5:40 p.m. PT. Former DNC chair. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who resigned as the chair of the Democratic National Committee, arrived at the Clinton event at the Javits Center in New York. She told reporters that a Clinton presidency would preserve the accomplishments of the Obama administration, predicting she would “build on the success that we achieved.”
The congresswoman said she hoped Democrats would make gains in the House and retake the Senate.
“We certainly hope that Republicans won’t put obstruction at the top of their agenda,” she said, adding “The ball is in their court.”
5:28 pm PT. Manhattan’s night. Variety’s Oriana Schwindt reports from outside the Trump tower.
“Just before 7 p.m. ET, and there are just three Trump supporters in a barricaded pen on the far side of Fifth Avenue. Gawkers stop for photos. No one yells anything obscene or angry on either side.”
5:26 pm PT. The Senate. Democrats pick up one seat as Tammy Duckworth defeats incumbent Mark Kirk in Illinois. But they appear to be losing possible pickups in Indiana, and Marco Rubio is the projected winner in Florida. The race for control of the Senate is likely to be tight.
5:15 pm PT. Florida. Deja vu? The state may be the nail biter of the night, as Clinton holds a 1,600 vote lead over Trump.
Mood at Clinton event in NY: “High energy,” reports one campaign bundler.
5 p.m. PT Polls close. Voting ends in a slew of states. Illinois. New Jersey. Massachusetts. Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Washington DC go for Clinton. Trump wins Oklahoma, Tennessee and Mississippi. Swing states Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Georgia and Virginia still too early to call. EV tally: Clinton 68, Trump, 48.
Illinois was expected for Clinton, but it also is her native state.
4:44 p.m. PT. At the Clinton event. Variety’s Brent Lang, at the Clinton event at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan, reports that a loud cheer went up when CNN called Vermont for Clinton. “It’s a landslide,” said one supporter, to a burst of laughter. (Vermont was never in question).
Among those spotted: Dustin Lance Black and Tom Daley, Chris Colfer and Christine Quinn.
Clinton supporters began lining up to get in the event around noon on Tuesday, with some women in white pantsuits and others wearing T-shirts that read “Madam President” and “Nasty Woman.” The victory party is bathed in blue light, under a glass ceiling — which is one of many metaphors that have been spotted on Tuesday.
Trump, meanwhile, is projected to win South Carolina, which he was expected to win.
4:30 p.m. PT. North Carolina and Ohio. Polls have closed in two more battleground states — and they are too early to call. Trump is projected to win West Virginia, as expected. Florida is a nail biter. EV tally: Trump 24, Clinton 3.
4 p.m. PT. And we’re off. States are starting to roll in, and CNN has called Kentucky and Indiana for Donald Trump, and Vermont for Hillary Clinton. No surprise there. Virginia, Georgia and South Carolina are too early to call. EV tally: Trump, 19, Clinton, 3.
3:37 pm PT. Where the Candidates Are. No matter who wins tonight, the next president will be the first to come from New York since Franklin Roosevelt. So it is a bit of an oddity that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are just blocks away from each other. Clinton has arrived at the Peninsula Hotel, where she will watch the results, while Trump is at Trump Tower. Their ” victory” parties also are in the same city: Clinton’s is at the Jacob Javits Center, while Trump’s is at the much smaller New York Hilton.
Here’s one highlight of what was going on at the Trump Tower.
3:30 pm PT. George W. Bush. The former president’s spokesman has told multiple news outlets that he and his wife Laura didn’t vote for either candidate for president this year. That’s pretty extraordinary, after reports last month that Bush’s father, George H.W. Bush, planned to vote for Clinton. It’s not surprising, though, given that Donald Trump bashed the younger Bush in a presidential debate, blaming him not just for the Iraq war but for 9/11.
2:45 pm PT. Norman Lear. The creator of “All in the Family” and so many other classic TV shows of the 70s and 80s was in Broward County, Fla., on Tuesday, canvassing and thanking voters at a polling place. Lear, 94, is for Clinton, which is no surprise, as he has been one of the entertainment industry’s legendary longtime political activists. In fact, he pretty much defined the way that entertainers and other industry figures engage in the political process — which is a mixture of activism, fundraising and content creation. He’s been pretty outspoken this cycle about how Trump resembles his most famous character, Archie Bunker, but Lear is also among the many in showbiz warning about a victory for the Republican nominee. In other words, it’s no laughing matter.
2:27 pm PT. The first exit polls. Some numbers are in — but they are far from an indicator of who will win and who will not. In fact, the exit polls seem to only reinforce the idea that the electorate is divided. The initial exit poll data, according to CNN, shows that four in ten voters are not excited about their presidential prospects. Some 38% told pollsters their priority in a candidate is someone who could bring about change — which is good or bad for Clinton depending on how you interpret it. The bad: That was the predominant issue among a plurality of the electorate. The good: Another plurality said that they wanted a candidate who had experience and judgment, factors that ostensibly would seem to favor Clinton.
The caveat: The exit poll data changes throughout the evening, as polls have not closed in any region of the country. In fact, the news networks have said they will not release any information that sheds light on who is winning until the polls close in a particular state. CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox and the Associated Press participate in the National Election Pool, which gathers the exit poll data. But it was quarantined until 5 p.m. ET, at which time only general information, like top issues and the makeup of the electorate, is released.
A word of warning: There has been a CNN Politics Twitter account reporting inaccurate information, like a Trump lead in Florida. The account has been taken down.
Closing Times for U.S. Polls
3:00 p.m. PT
Indiana (11) – Select counties
4:00 p.m. PT
Georgia (16 Electoral votes)
Indiana (11) – rest of state
South Carolina (9)
4:30 p.m. PT
North Carolina (15 Electoral votes)
West Virginia (5)
5:00 p.m. PT
Alabama (9 Electoral Votes)
New Hampshire (4)
New Jersey (14)
Rhode Island (4)
5:30 p.m. PT
Arkansas (6 Electoral votes)
6:00 p.m. PT
Arizona (11 Electoral votes)
New Mexico (5)
New York (29)
North Dakota (3)
South Dakota (3)
7:00 p.m. PT
8:00 p.m. PT
California (55 Electoral votes)
10:00 p.m. PT