The official “tingle up my leg” election day open thread PLUS: Liveblogging! (UPDATE: 56 HOUSE SEATS, 6 SENATE SEATS GAINED FOR GOP – SO FAR)

Dems vs. Reps**Note: This thread will be updated throughout the day and evening – and will be kept at the top of the page. Newest updates will be on the top of this thread. Also, please make sure to follow me on Twitter as I will be updating frequently there. **


Update – 1:40 AM: I’m headed to bed. Will catch y’all later :)

Update 40 – 1:16 AM: As of now, Republicans have gained 56 House seats, 6 Senate seats.

Update 39 – 12:43 AM: Republicans now officially have control of the US House.

Update 38 – 12:30 AM: Reid keeps Senate seat, per Fox. Oh well. :(

Also, here is Renee Ellmers statement on tonight’s NC2 election results.

Update 37 – 12:18 AM: Fox says Kirk wins in IL Senate seat, which is Barack Obama’s old seat. Kirk will be seated immediately.

Update 36 – 12:14 AM: Fox projects that Rory Reid will NOT win the NV governor’s race …

Update 35 – 12:03 AM: The NC GOP now has a majority in the state House and Senate for the first time in, like, forever! :)

Update 34 – 11:53 PM: GOP picks up the governor’s seat in OH with a Kasich win.

Update 33 – 11:40 PM: Hearing that Etheridge will ask for a recount in NC2.

Update 32 – 11:31 PM: Politico is reporting that Toomey has won in PA! This is HUGE! Congrats to the Toomey campaign. So glad to see this after the GOP establishment stiffed Toomey in favor of Specter last time around.

Update 31 – 11:26 PM: My friend Lorie Byrd, who has done some volunteer work for Renee Ellmers, reports that Renee has won! No word yet on whether or not Bob E. has conceded. I’ll keep you posted.

Update 30 – 11:25 PM: Allen West wins in FL22 and Tim Scott wins in SC1 – two staunchly conservative black Republicans will head to the US House in January :)

Update 29 – 11:18 PM: Via WRAL:

Raleigh, N.C. — Seven-term Democratic Congressman Bob Etheridge appeared late Tuesday to lose his re-election bid, becoming the lone casualty among North Carolina’s congressional delegation in a pivotal election nationwide.

Renee Ellmers, a Harnett County nurse who was given little chance of victory a few months ago, rode a wave of voter discontent and the fallout of an online video depicting Etheridge confronting a man on a Washington, D.C., sidewalk to edge by him in the Second District race.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Ellmers had about an 2,100-vote lead over Etheridge, according to unofficial results. It was unclear whether the margin would end up close enough for Etheridge to request a recount.

Hoping, praying she wins outside of the margin!

Update 28 – 10:53 PM: Dem. Rep. Spratt in SC5 goes down – Mulvaney wins!

Update 27 – 10:44 PM: Renee Ellmers now leads Bob Etheridge by 1100 votes, with 9 of 10 counties reporting. This could be the surprise upset of the night!!

Here’s a link to election results in PA. The Senate race has turned into a real nailbiter. Go Toomey!

Update 26 – 10:41 PM: Fox projects Haley winning in SC Governors race and a GOP Senate pick up in WI: Feingold goes down!

Update 25 – 10:31 PM: Looks like Pantano will not win in NC7 :( But Ellmers in NC2 is under 1K votes under Etheridge with half the counties reporting. Toomey is also closing the gap in PA against Sestak. Stay tuned!!

Update 24 – 10:11 PM: Major bummer: Fox projects Kissell keeps NC8. That was the one I figured would flip in this state over all the others. It’s not looking good for US House candidates on the GOP side tonight in NC.

The GOP did gain the governor’s seat in WI.

Update 23 – 10:04 PM: GOP picks up two governors seats: WY and PA. Still no encouraging news for US House races here in NC.

Update 22 – 9:13 PM: Fox News is projecting 60 net gains for Republicans in the House.

Update 21 – 9:02 PM: Fox projects Hoeven wins the Senate seat in ND, another GOP pickup. (Total of 3 so far). Republican House gains so far, per CBS: +11.

Update 20 – 8:45 PM: Still too close to call in the NC2, 7, 8 races. Fox did project Manchin to win in the WV Sen. race, which is a Dem hold. CBS says the net gain for the GOP thus far is +8.

Update 19 – 8:32 PM: Fox News projects Boozman defeats Lincoln in Arkansas for another GOP Senate seat pick up. Also, GOP won the governor’s race in TN for a pick up there. CBS reports that the net gain for the GOP in the House so far is +4.

Update 18 – 8:14 PM: Here’s a better link for SC voting results.

Update 17 – 8:03 PM: Fox News projects Rubio wins in the Florida Senate race.

Update 16 – 7:25 PM: Polls close in NC at 7:30. Voting results can be viewed here.

Update 15 – 7:16 PM: Here’s a great chart for anyone tracking US House races. Some I’m following are missing, but I’ll find out how they’re doing on other sites. :)

Update 14 – 7:09 PM: Fox says SC Governor’s race is “too close to call” and that the Nevada Senate race indicates some good early voting numbers for Harry Reid.

Update 13 – 7:02 PM: Fox News is calling the Indiana Senate race for Dan Coats, which is a Republican pick up. They are also projecting Rand Paul in the Kentucky Senate race, which is a GOP hold.

Update 12 – 6:42 PM: The polls close in SC at 7 pm. Click here for election results. As I noted on Twitter, SC will see its 1st female Gov. (Indian), & 1st black GOP House Rep since Reconstruction. Can we officially bury the “SC is racist” myth afterwards?

Update 11 – 6:10 PM: The polls have closed in parts of Kentucky and Indiana. Check poll results for KY here. IN here.

Update 10 – 5:50 PM: This is pathetic: “The most covered candidate of 2010: Christine O’Donnell“- gotta love how the MSM saturates the airwaves and print media with coverage of a Senate race that will not change party hands. :(

Update 9 – 5:41 PM: Hilarious! Did Slate ask a similar question when Dems won in 2006? “Analysis: Will a Republican Congress follow Tea Party ideas or move to the center?

Update 8 – 5:20 PM: “Heavy Turnout In SC, Steady In NC” – via SC’s News Channel 7.

Don’t forget: Polls close for NC at 7:30. They close in SC at 7:00.

Update 7 – 5:05 PM: Check out this Alvin Greene sign in SC (via Live5News). LOL. ;) The date on the sign is to vote tomorrow, but that’ll make about as much of a difference in the SC Senate race as a vote for Greene will today …

Update 6 – 4:09 PM: Gotta love the spin from MSDNC on “how we got here”:

*** Same as it ever was? Our final how-we-got-here point is the Democrats’ inability to change Washington, at least in the minds of the electorate. Yes, the Obama White House has been more transparent than its predecessors and has implemented rules to discourage the revolving door between public service and lobbying. And, yes, the Democratic-controlled Congress implemented unprecedented rules to police ethical violations. But the partisanship — as well as all the deals Democrats cut to pass legislation over the last two years — has made the public believe that Washington hasn’t changed under Democratic rule. In our August NBC/WSJ poll, 65% said that Obama had fallen short of their expectations to change Washington.

*** The Do-Something Congress: Despite everything we wrote above, we’d be remiss to ignore how much Democrats (in control of the White House and Congress) actually achieved in the past two years. The stimulus. Health care. Financial reform. Two SCOTUS justices. You can’t say this was a do-nothing Congress. As others have mentioned, political power comes and goes (as we’ve seen over the past few years). What matters is what you do with it…

I predict Chris Matthews and co. will be wearing all black tonight in mourning, and that they will – as I hear they have been trying to do all day – try to fast forward to 2012 to a possible Sarah Palin presidential candidacy in an attempt to scare people. So predictable!

Update 5 – 4:00 PM: Via hipEchik, here’s a country-wide list of poll closing times (all times local).

Update 4 – 3:31 PM: NC BOE says mid-term voter turnout right now is “average” but predictions are for a higher percentage for this mid-term election than the one in 2006 (45% vs 37%).

Update 3 – 3:04 PM: President Obama makes the case for the GOP wave. Headline via AP: Agenda ‘all at risk’ in any Republican romp

Update 2 – 2:41 PM: Fox 29 reports another New Black Panther sighting at a Philly polling place (via Jim Treacher).

Update 1 – 2:31 PM: I see Democrats in this state are already desperately screaming “raaaaaacial voter suppression!” Story here.

Right. You know it and I know it: We’ve been waiting for this day since November 2008, when a skinny guy with a thin resume and eloquent speaking manner was elected as President of the United States with the aid of a complicit media and a brilliant political marketing team that could make Phyllis Diller look like a beauty queen. Heck, in reality we’ve been waiting for this day since November 2006 when the GOP had their behinds handed to them on a silver platter when Americans decided they’d had enough of Republicans and as a result turned their trust over to Democrats to govern Congress and many local and state offices.

That hasn’t worked out very well, has it? And, frankly, no one’s sure whether or not putting the GOP back in power in federal, state, and local offices is going to work out. But the thing is that the party is being given another chance. And it’s one they better hope they succeed at – at the very least (for their sakes) in terms of their individual political futures but more importantly for the sake of the future of this country that we all love and want to see succeed, prosper, and be safe for future generations. This country can’t take any more fiscal irresponsibility, can’t sustain any more massive entitlement spending programs – and should cut back and reform dramatically the ones it does have, can’t survive much longer in the current anti-business atmosphere that infests most any Democrat-controlled state legislature and of course Congress, and shouldn’t have to worry about “getting lucky” when it comes to terrorist attacks being thwarted as they are being attempted. Plans should be stopped dead in their tracks before they ever get into the attempted detonation stage.

You following me?

Barack Obama and his Democrat party have failed and failed spectacularly at their “heal the world”, “can’t we all just get along”, “what’s yours is ours” Socialist agenda, and while there is a debate raging in the pundit world as to whether or not this election is more “anti-Democrat” than “pro-GOP”, one thing remains clear: a majority of the American people now know what they failed to recognize during the drunken O-wave of 2008: NO politiican is a god. NO politician can “heal the oceans.” NO politician can “save our souls.” NO politician should mouth writing a check that his behind can’t cash.

And as both parties have learned over the last two years: NO politician should expect an automatic pass and vote when he or she turns their backs on their respective constituencies. Republican incumbents have especially learned this the hard way this year as several have been defeated in primaries by Tea Party-backed favorites, some who have a good chance at winning (like Sharron Angle in Nevada and Joe Miller in Alaska) and some who do not (Christine O’Donnell in Delaware). This is the power that you and I – aka “We the People” – have. “The lesser of two evils” doesn’t resonate with the American voter in quite the way it used to. This is what happens when enough people are fed up with “Business as Usual” on the local, state, and national levels. The people want their voices heard and acknowledged and respected. And if you, as an elected official, forget that once you are honored to receive a majority of votes in your election, you can expect to face competition in the primary the next time around because more and more people are not putting up with being ignored anymore.

That is not to say that all “establishment” candidates are bad – in fact, I think the terms “establishment” and “RINO” have been way overused this election cycle to the point where it’s hard to know just what someone means when using either term anymore. But the bottom line is that politicos can’t just assume that their seat is a “safe” one anymore. And as I noted before, that doesn’t just apply to Democrats. “Remember in November” is not just a slogan that applies to people who shouldn’t forget what Barack Obama and his party have done to this country in the last two years, but it is also a slogan going foward for any politico, Republican or Democrat, who abandons their promise to work for the people who elected them to serve in government.


Many readers have weighed in on what races they’re going to have their eye on this evening as election results come in, and have included predictions. John Hawkins has a good rundown of competitive races people should pay attention to today and tonight. He left one off that I think should be on there: Rubio vs. Crist vs. Meek. Will be nice to see (and I hope it happens) Crist’s political career go down in flames. He also left off the Harold Johnson/Larry Kissell battle in NC8.

Harold JohnsonThe US House races that are important to me from a local perspective are the NC7 race between Ilario Pantano (R) and incumbent Mike McIntyre (D), the NC2 race between Renee Ellmers (R) and incumbent Bob Etheridge (D), and the NC8 race between Harold Johnson (R) and incumbent Larry Kissell (D). NC2 and NC7 were not predicted to be all that competitve early on but have become competitive thanks to the tireless work of the candidates and their supporters in spreading the message about not only who their respective candidates are but also reminding voters that supporting the Democrat incumbent is no better than supporting a San Francisco liberal like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The NC8 race has been competitive for the last several election cycles and is the one I predict out of the three where I am pretty sure it will flip back into GOP hands. Veteran NC sportscaster Johnson had to battle a lunatic primary challenger in Tim D’Annunzio and passed that test with flying colors. Hopefully the same will be true today as he takes on Larry Kissell.

Ilario PantanoThe NC7 battle has seen a very hard-hitting challenge by Iraq war Marine veteran Ilario Pantano, who is a transplant to NC from New York but who I think is a Southerner at heart. He and his wife and his campaign staff, along with tons of citizen supporters across this state have strongly and proudly promoted his candidacy in a district that has seen a Democrat hold that seat for over a century. Of the three NC House races I mentioned, my heart will break the most if Pantano can’t pick this one up for the GOP. Not only did he face nasty barbs from a so-called “Republican” challenger in Will Breazeale prior to the primary and beyond the primary, but he’s also faced hostile incoming fire from outside liberal groups falsely accusing him of “war crimes” while in Iraq (read more about that here). He’s had an uphill battle and has weathered it in true Marine fashion. Pantano has faced all attacks in a respectful but unwavering way – a way that you would expect from a Marine who has dedicated a good part of his life to serving his country.

Renee EllmersIn NC2, nurse Renee Ellmers’ candidacy impresses me so much, in part, because she is someone who, unlike Pantano and Johnson, had no public relations experience prior to deciding she was going to run for Congress so she is just getting her toes wet in the political arena, and seeing how President Obama and the Democrats were attempting to “reform” our health care system was a chief motivator for her involvement. Her campaign has been grassroots all the way and in some ways I view her as the Sarah Palin of North Carolina because she speaks from the heart with passion but is not a polished candidate – we could use more like that in Washington, DC! I wish her all the best and even if she doesn’t win tonight (polls show that race neck and neck) she should hold her head high, and keep it high so she can challenge Etheridge again in 2012.

That’s my early take on US House races here in NC, but I’ll be following some of the hot national races in other states too – like Rubio/Crist, Angle/Reid, Miller/Murky, Boxer/Fiorina, etc. It’s gonna be a long day and night – hope you can stick around for the wild ride!

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