The reign of Barack Obama ends tonight! What? Oh, it's just Congress and governors and stuff. Let's keep liveblogging. Republicans have already won the House, but can they take the Senate? An unemployed nation waits.
7:05 — Results everywhere! The GOP's Rand Paul, the original Aqua Buddha, beats Jack Conway for Senate in Kentucky. Democrat Sen. Pat Leahy wins his very easy re-election in Vermont. Republican Sen. Jim DeMint somehow beats joke candidate Alvin Greene for re-election in South Carolina. Republican Dan Coats beats Brad Ellsworth for Indiana Senate. So there's that.
7:10 — North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia close next. Ohio's gubernatorial race and West Virginia's Senate race are two of the most important of the night, now that Alvin Greene has lost.
7:12 — What silly news channel are you people watching? MSNBC is going to be bitchy all night. Fox News is going to be putting on a fucking 4th of July fireworks display in their indoor set. Let's go with wimpy old CNN right now! As expected, there are a full 500 panelists — the Best Political Team on Television, no one calls them — at the CNN table, pretending to look at notes.
7:15 — Do send in all of your local on-the-ground reports about anything that's interesting to firstname.lastname@example.org, won't you? Also email email@example.com if something horribly inaccurate or misspelled is typed here, as there usually is, but especially when we're typing super-fast and not actually thinking.
7:20 — CNN Analyst #245, Wolf Blitzer: "It looks like a real uphill climb here for Democrats tonight." The Beard is already on fire. John King is already drawing boobs on his magical map. Old queen Jack Cafferty is wallpapered inside the walls, maybe.
7:30 — Results: Republican Rob Portman beats Lee Fisher for Ohio's Senate seat, as expected.
7:31 — Still waiting on Florida's governor's race, which probably won't take all night. Someone is predicting Charlie Crist for no reason except that her dad is friends with him, even though Crist is trailing by double digits. Her name is Meghan McCain. She wrote an incompetent article today.
7:35 — It's really a shame that Andrew Breitbart was dropped from ABC's team tonight, at the last minute. Not even joking. He's no 500-person CNN panel, but it would have been hilarious to watch a crazy bitter liar person snivel and sneer all night. Let people watch him and figure out for themselves. Now there's just more and more resentment, over some television special's guest, and Breitbart's fans love him even more.
7:49 — This is interesting: The GOP's go-to "message guru," Frank Luntz — the guy who tells them to label literally every bill a "Democratic bailout" no matter what it's about — says Harry Reid's going to win in Nevada based on exit polls. To translate from mindfuck-speak, that means that Democrats who haven't voted in Nevada should really go vote right now, because it's razor-thin.
7:53 — The Democratic House members in Kentucky are doing well in their big bellwether-y races. Rep. John Yarmuth, who had a modest lead in polls, has won, and the poll expert people have been saying that if he lost, that would support the 70- or 80-seat Republican pickup narrative. Isn't it insane that we all follow these weird numbers and don't just, I don't know, go play hopscotch outside, sleep, and then see what happened in the morning?
8:01 — Results: DING DING DING. Christine O'Donnell loses to Chris Coons for Delaware's Senate seat. Let us join every other publication on earth in saying that "the witch is dead." (Fucking phew.)
8:03 — Results: The AP calls Florida's Senate seat for Republican Marco Rubio. Republican Sen. Richard Shelby easily wins re-election in Alabama. Republican Kelly Ayotte beats Paul Hodes in New Hampshire. No surprises!
8:09 — Oh, and another thing from a few minutes ago? Mary Matalin, James Carville's Republican wife, was just saying how impressive it was that Portman beat Fisher for Senate in Ohio, that it was a bellwether, and that it was tied 50-50 going into today. That is incorrect. Portman was leading by double digits since forever. She may have confused it with the governor's race, or she may just not deserve to be an analyst on election night. But it's just CNN.
8:15 — Oh, and the Democrat won Delaware's House seat, currently represented by retiring Rep. Mike Castle, who was going to beat Chris Coons in Delaware but lost in the Republican primary to Christine O'Donnell. The Tea Party has done wonders for Republicans in Delaware!
8:22 — Okay now we're on MSNBC and immediately, JESUS, Lester Holt is playing with some 3D chart thing in a starry blue outer-space pod with monuments in the background. It's incredible how much cheap multicolored plastic space-crap that cable news channels put in their studios on election nights. It's the sexually transmitted disease of design aesthetics. Anyway, it's funny.
8:27 — Results: Democrat Dick Blumenthal beats Linda McMahon for Connecticut's Senate seat. Somehow that last-minute video of her vile husband Vince shitting everywhere didn't sway enough independents. Republican John Boozman beats Sen. Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas, and will probably crush her by the end of the night. She got no benefit from removing the public option from the health care reform bill or blocking the Employee Free Choice Act, unions' #1 priority. Independents/conservatives in Arkansas will not vote for an incumbent Democrat in 2010 over procedural tweaks.
8:35 — Very good news for you hippies: Democrat Joe Manchin has beaten John Raese in West Virginia's Senate race. This was the most important bellwether of the first half of the night. So it should just be "normal shitty" for Democrats tonight. But maybe it will get extra super shitty later on anyway? Who knows! The problem with things that happen in the future is that they happen in the future, which is later.
8:49 — This isn't an upset, but it still sucks for Democrats: Virginia freshman Rep. Tom Perriello, a promising, populist guy who didn't wimp out on his party's major votes despite being in an extremely red district, has lost to Republican Robert Hurt. Remember when Virginia was Democratic for five seconds? It is now red as the dickens again. Redder than you, redder than me, and redder than the Weather Penis.
8:57 — Kumar simply doesn't care for Blanche Lincoln:
9:00 — Oh bloody hell it's the top of the hour, here come 500 results, must type faster...
9:04 — Results: Andrew Cuomo is your new governor of New York, while Carl Paladino goes back to being merely an insanely rich real estate investor. Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer win re-election in New York, Republican Sen. Tom Coburn wins in Oklahoma, Republican whoremonger Sen. David Vitter wins in Louisiana, missed that last one, why are they cutting to Rand Paul's speech, why is this happening, go back to results please, it's close in Wisconsin's Senate seat... yeah, we're lost. There were no surprises.
9:13 — Wolf Blitzer makes this announcement with a 900-foot wide banner on the big screen behind him. "John Boehner will be the House Speaker. This means that Nancy Pelosi will not be the uh, the, uh, the Speaker of the House, now."
9:20 — Some of you people may love Florida's Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson, the not-so-honest guy who goes on MSNBC all the time to say liberal buzzwords, but he lost. Fine. Next time the Netroots should put all their weight behind a candidate who agrees with them on the issues but is at least slightly watchable.
9:28 — How's everybody doing? Politics, eh? We've been typing non-stop for the last 150 minutes straight, so maybe time for 5-10 minutes of hand stretches and massages and, most likely, amputation. BRB. Keep an eye on Joe Lieberman while we're out; he might sneak off to join the Republicans under cover of dark! (Don't bother chasing, though.)
9:44 — HELLO AGAIN. Who's this person giving a speech now? Oh right, Christine O'Donnell; had already forgotten about her. She says she called Chris Coons to concede and gave him a lecture about the importance of preserving upper-class tax cuts to help the Little Man. Christine O'Donnell, she's something. So, has Fox News drawn up a contract for her yet?
9:47 — Oklahoma has voted to ban Islamic Sharia law, the smallest imaginable threat to the state of Oklahoma.
9:54 — Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick has won a tough re-election in Massachusetts. Still, he'll never live up to Mitt "Willard" Romney.
9:58 — GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell: "I'm going to be the leader of huge army." Is Mitch McConnell enlisting? Stay safe, Mitch!
10:00 — Results (top of the hour!): Re-elections for Sens. John McCain, Chuck Grassley, and David Vitter... whom they'd already called before, right? Anyway, this is good news for John McCain.
10:15 — Constant typing and tab-switching is making the Gawker Political Desk's computer freeze. Ugh.
10:24 — Technical difficulties have hopefully subsided. Now, back to the breaking news from ten minutes ago: CNN's John King is standing in Tron. That is CNN's contribution to outer space studio sets tonight. What else? The Senate looks safe for Democrats. But the Harry Reid/Sharron Angle Race is still a big deal! As is Alaska's Senate Three-Way. Wolf Blitzer: "There's a lot to look at now: the Tea Party, the Republicans, the Democrats." He's not wrong!
10:30 — CNN is now throwing out vague narratives that mean nothing at a breakneck pace, about 20 per minute, which is still only 50% speed. There's a lot of time left! They keep talking about whether the new Republicans will make the deep, deep cuts to spending and taxes they're always babbling about, to balance the budget. If they just stood on their heads and farted at the camera instead of talking, we'd learn more.
10:37 — Results: Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley wins re-election in Maryland. Republican Tom Corbett wins Pennsylvania's gubernatorial race. (Pennsylvania's Senate race is still extremely close; as is Illinois'. Those would each be kind of surprising for Democrats! But at this point we're just trying to figure out which number in the low-50s the Democrats will end up with in the Senate. Where's all the WILD DRAMA?)
10:44 — This one's going to be painful, even if expected, for a lot of liberals and a big chunk of libertarians too: Sen. Russ Feingold has lost to Republican Ron Johnson in Wisconsin.
10:52 — Results: Dems flip their second House seat, Rep. Joseph Cao's in Louisiana. One time John Boehner said "The Future is Cao," which was kind of awesome. Longtime Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy has lost in North Dakota. Former in-the-news person Nikki Haley, Republican, has won the South Carolina governor's race. Oh and hey, Democratic Rep. Barney Frank, whom people thought could lose, won by his usual standard 50,000 percentage points.
But the House is a bloodbath for Democrats. Ohio and Virginia, states Obama would need in 2012, are almost entirely red now. Red as hot neon red blood! They don't take kindly to non-reds there, after this historic night.
11:02 — Bridgeport, Connecticut kept polls open later than usual today due to a fairly simple math problem: "The mayor said only 21,000 ballots were ordered by the registrars in a city that has nearly 68,000 registered voters." Yeah, that first number is smaller than that second number; gonna have problems there.
11:07 — You know how we said earlier that MSNBC would be too bitchy to watch? Well we just flipped back to it. It's bitchy. Lawrence O'Donnell and Rachel Maddow are about to beat the shit out of each other, over Russ Feingold. He lost because he was unpopular! He lost because he was outspent! You're wrong I worked on the Senate Finance Committee and know things! No you're wrong I'm better because my show's an hour earlier than yours! (Paraphrasing/making up.)
11:12 — Michigan Democratic Rep. John Dingell, the third longest-serving member of Congress in history and Dean of the House, is just barely ahead, with 50% of the vote in. Wow. "Things suck for the Democrats right now," Chris Matthews says. Again, such bitches on this channel.
11:24 — At some point — around when we lost our minds, ~10:40, when CNN's Bill Bennett was saying that most kids in the country suffer from marijuana use — we stopped writing "Results" consistently before updates with results, so let's drop that altogether. Anyway, important thing: Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer has won re-election in California, and old Democrat Jerry Brown has won his second tour of duty as governor of the Golden State (of Debt Default.) Poor Meg Whitman, after spending $150 million of her own money, now only has a few hundred million or a billion left. We'd better give her a tax cut soon; she can't live off of Ramen Noodles, mud sandwiches and old battery acid forever.
11:32 — Quick break! In the meantime, enjoy this, our official Freedom Gift to the new Republican House majority. [Update: This post is too big for video embeds. But Republican House majority members can click the link to receive their Freedom Gift.]
11:51 — The most predictable event of the night finally happens: John Boehner cries. He is a sensitive orange grump, John Boehner is, and he always cries. The leader of the new anti-bailout majority once even cried on the floor of the House, during the financial crisis, begging his colleagues to vote for the bank bailout. But tonight he's fulfilling his career goal of being House Speaker, so that is cry-worthy.
11:58 — Important thing: CNN, on its 900-foot teevee screen again, projects Democratic control of the Senate. Democrats never really knew that they had it in the first place, but they'll still technically retain it.
12:02 — Think we missed this one, amid all the other endless losing: Republican Pat Toomey ends up beating Joe Sestak for Pennsylvania's Senate seat. And Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland loses his big re-election campaign to Republican John Kasich. CNN is debating whether Barack Obama has a problem connecting with voters, for the seventh consecutive hour. They never bother to define "connecting," and what he might have to do differently to "connect." Talk in a clown voice? Wear pants for his shirt and a shirt for his pants? Shoot them with Predator drones? Or maybe they mean physically connect, as with glue, or duct tape. It's hard to tell because it's mindless idiot bullshit. Economy! Bad! Look outside the window!
12:16 — Oh yeah, we heard about Crazy Carl Paladino threatening to beat the shit out of Andrew Cuomo with a baseball bat, although it wasn't on our teevee. We'll look for some video to put in a separate video. Paladino's been out of the Army for decades. He should make an effort to adjust to civilian life.
12:23 — Another close one wraps up: Republican Mark Kirk beats Alexi Giannoulias to win Barack Obama's old Illinois Senate seat. Wasn't that selfish of Barack Obama to abandon a perfectly safe Senate seat just so he could be "president of America"?
12:34 — It's far from a sure thing yet, but it would be incredible if after this election, the 2010 Democratic death and destruction parade, one of the few Democrats returning to Washington will be Harry Reid?
12:37 — Well shit, it happened: Harry Reid has defeated Sharron Angle. WOOOOOOOW.
12:50 — Do CNN people realize how funny it is for John King to walk into his cheap plastic 3D Tron-scape which he calls "The Matrix"? The 3D lasers won't stop twitching and blinking, either. Rick Sanchez is probably sitting at home like, "Thank god I got fired before this cheap plastic 3D Tron-scape shit started."
1:01 — There will be a variety of people in the new Senate. Well, except for the zero black people.
1:02 — California Prop 19, the marijuana legalization initiative, goes down big. This is great news for Mexican cartels!
1:08 — So let's get to this bad boy: Three of the Iowa Supreme Court justices who ruled — in a unanimous decision — to legalize gay marriage last year are losing their retention races. "Their removal would mark the first time any Iowa Supreme Court justice has not been retained, since the merit selection and retention system was adopted in 1962." The Gawker Political Desk has not studied much about the history of judicial elections. So here's a question: How does such a thing exist? (Oh, well, these are retention races, which are slightly better than judicial elections. Thank you! But still, term limits and mandatory retirement ages seem like better checks, no? (Thank you, too!)
1:28 — TRIUMPH! Dan Quayle's weird porn-writing kid, Ben Quayle, is goin' to Washington to shake things up! But not before you write your thank-you note to Mr. George H.W. Bush for that fundraiser he held for you, young man.
1:45 — Actual official statement from John Kerry's office about Harry Reid's win: "Politico was wrong, Huffington Post was wrong, hell, all the pundits were wrong. Harry Reid isn't just Dracula, he isn't just Lazarus, he's our Leader and our whole caucus is thrilled that he's unbreakable and unbeatable." NO, HE'S AWESOMER THAN THAT: He's the anti-John Kerry circa 2004!
1:59 — This comment is a very true comment (sorry if someone else made it earlier; we have not read all 2,000+ comments yet): "Also, another big effect of the night, especially in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other swing states on the state level that effects federal elections as well: redistricting will be happening in the next year. That will have huge repercussions for 2012." More here.
This marks the end of your 2010 election night liveblog. Thank you all for coming here, and maybe even sticking around for a while. Between the post and the comments, this might be the most text in any Gawker post ever! There's still plenty of action — the close Colorado Senate race is having some ballot questions(?), the infamous Alaskan Three-Way, and loose ends across the country. Your wonderful night editors will cover the developments in separate posts.
Summary: Democrats are going to lose more House seats than expected but win maybe one or two more Senate seats than expected.