Election day is finally here, and once you’ve visited the polls and done your civic duty, all that’s left to do is wring your hands and watch the results come in.
But where is the best place to watch what could be a long night play out? Like voting itself, there are many candidates but only one will be right for you. Below, a rundown of sources to stay informed, stay calm and, if necessary, drown your sorrows.
As you might expect, the full complement of 24-hour news networks is already up and running with reports and rampant speculation to fill time until the polls close. Fox News, CNN and MSNBC will all be doing what they do until a winner is declared and beyond.
NBC, ABC and CBS will all join the fun with live coverage from their respective news teams beginning at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT. NBC will feature commentary from election night veteran Tom Brokaw, whose experience goes back to 1968, and ABC will offer similarly familiar faces Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer. Bob Schieffer, who has covered 14 presidential elections, will lead the way on CBS. Spanish-language flagship Univision will also begin its coverage at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT with Telemundo following suit at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
Elsewhere, PBS and CSPAN will begin their coverage at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT and BET’s two-hour election special begins at 11 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. PT.
MTV News will also be entering the fray at 3 p.m. ET with hourly updates during its regular programming on the network and its siblings MTV2, MTVu and MTV Live. The network will also be very active online with a live-streaming YouTube channel beginning at 6:50 p.m. ET as well as a political issue-specific “10 to the Hour, Every Hour” segment on Facebook Live.
Specific shows are also offering live election coverage. Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” begins its hourlong live special at 11 p.m. ET and will also air on MTV, VH1, Spike and TV Land. “The View” will air a 2½-hour live special on Lifetime beginning at 6 p.m. ET and 9 p.m. PT. Stephen Colbert will also bring his election night special to Showtime at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., and it will include guests Jeff Goldblum, Katy Perry, Larry Wilmore, Patton Oswalt and others. Colbert’s monologue will also be streamed on Facebook Live.
Bill Simmons’ talent-rich Grantland sequel the Ringer will be offering live updates as well as plenty of back episodes of its political podcast Keeping it 1600 with Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor.
If you’re an an election addict, you’re already familiar with the cozy relationship between Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight and your browser’s refresh button. That site is also offering live coverage in addition to the enticing possibility of a psychotic break from Silver if his meticulously aggregated map and poll numbers begin to fall apart.
Buzzfeed will be offering live updates as well as the opportunity to communicate your post-election plans in emoji form (seriously), along with the reliably barbed carousel of live commentary available on Wonkette. NPR will also be maintaining a live blog, and if you’re not near a computer this evening, NPR will also be offering reports on the local affiliates KCRW and KPCC.
In real life
Elections are, at their root, about community, and maybe the best way to wait out results is with your fellow voters. The sumptuous Theatre at the Ace Hotel downtown will be hosting a watch party from 4 to (roughly) 10 p.m. with DJs and drinks to wait out the future of our democracy. The event is presented with support from the L.A. Times and is free to enter, but you must RSVP here.
Pasadena’s KPCC will also co-host a free election night party with Loyola Marymount University’s Center for the Study of Los Angeles at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes near Olvera Street downtown, and the Los Angeles LGBT Center will take over the Next Door Lounge on Highland Avenue with a party dubbed “Let’s Make History Tonight.” You can RSVP here.
The plush nightclub the Association will offer an election night party with themed cocktails and results presented in surround sound, which should really open up Chris Matthews’ commentary if they’re tuned to MSNBC. And if you go to one of the bars owned by the 1933 Group (Bigfoot Lodge, Thirsty Crow and Highland Park Bowl), your “I Voted” sticker gets you a free shot.
West Hollywood fixture the Abbey will also be home to a party hosted by the Human Rights Campaign, where you can watch election coverage among friends beginning at 4 p.m. Both locations of The Standard Hotel in West Hollywood and Downtown will also be hosting election night parties, but only the latter will offer massage therapists and chakra healer. So, again, you must choose wisely.
Follow me over here @chrisbarton.