9:38 Democratic consultant Doug Schoen says the Democratic Party in the South is dead ... except for North Carolina.
9:31 North Dakota GOP Gov. John Hoeven wins open Senate seat formerly held by Democrat Byron Dorgen. GOP +1
9:27 Incumbent Dem Allen Boyd loses in Florida, so does Carol Shea-Porter in New Hampshire.
9:21 Only 150 votes separate Chandler and Barr in KY-6.
9:07 NBCprojects GOP takeover of House -- 237 seats, or a 59-seat gain.
9:02 Incumbent Democrat Blanche Lincoln lost the Arkansas seat. No surprise, but the final margin of victory for John Boozman could be substantial.
8:57 FNC is calling West Virginia's Senate seat for Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin, who'll serve the final two years of the late Sen. Robert Byrd's term. Since Manchin has promised to vote against much of President Obama's agenda, this may not necessarily be good news for Democrats.
8:52 NYT's Nate Silver puts Republican odds of taking House at 86 percent, with most likely outcome 233-202.
8:44 FNC projects incumbent Democrat Baron Hill loses Indiana 9 to Republican Todd Young. Considered a bellwether seat.
8:33 FNC projects incumbent Democrat Tom Perriello loses Va. HD 5; he's the only House member Barack Obama personally campaigned for.
8:26 AP calls South Carolina HD 1 for Republican Tim Scott, 1st African-American Republican in U.S. House since J.C. Watts.
8:21 FNC projects Richard Burr winner of the North Carolina U.S. Senate seat. And with 534 of 640 precincts reporting (Kentucky HD6), incumbent Democrat Ben Chandler and Republican Andy Barr are in a dead heat, separated by about 500 votes of nearly 195,000 cast. Chandler was way ahead in early voting.
8:12 Big shock: AP calls NC House District 6 for Howard Coble (R).
8:00 FNC projects Marco Rubio beats Republican-turned-Independent Charlie Crist and Democratica Rep. Kendrick Meek and wins U.S. Senate seat. Also projects Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal holds Democratic Senate seat vs. Linda McMahon and that Chris Coons beats Christine O'Donnell in Delaware, holding the Senate seat for Democrats. Kelly Ayotte holds GOP Senate seat in New Hampshire, replacing retiring Judd Gregg and Roy Blunt wins Missouri Senate seat for GOP. Two more non-surprises: Richard Shelby holds seat in Alabama, Barbara Mikulski follows suit in Maryland.
7:43 p.m. Indiana 8 flips from Dem to Rep, according to CBS. This seat was held by Democrat Brad Ellsworth, who lost to Dan Coats in the Senate race.
7:38 p.m. Early State Board of Elections results -- Burr 54, Marshall 45. It's early, of course.
7:30 p.m. FNC projects Portman will hold GOP Senate seat. No surprise. Polls just closed in NC!
7:20 p.m. Indiana HD 9, Hill (incumbent D) vs. Young (R). Young up 54-41, 87/587 precincts reporting. (CBS)
7:08 p.m. Alvin Greene loses in S.C. (DeMint wins.) Patrick Leahy re-elected in Vermont.
7:00 p.m. Fox projects Rand Paul wins Kentucky, Dan Coats wins Indiana. Pickup of one for GOP (Ind.).
6:47 p.m. New York Times statistical analyst Nate Silver promises a seat count and takeover projection sometime in the 7 p.m. hour. It's worth tuning in for updates. But be sure to come back!
6:36 p.m. Update: Kentucky covers two time zones, so polls in the western half of the state close at 7 p.m. We'll be watching the Paul-Conway Senate race. Same with Indiana.
6:23 p.m. The Wall Street Journal has this handy page showing hour-by-hour poll closing times across the country.
6:04 p.m. Good evening, political junkies. Pull up a chair and join us for coverage of the 2010 election. (I feel like Vin Scully.) Polls have closed in Kentucky and Indiana. First results should start trickling in.
11:52 Final update: John Kasich elected governor of Ohio. I covered him when working in Washington in the 1990s. A very sharp fellow who never let you forget that his father was a mail carrier.
11:44 Republican Susana Martinez declared winner in New Mexico. Nation's first Hispanic female governor.
11:00 Jerry Brown re-elected California governor. Yes, he won his first term 36 years ago.
10:33 NBCdeclared Nikki Haley winner in the South Carolina governor's race. It's a GOP hold, but closer than many predicted.
10:20 FNC says Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper wins Colorado, defeating American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo and Republican Dan Maes (who may wind up with less than 10 percent). I think it would be cool if UNC invited Tancredo back to campus and had to introduce him as "Governor Tancredo." Oh well.
9:37 ABC News calls Pennsylvania for Republican Tom Corbett, replacing the retiring Democrat Ed Rendell. Another GOP pickup.
9:19 FNC projects GOP wins in Alabama (Bentley) and South Dakota (Daugard) and a Dem hold in Maryland (O'Malley).
9:02 Michigan goes Republican. Rick Snyder beats Democrat Virg Bernero. A red pickup.
8:42 p.m. North Carolina is one of the few states that elects governors in the same years the nation elects presidents. So there are 37 state choosing their chief executives tonight. It's an important election because (also unlike North Carolina), every other state's governor has a role in the process of drawing congressional and legislative districts.
Today, Democrats control 26 statehouses, Republicans 24. The GOP is expected to gain ground tonight, perhaps quite a bit.
In Tennessee, Republican Bill Haslam has defeated Democrat Mike McWherter easily. That's a GOP pickup; retiring Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen was one of the most conservative Dems nationally.
11:35 p.m. Final update. It appears that Republicans will have a 31-19 advantage in the state Senate and a net gain of at least 14 seats in the House, putting their advantage at 66-54.
That margin in the House could very well expand a bit depending on how some close races turn out.
My big observation from tonight: Republicans sweep legislative races but make hardly a dent in the congressional delegation (Bob Etheridge being one exception). This election has been a doozie.
10:40 p.m. Three-fourths of counties now fully reporting, and results are largely unchanged.
In the Senate, GOP'ers lead Democratic incumbents in the 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 19th, 24th, 43rd, 45th, 47th, and 50th. District 50 continues to be about a 200-vote margin for Republican Jim Davis, with 8 of 8 counties reporting.
In the House: 3rd, 6th, 10th, 25th, 41st, 49th, 51st, 81st, 88th, 93rd, 112th, and 116th. About a half dozen additional districts are too close to call at this point.
10:30 p.m. It's now safe to assume both the state House and Senate will be controlled by Republicans next year. The only question is how great a majority the GOP will command. First time the Republicans have controlled since the 19th century.
10:10 p.m. A shocker in House District 65. Independent candidate Bert Jones (former GOP'er) beats incumbent Democrat Nelson Cole. Guessing Jones will caucus with Republicans. This race wasn't on pundits' radar.
As a reminder, Republicans need a net gain of six seats in the Senate and nine in the House to take control. Given initial results, it's safe to say the Senate is in the GOP's corner, and it's looking positive for Republicans' chances in the House, too.
10:00 p.m. With 50 out of 100 counties now completely reporting results, here's the breakdown on our Senate swing districts (Republicans lead Democrats): 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 19th, 24th, 43rd, 45th, 47th, and 50th.
One caveat: Jim Davis (R) barely holds a lead over John Snow (D) in Senate 50, so that could definitely switch as the evening progresses.
In the House, Republicans are leading Democrats in the following districts: 3rd, 4th, 6th, 10th, 25th, 41st, 44th, 45th, 49th, 51st, 88th, 93rd, 112th, 116th, and 118th.
No results yet from Hugh Holliman's district. That's one of the most closely watched races of this cycle.
9:30 p.m. With one-quarter of counties fully reporting, Republican challengers continue to lead in the following Senate districts: 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 24th, 43rd, 45th, 47th, and 50th.
In the House, Republican foes lead in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 10th, 22nd, 25th, 41st, 44th, 49th, 51st, 88th, 112th, 116th, and 118th.
9:15 p.m. Legislative leaders in both parties look to be safe — unsurprisingly — in their re-election bids. Republican House Leader Paul Stam is ahead of his Democratic foe comfortably. His counterpart in the Senate, Phil Berger, is unopposed.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Joe Hackney is ahead 60-40 percent over his GOP opponent. The closest races will be Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight and House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman.
9:00 p.m. Republican challengers are leading in the following House races: 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 9th, 25th, 41st, 49th, 51st, 88th, 112th, 116th, and 119th.
8:55 p.m. Wesley Meredith (R) leads incumbent Margaret Dickson (D) in Senate District 19, Tony Rand's old seat. The margin is razor thin, though.
GOP'er Kathy Harrington leads Democrat Jim Long by a commanding 70-30 percent in Senate 43, David Hoyle's old seat.
Looking over the other Senate races, no upsets for incumbent Republicans look in the mix so far.
8:40 p.m. Here's a rundown of Senate districts with Democratic incumbents where GOP foes are leading so far: 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 24th, 25th, 43rd, 45th, 47th, and 50th. If the numbers hold, the GOP would have a 31-19 majority in the Senate.
8:27 Each of the races we've looked at below are either open seats with a previous Democratic incumbent, or a seat currently held by a Democrat. So, a win for Republicans would be a pickup for the party.
8:25 p.m. Republicans are faring well in a number of key races in the House:
District 3: Alice Graham Underhill (D, 34 percent), Norman Sanderson (R, 65 percent)
District 4: Mott Blair (D, 49.39 percent), Jimmy Dixon (R, 50.61 percent)
District 6: Arthur Williams (D, 46 percent), Bill Cook (R, 54 percent)
District 10: Van Braxton (D, 39 percent), Stephen LaRoque (R, 61 percent)
District 22: William Brisson (D, 56 percent), John Szoka (R, 44 percent)
8:15 p.m. With 306,208 total votes in, Democrats barely lead the straight-party ticket, 50.34 percent to 49.06 percent, over Republicans.
8:10 p.m. New results from a handful of competitive Senate races:
District 5: Don Davis (D, 49 percent), Louis Pate (R, 51 percent)
District 10: Dewey Hudson (D, 50.1 percent), Brent Jackson (R, 49.9 percent)
District 11: A.B. Swindell (D, 46 percent), Buck Newton (R, 54 percent)
District 45: Steve Goss (D, 41 percent), Dan Soucek (R, 59 percent)
8:00 p.m. Here's a rundown of the N.C. House so far:
District 1: Bill Owens (D, 42 percent), John Woodard (R, 58 percent)
District 34: Grier Martin (D, 52 percent), Steve Henion (R, 48 percent)
District 41: Chris Heagarty (D, 44 percent), Tom Murry (R, 56 percent)
District 112: Jim Proctor (D, 33 percent), Mike Hager (R, 68 percent)
District 118: Ray Rapp (D, 41 percent), Sam Edwards (R, 59 percent)
7:45 p.m. With 1,900 votes counted, Hood Richardson (R) leads Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight (D) in the 1st Senate District 55-45 percent. Barring an enormous wave for Republicans, Basnight is expected to win here.
With 6,200 votes in, Bill Rabon (R) leads David Redwine (D) in Senate District 8 by a 53-47 percent margin. In Senate District 24, Rick Gunn (R) is out to an early lead over Tony Foriest (D), 54-42 percent. That race is expected to end up in the GOP's corner.
Ralph Hise (R) leads Joe Sam Queen (D) in Senate District 47 by a 58-42 percent spread. Meanwhile, Senate District 50 is neck-and-neck between Jim Davis (R) and John Snow (D).
Keep in mind these are very early results.
6:10 p.m. North Carolina polls close at 7:30 p.m., so we'll get a taste for initial results of state races then. Key among those are contests for the N.C. Senate and House.
11:09 p.m. Based on election-night tallies, more than 60 percent of the 326,000 North Carolina voters who had a chance to address local sales-tax increases said no.
11:04 p.m. Alamance County is the last of the 14 counties to finalize its vote totals. All 14 sales-tax referendums go down to defeat. In Alamance, it's 71 percent to 29 percent.
10:40 p.m. With all votes in, Guilford rejects sales-tax hike 51 percent to 49 percent.
10:28 p.m. All 14 counties appear to have rejected sales-tax increases. Numbers are final in 12 counties. Alamance County, with a 79 percent "no" vote, has just one precinct left to report. The Guilford County vote total is closer, but the sales-tax referendum is losing 51-49 with just a couple of precincts left.
10:22 p.m. With all votes in, Columbus rejects sales-tax hike 62 percent to 38 percent.
10:11 p.m. With all votes in, Caswell rejects sales-tax hike 65 percent to 35 percent.
10:09 p.m. With all votes in, Montgomery rejects sales-tax hike 71 percent to 29 percent.
10:07 p.m. With all votes in, Harnett rejects sales-tax hike 79 percent to 21 percent.
10:05 p.m. With all votes in, Cherokee rejects sales-tax hike 83 percent to 17 percent.
9:21 p.m. With all votes in, Orange rejects sales-tax hike 51 percent to 49 percent.
9:18 p.m. Montgomery County reports its first numbers. The sales-tax referendum either trails or has failed in all 14 counties.
9:17 p.m. Guilford sales-tax vote tightens a bit. With more than 87,000 ballots counted, the "no" votes outnumber the "yes" votes by fewer than 1,600. The "no" vote percentage dips a bit below 51 percent.
9:12 p.m. With all votes in, Bladen rejects sales-tax hike 57 percent to 43 percent.
9:06 p.m. With all votes in, Yadkin rejects sales-tax hike 73 percent to 27 percent.
9:04 p.m. With all votes in, Person rejects sales-tax hike 79 percent to 21 percent.
9:01 p.m. With 68,000 ballots counted, the margin against a Guilford County sales-tax hike continues to hold at 51-49.
8:51 p.m. With all votes in, Chowan rejects sales-tax hike 67 percent to 33 percent. Thirteen of 14 counties are reporting numbers. Sales-tax measures are failing in all 13 reporting counties.
8:39 p.m. With all votes in, Clay rejects sales-tax hike 63 percent to 37 percent.
8:36 p.m. With all votes in, Alleghany rejects sales-tax hike 71 percent to 29 percent.
8:25 p.m. Eleven of 14 counties report at least some numbers. The sales-tax referendum is failing in all 11 reporting counties. The closest races are Guilford (51 percent against), Orange (52), and Bladen (54).
8:10 p.m. With more than 30,000 ballots counted, Orange County has flipped, with 51 percent now saying "no" to higher sales taxes. No county is reporting a sales-tax measure prevailing at this point. Five counties have reported nothing. Guilford has reported nothing since the 7:42 p.m. update.
7:42 p.m. Early numbers are in from nine counties. Only Orange County shows more "yes" than "no" votes, with 51 percent of 15,000+ voters saying "yes." With more than 46,000 votes counted, Guilford's sales-tax vote is losing by a 51-49 percent margin. No other races are as close.
6:47 p.m. Voters in 14 counties decide tonight whether their county commissioners can add 0.25 cents to the local sales-tax rate.
10:16 p.m. With more than 1.82 million votes counted, the margins all hold in the two-person races. Geer's percentage has grown to 60 percent. Thigpen (20 percent) and McCullough (15) continue to lead in the instant runoff race, with third-place Dillon at less than 10.5 percent.
9:25 p.m. With more than 1.38 million ballots counted, the margins hold in all the two-person races. Thigpen (20 percent) and McCullough (16) still lead in the instant runoff race.
8:56 p.m. With more than 1.05 million ballots counted, Jackson continues to lead Hunter by a 52-48 margin. Calabria (54 percent), Elmore (55), and Geer (59) still lead in re-election bids. Thigpen (21 percent) and McCullough (16) lead in the instant runoff race. Third-place Dillon has 10.5 percent.
8:32 p.m. With more than 826,000 ballots counted, Jackson's 52-48 margin holds steady. There's no substantial change in the other races.
8:04 p.m. With more than 500,000 ballots counted, Jackson maintains the 52-48 advantage over Hunter. Calabria (55 percent), Elmore (56), and Geer (58) continue to lead. Thigpen (23 percent) and McCullough (17) are the top two in the Wynn seat race. Third-place Chris Dillon has 10 percent.
7:49 p.m. Early numbers show Judge Barbara Jackson leading Judge Bob Hunter 52-48 percent (just 226,000+ votes counted) for the open Supreme Court seat. Incumbents lead in the Appeals Court races: Calabria (55 percent), Elmore (59), and Geer (57).
Despite the 13-candidate scramble, two candidates already have substantial leads in the race for the Wynn seat. Appointed incumbent Cressie Thigpen (26 percent) and former Judge Doug McCullough (19 percent) are ahead of the pack.
6:50 p.m. Voters will fill one seat on the N.C. Supreme Court, and they'll decide three of four contested seats on the N.C. Court of Appeals. The fourth is a 13-candidate battle for a single seat vacated when former N.C. Judge James Wynn joined the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this summer.
Not directly on point for tonight's election results, but the results of tonight's results may be...If you believe that it's not only important to have a 2nd Amendment to our U.S. Constitution, but also to exercise the right to keep and bear arms, you owe it to yourself to )1 elect officials who will uphold this right, and 2) get some training. Women need this experience as much as do men. Having attended a Women on Target training clinic in the Raleigh area this past weekend, I am even more convinced that the right to ownership of firearms by private citizens, for sport or legitimate personal use, is an essential freedom. We must not relinquish it out of ignorance or fear, understanding of course the responsibilities entailed.
A recent visitor to the John Locke Foundation,former Congressman Bob Barr offered thoughts on the consequences of electing officials who see guns as just too dangerous to be in the hands of ordinary citizens, at least not without significant additional licensing and other restrictions. Barr's visit of 10/21/2010 was co-sponsored by the Triangle Federalist Society.
... and consulting the John Locke Foundation's election preview, remember that you already have a chance to fill in many of the 170 names that will serve in the next General Assembly.
A number of races were decided either by the end of the candidate filing period or during the primary season.
Democrats outnumber Republicans 30-20 in the existing N.C. Senate. Thirty-eight of the 50 seats are up for grabs tonight. Among uncontested seats, Republicans outnumber Democrats 11-1. But this does not represent any Republican gains. Democrats hold 29 of the 38 seats facing electoral contests. The GOP still needs to win 15 of the 38 contested races to take over the chamber.
Democrats outnumber Republicans 68-52 in the existing N.C. House. Eighty-four of the 120 seats are up for grabs tonight. Among uncontested seats, Republicans outnumber Democrats 28-8. Once again, this represents no Republican gains, since Democrats hold 60 of the 84 contested seats. Republicans must win 33 of the 84 contested races to take over the chamber.
The Economist highlights three recent papers on the austerity/stimulus debate. The conclusion: stimulus is a drag.
a 1% rise in government consumption as a share of GDP eventually reduced private-sector consumption by 1.9%. Temporary spending to pick up economic slack may be useful but the long-term benefits of austerity seem clear.
North Carolina will hit the stimulus wall -- $1.6 billion in one-time federal money is about to go >poof< -- a perfect time to lay the foundations for those "long-term benefits of austerity."
The Herald includes a very good article about the Neuse Charter School in Johnston County.
Neuse Charter's 2009-2010 end-of-grade test scores were seventh best in the state and were tops in Johnston County, Johnson said. ... Neuse Charter enrolled 385 students this fall, doubling the 175 students who enrolled in 2007 and leaving 150 hopeful students on a waiting list.
Those are familiar themes for charter schools throughout our state - high academic performance and students on waiting lists. Time for a change.
According to the Civitas Institute those checking in at over 100 years old were well represented in early voting this year. "So far in early voting 110 year-olds have made a pretty good showing;
2214 of them have voted either by mail or at a one-stop site (214 by
mail and 2,000 at early voting sites). There are 1,420 Democrats in
this group, 717 Republicans and 77 Unaffiliated voters." Eighty-seven percent of these voters have come from only 4 counties. Also 2 of them are over 150 years young.
Among the other opinions the N.C. Appeals Court released this morning:
A unanimous three-judge panel sided with Southern Pines in its fight with companies that wanted to build an auto sales park in town. The appellate ruling gives Southern Pines a greater victory than it had secured at the trial-court level. While much of the prospective auto dealers' case against the town had been tossed out at the trial-court level, the Appeals Court also rejected the auto dealers' "common law claim of a vested right" to build the auto park.
A unanimous three-judge panel reversed a lower-court ruling in a dispute over the assignment of a Forsyth County high school student to an alternative school without due process. While the student won his appeal, judges admitted that they were limited in providing him a remedy, since the case dealt with a school assignment for the 2008-09 school year.
A unanimous three-judge panel affirmed part of a lower-court ruling and dismissed the rest of an appeal related to a dispute involving riparian rights, Marshallberg Harbor, and Carteret County government.
A unanimous three-judge panel reversed a lower-court ruling and gave a Transylvania County social worker immunity in a wrongful-death lawsuit linked to a child killed in a case of "shaken baby syndrome."
A unanimous three-judge panel of the N.C. Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial-court ruling in favor of the N.C. Department of Insurance and against a group of coastal towns and counties that challenged homeowners' insurance rate increases of up to 30 percent.
[New York Times contributor J.M.] Bernstein placed the Tea Party on the psychiatrist’s couch and came away with a diagnosis of psychopathology. These poor people are terrified by the way that reality challenges their “deeply held fiction of individual autonomy and self-sufficiency” and refuse to accept “the depths of the absolute dependence of us all on government action.” They sound very similar to the central Pennsylvanians whom candidate Obama described in a San Francisco fundraiser, pathetic souls who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Bad as such condescension is, what is worse is the realization that in decades to come, when the Tea Party is safely consigned to the past, those who participated in it may well be spoken of as examples of a pristine American spirit of public-spiritedness and healthy civic engagement, compared to which the then-present iteration of conservatism will be said to pale in comparison.
Then again, maybe not. History never repeats itself exactly, and there is one thing that has changed decisively, or is in the process of changing, which may render this cycle obsolete. What has truly been dying is not conservatism but the intellectual and media environment in which expressions of conservatism can be easily drowned out by the insinuation of a well-publicized psycho-slander coming from an authoritative and monopolistic source. The irrepressible force of the Internet, and its effects in diminishing the importance of the “legacy” media—i.e., the major television networks, major newspapers, and major newsweeklies—has been and is rightly compared with other communications revolutions of the past, such as the invention of movable type, which broke down hierarchical and centralized sources of information-gathering and production, opening them up and producing large democratizing changes. It is hard to imagine that the vast expansions of government power that have occurred in the past 80 years would have happened as easily in the kind of decentralized communications environment that exists today. In this respect as in others, the Obama administration has found it very hard to follow in the path of the New Deal or the Great Society.
It is always illuminating to note the occasions when the famous skepticism of the hard-boiled American journalist (“If your mother says she loves you, check it out!”) up and leaves him. Environmental reporters, to cite a common instance, will take the Wilderness Society at its word when it releases a report predicting ecological calamity at the hands of grasping capitalists; when a think tank backed by an oil company puts its own scientists on the case, the reporter smells a rat. Ideology often accounts for the disparate treatment, of course. If your mother says she loves you—well, it all depends on what kind of gal your mom is.
Ferguson notes that ideological bias is just one element in the “gullibility” that leads media outlets to treat a “bogus piece pf social science as news.” More important is “the hunger for data, hard numbers, anything that can be called research, which will yield generalizations that can lift a straightforward news story onto the loftier plane of a cultural observation.”
If you enjoyed the recent N.C. History Project paper and public presentation on the relationship between Sen. Jesse Helms and Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn, you might appreciate the following excerpt from Lee Edwards’ recent biography of William F. Buckley, as published in “The Canon” from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute:
Reagan hesitated and then decided to do as Buckley had suggested: challenge incumbent president Gerald Ford for the 1976 Republican presidential nomination. A turning point for Reagan had been Ford’s refusal to meet with famed Russian dissident and author Alexander Solzhenitsyn. For Reagan and Buckley there was no greater anti-Communist than the man who wrote One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and The Gulad Archipelago. “The public acclaim by Solzhenitsyn of the kind of thing we were doing,” Buckley said, “was an enormous stroke in the ideological heavens, and his Gulag book simply broke the back of the intellectual pro-Communist left.”