Southwest Austin homeowner proudly displays ‘Willie Nelson for President’ yard sign

Hillary Clinton? Donald Trump? This Austin homeowner has decided neither candidate is right for them and instead is spreading the word to vote for a local hero.

A home in southwest Austin displays a Willie Nelson for President yard sign making their own comment about the contentious 2016 elections. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
A home in southwest Austin displays a Willie Nelson for President yard sign making their own comment about the contentious 2016 elections.


Willie Nelson, hometown hero and leader of the hippies and rednecks and everyone in between, has been unofficially campaigning for years now. There’s even a whole section on his website devoted to “Willie For President” merch, which is where it appears this homeowner found this sign.

There’s even a “Willie for President” mural in Austin.

Seems like he’s got pretty favorable polling numbers. Willie 2020?

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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.

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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.

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: