Louisiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota; Update: Franken, Dayton wins called; Update: ABC calls it for Walker; Update: Snyder wins in MI; Update: GOP wins in Illinois governor race

Update, 12:43 am: I just had to point this out:

Update, 12:30 am: Mitch Berg thinks that the Minnesota House may have flipped to GOP control. However, we’re not likely to know that until morning.

Update: Whoa.

Tell me this isn’t a Republican wave.

Update, 11:01: The Michigan gubernatorial race has been called for Snyder:

That’s a good GOP hold. Land still trails by 12 points, so that will be the extent of the good news from Michigan, barring any House pickups. Debbie Dingell won, so that won’t be one of them.

Update, 10:44: With 77% of the vote in for LA, Cassidy still leads Landrieu by four points, but not close to 50% (43/39). If Landrieu comes in 2nd, she’s even more obviously toast than we thought.

Update, 10:29: It’s not one of my states, but if this holds up, we’ve won the Senate:

Assuming of course that we hold Kansas.

Update, 10:21: ABC calls it for Walker.

Update, 10:20: AoSHQ calls it for Walker:

This just went up to 25% in, and the Walker lead went out to 23 points. That got a big cheer here at GOP headquarters in MN.

Update, 10:12: Interestingly, Dane County (Madison) is getting returns a little faster than the rest of the state, so Walker’s 21-point lead with 17% reporting is looking pretty good. It won’t be that level of a blowout, but it doesn’t appear that his lead will suddenly disappear, either.

Update, 9:46: Not exactly a groundbreaking call here, but …

With just 4% of the vote in for LA, Cassidy’s actually up on Landrieu, 44/41.

Update, 9:41: Walker’s off to a good start, anyway, up 58/41 with 7% of the vote in. Snyder’s got a wide lead in MI’s gubernatorial race with 21% of the vote in, and Land is within 8 points.

Update, 9:33: Not a lot of news at the moment in these races. Returns have just started coming in for Wisconsin’s gubernatorial race, but let’s wait to see a larger percentage of precincts come back.

Update, 9:03: Aaaaaaaand they’ve called the MN gubernatorial race for Dayton.

Update, 9:01: Franken already called the winner in MN Senate race. No big shock there.

Update: Just took a peek at the national exit polling for the House, and the turnout D/R/I is 37/35/29. That’s slightly more Democratic than in 2010, but we’ll see what it looks like within each state as we go. At this point (8:40 ET), they aren’t releasing the exit polls for the states I’m covering yet.

Update, 8:32 pm ET: Just arrived at MN GOP HQ. Most of my races don’t have solid numbers yet, but we have to be pretty happy with the trend nationally, where Republicans are doing better than expected — especially in Virginia.  From now on, updates will go at the top of the post, so these will be read in reverse chronological order.

Original post below.


The team at Hot Air has divided up the Senate and gubernatorial races into five open threads, and I drew Louisiana, one of the two Senate races that will likely wait for another round of voting to be resolved. That’s OK — I planned to stay up late anyway, since I will be broadcasting live from MN GOP victory HQ at the Loews Hotel in Minneapolis for AM 1280 The Patriot. I’ll join my former NARN colleagues Mitch Berg and Brad Carlson, and we’ll be talking with various Republicans, including Rep. John Kline.

During the evening, of course, I’ll also be watching the listed states very closely for action and news. Let’s start with a quick rundown on status in each of the states:

  • Wisconsin (polls close 9 pm ET) Scott Walker goes for his third win in four years in the state next door, and at the moment, he appears to have the edge on Mary Burke in the gubernatorial race. Turnout will matter, and the suspension of the voter-ID law may help Burke, but the recent Marquette Poll suggests that it won’t be nearly enough (Walker +7).
  • Michigan (polls close 8/9 pm ET) – The Senate race here looked like it might be a contest, but Republican Terri Lynn Land faded badly after Labor Day, and Gary Peters looks like he’ll win in a walk. The last four polls show him with double-digit leads. The news is better in the gubernatorial race for incumbent Republican Rick Snyder, who has had a narrow but consistent polling lead over challenger Mark Schauer.
  • Minnesota (polls close 9 pm ET) – I’ll refer you to my post yesterday for the breakdown here, but we’re really just hoping for a come-from-behind win for Jeff Johnson over Mark Dayton, and a couple of House pickups in rural Minnesota.
  • Louisiana (polls close 9 pm ET) – Mary Landrieu has a 5.7-point lead in tonight’s open primary, but only gets 40.2% of the vote against two Republicans, Bill Cassidy (34.5%) and Rob Maness (11.2%). This one will go to a runoff, and Cassidy has 4.8-point lead over Landrieu head-to-head, and got to 50% or more in three of the last six polls. Landrieu is toast, and Democrats know it, especially after the GOP unifies after a fairly civil three-way contest.

Speaking of Landrieu, she’s now in trouble on her left:

Mary Landrieu’s reelection could help Democrats hang onto the Senate, but liberals have abandoned her anyway.

Large national environmental groups, women’s organizations and unions are barely lifting a finger for the embattled Louisiana Democrat, who has close ties to the oil industry and supports the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

And while unions and greens have never been big players here and a centrist like Landrieu might not even want the public nod of progressives in a red state, their money, advertising and get-out-the-vote ground game could help her. Landrieu’s in a close race that could send her into a prolonged and expensive runoff against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, if a third party candidate prevents either of them from picking up more than half the vote on Election Day.

The groups’ decision to stay on the sidelines in a key race is also a reminder that it’s not just the Republican Party that deals with internal fights over ideological purity. The Democratic Party, too, has a movement wing willing to abandon members of their own party they believe are insufficiently liberal.

There’s been plenty of commentary about Republican tensions after a win, but those will pale in comparison to the civil war about to break open in Democratic ranks if they lose big tonight.

Oh, and in case you didn’t already think Minnesota elections are a joke …


Thankfully, that’s not from my county. However, take a look near the top of that column, and note the “Legal Marijuana Now” Party of MN. On the other hand, this looks promising, especially since it’s my Congressman:

Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), whose campaign was targeted by Bill Maher in the liberal comedian’s quest to “Flip a District,” is expected to easily win reelection on Tuesday.

The HBO “Real Time” host earlier this year introduced the segment, which aimed to boot a viewer-nominated lawmaker out of office.

Kline is facing Democrat Mike Obermueller on Tuesday, and political experts are predicting the six-term congressman will cruise to victory in his reelection bid.

Kline was never in serious trouble here in MN-02. In September, Kline was up 22 points in the only general-election poll I can find. The same poll showed Kline with a 51/30 favorable rating, compared to 28/29 for Obermuller, and … 9/29 for Maher.

Update: This isn’t specific to my four states, but The Hill is reporting that early exit polling data “suggests a GOP edge.” I’d caution people that early exit polling is essentially useless. Here’s my explanation from earlier today. Use The Hill’s analysis with a Lot’s-wife-sized grain of salt.

Update: I’m now at GOP HQ for MN, and am settling in. Nothing to report on MN, but in Michigan, Snyder’s up by 4 in the gubernatorial race with 7% of the vote in. Land is trailing by double digits, as expected.

Future updates will be at the top of the post.

The Hugh Hewitt Show will be live all night long tonight as the results come in across the country. Be sure to watch and listen for my updates for Hugh from Minnesota. Normally this would be restricted to The Hughniverse, but Hugh wants to make sure everyone gets a chance to listen on Election Night. This will ride at the bottom of the post all night, so look for all updates above this paragraph.