Five Things to Watch on Election Night
The presidential campaign has drawn to a close pretty much the way smart folks in both parties expected all along： It's close， with the outcome dependent more on whose partisans are loyal on Election Day than on how many voters changed their minds along the way.本届美国总统大选目前已接近尾声，当前的选情与两党中一些聪明人士的预期基本相同：两人支持率相差无几，最终的结果更加依赖于谁的支持者在选举日当天忠于自己的选择，而不是依赖于有多少选民在候选人竞选期间改变了投票倾向。
In fact， with partisans on both sides so dug in， never have so many millions of dollars been spent to move so few votes. So which factors determine who wins in such a race? Here are five things to watch as Election Day and Election Night unfold：事实上，由于双方的支持者都如此坚持自己的立场，本届选举的候选人用如此多的资金来换取如此少的选票，这种情况以往从来没有发生过。那么在这样的竞争中，哪些因素才能决定最后的结果?以下是选举日和大选之夜的五个看点：
How big is the turnout?投票率是多少?
As a general proposition， if turnout is higher， that's probably good news for President Barack Obama. If it's lower， that's probably good news for Republican Mitt Romney.一个基本的规则是，如果投票率升高，这对现任总统奥巴马(Barack Obama)来说可能是好消息。如果投票率下降，则可能对共和党的罗姆尼(Mitt Romney)有利。
Here's why. Throughout this year， Republicans have had the advantage in enthusiasm and intensity. Meanwhile， Democratic enthusiasm has been lower than when Mr. Obama won in 2008.下面解释一下原因。今年迄今，共和党人的竞选热情和激情一直是他们的优势。与此同时，民主党的热情与2008年奥巴马赢得大选时相比已有所减退。
That means Mr. Romney's supporters─including groups such as evangelicals， who could be a potent factor in spots─seem likely to show up in force. The question is whether the president's will as well， despite not being as pumped up as in 2008.这意味着罗姆尼的支持者──包括新教徒这样的群体──很可能大批参与投票。新教徒在某些方面可能成为决定选举结果的一个重要因素。问题是奥巴马的支持者是否也会积极参与投票，虽然他们已经不像2008年那样有热情。
That year， just more than 131 million Americans voted. That number is likely to be higher this year， simply because the voting-age population has grown. The key is percentage of turnout. Four years ago， 62.9% of eligible voters cast ballots. Watch whether the number of votes and share of the electorate seems to be going up or down. If it's drifting down， that will be a sign the Obama turnout machine didn't work as well as Democrats hope.2008年，超过1.31亿美国人参与了投票。今年的投票人数可能更高，原因很简单：符合投票年龄的人口增多了。投票率是关键。四年前，62.9%的有资格选民参与了投票。注意选票数和投票比例是上升还是下降。如果在下降，就预示着奥巴马的投票率机器没有向民主党人希望的那样运转。
What share of the electorate is made up of white voters?白人选民的比例是多少?
Watch the exit polls for this number. In all pre-election polling， Mr. Romney is winning the white vote comfortably， while Mr. Obama wins the nonwhite vote by wide margins. So a key to figuring out the full equation is what proportion of the electorate is composed of white voters.关注出口调查中的这一数据。在选举前的所有调查中，罗姆尼都轻而易举地赢得了白人选民的支持，而奥巴马在非白人选民中的支持率大幅领先。所以，要想弄清楚两人的支持率如何变动，关键是要知道选民中白人的比例。
Exit polls in 2008 indicated that 74% of those who cast ballots were white. If the white share of the electorate drops， say to 72%， it seems pretty clear Mr. Obama will win. If it rises， to say 76%， that means Mr. Romney likely is going to win. If the level stays constant， it could be a long night.2008年的出口调查显示，74%的投票者是白人。如果选民中白人的比例下降，比如下降到72%，显然奥巴马会赢。如果白人比例上升，比如达到76%，那就意味着罗姆尼可能会获胜。如果比例保持不变，那么两人就更加难以分出胜负。
Parallel question： Can Mr. Obama win 40% or more of the white vote? If he does， he'll be in good shape.一个类似的问题是，奥巴马能否获得40%或者更高比例的白人选票?如果能，形势就对他很有利了。
What's happening in college towns?大学城会发生什么情况?
The performance of young adults is either Mr. Obama's secret weapon or his Achilles' heel. In pre-election polling， two findings stand out： Mr. Obama still is favored by a wide margin among voters aged 18 to 29， but the interest they express in this election is below four years ago.年轻选民的表现不是奥巴马的秘密武器就是他的致命弱点。在大选前的民调中有两个结果值得注意：在18至29岁的选民中，奥巴马的支持率仍然大幅高于罗姆尼;但这个年龄段的选民对本届大选的兴趣不及四年前。
So， the question is whether they come out to vote even if they aren't as enthused as before. Republicans think there's no way the Obama team can produce the same kind of turnout， or sustain the same level of support， among a group suffering high economic anxiety. Obama partisans say pre-election polling consistently underestimates the resilience of its young vote.所以问题在于，就算他们的热情不如以往，他们是否还会出来投票。共和党人认为，在这样一群对经济倍感焦虑的年轻选民中，奥巴马的团队不可能再 “制造”出同上次一样的投票率，也无法保持相同水平的支持率。奥巴马的支持者说，选前民调总是低估年轻选民对大选结果的影响。
What's happening in Virginia?弗吉尼亚州会发生什么情况?
Tons of ink have been spilled and thousands of minutes of television air time have been consumed talking about the importance of Ohio and its 18 electoral votes. And indeed， Ohio is pivotal.我们已经耗费了数不清的笔墨，播出了时长无法统计的电视节目，就是为了说明俄亥俄州及其18张选举人票的重要性。诚然，俄亥俄州非常关键。
Less discussed is the importance of Virginia to Mr. Romney's electoral-college math. Put simply， Mr. Romney may well need to win Virginia's 13 votes first for Ohio to matter later. Let's assume， for example， that Mr. Romney wins North Carolina， Florida and Ohio as well as the swing states of New Hampshire and Colorado. He would still come up four electoral-college votes short of the 270 needed to win without Virginia.我们较少讨论的是弗吉尼亚州对罗姆尼最终能拿到多少张选举人票的重要性。简单讲，罗姆尼可能需要先赢得弗吉尼亚州的13张选举人票，然后才是更为重要的俄亥俄州。比如让我们来假设，罗姆尼赢得了北卡罗莱纳州、佛罗里达州和俄亥俄州，以及新罕布什尔州和科罗拉多州两个摇摆州。那么在失去弗吉尼亚州的前提下，他仍然缺少四张选举人票才能凑齐入主白宫所需的270张选举人票。
He then would need a win among some states that don't look quite as friendly to him， such as Iowa， Wisconsin or， in a real long shot， Pennsylvania. The Romney path to victory really is Virginia first， then Ohio. Virginia's polls close early， at 7 p.m. Eastern time， so it's a good early test.这样他需要拿下部分对他并不友好的州，比如艾奥瓦州、威斯康星州或以极小的概率拿下宾夕法尼亚州。罗姆尼的制胜之道应该是首先拿下弗吉尼亚州，然后是俄亥俄州。弗吉尼亚州的投票结束较早，在美东时间下午7点就结束了，所以这是一个很好的前期测试。
What's happening in the key counties of Ohio?俄亥俄州关键的几个郡会发生什么情况?
To get a better sense of what's happening in Ohio， don't just watch the state vote totals. Watch a few key counties.为了更好的理解俄亥俄州将要发生的情况，我们不应只关注该州总的投票情况，还应关注几个重点郡。
Wall Street Journal counties expert Dante Chinni points to three. One is Hamilton， the home of Cincinnati and a county the Journal has been watching all year. Mr. Obama captured it in 2008， the first time a Democrat had done so since 1964. He doesn't have to win it this time， but he has to make it close.《华尔街日报》郡县专家奇尼(Dante Chinni)指出三个应该关注的郡。一个是辛辛那提所在的汉密尔顿郡，《华尔街日报》关注该郡已经长达一年的时间。奥巴马在2008年赢得了该郡，这是自1964年以来首位民主党总统候选人拿下该郡。这一次奥巴马并不是非得赢得该郡，但他也不能差得太多。
Also watch Wood and Ottawa， two counties between Toledo and Cleveland that have gone with the state's winner in every presidential election since 1992.同时还要关注伍德(Wood)和渥太华(Ottawa)两个郡。自1992年以来的每一次总统大选中，拿下位于托莱多和克利夫兰之间的这两个郡的候选人最后都赢得了俄亥俄州的选举。