HuffPo exit polls: Dems lead all Senate races except Tennessee, Arizona; Update: Mehlman yawns Update: Real numbers start to come in from VA

Posted there right now:

SENATE EXIT POLLS AS OF 5:30 EST: Democrats Leading: Virginia (52-47), Rhode Island (53-46), Pennsylvania (57-42), Ohio (57-43), New Jersey (52-45), Montana (53-46), Missouri (50-48), Maryland (53-46)…GOP Leading: Tennessee (51-48), Arizona (50-46)…

That’s eight. They need six for control.

Hotline also has the Dems sounding optimistic.

Let the recriminations begin!

Update: Via Karol, more grim numbers from the New York Observer:

Casey 61 – Santorum 38

Cardin 51 – Steele 48

McCaskill 53 – Talent 46

Webb 55 – Allen 45

The spread in Pennsylvania seems unlikely.

Special look-on-the-bright-side update! Kaus:

Just asking: What does it tell you about a political party if in a year of epic disaster for their opponents the best they can hope for is a 51-49 majority in the Senate? … 8:21 A.M.

Update: Hugh Hewitt laughs it off.

Update: Fox is reporting that Hastert’s office has warned House Republicans to expect losses of up to 30 seats.

Update: ABC News has a generic exit poll, e.g., six out of ten voters disapprove of Bush’s handling of Iraq, etc.

Update: “It’s strategy. I know what I’m doing.”

Update: ABC House exit polls:

“Preliminary exit poll results indicate that nearly six in 10 voters today disapprove of the way President Bush is handling his job. About four in 10 approve of Bush’s performance. That’s down from 53 percent approval in 2004, and 67 percent just before the 2002 midterm elections. About four in 10 “strongly” disapprove of the president’s work, more than double the number of strong approvers. Intensity of sentiment for and against, by contrast, was about equal in 2004: Thirty-three percent strongly approved of the president’s performance, and 35 percent strongly disapproved. And in 2002, strong approvers dominated, quite a contrast from today.”

Update: Ken Mehlman isn’t impressed with the exit polls.

Update (Bryan): What we’re hearing about turnout from the GOP’s internals mostly doesn’t square well with the exits leaked to HuffPo via Swing State Project (ever heard of them? Me either.). So…don’t panic.

Update: Geraghty’s not panicking: “Anything within 7 is a dead heat.”

Update: (Bryan) Turnout looks heavy in VA. Real returns are finally starting to stream in, and so far they’re looking good for Allen. But it’s verrrry early. Update: Webb now up, with about 7% of precincts reporting in. I think the whole night’s going to be a see-saw ride.