With early returns in key battlegrounds unexpectedly favoring Donald Trump, journalists are settling in for a long election night — and advising voters to do the same.

The Republican presidential nominee is looking surprisingly strong in states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida, where Hillary Clinton was strongly favored, meaning all thoughts of a swift ending to this drawn-out campaign have been dashed.

Trump's showing also is rocking stock markets, as Wonkblog's Ylan Q. Mui and Simon Denyer reported:

On Wall Street, all three major stock index futures were down roughly 4 percent late Tuesday evening. Dow Jones industrial average futures slid more than 700 points at one point. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index sank more than 100 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped nearly 200 points. Anxious investors sought out the safety of gold instead, sending the precious metal soaring 3.6 percent.
The uncertainty over the outcome of one of the most contentious presidential elections in modern history rattled investors across the world. Japan’s Nikkei index plunged 382 points, or more than 2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 846 points, or 3.6 percent. Meanwhile, the Mexican peso — which has fallen when the Republican nominee rose in the polls during his campaign — nose-dived to an eight-year low, according to Bloomberg.

Some voters — presumably those not thrilled by the prospect of a Trump presidency — have been searching the Internet for ways to move north of the border.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Canada's immigration information site reportedly crashed repeatedly on election night.

Trump clearly carried some momentum into Election Day, but Clinton was still considered a heavy favorite as polls opened. The New York Times' Upshot blog, for example, gave Clinton an 85 percent chance to win at the end of campaigning.

By 11:15 p.m. Eastern, the Upshot's project had reversed in dramatic fashion, putting Trump's odds of victory at more than 95 percent.

On so many levels, election night is not going the way many expected.