As usual, TAC will have an open thread for election night. The two main issues to be decided are which party will control the House and which will control the Senate. Polls indicate that the Democrats are favored to take control of the House while the Republicans are favored to retain control of the Senate. We shall see. Since 2016 I have been growing increasingly skeptical of polls. The days of the phone poll may be coming to an end as pollsters have to make thousands of calls to get one person consenting to be polled.
Things to watch for tonight: If the GOP takes the Senate seat in Indiana they are on their way to increasing their margin in the Senate. How many Congressional seats do the Republicans lose in Pennsylvania? The court ordered gerrymander by the Democrat controlled State Supreme Court in Pennsylvania was an enormous gift to Democrat efforts to retake the House. Florida should give us a clue as to whether we are looking at a Blue Wave or a Red Tide. Control of the House could well come down to elections in California in which case we probably won’t know for at least a week as California specializes in the slow counting of ballots and in close elections mailed ballots can count so long as they are postmarked by election day. A majority of Californians, incredibly, vote via snail male. As usual ignore exit polls that have a worse track record of prediction than flipping a coin.
7:35 AM (CST)-Voted at 7:00 AM in my small town. The polling place is at the Catholic Parish Hall. I would describe the turnout thus far as heavy, perhaps very heavy for a midterm. I would note this is a strongly Republican area.
5:00PM (CST)-Home early from the law mines. Lots of chatter about good vote totals for the GOP coming out of Florida. We will see soon enough.
6:00PM (CST)-Early returns in the Indiana Senate race look good for the Republican challenger Braun in Indiana. Republican votes are overperforming in rural areas over previous midterms.
6:53PM (CST)-I think Braun is winning the Senate contest in Indiana against Donnelly. That would be a net Republican gain.
7:00PM (CST)-JB Pritzker, the world’s dumbest billionaire, will be the next governor of Illinois. A statehouse pickup for the Democrats.
7:40PM (CST)-Kentucky 06 was thought to be a bellwether for House control. It looks like the Republican incumbent is going to hold on against a tough challenge.
7:44PM (CST)-ABC just called the Senate race in Indiana for the Republican challenger Braun.
7:50PM (CST)-Still early but Republican challenger James leads Democrat incumbent Stabenow in the Michigan Senate race.
8:00PM (CST)-Marsha Blackburn has won the Senate race in Tennessee, and that is a Republican hold.
8:32PM (CST)-Fox calls the House for the Democrats. Of course the margin is unknown. If the Democrats take the House with a narrow margin, I think ultimately this will be good for Trump in 2020.
8:48PM (CST)-I am calling the Senate race in Florida for Rick Scott, the Republican challenger. There are just not enough votes still outstanding, and likely to go to Nelson, to overcome Scott’s narrow lead. That is the second Republican gain in the Senate.
8:54PM (CST)-North Dakota Senate race is a massacre for the incumbent. Cramer the Republican challenger takes it, and that is the third Republican gain in the Senate.
9:15PM (CST)-Ted Cruz has won re-election in Texas. The Democrats flushed over one hundred million down the toilet on Beto-mania.
9:20PM (CST)-Fox calls the Senate for the Republicans.
9:50PM (CST)-In the Senate Missouri race I think SkyQueen has outstayed her welcome in the ShowMe State and that the Republican challenger Josh Hawley has won. That would be the fourth Republican gain.
10:00PM (CST)-Ron DeSantis holds the Florida statehouse for the GOP.
10:12PM (CST)-Fox calls it for Hawley in Missouri.
Well, I have court early tomorrow so I will be calling it a night. A split decision as was predicted. With the Republicans increasing their margin in the Senate, the Trump judge machine will roll on, and that may be the most important result of the night. All in all not a bad night for the GOP considering the usual midterm losses. For example, in Reagan’s first midterm the Republicans lost 26 seats in the House, dropping to 166 seats, and in the Senate the Democrats gained one seat. In 1986, Reagan’s final midterm, the Republicans lost 5 seats in the House and 8 in the Senate. In Obama’s first midterm in 2010 the GOP gained 63 seats in the House and 8 seats in the Senate. In Obama’s final midterm in 2014 the GOP gained 13 seats in the House and 9 seats in the Senate. Taking that into consideration that history I am inviting the ladies of Abba to give a partial victory dance.
Much more analysis tomorrow.
4:30AM(CST)-In the Senate, the Republican challenger Rosendale leads incumbent Tester in Montana with 90% of the ballots in. In Arizona, Republican McSally continues to hold a lead over Democrat Sinema with 98% of the ballots counted. In Nevada, Republican Dean Heller has lost his re-election bid. If all this holds up, and assuming the Republican wins in the Mississippi run-off, that would give the next Senate the composition of 55 Republicans to 45 Democrats and Independents who caucus with the Democrats.
4:55AM(CST)-In Statehouses the Republicans lost seven to the Democrats.
4:55AM(CST)-The House right now is 220 Democrats-194 Republicans with 21 races still outstanding.
Overall a good night for the Democrats, with the exception of the Senate where they got shellacked. Except for the Senate this was a fairly typical midterm result.