It won't be a reprise of 2006, but I'll keep jotting down thoughts throughout the night. Latest posts will be at the top (for real this time -- sorry about before):
12:36 AM: It's bed time for me. I'll have more thoughts tomorrow (probably). Suffice to say, this was a great moment for America -- regardless of whether you supported Barack Obama or not, it is impossible not to feel joy about the barrier he brought crashing down.
12:10 AM: It's recount time in the VA-05, but the Democratic challenger will enter with a 1,000 vote advantage. Suck it, CNN.
11:55 PM: Lest I be entirely a gloomy gus right now (and let's be clear, I'm still on a tremendous high just from "President-elect Obama"), let's look at some of the good news that's come out recently:
1) I think Obama will take both Indiana and North Carolina.
2) Democrats are poised to pick up both the VA-02 and the VA-05 -- the latter of which CNN erroneously called for incumbent Rep. Virgil Goode several hours ago.
3) New Mexico is now solid blue -- House, Senate, Governor, and President.
4) Franken still has plenty of votes to pick up in Hennepin (Minneapolis) and St. Louis (Duluth) counties.
11:53 PM: I think a lot of Democrats were taking Mary Jo Kilroy's election for granted in the Ohio 15th -- a problem, given that she's down 1,000 votes with 96% reported.
11:21 PM: Oh, and echoing the below point, there are going to be some disappointing losses for incumbents. And not even old, tired guys like Kanjorski, but promising new folks like Boyda (D-KS) and Cazayoux (D-LA) (the former is down, the latter is out). Rep. Nick Lampson (D-TX) also went down in defeat.
11:19 PM: Not to be a downer, but I think we're going to leave quite a bit on the table down ticket. I'm not optimistic about Minnesota. I'm getting worried about Oregon. There have been a few House seats we've ended up on the wrong side on -- not just the long shots, but one's that we genuinely thought we could take.
I think my standards are too high.
11:15 PM: Obama is on tonight, but I think it is getting lost in the moment. There is a collective exhale, stemming from how important this day is, and not even Obama can rise above that.
10:56 PM: Just because I'm excited about Obama, don't think Minnesota will escape my wrath if it re-elects Coleman and Bachmann (and gives Paulsen the nod over Madia).
10:46 PM: I had forgotten entirely about ballot measures. The news doesn't look good, particularly for gay rights.. The California gay marriage ban has an early lead, but only 8% has reported. Arizona will likely ban gay marriage (a move which was defeated last cycle), and it will be joined by Florida, and Arkansas will likely ban gays from adopting children (which eventually has to be ruled unconstitutional.
Other issues are more of mixed bag. Washington looks to legalize physician assisted suicide, Michigan will allow medical marijuana, and Colorado will not define life as starting from conception. While Nebraska will ban affirmative action, it may be narrowly beaten back in Colorado. The parental notification law for abortion in California is polling dead even.
10:41 PM: Sen. Mary Landrieu has apparently held her Louisiana Senate seat. There will be no Senate-side pickups for the GOP (they have won a handful of house seats).
10:35 PM: Now that Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT) has gone down in defeat, Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) may take on the title of the ultimate Republican survivor. He's pulled back into the lead by 8 points in his southwestern Ohio district.
10:32 PM: McCain's concession speech was very pretty. I couldn't figure out what the crowd was yelling, though.
10:12 PM: Also problematic is Louisiana, which had fallen a bit below the radar. Sen. Mary Landrieu is up only 2 points with 82% of the vote in. We already lost a House seat in the Cajun State.
10:10 PM: The biggest nail-biter is looking to be the Minnesota Senate race between Norm Coleman (R) and Al Franken (D). Franken's sitting on a 2,500 vote lead with 28% in.
10:00 PM: It's been called: Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States.
9:53 PM: With 44% of the vote in, Frank Kravotil's 2,500 vote lead is the largest margin I've seen yet in the Maryland 1st. This would be another feel good pick up, as it's a direct result of the GOP's banishment of moderates.
9:49 PM: Almost as good as Obama winning, is watching the repellent Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) go down in flames. She's losing 58/42 with 59% in to Betsy Markey.
9:39 PM: Took them long enough. CNN moved the VA-05 back into toss-up land. Goode is down 700 votes with 3% outstanding. Of the six counties which have votes left to report, 4 are in Goode's camp (though nobody has much left on the table).
9:19 PM: Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-FL) looks like he's going down. Good. Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) might follow suit. No tears for him either, though a few might be warranted for having to say "Rep. Lou Barletta, crazy immigrant hater". The only truly saddening loss that's visible right now would be Rep. Nick Lampson (D-TX), who took Tom DeLay's old seat but was always the underdog to retain it.
9:01 PM: Thus far, the House races have represented a Democratic cleanup of 2006, with the Donkey picking up a bunch of the seats we just missed last time around. The latest victim: New England's final Republican, Chris Shays (R-CT).
8:57 PM: It's always exciting when Maryland has a competitive race. Currently, we're witnessing a deadlock in the MD-01, where right-winger Andy Harris is struggling to retain this conservative seat in the face of strong Democratic head winds, his own extremism, and a tough opponent who was endorsed by the incumbent Republican Representative whom Harris knocked off.
8:40 PM: Projection fail: CNN still "projects" Virgil Goode to win in the VA-05. Unfortunately, he's currently down 2 points with 89% in. Charlottesville came through big time for Perriello (it's all in now). It's not locked down, and much of the remaining votes are in Goode territory, but it's definitely "too close to call".
8:35 PM: Ohio news ahead. First, CNN just called it for Ohio. That's big. On the House side, random district #1 (the 3rd) is now 52/48 for the GOP, but random district #2 (the 12th) is at 49/48 for the Democrats with 20% in. Finally, Rep. Steve Chabot's (R) perpetually endangered 1st district is, well, endangered, with the Democratic challenger currently sitting with 57% of the vote. However, that's pretty much all from early voting.
8:19 PM: All my friends have been freaking out about Virginia. I told them to chill. McCain is up 20,000 votes, with 2/3 of the vote in. A huge chunk of that is from Northern Virginia, where Obama will rout. Things are looking good there.
7:51 PM: Kentucky's Senate race continues to be deadlocked, even though Lunsford is not racking up huge margins in Jefferson County (Louisville). In fact, nobody seems to know exactly where he's doing well enough to hang with McConnell. I still predict a loss. Just more heartbreaking than predicted.
7:43 PM: In the Virginia 2nd (Drake), it's essentially deadlocked with 15% in. My intuition is that this race will be Norfolk (D) and Virginia Beach (R) duking it out for supremacy. But I'm not sure about that.
7:41 PM: Virgil Goode's political life depends on how lazy UVA students are. He's up by 12,500 votes with 62% in, Charlottesville hasn't reported at all.
7:23 PM: The first strange blip of the night comes from the OH-03, which was not on anyone's map. The Democrat is up 52-48 with 0% reporting ... but 58,000 votes cast sounds like more than 0% to me. I'll keep an eye on it.
7:16 PM: House races we won't win: IN-03, KY-02. Races that still look good: VA-05, everything competitive in NC. Charlottesville is where to look in the VA-05 (that's where UVA is), and if Rep. Virgil Goode loses in a year suffused with anti-Muslim paranoia, it'll be that much sweeter.
7:06 PM: It's still early in Florida, but just judging off the House returns, the D machine is in good shape. Obama is currently overshooting projections in several vote-rich, Democrat-rich counties.
7:01 PM: Deep breath: Maryland's been called for Obama.
6:54 PM: The Democratic wave might be so strong this year that Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-FL), who took over Mark Foley's seat only to have a whole slew of marital infidelities (including some pretty sketchy behavior) revealed, might managed to squeak out a win. Though it's a good sign about the broader trends in this race, I still hope he loses -- we don't need the seat, and we're better off without folks like him in our caucus.
6:35 PM: I'm hearing good things about Obama in Indiana. He's significantly outperforming Kerry's margins so far. Early returns in the Indiana 3rd (Souder) do not look great, but that race was a long shot anyway.