Everyone knew that the Democrats were going to make gains in the U.S. Senate tonight. The real question was whether or not they'd be able to reach a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority, and kick Joe Lieberman out into the gutter once and for all.
Unfortunately, their plan for those 60 seats has a picked up a little too much Joementum along the way. The Dems were counting on picking up at least one Senate seat in the South – either in Mississippi, Georgia, or Kentucky.
It's looking like that Southern Strategy isn't going to work out . . .
* Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell has apparently held off a very strong challenge from Democrat Bruce Lunsford, winning by just a couple percentage points.
* In Mississippi, recently appointed Republican incumbent Roger Wicker looks almost certain to defeat former Democratic Governor Ronnie Musgrove.
* Georgia is still undecided . . . incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss leads, but the results from the Democratic stronghold of Atlanta are still trickling in.
Watch this space for more updates as the evening proceeds . . .
Tags: Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Senate
The networks are buzzing about a possible McCain concession speech, but don't you think he's going to want to see if he at least won Arizona first?
Obama won his home state, Illinois. Republican Sen. John McCain was in a close fight in his home state, Arizona, in a race that NBC News said was too close to call.
Better news for Arizona Republicans is that vulnerable Congressman John Shadegg is leading challenger Bob Lord with 67% of the vote now reporting.
It remains to be seen if Shadegg is going to have any Republicans to caucus with when he gets back to the House. Maybe Joe Lieberman will shuttle over from the Senate to keep him company.
Tags: Arizona, Barack Obama, Joe Lieberman, John McCain, John Shadegg, MSNBC
OK, guess who? They've already been in Washington as Congressmen. Their fathers, Mo and Stew, were major Beltway power players of an earlier generation. And now they're getting returned to DC as Senators.
It's the Udall cousins, Mark and Tom! From Colorado and New Mexico, respectively, they are now forecast to be elected to two Senate seats left open by retiring Republican Senators. Isn't that cute? We hope they get an apartment together. Oh wait, they already have one.
It remains to be seen if the family magic will hold for their cousin, Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon. Smith is on the wrong side of tonight's momentum, as an incumbent Republican, and he may well fall to Democratic challenger Jeff Merkley.
Also, we just feel obliged to mention this . . . all three cousins are Mormons. Is it OK to mention that? We mean, not that there's anything wrong with that. There are lots of major Mormon politicians, like Mitt Romney and Harry Reid!
Wait, actually that's kind of bizarre.
Tags: Colorado, Gordon Smith, House of Representatives, New Mexico, Oregon, Senate
Q. What does present-day New England have in common with the Jim Crow-era South?
A. They each feature(d) across-the-board Democratic representation.
The last Republican to fall in New England? Connecticut's Chris Shays…
U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays has lost his bid for an 11th term in Congress.
Shays, who is the last New England Republican in the House of Representatives, lost to former Greenwich businessman Jim Himes.
With 40 percent of votes counted, Himes won 60 percent to 39 percent.
Also Carol Shea-Porter held off her Republican challenger in right-of-center New Hampshire.
To repeat, that gives us a net total of zero Republicans left in New England's Congressional delegation. Just like the old South.
Now to be fair, a lot has changed; the Southern Democrats hated Abraham Lincoln, not George W. Bush. And you don't often hear New Englanders muse about "rising again."
But politics makes strange bedfellows.
Tags: Carol Shea-Porter, Connecticut, New England, New Hampshire
Maine is an ornery kind of state. Tucked up in our northeast, they're never too keen on taking their cues from the rest of the country. (Which they uniformly refer to as "away," whether New Hampshire or Hawaii.)
So when the rest of the country announced that they were driving out Republicans and pushing the Senate toward a 60-vote Democratic supermajority, Mainers shook their heads, set down their Allen's Coffee Brandy, and re-elected Senator Susan Collins.
Collins benefits from the fact that the Senate does not administer and IQ test for admission, but she's known as an independent legislator who works across the aisle on issues that matter most to Mainers. (The economy, coffee brandy, sleet removal.)
The state did, however, let down the Republicans on the presidential front. McCain had his eye on the one electoral vote from Maine's second district and bought airtime to compete for it. He even sent noted hunter Sarah Palin to campaign there, which unwittingly proved to be the campaign's undoing.
The second district consists almost entirely of moose.
Tags: John McCain, Maine, Sarah Palin, Susan Collins