Kentucky Senate: For those of you playing along at home, we’ll begin getting results in Kentucky fairly early in the evening. The state is split in two, so the eastern half of the state will close the polls at 6 p.m. eastern time, with the more populous western section closing at 7. Grimes is strong in the western cities, while Mitch needs to strike it big in the eastern rural sections early. We’ll be updating this post -as well as the other two in this thread – when the results start trickling in.
This is an important race on a few fronts. Look… we all know that if I were to launch an impromptu poll of Hot Air’s readership as to how everyone here feels about Mitch McConnell, the results might be … something less than 100% glowing. But the battles of the past have, for the moment, hit the pause button. This is not an election to determine who will be the Senate Majority Leader. It’s to determine who will hold that seat in Kentucky. And given a choice between Mitch and Grimes, the safe money should be an obvious pick. (Feel free to set that one on fire in the comments.)
I can’t find a poll from any reputable source that has Grimes up, and the worst Mitch does in the aggregate group is +5. The “Strong Kentucky Woman” had a valiant and cash rich run, but it would take a miracle to pull this one out.
New Hampshire Senate: A lot of pundits have written off Scott Brown as of this morning, but it’s not that easy of a call. It’s true that Rasmussen had Shaheen up by 7 at Halloween, but the RCP average is still showing a less than 1 point advantage for her as of yesterday. In the end, this one may come down to exactly how much of a “wave” (Good Lord, I’ve come to hate that phrase) there is and how the indies break.
Ever since my visit to New Hampshire for the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in January, I’ve held the unpopular opinion that if they had gone with Smith they would be doing better. Yes, Brown had all the out of state money, but this tightening of the race we’ve seen in the last month would have applied to anyone with an R after their name. And one of Shaheen’s biggest scoring points has been the carpetbagger knock, which she couldn’t have played on Smith. If Brown pulls it out, it will be nice to have the seat, but I think conservatives across the nation would have been happier with Smith as well. We’ll probably know this one fairly early. The polls close there at in stages but will be all done by 8 p.m. eastern.
The polls on this one couldn’t be much closer in the final hours. Incumbent Paul LePage is clinging to the slimmest of leads, at about 41 to 40 over Democrat Mike Michaud, with independent candidate Eliot Cutler sucking up about 12% of the pie.
This is a state level race far more so than any of the Senate races and not just because it’s a Maine executive office. How much will the recent Ebola stories play into it? In some ways, this is a fight between LePage and the Ebola nurse. Do the voters trust the Democrats and a more permissive atmosphere when a perceived threat arrives right on their doorstep, or will they go with the guy who wanted to lock up that threat as well as the votes? There is no runoff option here, and the polls close at 8, so we’ll have an answer sooner rather than later.
More to come…
UPDATE: (Jazz) As of 5:35 p.m. eastern we have it on reliable authority that people are still voting on all of these races.
UPDATE: (Jazz) The first reports at 6:05 p.m. have Mitch up 66-32
UPDATE: (Jazz) Early good signs for Scott Brown?
Fox News shows exit poll NH Sen Brown 50-Shaheen 49. If accurate–a big if–could be a big night for Repubs. Some NH polls still open.
— Michael Barone (@MichaelBarone) November 4, 2014
UPDATE: (Jazz) CNN is calling the race for McConnell as soon as the polls closed. 55-42 at this point.
CNN projecting Sen Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and SC Gov Nikki Haley will be reelected #CNNElection
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 5, 2014
UPDATE: (Jazz) As of 7:20 two outlets showing strong early returns for Scott Brown. But still very early to call it. If Brown wins this there is not just a ripple, but a wave.
UPDATE: (Jazz) Don’t get your hopes up yet. More precincts reporting and Sheheen is starting to surge.
UPDATE: (Jazz) Shaheen with a 12 point lead with 16% reporting. Not looking good.
UPDATE: (Jazz) LePage is down in early returns.
UPDATE: (Jazz)LePage moves into a slight lead.
UPDATE: (Jazz)Several reports showing that Brown will lose. Shaheen to win with 51%. As I’ve said far too many times, Brown was the wrong guy for this race.
UPDATE: (Jazz)At 10 PM we have two races down and one to go. Mitch wins, Scott Brown loses. But the Maine governor’s race is still up in the air. With 22% of the vote counted, Paul LePage is hanging on to a 46.2 to 45.7 percent lead. This one could actually go to a recount unless we get a late break.
UPDATE: (Jazz) The race in New Hampshire may have been called too soon. It’s now a tie at 50?
UPDATE: (Jazz) Nevermind? Now they’re calling it again for Shaheen.
UPDATE: (Jazz) LePage now up 48-44