UPDATE (1:05 am): McCaskill's on over at CNN and it sure sounds to me like a victory speech, though there's still 12% of the vote out there. Her lead has increased throughout the last hour and she's now up to almost a 40,000 vote lead. Conversely, Talent was just on and he and his crowd were much more subdued. He's got the look in his eyes that the Dems have had the last few years. Looks good on him.
Montana has reported 64% and Tester is leading by just under 10,000.
I think I'm headed to bed. It'll be nice to put my head on a pillow with dreams of a functioning government and oversight and accountability dancing in my head. I can only imagine what the right wingers are dealing with as they lay down, as most of them have. Actually, I don't have to imagine; I've dealt with what they are feeling now the last few elections. I'd feel bad for them, except I don't.
I hope to wake up with a Dem majority in the Senate to go along with the House. If it happens, who becomes Majority Leader? I don't see Reid staying on, but I could be wrong.
Ugh, must get sleep. Good night, and thanks to my readers for hanging with me.
UPDATE (12:45 am): Over on MSNBC, Jack Murtha has staked his claim to the Majority Leader position in the House. He talked really tough on Bush and Iraq. He should be effective and he claims to have almost enough support for the post. I recall some right wingers were giddy in anticipation of the "traitor" getting beat in his election. He won by 20 points.
McCaskill has opened it up a bit more over in Missouri. She's now up by over 18,500 with 84% reporting.
Montana continues to tighten somewhat as Tester still leads Burns, now by 10,700 votes with 59% reporting.
White House spokesman Tony Snow said the outcome of the elections, was "not what we would've hoped." Gosh, ya think? And here I thought Rove had the math on this election.
UPDATE (12:25 am): Schadenfreude moment - as I mentioned Malkin's efforts to buck up the troops with an outdated Talent lead, she's since updated, "Well, that was short-lived." Oh, it feels good to be a Dem tonight!
Latest House numbers have the Dems picking up 23 seats. They have not lost a single seat. Let me repeat that - THEY HAVE NOT LOST A SINGLE SEAT. That is historic.
We're up to 81% reporting in Missouri and McCaskill is up by about 13,200 on Talent.
No movement in Virginia as we're still at 99%.
Montana has tightened a bit (as polls suggested throughout the campaign). Tester still leads 52-45 with 52% reporting.
UPDATE (12:10 am): McCaskill got her lead back, and then some. 80% reporting that she now leads Talent by about 14,000 points. That's a good number this late. You can just taste the Senate....
Michelle Malkin is sad over at her site. She just reported that Talent is leading as of 15 minutes ago and then writes, "Trying to give you some good news here...." Just wait til she reports the new numbers; her readers will be suicidal.
Webb was on over at CNN and he's feeling good about where he's at, going so far as to claim that it's good to win. He's in a good position, that's for sure. But lawyers make everything nasty so I hope the Dems have wheels on the ground ready to fight to the end on this. Let's not see a repeat of Florida 2000.
UPDATE (11:55 pm): The panel on MSNBC brought up an interesting point that I hadn't thought about what with everything else going on. If the Dems gain control of the Senate, Bush will not be able to push through another conservative judge to the Supreme Court in the event of a vacancy. That's a huge deal.
Also, the numbers I had on McCaskill seem to have been some sort of glitch/error over on CNN's page. Instead, they're only showing 71% reporting and Talent is in the lead with 48,000 votes. Wish I knew where those numbers came from.
Cubin retook the lead in Wyoming 01 with 95% reporting. She holds about an 800 vote lead.
Musgrave continues to lead in Colorado over Paccione by about 6400 votes (47% reporting).
Double amputee Tammy Duckworth lost her bid for Congress in Illinois 06. Too bad.
UPDATE (11:45 pm): McCaskill has taken the lead in Missouri. She leads by about 1200 votes with 74% reporting.
Tester continues to lead Burns by 10 percentage points (31% reporting).
The count remains at 99% in the Webb/Allen race. As I noted earlier, apparently many votes still need to be counted in Fairfax County, which I heard skews heavily for Webb.
I cannot believe that we could be looking at a Democratic controlled Senate, but we're at the threshold.
UPDATE (11:40 pm): Looks like we've still got Mean Jean Schmidt to kick around in Ohio 02. Try as hard as we can to get the shrew out, it isn't happening. At least she's out of the majority.
Bob Corker is being called the "apparent winner" in Tennessee as all the votes cast today have supposedly been counted. Not one I expected the Dems to pick up, but it would have been nice. Given this, we need a sweep of the remaining Senate seats to gain a majority. Things look promising in Virginia and Montana; Missouri's got a little ways to go (McCaskill trails by 48,000 with 69% reporting, a small improvement).
George Allen is going to bed. He appeared in front of his supporters and he basically told them, "See you tomorrow." If I were in that close of a race, I wouldn't be leaving. On MSNBC, it's been reported that 33,000 uncounted votes still to come from Fairfax County, which would be a big gain for Webb given the locality.
UPDATE (11:20 pm): Tester has a solid lead (55%-43%) over Burns in Montana, but that's with only 24% reporting so it's still pretty early out there in Big Sky.
McCaskill still trails Talent with 62% reporting. She's back 52,500 votes but she's staying close. I don't have location breakdown of where the votes are coming from, but it seems (at least according to tonight) that urban areas are taking longer to report than rural areas. This may not be the case in Missouri, but if it is, that's a good sign for McCaskill.
I'm keeping an eye on some congressional races, like Colorado 04 where anti-gay incumbent Marilyn Musgrave holds a slim lead over Angie Paccione (under 2000 votes w/28% reporting) but it's been back and forth for most of the night.
Also I'm keeping tabs on Wyoming 01 (yes, WY-01; I'm just that sad) as Gary Trauner (D) currently leads Barbara Cubin (R) by about 3500 votes with 87% reporting. Some info - Trauner is handicapped and gets around in a wheelchair. After a debate Cubin threatened to slap Trauner and would have done so if he wasn't in that chair. Nice woman. Glad she's going down.
UPDATE (10:55 pm): Ben Cardin continues to open the gap on Steele, much to the chagrin of Mehlman and company. Michelle Malkin has been whining about this all night as she felt it was projected too early for Cardin. I'll let you know if she mea culpas when they final numbers are in.
Also, over in Virginia, 99% of precincts have reported and Webb has taken the lead! He's currently 2376 votes ahead. While I'm not absolutely certain, it seems that Webb gains about 3-5-6000 votes for every percentage points. This one is tough to watch. Every vote counts, people.
According to the DCCC's numbers, we're three numbers clear of a majority. Everything after that 15 was gravy but I'll take all that we can get.
UPDATE (10:35 pm): Webb continues to creep up as he is now less than 7000 votes from Allen. Out over two million votes cast, this one is amazing.
The people have spoken in South Dakota, and they have collectively crapped on the anti-choice wingers in the state. Some quick background - the state legislature passed a draconion anti-abortion law that was intended to take on Roe v. Wade in the not too distant future. The voters of the state got the measure on the ballot in order to head this off and they have resoundingly said no way. Well done.
Ken Mehlman, god bless the little weasel, continues to spin on CNN. The Dems have won the House, yet he still won't concede. He claims that there are still folks voting (really?) and they shouldn't be swayed by early pronouncements. Oh, and he's still pimping Steele, though he was projected to lose over an hour ago. Though Steele "led" for much of the early returns, Cardin has taken a 20,000 vote lead with 56% reporting.
UPDATE (10:25 pm): Jim Webb has closed the gap a ton in the closing moments of the Senate race in Virginia as he's now within 11,000 votes of Allen with 97% reporting. This thing appears headed for a recount and control of the Senate might not be known for a couple of weeks.
Tom DeLay's seat in Texas 22 has fallen to the Dems as Nick Lampson defeated Shelly Sekula-Gibbs, who was forced into being a write-in candidate.
FORMER House Speaker Denny Hastert addresses his supporters as he won his reelection bid in Illinois. Not a big shocker as to him winning; I just wanted to call him FORMER House Speaker. He says he'll be addressing his lack of house speakership tomorrow. I can't wait to here that one!
Over in the Tennessee Senate race, I found this from Hotline (h/t Think Progress):
While East TN GOP strongholds Hamilton (Chattanooga) and Knox Co have largely reported, Dem bulwarks Davidson (Nashville) and Shelby (Memphis) have still reported less than 50% of their precincts. Hamilton is Corker’s base (he was Mayor of Chattanooga) and Shelby is home to Ford, as well as the the biggest trove of black votes in the state.
UPDATE (10:10 pm):
CONTROL OF HOUSE!!!
CNN officially projects this. Times they are a changing. Cannot wait to watch the fallout over the next couple of days. It is going to be downright ugly in righty-land and the White House.
Oversight, here we come!
UPDATE (10:05 pm): Done a little trolling over at the righty blogs and all they have to hang onto is the hope that the various exit polls that are allowing for early projections in many races are wrong. That's all they've got at this point. It's funny to watch the metaphorical steam shooting from their ears as they bitch and moan about it.
More House news - Illinois 17 goes to Democrat Phil Hare.
CNN projects Clay Shaw (R) falling to Ron Klein in Florida 22.
CNN also projects Kristen Gillibrand over John Sweeney in New York 20. Sweeney had some domestic violence issues that were hanging over his head the last few weeks.
Not sure about your math, but that should be more than enough to put us over the top. Congrats to the Dems!
UPDATE (9:55 pm): More house stuff as Dems move another couple of seats closer to the majority in the House. North Carolina 11 goes to Heath Shuler, a former NFL quarterback (and Saints QB, though he was a much better college QB at Tennessee then he ever was a pro).
Over in New York 24, Mike Arcuri defeated Raymond Meier by a solid margin.
Mark Foley's old seat has fallen to the Dems as Tim Mahoney gains the seat of Joe Negron.
And out west, Gabrielle Giffords defeated Randy Graf in Arizona 08. Graf is the dumbass who advocates allowing people to bring guns into bars.
Two seats to the majority.
The Dems have still not lost a single seat. If this holds, it's an historic event.
UPDATE (9:45 pm): House update - 2 more seats fall to Dems as Joe Sestak defeats evil pig Curt Weldon in Pennsylvania 07 and Christopher Carney knocks out adulterer and mistress strangler Don Sherwood in Pennsylvania 10. That leaves the Dems six seats to a majority.
A talking head looking at info from Virginia thinks that the Senate race will be going to a recount as some of the late reporting precincts should slant towards Webb, who's slightly behind right now.
UPDATE (9:35 pm): Bill Bennett on CNN is saying that there won't be a tidal wave for Dems. I'll monitor that and let you know if Billy is having himself a big plate of crow later tonight.
Bob Schieffer from CBS says this: “We knew this was going to be a bad night for the Republicans, but it may turn out to be their worst nightmare.” (h/t Think Progress)
South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee have all approved bans on same sex marriage. What I wonder is what will rile up the base in '08 if the conservatives are blowing a big bullet like this in '06. You can only pass so many anti-gay bans and amendments per state, right?
Allen leads by about 31,000 with 93% reporting. It's gonna take something special for this to turn.
Tennessee - Corker is up 62,000 over Ford with 64% reporting.
Missouri - Talent is up 45,000 over McCaskill with 22% reporting.
Montana - Burns is up 125 votes over Tester with 1% reporting. Obviously this is early.
No updates for the House.
UPDATE (9:15 pm): Time seems to be running out for Webb though Allen's lead is "down" to 25,000 with 88% reporting.
66,000 is the margin over in Tennessee for Corker over Ford with 54% reporting.
Missouri sees Talent up by about 33,000 with 16% reporting. Still pretty early here. I see a repeat of Virginia as far as how close it goes throughout the night.
Nothing out of Montana yet, though the polls closed 15 minutes ago.
We've officially grabbed six seats in the House with 9 more to a majority. We took Kentucky 03, Connecticut 05, Ohio 18 and Indiana 02, 08 and 09. So far, no Dem seat has fallen to the GOP in either the House or the Senate, so that's definitely a good sign. (I've had to change this section four times since I started writing this update - it continues to look very good for the Dems.)
UPDATE WITHIN AN UPDATE: House number changed again as we're almost halfway to regaining the House as Paul Hodes (D) beat incumbent Charles Bass in New Hampshire 02.
UPDATE (9:00pm): Virginia is maddeningly close as Allen leads Webb by about 30,000 votes with 84% reporting. If the final tally is under 10,000 than an automatic recount kicks in. Depending on what side you hear, either northern Virginia has reported numbers or is still in the process of reporting numbers. If the latter is the case, that's good news for Webb; otherwise Allen could hang on.
As for Tennessee, Bill Ford continues to hang in there, though I would not know the geographical breakdown of the state like I do Virginia. He's about 45,000 down with 41% reporting, but it's closer than some polls might indicate. This would shock me if Ford were able to nab this.
Schadenfreude moment - Santorum just conceded, and graciously so. His kids are puffy-eyed and sad, but I just cannot stop smiling. I'm kind of a prick like that.
UPDATE (8:30pm): ANOTHER DEM PICKUP - Sheldon Whitehouse is the projected winner over moderate Republican Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island, according to CNN. This night continues to move nicely into the Dem column. After three election cycles of disappointment, this night of returns is a easily more enjoyable to watch.
Three seats down, three seats to go. With Tennessee looking to stay Republican (though Ford has made it closer lately), we need to grab Montana, Virginia and Missouri. Virginia is still very close (about 23,000 votes separate Allen from Webb with 79% reporting) Talent leads McCaskill by about 3500 votes with 5% reporting. Montana hasn't closed yet.
UPDATE (8:20pm): HUGE!! Ben Cardin defeated Mike Steele. All the GOP was hoping beyond hope that this would be a chance for the GOP to steal a seat from the Dems and end their chances of gaining a majority in the Senate. I flipped over to Fox News to hear their take and you have never seen such a collection of sourpusses and curmudgeons. These guys and JC Watts on CNN were putting much hopes on grabbing this. Can't wait to hear from Watts as he claims that this is really no big surprise.
UPDATE WITHIN AN UPDATE: Watts looks surprisingly hurt that his friend Steele lost. Begala jumped right on the fact that Steele has done everything he could to paint himself as a Dem as far as advertising went. As Begala noted, if you have to bust your tail to make yourself look like a Dem, then that doesn't speak well for the GOP this year.
UPDATE (8:10pm): So CNN has called Connecticut for Lieberman. Just goes to show what you can do when you spit in the collective face of your Democratic constiuents. Greenfield at CNN ponders that Holy Joe might be inclined to gloat a bit. I think that he should take no pride in flip-flopping his position on any number of issues and crapping on Dem primary voters.
Exit polls indicate that the GOP is responsible for putting Joe in office, as he grabbed on 26% of Dem voters with 36% of GOP voters.
As many on the left blogosphere feel, Lamont really dropped the ball by not pounding away after winning the primary in August. It was almost as if he had gone into hiding instead of pressing the advantage and that most likely had a big effect on the results tonight.
Alright, slate's clean right now. Let's see what Joe does when he gets back to the Senate. I'll be interested in seeing if he chooses to continue being the mouthpiece for the GOP and Bush that he's always been (and I really see no reason why this leopard would change his spots). Time will tell.
UPDATE (7:55pm): Bill Kristol, working the Fox News scene tonight claimed that George Allen would be running away with his race if not for YouTube and the blogs. Yeah, it's the blogs that called someone a racial slur. And it's the YouTube that tackled someone who asked you a question you didn't like. Kristol, learn a lesson and stop blaming the messenger.
One other Kristol thought - he's using an intensely lame telestrator to illustrate the needed Dem pickups in the Senate. The whole thing was disjointed and just looked completely antiquated. Over at CNN, everything looks state-of-the-art with touchscreens and big monitors and all other kinds of eye-pleasing bells and whistles. It's like CNN is working is Pixar while Fox dabbles with fingerpaint.
UPDATE (7:30pm): MSNBC is projecting Bob Casey defeating Santorum. Again, not a big shocker, but it places us another seat closer to getting back the Senate. My only question is who will be the new GOP face for the anti man-dog sex movement?
Also, CBS News is calling the New Jersey Senate race for Democrat Bob Menendez over Tom Kean Jr. The GOP has been crowing about this for months as a potential pickup yet it apparently has not come to pass. This closely mirrors what Bush did in '04 as his party felt they had a shot at NJ (or at least, that was the party line), but utlimately it comes down to the fact that NJ is a Democratic state and looks to remain so (Jeff Greenfield of CNN said that a Repub has not been elected to the Senate in NJ since 1972).
UPDATE WITHIN AN UPDATE: JC Watts is working CNN tonite and he claims that the GOP never really thought they had a shot at capturing a NJ win in the Senate. I call BS on this one. I don't have numbers as far as how much the GOP spent in the final weeks, but I'm certain that it's no small amount (even taking into account the high cost of advertising in NJ).
UPDATE OF AN UPDATE WITHIN AN UPDATE: Alright, now JC Watts is just starting to bug me. Nothing apparently surprises this man. It's been noted that Jim Webb is getting a large percentage of the evangelical vote in Virginia and this does not seem to phase JC. I'm starting to wonder just what would surprise JC this evening. Paul Begala puts it in the proper perspective when he calls this a big deal. Not to Watts, apparently.
We're still on pace for a Senate majority.
On the governor's side, it sure looks like Charlie Crist is going to defeat Jim Davis in Florida. It's still early (27% reporting) but Crist has quite a large lead.
UPDATE (7:20pm): So Santorum is already sending a letter out claiming massive fraud throughout the state and that will be the reason if Santorum happens to lose. The Santorum folks are also totally spinning until the very end as they tout their candidate is such a strong closer that everyone will see the ultimate upset in Pennsylvania. His opponent's staff calls that "laughable." I agree. Santorum is toast.
UPDATE (7:10pm): Another non-shocker coming out of Ohio, Sherrod Brown defeated Mike Dewine in the Senate race there, which means we're one seat closer to a majority. Like I said, this isn't a huge shock by any means as the GOP had stopped funding this race about a week ago, but hey, a pick-up is a pick-up.
UPDATE (7:05pm): So now the Big Three Senate races are closed. I of course refer to Virginia, Missouri and Tennessee. Early numbers are in for Virginia as they've been closed for an hour now and right now it's still pretty close, though Webb holds a slight lead with 24% reporting. Assuming other factors, if Dems win two of these three, we could be looking at control of the Senate.
UPDATE (6:30pm): In what can only be described as the non-shocker of the night, Ted Strickland has been projected as the winner of the Ohio gubernatorial race against evil bastard and election fixer Ken Blackwell. Now who will the GOP use to fix elections in Ohio without Blackwell around?
(6:05pm) Based solely on very early returns from Indiana and Kentucky, as well as some exit polls, I think this is going to be a very big night for the Dems.
I'll keep updating this thread as the night goes on.