Welcome to Election 2010! I’m going to try and keep some up to date coverage of the latest races.
4:57 p.m. (Pacific Time): As of right now, the Dems have 41 Senate seats to 27 for the Republicans. No surprises so far. Rand Paul wins in Kentucky. Rob Portman wins in Ohio. Jim DeMint beats unlikely nominee Alvin Greene in South Carolina (so we can forget about him). Dan Coats wins in Indiana, the first pickup for the GOP. Patrick Leahy keeps his seat in Vermont, so far the only victory for the Dems. This evening has only just begun. Stay tuned.
5:02: The witch is dead. CNN projects Chris Coons will win Delaware. Christine O’Donnell will not win. Also, Marco Rubio comes out ahead of Charlie Christ and Kendrick Meek in Florida. Still no surprises.
5:44: Big win for the Dems. Joe Manchin will win in West Virginia. Connecticut will also stay Democratic as Richard Blumenthal will defeat Linda McMahon. The West Virginia victory decreases the likelihood the Republicans can take over the Senate.
6:00: With the victory in West Virginia, political guru Nate Silver places the Republican chance of taking over the Senate at 6 percent. In the House, however, things are different. Democratic heavyweight Alan Grayson fails to hold his seat in the House.
6:03: NBC News says the Republicans will win the House by “a wide margin.” Not a bold prediction.
6:06: New York Governor’s race goes to Andrew Cuomo. Rick Scott leads Alex Sink by 5 percent with 38 percent of precincts reporting in Florida. Bill Haslam will win the Governorship in Tennessee, representing a gain for Republicans.
6:08: Two notable gains in House races. In what is likely a rare pickup for the Democrats tonight, John Carney picks up Republican Mike Castle’s old seat in Delaware. Rep. Tom Perriello of Virginia’s 5th District will lose his seat to Republican Robert Hurt. President Obama campaigned for Perriello earlier this week.
6:12: I have to say, The New York Times has the best map for pickups and seats that are switching parties. TPM has been more aggressive at calling races. Huffington Post has a really poor election map.
6:21: Looks like New Hampshire is completely Republican. Frank Guinta picks up a seat for Republicans in the House. Kelly Ayotte has already clinched the Senate seat for Republicans. Correction: In the governor’s race, Democrat John Lynch wins reelection.
6:25: PBS calls the Texas Governor’s race for Rick Perry. If that holds, Perry will win election to an unprecedented third term.
6:29: It’s a bad night to be a Democrat in Virginia. Glenn Nye loses in the 2nd district. That means, with all of the state reporting, that three seats have switched parties.
6:42: More bad news for Democrats. Chet Edwards loses his seat to Bill Flores in Texas’ 19th, and the Republicans get another pickup.
6:45: With almost 50 percent of precincts reporting, both Pennsylvania and Illinois give the edges to the Democrats in Senate races. Joe Sestak leads 54-46 on the East Coast and Alex Giannoulias leads 52-43 on the shores of Lake Michigan.
6:53: Nate Silver says, of the Pennsylvania race, “This race ought to worry Republicans.” Sestak is doing very well close to Philadelphia.
7:17: Ok, live blogging break. I’ll be back later. In a couple of hours. We should know a lot more then.
9:06: At this hour, The New York Times reports that the Dems will win at least 49 Senate seats. Barbara Boxer will win in California, but both Illinois and Pennsylvania have swung back towards the Republican candidates with most precedents reporting. Nevada, Washington and Colorado remain in the early stages of counting votes.
9:11: CNN and The Washington Post both say that the Senate will remain Democratic.
9:18: Looks like the country may have two independent governors. Both Maine and Rhode Island appear to have elected independent candidates. Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island and Elliot Cutler in Maine look poised to win.
9:25: Various reports suggest that Pat Toomey and Mark Kirk have won the races in Pennsylvania and Illinois, respectively.
9:27: The Republicans have already gained +49 seats, and there are more than 80 seats still in play. The losses will continue.
9:33: Democrats appear likely to lose between 54 and 75 seats in the House at the end of this election. Those types of losses have never been seen before. Ouch for Democrats.
9:41: Some (generally) good news for the Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been reelected in the state of Nevada, according to Fox News and the AP.
10:12: Former NFL star Jon Runyan will now join the House as a Republican. Runyan won his race in New Jersey and flipped control of the seat.
9:52: Word comes filtering in that Prop 19, the initiative to legalize marijuana in California, has failed.
9:54: Nate Silver at 538 thinks the Republicans will pick up between 62 and 72 seats by the time the night ends.
10:02: Lexington, Kentucky has elected Jim Gray as the city’s first openly gay mayor.
10:04: This is a sad fact. The next United States Senate will not have a single African American.
10:32: Polls are now closed in all states. Republicans seem likely to pickup more than 60 seats, the greatest gain since 1948.
10:46: At this point, there are 40 House races still undecided. Republicans have gained 56 seats. In the Senate, Democrats retain control despite having lost at least 6 seats. At this hour, four races remain undecided: Hawaii (which should be called for the Democrat soon), Colorado (which remains tight), Washington (which may become the closest race in the country) and Alaska (where the “write-in” section of the ballot, likely referring to Lisa Murkowski, is off to an early lead). Republicans have gained at least 8 governorships, and likely more by the end of the night. Democrats, meanwhile, have lost 9. Nine others remain uncalled.
11:01: Though the Senate will have no African Americans in it, blacks can claim two major victories. Two Republican African Americans were elected to Congress tonight for the first time since Reconstruction. Tim Scott won in South Carolina’s 1st District and Allen West claimed victory in Florida’s 22nd.
9:37 a.m. (Nov. 3): The Denver Post has called the Colorado Senate race for Democratic incumbent Michael Bennett. Currently, Patty Murray leads in Washington (with perhaps more than 1/3 of all votes remaining to be counted in Democratic-leaning King County) over Dino Rossi. Tea Party darling Joe Miller trails “Write-in” or presumably Lisa Murkowski by more than 7 points in Alaska.
1:28: AP calls the Colorado Senate race for Michael Bennett as well. The victory gives Democrats 52 seats in the Senate to the Republicans 46. Two races remain undecided. Republican Ken Buck did not immediately concede the race in Colorado.
1:30: 11 races in the House remain undecided. Currently, Republicans have gained 60 seats in the election, 21 more than they needed to regain control.
1:35: It appears the Democrats will gain another governorship, as Democrat Mark Malloy defeats Republican Tom Foley in Connecticut. The New York Times hasn’t marked down the victory, but the AP has called the race.