November 6, 2018

Midterms Live Blog: GOP Gains 3 Senate Seats; House Has Flipped; No Surprises in Ohio

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:47 pm

Well … here we are at last.

I’ll be here until key races in Oregon, California, and elsewhere out West are decided — or until fatigue wins out.

As of now, the only polls that have closed are in parts of Indiana and Kentucky, so it’s still safe to engage in some wishful and predictive thinking.

Senators: Here’s hoping Sherrod Brown, Joe Donnelly, Debbie Stabenow, John Tester, Claire McCaskill, Bob Menendez, Bill Nelson, Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp, and other vulnerable Dems lose. The guess here is that the GOP’s Senate majority will be larger than most pundits are predicting when the night is over. 55 would be nice. 57 is not impossible. (Update: The final number looks like it will be 54.)

Congress: I can’t say I’ve studied enough of the individual national races to get a sense of where this is going. I can say that I believe incumbent Republican Steve Chabot will defeat Democrat Aftab Pureval in Ohio’s First District. The other race to watch is the Balderson (GOP)-O’Connor (Dem) rematch in OH-12. Though it doesn’t look that way at Real Clear Politics, I suspect that the GOP will retain a significantly narrower congressional majority despite the leftist press’s wishes for a Nancy Pelosi-Maxine Waters takeover. (Update: The press got its wish.)

Governors: Given that Republicans hold about 30 governors’ posts right now, it would not be a shock to see that historically large lead shrink. That, said, there seem to be real chances for Republican wins in Oregon and Minnesota (Update: Nope).

Here goes.

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7:40 a.m.: Politico, unlike other outlets, waited until it had enough evidence to make the call, and has declared that Democrats will win a U.S. House majority. I maintain that the early calls elsewhere were irresponsible, and suppressed the GOP vote out West — partially by design, and partially so the cable and network talking heads could have something to talk about before bedtime.

7:35 a.m.: In Utah, though it’s not over, Republican Mia Love appears to have lost her House seat. (Did Utah’s new GOP U.S. Senator Mitt Romney, whose victory was assured, help her on the campaign trail? I’ll bet not.) Update: Yes, she lost.

7:18 a.m.: I just cruised through the California U.S. House race results, some of which are incomplete, and it would appear that Democrats have flipped a net 2 seats. That would seem to be less than what was expected, if it holds. Update, 8:30 p.m.: It seems that a lot of the early “House flips” projections predicted a net change of 35 or more seats. The number right now is 28.

7:10 a.m.: In Ohio, Republicans appear to have won 11 of 17 State Senate races, and roughly 60 of 99 State House races. About a half-dozen races, however, are extremely close. That said, it looks like the GOP’s state House majority has shrunk. Update, 8:30 p.m.: Cleveland.com says that the GOP’s State Senate majority will be 24-9, and will still have a three-fifths supermajority in the House.

7:05 a.m.: If the GOP has indeed lost the House, the emerging lesson appears to be that Republicans didn’t play adequate defense in blue states. Current and now-retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan deserves at least some of the blame for that.

7:00 a.m.: Illinois’ next governor will be a Democrat. He will inherit a state that’s in financial ruin that its one-term Republican governor could not turn around, because the Democrat-dominated legislature has refused any and all efforts at reform. That will continue. New governor JB Pritzker deserves the mess he’s been given.

6:55 a.m.: Republican Scott Walker has lost his bid for a third term as Wisconsin governor. Voters tend not to be big fans of third terms for state executives.

6:50 a.m.: On an otherwise pretty good night for Republicans in Senate races, Nevada has flipped to the Democrats.

6:45 a.m.: Here’s yet another late media GOP victory call. In the Arizona U.S. Senate race, the GOP’s Martha McSally has a 15,000-vote, 0.8-point lead over unhinged Kyrsten Sinema with 99.7 percent of the vote counted. The raw math says that Sinema even if Sinema wins every remaining vote, she can’t catch up. That’s a Republican hold.

6:40 a.m.: In Montana, Republican Matt Rosendale has a 0.7-point, 2,700-vote lead over incumbent Democrat John Tester with 82 percent of the vote counted. Based on areas not yet fully counted, this one looks like it could go either way. Update: Tester won.

6:30 a.m.: Wow … had no idea how much all of this wore me out until I tried to get up earlier this morning. Anyway, in the next hour I’ll catch up.

WEDNESDAY, 12:02 a.m.: Looks like it’s going to be several hours until key West Coast and other races are decided. Choosing to sleep and wake up very early this morning.

11:54 p.m.: Mississippi’s U.S. Senate race has gone to a runoff. The two Republicans in the race took 58 percent of the vote, so it looks like a GOP hold.

11:50 p.m.: Oregon has reelected its corrupt Democratic governor.

11:36 p.m.: In Ohio, Republicans swept all five statewide offices (Governor, AG, SOS, Auditor, and Treasurer).

11:32 p.m.: Sanity has prevailed in Georgia, as Republican Brian Kemp has defeated unhinged Democrat Stacey Abrams in the Governor’s race.

11:29 p.m.: In Michigan - The state’s next governor will be a Democrat, and Democrat Debbie Stabenow will return to the U.S. Senate.

11:23 p.m.: Sadly, and incomprehensibly, Bob Menendez will continue as a New Jersey U.S. Senator.

11:20 p.m.: Once again, the press was late in calling a race where a Republican has a substantial and virtually insurmountable lead. Republican Josh Hawley has a 9-point lead over Claire McCaskill with two-thirds of the vote counted and half of Dem-Heavy St. Louis County reporting. Hawley will win, representing another GOP U.S. Senate flip. Fox called this race shortly after 11 p.m.

11:14 p.m.: Minnesota’s statewide races went very poorly for Republicans.

11:05 p.m.: Finally, the media has called the Florida governor’s race for Republican Ron DeSantis. But they still haven’t declared Rick Scott the winner of the U.S. Senate race, even though Bill Nelson could literally take ALL of the remaining votes, and STILL would lose.

10:59 p.m.: The pundits’ often-made point about voters getting tired of a politician after eight years is apparently playing out in Wisconsin, where two-term incumbent Republican Scott Walker is definitely in trouble.

10:50 p.m.: With half the votes counted in Missouri’s U.S. Senate race, Republican Josh Hawley has a 12-point lead over Claire McCaskill. 88 percent of St. Louis County hasn’t been counted, so it’s still too early to call the race, but the odds are clearly in Hawley’s favor. That would be another U.S. Senate flip.

10:45 p.m.: The GOP’s Troy Balderson will win the OH-12 House rematch. There will be no change in the party makeup of Ohio’s congressional delegation.

10:40 p.m.: Republican Steve Chabot will win OH-01. Two-thirds of Hamilton County is in and Chabot and Pureval have split the vote 50-50. Warren County’s huge margin for Chabot carried him. Update: Pureval is taking a larger percentage of Hamilton County’s remainder, but he won’t catch up.

10:37 p.m.: Again, the press is slow to recognize an obvious Republican victory. Mike DeWine has won the governor’s race in Ohio. He currently has a 6.5-point, 248,000-vote lead with 84 percent of the vote counted. Update: Fox finally called it at about 11 p.m.

10:34 p.m.: The media is projecting that Republican Ted Cruz will retain his U.S. Senate seat in Texas, defeating Democrat heart-throb Robert aka Beto O’Rourke. The final margin will be worth noting, because it should not have been close.

10:32 p.m.: The Drudge siren says Democrats will win a majority in the House. I still believe that’s premature (and I would argue irrepsonsible), but there is a pretty broad consensus at this point.

10:28 p.m.: Finally, what’s obvious has become official — Cramer has beaten incumbent Heitkamp (D) in North Dakota. That guarantees Republican control of the U.S. Senate for the next two years.

10:20 p.m.: 82 percent of Ohio has been counted, and the GOP’s DeWine-Husted ticket still has a 7-point, 250,000-vote lead. That lead will probably get cut in half when all is said and done, but Mike DeWine will be Ohio’s next governor.

10:10 p.m.: Politico says 98.2 percent of Florida has been counted. The math says that their Dem opponents have to win 72 percent and 80 percent of the remaining votes, respectively, to catch up. That’s not going to happen. We have a GOP governor’s hold and a U.S. Senate flip in the Sunshine State.

10:03 p.m.: I don’t why the press hasn’t called the North Dakota U.S. Senate race yet. The relatively populous blue counties have from all appearances all been counted, and Republican Kevin Cramer has 59 percent of the vote with 38 percent of all precincts reporting.

9:57 p.m.: Republican Steve Chabot has an 18,000-vote lead over Democrat Aftab Pureval in OH-01. That’s the good news. The bad news is that all of the uncounted votes are in Hamilton County, which is only 20 percent counted. Though the odds favor Chabot, the race is not over yet.

9:52 p.m.: Also in Ohio, Dem incumbent Sherrod Brown in leading Jim Renacci, and based on where the rest of the votes are coming from, it looks like Brown will win reelection. But, again, stay tuned.

9:48 p.m.: Back here in Ohio, Republicans DeWine and Husted have a 7.5-point lead in the Governor’s race over Democrat Rich Cordray with 58 percent of precincts reporting — but it looks like the blue counties have more unreported precincts than the red ones. Stay tuned.

9:45 p.m.: Republican Rick Scott’s lead in Florida is 75K, per the Fla. SOS site, and is getting close to insurmountable as well

9.40 p.m.: Per Instapundit, Fox is also projecting that Dems will take the House. Again, that seems very premature.

9:37 p.m.: Ron DeSantis’s lead in the Fla. gov race is 85,000 now, and Dem Andrew Gillum would have to win 65 percent of the remaining votes to catch up. I’d rather be DeSantis than Gillum right now. Update: DeSantis will win. The Florida SOS site has his lead stretched to almost 100K.

9:35 p.m.: Republicans have won a key congressional race in KY-6.

9:26 p.m.: In governors’ races, Republican Larry Hogan has been reelected in Maryland (“the first GOP governor to win a second term in Maryland since 1954″; UPDATE: ahed by 14 points), and Charlie Baker has won reelection in Massachusetts. Both are supposedly deep blue states which have arguably chosen competence over chaos.

9:20 p.m.: Drudge is saying NBC is projecting that Dems will win the House. That seems mighty premature — and designed to influence the voting out West.

9:18 p.m.: In the Florida Governor’s race, the GOP’s Ron DeSantis has a 60,000-vote lead over Dem Andrew Gillum, again with 96 percent counted. The safety of Scott’s lead in the Senate race and DeSantis’s lead both depend on where the votes which haven’t been counted will come from. The guess here is that the Panhandle will be a big enough part of those final votes to enable both to win — but we’ll see.

9:16 p.m. Wow, they count fast in Florida. With allegedly 96 percent of the vote counted, Rick Scott has a 60,000-vote lead over Democrat Bill Nelson in the U.S. Senate race. If it holds, that another Republican flip.

9:12 p.m.: The Ace of Spades blog is relaying news that Marsha Blackburn has won the U.S. Senate race in Tennessee, keeping that seat in Republican hands. The claim there is also that incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin has won in West Virginia.

9:09 p.m.: Hopelessly overrated polling wunderkind Nate Silver, has been saying for well over a week that the odds of Democrats winning a House majority are 85%. Before 9 p.m. on Election Night, he had walked it back to 55 percent.

9:03 p.m.: In a huge development if true, “Republican Mike Braun is on track to defeat Sen. Joe Donnelly in Indiana’s U.S. Senate race, ABC News projects, based on exit polling and analysis of voting data.” Update: Yep, it’s true.

9:00 p.m.: Vice President Mike Pence’s brother will win a congressional seat in IN-6 in Southeastern Indiana across the border from Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio.

8:55 p.m.: Tennessee’s new governor, replacing Democrat Phil Bredesen, will be Republican Bill Lee. That’s a widely anticipated flip to the GOP. In early balloting, Bredesen trails Republican Marsha Blackburn in the U.S. Senate race.

8:50 p.m.: It’s now safe to project that Ohio’s Issue 1 (“To Reduce Penalties for Crimes of Obtaining, Possessing, and Using Illegal Drugs”) will lose by a very wide margin. That’s a relief, because the proposed constitution amendment was way too lenient.

7:45 p.m.: Yours truly, looking at the hour immediately ahead, is choosing to take nap to be ready for the late-night hours later. Back at 8:45 p.m. Again, comments aren’t being moderated.

7:33 p.m.: Polls in Ohio have closed. Here is the Ohio Secretary of State’s Election Results page.

7:30 p.m.: Speaking of sobering thoughts, if Democrats perform strongly, it will tell us that a lot of them who would not pull the lever for Hillary Clinton in 2016 have returned to their traditional habits. So Dems’ success tonight would a de facto repudiation of Hillary — not that anyone in the press would see that way if that’s how things turn out.

7:25 p.m.: Earlier today, Chris Queen at PJ Media raised the sobering point that turnout in Florida’s conservative panhandle may be hurt because of Hurricane Michael.

7:15 p.m.: Had some technical issues with the web host (Murphy’s Law, as usual), so apologies for any access problems. This “hour-by-hour guide on what to expect as Election Day unfolds” should come in handy for everyone.

6:55 p.m.: I DO think that the pollsters have underestimated GOP enthusiasm and support, as they most certainly did two years ago, and that most of the Democrats who are enthused are in areas that are deep-blue already, i.e., it’s not going to do them as much good as claimed.

6:45 p.m.: A lot is being made of increases in GOP early voting. I would suggest caution in this regard. I think that GOP voters have resisted early voting more than Dems have in the past, but that a higher percentage of Republicans votes early now than did 2, 4, 6, or 8 years ago. I don’t think the early-voting uptick necessarily foreshadows higher total GOP turnout.

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4 Comments

  1. See everybody, I CAN comment without being logged in, and you can too!

    Comment by Thomas William Blumer — November 6, 2018 @ 6:49 pm

  2. Ever notice how late post-election vote total increases always favor Dems? Perhaps they are perennial provisional ballot voters, but it also has that bad smell of handler interference. Don’t want to live paranoid, but …

    Comment by Jim — November 9, 2018 @ 3:03 pm

  3. Thank you for the running commentary. The long late night is appreciated.

    Comment by Cornfed — November 10, 2018 @ 7:47 pm

  4. You’re welcome. Wish the news would have been better.

    Comment by Tom — November 11, 2018 @ 8:22 pm

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