MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — All night WCCO’s political team, including reporter Pat Kessler, professor and political analyst Larry Jacobs and others will be breaking down the latest election news.
8:30 p.m. — Polls are closed in Minnesota and the state has elected the nation’s first Somali-American lawmaker.
Ilhan Omar was elected to the state House Tuesday.
Just two days ago, Donald Trump espoused the dangers of Somalis and other refugees in Minnesota in a visit to the state.
“Donald Trump was just here a few days ago and he made a big point about the threat of Somalis and others who are coming to America,” Jacobs said.
“He got large cheers at this event and now, Ilhan Omar has been elected,” Kessler said.
Most races are still far too early to call, including the 3rd District, where Erik Paulsen has an early lead on Terri Bonoff and 8th District where Stewart Mills has a preliminary lead over Rick Nolan.
“These mean nothing at this moment,” Kessler said.
“Minnesota has eight congressional seats. Three of them are some of the closest, most competitive races in the entire country,” Jacobs said.
8 p.m. — Are close early races in many states an indicator of what will happen in Minnesota and the rest of the Midwest?
“Donald Trump is insisting that the upper Midwest could be red,” Kessler said. “He thinks that this might be too close to call here in Minnesota.”
“One thing that’s very clear is that Donald Trump, so far, is outperforming what a lot of us were expecting,” Jacobs said. “We’re already seeing Donald Trump surpassing the kind of vote totals that Mitt Romney had in 2012 in Florida and other states.”
Though Trump holds an early lead in some states, Kessler believes the Democratic Party’s efforts in Minnesota will keep the state blue.
“This is something Democrats are banking on right now,” He said. “You get the early vote and then you get out the vote on Election Day.”
7:15 p.m. — Kessler and Jacobs say North Carolina and Florida are the key states in Tuesday’s election.
“If Trump wins them, he’s still got fight,” Jacobs said. “If Hillary Clinton wins both of them it’s almost lights out.”
WCCO’s political team also commented on the unusual nature of Campaign 2016.
“It’s been vulgar, it’s been shocking, it’s been coarse,” Kessler said. “The spectacle of this is remarkable.”
Even though this election cycle has been tumultuous, Jacobs thinks it shows what is great about America.
“Americans are taking this election is a serious, devoted way that I think we have not seen in some time,” he said.
“We’ve got enormous ties to our communities, and that’s really what America is about, not this election.”
Both parties expect high voter turnout, and WCCO’s political team agrees.
“We could see record amount of support for the Democratic candidate from women,” Jacobs said. “There is a commitment to Hillary Clinton that is extraordinary.”
“Donald Trump has extraordinary support among men, among whites without a college education,” he said.
“There’s something about even candidates that are unpopular that has really resonated with people.”
And though many on both sides are concerned about the country going forward, Kessler thinks we’ll all be alright.
“We’re going to be fine,” he said. “Are things going to get done in Washington? No, but we’ll be fine.”