Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Election Night Liveblog

Fuck it -- what else am I going to do tonight? Most recent posts will be at the top.

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1:03 AM: Well, a lot of the reporting has started to stall out (I'm looking at you, Washington). I'm headed off to bed. From the looks of it, the GOP overperformed on the House side of things, underperformed in the Senate, and was just about right for governor's race. I'll have a fuller "lay of the land" reaction post tomorrow. In any event, congratulations to my Republican friends, and good night.

12:38 AM: My rising panic over Minnesota is at least partially assuaged, as perhaps the only "big vote" county which isn't in yet is St. Louis County -- home of Duluth. It's only reported 22%. That's good news for both Oberstar and Dayton, who desperately need a shot in the arm as their lead continues to bleed out.

12:30 AM: So what meaningful races are still undecided out there? Obviously, there are a bunch of House races that probably are razor thin right now, but since all they're doing is padding a great GOP day, it's hard to get riled over them -- there are a few I'm still watching for idiosyncratic reasons (ID-01, HI-01, AZ-08, MN-08), but I'm not being systematic about it anymore. Putting those aside, the things I'm still watching are the Colorado and Washington Senate races, and the Maine, Minnesota, Oregon and Florida gubernatorial races (Alaska's Senate race will be undecided for approximately forever).

12:26 AM: Dayton and Oberstar are both down to one point leads. I swear to God, Duluth, I will have your head for this (that means you, Netland).

12:11 AM: Bennet may yet win this. He's back to within 4,00 votes, and we still got that nice, juicy half of Denver to come in.

12:05 AM: Herseth can't get over the hump in South Dakota, handing another seat to the GOP. On the other hand, Rep. Ron Kind (my girlfriend's former employer) dodges the Wisconsin curse and holds onto his seat.

12:01 AM: James Oberstar's lead has been around 3 points all night. Mark Dayton's, by contrast, has not. This is disconcerting news.

11:59 PM: Buck finally jumps ahead of Bennet (49/46) as Colorado Springs comes in. We're at 73% of precincts reporting, total. There's still some big Bennet caches left -- for instance, half of Denver.

11:46 PM: Folks are starting to call Nevada for Harry Reid. Boxer's already been declared the victor in California, and Murray is still hanging onto her two point lead in Washington. Democrats definitely are exceeding expectations on the Senate side, even as they get killed in the House. And if Michael Bennet can squeak through in Colorado, I'd consider the day's Senate outcome to be a roaring success for the Democrats, all things considered.

11:44 PM: You can add Wisconsin to the (lengthy) list of states which killed Democrats tonight. Dems lost Feingold's Senate seat, the governor's mansion, and at two (possibly three) of the state's eight House seats.

11:39 PM: While Marco Rubio handily won the Florida senate seat, benefiting from the anti-Rubio faction splitting between Crist (30) and Meek (20), on the governor's side of things, Alex Sink (D) is creeping back into contention -- she trails Rick Scott (R) by only a point with 88% counted.

11:36 PM: Senator Pat Toomey appears to be the result as well. Oh, and for those of you who were interested, Jan Schakowsky defeated Joel Pollak by a rousing 66/32 margin. Pollak's campaign was based off the notion that Schakowsky was tied too closely to Obama and thus was not sufficiently "pro-Israel", which would turn off her Jewish Democratic base. Apparently not.

11:30 PM: Two Democratic incumbents in Arizona (Kirkpatrick and Mitchell) are down and probably out. Rep. Gabrielle Gifford looks like she'll pull out the W in the AZ-08, and staunch progressive Rep. Raul Grijalva is hanging on to a two point lead in the AZ-07.

11:28 PM: Paul LePage has taken a narrow lead in the Maine Gubernatorial race. Not promising.

11:23 PM: It looks like it will indeed be Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL). I wonder how long it will take for the erstwhile "moderate" to go full teabagger?

11:21 PM: Colorado gets in on the torture Dems fun. 67% in and Bennet's lead continues to fade -- it's down to one point. Bonus aggravation -- Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes is now at 11% -- the GOP needs him to stay above 10% to avoid becoming a "minor party".

11:17 PM: With Harry Reid still holding onto a surprisingly robust lead (52/44) in the Nevada Senate race, it may be NV-03 that actually becomes the race to watch over there. Incumbent Democrat Dina Titus trails by 1,500 votes with 20% in.

11:06 PM: A bunch of folks had declared that we'd lost Sanford Bishop's seat in the GA-02. But with 96% in, he's crawled back into the lead. A 300 vote lead, but a lead nonetheless.

11:03 PM: 54% in, and Patty Murray is up 51/49 over Dino Rossi. Hold this and California, and it won't matter what happens in Colorado or Nevada (well, except for the part where it matters if Sharron Angle has an influence on anything more prominent than her lunch selection).

11:01 PM: While Pat Quinn may surprisingly hang onto his key to the governor's mansion, Mark Kirk maintains a two point lead in the Illinois Senate race. The Green Party candidate, by the way, is taking 3 percent of the vote.

10:54 PM: About 20% in, and both Boxer (Senate) and Brown (Governor) are holding decent leads. The Senate seat is probably the GOP's last chance to make a run at taking control of the Senate (Washington is other race to watch in that column -- and that's assuming Colorado and Nevada go their way), the governor's mansion would be a rare flip for team blue this year.

10:48 PM: In Minnesota, wins all around for the incumbents (well, Oberstar hasn't been called yet, but I think he'll swing it). The governor's race is closing, but I don't think fast enough -- Dayton's up 7 with 77% in. Way to keep the faith, Minnesota.

10:42 PM: What's happening in New England? Well, the Dems held both of their Rhode Island seats, and are poised to do the same in Connecticut (though the numbers in the CT-04 are wonky). They can't crack the Connecticut governor's mansion, though. Lincoln Chafee (I) has a narrow, two point lead in the RI governor's race -- hey, I'll root for him on that one. The Independent candidate is also leading the Maine gubernatorial race -- good news, since the Republican nominee (LePage) is certifiable. Vermont is all good news for the D's, although the governor's race is still pretty close (a 3 point margin). By contrast, Republicans rule the day in New Hampshire, with a Senate win and both House seats likely under their belt (Dems hold the governor's mansion). Finally, there was some rough sledding at times, but the Dems managed a clean sweep in Massachusetts.

10:39 PM: It looks like Republicans will indeed pickup both the Illinois and Pennsylvania Senate seats. The moral victory, I guess, is that it's by perhaps tighter than expected margins. Also, that big Reid lead appears to be from early voters -- make of that what you will.

10:36 PM: A ton of Democratic losses in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and upstate New York. Fun fact: Also places that tend to get hit particularly hard in economic recessions. No coincidence -- it's the economy, stupid.

10:34 PM: (Re)count it! Rep. Gerry Connelly (D) holds on for a 500 vote victory.

10:31 PM: The story of the evening is early leads for Dems fade late. So I'll try not to get too cheery about Harry Reid being up 10 over Sharron Angle with 51% in. Still, if there is one person (even more than Pat Toomey) that shouldn't be allowed near any civic institution, it's Sharron Angle.

10:29 PM: Obviously, most of Alabama is, well, Alabama, but the AL-02 is close. Rep. Bobby Bright is in a 50/50 dead heat right now, with 86% in. Elsewhere in Dixie, Travis Childers (MS-01) is already down, and he looks to be joined by Gene Taylor (MS-04).

10:23 PM: Hey, at least the fetal personhood amendment went down, hard, in Colorado. And Bennet is still hanging on to his 5 point lead, with 46% in. Feels like it is just the calm before the storm, though.

10:21: Toomey is now up 51/49 in Pennsylvania, and I don't think there are enough votes left in Montgomery County for Sestak to make up the difference.

10:16 PM: Out in the Dakotas' at-large districts, Earl Pomeroy (ND) will go down in defeat by 10 points, while Stephanie Herseth (SD) is down 2 points but still in the hunt with 77% reporting.

10:10 PM: Bean's back in front (narrowly), Kirk has a one point lead, Quinn has a one point lead of his own, and now it's three Democratic incumbents falling (not including Bean) in the land of Lincoln (add Halverson to the list).

10:03 PM: Melissa Bean has fallen behind (albeit by less than 100 votes) in her reelection campaign in the IL-08. That one will sting. 87% is in.

10:00 PM: Carleton's own Rush Holt will hang on to his New Jersey congressional seat. Because every Congress needs at least one physics Ph.D.

9:55 PM: Mark Dayton (D) is up 9 over Tom Emmer in the Minnesota gubernatorial race. I am neither panicked nor thrilled about the areas which have yet to report. We have to keep an eye on Oberstar, Peterson, and Walz tonight, though all are leading in early returns.

9:53 PM: We're still probably in recount land, but Bob Etheridge (NC-03) is down almost 2,000 votes with 99% in. Republicans pick one off in NC, but the rest survive intact.

9:50 PM: 99% in and Rep. Ben Chandler (D) is up by 600 votes in the KY-06. He'll declare victory, the rest of us will wait on the recount.

9:49 PM: Roy Blunt (R) will be Missouri's next Senator. It's good to see another addition to the caucus of corruption there.

9:45 PM: What is it about Dan Seals? He always has narrow polling leads at the end of his races for the IL-10, and he can never actually win the damn thing. He's currently down 52/48 with 85% in. Mark Kirk has also pulled into a narrow lead on the Senate side of things, while Pat Quinn is maintaining a two point lead in his bid to hold onto the governor's mansion. Two Democratic House members (Phil Hare and Bill Foster) are looking like they'll lose their seats. Melissa Bean is up 3 with 77% in.

9:42 PM: Toomey's pulled even in the PA Senate race (75% in). The question is how much juice Sestak has left in the counties ringing Philadelphia. Pittsburgh is done, but Montgomery County (where Sestak is up 54/46) still has plenty of votes to spare.

9:38 PM: Oh, and it looks like Spratt is going down in SC too. Ohio is turning into its own little massacre, with 5 Democratic seats poised to flip. Ted Strickland is hanging surprisingly tough in the governor's race, down only 2 with 67% in, though I doubt it will be enough.

9:37 PM: The South Carolina ride is over -- Wilson holds (albeit by far narrower than expected margins), and Haley wins the governor's slot.

9:35 PM: 98% in, Rep. Gerry Connelly up by about 700 votes -- yeah, I think the VA-11 is going to a recount. And for all y'all who called that one GOP two hours ago ... oh ye of little faith.

9:33 PM: Rep. Joseph Cao (R) gets knocked off in Louisiana, in what was a gimme pickup for the Democrats since the moment polls closed in 2008. Still, every seat counts.

9:32 PM: Bob Etheridge is down by 59 votes right now in the NC-02. 85% in -- time to bite some nails.

9:30 PM: Well, Chet Edwards, you had a good run, but even you couldn't hold on to a seat that red in West Texas this year.

9:28 PM: John Hickenlooper looks like he will hold onto the Colorado governor's mansion for the Democrats. Now the real question (aside from the Senate race, where Bennet maintains a 5 point lead over Ken Buck) is whether Republican nominee Dan Maes can even break 10%. If not, the GOP is relegated to minor party status in Colorado (with all manner of terrible consequences). Thanks, Tom Tancredo!

9:25 PM: Rep. Frank Kravotil is trailing badly in the MD-01, down 55/41 with half in. Tough break, but it was always going to be hard to maintain a 7-1 split in the Maryland congressional delegation. Governor Martin O'Malley (D) cruised to victory in his rematch against Robert Ehrlich.

9:11 PM: Colorado time! About a third in, and Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper are sporting healthy leads in the Senate and Governor's races, respectively. Republicans are looking good for pickups in the CO-03 and CO-04 (Salazar and Markey's districts). I fully expect the statewide races to tighten considerably.

9:08 PM: Michigan is starting to float in -- the GOP will flip the governor's seat (no surprise there), and already has picked up the MI-01. We'll see if anything else goes their way -- Tim Walberg (R) looks poised to take the MI-07, which was a lean-R seat, and, somewhat unnervingly, longtime Rep. John Dingell (D) is down early (though still plenty to report there).

9:05 PM: This crazy South Carolina thing has actual staying power. Nikki Haley (R) is up a mere point in the governor's race with 61% in, and Rep. Joe Wilson (R) trails by three with 55% in in the SC-01. Either one going blue would be a massive upset.

9:02 PM: 98% in, and Rep. Ben Chandler (D)'s lead less than 1,000 votes. Pull it out, Ben! (Oh, FYI, right after I posted on how surprisingly well Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA) was doing, a flood of GOP votes came in. She's down 8 now with two-thirds in).

8:58 PM: Democrats look to hold all their NC House seats except possibly the NC-02, where incumbent Bob Etheridge trails by about 1,000 votes with 75% in. Even if we lose that seat, things could have been much worse in the Tarheel State. Larry Kissell (who isn't entirely out of the woods yet, though he's up 52/45 with 71% in) is probably the best of these holds, as that race was a pure toss-up.

8:54 PM: Paul Kanjorski (D) is corrupt, so I'm not exactly shedding tears over his PA-11 seat (down 6 with 75% in), but Lou Barletta was an early adapter of the immigrant-bashing crowd, so I'm equally unthrilled to see him advance to a House seat.

8:51 PM: I think Gerry Connelly can pull it off in the VA-11. He's clinging to a narrow lead, but virtually all of Prince Williams County has reported (while a third of Fairfax is still outstanding). Other folks have called this race for the GOP already, so they may know something I don't (particularly if CNN is behind official tabulations -- but they called it a long time ago).

8:46 PM: Democrats are actually doing better than expected statewide in the Keystone State. Kathy Dahlkemper (D), for example, was effectively written off in the PA-02, but is currently trailing by only 2 points. Patrick Murphy, also considered a likely loser, is down only 4 points, with 38% in.

8:44 PM: For what it's worth, I'll gladly trade Republicans 5 House seats over their expected 55-seat gain for keeping Pat Toomey out of the Senate. I like Joe Sestak (he's up 8 points with 34% in).

8:41 PM: The IN-02 is virtually all in, and it looks like Donnelly (D) will indeed hang on. That's the sort of race that is vital for Democrats if they're going to stem the bleeding from tonight.

8:39 PM: All quiet on the Massachusetts front -- Democrats are leading by various margins (but none nailbiting tight ... yet) in all the House races. Deval Patrick is also maintaining a decent 7 point lead in his gubernatorial reelection bid.

8:33 PM: A quarter in and Sestak is up 8 points over Toomey. And unlike Illinois, Sestak isn't relying entirely on early numbers from the big cities that will get gobbled up as the rest of the state reports in. Fingers crossed here.

8:31 PM: Actually, Senate race aside, there's a bunch of interesting things going on in South Carolina. The SC-02 has Joe "you lie" Wilson (R) down 6 with a third in -- that's unexpected. Over in the SC-05, Rep. John Spratt Jr. (D) is down two points in his attempt to hold his seat (that's a little more expected).

8:27 PM: Shaheen (D) and Haley (R) are currently deadlocked in the SC-Gov race, with almost 40% reporting. That wasn't on anyone's radar -- I'm also doubtful it will last much longer. Needless to say, DeMint is cruising over accidental Democratic candidate Alvin Greene in the Senate race.

8:24 PM: Some good early numbers out of Illinois (Senate and Governor's mansion), but it's a lot of Chicago, so don't expect it to last. Meanwhile, Dan Seals is down 6 points in the IL-10 -- a race that was another of a handful of Dem pickup opportunities, but one in which Seals consistently has been unable to close the show.

8:21 PM: I didn't mention this before, but Blumenthal is projected to hold Connecticut's Senate seat for the Dems. Not unexpected, but the sort of race that -- if McMahon had pulled off the upset -- could have signaled a cataclysm this evening. There are some interesting House races and a tight gubernatorial contest I'll be keeping an eye on.

8:16 PM: Charlottesville is all in, Hurt is still up, which means Periello's toast. Over in the VA-11, it's Prince Williams County (R) versus Fairfax County (D) as Gerry Connelly fights for his life (he's up by a little over 1,000 votes with 56% in -- and a little more over Prince Williams reporting than Fairfax).

8:13 PM: Some other unsurprising calls: Republicans will take over a Dem Senate seat in North Dakota. The big New York races (Senator and Gubernatorial) will stay Democratic, however. In North Carolina, Richard Burr (R) holds the "cursed seat", marking the first time in recent memory an incumbent has won over there.

8:10 PM: So here's where we're at so far. Republicans have already picked up two Senate seats -- Indiana (open, formerly Bayh) and Arkansas (Lincoln). Both of these are entirely unsurprising. Democrats will hold their Senate seat in Delaware, as the hapless Christine O'Donnell got nowhere. Republicans will likewise maintain their seat in Kentucky, as Rand Paul will get a chance to actually repeal the Civil Rights Act. Other seats which will maintain their current position include Florida (Rubio) and Maryland (Mikulski). Most importantly, Joe Manchin is projected to hold a Democratic Senate seat in West Virginia -- one which was absolutely crucial to GOP hopes to flip the Senate.

On the House side of things, Republicans started well in Indiana flipping a Senate seat (expected) and taking at least two House seat (I'm writing off Baron Hill). That's roughly in line with expectations. Joe Donnelly looks like he may squeak out a victory in the IN-2.

Kentucky is looking better for the Democrats, as they will hold the KY-3 (Yarmuth). Ben Chandler's race to hold the KY-06 is too close to call -- he's up by less than 1,000 votes with over 90% of precincts tabulated.

Over in Virginia, Robert Hurt looks to take over Tom Periello's VA-05 seat (sorry, Leah) -- the outstanding Charlottesville votes aren't going to be enough. Rick Boucher also will lose in the VA-09, which is a good pick-up for the Republicans. The VA-11 race (it's a suburban DC district) is still too close to call, with incumbent Gerry Connelly down 2 points with about half the votes in. However, going county-by-county I think he still has a decent shot -- he's got more good terrain left than his GOP opponent does.

Finally, two Democratic losses in Florida seats (Kozmas and Grayson), with Boyd possibly to follow. The Governor's race is still tight. Democrats will pick up Mike Castle's old seat in Delaware, giving them an undoubtedly rare flip tonight.


Sarah Cannon said...

Yeeeeeeessssss. (Or Yesse as my captcha says.) I was going to be sad if you didn't offer your running commentary here.

Sarah Cannon said...

Inside source (my mom) thinks part of SC could be which precincts aren't in yet. Lexington and Greenville are missing, and they'll be red.

Thomas said...

Yay Holt!

joe said...

If you can follow up without revealing the specific candidate (I assume you're keeping it anonymous on your friend's behalf), I'm curious how that one race turned out.

David Schraub said...

That race was a loss, albeit by a narrower than expected margin. I've already heard folks murmering about a rematch in 2010, when the terrain is less harsh.