The Hayride’s 2010 Election Night Live-Blog

It’s an historic night, and we’ll have as much up-to-the-minute information on election returns and news and notes as we can crank out.

We’ve got a feeling, though. Tonight’s gonna be a good night.

Refresh often for latest updates.

12:10 a.m. (MacAoidh) – I just came from the Crowne Plaza hotel here in Baton Rouge, where Bill Cassidy, Jay Dardenne and Charlie Melancon had their victory parties. Some thoughts from those…

1. Dardenne’s people were absolutely ecstatic at the size of the win. A 57-43 number was a good deal better than they expected given the insane amount of money Caroline Fayard spent on a Lieutenant Governor’s race. The general feeling was that the money-laundering operation Fayard’s father was running through the state Democrat Party made her candidacy more or less an evil thing, and a big win was a necessity to prevent something like this from happening again next year or down the road. But the business of $750,000 from the state Democrat Party going to Fayard’s campaign and there being no disclosure where it came from is a big scandal to the Dardenne people, and I had more than one of those folks tell me that’s going to be a big story going forward. I think we’ve got the first major political controversy of 2011 in Louisiana.

2. The state’s next Secretary of State will be former state senator Tom Schedler, who understandably was all smiles tonight. When Dardenne is sworn in as the Lieutenant Governor, Schedler will take over for him at State, and he’s definitely going to run for the post next year. There will not be a special election, which is good – we’ve had enough elections around here for a while, don’t you think?

3. Cassidy’s affair was a rather smaller shindig than Dardenne’s, but since he’s in the House you can imagine the happy faces in that room. I’ve gotten to know the Congressman a good bit since this site’s exception, and I can say that regardless of politics he’s just a really, really good guy. Nobody went to his party without getting a handshake and a kind word from the host.

Cassidy won easily, 66-34 over Democrat Merritt McDonald. He did so despite not spending much of his war chest at all; Cassidy never made a TV buy and in not doing so he saved a half-million bucks that will sit in his war chest. You can’t really say that was a risky strategy, since McDonald never had any real resources to come after Cassidy with. But it did turn out to be a very smart one; with that half-million left over, Cassidy has the ability to scare off any serious challengers for the time being.

There’s a danger in that, of course – namely, that the longer a congressman (or any other politician) goes without getting a real race the worse he or she will get at campaigning. Sooner or later somebody comes along who can actually compete, and the incumbent gets caught flat-footed. But it’ll be a long time before Cassidy has that problem; in fact, the bet here is he’s more likely to move up at some point than get stale in that job.

4. I was talked out of wandering into Melancon’s wake. The Dardenne people gave me a name tag, and the chances aren’t terrible I’d have been recognized. What I can say is that you’ll never see a more down-in-the-mouth crew than those mopes who streamed out of that shindig. I couldn’t hear his concession speech, though it did seem like it went on forever.

Charlie-Boy talked about hookers for 10 months and he got 38 percent. That’s what talking about hookers will get you in this state when you have nothing else to offer.

11:32 p.m. (John Robert Butler): FOX Calls Harry Reid the Winner

I really thought Angle would take this one.  I’m very disappointed with this result.  I’m sure we all are.  It’s possibile Angle could wind up winning, but its a long shot at this point.  52% of the vote goes to Harry Reid with 70% of the vote accounted for.

In more optimistic news, Ken Buck has narrowed the gap in the Colorado Senate race significantly.  He is 1 point behind with 68% of the vote tallied. 

11:25 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Rossi on the Ropes in Washington

GOP House candidate Dino Rossi is watching her challenger slowly overtake her in the polls.  60% of the vote is in with Rossi losing to the tune of 49.4-50.6%.

11:20 p.m. (John Robert Butler): MSNBC Chimes in on the Illinois Senate Race

Well, for what its worth, MSNBC has called the Illinois Senate race for Mark Kirk.  For the record, I called this one an hour ago.  But I suppose it should be expected that MSNBC be behind.

Symbolically, this seat is obviously huge.  Barack Obama’s old seat is going to go to a GOP congressman.  He certainly campaigned hard for Democrats in Illinois.  Perhaps that is part of the reason why Kirk won….

11:15 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Back to Jerry Brown

Jerry Brown has been declared the victor in the California governor’s race.  However, the GOP picks up a huge win in Ohio, taking the governorship from Democrat Ted Strickland.

11:00 p.m. (John Robert Butler): John Boehner Gives an Emotional address

I’ve never been a huge fan of John Boehner.  But I just have to say that his speech tonight on national television has completely won me over.  As soon as it comes on youtube we’ll post it on the site.  It was a very moving address.  Here is an excerpt:

HIS MOMENT: John Boehner, likely to be the new speaker of the House, is celebrating the GOP’s victories by saying voters have sent an “unmistakable message,” which he says is, “change course.” “I’m here to tell you tonight that our new majority will be prepared to do things differently,” he says. Crying, he says, “I spent my whole life chasing the American dream.”

10:55 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Senate Officially out of Reach

Well, no majority in the Senate for the GOP.  Barbara Boxer is projected to win the California Senate election.  As we predicted, this senate race was the tipping point moreso than Nevada.  However, things don’t look great for Sharron Angle either.

With 55% of the vote reported, Reid is leading Angle by 8 points.

10:50 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Pat Toomey Wins PA Senate Seat

As we predicted, Toomey has won the PA Senate election:

PHILADELPHIA – Pat Toomey, the conservative Republican whose popularity scared Arlen Specter out of the GOP, was elected to the longtime U.S. senator’s seat Tuesday in one of the most hotly contested races in the nation.
Toomey, a 48-year-old former congressman, investment banker and restaurateur from the Allentown area, defeated Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak after hammering him on his liberal voting record and his ties to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama.
Sestak, 58, now in his second term representing a suburban Philadelphia district, is a former Navy vice admiral who commanded an aircraft carrier group in war after the Sept. 11 attacks. It was Sestak who put an end to Specter’s 30-year Senate career by defeating the Republican-turned-Democrat in a shocking upset in the primary this year.
Tuesday’s balloting capped a bare-knuckled campaign in which voters were inundated with tens of millions of dollars in TV and Internet attack ads and campaign fliers as they decided on a successor to Specter, whose voting record exemplified Pennsylvania’s middle-of-the-road electorate and kept him in the Senate for five terms.
The two candidates are ideological opposites who portrayed each other as too extreme for Pennsylvania.
Toomey sought to tap into voter dissatisfaction over unemployment and the shaky economy to argue that Sestak, and his support for Obama’s policies, were to blame. The Republican contended that the Obama administration’s “extreme leftward lurch” required someone like him to help bring balance to Washington.
Sestak worked to convince voters that he was stuck cleaning up an economic mess caused by Toomey and the Bush administration’s policies. He sought to cast Toomey as an apologist for Wall Street whose zeal for tax-cutting and deregulation helped cause the recession and sent jobs overseas.
The race cost more than $50 million and included spending by the candidates, political parties, unions and national business advocates in the general election and the bruising Democratic primary.
Specter narrowly won his fifth term after overcoming a Toomey challenge in the GOP primary in 2004. The senator switched parties in 2009, shortly after Toomey declared he wanted a rematch this year, and acknowledged his chances of winning the nomination in the increasingly conservative GOP were slim.
Obama and other Democratic leaders shunned Sestak and endorsed Specter in the May primary. But Sestak billed himself as the true Democrat, and called Specter a Democrat out of convenience, not conviction. He won with 54 percent of the vote, after which the Democratic establishment enthusiastically embraced him.

10:45 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Louisiana House Results

Louisiana has established itself as one of the most conservative states in the nation.  Of our 7 House elections, only 1 went to the Democrats.  Joseph Cao lost to  Cedric Richmond in District 2.  It is an unfortunate loss, but I think it is one that most people saw coming.

Congratulations to Steve Scalise, Bill Cassidy, Jeff Landry, Charles Boustany, John Fleming, and Rodney Alexander.  They will all serve us well in Washington.

10:35 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Ken Buck and the Colorado Senate Race

Buck has been behind the 8 ball early on tonight.  Hopefully he can pull this one out.  He’s down in the polls 49.8-50%.

10:30 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Initial Reporting from Nevada

If one more Senate race goes to Democrats the GOP will have no chance at a majority.  I don’t think we have to worry about this one. I have my money on Angle.  I think the more concerning race is against Barbara Boxer in CA.

Nevada Senate
Reid                D         53.5%  (162,259)
Angle               R         42.5%  (128,891)
Others                         2.2%    (6,687)
None                          1.8%    (5,487)
<1% reporting
Source: NYT

10:25 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Illinois Senate Race all but over

I’m going to call this one with 89% of the vote reported.  Mark Kirk (R) has steadily gained on Democrat Giannoulias and now has a 48-46.4% lead.  The way this race has shaped up, barring a busload of welfare recipients paid off by the DNC, the results will be close but Kirk wins.

Illinois Senate
Kirk                 R         48.0%  (1,527,141)
Giannoulias     D         46.4%  (1,472,246)
Jones                G         3.2%    (100,822)
Labno              Lib       2.4%    (75,108)
89% reporting
Source: NYT 

10:20 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Republicans Take a 36 Seat Lead in the House

Notable victories from the NRCC:

OH-06 – Bill Johnson (R) def. Rep. Charlie Wilson (D)
NE-02 – Rep. Lee Terry (R) def. Tom White (D)
OH-15 – Steve Stivers (R) def. Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D)
PA-07 – Pat Meehan (R) def. Bryan Lentz (D)
SC-05 – Mick Mulvaney (R) def. Rep. John Spratt
PA-08 – Mike Fitzpatrick (R) def. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D)
KS-03 – Kevin Yoder (R) def. Stephene Moore (D)
RI-01 – John Loughlin (R) def. David Cicilline (D)
IL-14 – Randy Hultgren (R) def. Rep. Bill Foster
PA-15 – Rep. Charlie Dent (R) def. John Callahan
ND-AL – Rick Berg (R) def. Rep. Earl Pomeroy
IL-11 – Adam Kinzinger (R) def. Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D)

10:20 p.m. (John Robert Butler): GOP Senate Lead in Washington

Early results favor Dino Rossi:

WA Senate Results 11:15 PM EDT
Dino Rossi       Rep.                 139,594           57.7% 
Patty Murray    Dem.               102,190           42.3%
12% reporting
Source: NYT

10:15 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Cao Loses

It’s really a sad situation when a deviant like Cedric Richmond wins a seat in the United States House of Representatives.  We called this one earlier today, but it doesn’t make the situation any less disappointing.

10:10 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Senate Races: Pennsylvania and Illinois

Both races have been tight all night.  It appears that Toomey has made his move in Pennsylvania with 93% of the vote accounted for:

Pennsylvania Senate
Joe Sestak     (D)   1,774,458  49.5%
Pat Toomey  (R)   1,810,494   50.5%
93% Reporting

This race will go down to the wire.  It’s anyone’s guess how it will turnout.  Typically in these types of elections the ground game will decide the final outcome.

In Illinois, after taking a 0.3% lead in the polls Mark Kirk (R) has surged ahead to take a 1.3 point lead.  This race will be decided by a very slight margin:

Illinois Senate
Kirk                 R         47.9%  (1,420,860)
Giannoulias     D         46.6%  (1,382,477)
Jones                G         3.2%    (93,777)
Labno              Lib       2.3%    (69,449

10:05 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Republicans up 23 seats in the House

The GOP continues to dominate House races.  Here is the latest report from the NRCC:

OK-05 – James Lankford (R) def. Billy Coyle (D)
SC-01 – Tim Scott (R) def. Ben Frasier (D)
OH-18 – Bob Gibbs (R) def. Rep. Zack Space (D)
ME-01 – Rep. Chellie Pingree (D) def. Dean Scontras (R)
MD-1 – Andy Harris (R) def. Rep. Frank Kratovil (D)
NC-07 – Rep. Mike McIntyre (D) def. Ilario Pantano (R)
MI-2 – Bill Huizenga (R) def. Fred Johnson (D)
NJ-3 – Jon Runyan (R) def. Rep. John Adler (D)
MI-01 – Dan Benishek (R) def. Gary McDowell (D)
PA-10 – Tom Marino (R) def. Rep. Chris Carney (D)
LA-02 – Cedric Richmond (D) def. Joseph Cao (R)
MS-01 – Alan Nunnelee (R) def. Rep. Travis Childers (D)
IL-17 – Bobby Schilling (R) def. Rep. Phil Hare (D)
PA-03 – Mike Kelly (R) def. Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D)
OH-16 – Jim Renacci (R) def. Rep. John Boccieri (D)

10:00 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Senate Projection Updates

CNN predicts that Russ Feingold (D) will lose in Wisconsin.  Results at this time show GOP candidat Ron Johnson with a 9 point lead in the wake of 39% of returns.

In Idaho, Mike Crapo holds on to his seat for a GOP hold.  He is highly favored even with only 1% of the vote in.  Polling has put Crapo as a heavy favorite prior to election night. He has 89% of the vote.

9:55 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Breaking News in Illinois

A nip and tuck race in Illinois now sees GOP candidate Mark Kirk with his first lead of the night.  Thought he is only leading by 0.3 points, that may end up being the deciding factor in this race.  He has slowly gained on his adversary Giannoulias.  NYT report:

Illinois Senate
Kirk                 R         47.4%  (1,299,347)
Giannoulias     D         47.1%  (1,290,899)
Jones                G         3.2%    (86,223)
Labno              Lib       2.3%    (63,279)
78% reporting

9:55 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Toomey comes through in PA

Toomey has finally taken control of the race in Pennsylvania.  With 90% of the vote in, here are the results from the PA Secretary of State:

Pennsylvania Senate
Joe Sestak     (D)   1,692,982  49.8%
Pat Toomey  (R)   1,706,960   50.2%
90% Reporting

9:50 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Can the Nevada Senate race get any more wild?

Election results will be delayed in Nevada due to power outages:

LAS VEGAS — A power outage in the Henderson area briefly affected polls at Schofield Middle School, according to Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller.
Miller said voters would be allowed to vote, but added that statewide results may be delayed.
“No results of any statewide races can be reported in any county until all polls across the state are closed,” Miller said in a statement. He could not say how long the vote count would take.
The outage occurred after a vehicle hit a transformer at Eastern Avenue and the 215 Beltway, affecting 1,000 customers, NV Energy reported.

9:45 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Very Tight Senate Races

In Pennsylvania, Sestak and Toomey are in an absolute dead heat 50%-50% with 75% of the vote recorded. This race may be less of a comeback for Toomey than it appears.  Sestak benefited from a significant advantage in early voting, and began the night a goof bit ahead.  But Toomey has roared back and it appears his statistical 90% chance of victory is probably assured.

Illinois is going down to the wire. Mark Kirk (R) and Alex Giannoulias (D) are essentially tied.  With 65% of the vote in, Kirk is down by 0.1%. 

9:40 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Exit Polls in Nevada favor Angle


ANGLING IN NEVADA: Exit polls in Nevada show Republican Sharron Angle winning independent voters by a 10-point margin but holding less of her own party’s votes than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid held of his. Angle had a 50-40 lead among independents, according to the poll, with 5 percent telling pollsters they picked Nevada’s unique “none of these candidates” option and another 5 percent choosing another candidate or not to answer.

I’ve been calling this one for a long time.  But i don’t mind sounding like a broken record.  She’ll win.

9:35 p.m. (John Robert Butler):  Important Governor race predictions

Wins in New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Michigan favor the GOP.

Susana Martinez becomes the first woman Governor of New Mexico.

9:30 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Republicans now up 14 seats in the House

From the NRCC:

TX-17 – Bill Flores (R) def. Chet Edwards (D)
NC-11 – Rep. Heath Shuler (D) def. Jeff Miller
WV-03 – Rep. Nick Rahall (D) def. Spike Maynard (R)
TN-08 – Stephen Fincher (R) def. Roy Herron  (D)
OH-13 – Rep. Betty Sutton (D) def. Tom Ganley (R)
SC-04 – Trey Gowdy (R) def. Pat Corden (D)
MO-07 – Billy Long (R) def. Scott Eckersley (D)
KS-01 – Tim Huelskamp (R) def. Alan Jilka (D)
NC-03 – Rep. Larry Kissell (D) def. Harold Johnson (R)
GA-08 – Austin Scott (R) def. Rep. Jim Marshall
PA-11 – Lou Barletta (R) def. Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D)

9:25 p.m. (John Robert Butler): GOP Governor Trouble

Dan Maes (R) is behind both the democratic candidate and the Independent candidate in the Colorado governor’s race.  The downside here is not so much that the GOP will lose, but that they may not even gain 10% of the vote.

If the GOP does not grab 10% of the vote in this election, they will no longer be certified as a major party in the state.

This is just something to keep an eye on.  I seriously doubt this will happen, but stranger things have happened in politics before.  Maes has 9% of the vote with 36% reported.  99.9% chance he gets that needed 1%.

It is slightly embarrasing though….

Against the narrative in New Hampshire:

AGAINST THE NARRATIVE: Massachusetts Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, a key White House ally, will win a second term, the AP projects.

9:25 p.m. (John Robert Butler): CNN is now predicting at more than a 52 seat gain in the House.

Expect that projection to rise gradually as the election results come in.  Also, expect media pundits to feign surprise at the results….

9:15 p.m. (John Robert Butler):  Good News in the Senate

South Dakota is going to Republican John Khun who is uncontested.

Jerry Moran (R) is well on his way to becoming Senator elect in Kansas.  He has 68% of the vote with 31% reported.

Roy Blunt captures the Missouri Senate seat for the GOP.  23% of the vote has been reported with 68% going to Blunt.

Toomey (R) has narrowed the gap on Sestak.  With 58% of the vote in, Toomey trails 49-51%.  Statistically speaking, Toomey came into Tuesday with a 90% chance of victory.  I think those numbers hold true here.

GOP candidate Rob Portman is projected to win the Senate in Ohio. He leads by 20 points with 52% of the vote accounted for.

In Georgia, Gop candidate Johnney Isakson is crushing his Democratic opponent by 21 points with 59% of the vote recorded.

Looks to be a blowout in NH: Kelly Ayotte (R) leads by31 points with 39% of the vote accounted for.

All of this means that is Fiorina defeats Boxer in California, Republicans will likely capture a majority in the Senate.  Voter enthusiasm is with her.  Predictions aren’t great, but the polls haven’t closed yet.

9:10 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Rand Paul Speaks about a Tea Party Caucus

Paul was interviewed by CNN and claimed that if he had his way there would be a Tea Party caucus in the Senate.  Jim Demint seemed to disagree with Paul in a subsequent interview.  But he did say this:

We don’t really have a two party system now.  We don’t have a Democratic party we’re capable of dealing with.

Damn right.

9:05 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Democratic Leadership concedes the House…

Pretty obvious one here.  but here’s the statement just for kicks:

OBVIOUS STATEMENT: Democratic Party chief Tim Kaine has conceded what House Democratic leaders have yet to acknowledge: They’ve lost the House. “We’re likely to end up with a Democrat in the White House, with maybe a majority of Republican governors, a Democratic Senate, a Republican House,” Kaine said on NBC News. “It’s a tough night for us in the House.”

Yeah. Get ready for some more.

8:50 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Senate updates

Sestak (D) is leading in Pennsylvania by 8 points, 54-46% over Pat Toomey.  Only 32% of the vote has been reported so I expect Toomey to narrow the gap, especially in light of poll projections prior to the Tuesday favoring Toomey.

The GOP is down in Illinois by 9 points with 37% of the vote coming in.

Michael Bennet (D) is leading Ken Buck (R) in Colorado by 2 points.  Only 19% of the vote has been reported.

Exit polls in Nevada predict Angle (R) down 1 point to Harry Reid.  She’ll win that race.  The polls are set to close shortly.

8:45 (John Robert Butler): Republicans are now up 10 seats in the House

According to the NRCC, the GOP has picked up significant and sweeping wins across the nation in the House.  Republicans can claim 85 wins to the Democrats 35.  Some notable victories:

FL-05 – Rich Nugent (R) def. Jim Piccillo (D)
IN-09 – Todd Young (R) def. Rep. Baron Hill (D)
TN-03 – Chuck Fleischmann (R) def. John Wolfe (D)
VA-02 – Scott Rigell (R) def. Rep. Glenn Nye (D)
NH-01 – Frank Guinta (R) def. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D)
IN-02 – Rep. Joe Donnely (D) def. Jackie Walorski (R)
CT-1 – Rep. John Larson (D) def. Ann Brickley (R)
MA-04 – Rep. Barney Frank (D) def. Sean Bielat (R)

8:40 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Let’s just get this out of the way….Congrats David Vitter…

2% of the vote hasbeen reported and Vitter as expected is dominating: 66-31%.  Sorry, Charlie.

5 states are closing at the top of the hour.  Among them is Nevada.  I’d just like to be the first to say goodbye to Harry Reid.  Thank God.

8:35 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Governor’s race update.

Texas: Rick Perry wins his bid for reelection with 57% of the vote.

Oklahoma: Mary Fallin is projected to chalk up a win for the GOP.  She has 58% of the 21% reported votes.

Kansas: Sam Brownback dominates as expected. 62%-34%.  13% of the vote has come in.

South Dakota: Dennis Daugaard is a solid pickup in South Dakota for the GOP.

Tennessee: Bill Haslam (R) has this race locked up with 70% of the vote.

GOP losses include: Arkansas, New York, and Maryland.  New Hampshire is a tight race 50%-48% in favor of Democrat Incumbent John Lynch.  We think John Stephen knocks him off in the end though. Only 28% of the vote has been reported.

8:30 (John Robert Butler): Fiorina needs to win…badly.

The GOP now needs to win all 7 remaining Senate seats to gain a majority.  If Fiorina doesn’t come through in California, Republicans won’t have a majority.  I think she can pull it off.  No votes have been counted as of this time.  Let’s hope for the best.

8:25 p.m. (John Robert Butler): GOP Senate pickup projection in North Dakota.

This race is a fairly safe bet.  John Hoevan (R) leads Tracy Potter (D) 79-23%.  Only 2% of the vote has been counted, but the disparity is fairly staggering.  I’m going to call this one.

8:20 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Notable GOP wins to this point.

From the NRCC:

FL-24 – Sandy Adams (R) def. Suzanne Kosmas (D)
VA-09 – Morgan Griffith (R) def. Rick Boucher (D)
IN-04 – Todd Rokita (R) def. David Sanders (D)
IN-03 – Marlin Stutzman (R) def. Tom Hayhurst
KY-03 – John Yarmouth (D) def. Todd Lalley (R)
DE-AL – John Carney (D) def. Glen Urquhart (R)
VA-05 – Robert Hurt (R) def. Tom Periello (D)
IN-08 – Larry Buschon (R) def. Trent Van Haaften (D)
FL-08 – Daniel Webster (R) def. Alan Grayson (D)

8:15 p.m. (John Robert Butler): CNN Projects GOP Has Officially Won the House

Ok. So we won the House as expected.  Statistically analysis by CNN statisticians now call the House majority for the GOP.  However, further analysis also reveals that the GOP is now poised to pick up well over 50 seats.  The widely accepted over/under for the House was around a 45 seat pickup.  Well, I guess we can say we knew better than the experts.

8:00 p.m. (John Robert Butler): GOP House pickups in Virginia are massive.

District 9: Projected GOP pickup for Morgan Griffith with 89% of precincts voting.  Griffith 51% Boucher 47%.

District 6: Bob Goolatte wins uncontested.

District 7: Eric Holder wins to secure a GOP hold.

District 5: Robert Hurt is projected to defeat Democrat incumbent Perriello. 52-46%.

District 4: Randy Forbes holds his congressional seat against Democrat Winn Legrow.

District 1: Robb Wittman holds on to a GOP seat.

District 10: GOP candidate Frank Wolfe crushes Jeff Barnett 68%-30%.

There are two districts going to incumbent Democrats: Bobby Scott (D) and Jim Moran (D).  3 districts have minimal precincts reporting.

Michael Steele weighed in on the damage:

STEELE WEIGHS IN: Republican Party chief Michael Steele says that the Democrats’ losses in Virginiahave been “coming for a long time.” He tells MSNBC that Democrats “figured out earlier on” how to win in the traditionally Republican state, but that voters are punishing lawmakers who “have to carry the water for Nancy Pelosi.” He adds, “I think you’re seeing a lot of that around the country tonight.”

7:45 p.m. (MacAoidh)– In what was considered a bellweather race, Todd Young just got called the winner over Baron Hill for that House seat in Indiana (IN-9). That’s a big R flip, and it’s a 54-40 number for Young so far. Larry Bucshon’s 56-38 butt-kicking in IN-8 added to that (IN-8 has been called for Bucshon) indicates the wave could be coming on.

Going back to New Hampshire, Carol Shea-Porter is another D incumbent in big trouble. Frank Guinta has her down 54-42 with 20 percent in.

Richard Shelby’s been called the winner in the Alabama Senate seat. That’s an R hold. Was never considered otherwise.

7:42 p.m. (John Robert Butler): Congrats to Marco Rubio of Florida

Rubio is well on his way to winning the Florida Senate seat despite the antics of Bill Clinton, Charlie Crist and Kendrick Meek.  He handled himself with class and diginity in the face of allegations that he, son of a cuban immigrant,  was labeled as “anti-latino.”  Rubio has truly been an impressive candidate. 

Rubio leads with 50% of the vote to Christ’s 29% and Meek’s 20%. That’s with 33 percent reporting.

7:40 p.m. (MacAoidh)– Maryland’s Senate race had been called for Barbara Mikulski, so that’s a D hold. And though they’ve called Connecticut, Blumenthal is at 52-47 with 2 percent in.

There might be some House seats which flip in the Northeast, but so far this looks like a Southern and Midwestern wave. Of course, it could be a Western wave as well; we won’t know that for a while.

New Hampshire being an exception. Ayotte is just killing Hodes up there; with 11 percent in, it’s 62-35.

And Fox News just called West Virginia for Manchin. With 12 percent in he’s up 54-44. Raese’s campaign sucked. But if a Democrat is going to win it might as well be Manchin; he’s now staked out a position as the most Republican Democrat in the country. So we’ll see.

Daniel Webster just got called the winner over Alan Grayson. Buh-bye, jackass.

Watch NJ-03. Jon Runyan is a Tea Party Republican who also played for the Eagles as an offensive lineman. He’s up 59-37 with 14 percent in. That could be a surprise R pickup.

7:30 p.m. (MacAoidh)– Now West Virginia. It’s very early; in fact, only 3.9 percent are in. But so far Joe Manchin is ahead of John Raese 54.5 to 42.8. Bad numbers for the GOP pickup there. We’ll see if they move as the night goes along; if they don’t it looks like a 50-50 Senate might be in the offing.

New Hampshire has been called for Ayotte, the Republican. And Arkansas has been called for John Boozman over Blanche Lincoln, R pickup.

And Rick Boucher and Tom Perriello have both lost in Virginia. Two R House pickups.

7:25 p.m. (MacAoidh) – Connecticut and Delaware have both been called for the Democrats, but there are no numbers yet. The guess here is McMahon and O’Donnell will at least make it look good.

Richard Burr is called the winner in North Carolina. R hold. Tom Coburn in Oklahoma has also been called. Another R hold.

Also, Delaware’s at-large seat has been called for Carney, the Democrat. That’s a D pickup.

Larry Bucshon in Indiana has now been called the winner. Republican pickup. And Sandra Adams has beaten Suzanne Kosmas in Florida, another Republican pickup.

7:10 p.m. (MacAoidh) – Rick Scott is up 50.9 to 45.6 on Alex Sink in Florida with 14.5 percent reporting.

And Rubio is still up 50-29 on Crist in the Senat race there with 20 percent in.

6:50 p.m. (MacAoidh)– In New Hampshire, with 3 percent in, Kelly Ayotte is up 60-37 on Paul Hodes. That would be a GOP hold, but it was supposed to be a somewhat-close race (53-47 or so). Could be a portent; we’ll see.

Meanwhile, in Georgia Johnny Isakson is up 67-30 on Michael Thurmond in early returns. That’s another GOP hold.

The Florida Senate vote is 5.7 percent in. Marco Rubio is at 50.4 percent, with Charlie Crist at 29.2 and Kendrick Meek 19.2

And the Florida Governor’s race is 3.9 percent counted. Rick Scott is at 51.6; Alex Sink at 44.6. 

6:40 p.m. (MacAoidh) – Oh, and Allen West is up 55-45 on Ron Klein early.

Nathan Deal is at 60-37 over Roy Barnes in the Georgia governor’s race.

Tom Perriello and Rick Boucher, Democrat incumbents, are both losing in Virginia House races.

Three Indiana House races look like GOP flips – Baron Hill is down 54-41 to Todd Young, Trent Van Haaften is getting beat by Larry Bucshon 55-40 and Jackie Walorski is bombing Joe Donnelly 56-38. Those numbers reflect anywhere between 11 and 30 percent pof the vote counted. 

6:30 p.m. (MacAoidh) – Fox News just called the Ohio Senate seat for Rob Portman. No surprise there.

In Indiana, it looks like Democrats Baron Hill and Joe Donnelly are screwed.

In Florida, Marco Rubio is sitting on a 53-29 lead on Charlie Crist in early voting. Rick Scott is ahead of Alex Sink 54-42. And Daniel Webster has 63 percent on Alan Grayson. Florida is looking like a blowout for the ages early.

6:25 p.m. (MacAoidh) – Mitch McConnell didn’t want Rand Paul as the junior senator from Kentucky, but he’s got him. So McConnell has swallowed hard and embraced Paul with a nice, syrupy statement on his big win.

“For nearly two years, Kentuckians have said they want their government to focus on jobs and the economy. And at every turn, President Obama and Washington Democrats have ignored the people, and pursued their own left-wing agenda.  Tonight, Kentucky voters sent a strong message to Washington by electing Dr. Rand Paul to the United States Senate.  His message of reining in outrageous Washington spending and the overreaching policies of the Obama Administration resonated throughout the state. Senator-elect Paul ran a great campaign, and I am excited to have him as my colleague in the Senate next year to help us stop this crippling agenda.”

Another guy McConnell isn’t overly fond of, Jim DeMint, has just been called the winner in South Carolina. Shocking, that – Alvin Greene put up such a huge challenge.

6:15 p.m. (MacAoidh) –  Some early calls have been made in places where the polls have closed.

First, Dan Coats has been called the winner in Indiana, which is a pickup. Coats is up 55-40 on Brad Ellsworth with 7 percent in.

Next, Rand Paul is beating the crud out of Jack Conway in Kentucky, and that race has been called for the GOP. Paul is up 56-44 with 14 percent in.

Pat Leahy has been called the winner over GOP challenger Len Britton in Vermont.

Mike Pence and Dan Burton have been called winners in their Indiana House races.



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