For the last two presidential elections, Illinois has been the epicenter of the race, given that President Barack Obama is from Chicago. But now that neither of the candidates call the Windy City home, the question of how to watch the election results in Illinois in real time is still not a difficult one.
While no one is planning an epic celebration in Grant Park, you've still got plenty of options, whether you're looking to go out and share your joy (or pain), or stream the results at home on your computer while huddling in bed.
If you're a student, there will likely be a watch party on your campus. Northwestern's graduate school, The University of Chicago Institute of Politics, and the University of Illinois at Chicago's Student Leadership Development and Volunteer Services, for example, have all already announced watch parties. There are sure to be more, though, so if you study somewhere else, checking your student newspaper would be a great place to start.
There are certain to be plenty of bars and restaurants throwing their own election parties as well, so following your local version of a site like Eater Chicago (which listed locations for debate viewing parties) will give you plenty of options. TimeOut Chicago will also give you a wealth of choices, as will checking the webpage of your local political party headquarters. After all, election night is probably best spent in like-minded company.
There's also plenty of up-to-the-minute web content to be had, from both local and national news outlets. The Chicago Tribune's Election Center will give you the results right as they come in, as will sites like Politico and more locally focused ones like Illinois Homepage. If you want to watch the pure numbers roll in, those are some of your best options.
As for more typical election coverage on television, you pretty much have your pick of any news channel. It's easier to find a channel that does have online streaming than it is to find one that doesn't, so you're all set whether you're more of an MSNBC type or a Fox News junkie. Local Illinois stations like ABC 7 Chicago and WGN-TV also have live streaming coverage, so check one of those or your local news provider's site to see if you'll be able to get it from them.
Besides the all-consuming race for the presidency (Clinton has a 99 percent chance of getting Illinois' 20 electoral votes), there are also a number of other interesting races happening in Illinois. Incumbent Republican senator Mark Kirk is facing a tight race with Democrat Tammy Duckworth, who currently represents the state's 8th Congressional District. Beyond that, there are a couple of House seats that the Democrats will be desperate to grab, and of course the local races to follow. Luckily, even without one of the presidential candidates hailing from Chicago, there is still no shortage of ways to watch how everything plays out.