Want to go to bed early but still be sure whether you will wake up to President Clinton or President Trump? Here are five states that will tell you – crucially they are all on the east coast, so they close early and give an early indication of their results.
They are Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia. The bottom line is that if either candidate gets four or five of this list, you can go to bed and sleep soundly - or not. It’s all over, they have won. The momentum that gave them those victories will mean that it is profoundly unlikely that there is an outweighing momentum against them further west.
If these states split 3/2, then you have to stay up later to be sure of the result.
If Hillary gets just two of those (likely VA and PA), she still has a good shot, but she would need to win at least two out of Nevada, Colorado and Arizona to see off Trump, and it means staying up late if you want to get those results.
If Trump gets just two of the East Coast five (likely FL and NC) then he is unlikely to win, but it’s not impossible; he would need to win all three out of Nevada, Colorado and Arizona.