How to follow the US Presidential election results

TL;DR: a smartphone, websites, apps, and probably quite a lot of alcohol

It’s that time again, when the USA heads to the ballot box to elect its head of state, head of government, and commander in chief. Which is, of course, all one person: the President of the United States of America.

As you can’t fail to know, assuming you’ve been remotely within earshot of the news in recent months, it’s Democrat Hillary Clinton versus Republican Donald Trump. But who will win? [UPDATE: Trump, apparently...] Here’s Stuff’s guide to the best places to follow the results as they come in.

Bear in mind that the polls don't close until 11pm UK time in the Eastern states, with the final Western states not finishing until 5am UK. However, the crucial battleground of Florida is expected to be called between midnight and 2am UK time, so you won't necessarily need to stay up all night in order to know what's going on. 

The stats wonk: FiveThirtyEight

Nate Silver and chums did a good job at predicting the previous two presidential elections, so we're trusting that it'll do a good job again this time. The FiveThirtyEight website has more stats than you can shake a stick at, along with incisive commentary, and while there's no app, the website works nicely on mobile. And if it all gets a bit too much, you can immerse yourself in sports scores instead. (Unless you’re a Cleveland Browns fan, in which case, just turn off your phone entirely.)

We're also huge fans of the FiveThirtyEight Elections podcast, which would make for good listening before the results come in; the most recent episode gives a great overview of the state-of-play on the eve of the election, plus a round-up of the key moments from the campaigns. 

Visit FiveThirtyEight

US news: CNN Politics and Politico

For US-oriented coverage, CNN Politics and Politico offer a mix of facts, figures, opinions and straight news. Politico’s app is perhaps a bit basic – a straightforward browser wrapper – but it does the job. CNN’s (sadly iOS-only) app is very smart indeed, and great for quickly getting to the really important stuff: coverage is divided into ‘insights’ (stats; maps; state-specific forecasts), ‘latest news’, and the self-explanatory ’who’s winning’.

View CNN Politics or download the iOS app

View Politico, or download the app for Android or iOS

British news: The Guardian and FT

From the other side of the pond, digital papers clamour to hurl facts and opinions at your eyes about the election. The Guardian perhaps does it best, with loads of video, editorial and guides across its mobile site and apps.

However, also take a look at the FT, which has temporarily made its US election coverage free for the important night. The FT’s coverage is drier than the Atacama desert, but you might argue that’s a good thing, in this age of frequently hysterical media.

Visit The Guardian, or download the app for Android or iOS

Visit the FT

British telly: BBC and Sky

Yes, there are other stations with news (hello, in particular, Channel 4), but the big guns of British telly arguably remain the BBC and Sky. Both have mobile sites and apps, giving you access to written and video coverage. Sky’s app is particularly nice, playing video inline, so that you can still nose at surrounding headlines.

Visit BBC News, or download the app for Android or iOS

Visit Sky News, or download the app for Android or iOS

US radio: NPR

If you fancy occupying only your ears rather than your eyes with the election results, delve into some US radio. NPR’s app lets you choose from a huge range of stations (if you’re not sure, plug in a US zip code to find stations local to it), offering measured reporting on a presidential campaign that’s been anything but.

Visit NPR, or download the app for Android or iOS