Arkansas rounds out the first batch (along with Iowa and Louisiana) of states finishing their redistricting tasks, so we've crunched the data to see how the last few elections went in the newly-designed districts. (If you're unfamiliar with the new map, which wound up without the infamous "Fayetteville Finger," you can take a gander here.)
Unlike last decade's map (which placed in Arkansas in the company of only Iowa and West Virginia in keeping every county intact), the new Arkansas map splits several counties down the middle, making this a more difficult task than Iowa (and more difficult than Louisiana, which seems to have more useful data). Jeffmd's data crunching involved not only some estimation of how to allocate absentee ballots, but also some approximation of Sebastian County (i.e Fort Smith, now split between the 3rd and 4th) votes, which aren't listed by precinct but rather by polling location, meaning rather tediously mapping the county and pinpointing polling places. (You can check out the full spreadsheet here.)
Despite controlling the redistricting trifecta here (the Gov. plus both legislative chambers), it doesn't seem like Arkansas Dems did much to advance their cause here, leaving the numbers pretty much as is, despite shifting around a lot of counties (especially in the dark-red northwest, where there's now an unsightly bulge of the 4th into the former 3rd). The old districts were 38 Obama/59 McCain in AR-01, 44/54 in AR-02, 34/64 in AR-03, and 39/58 in AR-04... hardly any change at all, although the 1st improved very slightly at the expense of the 4th. If there was any consideration given to either improving Dem chances at picking up the 2nd or strengthening the 4th in the event of a Mike Ross retirement, it didn't pan out.
Everyone was aghast at the proposed map that came out of one of the houses of the Arkansas legislature recently. The consensus seemed to be that it was a dummymander, as likely to end up with a 4-0 Republican delegation as it was a 3-1 Democratic delegation. I would argue that 2-2 split would be the safest, and sanest, way to draw the map. So I've come up with a few maps that would likely give that split.
There has evidently been some discussion of drawing a minority-majority district in Arkansas to give the Democrats a buffer against an 0-4 Republican sweep.
My criteria for making this map was:
1. There must be a minority-majority district, no matter how hideous.
2. Rep. Ross must have a district he could potentially retain.
3. Rep. Griffin cannot be allowed to have a safe district to himself.
I'm not going to go district-by-district, mostly because I'm already up past my bedtime. But we have an open seat here, and it's something new and blue. It's also 49% white, 44% black, and although it goes up to majority-white when you VAP it, most Democratic primary voters will probably be black, and it's diverse enough to be a solid Democratic district.
As for Ross and Griffin, they get to square off over my hideous reincarnation of AR-04, which includes a hefty portion of Pulaski County and has a PVI probably not too far off the current R+7 version. But I'm just eyeballing it, and I've never even been to Arkansas, so someone should correct me if I'm wrong.
Rep. Womack gets to sit pretty in AR-03, and Rep. Crawford should be quite comfortable in AR-02, a.k.a. the Jolly Green Giant.
I have combined the two states in this diary as they both only have a few Congressional seats, and, if I understand correctly, both have a rule whereby counties should not be split when doing redistricting. Both Arkansas and West Virginia are also states which historically have been very Democratic -- but in the recent past, both are trending Republican (though both are still controlled by Democrats when it comes to remapping). Each state currently has only one Democratic House member left. Via these maps, the goal is to have two Democrats in both Arkansas and West Virginia.
Now that it's 2011, the redistricting games will soon begin in earnest, with more detailed Census data expected in February or March and some states holding spring legislative sessions to deal with drawing new maps. Long ago I planned to do state-by-state rundowns of the redistricting process as soon as 2010 election results and Census reapportionment were clear. Now that time has arrived, and I'll go alphabetically, starting with Alabama, Arizona, and Arkansas.
Before starting this little rant, I'd like to say that as a progressive Democrat, I would've preferred that Lt. Gov. Bill Halter win his primary challenge to Sen. Blanche Lincoln (and, in fact, it was my prediction that Lincoln would lose the run-off). Having said that, the progressives who really think that Halter was going to be able to defeat Republican congressman John Boozman need a reality check, and should reflect a little on what happened here before getting so bummed out by the events of the Arkansas race.
The GOP establishment tries to nominate electable candidates, and gets sabotaged by the teabaggers. We're trying to nominate electable candidates, and we get sabotaged by the Democratic Party establishment. We won in Pennsylvania, lost in Arkansas. You can't win them all. But make no mistake -- we made the politically smart move.
Unfortunately, the smart political move lost. So say hello to Sen. John Boozman, the next senator from the great state of Arkansas. It's the political reality. No need to sugarcoat it.
How much do you think the Chamber of Commerce and its corporatist allies will spend on behalf of Blanche Lincoln through the fall? Zero. Suddenly, you're going to see Lincoln quite friendless
Those evil "out of state" unions and progressive groups sure won't lift a finger to help her. The only question is how much the DSCC wastes on the losing effort.
I've long since quit being impressed by moral victories. In this case, we forced Blanche to dramatically improve the financial reform bill, and it may be too late to strip out her derivatives reform language. And we delivered the kind of pain that no other incumbent wants to suffer. So congressional Democrats have two options -- they can either shape up and be spared primary pain (I'd be happy focusing solely on Joe Lieberman in 2012), or they can be Blanched
It's much easier to keep your job if you don't have to fight for it twice in a single year.
Kos seems to be arguing a few things here; one that the Democratic establishment (really, the White House) was being stupid by supporting Lincoln, that Bill Halter would've been able to win while Lincoln would not, and that this primary challenge will make conservative Democrats in congress somewhat more progressive.
The first thing, that the Democratic establishment should have thrown Lincoln out the door for Halter ignores one simple truth: political parties, at their core, are incumbent protection rackets, period. This is not an ironclad rule that can never be broken, but those circumstances usually involve some pretty bad scandals (for example, the Republican Governor's Association (the RGA) actively endorsed Brian Sandoval against incumbent Governor Jim Gibbons, mostly because of how scandal plagued he was). The Democrats had no business supporting incumbent Congressman Bill Jefferson in Louisiana's second district, and they should have been criticized heavily for it, as Jefferson was accused of and later convicted of bribery, but that was simply not the case for Lincoln. Political parties protect incumbents for good reason, they are the power-base of the party, without incumbent members in government, the party has no power (just look at the Green Party, the Constitution Party, the Libertarian Party, and many others) and if the party isn't going to go to the mat for its incumbents, then its incumbents will stop supporting the party, period. This isn't limited to the Democrats either, the Republicans support their incumbents as well, and Kos is, frankly, delusional if he thinks that any political party should abandon incumbents who aren't scandal-tainted (but for the record, it was pretty stupid of the White House aid to shoot his/her mouth off about the labor unions, though I suspect that he/she wasn't authorized by the White House to talk either).
On the second argument, electability, I'd find that view a lot more convincing if Bill Halter were either winning or were within range of John Boozman in polling, but the fact is, Boozman is beating Halter by double-digits too and there's no prize for only losing by 15 instead of losing by 20. To be clear, yes, I believe that Halter was more electable than Lincoln, but to pretend that Halter's chances of victory were really that much better than Lincoln's doesn't do progressives well in the credibility department.
On the final point, well, frankly, I know that Kos means well, but there's a case to be made that Lincoln's derivatives language isn't really that good an idea. Just because something sounds good on paper and looks like it's putting the screws to the banks and everything which is evil, doesn't mean that it actually is or that this has somehow created better policy. Frankly, it's even arguable that this was good politics for just the general election, as everyone hates the banks and appearing to be tough on them just looks good. In addition there was a point made by a regular commenter on Swing State Project who goes by DCCyclone which I'd like to bring to light:
And, frankly, to a substantial extent it bothers me, because the singling out of Lincoln for demonization shows a big lack of perspective. Lincoln is from a most conservative state and the strongest anti-Obama state of any Democratic Senator up for reelection this year.
I suppose this is about making an example out of her for the sake of doing so, and winning in politics does, ultimately, require demonizing the opponent. That's just a fact of political life, I accept that.
But if Halter wins tonight and goes on to lose by 20 to Boozman, I don't think the left benefits. ConservaDems don't feel pressured to be more responsive to the left, instead they just feel more tightly squeezed with a narrower needle to thread to win. The only way the left wins politically out of this is for Halter to win not only tonight but to pull off the massive upset and win in November. If that happens, then the intense emotional energy will have been fully vindicated, and I'll be proven a fucking moron. But it's hard to see a "Senator Halter" getting sworn in in January.
DCCyclone's point is a good one, what if Halter had won the primary? Maybe there would have been a polling bounce for him, but I doubt he'd even get a lead in that situation (or even close to it) and he'd probably return to where he was, 10-15 points behind Boozman which is almost certainly what the final result would have been. If that would have happened (hypothetically), it could easily by Democratic operatives to argue "see, this is what happens when you primary incumbents, you lose seats, you're no better than the Club for Growth!" (not to say that their point would be all that good, but it'd be pretty easy to make it, and suddenly the progressive groups who supported the primary look stupid for being successful). And that's really the main point, a loss for the progressives who backed Halter was probably inevitable no matter what, whether it would've been now or in November is sort of beside the point.
4:00am: Props 16 and 17 look like they'll fail tonight, 51.8% No on 16 and 50.7% No on 17. If they follow the trajectory they've been taking over the course of the night, expect those numbers to go up. Harmer's still nursing his 10 point lead over Goehring in CA-11. After nine hours, SSP is signing off!
3:51am: Fortunately for Gary Miller, California's not a runoff state! He's now just under 50%! Both props continue to slip now at over 2/3rd reporting; our punch cards say 51.7% No on 16, 50.6% No on 17.
3:45am: Have we crossed the Rubicon? Prop 16 looking headed towards failure with 51.4% opposed. No's running ahead of yes by 107,000 right now, which in light of what we're estimating to be 600,000 or so votes left isn't trivial to overcome. Prop 17 has tipped the balance and is now projected to fail by 0.2%, but No's 25,000 lead is much more tenuous.
3:30am: No love for Prop 15 (public financing of SoS campaigns); the AP's finally called 'No' with 57%.
3:25am: Looking at Props 16 and 17 now with 57% reporting, both Props' support continue to weaken. Prop 16 is now on track for 51.2% opposed, and Prop 17 passing by 0.5%. There are a few Prop 16 strongholds left, notably, San Bernardino, San Diego, Riverside and Orange Counties, but there are plenty of smaller NorCal counties there to offset - half of Santa Clara, Yolo, and Alameda; three-fourths of Santa Cruz, and a third of Sonoma. Even Placer's contributing to the No-on-16 effort, where it's failing 53-47 right now.
3:10am: It's now past midnight Pacific Time, and the big action is left in Props 16 and 17. (Prop 15 hasn't been called yet, but looks well on target for failure). Prop 16's fate has changed quite a bit since an hour and a half ago, now looking on track for failure with 50.9% against. What's changed? More anti-Prop 16 areas in Southern California are reporting: LA County, which had been supporting Prop 16 with 56%, is now down to 52% in support; Santa Barbara which was in support is now against. Prop 17 is doing better, looking on track for passage with about 50.4%.
3:00am: Is Busby the new Sodrel? Busby declared the winner in CA-50, setting up Busby v. Bilbray round 3.
2:56am: In an odd show of moderation by the California GOP, appointed incumbent Lt. Gov Abel Maldonado gets the nod for re-election over conservative challenger State Senator Sam Aanestad.
2:53am: CA-36 (D): Jane Harman has fended off Marcy Winograd for the second time with about 61% of the vote.
2:47am: Gary Miller's 53% is good enough for the AP to declare him the winner. It's better than Bob "28%" Inglis, but still weak.
2:45am: CA-36 (D) is looking similar to 2006 at 62-38 for Harman. Laura Richardson was also declared the winner next door in CA-37 with a surprisingly weak 65%.
2:41am: CA-19 (R) called for Denham. Marsden still trailing Goodwin 53-47 on the (D) side.
2:39am: Few more precincts rolled through in CA-42, Gary Miller is now to 53%, in one of tonight's worst incumbent showings.
2:37am: Kamala Harris gets the Dem nod for Attorney General; matchup will be SF DA Harris vs. LA DA Cooley.
2:32am: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow? More quickly now, it seems, enough that the AP has called the Dem Lt. Gov nod for Gavin Newsom and the GOP Att. Gen nod for Steve Cooley.
2:30am: The statewide races aren't the only thing seemingly standing still. CA-11 is still 35-28 for Harmer, while CA-19 has moved a bit to 37-30 Denham over Patterson, with the odious Dick Pombo back at 20. Gary Miller continues to underwhelm in CA-42 at 54%. Also in a bit of a surprise, California Democratic Party-endorsed candidate Les Marsden is down 47-53 to Some Dude Loraine Goodwin. The only major movement is on the Prop 16 side, which is now slated to fail narrowly with 50.12% against.
2:10am: The sky is still blue, as well, it seems! 36% in now, same holding pattern: 57-31 Newsom for LG (D), 47-28 Maldonado for LG (R); 33-17 Harris for AG (D), and 49-32 Cooley for AG (R). Here at SSP Labs, we are now taking bets over whether Kamala Harris will clear the one-third mark. (Signs pointing to no and a finish around 32%). Prop 16 is now looking at a 50.4% passage.
1:58am: Things are looking a little comfier for David Harmer in CA-11, much to the NRCC's pleasure, I'm sure. He's at 36, with Brad Goehring at 27. Amador's at 19 and Emken at 18.
1:55am: Watching California's been like watching grass grow, but bring on the Miracle Gro! A cool 1,000 precincts just rolled in, bringing us to 29% reporting. But, alas, grass is still green, 58-30 Newsom for LG (D); 47-28 Maldonado for LG (R); 33-18 Harris for AG (D); and 50-31 Cooley for AG (R). Prop 16 still on track to pass with 51.8%.
1:47am: Prop 16's back down narrowly in California by less than 2,000 votes. For what was assumed to be a Democrat-Republican issue, this is seriously breaking the usual patterns: the "new Orange County" of Placer County and conservative Kern County (Bakersfield) are voting this down, while normally Democratic SoCal areas like LA and Imperial County are voting yes. Some good old back-of-the-envelope math says passage is likely with 51.8%.
1:42am: Here's an odd tidbit I missed: the SC-03 Republican runoff is going to be between state Rep. Jeff Duncan (as expected) and businessman Richard Cash (totally unexpected, with state Rep. Rex Rice finishing 3rd), but Cash actually wound up pulling ahead at the end. It was 25 Cash, 23 Duncan, 19 Rice, and 19 for John Grimaud (who'd planned to challenge Joe Wilson in the 2nd, but decided at the last minute that the 3rd would be better).
1:40am: Two special elections in CA today. One for Assembly District 43 (Glendale, Burbank) to replace now-LA City Councilman Paul Krekorian (D), where after 6 precincts, the Dem is up 54-46. AD-43 went for Obama 70-28. The other's in Senate District 37 to replace now-Riverside Co. Supervisor John Benoit (R). Dems didn't expect to have a shot, but the Dem nominee's losing 57-32 in an SD that gave Obama 50.3%. The more exciting special election - to replace now Lt. Gov Abel Maldonado is in two weeks.
1:30am: Still a holding pattern in the four big CA statewide races left, though we're at 22% reporting now. Newsom still up on Hahn 57-30 for Dem Lt. Gov; Maldonado up 47-28 though Aanestad's doing well in Orange County. Dem AG remains 33-18-15-12, Harris-Kelly-Torrico-Lieu, and Rep AG is also still at 50-31-19 Cooley/Eastman/Harman. Prop 16 is leading narrowly now and could be extrapolated to it passing 52-48.
1:20am: Things are still a little slow in CA-42; with 6% reporting, Gary Miller's at 55%, which I think is the 2nd most underwhelming House incumbent performance tonight (ahead of only Bob Inglis). Phil Liberatore is at 32.
1:10am: The last outstanding race in Arkansas looks like it's been put to bed. In the R primary runoff in AR-03, the AP has called it for Steve Womack, 52-48, over Cecile Bledsoe. Another endorsement fail for Sarah Palin. At least Terry Branstad's keeping her percentage up.
1:00am: In CA-47, it looks the Vietnamese vote splitting problem never materialized. Van Tran leads the GOP primary at 52, with Kathy Smith at 29 and Tan Nguyen at 19.
12:57am: The Cal SoS seems to be further along than the AP (up to 15% in), and they have a whole different take on CA-11. They have Harmer at 34, not that far ahead of Goehring at 30, with Amador at 18 and Emken at 17.
12:55am: Geez, add even another one to the list. In CA-41, Jerry Lewis (rounding out the trio of Inland Empire GOPers under ethical clouds for weird real estate deals) leads his opposition 66-34.
12:52am: In CA-44, Ken Calvert also looks poised to join the very large club of incumbents not breaking 70% in their primaries. He leads his opposition 69-31. Up in CA-11, establishment pick David Harmer has gained more ground; he's at 48, with 21 for Emken, 20 for Amador, and 10 for Goehring. And in CA-19, establishment guy Jeff Denham also leads 41, with Patterson at 25 and Pombo at 20, with about 40% reporting.
12:46am: The four Lt. Gov and Attorney General races are still uncalled. For LG (D), Newsom's up 57-31 on Hahn winning plenty of SoCal locales like San Diego. In the Republican primary, Maldonado's keeping his edge over Sam Aanestad, who's even losing stalwart conservative areas like Placer County. For Atty Gen (D), Kamala Harris is keeping a narrow 32-18 lead over Chris Kelly; Torrico in 3rd at 15 and Lieu in 4th at 12. Not enough cat fud in GOP primary; moderate Steve Cooley still up 50-31 on Eastman with Tom Harman back at 19.
12:44am: Former Assembly Speaker Karen Bass wins her primary in CA-33 with 85%, will likely be the next congresswoman from this D+35 district.
12:36am: Sue Lowden can now set up that bartering post she's always wanted; NV-Sen called for Angle by the AP.
12:33am: No, rly. AP calls the Republican SoS primary for Damon Dunn. Orly Taitz can go back to filing groundless lawsuits as a private citizen. In between pulling teeth.
12:32am: AP has called Proposition 14 (top two primary system) as a 'yes.' Take that, third parties!
12:29am: Here's one GOP moderate who survived a teabagger challenge with little trouble. Mary Bono Mack leads Clayton Thibodeau 74-26 with more than half in, in CA-45. In CA-42, only about 1% is in, but it points to Gary Miller -- who we'd thought was most vulnerable to his teabagging opponent, seeing as how he (Liberatore) actually had some money -- surviving, albeit unimpressively. Miller leads 58-28.
12:28am: In CA-50, it looks like it'll be Francine Busby 3.0. With more than 10% in, she's leading Tracy Emblem 64-36.
12:25am: Switching back to the East coast, there's one New Jersey race still uncalled. In the GOP primary in NJ-06, 99.6% are in, and Little leads Gooch (the moneybags lady who was On the Radar) by about 100 votes.
12:22am: Joe Heck easily dispensed with the teabag remnants he faced in the GOP primary in NV-03, winning with 70%. There is, however, a barnburner between two guys I don't know in the Dem primary in NV-02, for the booby prize of going up against Dean Heller: K. McKenna and N. Price are both at 45.
12:19am: Since we last looked, Sharron Angle really turned on the afterburners. Now she's at 38, with Sue Lowden at 29 and Tark at 22 (oh, and carpetbagging investment banker John Chachas at 4). We're closing on on half reporting. Angle has pulled into the lead (36-33) in Clark County, where over half the votes are.
12:16am: Bass masters her opposition. Karen Bass, former state Speaker, is at a whopping 85% against minor opposition to succeed Diane Watson in CA-33.
12:14am: In CA-26, David Dreier's at 78% against minor opposition, much better than a lot of other insider Reps tonight. If anyone knows how to survive a teabagging, it's him.
12:10am: AP calls CA-Sen for Carly Fiorina. 54 for her, to 26 for Campbell for 17 for DeVore. Campbell heads back to the pasture to resume frightening sheep.
12:09am: Only 2% in in CA-11, but David Harmer is breaking away. He's at 39, with Tony Amador and Elizabeth Emken both at 24, and liberal huntin' vintner Brad Goehring at 12.
12:07am: Here's one more totally unexpected teabagging underway in dark red CA-02. With 10% in, Wally Herger (R) is at only 62% against Some Dude.
12:05am: Holy crap! CA-Sen (D) has been called for Barbara Boxer. The ghost of Paul Wellstone has struck down Mickey Kaus.
12:02am: Here's a race that was on nobody's radar screen: Laura Richardson (D in a safe blue district, but associated with foreclosures and a general sense of being out-to-lunch), is at only 65%, although against scattered opposition.
12:01am: Less than 5% reporting, but CA-36 (D) may turn out to be something of a non-event; Jane Harman leads Marcy Winograd 65-35.
12:00am: Onto the Cali House races. In CA-19 (R), with about 23% reporting, Jeff Denham leads Jim Patterson and Richard Pombo 44-23-20. Looks like that poll surge for Patterson didn't pan out.
11:58pm: Back to South Carolina for a minute, where it's been confirmed that in SC-01, we're headed to a GOP runoff between CfG protege Tim Scott and legacy candidate Paul Thurmond. Sorry, "Tumpy."
11:55pm: Initiatives! Prop 14 (top two primary) passing, 60-40. Peace & Freedom Party heads for dustbin of history. Prop 15 (public financing of elections) failing, 43-57. Prop 16 (electric company tyranny) passing, 53-47. And Prop 17 (auto insurance) also passing 55-45.
11:53pm: AP calls CA-Gov (R) for Meg Whitman. $80-odd million and counting; how much will she spend by November?
11:50pm: For LG, it's Newsom 52, Hahn 35, and for the GOP, it's Maldonado 48, Aanestad 28. For AG, Harris leads at 28, with Kelly at 19, Torrico at 15, Lieu at 14, Delgadillo way back at 8. And among GOPer AGers, Cooley 52, Eastman 30.
11:48pm: And in the Senate, Carly Fiorina is leading Tom Campbell and Chuck DeVore 58-23-17. Barbara Boxer leading Mickey Kaus (does that rhyme with Mickey Mouse? never noticed that till now) 78-5.
11:46pm: Quick non-California update: AR-01 called for Chad Causey. Not much love for public hanging, even in West Memphis (home of the West Memphis 3!).
11:45pm: We're getting close to 5% reporting in California statewide, so let's turn our attention to the Golden State. Meg Whitman is beating Steve Poizner 64-26, outpacing the polls a bit. Y'know, Jerry Brown is too, actually; he leads Richard Aguirre 83-4.
11:40pm: This may turn out to be the weirdest story of the night, about Alvin Greene, the 32-year-old unemployed ex-military guy who lives with his dad and who now happens to be the Dem nominee for Senate in South Carolina (instead of expected candidate Vic Rawl, a Charleston Co. Commissioner). Somehow he came across $10K to file, and has seemed to have run a phantom campaign ever since then. How did he get here? We'll no doubt hear more in coming days.
11:35pm: And now the news that'll have everyone saying "Who?" AP calls ME-Gov (D) for Libby Mitchell. She'll face Paul LePage in the duel of the unknowns.
11:34pm: We'll start with the bad news; AP calls IA-Gov (R) for Terry Branstad. But only 50-40 over Vander Plaats.
11:24pm: The night is winding down, but CA and NV are just getting cranked up.
11:33pm: Party's moved next door.
11:31pm: AR-02 has been called by AP for Elliott, now 54-46. She'll face Tim Griffin... probably not as good a matchup for Dems as Wills.
11:29pm: Angle's back in the lead in NV-Sen! 35, to Lowden's 33, with 21 for Tarkanian. 14% in. I'm sure we'll see lots of back and forth gyrations in this one as different counties report. Lowden has small lead in Clark, while Angle has a much bigger lead in Washoe.
11:27pm: AP has called GOP primary in NJ-12 for Scott Sipprelle, rich guy, over teabagger opposition, but only 54-46. Rush Holt probably not very scared. GOP primary in NJ-06 is still 50-50, with Diane Gooch trailing by 100.
11:25pm: Add a couple more New Jersey races to the list of races where no-name teabaggers held moderates down to so-so numbers. Leonard Lance only racked up 56% in NJ-07, and Chris Smith in NJ-04 held to 69%. Both were 'yes' votes on cap & trade.
11:21pm: All the Arkansas House races are super close. In AR-01, it's Causey 51, Wooldridge 49, with 94% in. In AR-02, it's Elliot 52, Wills 48, with 91% in. And in AR-03, it's Womack 50, Bledsoe 50, with Womack up by about 200, although that's only with 75% in.
11:15pm: ME-Gov (R) called for Paul LePage. Looking like he'll take on Libby Mitchell in the fall.
11:12pm: Only 1% reporting, but the AP has already called NV-Gov (R) for ex-judge Brian Sandoval. Even the RGA supported him over Jim Gibbons.
11:10pm: Oh yeah, poll closed in California ten minutes ago.
11:01pm: In Iowa, the AP calls IA-03 (R) for Brad Zaun, who will take on Leonard Boswell. In IA-02, Mariannette Miller-Meeks of the dreaded ophthalmologists will rematch against Dave Loebsack.
11:00pm: The AP calls AR-Sen for Blanche Lincoln.
10:51pm: A smattering of precincts and early votes coming in from Nevada, including Clark County (Las Vegas). Gibbons is losing big time to Sandoval in NV-Gov, 57-23. Chicken Lady ahead of Angle 36-33 with Tarkanian at 20.
10:48pm: Ganja break OVER! Maine is now up to 38% in. Libby Mitchell has extended her lead to 34-26 over Rowe, and Paul LePage is cruising.
10:43pm: How baked must they be in Maine right about now? Been at 12% since... whoa... are those Cool Ranch Doritos?
10:40pm: Chad Causey looks like he might hold out over Tim "The Hangman" Wooldridge in AR-01. Meanwhile, Joyce Elliott now has a lead over Robbie Wills in AR-02. And in AR-03, teabagger fave Cecile Bledsoe is beating Steve Womack 54-46. Bledsoe is both a teabagger queen and sort of the establishment choice - I dunno, though, it was a weird race.
10:37pm: We're pretty confident in calling ND-AL for state Rep. Kristi Noem, who beat the more-or-less establishment choice, SoS Chris Nelson. You only need 35% to avoid a runoff in SD, and Noem has a 41-36 lead with most of the votes in.
10:32pm: Halter took a brief lead for a moment there, but it's back to where it was.
10:27pm: AR-Sen is 51-49 Blanche, but Halter is still behind where he needs to be, according to our model. If you want a fuller explanation of how our model works, click here.
10:23pm: With 12% reporting, Terry Branstad is up just 51-40 over Bob Vander Plaats in IA-Gov (R).
10:13pm: Can't wait to see those NV-Sen results start to roll in (soon, I hope). Meanwhile, our friends up in Maine seem to be on the first ganja break of the evening.
10:19pm: It's a moveable feast - join us in the new thread.
10:09pm: I think I forgot to mention that the AP called SD-Gov (R) for Dennis Daugaard a few minutes ago. He'll take on Scott Heidepriem in November.
10:06pm: In AR-01, Chad Causey is a little bit behind where he needs to be from round one in order to beat Tim Wooldridge. In AR-02, Joyce Elliott trails slightly, but she's actually out-performing her first-round share by a lot, suggesting she'll take the win. See our model for more.
10:03pm: With 12% reporting in Maine, Paul LePage has a 34-17 lead over Les Otten on the R side, while it's a very tight 31-30 for Libby Mitchell over Steve Rowe on the D side.
10:00pm: It's ten o'clock - do you know where your polling place is? Well, it's closed now if you live in IA, MT or NV.
9:52pm: Ayup - the AP calls a runoff between Haley and Barrett. Monster failures on the part of McMaster and Bauer.
9:45pm: We project that Nikki Haley will miss out on avoiding a runoff by about 5,000 votes. Meanwhile, in SC-04, Gowdy is down to 42%, but Inglis is at just 26%, and the AP has called it for a runoff between those two men.
9:44pm: That's funny - AR-01, AR-02 and AR-03 are all 51-49 right now.
9:39pm: Compared to his round one showing, Halter is doing three points worse in the territory that's already reported.
9:35pm: Hmm, so, things aren't really looking so hot for Bill Halter so far. Lincoln's up 53-47, but much of what's reported is (narrowly) Halter country.
9:33pm: AP calls it for Jon Runyan in NJ-03 (R). His 56% looks pretty unimpressive, if you ask me.
9:31pm: It seems all but certain that the GOP primaries in SC-01 and SC-03 (both open seats) will go to runoffs. No one has more than 30% in either race.
9:23pm: While NJ-06 and NJ-12 are not high on anyone's takeover lists, the establishment GOP picks in each race - Diane Gooch and Scott Sipprelle - are both trailing teabaggers, as nj1122 points out.
9:19pm: John Runyan, the establishment choice by a hundred yards in NJ-03, is only up 54-46 on Justin Murphy with about 38% in.
9:15pm: Back in SC-04, Trey Gowdy has 49.6% of the vote with 50% reporting. That rounds up to 50, of course, but he'll actually need 50%+1 to clear the runoff hurdle.
9:13pm: In SD-AL, establishment fave Chris Nelson only has a narrow lead over Kristi Noem, 41-39 with 25% in.
9:12pm: With 19% of the vote in in SD-Gov (R), Dennis Daugaard has a huge 53-21 lead over Scott Munsterman. Daugaard is generally considered to be the more conservative contender.
9:11pm: Blanche Lincoln up 54-46 with about 2% reporting.
9:09pm: Oy. Let's hope not.
9:07pm: Note that our model for Arkansas is being thrown off right now by the absentee votes. As more votes come in, it should start to make more sense.
9:03pm: Polls have also now closed in the western part of South Dakota (they closed in the east an hour ago).
9:00pm: The AP has called SC-Gov (D) for Sheheen, who wins the Dem nod without a runoff.
8:56pm: No results in from Maine yet, but we also have a model (more of a back-of-the-envelope projector) that aggregates results by county for ME-Gov.
8:51pm: Meanwhile, in SC-04, our model is predicting a runoff. Trey Gowdy has 44% and Rep. Bob Inglis has a truly feeble 26%. Even if Inglis survives to a runoff, he'll be in extremely bad shape.
8:50pm: With a little over a third of the vote in, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen is pulling an impressive 58% in SC-Gov (D), while Jim Rex trails at 23 and Robert Ford is at 19. Sheheen might avoid a runoff here. On the GOP side, Nikki Haley is at 46 and Gresham Barrett at 26.
8:48pm: Looks like a handful of votes have shown up in Arkansas, but zero precincts are listed as reporting, so I'm guessing absentees and the like.
8:33pm: We have a bitchin' model for the AR-Sen runoff, which you can check out here. We'll keep it updated throughout the night so that you can see our latest projections.
Polls have now closed in Arkansas, and we're still counting votes in ME, NJ & SC.