- Extra Bonus Quote of the Day
- Pence Will Visit Iowa
- Forecast Shows Democrats Outperforming Expectations
- Does Obama Have a Foreign Policy?
- Even Brownback's Poll Shows a Toss Up
November 6, 2012
Lightning didn’t strike twice in Massachusetts for Sen. Scott Brown (R).
The Associated Press called the race for Elizabeth Warren (D), a Harvard University professor, consumer advocate and first-time political candidate, around 10 p.m. She had 53 percent of votes to Brown’s 47 percent, with 47 percent of precincts reporting.
The Bay State’s junior Senator won an improbable special election victory in January 2010 that shocked the political world. The results this evening, in deep-blue Massachusetts, proved decidedly less of a jolt. Full story
Maryland Democrats succeeded tonight in their effort to redistrict Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R) out of office.
Businessman John Delaney (D) defeated Bartlett, according to the Associated Press.
Bartlett was possibly the biggest loser in redistricting. State Democrats dramatically redrew his rural seat to incorporate suburban Washington, D.C., areas. Bartlett fought hard to hold his seat, but national Republicans never came to his aid on any substantial level.
The map that ended Bartlett’s career was so controversial that it was put to a ballot referendum tonight.
Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) has defeated state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) tonight, handing Senate Democrats another pickup, according to the Associated Press.
Until recently, Republicans believed they would keep the Indiana seat given the Hoosier State’s strong GOP base. But Democrats spent early and often to boost Donnelly, and polls showed a tied race by Labor Day.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, Mourdock made a political mistake that might have cost Republicans this seat. In his final debate with Donnelly, Mourdock said he believed pregnancy resulting from rape is something “God intended.” Full story
As the disappointing election results were being tallied, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel vowed to operatives at an election night party that Democrats would pick up seats in the House.
The bar is lower than the goal of retaking control of the chamber that leaders have talked up for the past two years. Even as networks were calling the House for Republicans, the New Yorker’s fellow Democratic leaders, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, both maintained that such a victory was in their grasp.
“Yes, we think we’re going to take back the House,” Hoyer said.
Israel was less sanguine, drawing a line not at the 25 seats Democrats needed but at a projection made by his Republican counterpart more than one year ago.
“The Republicans said that tonight they were going to win 16 seats. Wrong! We’re not letting ‘em win 16 seats. We’re stopping them in their tracks. We’re gonna gain seats tonight in the House of Representatives,” Israel said.
But even if the results will be a disappointment for Democrats, both Pelosi and Hoyer praised Israel’s tenure atop the House campaign committee, with Hoyer calling his work “extraordinary” and Pelosi’s a “job well done.”
Pelosi also expressed optimism about how the rest of the evening would play out. “These elections as they unfold across the country will unroll an ever-increasing number of new Democrats who will come to the Congress and join the fight.” The results will exceed “everyone’s expectation and perhaps achieve our drive to 25 [seats],” Pelosi said.
With recent speculation about Pelosi’s future as a backdrop, Hoyer offered lengthy and effusive praise for the Minority Leader.
“We could not have been successful without the leadership, the extraordinary energy, the focus and the extraordinary ability to raise funds for the cause. … I want to congratulate Nancy Pelosi, our leader,” he said.
“I’ve been at this for some period of time. I have never seen anybody with energy, more focus, more self discipline and more effectiveness in conveying the message of our party and ensuring we have the resources to get that message to the American people. Nancy Pelosi, thank you very, very much,” Hoyer said.
Pelosi congratulated Hoyer on winning re-election to his Congressional seat in Maryland.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) will return to Congress for a second term, according to the Associated Press. He defeated state Treasurer Josh Mandel (R).
Thanks to inroads the GOP made during the 2010 midterms, Brown was viewed as one of the most vulnerable incumbents this year. But his political skills proved dogged, and he seemed to have the upper hand for most of the cycle.
Democratic Sens. Bob Casey (Pa.) and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) will return to the Senate, according to Associated Press projections.
Stabenow seemed vulnerable early in the cycle. But her opponent, former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R), was never able to recover from a controversial television ad. President Barack Obama also proved to have strong coattails in Michigan, and the race was soon moved out of competitive categories.
Casey, however, got his scare at the end of the cycle. His self-funded opponent, Republican Tom Smith, was able to narrow the margin but couldn’t get across the finish line.
11:15 p.m. | President Barack Obama has defeated Mitt Romney and won re-election, capping the most expensive and divisive national campaign in memory, according to network news and Associated Press projections.
The president’s victory — built on key swing states including Ohio, Wisconsin and New Hampshire — will give him a second term in a deeply divided nation, and he will be facing a similar lineup in Congress, which has thwarted the bulk of his agenda for the past two years.
Obama’s victory was sealed by the critical state of Ohio — the focus of both candidates for months — where Romney, his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) and Vice President Joseph Biden all made appearances on Election Day.
Updated 10:57 p.m. | At Republican and Democratic election night events in Washington, D.C., Democrats seemed to be having the better time.
With President Barack Obama racking up wins in battleground states and Mitt Romney yet to put one away, the Republican National Committee party at the Ronald Reagan Building seemed to be thinning out after 10 p.m. At one point, a smattering of applause rang through the hall when Fox News announced Romney won Utah.
Attendees seemed to be clinging to any good news after announcements that Democrats won Senate seats in Massachusetts and Indiana. But they soldiered on, holding out hope despite the fact that it’s a cash bar. Full story
Kentucky Rep. Ben Chandler, a conservative Blue Dog Democrat, lost tonight to Lexington attorney Andy Barr (R).
With 98.7 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press called the race for Barr. He took 50.5 percent to Chandler’s 46.8 percent.
Chandler beat Barr by 647 votes in 2010, the third-closest House race in the nation.
But this cycle Barr had a new playbook. He focused, especially in the waning months, on tying Chandler to President Barack Obama — who is deeply unpopular in Kentucky — and focusing on issues related to coal, which is important to a big swath of the newly configured 6th district.
Chandler, for his part, had a similar strategy to 2010, but he started pushing out ads on coal issues after Barr began advertising on the topic. That’s when internal polls began to show Chandler slipping.
And he never recovered.
Chandler could be the first of many conservative Democrats to be defeated tonight.
Rep. Christopher Murphy (D) defeated former WWE CEO Linda McMahon for Connecticut’s open-seat race tonight, according to the Associated Press.
The race was of great concern to national Democrats early in the fall, but all along they insisted that when the party competed with McMahon’s personal spending on the TV airwaves, Murphy would get breathing room.
McMahon went to extraordinary efforts to tie herself to President Barack Obama, but that effort proved unsuccessful. This was her second run for the Senate. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) defeated her in 2010. For the two runs, McMahon ultimately spent nearly $100 million from her personal fortune.
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) easily won a third term tonight, beating Rep. Connie Mack IV (R), according to the Associated Press.
Nelson, who has managed to sustain a strong bipartisan appeal in Florida despite voting with Democrats most of the time in Washington, D.C., was always favored in his race with Mack.
The Congressman, son of former Florida Sen. Connie Mack III, was a weak candidate who at times seemed more focused on bashing Florida’s top political reporters than painting a contrast with Nelson. And he never raised the kind of money he would have needed to compete in the state’s exorbitantly expensive media markets.
The Senator, meanwhile, just kept plodding along and used his substantial war chest to hammer Mack in TV ads.
It’s not yet clear whether President Barack Obama will win the Sunshine State tonight, as he did in 2008. But, in polling, Nelson has always significantly outperformed Obama in the state. Nelson’s margin was likely among unmarried white women and independent voters, groups in which he comfortably ran ahead of the president.
Popular former Maine Gov. Angus King (I) tonight comfortably won the Pine Tree State’s open Senate seat, currently held by moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe, who is retiring.
The Associated Press called the race. King beat Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers (R) and state Sen. Cynthia Dill (D).
King hasn’t said with which party he will caucus, but he is widely expected to cast his vote for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The National Republican Senatorial Committee spent a not insignificant amount of money against King, lobbing potent attack ads his way. National GOP third-party groups also tried to knock King down and boost Summers.
Speaker John Boehner will address the crowd at the Republican National Committee party in Washington, D.C., tonight according to a late news release from his office.
The Ohio Republican’s comments will come around 9:50 p.m. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, after remarks from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas).
Although many elections results should be in by that time, it is unlikely the presidential race will be decided by that hour. As a result, it remains unclear what tack Boehner will take in his speech. In recent interviews from the campaign trail, Boehner has been saying he wants to delay until the new year several issues that Congress could consider during the lame-duck session and that he sees raising tax rates on the highest earners — a stated priority of the Obama administration — as a nonstarter.
Updated 12:37 a.m. | As Election Day folded into Nov. 7, the only question remaining in the fight for the Senate was the size of the Democratic majority.
Democrats were looking at a net gain of two seats, with just two Democratic-held seats and one Republican seat left to be called. That meant the Democratic majority could be no lower than 53-47, exactly where it was at the beginning of the cycle.
“When we started this campaign, no one, and I mean no one gave us a chance. But we went out and built the best Senate campaigns in the history of the country,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (Wash.) said in a statement. “We recruited some of the highest quality candidates, including a record number of women. Democrats never let up, and now we will retain our majority in the United States Senate.”
The Associated Press called the Wisconsin Senate race after midnight, with Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) topping former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) for the seat of retiring Sen. Herb Kohl (D). That left two Democratic-held seats yet to be called: in Montana, where Sen. Jon Tester (D) faced Rep. Denny Rehberg (R), and in North Dakota, where former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D) faced Rep. Rick Berg (R) for the seat of retiring Sen. Kent Conrad (D).
Nevada Sen. Dean Heller (R) was looking to hold on against Rep. Shelley Berkley (D), even as President Barack Obama carried the state.
Updated 11:25 p.m. | Democrats will retain control of the Senate.
Tim Kaine’s (D) victory in Virginia and Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-Mo.) re-election took two more pickup opportunities off the map for Republicans and left the GOP without enough states left to complete its quest for the majority.
With the presidential contest now called for President Barack Obama, Democrats would control the Senate even in the event of a 50-50 tie, as Vice President Joseph Biden would cast the deciding vote. Full story
Updated 1:45 a.m. | House Republicans were wiped out in the Northeast in Tuesday’s elections, especially in New England, where there won’t be a single GOP Member returning to Congress next year.
A Democratic duo, former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and attorney Ann McLane Kuster, won House seats in New Hampshire. Meanwhile, Reps. John Tierney (D-Mass.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.) fended off tough challenges from GOP opponents. Former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty narrowly won an open-seat race in Connecticut’s 5th district, holding the seat for Democrats.
In the Empire State, two Republican freshmen lost re-election: Nan Hayworth and Ann Marie Buerkle. Rep. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.), who won a special election last year, lost her bid for a full term, marking one of her party’s only disappointments in the region.
There were no signs of a political motive for a break-in Monday at one of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s California homes, Capt. Tracey Stuart, a spokeswoman for the Napa County Sheriff’s Office, told Roll Call.
The perpetrators did not vandalize the residence or leave behind anything that pointed to a motive beyond burglary, Stuart said. There was nothing obviously missing, although the Pelosis have not been at the residence to check if anything is gone. Their belongings had been rifled through to “some” degree, Stuart said.
Police were alerted to the break-in by an alarm system at 2:53 p.m. Monday. Arriving on the scene, they found two glass doors broken, one to the main residence and a second to the pool house.
The house that was broken into was in St. Helena, Calif., in the heart of wine country in the Napa Valley.
Pelosi’s office did not reply to a request for comment. The Napa Valley Register first reported the incident.