- Citizens United Case Helped Elect More Republicans
- House Republicans Don't Expect Government Shutdown
- Christie Makes Mexico Trip as Foreign Policy Test
- Franken Maintains Lead in Minnesota
- Senator's Refusal to Resign Changed South Dakota Politics
November 7, 2012
Updated 11:23 a.m. | The Associated Press this morning declared Montana Sen. Jon Tester (D) the winner of his re-election race against Rep. Denny Rehberg (R).
The win means Democrats are guaranteed to have a larger majority in the Senate next year, with at least 54 seats. The open-seat race in North Dakota has still not been called, but Democrat Heidi Heitkamp is currently leading by nearly 3,000 votes over Republican Rep. Rick Berg. If Heitkamp wins, Democrats would have their majority expanded by two seats.
“Jon Tester knows his state like the back of his hand, and he is exactly the type of quality leader we need in the US Senate,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (Wash.) said in a statement. “Montanans saw right through the millions in attack ads from Karl Rove and others.”
With 85 percent of precincts reporting, Tester led Rehberg by about 18,000 votes. Montanans also had a third choice in the race. Libertarian candidate Dan Cox took more than 6 percent of the vote, much of that likely from voters who otherwise would have supported Rehberg.
“Senator Tester and I share an abiding love for Montana and America, a value which transcends political party or disagreements on matters of policy,” Rehberg said in a statement. “I congratulate Jon on his victory in this hard-fought campaign.”
The morning after winning the open-seat Senate race in Maine, Angus King (I) still wouldn’t say which party he will caucus with, though he acknowledged he will probably pick a side.
“Next week is an orientation session. I’m going to be going down, probably this weekend, to Washington and talking to the leadership” on both sides, King told MSNBC. ”My goal is to be as independent as I possibly can, but I also want to be effective.”
Speaking by telephone from Maine, the popular former governor said he received a courtesy call from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) but has not yet heard from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Reid’s quick outreach is no surprise — national Democrats largely avoided the Maine Senate seat while Republicans were actively engaged because both sides have assumed King would caucus with the Democrats. Nonetheless, King said he would speak with both parties before making a decision.
Firebrand Rep. Allen West (R) may narrowly lose his re-election bid, burned by his own hot rhetoric — which his opponent turned against him — and burdened by GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s weaker-than-expected showing in Florida.
In one of the costliest, nastiest and hardest-fought Congressional campaigns in the country, businessman Patrick Murphy led the freshman 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent, according to the Associated Press. The race has not yet been officially called for Murphy, and 2,456 votes separate the two candidates with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
Montana Sen. Jon Tester (D) led by 4 points in his bid for re-election with two-thirds of precincts fully reporting early Wednesday morning, but enough votes remained outstanding that the race was too close to call.
Tester led with 49 percent, while his Republican challenger, Rep. Denny Rehberg, had 45 percent. Libertarian candidate Dan Cox appeared to be giving Tester a significant boost by taking more than 6 percent of the vote. Full story
Razor-thin margins mean more than a handful of House races might not produce a winner today — or this week. There are still several races in California that have yet to be called by the Associated Press. Here are the races outside the Golden State that remained too close to call as of this morning.
- In Arizona’s 1st district, former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) has a 6,716-vote lead over Jonathan Paton (R), with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
- In Arizona’s 2nd district, Air Force Col. Martha McSally (R) led Rep. Ron Barber (D) by 386 votes — with 100 percent of precincts reporting. There’s an automatic recount in Arizona when the winner’s margin is less than one-tenth of a percentage point. Full story
California was truly the home of Congressional competition this cycle, as more than one-fifth of its House delegation will be new in the next Congress.
With several races still to be called, the state could elect as many as 12 new Members. That’s stunning movement for the country’s largest delegation, which has seen remarkably little turnover in the past decade.
Democrats hoped to net several seats in the Golden State this cycle, though gauging their success was still difficult Wednesday morning because several races remained too close to call. Full story
It’s been two tough cycles for conservative Blue Dog Democrats, but amidst the dark clouds — three caucus members lost — there were some very bright spots for the battered breed on Election Day.
Democratic Reps. John Barrow (Ga.) and Jim Matheson (Utah) pulled out re-election victories, despite running in reconfigured and heavily Republican districts. And Rep. Mike McIntyre (N.C.) looked poised for victory in another Republican district, although the Associated Press had not called the race by Wednesday morning. All three are Blue Dog Democrats who managed to localize their contests and run as conservatives, not letting national issues sweep them away. Full story
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) will be returning to Capitol Hill in the 113th Congress, after eking out re-election by a narrow margin against businessman Jim Graves (D).
With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Bachmann led Graves by just 3,230 votes — 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent for Graves. That’s a far less comfortable margin than Bachmann, who abandoned a presidential bid earlier this year, is used to. In 2010, she won by nearly 40,000 votes and got 52.5 percent.
In her presidential bid, Bachmann, who is a tea party hero and a lightning rod for the left, posted a surprising win in the 2011 Ames straw poll. But she dropped out of the presidential race in January, after her campaign cratered and she placed sixth in the Iowa caucuses in the state where she was born. Full story
It was ugly. It was expensive. It was physical. And now it’s over.
Rep. Brad Sherman defeated fellow Democratic Rep. Howard Berman in California’s reconfigured 30th district.
Just before 5:00 a.m. ET, Berman released a statement conceding to Sherman.
“Brad Sherman will be the next Congressman from the 30th Congressional District,” Berman said. “I congratulate Brad and my friend Tony Cardenas who will have the honor and solemn responsibility of representing the San Fernando Valley in the 113th Congress. I wish both of them the best of luck and the wisdom and strength to confront and overcome the challenges that face our nation. I will do whatever I can to ensure a cooperative and orderly transition.”
With 28 percent of precincts reporting, Sherman had 60 percent to Berman’s 40 percent.
Sen. Dean Heller (R) was able to overcome President Barack Obama’s Nevada coattails and defeat Rep. Shelley Berkley (D).
The Associated Press called the race around 4 a.m., with Heller leading by about 1 point.
The Silver State race is one of the few disappointments for Democrats on the Senate map this year. It was expected that Obama would have to carry the state by a large margin for Berkley to win. He won by more than 6 points, but it was not enough for Berkley.
Heller, who was appointed to the Senate last year, was thought to be especially vulnerable because he voted for Rep. Paul Ryan’s controversial budget blueprint as both a Member of the House and Senate.
Former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D) held a slim lead over her opponent, Rep. Rick Berg (R), in the race for North Dakota’s open Senate seat.
Heitkamp led Berg by about 3,500 votes with 99 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Associated Press.
Not so fast. Berg’s team announced early Wednesday morning that he wants to wait until the vote canvass finishes next week.
“This is a very close election, which is why North Dakota has a process in place to properly count each ballot and officially certify the result,” Berg spokesman Chris Van Guilder wrote in a press release. “This canvassing process will certify the election and provide an official result. The Berg for Senate campaign will await the results of the canvassing process before making any other announcements regarding the status of the election.”
A Heitkamp spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.
Nonetheless, the count might not end after the canvass. According to North Dakota election law, there’s an automatic recount if the apparent victor wins by less than 0.5 percent of his or her vote total.
It gets even more complicated. North Dakota is the only state without voter registration, so it’s ripe for legal complaints in a tight race such as this one.
UPDATED 4:00 a.m. | At least eight former House Members will return to Congress next year, and five of them are Democrats who were defeated in the GOP wave of 2010.
Two ex-lawmakers defeated the person who ousted them from office last cycle. In New Hampshire, former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) defeated freshman Rep. Frank Guinta (R) and ex-Rep. Dan Maffei (D) defeated Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R) in New York. In Illinois, former Rep. Bill Foster (D) ousted one of his ex-colleagues, Rep. Judy Biggert (R), although it was not a rematch from 2010
Two other former Members won open seats that were drawn to elect Democrats. Former Rep. Alan Grayson (D), a lightning rod for the GOP, easily won in Florida and and Dina Titus (D) won in Nevada. Full story
Rep. Jim Matheson (D) overcame several hurdles Tuesday to win re-election over rising GOP star Mia Love.
Love congratulated Matheson, according to a statement from her campaign.
Over the course of the campaign, Matheson had to introduce himself to new voters in a new seat gerrymandered to elect a Republican. Meanwhile, he had to defend himself against GOP charges that he was allied with President Barack Obama, who is unpopular in Utah, and deal with a headwind from GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who is popular in the state.
Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) — a top surrogate for failed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney — said early this morning that his party needs to be more inclusive of “minority and immigrant communities who are trying to make it.”
President Barack Obama won by huge margins across the country with Hispanic and African-American voters, just days after telling the Des Moines Register that if he were to win “a big reason … is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community.”
Rubio, a prominent Cuban politician considered in the mix for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, released a statement calling out his party on its failures this cycle with minority and immigrant voters, perhaps setting the stage for future elections and work on immigration reform next Congress.
“Now comes the hard part. America faces monumental challenges in putting people back to work, reducing our crushing debt and advancing our interests around the world,” Rubio said.
Former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) defeated Rep. Frank Guinta (R) Tuesday night, according to Associated Press projections.
Shea-Porter was an underdog for most of the cycle — but her hopes were very much tied to President Barack Obama’s performance in the Granite State. Even some Democrats were dubious of her chances of returning to Congress.
But Obama is on track to win by more than 5 points, and Shea-Porter corrected one of her biggest weaknesses in the third quarter: fundraising.
This means that New Hampshire will continue its 18-year tradition of sending two Members from the same party to Congress. But also, New Hampshire will have an entirely female House and Senate delegation, along with a female governor.