U.S, NOVEMBER 9, 2016 – Republican nominee Donald Trump is in early lead over her rival Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton winning a projected 136 Electoral College votes against Clinton’s 104, with 240 Electoral College votes up for grabs.
But as the race lurched past midnight, neither candidate had cleared the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House. Trump stood at 244 to Clinton’s 215.
The correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in the U.S., reports that exit polls projection showed that Trump won Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan and Wisconsin, while Clinton won in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Vermont.
However, California, with 55 Electoral College, the largest of the 50 U.S. states, would be called last in the exit polls, while its votes are usually seen to swing the election to whoever wins the state.
California is behind many U.S. states like Washington and New York by three hours and the poll, which opened at 6 a.m. and ended at 7 p.m. were 3 a.m. and 4 p.m. respectively in California.
Reports had it that Clinton won the state.
It is an understanding among U.S. media networks not to declare the whole presidential election results until California has ended voting by 7 p.m. (10 p.m. Eastern Time and 4 a.m. Nigerian time).
The results may also slightly change as votes counting are concluded in many states where the two rivals are currently tied with about 80 per cent of the total votes cast counted.
The U.S. president is elected by Electoral College made up of 538 electors as against popular vote and to be elected president, a candidate must win 50 per cent plus one (51 per cent) Electoral College vote.
Kentucky and Indiana are deep Republicans state with a total of 19 electoral votes while Vermont is a solid Democrats state with three electoral votes.
The states that are “solid” Republican are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina and South Dakota.
The others are Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming with a total of 157 Electoral College votes while the “lean” Republican states are Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Second Congressional District, Ohio and Utah totaling 47 electoral College votes.
On the other hand, the “solid” Democratic states are California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Minnesota and New Mexico totaling 200 Electoral College votes.
The “lean” Democratic states are Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin with a total of 68 Electoral College votes.
The battleground states, which have 66 Electoral College votes up for grabs are Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Nebraska Second Congressional District, New Hampshire and North Carolina.
Each of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, has a certain amount of Electoral College votes to award a candidate, based on the number of members of Congress it has.
This is roughly in line with each area’s population and the votes are given on a winner-takes-all basis, except in Maine and Nebraska.
In 2008, President Barack Obama won 53 per cent of the votes but this led to 68 per cent of the Electoral College vote.