Matt Streb chairs the political science department at Northern Illinois University. He's analyzed elections for a dozen years (although he did so as an amateur since he was 2). He offers his observation on tonight's contests, with an emphasis on U.S. House races in northern Illinois. Of special consideration: The 17th, 16th, 14th, 11th, 8th & 6th Districts.
There are still a few interesting House and Senate races nationally (Michelle Bachmann remains in a close battle) and some ballot measures that have not been decided. However, with the presidential election all but over and the Illinois congressional races finished, I'm off to bed! Thanks to those of you who followed the blog tonight and listened to me and Dan on the radio. The midterm elections are just around the corner!
Outside of Alaska, the only state we are waiting on in the presidential election is Florida. Unlike 2000 when we were up all night trying to figure out what happened, this time it does not matter.
CNN and the Huffington Post have called Virginia for Obama, which would put him over 300 electoral votes. This is a state that many thought Romney would win, but Obama wins narrowly (as he did in 2008) again.
CNN projects that the state of Maryland has voted to allow same-sex marriages in the state. If true, Maryland became the first state in which voters supported a pro same-sex marriage amendment. You might remember that in previous years, especially 2004, many states voted to ban same-sex marriage.
Republican Rodney Davis has won Illinois' 13th Congressional District to keep the seat in Republican hands. All of the Illinois races have been called. In the end, the Democrats picked up four seats in the state congressional delegation (Bustos, Duckworth, Foster, and Schneider).
In a U.S. Senate election that is of interest to some of our listeners, Tammy Baldwin (D) has defeated Tommy Thompson to become Wisconsin's first female senator. This is a Democratic held seat, but another one where Republicans felt they had a chance to pick up and failed to do so.
Brad Schneider appears to have defeated Bob Dold in the 10th District. With Schneider's win, the Democrats will pick up four seats in the IL congressional delegation. Throw in the defeat of Don Manzullo in the Republican primary and the Democratic redistricting worked as the party had hoped.
Still waiting on the Illinois 10th and 13th Districts to be called. Brad Schneider (D) has a very small lead over Bob Dold (R) in the 10th and Rodney Davis (R) leads David Gill (D) in the 13th. If those hold up, Democrats will have picked up 4 seats in the U.S. House delegation.
Huffington Post has called Colorado for Obama.
Of course if Obama wins Colorado, it doesn't matter.
Don't look now, but Romney has just taken a lead in Ohio.
As we expected, the Democrats will maintain control of the Senate. Estimates indicate that total spending in presidential and congressional races in 2012 will be $6 billion. $6 BILLION! And, we essentially will have the same government as we had before the election. $6 billion and nothing changed.
Nevada goes to Obama as well.
Obama has trailed in Virginia all night. With 84% of the precincts reporting, he now has a very small lead. Of course, it doesn't appear that he will need Virginia.
NPR has now called the election for Barack Obama.
It is possible that Florida, Ohio, and Virginia (all states where there were concerns over legal challenges to the vote total) will not matter.
NPR has not called the election for Obama yet. The New York Times and CNN have. NPR has not given Wisconsin to Obama.
CNN has projected Ohio for Obama. He will be reelected President of the United States assuming the projections are accurate.
NPR is now calling the state of Ohio for Obama. They have him at 265, but have yet to give him Wisconsin I believe. If other news organizations like CNN call Ohio for Obama, he is over 270.
Forget Florida and Ohio! If Obama wins two of three (CO, NV, or VA), he gets his 270. He's up in CO, barely down in VA, and Nevada is too early in vote counting to draw any conclusions.
Big news in the IL congressional races. Bustos, Duckworth, and Foster all are projected to win. That means three Democratic pickups. Schneider leads Dold by about 2,400 votes with 99% of the precincts counted. If that holds, it would be a fourth Democratic pickup in the state.
The exit polls project that Obama will win the popular vote. Yet, he trails Romney by about 1.2 million votes. Will we have a popular vote winner/electoral vote loser? Possible. But California votes are just starting to come in and likely will push Obama ahead of Romney.
CNN has projected Obama to win Iowa. If true, either a win in Florida or Ohio send him back to Washington.
Wisconsin appears to be in Obama's camp as other news organizations have now called the state for the Democrat. With California and Washington also projected for Obama, he is at 238 electoral votes only 32 short of the 270. Ohio and either Iowa, Nevada, or Colorado give him the election. Romney has won North Carolina, not a surprise and a state that he absolutely needed.
Democatic Tim Kaine is going to win the VA Senate seat. He will replace Democrat Jim Webb. Another seat that the Democrats held on to that Republicans thought they had a chance to win.
Maine and Maryland both have ballot measures that would permit same-sex marriage in the states. It is still too early to call either, but the "yes" votes have a small lead in both states. If either holds, the state would become the first where voters have approved same-sex marriage. In every state that allows same-sex marriage to date, either the court or the legislature have been the force behind it's approval.
Virginia remains incredibly close in the presidential election, but check out the VA U.S. Senate race. With 71% of the precincts reporting, only 20,000 votes separate Tim Kaine and George Allen.
Just a few months ago, Claire McCaskill was the most likely Democratic incumbent to lose. Then Todd Akin made the controversial statement about rape and now she will be going back for another 6-year term. Another big blow to the Republicans' hopes of winning the Senate.
Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown will win the OH Senate seat, a seat the Republicans thought they had a chance to pick up. Romney has closed the gap in OH and it certainly looks like we are going to get what we expected. A close race that may take some time to sort out.
Elizabeth Warren is project to beat incumbent Scott Brown in the race for U.S. Senator in MA. Another Democratic pickup and another huge blow to Republican hopes to win a majority of the Senate.
Joe Donnelly is project to beat Richard Mourdock in the race for IN U.S. Senator. This is a Democratic pickup and a seat that until a few weeks ago that Republicans thought they had. The loss here will make it very difficult for the Republicans to win a majority of Senate seats.
Several news organizations including Fox, NBC, and CBS have called Wisconsin for Obama.
NPR projects that Obama will win New Hampshire. The first true battleground (although the smallest to be called). Romney needs FL, NC, VA, OH, and either IA, CO, or NV. Tough road ahead.
More calls in IL: Kinzinger (16), Shimkus (15), and Schock (18) are all projected to win. Again, no surprises there. The Kinzinger race is obviously important to many of our listeners as he will now represent DeKalb and parts of Rockford.
NPR is projecting that Obama wins Pennsylvania. Governor Romney made a last ditch effort there and the race appeared to be tightening, but PA is a state that always seems to tease Republicans. Romney almost certainly has to win OH now.
CNN is reporting that the Republican will retain control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Not a surprise. The Democrats may pick up a few seats, but no where near enough to win a majority. John Boehner will remain the Speaker for another two years.
Also according to Pollster.com, Obama is projected to win Pennsylvania. Other news organizations have yet to call both Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
According to Pollster.com, President Obama has won the state of Wisconsin. That is the first battleground to be called and, if true, is a huge victory for Obama.
With 81% of the precincts in in Florida, Obama is up by roughly 1,000 votes out of more than 7 million cast! This race has been changing all night. Hopefully we won't see a repeat of 2000 again!
Two IL congressional races that are of interest to our listening area have been called. Peter Roskam has been reelected in the 6th District and Randy Hultgren will once again represent the 14th District. Neither is a surprise. Both were projected to win easily.
Votes are coming in in several interesting U.S. Senate races, including IN, MA, ND, MO, OH, VA, and MT. All of these races are thought to be competitive. None have been called.
Bob Dold is up 4% with 84% of the precincts reporting. Schneider has cut into his lead all night. Are there enough votes left?
Jesse Jackson, Jr. wins without campaigning. I'd like to say it is unbelievable, but it is not. So many congressional districts across the country are uncompetitive and IL's 2nd District is certainly one of them.
Jan Schakowsky will win IL's 9th District. Still waiting on the toss ups, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, and 17th. Still too close to call in all cases.
Bobby Rush is projected to win IL's 1st District. Again, no surprise.
Democrat Chris Murphy is projected to win Connecticut's Senate race against Linda McMahon. This was a race that Republicans had hoped to hold on to.
Bob Dold has an early 8 pt lead over Brad Schneider in the 10th District (42% of the precincts reporting). That district has long been a thorn in the side to Democrats. It is a district that Obama should win handily, but Dold (a freshman incumbent) has run a tough campaign and Democrats never really warmed to Schneider. Way too early to call, but it would not surprise me if Dold holds on.
Calls in IL Congressional races: Lipinski (3), Guitierrez (4), Quigley (5), and Davis (7) are all projected to win. No surprises there.
One should always read exit polls with caution, but based on results in several battleground states including Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia, Obama has done better with women and Romney has a similar lead among men. Women make up a greater percentage of the vote in all three states, though. Still, these three are very close and the exit poll won't be able to predict a winner in any. We will have to wait until the votes are counted!
With more than 50% of the precincts reporting in Florida, President Obama has a 3% lead. However, the panhandle has yet to report, an area that is strongly Republican. Not surprisingly, it is going to be a while before this one is called.
Just got off the phone with DeKalb County Clerk John Acardo. He said that turnout really picked up this afternoon and he thinks we may approach the record turnout in the county in 2008 of 74%.
Surprise, surprise!! President Obama will win Illinois.
Polls are closed in Illinois! We are going to follow several IL congressional races. Most prognosticators have the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, and 17th as toss ups. Democrats hope to pick up five seats in Illinois. My guess is that they will get more like two. Dan, Jenna, and I are on the air in a minute!
After what seems like an election that has gone on forever, we should know in a few hours who won the presidential election. Or will we? It is likely to be a late night. Depending on how close OH is, because of large numbers of provisional ballots in the state it could possibly be weeks before the outcome is certain! The polls indicate a close election, but Obama has a small lead in the most important battleground states. Keep an eye on four states: Ohio, Wisconsin, and Iowa or Nevada. Assuming Romney doesn't pull of a major surprise in Pennsylvania, if Obama wins Ohio, Wisconsin, and either Iowa or Nevada, he goes back to the White House for another four years. Florida doesn't matter; Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, or New Hampshire, they wouldn't matter either. It is going to be a fun night. Dan and I are in the studio and ready to report on some results!