Cameron Daniels blogging live watching on CNN (the best technology) to keep you updated on the tightly fought midterm election races.
(All Times EST)
7:00 Here's what I will be watching this hour:
Indiana: The Hoosier state has many election oddities. Polls close at 6:00, which makes it the earliest poll closing in the United States along with Kentucky. Both states, however span two time zones, so the elections will not be called until all the polls are closed. (Remember the Florida controversy in 2000?)
7:10 CNN calls the first elections of the evening. Coats (R) wins in Indiana. Paul (R) wins in Kentucky.
7:14 I have my eyes on three congressional races right now: Indiana's 2nd, 8th and 9th. In 2006, Democratic candidates defeated Republican incumbents in those three districts. In 2008, Indiana became a surprising blue state when Obama won it by a slim margin. Now, these two-term congressmen are all facing tough Republican challenges.
7:25 I made a mistake in my previous post. In IN-8 there is no incumbent. Congressman Ellsworth is running for United States Senate. Trent Van Haaften is the Democratic candidate.
7:27 CNN is showing Republicans leading in all three important Hoosier congressional races.
7:30 Portman (R-OH) and Rubio (R-FL) are projected U.S. Senate winners.
7:32 A word of caution about IN-2, from where I am blogging, no results are in from St. Joseph or Elkhart counties from where much of the Democratic vote is expected to come.
7:37 Here's a map of Indiana's congressional districts.
7:47 Well, there is not much new to report. I've been hitting refresh on the results page for Indiana on CNN.com. So far, there are no surprises and only one office has changes parties: Indiana's senate seat.
7:53 Elkhart County precincts are starting to report. Walorski (R) leads Donnelly (D) by about 1,000 votes with half of the county vote in. Elkhart, Ind. has gained notoriety for having one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Its major industry, recreational vehicles, has been especially hard hit by the recession and Obama has made several stump speeches there. The incumbent Joe Donnelly now has a tall task ahead of him in South Bend, St. Joseph County if he wants to hold on to his congressional seat.
8:03 Senate winners to far: Rubio (R-FL), Mikulski (D-MD), Coats (R-IN), Paul (R-KY), Ayotte (R-NH), Shelby (R-AL), Coons (R-DE), DeMint (R-SC), Portman (R-OH), Leahy (D-VT)
8:08 A huge amount of votes from St. Joseph County just came in. In the district's largest county, Donnelly leads Walorski 29,721 to 22,166. Donnelly now leads in the total vote count 50,036 to 47,548, with 56% of precincts reporting.
8:12 Meanwhile, the news is still good for Republicans elsewhere in Indiana. Challengers Larry Bucshon and Todd Young lead in the 8th and 9th districts respectively.
8:18 A good rule of thumb about early election results: rural votes arrive before urban votes, and when urban votes arrive they arrive en masse.
8:23 What I am watching during the 8:00 hour? The polls in Massachusetts are closed. Until 2010, Massachusetts had the largest one-party delegation in congress. They also have a Democratic governor and a Democratic supermajority in both houses. Tonight the GOP has a good chance to win the governor's race and a house seat. House financial services committee chairman Barney Frank is thought to be one of those at risk. Currently, the entire U.S. House delegation from New England is currently all Democrats.
8:43 Joe Donnelly still holds a slim lead in IN-2: 74,449 to 58,204 with 80% reporting.
8:48 The first real important result of the night is in. CNN predicts Joe Manchin (D-WV) will win election to the U.S. Senate. This is the seat that once belonged to Robert Byrd, so there is no party takeover. Republicans, however, viewed this seat as an important one in order to get a 51-seat majority.
8:53 In between hitting refresh, you may want to check out this well-reasoned and carefully thought out take on the Tea Party movement. From yesterday's letters to the editor in USA Today.
What Tea Party?
Contrary to what commentary writer Don Campbell writes, there is no Tea Party movement. The name is a euphemism for the right-wing of the Republican Party. Its members decided to call themselves Tea Partiers because the GOP has become demonized as a losing party. The GOP believes it owns the White House, and its members become crazy when a Democrat is president, especially if the Democrat is black.
Further, nothing makes me more angry than when someone such as Campbell writes that Americans should make sacrifices so their children and grandchildren will not be burdened by the federal debt. As a senior citizen, I do not want to make any sacrifices for some hypothetical future generations. I worked hard, played by the rules and paid my taxes. I am entitled to receive what is due to me. When I was younger I did not expect anyone to take care of me, and future generations should be expected to take care of themselves.
Reba Shimansky; New York
8:59 Republican Larry Bucshon has been declared the winner in Indiana's 8th congressional district. This is a gain of one house seat for Hoosier Republicans so far. IN-2 and IN-9 are still too close to call. Surprisingly IN-1 is also too call, but heavily Democratic Lake County is notoriously slow to report.
9:03 Senate winners to far: Rubio (R-FL), Mikulski (D-MD), Coats (R-IN), Paul (R-KY), Ayotte (R-NH), Shelby (R-AL), Coons (R-DE), DeMint (R-SC), Portman (R-OH), Leahy (D-VT), Boozman (R-AR), Coburn (R-OK), Burr (R-NC), Moran (R-KS), Thune (R-SD), Hoeven (R-ND), Gillibrand (D-NY), Schumer (D-NY), Blumenthal (D-CT)
9:05 Republicans have won current Democratic senate seats in Indiana, Arkansas, and North Dakota.
9:09 According to CNN Republican challenger Todd Young has defeated Democratic incumbent Baron Hill in IN-9.
9:12 Another cool thing about New England: their election results are broken down by town not county.
9:14 This just in: DQYDJ.net is projecting (before CNN!) Joe Donnelly (D) will win reelection in IN-2. DQYDJ.net is projecting Peter Visclosky (D) will win reelection in IN-1.
9:16 Donnelly leads Walorski 85,510 to 81,992 with 91% reporting.
9:17 CNN projects Republicans will win a majority in the United States House of Representatives.
9:26 CNN's John King must be reading my blog. The Boston Latin School alumnus mentioned the New England House delegation is entirely Democratic. In New Hampshire, however, Republicans are leading in both of its congressional districts.
9:29 Thanks to our commentators. @mfd, if early results hold, Frank will easily win reelection. @The greasies, cleanup on IL-10.
9:36 Breaking news from 'Lil Rhody: the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations will remain the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. DQYDJ.net is projecting (before CNN!) RI Question One will fail.
9:39 Something I noticed watching Christine O'Donnell's concession speech. You can usually determine someone's stance on positions by nomenclature: "estate tax" vs. "inheritance tax" vs. "death tax."
9:45 Fact of the night: Rhode Island has only five counties (four during high tide)
9:46 CNN projects Barney Frank will win reelection in MA-4.
9:50 Fact of the night #2: The word "Gerrymandering" comes from the name of Massachusetts governor governor Elbridge Gerry. Gerry's legacy lives on in Frank's district.
9:53 My favorite congressional district: Illinois-4.
9:55 As we move west, another state I'll be keeping my eyes on is Colorado. Close elections are expected in both statewide races: governor and senator. Colorado was a surprising blue state in 2008 for Obama. Another wrinkle is the three party race for governor. The conservative Tom Tancredo is running as an independent. If the Republican candidate does not recieve 10% of the vote in the governor's race, the GOP will be considered a minor party by state law.
10:05 A whole bunch of Senate elections have been called. I'll post them as soon as CNN updates its website. With the House clearly going Republican, my focus is now mostly on Senatorial races.
10:06 Nate Silver of The New York Times is forecasting a larger than expected Republican gain in the House. Democratic candidates have won only one toss-up race so far (IN-2) and have underperformed in their vote totals across the board.
10:19 Going back to that update on Nate Silver, he forecasts a Republican gain of 60 seats. For comparison's sake the GOP won 54 Democratic seats in the 1994 midterm elections (the famous Contract with America).
10:23 Republicans are leading in both New Hampshire congressional districts. As you know those districts and all other New England congressional districts are currently held by Democrats.
10:35 For the Democrats who are still bemoaning the 2000 exit polls, it seems that exit polling strategies have changed to be slightly more realistic and random. Al Gore killed George Bush in many exit polls.
10:38 Three states Republicans need to win in order to keep their (slim) senate takeover hopes alive are Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Colorado. Right now Democratic candidates hold slim leads in all three states.
10:42 Pennsylvania is about as close as it can possibly be (50.0% to 50.0%!), but the edge belongs to Republican Pat Toomey. Most of the urban vote is in. Much of the remaining votes are in "red" counties. You can view a map of county-by-county results here.
10:46 Meanwhile a bunch of votes have just poured in from Colorado, mostly from Denver County. The Denver vote was enough for CNN to declare Democrat John Hickenlooper (mayor of Denver) the winner in the governor's race.
10:49 The Denver vote has also broadened Democrat Michael Bennet's lead in the U.S. Senate race. He leads by 5% with about half the votes in.
10:51 The only excitement left in the Colorado gubernatorial race is if Republican Dan Maes can receive the 10% of the vote needed to maintain major party status for the GOP. Maes currently stands at 9%.
10:55 Mixed news from Nate Silver of the New York Times. He currently projects the GOP to win 64 or 65 Democratic seats, surpassing expectations of a 50-55 seat gain. Republicans, however, are underperforming in Senate races.
10:58 CNN is projecting that Republican Ron Johnson will defeat Democrat incumbent Russ Feingold in the Wisconsin senate race. With Johnson's victory, the Republicans have won four Democratic seats (IN, ND, AR, WI), though none were expected to be close.
11:03 We will know more about the makeup of the Senate once the close races in Illinois and Pennsylvania are decided. The Pennsylvania race is still to close to call, although the experts at DQYDJ.net believe Toomey is the favorite. In Illinois, there are still too many Cook County votes not yet counted and Chicago does not have the best reputation when it comes to counting votes.
11:13 I'm disappointed by CNN's lack of hologram technology during tonight's election coverage.
11:17 All polls in the contiguous United States are now closed.
11:24 I haven't been paying too much attention to gubernatorial races, but perhaps I should have. Republicans have won a whopping eight Democratic held governorships. All politics is national.
11:30 Nevada is a state that votes mostly electronically. That's why 51% of the vote is already in. Harry Reid has a sizable but close lead over Sharron Angle. There are still a lot of uncounted votes in Clark County, where Las Vegas is located.
11:34 Cameron Daniels is signing off. Joe Girardi has signaled for Mariano Rivera to finish off this XXL Chalupa of election coverage.
11:39 This is PKamp3, in for the close. However, there isn't too much to close on; yet. Looks like we're going to come down to the wire in IL and PA. Follow PA here. 98.3% Reporting, Toomey 50.8%, Sestak 49.2%.
11:44 Race called for Toomey. IL still counting, looking for those votes. John Boehner speaking now, check out your TVs. AP called 40 races, so it's official. CNN is at 52 (in the House).
11:47 John Boehner with an emotional speech. Bring on Howard Dean!
11:54 Kasich (R) wins OH Governor. Drew Carey is happy...
11:59 Lincoln Chafee wins the Governorship of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations! Remember, you heard it first here on DQYDJ... the name is staying the same...
12:03 Intrade calling NV Senate for Reid... contract trading at ~ 6 at the moment.
12:11 Kirk (R) takes President Obama's former seat in IL.
12:13 Here's a shocker: California re-elected Barbara Boxer (Senate, D) and Jerry Brown (Governor, D). On a serious note, there goes the path to the Senate majority by the Rs.
12:23 Upset in Nevada? Harry Reid is leading Sharon Angle 50.86% to 44.48% with 27.66% of districts reporting. Nate Silver of the New York Times had Angle at 83% to win. Colorado and Nevada are also huge for the GOP to try to get 50 senators (and would then proceed to try to flip someone to caucus with them).
12:28 Nevada Senate called for Harry Reid (D) (first call - Fox!). So, the most talked about race ended up in an upset. You've got to respect Reid's ability to get reelected... Tomorrow, tell me. Would this guy or this guy have picked up 2 senate seats for the Republicans?
12:40 Question to the audience... if the House is Republican and the Senate Democratic, how does this affect any Clinton-style 'triangulation' we might see from President Obama?
12:45 Real Clear Politics current counts: Republicans +6, +54, +8.
12:53 Nate Silver now predicting 62-72 House Seats gained by the Republicans. His model's last prediction before today was 54-55. Not bad. However, the Republicans did slightly outperform the projection, based on what we know now. This makes Gallup's generic ballot polling look very good.
1:05 27.6% of Precincts reporting and "Write-in" is winning in Alaska by 4,000 votes (39% to 34% to 25%), a.k.a. Lisa Murkowski (incumbent, Independent, will probably caucus with Republicans.).
1:21 On the topic of stupidly gerrymandered districts, here's CA-23 from my state (Capps (D) 54% over Watson (R) 42% with 34% reporting)
1:29 Nothing to report on CO and WA Senate, or FL Governor. CO and FL are leaning R, WA D, but no one is calling these anytime soon... These are your huge tossups tonight, America!
1:39 Signing off tonight. No changes in the three races mentioned above. We'll check in tomorrow. Good night, and don't quit your day jobs...