About Last Night: Election Day Thread
This thread will be updated all day long. The newest updates will appear at the top of the post. Each author will be identified by their initials.
1:21pm EST – Montana and Arizona (SEW)
Jon Tester has been announced as the winner of Montana’s Senate Race. Meanwhile, the race for Arizona’s Senate Seat is going to keep going, as there are upwards of 600,000 uncounted votes, including more than 500,000 in Maricopa County alone:
Approximate split of outstanding Maricopa ballots:
300k – mailed in or received by post office on election day
200k – "late earlies" dropped off at the polls + provisionals.
— The AZ Data Guru (@Garrett_Archer) November 7, 2018
11:15 am EST – Stat Of The Day (AAD)
Interesting: The only state left with a divided legislature IN THE NATION is Minnesota. The remaining 49 state legislatures are all single-party controlled. Of the 49 states, Democrats control 18 legislatures while Republicans control 31.
— Liz Benjamin (@CTLizB) November 7, 2018
And that Minnesota division? It’s only by one seat.
9:00 am EST – Dan Crenshaw Wins TX-3 (AAD)
Crenshaw, you may remember, was the subject of the now-controversial SNL skit over the weekend in which Pete Davidson mocked his eye patch, the result of wounds sustained in combat.
Texas Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw says the political rhetoric will “probably remain divisive” but he vows to be part of the “solution”: “Don’t attack someone’s intent if you disagree with them” pic.twitter.com/8M9JdZqrXE
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) November 7, 2018
8:45am EST – Veteran Candidates Find Success In Midterm (AAD)
Another candidate priority that paid of in the midterms, recruiting and running veterans:
The more than 200 veterans who ran for seats in the House and Senate was an uptick of former servicemembers seeking office, according to With Honor, a new “cross-partisan” group focused on electing candidates with military service to public office. That followed more than 400 who ran in primary races earlier this year.
Many of them ran in high-profile races — some in re-election bids and others for the first time. Many veterans were part of a traditional Republican block of candidates running in district and statewide races, while others were part of a new generation of Democratic politicians with military experience.
The winning veterans include incumbents such as Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wisc., and Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., who have made their mark in short tenures in Congress. Others, such as Democrats Elaine Luria of Virginia and Max Rose of New York ousted incumbents in upsets Tuesday to win their first terms as House lawmakers.
At least six races featured two veterans facing off. In Florida, incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, an Army veteran, and the state’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott, a Navy veteran, were locked in a dead heat by early Wednesday for Nelson’s seat. In Massachusetts, Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton, a Marine Corps veteran, won re-election to a third term against Republican Joseph Schneider, a former Green Beret.
This year’s increase in veteran candidates follows dwindling representation of former servicemembers in Congress for several decades. Their percentage fell from peaks of 81 percent in the Senate in 1975 and 75.2 percent in the House in 1969 to recent lows of 20 percent or less by 2015, according to the most recent figures from Pew Research Center.
8:25am EST – Big Sky Too Close To Call (AAD)
Meanwhile in Montana:
Montana board of elections: pic.twitter.com/OHbp9sJjqH
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 7, 2018
8:05am EST – Women (AAD)
After Tuesday’s elections, a record number of women will serve in Congress come January 2019.
With results still coming in, 94 women have won or are projected to win their House races as of early Wednesday morning, up from the current 84. In addition, at least 13 women won Senate seats. That’s in addition to the 10 female senators who were not up for re-election this year.
That means at least 117 women will serve in the 116th Congress, up from the current 107. And it will bring the share of Congress members who are women up from the current 20 percent to at least 22 percent.
6:45am EST – WV Amendment 1 on Abortion (AAD)
Once the candidate dust settles, one state ballot item will be getting plenty of attention both in the news and probably in court. West Virginia’s Constitutional Amendment 1 has passed:
Voters have approved an amendment that would make the state Constitution neutral on abortion. Amendment One was passing by 17,184 votes with 97 percent of precincts reporting.
The amendment proposed this language be added to the state Constitution: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.”
Opponents criticized that wording as confusing. They also said the amendment would open the door to lawmakers placing more and more restrictions on abortion.
Opponents also noted that the resolution does not include language about rape, incest or saving the life of the mother.
Amendment One’s most immediate effect would be to nullify the state Supreme Court decision, Women’s Health Center of West Virginia Inc. v Panepinto.
That 1993 decision overturned a state law that specified no funds from Medicaid could be used to pay for an abortion, except in instances of the woman’s life was at risk or cases of rape or incest.
6:15am EST – Still Counting (AAD)
As of this morning, there are still 22 races not called. Decision Desk HQ has the full breakdown:
Of the marque match-ups, Stacey Abrams refuses to concede Georgia governor’s race.
12:15am EST – State Level Results (SEW)
There have been requests in the comments for any information about state level results. Here is a bigger picture take at what legislative bodies have flipped tonight:
So far, Dems have won control of 5 GOP-held legislative chambers:
– NH House
– NH Senate
– MN House
– NY Senate
– CO Senate
…also won seats in the formerly-tied CT Senate.https://t.co/DWW1LquSka
— Reid Wilson (@PoliticsReid) November 7, 2018
11:39pm EST – Okay, There’s Too Much (SEW)
Kate Brown (Oregon), Gavin Newsom (California), Gretchen Whitmer (Michigan), Tim Walz (Minnesota), Michelle Grisham (New Mexico) have all won governorships as Democrats. Doug Ducey (Arizona), Kevin Stitt (Oklahoma), and Greg Abbott (Texas) have all won or retained governorships as Republicans.
Kendra Horn has pulled off a thoroughly unexpected upset in Oklahoma’s 5th District. It had generally been rated as Safe R by everyone.
11:10pm EST – Scott, DeSantis Win Florida, DeWine Wins Ohio (SEW)
Rick Scott has won Florida’s Senate seat, and Ron DeSantis has won its governorship. Both had been down in late polling, but managed the wins nonetheless. Mike DeWine won Ohio’s governorship.
10:46pm EST – Louisiana Looks Poised To End Its Use Of Non-Unanimous Juries (SEW)
In what can only be considered a hugely ugly holdover from Jim Crow, Louisiana had previously allowed juries to convict even if they were not unanimous in their finding. The state’s voters are poised to vote that down this evening. That leaves only…umm…Oregon?…as the only remaining state to still embrace non-unanimous juries.
Bad night for Jim Crow in Louisiana. Oregon is now slated to be the last state in the Union that allows non-unanimous jury verdicts. pic.twitter.com/gld0l2VXq8
— Matt Ford (@fordm) November 7, 2018
10:23pm EST – NBC Calls The House For Democrats (SEW)
NBC has joined Fox News in calling the House for Democrats.
NEW: We're projecting Democrats have won control of the House at @NBCNews.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 7, 2018
10:16pm EST – Republicans Win North Dakota and Texas (SEW)
Republicans continue to pickup seats in the Senate, having won Indiana earlier, and now both North Dakota and Missouri. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz’s expected victory has materialized as well, as he is projected to beat Beto O’Rourke.
10:11pm EST – Democrats Suddenly Pick Up 13 House Seats (SEW)
Maybe Bret Baier (below) wasn’t as far out on a limb as he seemed. Democrats have suddenly started picking up all kinds of tossup seats, including wins in Virginia, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Florida, and in New York’s Staten Island. That last one – which features Max Rose beating Dan Donovan – was not expected and has prognosticators somewhat surprised.
10:06pm EST – Laura Kelly Defeats Kris Kobach (SEW)
In somewhat unexpected news, Laura Kelly has won Kansas’s governorship, defeating ultra-partisan Kris Kobach:
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) November 7, 2018
9:50pm EST – Jared Polis Wins Colorado Governor (SEW)
Polis will be the first openly gay man to serve as any state’s governor.
NBC News is projecting that Jared Polis (D) will make history as the country's first openly gay man to be elected Governor
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) November 7, 2018
9:46pm EST – Fox News Projects Democratic House
Fox News’s Bret Baier is going way out on a limb and projecting that Democrats have won the House of Representatives. Nobody else has called that thus far.
The Fox News Decision Desk can now project that Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives for the first time in eight years, dealing a major setback to President Trump’s legislative agenda
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) November 7, 2018
9:43pm EST – Florida’s Amendment 4 (SEW)
Although it flew under the national radar, which was consumed by ongoing and incessant focus on specific elections, Florida’s Amendment 4 – which restores voting rights for felons who have served their time – seems to have passed quite handily. As a result, more than a million potential voters stand to regain rights previously denied to them. Or, here is another way to think about it:
40% of all black men in the state of Florida just became eligible to vote *today.* Think about that.
— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) November 7, 2018
9:26pm EST – Where We Stand (SEW)
Major national prognosticators had predicted Republicans gaining ground in the Senate and Democrats winning the House and that seems to be where things are currently trending. More updates coming soon. (As it turns out, potentially food-poisoning yourself on Election Live Thread night is not a good idea.)
9:15pm EST – More Calls (AAD)
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan wins a second term in deep-blue Maryland, AP projects wapo.st/2Qp2DKV
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was resoundingly elected for a third term, defeating Marcus Molinaro and fueling speculation about his 2020 ambitions. nyti.ms/2DoPdM7
Democratic Minnesota Senator Tina Smith will win election to fill the remainder of Sen. Al Franken’s term until Jan 2021 by defeating GOP state senator Karin Housley.
9:05pm EST – More Calls (AAD)
Democrat Amy Klobuchar will win the U.S. Senate race in Minnesota, Mike Braun (R) defeats incumbent Joe Donnelly (D) in Indiana. That’s a pick-up for Republicans. NBC News projects Joe Manchin (D) wins West Virginia Senate, retaining his seat. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) won re-election in Wisconsin, a victory for Democrats in a state that Trump won. Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn won Tennessee’s open U.S. Senate seat after a campaign yoked to Trump.
8:33pm EST – James Carville Declares “No Wave” (SEW)
Carville on MSNBC just now: "It's not going to be a wave election."
— Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) November 7, 2018
8:22pm EST – Tons Of Senate and Governor Calls (SEW)
Bernie Sanders (Vermont), Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts), Ben Cardin (Maryland), Chris Murphy (Connecticut), Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island), Tom Carper (Delaware), Bob Menendez (New Jersey) and Bob Casey (Pennsylvania) have all won re-election. Gina Raimondo (Rhode Island), Larry Hogan (Maryland), and Charlie Baker (Massachusetts) have all retained their governorships. JB Pritzker has defeated Bruce Rauner for the Illinois governorship.
7:59pm EST – Brown and Kaine Win Ohio and Virginia (SEW)
Sherrod Brown and Tim Kaine have each been projected as having won their Senate seats. Republicans had targeted Brown’s Ohio seat, but Jim Renacci faded down the stretch, while Tim Kaine ran against Corey Stewart, a neo-Confederate who defended white supremacists after Charlottesville.
7:53pm EST – Kim Davis Losing (SEW)
Kim Davis rose to fame refusing to grant marriage licenses to gay couples. She claimed that doing so violated her religious viewpoint that marriage was a religious institution and that only straight couples should be allowed access to it. She felt this so passionately that she accessed the institution on four separate occasions. She is on the precipice of losing.
7:46pm EST – Barbara Comstock Loses (SEW)
Virginia’s Barbara Comstock, who enjoyed a significant investment from national Republican groups, is currently losing to Jennifer Wexton. By a lot. This would represent the first Democratic pickup of the night in the House.
With 43% of precincts reporting in #Virginia CD 10, Democrat challenger @JenniferWexton has opened up a big lead over GOP incumbent @BarbaraComstock 59% to 41% #Midterms2018 pic.twitter.com/9SVNig4ZT9
— vpapupdates (@vpapupdates) November 7, 2018
6:04pm EST – The Joker – (SEW)
5:40pm EST – Two Early House Races I’m Watching — (JLW)
I’ve always enjoyed being a Kentuckian–even (especially) since I moved away–on Election night because, at 6pm, the first polls in the country close in my home state and just across the river in Indiana. (We can discuss whether 6pm is a good hour to close the polls–it isn’t–at another time.) But it means there’s an hour where districts I know pretty well are all there is to talk about — even though Burt stole a little of my thunder by already putting together a blurb on the KY-6.
If you’re paying attention to KY-6 on the county-by-county level before a deluge of nationwide results start to come in, the two to keep your eyes on are Franklin and Fayette counties. You’ll find, respectively, the cities of Frankfort (the state capital) and Lexington in these two counties—and Amy McGrath (D) will likely need to carry them by comfortable margins to win. On the other hand, if you see McGrath and Andy Barr (R) neck-and-neck in a large number of counties in the 6th not named Franklin or Fayette, that would also be a good sign that her appeal has gone beyond urban/suburban voters and into small towns and rural communities.
Another early House race I’m watching is IN-9, in south and central Indiana. This is an even more Republican-friendly district than KY-6, but it was held for a number of years in the early 2000s by Baron Hill, a rather conservative Democrat. Where 538 classifies KY-6 as among the toss-up-iest of toss-ups, IN-9 is considered a “Likely Republican” hold. So if GOP incumbent Trey Hollingsworth goes down (or finds himself in an especially tight race), it might be a sign of a very long night for Republicans.
5:25pm EST – Key Congressional Races – (BL)
I’m curious about which races people are keeping their eyes on. May I suggest:
KY-6 (Barr-R/Inc. v. McGrath-D): McGrath ran a series of smart advertisements touting her experience as the Marine Corp’s first female F/A-18 pilot and her general badassery. She’s being given a 45.7% chance of unseating the incumbent Republican. District includes mountainous and rural regions, the state capitol of Frankfort, and the somewhat larger city of Lexington, bringing the University of Kentucky within its boundaries. Last elected a Democrat just before the 2010 redistricting took effect. This looks to me like a place where New South and Old South are coming to grips with each other, and McGrath may provide something of a blueprint for other moderate-left Democrats to succeed in southern states.
IL-6 (Roskam-R/Inc. v. Casten-D): Possibly the closest forecast election in the country; Roskam is given a .1% edge to retain his seat. The district is in the outer suburbs of Chicago and went against trends to vote for Clinton in 2016, Romney in 2012, and only barely for Obama in 2008. Historically, the outer burbs were paleoconservative Congressman Henry Hyde’s district for many years. This district is interesting to me because it looks like the place that best exemplifies the Midwest trying to choose between the paths offered by the two different parties. Not enough to sway the whole state of Illinois, but it gives us something of a microcosm of the minds of places like Wisconsin and Michigan, which proved to make the difference in the 2016 Presidential election.
KS-2 (Open: Davis-D v. Watkins-R): Kansas-2 is the eastern fifth of the state, excepting the urban part of the Kansas side of Kansas City (which is its own district). Historically the area has been very Republican but has proven “squishy” by contemporary standards. The retiring incumbent, Lynn Jenkins, earned only a 77 ACA rating and served on the Climate Change Caucus and the Republican Main Street Coalition, trying to signal a degree of moderation. Her partisan successor, Steve Watkins, is posing a good deal further right on issues like abortion, guns, and repeal of the ACA, where Watkins’ Democratic opponent, Paul Davis, is running to the middle on ACA reform, immigration control, and other positions that would put him right of the Democrats’ center of gravity should he prevail, which he’s modestly favored to do. It seems he is because of just enough demographic change in the district: Watkins’ anti-immigration posturing looks, at least from the outside, to be a significant turn-off to areas where a lot of people from other parts of the world are moving.
CA-25 (Knight-R/Inc v. Hill-D): Oddly overshadowed by Democratic efforts to flip Orange County seats, I’m familiar with CA-25 because I used to live right across the street from it. Incumbent Steve Knight is the son of a prominent local hero-turned-archconservative politician, test pilot Pete Knight, and proved a chip off the old block. Knight has chosen to run close to the President and to associate himself with neighboring Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. His challenger is a political newcomer, Katie Hill, who ran a homeless advocacy group and made it through a crowded primary field. The projections are guardedly favorable for Hill, but the actual polling has been in Knight’s favor, and the district has proven a resilient Republican hold for two decades of continuous efforts by Democrats to flip it in part due to impressive local Republican GOTV machinery. I think this district captures the nuances of the political struggle going on for Republicans to hold on to their toeholds in California and the west better than most others.
In my new state of Oregon, nothing’s competitive, at least not at the Congressional level. So, which races are you all watching?
4:20pm EST – Turnout Statistics – (MAK)
You will hear a lot of turn out numbers during the coverage. Pay attention to how this statistic is framed. Journalists and pundits often use a number that is relative to the number of eligible voters. But others (county clerks and election officials) often use a number that is relative to registered voters. When using registered voters the percentage is naturally higher. For example, you couldn’t accurately sat that 48% turnout of registered voters in the 2018 is up 12% from the 36% turn out of eligible voters in 2012.
See the comment on 538 by Nathaniel Rakich at 3:24
3:30pm EST – Amendments – (AAD)
Voting at my polling place was pretty par for the course crowd wise. What we did have was a slew of NC state constitutional amendments. 6 of them. You can find them here.
2:45pm EST – Voting Problems – (SEW)
Numerous reporters from all over the country are documenting what appear to be significant failures of voting infrastructure. This includes long lines, broken machines, and, inexplicably, insufficient numbers of paper ballots. There have been breakdowns everywhere: Florida, Georgia, Texas, Missouri, Virginia, Michigan, and New York. These are currently be chalked up to human error, although it is not hard to notice a pattern of where these problems are, and aren’t, happening.
11:30am EST – Marijuana 4 All – (MAK)
Keep in mind that 4 more marijuana ballot initiatives are up for a vote this election. I suspect our 2020 politics will be more mellow and include Doritos.
11:20am EST – Late Morning Election Jukebox – (JLW)
Well, after an 8 a.m. dental appointment that ran late because my dentist’s spouse went to the wrong polling place, my teeth are clean, I’ve been told that I need to floss more often, I’ve cast my ballot, and I’m just now getting to the office. What better time, then, for a little late-morning Election Day jukebox?
So, here’s a hypothetical from the husband-and-wife band Over the Rhine: “If a Song Could be President”:
10:00am EST – Pithy Introduction – (SEW)
Although there has been little news coverage about it, today is America’s Election Day. Several candidates are running for office. It is estimated that upwards of some, and perhaps as many as several, people will cast their votes by the time the polls close. These votes will be cast for preferred candidates, all of whom generally agree with one another and simply want to work together to make America a better place.
Err, no, wait a minute.
That does not seem right. That description seems…wrong.
Today’s news is going to drip, drip, drip, firehose. To that end, this thread will be occasionally updated throughout the day and then, this evening, things will start getting hectic. Here, in an audible acknowledgment of that fact, is this scene from Holy Motors. Note that we start with a single accordion. And then a second accordion. And then a third accordion. And then all of the accordions.