Democrats’ Gain Was More Impressive Than It Appears
Washington Shifts Into Battle Mode
Trump Knows He’s In Trouble
Trump Thinks His Son Will Be Indicted
Bonus Quote of the Day
Susan Collins Is ‘Concerned’ About Mueller Interference
12:09 p.m. EST
Montana is not going to win any prizes for speediest ballot counting. It has now managed to get through 88% of the precincts. Matt Rosendale (R) is still ahead, but his lead has been cut to 1,022 votes, with about 70,000 votes left to count. Many of them come from Missoula County and Gallatin County, both Democratic strongholds.
9:04 a.m. EST
More votes have been counted in Arizona, but Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) has a margin that is relatively stable. We now have 99.3% of the precincts reporting and her lead is 15,908 votes. The Green Party candidate, Angela Green, is at 38,597 votes, and most likely will cause Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) to lose, although there are still absentee ballots and provisional ballots to be counted.
8:50 a.m. EST
With 83.4% of the precincts reporting, Matt Rosendale (R) has increased his lead over Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) to nearly 3,000 votes. Several counties remain to be counted however.
6:49 a.m. EST
We all know about the candidates who will win unless they are caught in bed with live boy or a dead girl. But what happens if the candidate is in bed with both a live boy and a live girl but the candidate is dead? Answer: The candidate still wins, dead or not. Deceased brothel owner Dennis Hof (R) beat Lesia Romanov (D) in Nevada assembly district 36. The district is rural and heavily Republican, and clearly the voters woouldn't be caught dead, so to speak, with a Democrat representing them in the state assembly. Hof's win notwithstanding, the Democrats will control the assembly.
6:42 a.m. EST
With all the in-person votes counted, Harley Rouda (D) has a 2,208-vote lead over Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) in CA-48. However, there are thousands of absentee and provisional ballots yet to be counted.
6:27 a.m. EST
Matt Rosendale (R) has increased his lead by 1,000 votes. He is now ahead by 2,500 votes, with 82% of the precincts reporting.
6:00 a.m. EST
Matt Rosendale's lead over Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) has dropped to about 1,500 votes with five counties still reporting. Most of them are Democratic. However, they aren't that big. It is likely to be very close.
5:00 a.m. EST
Not surprisingly, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) got the promotion to the state's top job that everyone expected him to get. But he may not be done yet with getting promotions. He is already thinking about running for president in 2020, along with fellow Californians Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Keep in mind that Californai has moved its presidential primary up to March 3, 2020, so even if none of the Californians do well in the small states that go first,if one of them can scoop up hundreds of delegates in California, that instantly changes the picture.
4:52 a.m. EST
Matt Rosendale (R) is still ahead of Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) by 4,000 votes with four Democratic counties still out. But these counties may not have enough votes to pull Tester over the finish line, so Rosendale could end up with a victory of under 1,000 votes. That result would make Donald gloat like no other race could. He came to Montana four times with the specific purpose of defeating Tester, who single-handedly sunk Trump's nominee for VA secretary.
4:21 a.m. EST
Biggie here: Florida's Amendment 4 passed, meaning that over 1 million former felons will regain the right to vote in 2020. These people are disproportiately minority and Democratic. If 60% of them vote (typical turnout in presidential elections), and 55% vote Democratic, that adds 60,000 net Democratic votes in 2020. For reference, Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) is currently leading Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) by fewer than 40,000 votes and Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis (R) beat Andrew Gillum (D) by 59,000 votes.
4:14 a.m. EST
Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) now leads Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) by 14,296 votes with 94% of the precincts reporting. The Green party candidate, appropriately named Angela Green, has 37,548 votes. It could well end up that McSally wins due to the Green Party taking votes away from Sinema.
4:12 a.m. EST
The New Hampshire governor's race has been called for Chris Sununu (R). It's actually remarkable that it's as close at it was, since he's a popular incumbent and a member of the state's most famous political family (sorry, Pierce family!). In Connecticut, Ned Lamont (D) has taken a slim 0.2% lead over Bob Stefanowski (R). Adding Nevada and Alaska to the tally, that's +7 for the blue team and +1 for the red team, with only Georgia and Connecticut still outstanding.
Matt Rosendale has increased his lead over Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) to 2%. He is ahead by 6,000 votes. However, three "big" blue counties are still outstanding. "Big" in Montana terms means a couple of thousand votes, though.
3:53 a.m. EST
The 11th hour withdrawal of Gov. Bill Walker (I-AK) didn't matter; Republican Mike Dunleavy is set to win the Alaska governor's mansion easily. That's a +1 for the GOP, but not a -1 for the Democrats, so their +6 still stands.
3:53 a.m. EST
The Minnesota Senate results are very interesting. Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith both won, but the former took 60% of the vote and the latter 53%. That's pretty compelling evidence that Klobuchar has a particular ability to attract independent and/or crossover votes, and would bolster her case for the Democratic presidential nod in 2020.
3:49 a.m. EST
More on the "Year of the Woman": 96 women won House seats on Tuesday, including 31 new members. That easily outpaces the previous high of 85 women members. 11 women won Senate seats, and two of them are new members (Jacky Rosen and Marsha Blackburn). Eight women won governor's mansions, including three new governors. And all of these numbers could increase depending on what happens in places like Georgia and Arizona.
3:47 a.m. EST
Letitia James (D) was elected attorney general of New York. If special counsel Robert Mueller is fired in the next few weeks, she may pick up the ball and run with it, with an assist from Minnesota's new AG Keith Ellison (D).
3:37 a.m. EST
Crime pays. Two indicted members of the House, Chris Collins (R-NY) and Duncan Hunter (R-CA) won their races. If they are convicted though they will have to vacate their seats.
3:35 a.m. EST
Democrats won the state senate in New York, finally giving them the trifecta in the Empire State. They can now try to reform New York's ossified electoral system, such as introducing early voting and replacing voting machine that were ancient decades ago.
3:33 a.m. EST
There will be no final result in Arizona tonight, according to election officials there. In fact, due to the large number of outstanding ballots that need to be verified and counted, the next update won't be until Thursday afternoon. With 85% of precincts reporting, Rep. Martha McSally (R) has a lead of about 20,000 votes over Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) out of about 1.6 million cast. However, there are approximately 400,000 votes to be counted in the next few days, so there's plenty of room for movement.
3:25 a.m. EST
Democrats had hoped to pick up 4, 5, even 6 seats in Southern California. They had strong candidates and tons of money, but Republicans seem to be holding the majority of them. But the races aren't finished yet.
3:18 a.m. EST
Steve Sisolak (D) won the governor's race in Nevada. Democrats have picked up six governor's mansions so far: Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. Republicans won a big one in Florida, though. Governor-elect Ron DeSantis will help the Republicans gerrymander Florida and will help Trump in 2020.
3:10 a.m. EST
Here we go again. A recount in Florida? Been there, done that. Currently Rick Scott is ahead by 0.4%. Under Florida law, if the difference is under 0.5%, there is an automatic recount. Absentee ballots postmarked by Nov. 6 must be counted, so we may not know for days what happened. But if Scott can get ahead by 0.5%, there will not be a recount.
2:59 a.m. EST
In the three Senate races still pending:
Montana: Matt Rosendale (R) leads Sen. John Tester (D-MT) by 1% with 66% counted.
Arizona: Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) leads Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) by 1.3% with 56% counted.
Florida: Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) leads Andrew Gillum (D) by 0.6% with nearly all in-person votes counted.
The Mississippi special election will go to a runoff on Nov. 27, but Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) should win easily.
2:53 a.m. EST
In terms of lessons from tonight, here are a few that present themselves at the current moment:
- Republicans definitely have a suburb problem
- Democrats definitely have a Senate problem; it could be many years before they retake the upper chamber
- The death of the Democrats in the Midwest, especially the upper Midwest, has been greatly exaggerated
- The Democrats are on the rise in the Southwest (though more slowly in some places than in others).
- It really was the year of the woman, and there's no reason to think 2020 won't be a sequel.
- Ohio may not be a swing state any more.
- If the Democrats could not crack Florida this year, then when will they?
- If you're a Republican, you can go Trump, or go home.
- It's a brave new world for Donald Trump, whether he realizes it or not.
- If you thought the last two years resembled a reality show, you ain't seen nothin' yet.
Of course, the returns aren't all in yet. Undoubtedly, by tomorrow, there will be many, many takeaway lists, which will certainly relay.
2:51 a.m. EST
In our "other" interesting races:
Kansas governor: Laura Kelly (D) beat Kris Kobach (R)
Wisconsin governor: Tony Evers (D) knocked off Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI)
Minnesota AG: Keith Ellison (D) won despite alleged misconduct
TX-07: Lizzie Fletcher (D) knocked off Rep. John Culberson (R-TX)
CA-10: Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) is leading by 1% with 63% counted
CA-48: Harley Rouda (D) is leading Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) by 0.6% with 70% reporting
WA-03: Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) is up by 5% with 71% reporting
Democrats 4, Republicans 0 with 3 still pending. California is going to be very interesting, and several of the races are so close, they could linger for days or weeks.
2:45 a.m. EST
In our "trade war" races:
Iowa governor: Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) held her seat in a close race
KY-06: Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) kept his seat easily
WA-08: Kim Schrier (D) is leading by 5% with 64% reporting
MN-01: Dan Feehan (D) is leading by 44 votes with 91% reporting
ME-02: Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) is ahead by 153 votes with 69% counted
PA-17: Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) held onto his seat easily
Republicans 2, Democrats 1 with 3 still pending. Still, if the President sticks with his trade war(s), he can't feel too good about this. If the Republicans triumph in any of the three races still pending, it will be by a thin margin. And the "pinch" being felt by folks certainly isn't going to get better over the next two years.
1:40 a.m. EST
The AP and the New York Times have both called the Wisconsin governor's race for Democrat Tony Evers. Gov. Scott Walker (R) might try to challenge that result, but a late surge for Evers (mostly in the form of votes from very blue Milwaukee) means that he's going to come out on top by around 30,000 votes. That's generally too large a margin to challenge successfully.
2:37 a.m. EST
GA-06, site of the special election between Rep. Karen Handel (R) and Jon Ossoff (D) last year, has had all its precinct votes counted. Handel is up on Lucy McBath (D) by...57 votes out of more than 264,000 cast. At very least, this one is going to have to wait for the absentee and provisional ballots to be counted. More likely, it's headed to a recount. And, given the various shenanigans that went on in Georgia this year, it could end up in court.
2:30 a.m. EST
CNN has called Nevada for Rep. Jacky Rosen (D). That would be the blue team's first pickup in the Senate, and leaves the GOP +2 on the night so far.
2:27 a.m. EST
In our "racist" races:
GA governor: Brian Kemp (R) leads but this may be contested in court
FL governor: Ron DeSantis (R) has narrowly beaten Andrew Gillum (D)
NY-19: Antonio Delgado (D) knocked off Rep. John Faso (R-NY)
NY-22: Anthony Brindisl (D) knocked off Rep. Claudia Tenny (R-NY)
IA-04: Rep. Steve King (R-IA) held onto his seat
Republicans 2, Democrats 2 with 1 still pending. Clearly, there are some places where this sort of thing still works.
2:20 a.m. EST
In our "Healthcare" races:
NJ-03: Rep. Tom MacArthur (R) is ahead by 300 votes with 99% of the vote in.
IA-01: Abby Fineknauer (D) beat Rep. Rod Blum (R).
NJ-06: Tom Malinowski (D) beat Rep. Leonard Lance (R).
West Virginia Senate: Sen. Joe Manchin (D) cruised to victory over Patrick Morrissey (R)
Nevada Senate: Jacky Rosen (D) will knock off Sen. Dean Heller (D)
Democrats 4, Republicans 0 with 1 still pending. That isn't going to do anything to weaken the blue team's enthusiasm for this issue in 2020.
2:15 a.m. EST
Here it is in a slightly more thorough fashion. In our "canary in a coal mine" races:
ME governor: Janet Mills (D) flipped the governor's mansion
VA-02: Elaine Luria (D) beat Scott Taylor* (R) and flipped the seat
VA-05: Denver Riggleman (R) kept Tom Garrett's old seat
VA-07: Abigail Spanberger (D) knocked off Rep. Dave Brat (R)
VA-10: Jennifer Wexton (D) crushed Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA)
MI-08: Democrat Elissa Slotkin ahead by 0.7% but too close to call
MI-11: Haley Stevens (D) flipped Dave Trott's old seat
MN-03: Dean Phillips (D) crushed Erik Paulsen (R)
MN-08: Pete Stauber (R) flipped the district, beating out Joe Radinovich (D) for the open seat
NC-09: Mark Harris (R) has a slight lead over Dan McCready (D) with 100% of the votes in; it's close enough that it probably won't be called tonight
OH-12: Troy Balderson (R) once again sent Danny O'Connor (D) to defeat
FL-26: Debbie Murcasel-Powell (D) put Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R) out of work in a squeaker
FL-27: Donna Shalala (D) beat Maria Elvira Salazar (R) with room to spare
PA-01: Brian Fitzpatrick (R) won, but Scott Wallace (D) kept it close
GA-06: Karen Handel (R) has a narrow lead over Lucy McBath with 90% reporting
So, that's 8 for the Democrats, 4 for the Republicans, and 3 still up in the air.
1:59 a.m. EST
In Florida, Rick Scott (R) leads Sen. Bill Nelson (D) in the Senate race, 50.3% to 49.7%, with 99.9% counted. We probably won't have resolution tonight, given how close it is. If Scott does prevail, this will be his third win in a row by 1% of the vote or less.
1:56 a.m. EST
Keith Ellison (DFL) has been elected AG in Minnesota. He will be in Donald Trump's face constantly, but will also be brought up as a (dubious) example of Democrats being inconsistent in terms of sexual misconduct. In truth, the Democrats have sent packing all the bad actors (Al Franken, Anthony Wiener, Eric Schneiderman, John Conyers, etc.) where it was within their power to do so. But the blue team doesn't get to tell the voters of Minnesota what to do.
1:55 a.m. EST
11-term GOP Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen has been "retired" in NJ-11. Currently, the Democrats are +24 seats in the House, with a bunch of seats in the West still outstanding.
1:51 a.m. EST
The Arizona Senate race is also very, very close, with 49.3% for Rep. Martha McSally (R), and 48.4% for Rep Kyrsten Sinema (D) with 60% reporting.
1:49 a.m. EST
The Wisconsin governor's race is neck and neck with 97% reporting. This could be one of those that lingers for a few days.
1:48 a.m. EST
Fox News is mystified as to how Democrats are winning, given that they aren't doing anything about the caravan. On the other hand, even they concede that Brian Kemp has some questions to answer as regards the shoddy election in Georgia.
1:46 a.m. EST
Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) have officially conceded their Senate races to Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO).
1:40 a.m. EST
Democrat Stacey Abrams just gave a fiery speech that strongly implied that legal challenges to tonight's Georgia gubernatorial election are coming. What is certain is that she's not planning to concede this evening. Given that it's very close, but that Brian Kemp is going to finish the night ahead, this could get ugly.
1:36 a.m. EST
A pair of Kings have won. Rep. Steve in Iowa and Sen. Angus in Maine.
1:31 a.m. EST
The Georgia governor's race hasn't been called yet, but with 96% of the votes in, Brian Kemp (R) is in a commanding position. That race will likely be called soon.
1:29 a.m. EST
In fairness to Nancy Pelosi, it should be noted that her "victory" speech emphasized unity and bipartisanship, and in fairness to Donald Trump, it should be noted that he called Pelosi tonight and offered his congratulations. We shall see how long the "Era of Good Feelings" lasts. The original one was about 10 years; this one might be lucky to make it 12 hours.
1:24 a.m. EST
Colorado has become the latest state to put the drawing of Congressional districts in the hands of a non-partisan commission. This is an issue that Democrats will likely appropriate by 2020, and it could be a big winner, since it has bipartisan support. In Colorado, 7 in 10 people voted for it.
1:22 a.m. EST
Kristi Noem (R) will be the first female governor of South Dakota.
1:19 a.m. EST
Another update on our "canary in a coal" mine races: Maine governor (Dem won), VA-02 (Dem won), VA-05 (Rep won), VA-07 (Dem won), VA-10 (Dem won), MI-08 (Dem leading), MI-11 (Dem leading), MN-03 (Dem won), MN-08 (Rep won), NC-09 (Rep leading), OH-12 (Rep won), FL-26 (Dem won), FL-27 (Dem won), PA-01 (Rep won), GA-06 (Rep leading). That's 7 where the Democrat won, 2 where the Democrat is currently leading, 4 where the Republican won, and 2 where the Republican is leading. Once again, the profile of a moderate blue wave, but not a tsunami.
1:15 a.m. EST
Tea party champion Dave Brat (R), who has a particularly apt last name, is out of a job, having been sent packing in VA-07 by Abigail Spanberger (D). A lot of his colleagues, even in the GOP caucus, won't be sad to see him go.
1:08 a.m. EST
Needless to say, much of the next few weeks will be spent parsing tonight's data (which is not even complete yet). Still, looking at the data demographically suggests big trouble for Trump in 2020, since suburbanites (especially suburban women) and independents both jumped ship in big numbers, while no new bloc moved into his tent. On the other hand, looking at it from an Electoral College standpoint, it looks like Ohio and Florida are still with him, and Michigan and Pennsylvania have turned against him. If we build an electoral map based on that assumption, that leaves us with 268 EV for the blue team, 260 for the red team. That would, in turn, make 10 EV Wisconsin, which could very well elect a Democratic senator but a Republican governor tonight, the kingmaker.
12:50 a.m. EST
No returns whatsoever from Nevada because the polling places had to stay open extra late due to long lines. That probably presages good news for Democrats Jacky Rosen and Steve Sisolak, running for senator and governor, respectively.
12:47 a.m. EST
Some gun-jumping definitely took place. The Iowa governor's mansion will stay in GOP hands. However, the Democrats did flip the New Mexico governor's mansion. Along with Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, and Maine, that puts the blue team at +5. The only flip the GOP might score is Connecticut, which is still in doubt, but with Republican Bob Stefanowski in the lead, 49% to 46% with 68% reporting.
12:43 a.m. EST
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has joined the chorus of Democrats warning that Donald Trump will be held "accountable" in the next two years. Cummings is in line to take over as chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, another likely bee in the President's bonnet.
12:29 a.m. EST
It is likely that the first thing on the Democrats' agenda, once they take over the House, is to go after Donald Trump's tax returns. They already have the statutory authority to demand them; they can literally get the ball rolling at 12:01 p.m. on January 3. On Monday, Trump was asked about this, and said "I don't care. They can do whatever they want, and I can do whatever I want." Presumably that means he is going to tell them to pound sand. That would trigger a lawsuit, which Trump would lose. So, those tax returns are going to end up in Democratic hands, sooner or later. And if the President continues to believe that, "I can do whatever I want," he's in for a rude awakening.
Some folks are wondering, incidentally, if Trump might play ball with the Democrats since he's not really a Republican. That's true, but he's also not really a Democrat, either. He has very few principles of the sort that align with a political ideology. And the reason that is relevant is that Trump is very unlikely to make some sort of a deal with Pelosi & Co., and then demonstrate the resolve needed to ram it through a GOP-controlled Senate. We've already seen this; he made a deal with Pelosi and Schumer last September to raise the debt ceiling, and help Hurricane Harvey victims. When Republicans pitched a fit, Trump jumped ship. What about that dynamic has changed?
12:15 a.m. EST
At the moment, the Democrats are +25 seats in the House, and +4 governors' mansions, while the Republicans are +3 seats in the Senate. All of these are net figures. The pundits on the various channels are arguing whether that is a wave or not, with the Democrats saying "of course it is," and the Republicans saying "no it isn't." We'll have to get a libertarian to straighten it out, it would seem. Does anyone have Gary Johnson's phone number?
12:13 a.m. EST
Some networks have called the Iowa governor's race for the blue team, others have not. Some have called the Wisconsin governor's race for the red team, others have not. Could be that these calls were premature.
11:58 p.m. EST
A good night for women overall, but a couple of high-profile Democratic women Senators have now been sent packing. Heidi Heitkamp's race in North Dakota was called earlier in the night, and now Claire McCaskill has gone down to defeat in Missouri.
11:55 p.m. EST
Nobody expects the Democrats to play nice once they take the House over again, but just in case anyone was in doubt, they are already making pronouncements to that effect. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), for example, just declared that "Donald Trump may not like hearing it but for the first time, his administration is going to be held accountable," and also "He's going to learn that he's not above the law." Nadler is in line to chair the Committee on the Judiciary, which will not only take a leading role in investigating just about everything, but would also be responsible for initiating impeachment proceedings.
11:53 p.m. EST
Predictably, the special election in Mississippi will go to a runoff. Since it will not determine control of the Senate, the runoff (on Nov. 27) won't attract the attention and money it might have otherwise. However, it is the case that the 2020 Senate map is not great for the Democrats, either, and so every win now matters a lot in terms of what happens two years from now.
11:47 p.m. EST
Needless to say, the map is far from complete, but a couple of things are definitely clear: Suburban voters are fleeing the GOP, and pollsters had a pretty mediocre night. It's true that the "big picture" turned out pretty well, polling-wise, but there were a lot of races that were supposed to be close and turned out not to be.
11:43 p.m. EST
House Minority Leader, and likely incoming Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is taking her own victory lap right now. There are some candidates who ran this year and promised not to vote for her for the Speaker's chair, but it's unlikely she would be pushed aside. There are a lot of the Democrats in the caucus who owe her in one way or another, and you don't get to where she is without having a few tricks up your sleeve.
11:37 p.m. EST
To nobody's surprise, Donald Trump is already claiming victory:
Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2018
Inasmuch as the Democrats have taken back the House, something that seemed almost inconceivable two years ago, it's hard to say the GOP had a "tremendous success." Meanwhile, the Donald will probably take a victory lap or ten in the morning, but it does not look to be justified. He may have pulled Ron DeSantis, Bill Scott, and Ted Cruz over the finish line. But he might not have, and there aren't too many other places where he could plausibly have been a difference maker. Meanwhile, he's gotten two pokes in the eye tonight, in the form of the Iowa governor's race and the loss of the House. A third poke should soon be coming from Montana, the state that Trump tried the hardest to bend to his will.
11:24 p.m. EST
A bunch of good news for the GOP on the gubernatorial front. Phil Scott (VT), Mark Gordon (WY), Doug Ducey (AZ), Pete Ricketts (NE), and Mike DeWine (OH) are all winners. Some of those are no surprise, and none of them are flips, but the blue team was really hoping to take Ohio.
11:21 p.m. EST
Hold onto your hats. The Democrats have won the governor's races in California and Hawaii.
11:19 p.m. EST
Ron DeSantis (R) has claimed the Florida governor's mansion. That almost certainly means Rick Scott will take the state's U.S. Senate seat.
11:17 p.m. EST
The GOP will hold Speaker Paul Ryan's (R) open seat. So much for the "Iron 'Stache." However, all networks are now calling the House for the Democrats.
11:14 p.m. EST
E.P. in Tillson, NY writes, "I just read an article on the President's plans for today--monitoring races, watching returns. It didn't mention that he was going to vote. Has he already voted? How and where? Has it ever happened that a sitting president didn't vote?"
Trump did vote, by absentee ballot, as did the First Lady. It is unusual for a president not to vote in person, since it's such good, free PR, but Trump has very limited coattails in his home state and home city, so it's not terribly surprising. Since casting a ballot is supposed to be a private matter, there aren't "records" of each president's behavior on the front, but it would be unheard of for a 20th century president to skip that particular task. In the 19th century, by contrast, there were some funny ideas about the president being above politics. So, it's entirely plausible (but not known) that some of the first dozen or so chief executives did not head to the polling place for the midterms.
10:59 p.m. EST
John Faso (R) did not benefit from his racially-tinged campaign in New York, which gives the win to Antonio Delgado by a comfortable margin. The Democrats now need to net roughly four more seats to take the House, with California still out there.
10:57 p.m. EST
The Democrats take the Iowa governor's mansion according to CNN and ABC News, with Fred Hubbell riding anti-trade war sentiment to victory. In general, the blue team is doing very well in the upper Midwest, not so well in the South, which rather implies a strategy for 2020.
10:50 p.m. EST
D.P. in San Francisco, CA writes, "I'm watching election results roll in and often quoting percentages of precincts reporting as 100% but I thought absentee ballots take longer to count and may be a significant portion of the vote this election. When do absentee ballots get counted and could they change results as called by the major news organizations?"
The answer is that absentee ballots are not considered to be precinct votes, since they are not cast at a precinct (obviously). It is possible that such ballots could reverse the results as called, but not likely. Not because the absentee ballots won't matter, but because the networks avoid calling races close enough to be changed by absentees.
10:46 p.m. EST
A couple more big pickups for the Democrats in the House, most notably Ann Kirkpatrick winning AZ-03. The various outlets have the blue team anywhere from +14 seats to +18 seats right now, which means they're about half a dozen away from locking up the House. Which they will then use to try to lock up Donald Trump.
10:42 p.m. EST
Here is the update on our "canary in a coal" mine races: Maine governor (Dem leading), VA-02 (Dem won), VA-05 (Rep won), VA-07 (Dem leading), VA-10 (Dem won), MI-08 (Rep leading), MI-11 (Dem leading), MN-03 (Dem won), MN-08 (Rep leading), NC-09 (Rep leading), OH-12 (Rep leading), FL-26 (Dem won), FL-27 (Dem won), PA-01 (Dem leading), GA-06 (Rep leading). That's 5 where the Democrat won, 4 where the Democrat is currently leading, 1 where the Republican won, and 5 where the Republican is leading. In other words, the profile of a moderate blue wave, but not a tsunami.
10:32 p.m. EST
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) has lost in North Dakota, and Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D) has lost in Texas. This could be the end of the line for Heitkamp's political career, but it's probably just the start for O'Rourke. Meanwhile, how can Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) be a serious presidential candidate ever again, if he struggles to get reelected in red Texas? In any case, this makes it a lock the red team will keep the Senate.
10:30 p.m. EST
Also in line with predictions, the Democrats are doing very well in the governors' races. Jared Polis (D) has won in Colorado, making him the first openly-gay governor in the U.S. Laura Kelly (D) has won in red, red Kansas, flipping that governor's mansion, and sending Kris Kobach into retirement. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has won in Michigan, flipping that governor's mansion. That puts the blue team at +2 on the night.
10:23 p.m. EST
While the Democrats have not done well on the Senate front, they are doing great in terms of the House. At the moment, they have netted about a dozen seats there, the Democrat is leading in another 20 or so races, and the western states (including juicy California) have not yet begun to report. In short, the pre-election predictions—GOP Senate, Democratic House—appear to be coming to pass.
10:16 p.m. EST
As you can see above, the Republicans need just three of the 15 undeclared Senate seats to take the upper chamber. Nebraska is going to be called for them at any time, which makes it two. For the GOP to go 0-for-14 or 1-for 13 in the remaining seats, which include a bunch of toss-ups plus Texas, North Dakota, and the Mississippi special election, would require a miracle on the order of the parting of the Red Sea. In fact, if they pull it off, "Democrats part the Red Sea" would be a pretty darn good headline. Anyhow, at the moment, it is GOP +1 in that chamber.
10:09 p.m. EST
Florida is not looking good for the Democrats. It was pretty clear that the two fellows at the top of the ticket would track each other pretty closely, for both parties. With 98% in, the Scott/DeSantis (R) duo has about a 0.5% lead over the Nelson/Gillum (D) duo. Still possible for the blue team to pull it out, since the city votes tend to come in last, but they can't be feeling good right now.
10:06 p.m. EST
We had a couple of technical problems, but they have been worked out. Any of the states above that are colored in have already been called. The keys are that the Democrats lost Indiana and Tennessee, which means that there is effectively zero chance of them retaking the upper chamber, and a strong chance they will lose ground. If there is to be any good news for them on that front, it will need to come out of Texas (still in the air), Arizona, and Nevada.
9:28 p.m. EST
A number of Senate races have been called (see above), though most were not in serious doubt. The real news, so far, is that Sen. Joe Manchin (D) kept his seat, and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) held Tennessee for the GOP. The latter news is a double whammy for the blue team, as it suggests the blue wave won't be a tsunami, and also because it makes it effectively impossible for them to take the Senate.
Let the live-blogging begin. We will update the map above as Senate seats are called.
If you have a question about politics, civics, history, etc. you would like us to answer, click here for submission instructions and previous Q & A'sEmail a link to a friend or share:
---The Votemaster and Zenger
Nov08 Tribalism Wins
Nov08 Mueller Just Got Some Help
Nov08 Welcome to 2020
Nov08 The Democrats Probably Lost the Senate until at Least 2022
Nov08 Democrats Had Modest Success in the State Legislatures
Nov06 Politico: Democrats Will Win House, Republicans Will Keep Senate
Nov06 What to Watch for on Tuesday
Nov06 Trump Closes with Anger
Nov06 Will There Be a Youth Wave?
Nov06 Early Turnout Was Huge This Year
Nov06 We May Never Know Who Won in Georgia and Texas
Nov06 We May Be Left in Suspense Tonight
Nov06 Today's Senate Polls
Nov05 Prognosticators Are Predicting a Split Congress
Nov05 Trump Revs Up His Lying
Nov05 Female Trump Supporters See Him as Protecting Their Way of Life
Nov05 The Most Racist Midterms...Ever?
Nov05 Kemp Suggests Democratic Hacking of Georgia Elections, Offers No Evidence
Nov05 Rumor: Amazon HQ2 Will Be in Northern Virginia
Nov05 Monday Q & A
Nov05 Today's Senate Polls
Nov04 EPA: "Yes, Sir!"; Pentagon: "No, Thanks."
Nov04 Iran Sanctions Are Underwhelming
Nov04 Maybe God Is a Republican
Nov04 And So it Begins
Nov04 This Week's Senate News
Nov04 Democratic Presidential Candidate of the Week: Hillary Clinton
Nov04 Today's Senate Polls
Nov03 Early Voting Has Already Surpassed 2014 in Nearly a Dozen States
Nov03 Trump Defends Willie Horton-Style Ad
Nov03 Trump Is Preparing to Claim Victory Even If the Republicans Lose the House
Nov03 Judge Rules that "Exact Match" Rules in Georgia Do Not Apply in the Midterms
Nov03 Supreme Court Refuses to Delay Trial about the Census