November 5, 2018

It’s that special time again when Americans yell at pixels as election results roll in.

Notable this year is that twice as many Americans have ditched cable since the last Election Day. In response, plenty of news organizations have jumped to provide real-time coverage for the 33 million cord-cutters across the country.

From news sites to video platforms and phone apps to streaming services, here are the best ways to watch Election Day coverage this year if you don’t have cable. Did we miss something? Email us.

The Washington Post: Starting at 7 p.m. Eastern, a special live show called Election Night Live will be streamed live on Snapchat (as the platform’s exclusive midterm video programming), The Post’s homepage, on its live blogs, Twitch, YouTube and syndicated across 150 local news sites nationwide.

The New York Times: The needle is back. Around 7:30 or 8 p.m. Eastern, after votes are tallied in early races, the much-maligned little dial will resume its twitching. The Times also provides live polling data.

CNN: For your Magic Wall fix, CNN will stream its Election Night in America coverage from 5 p.m. on Election Day until 9 a.m. the next morning on, CNNgo and on all of CNN’s apps, no cable log-in required.

Fox News: will livestream segments of its cable channel’s special coverage. Fox also promises up-to-the-minute results, probability meters and reporting on all night.

FiveThirtyEight: The statistics-driven site will keep a live blog running throughout Election Day, and will continue updating its House, Senate and governor forecasts. Editor-in-chief Nate Silver will appear on ABC News broadcasts to provide in-depth coverage and forecasts throughout the night.

ABC News Live: Speaking of … ABC News Live will stream continuously and without commercials on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, YouTube, Apple News, Facebook, Twitter and the ABC News site and mobile phone apps starting at 4:30 p.m. Eastern. If you’re jonesing for the traditional TV experience but don’t have cable, this is probably as close as you’ll get.

CBS News: CBS News will provide coverage on CBSN, its free 24/7 livestreaming news service, and platforms including CBS Radio and starting at 5 p.m. Eastern. This is another one that’ll be more akin to the traditional experience.

NBC: NBC News Digital’s politics team will provide coverage from across the U.S. via live blogs, articles and an interactive map powered by augmented reality that’ll also be projected onto Rockefeller Center’s ice skating rink. NBC will also offer coverage via its “Stay Tuned” stories on Instagram and Snapchat.

PBS: PBS NewsHour will begin special election coverage, anchored by Judy Woodruff, at 8 p.m. The special will stream on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Ustream (which I didn’t realize was still around).

Univision: Look for digital-only live election coverage on, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter starting at 8 p.m. Eastern. After this program ends, Univision will livestream its Destino 2018 Election Night broadcast in its entirety for you completionists out there.

Telemundo: The organization will provide real-time coverage by the Noticias Telemundo digital team on and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, including a viewing party at 11 p.m. Eastern. Telemundo also promises real-time election results on their digital platforms and apps. 

Apple News: The stock app will transform to focus on the midterms starting at 8 p.m. The Digest tab will disappear and be replaced by an Election Night section, and alerts will appear at the top of the screen when major news breaks. Real-time results will come from The Associated Press.

Your local news site: Following national elections is practically a national pastime, but local elections matter even more. Depending on where you are in the country, your area might get a mention on one of the sites above. It might not. Either way, your local news organization is going to cover it better.

Digital Antenna: Got one of those fancy new digital TV antennae? Mine looks like a piece of paper with a cord sticking out of it. They can pick up dozens of channels in your area, including the basic broadcast stations. Use this map to see what’s available around you.

Newsy: The E.W. Scripps Company-owned national news network will stream on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, The Roku Channel, Facebook, Twitter and online at starting at 7 p.m. Eastern.

More midterms coverage:

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Ren LaForme is the Managing Editor of He was previously Poynter's digital tools reporter, chronicling tools and technology for journalists, and a producer for…
Ren LaForme

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