Election Day 2014 is finally here. After months of negative (and sometimes whacky) commercials, inflames rhetoric, and countless polls, voters are heading to their local voting locations to decide which party will lead the U.S. Senate (and ultimately Congress itself) over the final two years of President Obama’s presidency.
Here at To Hill and Back, we will provide constant updates of every Senate race, important/surprising House results, and results for various races for governor as polls close throughout the country. The most recent updates will be found near the beginning of the live blog. We will also be live tweeting throughout the night, so be sure to visit @ToHillAndBack on Twitter.
And away we go:
And this will wrap up To Hill and Back’s coverage of Election Night 2014. A quick wrap up:
-With Republicans now in control of both chambers of Congress, one could say it has been a great night for the Republican Party. The party could still pick up two more seats, depending on what happens in Alaska and what happens in the runoff that will occur in the state of Louisiana.
-Meanwhile, an interesting tidbit to pass along: According to CNN, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) will not yet commit to voting for re-elected Sen. Mitch McConnell as the Senate Majority Leader (he is currently the minority leader). Will other Republican senators follow suit? It surely will be interesting to watch.
-Now that the mid-terms are essentially over, the countdown to the presidential primaries has unofficially begun (because of course we have to look ahead). The pool of potential candidates looks like it’ll be an exciting bunch if names such as Cruz, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and others jump into the race.
Not much has been said about the House of Representatives tonight (now this morning), so here is a quick update on the House on Election Night:
-According to the NY Times, Republicans have won 227 House seats, while Democrats have won 149 seats, with 59 seats still undecided.
-Republicans have gained a total of nine seats in the House so far, so in addition to gaining control of the Senate, the party has strengthened its hold on the House.
Coming up on midnight, polls will close in Alaska, where incumbent Mark Begich (D) will try to hold onto his Senate seat against challenger Dan Sullivan.
With Republicans gaining control of the Senate with 52 seats overall (so far), let’s look at seats the Democrats have held onto:
-Al Franken holds onto his seat in Minnesota over Mike McFadden by 13 points.
-In New Mexico, Tom Udall, the incumbent Democrat, defeated Allen Weh by nine points.
-Jeff Merkley, an incumbent, defeated Monica Wehby by a large margin (54%-38%).
-In Hawaii, Brian Schatz will return to the Senate after defeating Cam Cavasso.
And just like that, NBC News has just called the Iowa Senate race for Republican Joni Ernst over Democrat Bruce Braley. 52 for Republicans.
According to RollCall.com, Thom Tillis (R) has defeated Sen. Kay Hagan (D). The win by Tillis officially gives control of the U.S. Senate to the Republicans (51st seat). There are still four more Senate seats yet to be decided.
Here are some updates on races for governors:
-Jerry Brown (D) has won another term in California
-Rick Scott (R) appears to have held on to win another term as Florida’s governor by just under two percentage points.
-Susana Martinez (R) has won re-election as New Mexico’s governor.
-Greg Abbot (R) defeated Democrat Wendy Davis in Texas.
-Republican Scott Walker was re-elected as Wisconsin’s governor over Mary Burke (D).
-Dan Malloy (D) is trailing by about two points to Republican challenger Tom Foley in Connecticut.
It is now 11 p.m. EST and we have four more states that are closing its polls as Republicans remain one seat away from taking control of the U.S. Senate. Polls in California, Hawaii, and Oregon have now closed.
Pat Roberts (R) is projected to hang onto his Senate seat, defeating Independent Greg Orman.
MSNBC, meanwhile, is reporting that Scott Brown has not yet conceded the race for New Hampshire’s Senate seat to incumbent Jeanne Shaheen and ask for a recount if numbers remain close.
Republicans have now gained two more Senate seats. In Colorado, Cory Gardner is projected to defeat incumbent Mark Udall (D) and in Montana, Steve Daines has been elected to the Senate after a winning the open seat there.
Republicans have now gained five seats total and need to turn one more from Democrat-to-Republican to win control of the Senate.
Meanwhile, Democrat Mark Warner in Virginia looks like he will keep his Senate seat, as the NYT returns show that Warner has grabbed a late lead over challenger Ed Gillespie (R). With a deficit of about 2,500 votes right now, Gillespie and Republicans could demand a recount.
Virginia and North Carolina’s Senate races are both about as tight as a race can get. In Virginia, Ed Gillespie is up by 0.3% of the vote over Democrat incumbent Mark Warner (48.8% to 48.5%). In North Carolina, Kay Hagan (D) is trailing Republican challenger Thom Tillis 48.9% to 47.5% with 72% of the vote accounted for.
In Kansas, Sen. Pat Roberts (R) leads Greg Orman (I) 49.8% to 45.8%.
10 p.m. EST
Some more poll closings as the clock hits 10 on the east, as Iowa, Montana, Nevada, and Utah are now starting to count votes. Iowa is the big Senate race to pay attention in this batch of closings.
Here are some updates on the closer Senate races:
-With 40% of the vote in in North Carolina, incumbent Kay Hagan (D) is leading Thom Tillis (R) 49%-47%.
-In Kansas, Independent Greg Orman is clinging to a 48%-47% lead over Sen. Pat Roberts (R).
-With 90% of the vote in, Ed Gillespie (R) is leading Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Warner 49%-48% in Virginia.
-Cory Gardner (R) is leading incumbent Sen. Mark Udall (D) 52%-43% in Colorado’s Senate race.
-In Louisiana, Bill Cassidy (R) is leading Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) 44%-41% with 2% of the vote in. ALong with Georgia, this is one of the races that could go to a runoff if neither candidate hits 50% of the vote. The runoff would be December.
Boy, the things that happen when you take a 15 minute bathroom and snack break…Many things to catch everyone up on so here we go:
Here are the states whose polls closed after 9 p.m. EST: Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, New Mexico, parts of North Dakota, half of South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
And for some results:
-Incumbent Governors Re-Elected after polls closed at 9 p.m. EST: Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), Dennis Daugaard (R-SD), Mary Fallin (R-OK)
-Incumbent Senators Re-Elected after polls closed at 9 p.m. EST: John Cornyn (R-TX), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Chris Coons (D-Del.)
Back to the governors races: NBC News is projecting the winner of the New Hampshire governors races to be incumbent Maggie Hassan (D). She currently leads Republican challenger Walt Havenstein 55%-44%.
In Connecticut, incumbent Gov. Dan Malloy (D) is currently leading Republican challenger Tom Foley 56%-42% with 2% reporting. Malloy defeated Foley in a very tight governors race in 2010, and the two were locked in a virtual tie in the weeks heading up to the election.
In the Kansas Senate race, Independent Greg Orman has an early 3% lead (50%-47%) over Republican incumbent Pat Roberts. If Orman holds on for the win, it is unclear which party he will caucus with in Congress.
In Arkansas, NBC News is projecting that Tom Cotton will defeat incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor for that state’s Senate seat. This brings the total number of seats won by Republicans to nine, and a net gain of two.
A couple governors races to update everyone on. Incumbent Republicans Robert Bentley (Alabama) and Bill Haslam (Tennessee) have won re-election, while in Florida, another incumbent Republican (Rick Scott) is now leading Charlie Crist (D) 48%-47%.
Republicans have held onto Senate seats in the following three states (according to the NYT): Alabama (Jeff Sessions, who ran unopposed), Oklahoma (Jim Inhofe) and Tennessee (Lamar Alexander).
NYT has projected that incumbent Sen. Susan Collins (R) has held onto to her seat in Maine.
Thad Cochran, the Republican incumbent senator from Mississippi, has also won re-election to the U.S. Senate.
Democrats have held onto Senate seats in two states in which polls closed at 8p.m. EST (Cory Booker in New Jersey and Ed Markey in Massachusetts).
NBC News is projecting that Republicans will (unsurprisingly) hold onto control of the House of Representatives, with the split breaking down as 242 Republicans to 193 Democrats, which represents a six seat loss if that projection holds up.
A lot of polls have just closed across the country (though some, such as Connecticut, will stay open a little while longer due to voting issues that occurred earlier in the day). Here they are:
Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, most of New Hampshire, parts of North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, half of South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington D.C.
Sen. Hagan in North Carolina is gaining on Thom Tillis, as she now trails the Republican challenger 50%-46% with 2% reporting.
In New Hampshire, Scott Brown now trails Sen. Shaheen (D) 56%-43% with 7% reporting.
Republican Shelley Moore Capito has won West Virginia’s Senate seat. Republicans have now won three Senate seats so far (Kentucky, South Carolina, and now West Virginia).
In North Carolina, incumbent Kay Hagan (D) trails Republican Thom Tillis 57%-35% with 1% reporting.
Just north in Virginia, another Democrat incumbent in Mark Warner is trailing. Warner trails Ed Gillespie 56%-41% with 8% reporting.
More results: NYT reports Republican David Perdue has a very early 64%-34% lead over Democrat Michelle Nunn in the Georgia Senate race. This is one of the two races that possibly could not yield a winner tonight if neither candidate receives over 50% of the vote (the other being in Louisiana).
Also, polls have closed in North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia. With the poll closing in Ohio, Governor John Kasich (R) has already reportedly won re-election as that state’s governor.
Results are coming in from New Hampshire in that state’s senate race. So far, former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown (R) has an early 60%-40% lead over incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D).
In the Florida governor’s race, former governor Charlie Crist (D) has an early 52%-43% lead over incumbent governor Rick Scott (R) with 29% of counties reporting. MSNBC’s Ed Schultz is reporting that Crist’s camp will file a lawsuit to extend voting by one hour in Broward County. Reportedly, there were issues with allowing some citizens to vote (some things never change in Florida do they?)
Five more poll closings to tell you about- Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia.
NBC News has projected that Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) has won re-election to the U.S. Senate over Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes. McConnell currently leads 56%-41%.
South Carolina has also been called for incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham (R). Graham had a comfortable lead over Democratic challenger Brad Hutto throughout the election season. In addition, South Carolina’s incumbent governor Nikki Haley has also reportedly won re-election.
Polls have closed in eastern Kentucky and in most of Indiana, and we have some (very) early results to pass along.
According to the New York Times, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has an early 61%-37% over Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes in the Kentucky Senate race, with about 1% of precincts reporting.
Stay tuned for more results.
Here is a list of the times each state closes its polls. Remember, if you are in line to vote and polls in your state close while you are in line, you must be allowed to vote. Times are Eastern Standard Time (EST) and are provided by Ballotpedia.org
6 p.m. EST: eastern Kentucky and eastern Indiana
7 p.m. EST: western Kentucky, western Indiana, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Vermont, and Virginia
7:30 p.m. EST: North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia
8 p.m. EST: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, most of New Hampshire, parts of North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, half of South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington D.C.
8:30 p.m. EST: Arkansas
9 pm. EST: Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, New Mexico, parts of North Dakota, half of South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
10 p.m. EST: Iowa, southern Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Utah
11 p.m. EST: California, Hawaii, northern Idaho, Oregon, and Washington
Midnight EST: Alaska
We will update poll closings at the top and bottom of each hour as each close.
FiveThirtyEight’s latest Senate forecast is out and if the site’s model is accurate, it will be a night to celebrate for Republicans. Nate Silver and his team predict there is a 76.2% chance the Senate will be controlled by Republicans after all the votes are counted. The problem, however, is that all votes may not be counted by the end of the night. Or even tomorrow. Senate races in Georgia and Louisiana are currently projected to enter into a runoff since no candidate in either state is projected to receive at least 50% of the total vote. A runoff is either or both states between the top two recipients of votes would not occur until December, which means that we may not know the official results of those two races until January. Depending on how the rest of the races play out tonight, Democrats could technically hold onto a very slim majority in the Senate.