4:42 p.m. (11/3): Well, it’s the day after the election. The GOP had a huge surge in the House, but the Senate was more or less a wash for them. While they picked up 6 seats, it was far less than the 10 that they needed to win to take control. Great news out of Colorado for Democrats: Michael Bennet is projected to win the Senate seat over Tea Party candidate Ken Buck. That puts Democrats at a 53-47 majority, assuming Patty Murray wins in Washington state (which she currently leads in).
2:17 a.m.: “California is always a little different.” -Carly Fiorina …. Way to bash your state in defeat, Carly.
2:04 a.m.: Going to bed on this note – the Tea Party has likely cost the Republicans the Senate. Harry Reid beating Sharron Angle and Chris Coons beating Christine O’Donnell are two seats that would have gone to the GOP if they had nominated the candidates that the NRSC had backed. Thank you Sarah Palin for helping make sure the Senate stays in Democratic hands!
1:50 a.m.: Now that I’ve had more time, I have looked at where the biggest Republican gains took place. The Midwest and South were the biggest losses. New York state and Ohio were the biggest overall shifts with 5 seats, followed by 4 in Pennsylvania, Illinois and Virginia; 2 in Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Georgia, Texas, Wisconsin, and Indiana. That’s a net loss of 19 seats in Midwestern states – half of what Republicans needed to win the House. Throw in Ike Skelton’s loss in Missouri and the losses of the at-large seats in North and South Dakota and the Democrats lost 22 seats in the greater Midwest (I included Pennsylvania since culturally they are pretty similar).
1:30 a.m.: AP is saying that they accidentally put 30,000 votes into the Ken Buck column in Colorado that should have gone to Michael Bennet. If that is the case, the Democrat would have a 20,000 vote lead. Pretty big screw up there!
1:10 a.m.: Despite losing the governorship and two Senate races overwhelmingly, Republicans picked up five seats in New York: 13, 19, 20, 24, 29. I guess I was wrong in thinking the top of the ballot would help these vulnerable Democrats. As I mentioned with Illinois, these are low hanging fruit for 2012.
1:03 a.m.: I beg Sarah Palin to run for president in 2012. We’ll see a 60 seat shift back towards the Democrats if she does.
12:50 a.m.: 58% of Californians voted AGAINST Proposition 23 that would have removed the carbon restrictions in the state.
12:35 a.m.: Quick House update – Democrats will probably lose anywhere from 55-60 seats when all is said and done. Currently, it stands at 52 seats, which is where things were in 1994. That puts 2010 in the history books as one of the larger wave elections.
12:30 a.m.: Chuck Todd believes that Michael Bennet will benefit from Denver suburban votes that have not yet come in. He currently leads by about 10,000 votes. In Florida, Alex Sink trails by 2 points against Republican Rick Scott. Only half of the vote has been counted out of Miami-Dade County and about a third left in Palm Beach County. Both are heavily Democratic counties with large populations. Sink could still give Democrats a pick-up in a very large state.
12:25 a.m.: Love this site – http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/.
12:23 p.m.: Joe Sestak is conceding the Pennsylvania Senate race. He lost be a razor thin 51-49 margin. I have a feeling that this guy will be back. Incredible candidate and a good man.
12:06 p.m.: Carl Paladino has literally threatened to beat New York’s next governor over the head with a baseball bat if he doesn’t do what he wants him to, even though he only got 35% of the vote. Can you get more crazy?
12:00 p.m.: If the current numbers hold up, Republicans will control 11 of Illinois’ 19 House seats. That’s a pick-up of 4 seats in Obama’s backyard. The good news for Democrats is that they will be low-hanging fruit in 2012.
11:37 p.m.: More disappointing news out of Indiana – Democrats have lost control of the House. Republicans now control the Indiana House, Senate and Governor’s Mansion. This means that they can push through any bills that they want without opposition. It also means that they will control the redistricting process. In all likelihood it means that they will try to squeeze Joe Donnelly out of his seat by excluding a city like Kokomo or perhaps some of LaPorte County out of Indiana 2. They already won Baron Hill and Brad Ellsworth’s seat in Southern Indiana, but may try to shore up those districts with more Republican voters as well.
11:21 p.m.: Shifting gears to the gubernatorial races across the country, independents are faring quite well. Rhode Island’s next governor will be Lincoln Chafee, a former Republican Senator that lost his race in 2006. He endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008 and had the favor returned when President Obama refused to endorse the Democratic candidate in this year’s race. Independent Eliot Cutler won by 5 points in Maine. Independents also waged serious campaigns in Colorado and Minnesota, winning over 10 percent of the vote. Independents are no longer just spoilers, they are serious contenders in races where the two major party candidates are unpopular.
11:15 p.m.: Carl Paladino, the Tea Party psychopath that threatened to “take out” a reporter, has lost the New York governor’s race by 25 points to Democrat Andrew Cuomo. He will probably cost the Republicans a few House seats in the state. Tea Party candidates definitely do not hold sway in Democratic states.
10:59 p.m.: Not looking good for Alexi Giannoulias in Illinois. Almost all of the vote is in from Chicago (Cook County) and he is trailing by about 13,000 votes. Also not good news: he lost the Chicago suburbs by a wide margin. Mark Kirk won Lake County 57-39, McHenry County 59-34, Kane County 56-37, Dupage County 59-36, and Will County 52-41. Why does this matter? Anyone that knows Chicago knows that the suburbs have overtaken the central city in political importance. They have a 2-to-1 population advantage, making up a majority of the Chicago metro’s over 9 million citizens. Kirk is raking in the votes in this all-important part of the region.
10:40 p.m.: Senator Russ Feingold, a quirky liberal that voted against the Wall Street bailout, has lost his race to Republican businessman Ron Johnson. This just goes to show that voters sometimes don’t care about specific votes in Congress. This appears to be a vote against the Democratic Party in Wisconsin, not against Russ Feingold. On the downside, Ron Johnson is a Tea Partier that has said he would support drilling for oil in Lake Michigan. Not the type of Senator any Democrat would want to see take office in a state that voted nearly 60% for Barack Obama.
10:35 p.m.: Democrats were worried that they might lose at least one of their two members of Congress in Maine. Polling seemed to confirm that they were in trouble. It didn’t happen. So far the Democrats in those races have double-digit leads. The only Democrat to lose in New England was Carol-Shea Porter in New Hampshire. The other New Hampshire seat, left open by Paul Hodes who was running for the Senate (and lost), has switched parties as well. New England remains solidly Democratic.
10:30 p.m.: Ben Chandler is winning Kentucky 6, which includes the city of Lexington, by only 600 votes. Expect a recount here.
10:14 p.m.: Brad Ellsworth lost his home county, where Evansville is located, to Dan Coats by an amazing 8 points. Very poor campaign run by the Democrats in Indiana.
9:57 p.m.: Illinois Senate race is looking good for Democrats. Alexi Giannoulias was polling in the low 40s, but currently holds 50.5% of the vote to Republican Mark Kirk’s 44.3%. Interestingly, most polls had Kirk about where he is right now. If these numbers hold up, it will show that the undecided voters broke for the Democrats.
9:42 p.m.: Big news for Democrats in Pennsylvania. A state that looked pretty good for Republicans currently has Democrat Joe Sestak up 54.3% to 45.7%. Sestak is holding strong in the Philadelphia suburbs, winning Philly by 150,000 votes, and Pittsburgh by 45,000 votes. The race will tighten up, but right now, it is looking like Sestak upsets Toomey in a state the Republicans had counted on winning. Only a few weeks ago Toomey was leading by double digits in the polls.
9:37 p.m.: Christine O’Donnell, the Tea Party candidate that cost the Republicans a Senate seat in Delaware has declared that she “won”. “We have won. We were victorious because the Delaware political system will never be the same,” O’Donnell said in her concession speech. She lost 57-40% to Democrat Chris Coons.
9:24 p.m.: “You lie!” Republican Representative Joe Wilson is losing his seat in South Carolina. Hopefully these numbers hold up.
9:21 p.m.: NBC is projecting that the Democrats have lost the House of Representatives. So far Republicans have only officially picked up 8 seats out of the 39 that they need. Depending on how the West Coast comes in, it will either be a bloodbath or a fairly close divide in the House. If you haven’t voted yet and live out in California or other West Coast states, go vote.
8:58 p.m.: Republicans are coming on strong in Indiana. After winning the Senate race early on, two Southern Indiana districts – 8 and 9 – have been called for Republicans. One of them was held by incumbent Baron Hill. As I posted in the election guide, Democrats needed to win this district if they were going to hold onto the House. They are losing it badly – by 15 points. Democrat Joe Donnelly is winning by a slim two thousand vote lead.
8:51 p.m.: Alan Grayson has lost his Orlando-area district. Right now it’s about a 25 point wipe-out.
8:34 p.m.: NBC News is calling the West Virginia Senate race for Democrat Joe Manchin. Out the window goes Republican hopes of winning the Senate.
8:30 p.m.: Republicans picked up their second Senate seat. Democrat Blanche Lincoln loses her seat after badly trailing throughout the campaign. No surprise here. Democrats have won Connecticut’s Senate race. Richard Blumenthal will defeat Linda McMahon, the former WWE CEO.
8:23 p.m.: Democrat John Yarmuth has held on to his seat in Kentucky 3.
8:10 p.m.: John Carney won Delaware’s open seat, giving the Democrats a pick-up, the first pick-up of the night for either party. Republicans now need to win 40 seats from Democrats in order to gain the majority.
8:07 p.m.: MSNBC keeps bringing up Evan Bayh retiring from the Senate and taking a $10 million war chest with him. There’s no doubt that Bayh would have won and kept the state in the Democratic column. My guess: Bayh is running for governor again in 2012. Mitch Daniels will leave office term-limited and leaves an opening for Democrats.
8:02 p.m.: Some good news for Democrats: Ted Strickland is leading in Ohio’s governor race. Too close to call in Pennsylvania’s Senate race, which Republicans were slightly favored to win. They still might, but it should be close. We had it rated as a Toss-Up. West Virginia is looking good for the Dems as well.
7:35 p.m.: Ohio has been called, as expected, for Rob Portman. The Republicans hold onto the seat of retiring Senator George Voinovich.
7:06 p.m.: We are just getting started with poll closings tonight. No surprises here. Indiana is projected to be the Republican’s first pick-up of the night. Kentucky has also been called for Rand Paul. In good news for Democrats, Joe Donnelly leads in St. Joseph County with 63% to Jackie Walorski’s 33%. If that number holds up, it will be a blow-out in Indiana 2.