9:10 p.m. (9/15): Lamontagne has conceded the race for the GOP’s Senate nomination. In other news from yesterday’s primaries, a new poll out of Delaware shows that Democrat Chris Coons leads Republican Christine O’Donnell 50-34. That’s a bigger lead than he had in previous polls and may seem to indicate that even some Mike Castle voters are backing Coons.
2:54 p.m. (9/15): Well, it’s the day after the primary. Ayotte has been declared the winner by the Secretary of State in New Hampshire, even though counting continues. Ovide Lamontagne has until 5:00 pm to decide whether he will seek a recount. The margin is 1,500 votes.
1:24 a.m.: Kelly Ayotte’s lead has expanded to over 1,200 votes. It seems that she will eke it out after all. This will be the last post of the night. What an exciting end to the primary season!
Ayotte – 38.4% (42,538)
Lamontagne – 37.3% (41,301)
Binnie – 14.0% (15,491)
Bender – 8.6% (9,526)
1:00 a.m.: The lead has changed in New Hampshire. Kelly Ayotte has pulled ahead of Ovide Lamontagne by 700 votes. Ayotte is winning every county in the state except for the two largest: Rockingham and Hillsborough. Both of these counties are along the Massachusetts border. Ayotte’s strongest counties are along the sparsely populated Vermont border. At the current rate, it appears that she will probably pull it out, but it is still too close to call.
Ayotte – 38.4% (36,865)
Lamontagne – 37.7% (36,150)
Binnie – 13.8% (13,619)
Bender – 8.5% (8,416)
12:50 a.m.: The Tea Party takeover of the Republican Party seems almost complete. Christine O’Donnell’s victory over Mike Castle raises an interesting question: will the Tea Party decide the Republican nominee in 2012? Of course there are many more offices for them to run in as well, but right after the midterms end, the focus will shift to the presidential election. With huge victories across the country inside the Republican Party for Tea Party candidates, directly against the wishes of party leaders, it is reasonable to conclude that the same thing could happen to their presidential nominee. They certainly are not going to nominate another moderate like John McCain. At any rate, Democrats should feel even more confident in their chances of re-electing Barack Obama.
12:30 a.m.: Chris Coons, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Delaware, has released the following statement:
With Christine O’Donnell, we face an ideology rather than a record. One of Sarah Palin’s newest “Mama Grizzlies,” O’Donnell will fight to roll back a woman’s right to choose and lead the charge against stem-cell research, falsely claiming that this ground breaking research exploits women. She has a record of supporting discrimination against gays and lesbians, and pressing for public schools to teach creationism.
Even more shocking is that despite the fact that she has no plan for putting Delawareans back to work and wants to open our coastlines to more dangerous off-shore drilling risks, she truly believes that she’s the right candidate for Delaware.
Make no mistake — Sarah Palin, Jim DeMint, Michelle Bachmann, and the Tea Party Express will invest to make sure O’Donnell joins them in Washington. We cannot let Joe Biden’s seat fall into ultraconservative hands – into the grasp of a candidate who is out of touch with Delaware and the challenges we face.
12:28 a.m.: Even the Republican Party is writing off Christine O’Donnell. Fox News reporter Carl Cameron states that the NRSC will not spend any money on the Delaware Senate race.
11:24 p.m.: Here’s a little nugget for the upcoming general election race between Chris Coons and Christine O’Donnell. The Tea Party candidate faces a steep uphill battle against the Democrat according to polling firm PPP. They posted this information on their Twitter feed:
@ppppolls: Only 31% of Delaware voters think Christine O’Donnell is fit to hold public office
@ppppolls: And O’Donnell’s fav/unfav is 29/50
@ppppolls: Castle primary voters supports Coons over O’Donnell 44-28 in general election
The only people in the state that seem to like O’Donnell have just voted for her in the primary. Coons will win almost all Democrats, a substantial number of independents, and a decent amount of Republicans.
11:14 p.m.: Tea Party candidate Carl Paladino has defeated former Congressman Rick Lazio in New York’s GOP primary for governor. With 47 percent of precincts reporting, Paladino leads Lazio 67-33%. All of that fear-mongering over the “9/11 mosque” didn’t help Lazio one bit.
11:00 p.m.: Here’s an update from New Hampshire. Tea Party candidate Ovide Lamontagne’s lead is down to just 5 points after initially leading by about 20 points when the night began. In raw votes, the difference is only 2,000 with many left to be uncounted. Not all of Lamontagne’s lead is shifting to Ayotte, though. Binnie has seen a 4 percent rise in the past few hours and Bender a little over 1 percent. Their votes may very well play spoiler.
Lamontagne – 41.8% (18,959)
Ayotte – 37.1% (16,806)
Binnie – 11.8% (5,351)
Bender – 7.9% (3,597)
23.3% of precincts reporting
9:49 p.m.: Here are the final results from Delaware. Let the civil war in the Delaware GOP begin.
Mike Castle – 46.9% (27,021)
Christine O’Donnell – 53.1% (30,561)
100% of precincts reporting
It’s hard to see how Castle’s voters could turn around and vote for O’Donnell in November. Given the swift negative turn that this campaign took and the vicious nature of the attacks, these wounds are not going to heal in a little over a month’s time. Election day is fast approaching and this primary will be fresh on the minds of Castle’s supporters. Expect Democratic nominee Chris Coons to have a field day with the material that the Republican Party used against O’Donnell.
9:25 p.m.: Pundits will begin to question how it was possible for Mike Castle to lose this race against a woman that is currently unemployed and has no experience. Look no further than last year’s town hall meeting where a constituent confronted him over President Obama’s birth certificate. The Republican Party has moved to the far right extreme, even in traditionally Democratic states like Delaware. This should be a wakeup call for national Republicans. They may have a good year yet in 2010, but long-term, this is not the foundation you want to build your party on. Watch the video below:
9:16 p.m.: The AP has reported that Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell will be the winner in the Delaware GOP Senate primary against Mike Castle. That makes her the 8th Tea Party candidate to defeat mainstream Republicans in Senate primaries across the country. In my updated Election Projection later tonight, Delaware will move into the Likely Democrat column.
9:11 p.m.: The numbers are going in the right direction for the Congressman, but with over 3/4 of the vote already counted, Mike Castle is quickly running out of time to gain on Christine O’Donnell. Her lead is nearly 4,000 votes.
Mike Castle – 46.1% (21,683)
Christine O’Donnell – 53.9% (25,331)
77.5% of precincts reporting
In New Hampshire, Kelly Ayotte is losing her home county of Hillsborough 54-31 with over a quarter of precincts reporting. The race is slightly closer statewide, but still a blowout at this point in time.
Lamontagne – 50% (8,564)
Ayotte – 33.1% (5,670)
Binnie – 9.2% (1,581)
Bender – 6.6% (1,132)
7.3% of precincts reporting
8:36 p.m.: Updated numbers out of Delaware show O’Donnell maintaining her roughly ten point lead over Congressman Mike Castle with 13.8 percent of precincts now in. The numbers in New Hampshire remain unchanged.
Mike Castle – 45.3% (3,378)
Christine O’Donnell – 54.7% (4,081)
13.8% of precincts reporting
8:28 p.m.: The first results are in out of Delaware and it’s not looking good for Mike Castle:
Mike Castle – 43.7% (769)
Christine O’Donnell – 56.3% (991)
4% of precincts reporting
8:13 p.m.: Tonight is a big night in determining whether Republicans will even have a chance at winning the Senate this fall. In order to do so, they need to hold their Senate seat in New Hampshire and pick-up Joe Biden’s former Senate seat in Delaware. Both seats were seen as leaning towards the GOP, but that goes into doubt if Tea Party candidates win. Below are early results from these two states.
Lamontagne – 52.7% (6,047)
Ayotte – 31.8% (3,643)
Binnie – 7.8% (897)
Bender – 6.7% (764)
Lamare – 0.7% (83)
5.3% of precincts reporting