Follow the presidential race and U.S. election results live

While America waits to find out whether the next president of the United States will be Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, follow along as the American-Statesman blogs Election Night results and big stories from around the nation.

ALSO LIVE ON ELECTION NIGHT: Texas elections | Local elections | Follow on Twitter | Follow on Facebook | Complete Election 2016 coverage

Getty Images
Getty Images

Update 2 a.m.: Donald Trump just gave his victory speech. He opened by announcing he had received a concession call from Hillary Clinton: “She fought very hard. Hillary has worked very long and hard over a longer period of time and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service.”

He said he wanted to “bind the wounds” of the country: “To all republicans and Democrats across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. I pledge to every citizen of our land to be the president for all Americans, and this is so important to me.”

“Ours was not a campaign but an incredible and great movement,” he says.

He says he will rebuild the country’s infrastructure and “take care of — finally — our great veterans.”

He speaks of great economic growth and that “we will get along with every nation willing to get along with us.”

“We must reclaim our country’s destiny and dream big and bold and daring,” he says.

“While we will always put America’s interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone,” he says, in an address to the “world community.”

“This political stuff is nasty and it’s tough,” he says, in thanks to his family for standing by him. He singles out current and former politicians Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie and Jeff Sessions and Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee for their help, as well as generals that have endorsed him.

Update 1:40 a.m.: Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump to concede the election.

Update 1:35 a.m.: In the most stunning political upset in recent political history — and arguably in American history — Donald J. Trump has been elected president.

Update 1:15 a.m.: Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta appeared at the Javits Convention Center to announce that Hillary Clinton would not be making a speech tonight.

Meanwhile, other results have come in: Roy Blunt, a Republican, was reelected to the U.S. Senate from Missouri. Recreational marijuana has also been approved in Nevada. One interesting question is whether Texas lawmakers will consider medical marijuana legislation next session — or kick it over to voters.

Update 12:30 a.m.: A run-down of some interesting state-by-state results: Voters in California and Massachusetts approved legalizing recreational marijuana. Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas voters approved medical use of marijuana.

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory remains in a tight reelection fight with Democratic challenger Roy Cooper.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Penn., was reelected. Tight senate races remain in Missouri, Nevada, and New Hampshire, but Democrats will not re-take the U.S. Senate.

https://twitter.com/AP_Politics/status/796235096273588224

Update 12:15 a.m.: The presidential race has not yet been called, but Trump looks like a lock now. The remaining suspense is now about the tone of Trump’s likely victory speech and Clinton’s likely concession speech.

Update 11:30 p.m.: After weeks of questions of vote rigging and fears of voter intimidation, the Associated Press claims no widespread evidence of either.

But at least one Texas man was reportedly arrested on suspicion of voter-related fraud. The man, who authorities say was caught trying to vote more than once, claimed to work for Trump, according to authorities. The Fort Bend Sheriff’s Office say he claimed he was testing the system.

Update 11 p.m.: One way to see this result is as a rebuke of President Obama’s vision of the country. On the campaign trail he hammered at the idea that a vote for Hillary Clinton would be a vote for a diverse, progressive America; again and again, he was fond of saying that he has “faith” in America to deliver on that promise. Hard to imagine that this result doesn’t shake Obama’s view of the country, or his faith in it. His former advisor, David Axelrod, had this to say on CNN: “This was a primal scream.”

Update 10:30 p.m.: In keeping with a tough night for Democrats, former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., lost his effort to beat Republican Ron Johnson in the U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin. Liz Cheney, daughter of former vice-president Dick Cheney, won her race to become U.S. Rep. from Wyoming. And Californians have voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana in that state.

Update 10:10 p.m.: According to CNN, Trump has won North Carolina, another contested swing state.

Update 10 p.m.: Trump has won Florida.

Clinton, as expected, has won California.

Now take a look at gritty Manchester in New Hampshire to get a good snapshot of how the election is going: Obama won that area by 11 points in 2012; Clinton is winning by six points. In other words, Clinton is not running up the score in the urban areas to offset Trump’s appeal to white working class-men across the country. It’s looking like a lot is going to depend on turnout in urban areas in Michigan (Detroit’s Wayne County, for example), and Milwaukee in Wisconsin — and Clinton’s margins in those areas.

Update 9:50 p.m.: One thing everyone can agree on: Polls, which have proliferated in recent years, were way off the mark, with professional prognosticators badly embarrassed.

Update 9:30 p.m.: The Trump train keeps charging ahead: He has now won Ohio. Meanwhile, Clinton has won about 80 percent of the vote in Philadelphia — as triumphant as that might sound to Clinton supporters, it’s actually not as strong as her campaign would have liked. In other words, Pennsylvania is very much in play.

Meanwhile, Republican Richard Burr has held off Deborah Ross in the race for U.S. Senate in North Carolina, making it unlikely Dems will retake the U.S. Senate.

Update 9:15 p.m.: Jitters all over, with Dow Futures down nearly 500 points at the prospect of a Trump victory. “People in Brooklyn, (their) fingers are probably bleeding because there are no more nails to bite,” says Dana Bash of CNN.

Update 9 p.m.: Views on the returns are, of course, diverging widely.

Update 8:45 p.m.: The vote count suggest a “credible path to the White House” for Trump, says Jake Tapper on CNN. At the very least, “not the repudiation of Trump and Trumpism” that establishment Republicans had hoped for. And not that it was ever in doubt, but Republicans have managed to maintain control of the U.S. House.

Update 8:35 p.m.: Anxiety is setting in among Democrats, with close results in key swing states.

Update 8:30 p.m.: The state of play is this: Trump holds leads in counted votes in Ohio and Florida; the question is whether Clinton can pick up enough votes in Democrat-heavy areas like Broward County. For your viewing pleasure, ballot reviews from 2000 in Broward County:

 

Update, 8:05 p.m.: AP calls Texas for Donald Trump.  Clinton, meanwhile, takes New York.

Update, 7:50 p.m.: In an important win for Republicans in their efforts to hold the U.S. Senate, Todd Young defeated Democrat Evan Bayh. The Republicans had sensed opportunity despite the luster the Bayh family name has had in Indiana.

Update, 7:30 p.m.: Democrat Tammy Duckworth, in a not particularly surprising result, has knocked off incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, marking the first pick-up for Democrats of the evening. Kirk had tried to distance himself from Trump, to no avail. Kirk did himself no favors by awkwardly attacking Duckworth’s heritage in a debate. (Duckworth’s father side has had soldiers in the American military dating to the Revolutionary War; her mother is Thai.)

Update, 7:15 p.m.: The AP is calling reelection for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio; Democrat Hillary Clinton has won Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware and the District of Columbia while Republican Donald Trump has captured Oklahoma.

Update, 7 p.m.: “A woman will be elected president probably in my lifetime,” Bill Clinton told Tom Brokaw in 1993, with Hillary Clinton as an onlooker, via NBC.

 

Update, 6:50 p.m.: A mariachi band has begun playing music outside Trump Tower.

And NBC News has confirmed that former Texas governor or former president George W. Bush and wife Laura Bush did not cast a vote for president. Earlier reports had former president George H.W. Bush voting for Hillary Clinton.

Update, 6:35 p.m.: U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., up for reelection, is currently running ten points ahead of Trump in some key Democratic areas of Florida. One of the keys to understanding this election will be how much daylight Republican candidates in tight races are able to distance themselves from the controversial campaign of Donald Trump. Republican pollster Frank Luntz makes this observation:

Update, 6:15 p.m.: A Donald Trump cake was wheeled into Trump Tower earlier this evening.

Update, 6:05 p.m.: If newfangled voting aggregation program Votecastr is to be believed, Clinton holds a lead across swing states. Meanwhile, and not particularly surprisingly, the AP has called Vermont for Clinton and Kentucky and Indiana for Trump.

Update, 6 p.m.: With election night calls around the corner, a recap about how the Associated Press calls races, from the AP itself:

“The responsibility for calling races rests with experienced staff in each state. They are armed with on-the-ground knowledge that no other national news organization can match. Plus, they have information on demographics, absentee and other voting history and political issues that may affect the outcome of races they must call. On election night, they are assisted by experts in AP’s Washington bureau who examine exit poll numbers and votes as they are counted. A ‘decision desk’ in Washington, headed by the Washington bureau chief, has the final signoff on all top-of-the-ticket calls.”

 

Update, 5:20 p.m.: As we get ready for polls to close, here’s a quick refresher on how the all-important Electoral College works:

Follow Austin and Central Texas election results live

On Election Night, five Austin City Council seats are up for grabs, and the fate of a $720 million transportation bond to address the city’s traffic problems will be determined. Across the Austin area, votes are also coming in for races in Travis, Hays, Bastrop and Williamson counties. Follow along as the American-Statesman blogs results and big stories from around Central Texas.

Polls in Travis County close at 7 p.m. If you’re still looking for information on where to vote, click here. In the meantime, we’ll bring you updates that we see throughout the day.

ALSO LIVE ON ELECTION NIGHT: National elections | Texas elections | Follow on Twitter | Follow on Facebook | Complete Election 2016 coverage

(Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman)
(Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman)

12:30 a.m. update: It’s official. Delia Garza, Greg Casar and Leslie Pool have been re-elected to the Austin City Council. Sheri Gallo of District 10 will head into a runoff and Council Member Don Zimmerman of District 6 has been ousted by his challenger Jimmy Flannigan.

Gallo narrowly missed re-election. She won 48 percent of the vote but failed to gain a majority. She will face challenger Alison Alter who garnered 36 percent of the vote.

“Facing three challengers and tens of thousands of dollars in negative attacks for the past three months, tonight I am honored to be the clear leader in the race for District 10. We have a strong and commanding position in this field, and tomorrow we begin working twice as hard to win this runoff election on December 13,” Gallo said in a statement early Wednesday morning. “I have won a runoff before and I am totally confident I will win this runoff too.”

Austin voters approved a $720 million transportation bond by a margin of 59 percent to 41 percent.

Garza, who made history when she became the first Latina elected to the council in 2014, has again made history by becoming the first Latina re-elected to the council in the city.

Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty eeked out a win in his race for Precinct 3 against challenger David Holmes. Daugherty, the sole conservative on the commissioner’s court, got 52 percent of the vote compared to 48 percent of the vote for Holmes, a Democrat.

Jeff Travillion easily won his election for Precinct 1 in the Travis County Commissioners Court, garnering 68 percent of the vote. Travillion will replace longtime commissioner Ron Davis.

Democrat Margaret Moore won the Travis County District Attorney race by a margin of almost 2-to-1 against Republican challenger Maura Phelan. She becomes the 20th consecutive Democratic district attorney in the county, going back to 1873.

Democrat Sally Hernandez also won the Travis County Sheriff election by a margin of 2-to-1 against Republican candidate Joe Martinez.

Correction: Sheri Gallo did not win re-election in Tuesday’s elections. She is headed into a run-off election against Alison Alter. 

12:06 a.m. update: The Travis County Clerk’s office will have final results for local elections within the next half hour, said Michael Winn, elections administrator for the office.

Winn said the delay in announcing the returns and the final results came because people voted until late Tuesday night. About 87,000 people voted in Travis County on Election Day. Including early voting, about 459,000 people voted in this year’s election.

-Reporting by Elizabeth Findell

midnight update: The presidential election may still be too close to call, but District 4 Councilman Greg Casar said Tuesday night that if a President Donald Trump came to visit Austin, he would not shake his hand. 

When asked, he simply responded: “No,” before recounting a story of a devastating phone call a constituent got at his election night party, earlier this evening. 

“I was at my [Election Night] party and I had a constituent get a phone call from his daughter crying… because she was watching the results, saying ‘are they going to take you away,” he said. “To me, I view being elected official as being supportive of movement work — labor movement work, civil rights movement work. Elected officials come and go and it’s clear to me, based on what’s happening tonight, the best thing I can do is to keep on supporting those movements.”

– Reporting by Nolan Hicks 

10:41 p.m. update: Jimmy Flannigan, who leads incumbent Donald Zimmerman in the race to represent District 6 in the Austin City Council, made an apparent nod to Hillary Clinton’s sinking chances to win the presidency in his victory speech.

“In Austin, we know how to get rid of The Donald,” he said, referring to his opponent, Zimmerman, but also making a reference to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who holds a surprising lead in the election Tuesday night.

Flannigan made the comments at the Travis County Democrats’ election party, where the mood had grown tense with Clinton’s plummet in the polls and Trump’s seeming path toward the presidency.

10 p.m. update: Margaret Moore and Sally Hernandez, the Democratic candidates for Travis County District Attorney and Sheriff, gave joint victory speeches, according to KUT reporter Syeda Hasan.

The two Democrats held commanding leads in the latest returns with Moore leading with 67 percent of the vote and Hernandez leading with 62 percent of the vote.

“I think it’s a pretty good night to be a female candidate in Travis County,” Moore said, according to Hasan.

8:55 p.m. update: Mayor Steve Adler declared victory for his $720 million transportation bond measure Tuesday night, telling the hundred-or-so supporters in a crowded back room of a downtown bar that the work has just begun.

“This is a magical place, but we’re only going to be able to maintain that if we actually do what needs to be done to deal with the challenges that we have and they are mobility and they are affordability and they’re linked,” Adler said. “Now, the work begins.”

He said the city would likely get to work first on the “safe routes” to schools and sidewalks, saying they were among the most “shovel-ready” projects.

8:45 p.m. update: The campaign of Don Zimmerman, the District 6 City Councilman, told the American-Statesman it sees “no way of overcoming the early voting” which showed Zimmerman trailing his challenger Jimmy Flannigan by 42 to 58 percent.

Zimmerman told KUT Austin he would “probably” make a concession speech.

Joe Martinez, the Republican candidate for Travis County sheriff, also seemed to give up on his race. After early returns showed him down by more than 30 percentage points, he told Community Impact Newspapers: “Looks like Mrs. Hernandez just won. It is what it is. The people have spoken, and I respect their honesty and their ability come out and vote.”

He told the American-Statesman he was not conceding but said he respected the voters’ choice.

8:30 p.m. update: It’s a tight race in the Travis County Precint 3 Commissioner’s election between incumbent Gerald Daugherty and challenger David Holmes.

Daugherty, the sole conservative in the commissioner’s court, leads with 50.16 percent of the vote with 121,449 votes counted. During his time on the court, Daugherty has focused on keeping spending tight, insisting on keeping the county’s tax rate near the effective tax rate and taking lower salaries than those adopted by the Commissioner’s Court.

8:20 p.m. update: We’ve still only seen early voting results in Travis County elections, but state senator and former Austin mayor Kirk Watson feels confident enough. He tweeted out a congratulatory note to Margaret Moore, the Democratic candidate in the Travis County District Attorney’s race.

Moore led her Republican opponent Maura Phalen by more than 30 percentage points in early voting returns.

8 p.m. update: Democrat Margaret Moore holds a commanding lead after early voting returns in the race to replace Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.

Moore had garnered 64 percent of the early vote compared to Republican candidate Maura Phelan’s 33 percent. The last 20 Travis County District Attorneys have been Democrats. A Republican hasn’t won the office since 1873.

7:45 p.m update: Hillary Clinton had a commanding lead in Travis County early voting results, garnering 68 percent of the more than 360,000 early ballots that were cast. Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, won 27 percent of the early votes in the county.

7:40 p.m. update: Sally Hernandez, the Democratic candidate for Travis County Sheriff, has a big lead in early voting returns. She leads her nearest competitor, Republican Joe Martinez, by a margin of nearly 30 percentage points, according to the Travis County Clerk’s office.

Hernandez has 62 percent of the early vote. Martinez has 31 percent. The two are vying to be the first new sheriff in the county in 12 years after current sheriff Greg Hamilton steps down at the end of his term.

The sheriff’s office cooperation with federal immigration authorities has been a central issue in the race. Hernandez first promised to do away with all cooperation with immigration authorities, but adjusted her stance after winning the Democratic primary. Martinez, who had said he would consider doing away with the current policy of cooperation with ICE, later reversed his stance and said he’d more aggressively cooperate with immigration authorities.

7:20 p.m. update: Austin’s proposed $720 million transportation bond saw strong support in early voting returns Tuesday night. Nearly 60 percent of the approximately 247,000 counted ballots had voted in favor of the proposition.

Most of the Austin City Council incumbents also held steady leads. In District 2, incumbent Delia Garza had won 66 percent of the vote with about 11,000 votes counted. Her opponents Casey Ramos and Wesley Faulkner had garnered 18 and 15 percent of the vote respectively.

In District 4, incumbent Greg Casar led his race by 64 percent of the vote with more than 9,000 votes counted. Incumbent Leslie Pool of District 7 had a large lead over her challenger Natalie Gauldin with 73 percent of the vote in early returns. Sheri Gallo, the incumbent in District 10, had a more competitive race with three challengers but was still leading the charge with 47 percent of the vote from early returns.

The only incumbent trailing in his race was District 6 City Council member Don Zimmerman, who was trailing challenger Jimmy Flannigan 58 to 42 percent in early voting returns.

6:45 p.m. update: With high voter turnout this election day, many people may see long lines as they show up to vote as the 7 p.m. deadline nears. The current wait time at Travis County election sites, according to the county clerk’s office, is about 18 minutes, which would be after the deadline.

With that in mind, the #StayInLine hashtag has started trending on Twitter to inform would-be voters that they have a right to exercise their vote if they are in line by 7 p.m. Potential voters who feel they have been denied their vote can make complaints with their state or local officials and can also file a complaint with the Department of Justice.

5:30 p.m. update: With polls still open for another hour and a half, officials have announced that the combined voter turnout for Travis and Williamson County has surpassed 100,000.

One of those voters was Monica Irvin of Cedar Park, who said she had to pray over her who she would vote for in the presidential election. She had her reservations about Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, but ultimately decided to vote for her. Here’s her conversation with Statesman reporter Sean Collins Walsh.

Follow Texas state election results live

The eyes of Texas are on races statewide during Election Night, including contests on the ballot for Texas House and Senate seats. Follow along as the American-Statesman blogs results and big stories from around the state.

ALSO LIVE ON ELECTION NIGHT: National elections | Local elections | Follow on Twitter | Follow on Facebook | Complete Election 2016 coverage

(Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman)
(Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman)

 

11:26 p.m. update:

Meantime, the 2017 legislative session is a few weeks away:

11:22 p.m. update:

11:17 p.m. update:

More Texas reaction:

11:13 p.m. update:

11:07 p.m. update:

In the Austin area…

https://twitter.com/MayorPowell/status/796212160762408960

10:55 p.m. update:

Your evident Texas winners, based on incomplete returns, include:

Republican Donald Trump for president

Republican U.S. House members with Austin-area members in bold: Louie Gohmert (75%); Ted Poe (61%); Sam Johnson (62%); John Ratcliffe (88 %) ; Jeb Hensarling (79 %); Joe Barton (58 %); John Culberson (57 %); Michael McCaul (58 %): Mike Conaway (90 %); Kay Granger (70 %); Mac Thornberry (90 %); Randy Weber (62 %); Bill Flores (62 %); Jodey Arrington (88 %); Joaquin Castro (80 %); Lamar Smith (58 %); Pete Olson (60 %); Will Hurd (50 %); Kenny Marchant (57 %); Roger Williams (58 %); Michael Burgess (67 %); Blake Farenthold (71 %); John Carter (58 %); Pete Sessions (71 %); Brian Babin (89 %)

Democratic U.S. House winners with Austin-area member in bold: Al Green (81 %); Vicente Gonzalez (58 %); Beto O’Rourke (86 %); Sheila Jackson Lee (73 %); Henry Cuellar (62 %); Gene Green (73 %); Eddie Berniece Johnson (78 %); Marc Veasey (74 %); Filemon Vela (62 %); Lloyd Doggett (63 %)

Republican Wayne Christian, Texas Railroad Commission (53 %)

These percentages don’t reflect final vote tallies. Check here for the latest figures.

10:30 p.m. update:

An adviser to Dawn Buckingham fired at us about her historic status. Travis Richmond said by email that she’s poised to become the first Republican woman from Travis County in the Texas Senate in history; the previous 19 state senators from Travis County were Democrats. She’ll also be the first woman to represent the 24th Senate District — after 33 men, Richmond said.

10:25 p.m. update:

https://twitter.com/pvenable/status/796206542215409665

10:21 p.m. update:

Democratic Harris County?

 

10:12 p.m. update:

Buckingham hails from Lakeway in Travis County — hence the claim in her statement just issued to be the first Republican woman elected to the Texas Senate “from” the county.

Still, the county already had a female Republican state senator representing area residents. That would be state Sen. Donna Campbell of New Braunfels. See the contours of Campbell’s district here. Look at the district likely carried by Buckingham here.

9:59 p.m. update:

Dawn Buckingham, the Republican poised to succeed state Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, just issued this victory statement:

“Today starts a new chapter in Texas history. Our conservative message of lower taxes, immigration reform, better health care and expanded educational opportunities resonated with voters throughout our district. As a result, I am humbled to be the first woman elected to represent Senate District 24, and the first Republican elected to the Texas Senate from Travis County in our state’s history. We started this run for the Texas Senate to make a positive impact on the lives of millions of Texans. We thank the Lord our God for His guidance, for our friends who believed in us, and for our family and staff who sacrificed with us along the way.”

At this moment, Buckingham, with 73 percent, leads her Democratic opponent by a wide margin.

9:55 p.m. update:

In this Facebook Live, Dallas Morning News reporter Todd Gillman reports from Hillary Clinton’s New York election watch.

9:50 p.m. update:

Mild noodling: If Trump’s Texas margin on Clinton holds–it’s 53 percent to 44 percent with 35 percent of precincts reporting–the Democrat will have done a few percentage points better than President Barack Obama did against Mitt Romney in 2012.

Romney won that race in the state with 57 percent to Obama’s 41 percent.

In 2008, Sen. John McCain won Texas with 55.5 percent to Obama’s 44 percent.

9:28 p.m. update:

Not unexpectedly, a judge who changed his party from R to D is losing his re-election bid — meaning the Democratic Party will again no longer have a statewide elected official, Chuck Lindell writes.

9:23 p.m. update:

Most precincts have yet to report. But a scroll through state election returns shows a few Democratic Texas House challengers running ahead of incumbents–with Victoria Neave neck and neck with Rep. Kenneth Sheets, R-Dallas.

Democratic challengers leading incumbents:

–Philip Cortez of San Antonio, 51 percent, versus Republican Rep. Rick Galindo, 49 percent

–Tomas Uresti of San Antonio, 55 percent, over Republican Rep. John Lujan, 45 percent

–Barbara Gervin-Hawkins of San Antonio, 78 percent, over Independent Rep. Laura Thompson, 22 percent

–Mary Ann Perez, 58 percent, ahead of Rep. Gilbert Peña of Pasadena

Republicans currently hold 99 of the House’s 150 seats. If I’m doing my math right, if the results above hold, they’ll be down to 96 seats. Democrats will hold 54 seats. YES: That’s two ifs.

What did I miss?

9:03 p.m. update:

Meantime in Austin:

 

8:50 p.m. update:

Sean Collins Walsh with more on Texas House incumbents imperiled:

Former Democratic state Rep. Philip Cortez is leading narrowly in his Bexar County rematch with GOP state Rep. Rick Galindo.

Cortez had just under 51 percent of the early vote.

Meanwhile, Democrats appear poised to take back two seats they lost in special elections in Bexar County.

Democrat Tomas Uresti, the brother of state Sen. Carlos Uresti, was well ahead of GOP state Rep. John Lujan of San Antonio.

And Democrat Barbara Gervin-Hawkins had 78 percent of the early vote over independent Laura Thompson.

8:45 p.m. update:

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has spent much of the early evening tweeting congratulations to Republican Senate seat winners:

Meantime, possible 2018 Cruz challenger Michael McCaul, whose U.S. House district  runs from Austin east into Houston, thanked some volunteers a few hours ago:

 

8:43 p.m. update:

Our Jeremy Schwartz reported out early returns suggesting victories for U.S. Reps. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, and Bill Flores, R-Bryan.

8:30 p.m. update:

At least one Texas House incumbent may be on the ropes, per early vote tallies. Sean Collins Walsh noted as much here.

Collins noted that former Democratic state Rep. Mary Ann Perez drew 58 percent of the early vote versus Republican state Rep. Gilbert Peña of Pasadena.

8:10 p.m. update

One of the only Washington, D.C. correspondents still beaming to Texas has a fix on the Will Hurd-Pete Gallego race. Hurd’s ahead, she writes here, but Gallego’s campaign remains hopeful. A jot later, Gallego edged ahead by about 2,000 votes with 21 of 1,119 precincts reporting.

8:03 p.m.

The Associated Press has called Texas for Donald Trump. Jonathan Tilove, our chief political write, is updating all night here.

8:01 p.m.

For the Green Party to automatically land on future statewide election ballots, one of its hopefuls in a statewide race today must draw at least 5 percent of the vote.

At this moment, the party’s nominee for the Railroad Commission, Martina Salinas, is giving the party its best shot. Salinas has garnered nearly 3 percent of the vote in the race led by Republican Wayne Christian. In the same race, Libertarian Mark Miller has nearly 5 percent of the vote.

The Green Party presidential nominee, Jill Stein, has compiled less than 1 percent of the Texas vote.

7:55 p.m. update:

The American-Statesman’s Jonathan Tilove has seen reports that Hillary Clinton has piled up more votes than Donald Trump in Texas; he’s now being told by state officials that those reports aren’t based on actual vote tallies. Watch statesman.com for more.

7:40 p.m update:

In very early returns, presumably folding in early voting tallies, nearly every U.S. House incumbent is running ahead, according to the Texas Secretary of State.

Rep. Will Hurd of Helotes has 54 percent of the vote to challenger/former incumbent Democrat Pete Gallego’s 41 percent (though, again, these are very limited returns).

Otherwise, Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, trails Republican challenger Rey Gonzalez, 65 percent to 36 percent, with less than 1 percent of the vote tallied.

7:24 p.m. update:

Dawnna Dukes, who’s said she’ll retire from the Texas House in January, is nevertheless running way ahead of her challengers in early vote results–leading with 72 percent of the vote.

7:15 p.m. update:

Bud Kennedy, monitoring a vote about building a new Texas Rangers stadium, says the Rangers will be happy with the results:

7:13 p.m. update:

In extremely early returns, Donald Trump way ahead in Texas — and the Green Party nominee, Jill Stein, has landed 10 votes.

1111

7:08 p.m. update:

The American-Statesman’s Sean Collins Walsh reports:

As polls closed in Central Texas, state Rep. Tony Dale, R-Cedar Park, jumped out to an early lead over Democratic challenger Paul Gordon. The race is likely to be the most competitive legislative contest in the Austin area.

In early voting returns, Dale had about 54 percent of the vote. That’s similar to the share of the vote he took while winning reelection in 2014.

6:59 p.m. update:

Top Texas conservative:

6:50 p.m. update:

Perspicacious Aman Batheja catches a forecast–Trump winning Texas by about six percentage points:

6:37 p.m. update:

Spot the anti-Trump anti-Clinton Austin resident running for president on your Texas ballot (below)

morro

Same fellow here.

6:15 p.m. update:

A good part of this evening will be devoted to shout-outs like this one from a Texas Republican in the Texas House to Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

6 p.m. update:

I don’t think this is right:

5:20 p.m. update:

Three minutes after I posted the update below, a Democratic cheerleader, Ed Sills of the Texas AFL-CIO, blasted out an email encouraging lollygaggers to vote.

Sills went on:

If you are looking for hopeful national signs, here are some tea leaves to read:

1)      Donald Trump’s campaign sued to impound votes in Las Vegas that were cast amid incredibly long early vote lines in minority precincts. The judge kicked their rear ends out of court: http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/trump-campaign-sues-nevada-county-accuses-workers-keeping-polls-open-n679951

2)      Pennsylvania, a key state (yea, the Keystone State) has no early voting but expects a turnout that exceeds 80 percent. Win or lose, high turnouts are great. They also tend to coincide with labor wins. http://www.newsadvance.com/the-latest-pennsylvania-official-expects-percent-turnout/article_9c2aa063-64d0-5dc0-9149-06754eaaa4b1.html

3)      Trump may be the first presidential candidate we have ever seen get booed before voting. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2016/live-updates/general-election/real-time-updates-on-the-2016-election-voting-and-race-results/donald-trump-was-booed-before-he-voted-for-donald-trump/

5 p.m. update: 

Congratulations Texas. Most of you have survived another long ballot including state races I’ll be watching after the polls close at 7 p.m.

Among the state’s 36 U.S. House members, a couple could be excused for turning in early: Reps. Rubén Hinojosa of McAllen and Randy Neugebauer of Lubbock didn’t seek re-election.

Put another way, voters are trading in a combined 34 years of House experience (20 for Hinojosa, 14 for Neugebauer).

Barring surprises, most other U.S. House incumbents likely stroll to victory though, of course, election nights are all about surprises. So stand by. (The American-Statesman’s Madlin Meklenburg spelled out the state’s general U.S. House non-competitiveness in October.)

In the Austin area, I’ve noted, sole Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett faces several challengers including Republican Susan Narvaiz and a perennial candidate, Libertarian Rhett Rosenquest Smith, who’s concerned Doggett doesn’t understand the Alamo.

Statewide, the only U.S. House race widely expected to be tight is the Will Hurd-Pete Gallego rematch to represent the sprawlingest district you can imagine–Congressional District 23, which runs from San Antonio south and west to El Paso. Hurd, the Republican incumbent, bested Gallego, the previous Democratic incumbent, two Novembers past. Gallego, a former longtime Texas House member, outran a different Republican in 2012 and that R beat the incumbent D in 2010.

Shameless plug: In my day job with the American-Statesman’s PolitiFact Texas fact-checking project, I’ve helped finish up several checks connected to their race. You can follow PolitiFact Texas on Twitter too.

Elsewhere on your state ballot (surely you remember):

  • A single statewide election for one of the three slots on the Comisionado de Ferrocarriles/Texas Railroad Commission, in charge of locomotives, cabooses and railyard smoke trails (NOT AT ALL: the commission regulates oil, gas and mining operations). Republicans nominated Wayne Christian, a former Texas House member making his second bid for the body. In October, the American-Statesman’s Asher Price found no signs of Libertarian Mark Miller or Democrat Grady Yarbrough prevailing in the race. That story also noted that Christian, who boasts he was once nominated for a Grammy, wasn’t making himself available for candidate debates.
  • Many Texas Senate and Texas House contests. Then again, close observers were forecasting only a few tight battles, all in the House, according to the American-Statesman’s Sean Collins Walsh, who wrote, with mention of Donald Trump, in September: “The GOP’s enormous majorities in the Legislature aren’t in question – Republicans hold 99 of 150 seats in the Texas House and 20 of 31 in the state Senate – but Democrats are hoping that disdain for Trump among minority voters will make the difference for them in as many as nine GOP-held House seats.Walsh specified: “The targeted races include three in the Dallas area,  two in San Antonio,  two near Houston and one in Galveston. Almost all have large Hispanic populations. None are in the Austin area.

Still with me? Then enjoy this glimpse of the Grammy-nominated Mercy River Boys, featuring Wayne Christian on the right–with one of their songs right below.

What are you noticing out there?

mercyriverboys1979

Sid Miller and Hillary Clinton C-word tweet: What people are saying

On Tuesday afternoon at 3:26 p.m., Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s Twitter account posted a tweet that appeared to refer to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton using a crude four-letter word. The tweet, which touted “New Auto Alliance Poll” results for Pennsylvania, had Donald Trump one point ahead of Clinton. Except instead of the former secretary of state’s name, the tweet used a derogatory slur for women.

thetweet

Shortly after, the tweet was deleted. Miller’s camp offered two different responses as to how the tweet even got posted in the first place. First, Miller spokesman Todd Smith said hackers were behind the crude tweet. By 4:30 p.m., Smith said the tweet was not sent by hackers but instead by a staffer who retweeted the original tweet. However, the tweet is not a retweet and appears to be copied and pasted from a tweet posted by Twitter user @TheRickyVaughn, with only the hashtag at the end of the tweet changed. Miller’s said #GoTrumpGo, while the original tweet’s said #UpLikeTrump.

Miller’s office later issued an apology, saying “Commissioner Miller finds the term vulgar and offensive and apologizes to anyone who may have seen it.”

By 5:15 p.m., Gov. Greg Abbott condemned the language used in the tweet: ““The language is reprehensible and is an embarrassment. No true Texas gentleman would ever talk this way,” Abbott said in a statement.

Many Twitter and Facebook users weren’t buying the hacker explanation or the retweet excuse and promptly expressed their opinions on all things Miller.

Wells Dunbar of the Texas Standard poked fun at using a “manual retweet,” which involves more work and copying/pasting than even a simple quote tweet, regardless of who posted it.

The Daily Caller’s Jamie Weinstein compared Miller to the father figure in Chris Farley’s 1995 cult classic “Tommy Boy.”

One Twitter user jumped on the Samantha Bee “Trump can’t read” conspiracy theory bandwagon and implied Miller’s interns couldn’t read, either.

Other Twitter users attacked Miller for everything from his “Jesus shot” trial to his connection to Donald Trump, who recently celebrated Miller during a campaign stop, to the tweet’s apparent misogyny.

https://twitter.com/Forrest4Trees/status/793535103532093440

https://twitter.com/blondesprout/status/793577368862400512

Facebook users sounded off, as well.

\

The phrase “Sid Miller” perched atop Austin’s trending topics on Twitter for most of the afternoon. As of 6 p.m., tweets in support or defense of Miller were not immediately visible when scrolling through the trending topic’s collected tweets.

What do you think? What do you make of the changing stories: a hack or a manual RT gone awry? Let us know in the comments.

Songs to pass the time when you’re stuck on the road

A house has been stuck in the middle of Live Oak Street in South Austin since the weekend after movers struggled to fit the wide load down the roadway. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
A house has been stuck in the middle of Live Oak Street in South Austin since the weekend after movers struggled to fit the wide load down the roadway.
RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

You may have heard that there’s been a house stuck in the middle of a South Austin street since the weekend, when a moving company was unable to fit the wide load down the roadway.

RELATED: This @StuckHouseATX parody account is sure to give you a laugh

It looks like the house could finally be moved Tuesday, but the ordeal got us thinking: What do you do when you’re stuck in place for four days? You need a good playlist to pass the time, so we’ve compiled our favorite songs about houses (and threw in a few about being stuck, for good measure). Enjoy!

Tonight: Here’s how to catch this year’s harvest moon

The Harvest Moon rises over the Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Monday Sept. 12, 2011. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Jay Janner)
The Harvest Moon rises over the Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Monday Sept. 12, 2011. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Jay Janner)

Another night, another moon — but tonight’s promises to be especially worth the effort it takes to crane your neck.

Tonight’s full moon is 2016’s harvest moon. The harvest moon is the full moon to fall closest to the autumnal equinox, which is on Sept. 22 this year. According to the Weather Channel, the harvest moon usually coincides with crop harvesting in the Northern Hemisphere and allows farmer to work late into the night.

In some places around the world, although not North or South America, moongazers will get the added bonus of a lunar eclipse.

If you’re planning on looking up tonight, the weather is in your favor. Austinites can expect a clear night with a low of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re planning on catching the harvest moon by howling at it from the waters of Barton Springs, keep in mind that the pool capped its attendance for full moon events at 750 swimmers earlier this summer. That was after 2,500 people came out a full moon swim, so arriving early is advised.

Exotic snake owner’s ‘dangerous’ king cobra recaptured in Texas

In the latest tale of unusual animals going rogue in Texas, a “dangerous” king cobra got loose on Wednesday in Fort Bend.

Stock photo via WikiCommons
Stock photo via WikiCommons

Related:  5 times wild animals got loose in Central Texas in 2015

It took “snake man” Clint Pustejovsky hours to capture the highly venomous, 8-foot-long snake, which was found nearby the barn it escaped from. According to ABC13, the snake, along with 24 others, belongs to Jared Zellars.

“The most venomous snake capture I’ve ever had by far,” Pustejovsky told ABC13.

See it: Goat gets loose, goes on morning Starbucks run

Authorities said Zellars holds all the proper permits to keep exotic snakes and has had them for about five years. He’s not sure how the snake got out.

“I usually use hooks. I double check everything. Lock them. All the cages are locked. She just happened to break through,” he said.

Read: Service animal monkey reportedly gets loose on flight

After the cobra was captured, the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office Facebook account let people know that the situation was resolved and even made a little joke.

Dashcam video of Breaion King’s arrest: What people are saying

On Thursday, the American-Statesman and KVUE published dashcam video of 26-year-old Austin teacher Breaion King being thrown to the ground during a traffic stop by an officer last year, as well as footage of a second officer telling her that police are sometimes wary of African-Americans because of their “violent tendencies.”

Officials are investigating both the actions during the arrest of officer Bryan Richter and the comments made to King by officer Patrick Spradlin. Both officers are white, and King is black.  The video surfaced as part of new investigations by the Austin Police Department and the Travis County District Attorney’s office. Austin police Chief Art Acevedo publicly apologized to King during a Thursday afternoon news conference, an apology which King responded to Friday.

READ: Police union is critical of officer conduct in King arrest

The story went viral immediately and has since been picked up by national news outlets. On social media, the response has been divided. Here is a sample of the comments left by readers on the American-Statesman’s Facebook and on Twitter.

Joe Silano: “When will the cops be held accountable for their actions toward people of the African American community. An unarmed black physcologist doing his job shot yesterday while laying on his back with his hands raised and now this”

Breaion King is transported by Austin police officer Patrick Spradlin on June 15, 2015, following her arrest by Austin police officer Bryan Richter. SCREEN CAPTURE FROM APD VIDEO
Breaion King is transported by Austin police officer Patrick Spradlin on June 15, 2015, following her arrest by Austin police officer Bryan Richter. SCREEN CAPTURE FROM APD VIDEO

Jim Foster: “Another example of what happens when you don’t follow an officers directions and resist. If she had followed directions it would never have gotten to that. She says ‘people are responsible for their own actions’. Well she experienced the results of those ‘action’.”

Harry Nagel: “This cop is nothing less than a thug. Why does it seem that so many thugs are drawn to law enforcement? Is there no screening to keep these bully boys out of the business of protecting and serving? Are there no voices within the police community to say ‘this is not who we are?’ If think most cops hang their heads in shame when they see stuff like this but their silence makes them complicit. Being a cop has got to be one of the toughest jobs there is. And continued behavior like this is not going to make it any easier.”

COMMENTARY: Bias, misconduct by a few officers weakens city’s safety

Andrea Lynne Hildebrandt: “Interesting how they don’t highlight the fact that she brought this on herself by not listening to the officer in the first place… watch the original tape.
Black, white, red, yellow… if you don’t do what you’re told, there will be repocussions. PERIOD!”

Evelyn Aponte: “All I see is police brutality here. Police should do jail time for assaulting an innocent woman.”

Bryan Horten: “Very disappointed in the Statesman for race baiting.. Never get out of the car during a traffic stop and then resist.. It’s doesn’t Matter what race you are they will treat you hostile..”

RELATED: Activists discussed violent arrest with Acevedo, want more than talk

Gracelyn Cooper Dilley: “I’m sorry that you experienced such an awful attack and hope that you know not all police officers behave this way, on behalf of our entire community I sincerely apologize.”

Kim Hornsby Beathard: “she was CLEARLY resisting. STOP posting these videos stirring up stuff to cause FURTHER division between police and black people. If this was a white woman, it wouldn’t have made it to Facebook. Stop. Just stop.”

https://twitter.com/CordieMendoza/status/756463542698643456

https://twitter.com/y_v10carrillo/status/756261524163874816

Ciao Bella: “2015? Why is the apology just being issued… Because the tape came out?”

READ: Police union is critical of officer conduct in King arrest

George W. Bush dances during Dallas memorial, receives criticism on social media

From left, former first lady Laura Bush, former President George W. Bush, first lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama join hands during a memorial service at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center with the families of the fallen police officers, Tuesday, July 12, 2016, in Dallas. Five police officers were killed and several injured during a shooting in downtown Dallas last Thursday night. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
From left, former first lady Laura Bush, former President George W. Bush, first lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama join hands during a memorial service at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center with the families of the fallen police officers, Tuesday, July 12, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, former president George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, stood hand in hand on Tuesday during a memorial for the five Dallas police officers who were fatally shot last week.

Read: President Obama’s remarks at the memorial for slain Dallas Police officers

During the service at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Obama praised police for protecting and serving the people while Bush called for unity. And as the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” played, people stood and sang while holding hands — but then Bush started smiling and did a little jig.

Video of Bush swaying to the music in between FLOTUS and his wife has been circulating the internet and most people on social media have let their opinion of the moment be known. Many have criticized Bush, saying his behavior was inappropriate.

Read: Herman: Words, helpful and otherwise, from a difficult week in Texas 

https://twitter.com/Samonee___/status/753305822931935232

 

First black Miss Alabama calls the Dallas shooting gunman a ‘martyr’

Untitled
Photo via Facebook Live/Kalyn Chapman James

Kalyn Chapman James, the first black woman to hold the title of Miss Alabama, posted a video on Facebook Live in which she calls the Dallas shooting gunman Micah Xavier Johnson a “martyr.”

James, who was crowned Miss Alabama in 1993 and made it to the top 10 finalists for Miss America a year later, posted the message on Sunday to discuss her thoughts on recent shootings around the U.S. The video has garnered more than 426,000 views.

Read: Dallas shooting puts spotlight on city’s racial issues

“I can’t stop replaying the image of these men being killed in mind and my heart weeps,” she said. “But I think more than anything I’m dealing with a bit of guilt because I don’t feel sad for the officers that lost their lives.”

Though she said nobody deserves to die and knows the officers had loved ones, she said she can’t help but sympathize with Johnson, who killed five Dallas officers on Thursday.

Read: The Latest: Slain Dallas officers remembered at vigil

“I want to feel sad for them but I can’t help but feeling like the shooter was a martyr,” she said. “I know it’s not the right way to feel. But I’m so torn up in my heart about seeing these black men being gunned down in our community that I cant help feel like I wasn’t surprised by what those shooters did to those cops. And I think a lot of us feel the same way.”

According to USA Today, James is now a TV host in Miami and was suspended by her employer, the South Florida PBS affiliate WPBT, which posted a statement on Monday night regarding her comments.

“WPBT2 South Florida PBS does not condone the personal statements made by one of its independent contractors regarding the events in Dallas. It placed the contractor on administrative leave while it actively and carefully looks further into the matter and will determine additional course of actions based on its thorough review of the matter.”

On the same day, Miss Alabama pageant operators also issued a statement to AL.com about James’ video.

“Kalyn Chapman James was Miss Alabama 23 years ago in 1993. The opinions she expressed are her own, and do not represent the viewpoint of the current Miss Alabama or the Miss Alabama Organization. We have nothing but the utmost respect and appreciation for the men and women of law enforcement, and would never condone violence of any kind.”

Since she posted the video, James said on Facebook that she has been threatened, harassed and called awful names.

James told TV station WPMI 15 that her words were taken out of context. In an statement given to AL.com, James says she does not take back what she said in the video but does “regret that any people lost their lives this week.”

“The fact that my opinion was considered newsworthy makes me feel like speaking up was exactly what I should do, because I can voice what so many people are feeling and dealing with and they should know they are not alone. I reiterate that I do not condone violence or killing at all.  I offer my deepest condolences to all the families who lost their loved ones this week, including the officers in Dallas.”

Read her full statement here.