Good evening, readers. Hattie here bringing you the latest on the midterm election results as they come in, starting at 7:00 pm EST. EIC Ophelia, in what she will likely come to consider a bad decision, has given me the keys to the castle for the night. I plan to lower my grammatical and journalistic standards in order to keep the updates coming.
A few things you should know about me: I live in New York, I used to live in DC (read: political nerd) and I’m a total liberal/feminist/crazy bitch. I have just cracked open a beer. And finally, I have ADD and will probably be switching among various websites (such as Wapo and NYtimes) and TV stations (like CNN and MSNBC) to keep tabs on the results. In the words of my 80s boyfriend Marty McFly: “This is a blues riff in B. Watch me for the changes, and try to keep up.”
7:00 pm: Polls have closed in several states. Current projected winners according to NBC (please just assume all projections are c/o NBC):
KY: Rand Paul, Republican
SC: Jim DeMint, Republican
VT: Patrick Leahy, Democrat
IN: Dan Coats, Republican (see Selena’s story on this race)
OK, no surprises here just yet, although personally I’m already feeling a little cranky. The House is a little more complicated, obviously, than the Senate but as more results come in I’ll try to indicate how things are swinging. Or, you can switch over to the Wapo or NYTimes maps linked above to take a look for yourself.
7:15 pm: Currently watching MSNBC, and one of the talking heads is being condescending about how little Rand Paul (a Tea Party candidate) understands about how the US Senate works. This would be hilarious if it weren’t so alarming. Rand Paul has an insurmountable lead, based on exit polls and reporting precincts. So, it’s pretty much a done deal that this man is a US Senator.
Also, studying the NYT map, New Hampshire is looking good for Democrat Paul Hodes(THIS TURNED OUT TO BE WRONG), although no projected winner has been announced yet. Their gubernatorial election is also looking (maybe?) to be in favor of Democrat John Lynch. This information is neither revelatory nor shocking, but I thought I’d throw it in here.
The House elections are looking good for the GOP in Indiana and Kentucky. I’ll wait until more results are in before I start throwing my opinions around on the House.
Ohio, West Virginia, and North Carolina polls will be closing at 7:30. While that’s a small number of states, the number of voters in those states is significant, so those races are important to look out for.
Apropos of nothing, I’d like to state that I enjoy the sound of Keith Olbermann’s voice.
7:30 pm: Some more polls have just closed, and a few more projections have been declared by NBC (er, make that just one):
OH: Rob Portman, Republican
The guy on MSNBC looks like David Hyde Pierce. My conviction of this only gets stronger as the night progresses and he continues to express strong disdain for Republicans.
So, as of RIGHT NOW (7:33 pm), Democrats have lost one Senate seat, and Republicans have gained one. For perspective, there are 37 (I think…will verify) Senate seats up for grabs tonight. And the night is young.
Did anyone know that in Florida, the Independent candidate (Charlie Crist) is more popular than the Democrat (Kendrick Meek)? Check out the current Senate map on NYT and hover over FL. Interesting.
Just peeked at the current map for the results on the Governor races. FL is looking heavily favorable for Republican Rick Scott, Georgia’s looking good for GOPer Nathan Deal, but again, these aren’t projections, just the current stats.
7:45 pm: MSNBC peeps are venting frustrations about the fact that many Tea Party candidates (Dan Coats) don’t resemble in any way the populist, grassroots spirit that supposedly comprises the Tea Party. I expect much ink and internet server memory to be spilled on this issue in the next few days.
I hate how exit polling has apparently indicated that many people who voted for the crazy Tea Party Republican candidates apparently did so to “send a message” or otherwise express their displeasure with the job the president is doing. Like, how does that WORK exactly? And I know it is everyone’s right and priviledge to vote in this democracy, but I really don’t like the thought of people voting out of SPITE.
Looks like NC is going to go to Republican Richard Burr, but no projections just yet. Breaking news: Southerners vote Republican.
8:00 pm: Many more (15) polls have just closed. Some NBC projections:
NH: Kelly Ayotte, Republican
DE: Christopher Coons, Democrat
MD: Barbara Mikulski, Democrat
AL: Richard Shelby, Republican
OK: Tom Coburn, Republican
FL: Marco Rubio, Republican
GA: Johnny Isakson, Republican
Most other races that have ended are either too early or too close to call.
Since the surge of projected winners is over, I have a minute to express my happiness that Christine O’Donnell got blown out of the water and shan’t be having the word “Senator” in front of her name for a long time to come. Not just because I don’t like her politics, but because I’m totally sick of the divisive nature of all of her (sometimes mean-spirited and misogynist) press coverage.
David Hyde Pierce’s doppleganger is talking about campaign finance and I just can’t take him seriously.
Switching to the Wapo electoral map because the NYT is being frustratingly cautious about their mapping. I should also mention that the winner of the uncontested (!!!!) South Dakota Senate race is Republican John Thune. Because that’s what happens when no one bothers to run against him.
8:15 pm: Now that there’s another lull I’m considering switching over to Fox News just to see what it’s like. OK, so even their commercials are being run on a small screen that’s bordered by running stats on the election results. It’s kind of weird. FoxNews really has a better sense of DRAAAMAAA! than MSNBC. I’ll give them that. According to this guy with a white board, Independent voters have swung significantly from leaning Democrat to leaning Republican since the 2008 election. Harrumph
8:30 pm: A few more polls close, a few more projected winners:
CT: Richard Blumenthal, Democrat (Beating out wrestling’s Linda McMahon)
AR: John Boozman, Republican (While not neccesarily an upset, it’s a bummer to see Blanche Lincoln lose this seat)
WV: Joe Manchin, Democrat
The WV result is pretty important, as it preserves hope on the Democrat side that the Dems maybe able to retain control of the Senate. Still some important races to look at, but it’s definitely a promising sign.
8:45 pm: On the House side, based on current projected results, the Democrats have lost five seats (so the GOP has gained five). The conventional wisdom seems to be that Dems will certainly lose seats in the House, the question is whether it’s enough to tip the balance.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee is kind of getting chewed out by Chris Matthews, and I’m enjoying it. He’s asking her that, since Republicans are so eager to cut taxes and are all for smaller government, what programs and services do they want to cut? Instead of straight answers, she’s giving empty talking points about what The American People want. Barf.
Thirteen more states have polls closing at nine, and Keith Olbermann put Blackburn out of her misery to squeeze in one more commercial break before the closing and subsequent projected wins.
9:00 pm: Projections…
OK first up, MSNBC is saying that their Magic Project-A-Tron is aying that the House will go to the GOP tonight…which isn’t a stunning prediction, but it makes me sad to see. They’ve not said anything about the Senate, however, because it’s still (hopefully!) anyone’s game. Senate projections:
ND: John Hoeven, Republican
NY: Chuck Schumer AND Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrats (WOOOO New York!)
KS: Jerry Moran, Republican
Some Gubernatorial projections:
NY: Andrew Cuomo, Democrat (woo!)
TN: Bill Haslam, Republican
NH: John Lynch, Democrat
OK: Mary Fallin, Republican
MSNBC is airing Rand Paul’s victory speech, in its entirety. Presumably because he’s a prominent, controversial candidate and because after their big announcements at 9pm, they don’t have much else to say for a few mintues. It is nonetheless filling me with rage to listen to him talk, and my yelling at the TV escalated until I decided it was time to put it on mute. Gah! What does “It’s time to take back our government” even MEAN? You wouldn’t know what to do with it if you GOT it, buddy.
Rachel Maddow is extremely smart, and I love the way she won’t let the suits in the room talk over her. Also, there is something ominous in both the font and coloring of the words “House of Representatives: REPUBLICAN CONTROL” at the bottom of the screen on MSNBC. You can sense their thinly veiled horror. We will, however, probably get the consolation prize of the Senate. Oh, Senate. You’re our silver medal.
9:15 pm: Colorado is looking good for Michael Bennett so far (no projection yet), and you can check out new writer Meghan’s peice from earlier today to understand more about that race. West Coasters and beyond: PLEASE STILL VOTE! This isn’t a general election; your state still matters! Vote vote vote!
Oh look, it’s the WV guy (Manchin)’s victory speech, and it’s a calm, thankful little affair that bears no resemblence to Rand Paul’s frightening demanding diatribe that will cause me to lose more sleep than The Walking Dead.
Another gubernatorial projection:
AL: Robert Bentley, Republican
SD: Dennis Daugaard
9:30 pm: Marco Rubio’s victory speech. So far, less rage-inducing than Rand Paul’s. He seems to actually be addressing the fact the Republican party needs to get its shit together and figure out what they stand for. I actually like this message. Because it’s true. Wait…now he’s saying there are some people who don’t think America is great, and implying it’s the Democrats who think so. You read it here first: DEMOCRATS HATE AMERICA. OK, so he’s talking about how people came to the US as immigrants and built new lives, and that’s what makes America great? Uh, maybe you should take a good, hard look at your own party, bub.
Christine O’Donnell’s concession speech is kind of too disorganized and inarticulate to get riled up over. All I feel is relief that she is not a United States Senator. That’ll do, O’Donnell. That’ll do.
9:45 pm: Hey, I didn’t mention this before, but Republican control of the House means that Nancy Pelosi will be booted in favor of Republican John Boehner (OH) as Speaker of the House. Please get all giggling about the name “Boehner” out of your system now. It’s allegedy pronounced “Bay-ner” but that’s not how I choose to read it.
MO: Roy Blunt, Republican
KS: Gerry Moran, Republican
TX: Rick Perry, Republican
KS: Sam Brownback, Republican
MA: Deval Patrick, Democrat
Senator Claire McCasskil (D, MO) is on MSNBC saying some reasonable things about how, now that the tax-hating Tea Party candidates are in place, they are going to have to figure out how to change the laws of economics to cut taxes and shrink the government without cutting entitlement programs. HAVE FUN WITH THAT ONE, RAND PAUL.
Pennsylvania, which is an extremely important race in terms of Senate control, is still the dreaded “too close to call” but it’s definitely one to watch. Six more precincts are closing in just a few minutes (at 10:00 pm so I hope to have a few more projections for you).
Is it even worth discussing the House at this point? Based on projections, the GOP has gained 12 seats with a corresponding loss for the Dems (don’t really seem to be any Independents in play).
10:00: Some more projections…
AZ: John McCain, Republican
IA: Chuck Grassley, Republican
PA: Tom Corbett
Others are too close or too early to call. However, CO is still looking good for the Democratic candidate.
More gleeful speculation from the pundits about how it’s going to be hilarious watching the Republicans put their money where their mouth is and actually try to, I don’t know, find solutions to a really complex problem (government spending and taxes)? Like, maybe they’ll find that it’s one thing to rail against it and get people riled up but it’s a completely different thing to actually enact and lesiglate meaningful change. WHAT are they going to cut? I’m sure they’re too scared to touch entitlement programs (Medicare, Social Security) even though they are unsustainable and a HUGE drain on our taxpayers. What about the war that they all support, which costs billions and billions of dollars? I mean, we’ree all just DYING over here to see them try to fix some of these problems instead of just bitching all the time.
10:15 pm: OK, loves, this is your five minute warning that I’m going to sign off around 10:15. My last post will just be any stragglers, projection-wise, and final thoughts about the night. I would love to stay up all night with y’all but I’ve been here since 7:00 and I think I’ve seen enough. Also I no longer find Keith Olbermann attractive and that’s a sure sign that it’s time to pack it in.
Last few projections:
OH: Rob Portman, Republican
AR: Mike Beebee
NE: Dave Heineman
Honestly, it’s been an exciting night, and I think that it’s going to be interesting to wake up tomorrow and see not only what the results are but to see what the excessive, infuriating analysis and spin will be on both sides. I am looking forward to seeing how the Senate balances out, as well as how big the Republican House lead will be. It’s easy to forget that we have major elections every two years, and that as great as the Democratic victory was two years ago (winning not only the White House but both House and Senate), things can change in just a few years. If defeat in 2008 was able to energize a lot of conservative Republicans, so who’s to say that the tables won’t turn again in 2012? That’s what’s so fun about politics. That’s why I’ve spent three and a half hours frantically blogging about this midterm election night.
10:30 pm: I’d like to thank all five of you for reading. I enjoyed this experience, even if it was exhausting. The fact is, I would have been glued to the TV/internet even if I weren’t posting about it, so it wasn’t much of a chore. I’ll chime in tomorrow morning with a follow-up post on further results and analysis. So, for now, goodnight, and I love Democracy!