Barry Soper in New York on election day: This city will not sleep tonight

By Barry Soper in the United States

It's early evening in New York and the bars, festooned with televisions, are opening for those who're popping in for a pint after work.

Looking at the screens you could be forgiven for forgetting there's an election on in this country.

It's as though the television knobs are stuck on the sports channels, particularly those blaring out never-ending American football.

So life goes on in the city that never sleeps while holed in Manhattan are the two aspirants for the top political job in this vast and powerful nation.

Hillary Clinton's gone to an upmarket hotel and is working on two speeches, one a victory one and the other conceding to Donald Trump which, no doubt, she's writing with gritted teeth.

Trump meanwhile popped into his campaign headquarters to thank his staff for the long days they've put in before heading midtown to Trump Tower and his sprawling penthouse apartment where he'll be memorising a speech, thanking the country for electing him President.

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump cheer during an election night rally. Photo / AP
Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump cheer during an election night rally. Photo / AP

He's throwing a victory party tonight which yours truly was initially invited to, along with thousands of his closest friends.

The invitation was withdrawn after a few days with an apology to the media organisations which missed out with a note telling them he nevertheless respects them.

Now that's the exact opposite to what he's been saying out on the campaign where he's been describing the media as corrupt as Clinton.

So nothing's changed.

Fortunately her invitation still stands and she'll more than likely appear later today clutching the speech she prayed she'd be giving.

Early exit polls, where voters are interviewed on the way out of the ballot booths, are telling us just seven per cent of them made up their minds at the last minute which must be something of a relief for Clinton and her mates at the FBI.

Guests watch early results during Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night rally. Photo / AP
Guests watch early results during Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night rally. Photo / AP

And to that notion that people are voting for one of the candidates to keep the other out of office, well, early polling is telling us that 42 per cent of those who have voted have actually liked the choice they had and only 25 per cent say they voted for one to keep the other out of the White House.

When the final result's declared, those packed into the bars in the Big Apple will be none the wiser.

- Barry Soper is in New York courtesy of Air New Zealand

- Newstalk ZB

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