11:57 p.m.: The "next First Family of the United States" is introduced and Barack, Michelle, Malia and Sasha Obama walk onstage to the cheering crowd. President-elect Barack Obama seems tired and moved--it's been an emotional few days for him. But he gives a rousing speech outlining his plans and rallying the country:
If there is anyone out there who doubts that America is a place where anything is possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
Young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled, Americans have sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of red states and blue states. We have been and always will be the United States of America.
It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.
Obama does acknowledge there are many challenges for the country and said that everyone will need to work hard.
ANd after his speech, Vice-President-elect Joe Biden appears to greet the crowd, and both Obama's and Biden's families join them. Text of Obama's speech can be found at Politico.
11:29 p.m.: MSNBC is showing the scene outside the White House, where there is a huge crowd cheering (for Obama's victory, we imagine). President Bush called Obama, "Mr. President-elect, congratulations. What an awesome night for you, your family, and your supporters. Laura and I called to congratulate you and your good bride. I promise to make this a smooth transition. You are about to go on one of the great journeys of your life. Congratulations and go enjoy yourself." Bush also reportedly invited Obama to the White House.
11:18 p.m.: McCain is addressing his supporters, who boo when he says he called Obama to congratulate him (McCain tells them to stop with a stern, "Please"). McCain's eyes seem glassy as he speaks to Obama's ability to inspire many people. He notes that this is a historic moment for African-Americans and that Obama's election, "Let there be no reason now for Americans to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth. I pledge to him to do all in my power to help him lead us." He asks his supporters to join him in supporting Obama. "We fought as hard as we could, the failure is mine--not yours" --eliciting boos and no's from the crowd--"I'm so deeply grateful to you."
11:00 p.m.NBC and CNN call the election for Barack Obama. We can hear cheering outside!
NBC: Obama 284 | McCain 146 They count California, Washington and Oregon for Obama and Idaho and Nebraska for McCain. 11:16 p.m. -- Florida and Colorado are called for Obama as well... Obama 333 | McCain 146
CNN: Obama 297 | McCain 139 CNN calls Virginia for Obama.
Fox News: Obama 297 ] McCain 145 Brit Hume is now saying a Fox News colleague says she went to college with Obama and said Barry is "great guy." Hume still says Obama might be "dangerous" and/or "radical."
NBC News reports that McCain called Obama to concede.
10:30 p.m.: NBC NEws goes through too-close-to-call states. Indiana: Mccain leads by 6,501. Virginia: Obama leads by 48,315. NC: McCain leads by 10,331. Florida: Obama leads by over 192,000. Missouri: McCain leads by just under 23,000. Arizona: McCain leads by a little over 380,000. Montana: Obama leads by 1,524. NBC political director Chuck Todd believes Florida is Obama's, based on circumstantial evidence.
South Dakota is called for McCain Obama 207 | McCain 137
10:11 p.m. Mississippi is called for McCain. NBC: Obama 207 | McCain 135 However, CNN ticker "TWO SENIOR MCCAIN AIDES SEE 'NO PATH TO VICTORY' GIVEN RESULTS SO FAR."
And Christopher Shays, Congressman from Connecticut since 1987, was defeated by Jim Himes, a former Goldman Sachs VP-turned-non-profit housing developer. Shays was the last standing Republican in New England. A moderate Republican with more progressive social views, Shays conceded and referred to the overall desire for change as why he lost.
10:00 p.m.: NBC News projects Utah for McCain, Iowa for Obama. Nevada is too early to call and Montana is too close to call. Obama 207 | McCain 129
And Comedy Central is now airing its live Indecision 2008 special with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
9:55 p.m.: NBC News projects Texas for McCain. Obama 200 | McCain 124
9:38 p.m.: Now NBC News calls New Mexico for Obama, who now has 200 (projected) electoral votes. West Virginia is called for McCain. Obama 200 | McCain 90
9:26 p.m.: NBC News projects Ohio--and its 20 electoral votes-- for Obama. Louisiana is called for McCain.
Here's Governor David Paterson on NBC--he says, "'It's a great moment for America."
9:00 p.m.: With some 9 p.m. poll closings, CNN calls Rhode Island, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and New York for Obama and North Dakota and Wyoming for McCain. New electoral vote projection: CNN: Obama 174 | McCain 49
To sum up, NBC's electoral college projects: Obama 175 | McCain 76
Obama: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, NH, NJ, NY, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan, RI, and Wisconsin
McCain: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, ND, Oklahoma, SC, Tennessee, and Wyoming
Florida is still too close to call (Obama is leading by a little more than 200,000 votes) as is North Carolina (Obama's lead is a little over 129,000). Virginia is another too-close-to-call - McCain leads by over 65,000 votes.
8:58 p.m.: CNN calls Pennsylvania for Obama, Alabama for McCain. CNN: Obama 102 | McCain 43
8:36 p.m.: NBC News calls NH for Obama and calls Georgia and Alabama for McCain, giving Obama has 103 electoral votes and McCain 58. CNN's estimates are more conservative, saying Obama has 81 electoral votes (they didn't call PA yet) and 34 for McCain. Electoral vote projections: NBC: Obama 103 | McCain 58 // CNN: 81 | McCain 34
Additionally, it's projected that Elizabeth Dole will lose her Senate race in North Carolina.
8:00 p.m.: CNN is projecting that Obama will carry Massachusetts, Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maine, Deleware, Maryland, and D.C., with McCain carrying Tennessee, Oklahoma and South Carolina. And Obama currently has 77 electoral votes to McCain's 34. Meanwhile, NBC is calling Pennsylvania for Obama.
7:53 p.m.: NBC News projects that McCain is the winner of South Carolina, according to a cell phone text alert.
7:05 p.m.: NBC News projects that McCain wins Kentucky and Obama wins Vermont.
The polls have closed in Indiana and Kentucky and they are closing in Georgia, South Carolina, and Virgina at 7 p.m.
Some media outlets may call the election before voting is completed across the country--CBS News vice president Paul Friedman told the NY Times, "We could know Virginia at 7. We could know Indiana before 8. We could know Florida at 8. We could know Pennsylvania at 8. We could know the whole story of the election with those results. We can’t be in this position of hiding our heads in the sand when the story is obvious."
Well, it could still be a long night (NY State's polls don't close until 9 p.m., and we've got a big State Senate race to watch for). And this is the time to enjoy statistics and projections and learning about various counties in swing states! The NY Times has great interactive maps for a number of races--and they drill down to the county level. Also check out FiveThirtyEight.com's Election Night Thread. 270toWin.com has the interactive electoral map so you can come up with different combinations to reach 270, but the site has been experiencing understandably heavy traffic.