TAC Election Night Live Blog


The live blog will start tonight at 6:00 PM Central Time.  I will be listening to Fox due to Michael Barone who is the chief Fox election analyst, and who knows more about each Congressional District than anyone else alive, and browsing the internet to bring you the latest information.  I ask TAC commenters and contributors to chime in with  information and observations.  The picture at the top of this blog will help you keep track of when polls close in each state.  The image is from 2008, but I believe it is still accurate.

Nate Silver over at 538 has put together a handy sheet listing the crucial seats that the GOP needs to win to take the House.  Go here to view it.  This will be an indispensable aid as we watch the returns coming in. 

I will attempt to stay with the liveblogging until control of the House is called.  I am stocking up on pizza and pop to stay awake!  The Senate may not be determined for a few days, as it may come down to what happens in California and Washington, and those races may be close.

Feel free to comment during the day in regard to any rumors that you hear.  Detailed reports as to elections in the areas in which you live are welcome.  I view this as a group project, and all assistance I receive from our TAC community will be welcome. 

Oh, and political passions will doubtless be running high today and tonight, but let us remember that it is only politics and keep a sense of perspective about it.  The issues in contention are important, but politics, and politicians, often go hand in hand with great absurdity.

One piece of sage advice from political wonk  Jay Cost for today:  “Oh, one more thing.  Whatever you do today, ignore any and all leaked exit polls. They’re put out there with an agenda, which usually does not include making conservatives feel better. And they’re not the most accurate data points in the world. Just ask President John F. Kerry!


4:25 PM:  An intriguing tidbit of information:  according to the Wall Street Journal, the Coons campaign in Delaware is concerned about lower voter turnout than they are comfortable with.  This may simply be a tactic by the Coons campaign to get more Democrats to the polls, or it may be the first sign that Christine O’Donnell may pull off the election upset of the night. 

5:35 PM:  A good look at what races to keep an eye on hour by hour as the polls close is here at the Washington Examiner.

5:45 PM:  Based upon the returns coming in thus far I am calling Indiana 8 for the Republican challenger Bucshon.  First House seat to flip to the Republicans this evening.

6:00 PM:  Indiana and Kentucky polls close and Fox calls the Senate races in Indiana and Kentucky for Coats and Paul.  Bad news for the Democrats that the races were called so quickly, although the outcomes are not surprising.

6:27PM:  The returns are still early, but it looks like the Republicans are having a very good night indeed in Indiana Congressional races.

6:30PM:  Fox calls the Ohio Senate race for Republican Rob Portman.  No surprise.

 7:00PM:  Fox calls the Senate race in Florida for Republican Marco Rubio.  Crist can now slither off to oblivion.  Connecticut and Delaware Senate races are called for the Democrats Blumenthal and Coons.  Republicans Ayotte and Blunt take the Senate races in New Hampshire and Missouri. 

7:12PM:  Good interactive map here at Politico to keep track of the House races.

7:19PM:  Florida 24 has been called by Fox.  Republican Adams beats Democrat incumbent Kosmas.  Delaware at large Congressional seat flips to the Democrats.

7:23PM:  Fox calls the Senate race in North Carolina for Burr the Republican incumbent.  He was thought to be in trouble earlier in the year, but he is in no trouble tonight. 

7:30PM:  Fox calls the Senate race in Arkansas for Republican Boozman.  A Republican pickup, but no surprise.  Fox calls for Va 5 for Republican Hurt.  Another flip for the Republicans.  Apparently Obama’s campaigning for Democrat Perriello did him little good.

7:35PM:  Va 9 flips to the Republicans with the victory of Republican Griffith.  Defeated Democrat Boucher had been in Congress for 28 years.  Big loss for the Republicans in West Virginia.  Fox calls the Senate race there for Democrat Manchin.

7:40PM:  Oh this is satisfying:  In Fla 8 Republican Daniel Webster defeats the psych Alan Grayson.

7:45PM:  Big bellweather win in the House:  Indiana 9 flips with the victory of Republican Young over 5 term incumbent Hill.

8:05PM:  Fox calls the North Dakota Senate race for the Republican John Hoeven.  A GOP pick up and no surprise.

8:12PM:  Fox calls the House!  Projects that the Republicans will gain approximately 60 seats in the House.  If this is correct, this would be the largest swing in House votes since the Democrats took 75 seats in 1948.

8:18PM:  Va 2 flips with victory of Republican Nye.

8:26PM:  Barney Frank wins re-election in Ma4.  More’s the pity.  NH1 is flipped with the victory of Republican Guinta who was outspent 3-1 by Democrat Shea-Porter, one of the farthest Left members of Congress.

8:55PM:  Since the House has been called, I will only report flips of particular interest.  Based on what I am seeing, I believe the House gains will be north of 60.

9:00 PM:  Fox calls the Pennsylvania governor race for Republican Corbett.  Come on Toomey!

9:10 PM:  GOP takes Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

9:12 PM:  Wisconsin governorship goes to Republican Scott Walker. 

9:31PM:    Retired Colonel Allen West flips Florida 22 into the Republican column.  One of three or four black Republican congressmen after this election.  West is a fiery orator and he will make his presence known in the House.

9:35PM:  Republican Nikki Haley becomes the governor of South Carolina, one of Sarah Palin’s mamma grizzlies.  The GOP takes the Alabama legislature. 

9:38PM:  Republican Johnson defeats incumbent Senator Feingold in Wisconsin.  Toomey takes the lead in the Pennsylvania Senate race, but it still is nip and tuck in the Keystone State.

9:50PM:  Republican Cao loses in La2.  Sad, but expected.  I hope he runs for state wide office in Louisiana.  He is an honest and principled politician, and we need him in public service.

9:53PM:  The North Carolina legislature goes Republican for the first time since the Spanish-American War. 

9:57PM:  Rick Scott beats Alex Sink to become the next Republic governor of Florida.  He will need to fumigate the statehouse after Charlie Crist decamps. 

10:00PM:  California goes Dem with Retread Moonbeam the next Governor and Senator Ma’am going back to the Senate.  

10:31PM:  With 96% of the vote in, Toomey has a 130,000 vote lead in the Pennsylvania Senate race.  I’m calling it for him.  That is a GOP pickup and the Senate gains a strong pro-life voice.  Betty Martinez becomes the next Republican governor of New Mexico and the nation’s first Latina governor.

10:37PM:  Kasich defeats Strickland for the Ohio statehouse and completes a Republican sweep in the Buckeye state.

10:52PM:  I believe this evening warrants one of my guilty pleasures:

10:55PM:  The GOP takes the Wisconsin legislature.  The Pennsylvania Senate and Supreme Court goes Republican.  A lot of “bitter-clingers” in the Keystone State tonight apparently.

11:05PM:  GOP takes the Tennessee legislature.  The wins that the Republicans are amassing in the state legislatures is the unreported story of the evening.

11:15PM:  Kirk, the pro-abort RINO, defeats the pro-abort mobbed up banker Giannoulias in the Land of Lincoln in the Senate race. 

11:57PM:  Well, it approaches midnight and I am going to turn in.  It looks like Harry Reid will be returned to the Senate and preside over a diminished Democrat majority.  Buck has taken the lead in Colorado and I think he will win.  California has been called for Boxer, but perhaps too soon.  That race remains very close.   It looks like the Republicans will gain 6 or 7 seats.

In the House, the GOP has taken it.  We will have an idea how much of a majority they have tomorrow, but for now I’d say the Republicans will gain 60 plus seats.

In governorships, it looks like the Republicans will be holding around 32 statehouses.

State legislatures have been dropping to the GOP all evening.  The Republicans are going to be controlling redistricting in much of the country. 

The country has given a vote of no-confidence in the Obama administration and the Democrat Congress.  Obama is now effectively a lame duck for the remainder of his term in office, and his days of getting a liberal agenda through Congress has come to a screeching halt.  More thoughts and analysis in the days to come.

53 Responses to TAC Election Night Live Blog

  1. Paul Zummo says:

    I will attempt to stay with the liveblogging until control of the House is called.

    Boy Don, I hope you can manage to stay awake until 8:30. 🙂

  2. Donald R. McClarey says:

    From your lips to God’s ear Paul! 🙂

  3. Elaine Krewer says:

    “until control of the House is called”

    That might happen at, oh, 7:01 p.m. Central Time at the rate things are going.

  4. RL says:

    I wish we had the Silly Party instead of the Democratic Party. From a policy standpoint I can’t see how they could be worse, but they just seem so much more human and lively.

  5. Donald R. McClarey says:

    I just got back from voting. Dwight, Illinois is a pretty heavily Republican town and I can’t recall so many people turning out to vote this early. The polling place for the entire town is at the Saint Patrick’s Parish Hall and the parking lot was full. I have never seen that happen at 6:15AM on an election day, even in Presidential election years.

  6. Paul Zummo says:

    Voted this morning in lovely Montgomery County – also known as my semi-annual exercise in futility. There were about eight-ten voting machines, all occupied, with a pretty decent-sized line. So lots of turnout here, though that just might be the pre-work rush.

  7. Elaine Krewer says:

    Election Day is a holiday for Illinois state employees every other year, when there is a general election, so I have the day off. However, I voted early (two weeks ago) so that means I can enjoy our beautiful weather today and our beautiful election results tonight 🙂

  8. Donald R. McClarey says:

    (Guest comment from Don’s wife Cathy): I was told by the election judges for our precinct when I came to vote that they had been momentarily confused when Don voted, because our oldest son (same first name as Don, but different middle initial) had voted via absentee ballot from college. However, another election judge (state employee now, but used to work for Don) quickly straightened them out.

  9. c matt says:

    Does anyone have any info on early voting returns yet, or do they not release that until the polls close on election day (or get closer to closing?)?

    I also noticed longer lines at the early voting here in the Lone Star State.

  10. Paul Zummo says:

    C Matt:

    They won’t release voting returns in any state until the polls are closed in the respective state. Sometimes you’ll see some exit polls released around 4-4:30, but that’s about the only indication you might get.

  11. Paul Zummo says:

    One addendum: There is info about early voter turnout by party affiliation. Jim Geraghty had the latest data here.

  12. Mike Petrik says:

    Caveat: Jay Cost’s piece this morning says to ignore exit polls. They are done with an agenda, ususally hostile to Republicans. I believe Cost is correct in this.

  13. Tito Edwards says:

    Houston Reporting:

    About 7 people in line in my (temporary) precinct. All for last names ending in A-K.

    The L-Z line was empty, but the voting booths don’t work for both groups of last names.

    Our government in action!

    Made me more determined to vote for a straight Subsidiarity-Party line.

  14. Paul Zummo says:

    Uh oh. No less a personage than Meghan McCain predicts that Charlie Crist is going to win tonight. If she says it, you know it’s gotta be true.

  15. Donald R. McClarey says:

    One can rely invariably on Meghan McCain to be wrong on any subject under discussion!

  16. Jay Anderson says:

    Snooki Mac makes Paris Hilton look like a genius. However, I think Snooki’s opinions on matters political are somewhat important as, perhaps, they offer some insight into where her old man may be coming from. We’re probably quite fortunate that her dad lost the race for the Presidency in 2008.

  17. Elaine Krewer says:

    Regarding the effect of early voting, check out this link:


    The races and results posted here are for the two big Illinois races (governor and Senate), but they might hold valid elsewhwere. Long story short, two separate polls show a Democratic edge among those who voted early but an even stronger Republican tilt among those who intend to vote on Election Day.

  18. Elaine Krewer says:

    Correction: the polls posted above are for the Illinois governor race only.

  19. Paul Zummo says:

    This has got to be about the 20th time in two days I’ve heard the same radio ad against Jim Moran from his opponent, Patrick Murray in the 8th District of Virginia. Murray has a real shot at an upset, but one would think they could have timed their ad blitz a little bit better. Just how many more voters are they gonna pick off three hours before polls close on election day through radio advertising on talk radio?

  20. Big Tex says:

    Well, in WA, we won’t know much for a while. Almost all counties vote by mail. As such, our ballots either had to be dropped off or postmarked by today. In a race as tight as Murray/Rossi, it’ll take a few days to sort out. Maybe we’ll even get to see King County produce many more ballots like they did in 2004 during the gubernatorial race!

  21. Paul Zummo says:

    Well, it’s official: first Senate pickup for the GOP is Coats in Indiana. Rand Paul also wins in KY.

  22. Paul Zummo says:

    Florida has been called for Rubio. This, by far, is the best result of the night, no matter what happens. Good night, Charlie.

  23. Paul Zummo says:

    Two more in Virginia just called – Perrielo and Boucher are both out. GOP up 3 now in the House.

    Also, a good point by Ramesh Ponnuru – considering where the GOP started this year, it is remarkable to think that they are in the position they’re in. That 20 years of Democratic rule appears to be at an end after all of two.

  24. Paul Zummo says:

    Fox News just called it for Manchin. It’s gonna take a miracle in Washington and California for the GOP to get to ten in the Senate.

    On a happier note, Alan Grayson is done. The US House of Representatives is a much better place without that . . . individual no longer a member.

  25. Elaine Krewer says:

    FOX and MSNBC have all made the following Senate race calls: Boozman over Lincoln in Arkansas (GOP pickup), Blumenthal over McMahon in Connecticut (Democrat hold), and Coons over O’Donnell in Delaware (Democrat hold).

  26. It would certainly be interesting to see the West Coast come through for the GOP, but it’s unlikely. And the cynical side of me wonders if it may be harder on Obama in 2012 if he can’t claim to have faced a unified Republican congress for two years.

  27. restrainedradical says:

    This could be a bad night for the Tea Party mama grizzlies. It’s depressing despite the fact that the GOP is doing slightly better in the House than expected.

    Manchin’s win may not be so bad. He’ll probably be one of the most conservative, if not the most conservative, Democrat in the Senate.

  28. restrainedradical says:

    Lot of talk already of Rubio as GOP VP nominee in 2012.

  29. Paul Zummo says:

    Fox News now projecting that the House pickup will be in the neighborhood of 60. Too early to pop the champagne, but there it is.

  30. Joe Hargrave says:

    Congratulations Rand Paul! Now if Boxer goes down, it will make my night.

  31. Paul Zummo says:

    Manchin is basically a win-win for the GOP since he has to run again in 2 years. Either he votes as a conservative to get-relected, or he become a party loyalist and gets beat in 2012.

  32. If Boxer goes down, it makes everyone’s night.

  33. Paul Zummo says:

    Local elections are getting short shrift, unfortunately. We’ve already had our first state legislative body flip – the Indianda legislature has gone from Democrat to GOP control. Not a surprise when one looks at the House races there.

    Alas, here in Maryland I am stuck with four more years of Martin O’Malley. The wave is skipping this part of the country.

  34. Paul Zummo says:

    What’s amazing about this election is that people keep forgetting that the Republicans are defending a majority of Senate seats. Even if they “only” pickup 8 Senate seats, that means that Democrats will have won a whopping 11 out of 37 Senate races.

    Come to think of it, there’s your silver lining for the Dems. They’ll only have to defend 10-12 seats in 2016. So at least they’ve got that going for them. Which is nice.

  35. Paul Zummo says:

    I’m a little disappointed that Deval Patrick won. It looks like Massachusetts is going to be another state unaffected by the wave – tonight, that is.

  36. Elaine Krewer says:

    Some significant Illinois results:

    — Republican Mark Kirk wins Obama’s old Senate seat for the GOP.
    — Four Congressional seat pickups for the GOP (IL-17, IL-14, IL-10 and IL-11) and a Republican seat hold that had been in doubt (IL-10, the seat Kirk gave up to run for the Senate)
    — Governor’s race not yet decided but incumbent Dem Pat Quinn is running ahead by about 4 percentage points. It appears that indepednent candidate Scott Lee Cohen’s 4 percent of the vote came almost entirely from people who otherwise might have voted for Republican Bill Brady, thereby enabling Quinn to squeak by.

    Almost exactly the same thing happened four years ago when a Green Party protest candidate drew votes away from a Republican challenger and enabled the incumbent Dem (Blago) to win. And that, my friends, is why I never, ever vote third party/independent/write-in against an incumbent I really want to get rid of — I’ll take a “lesser of two evils” challenger any day.

  37. Paul Zummo says:

    So it’s looking like the holdouts for the Dems are California, New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland. Meanwhile Ohio, Virginia, Indiana, and Pennsylvania are all swinging big to the GOP. Hmmm, what do those latter four states have in common?

  38. Jay Anderson says:

    “Hmmm, what do those latter four states have in common?”

    Swing states that went for Obama in 2008?

  39. Paul Zummo says:

    And Jay gets the prize.

  40. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Elaine, it looks like Joe Walsh might beat Melissa Bean in Illinois 8. He is currently up 1300 with 96% in.

  41. Elaine Krewer says:

    I may have spoken a little too soon there. Governor’s race too close to call, now less than 1 percentage point apart; Senate race has about a 2 point spread but it still looks like Kirk will win.

    Also, there may be a 5th GOP congressional pickup: in IL-8, Joe Walsh (R) just pulled ahead of incumbent Melissa Bean (D) with 94% of the vote counted. Bean was expected to win this one and this would be quite an upset.

  42. Elaine Krewer says:

    Oops, Don has more up to date results, guess I took too long commenting 🙂

  43. Chabot routes Driehaus to take back Ohio 1 — Driehaus was one of the Stupak band of turncoats, and turned on pro-lifers during the election to file an election complaint against the Susan B Anthony list, blocking their advertising.

    Republican Kasich is ahead in the Ohio governor’s race with 95% of precincts reporting, but it’s still too close to call.

  44. Elaine Krewer says:

    “Driehaus was one of the Stupak brand of turncoats”

    Speaking of pro-life Congressional Democrats … one of the few remaining specimens of this highly endangered species, Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3), has easily retained his seat with 70 percent of the vote. He voted FOR the Stupak Amendment but AGAINST the final version of Obamacare.

  45. Elaine Krewer says:

    And speaking of Stupak, his old seat (MI-1) has gone GOP also.

    On the down side, looks like we’ll have to keep calling Barbara Boxer “Senator” for 6 more years.

  46. restrainedradical says:

    It looks like the Iowa Supreme Court justices will be ousted. Problem is the governor who appoints them is Democrat Chet Culver. He lost today so whether Iowa will be pro-gay-marriage or anti-gay-marriage justices depends on when the appointments will be made.

  47. Paul Zummo says:

    Ugh. Reid survives.

  48. Elaine Krewer says:

    It’s official: Kirk wins in IL; Giannoulias is conceding as we blog.

  49. Jay Anderson says:

    Sean Duffy, pro-life Catholic father of six (and husband to the very fine-loooking Rachel Campos-Duffy), has won a Wisconsin Congressional seat currently held by retiring Democrat David Obey.

  50. T. Shaw says:

    Boycott Las Vegas (Sodom).

    Boycott Mohegan Sun if the tribal nation is forced to pay taxes to CT (Gomorrah).

    Call a Constitutional Convention to throw them (and DE and MA) out of the Union.

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