Live-Blogging The Mid-Terms 2014


11.45 pm. I direct you now to Comedy Central, where the Internet has obviously been working, but don’t tell anyone. See you on the tube.

11.43 pm. It’s a wave. Nate:

The GOP could finish with as many as 55 seats. Alaska has yet to close its polls. Louisiana will go to a runoff on Dec. 6, and Republicans will be favored there — unless Democrat Mary Landrieu’s campaign benefits from the fact that control of the Senate is no longer at stake. Virginia Democrat Mark Warner still looks more likely than not to hold his seat, but the fact that his race was so close speaks to how awful a night it has been for Democrats. Jeanne Shaheen’s win in New Hampshire looks like a minor miracle now.

11.39 pm. Perfectly timed: Oregon votes for legal weed by 55 – 45 (with over 50 percent of the vote in.)

11.29 pm. It’s over:

Thom Tillis has won the race for Senate in North Carolina, clinching Republican control of the body.

Kay Hagan ran a strong campaign. She used the powerful Democratic voter-turnout machine. She successfully linked Thom Tillis to a conservative, unpopular state legislature. And in the end, Kay Hagan lost.

And the denouement: Ernst wins in Iowa.

11.24 pm. Scott wins in Florida; medical marijuana lost. Bad night for stoner Dems. Ben Jacobs’ take:

Scott, a former hospital CEO whose company was fined over $1.7 billion by the federal government over a massive Medicare fraud scheme, had eked out a victory in 2010 in a Republican wave, relying heavily on his own personal wealth. His good will with Floridians evaporated quickly with his support for strict voter ID regulation and his opposition to Medicaid expansion. Scott made matters worse when he pushed back against environmental protections to the Everglades supported by Jeb Bush; his record in office was labeled an environmental disasterby the Tampa Bay Tribune’s editorial board.

Crist, for his part, was viewed even by many supporters as an amoral professional politician, uninterested in any ideology or political party save his own personal advancement. Butterflies emerging from cocoons underwent metamorphoses far less dramatic than the political one Crist underwent in the past four years. Crist, who was once a pro-life and anti-gay marriage Republican, now claims to be a socially liberal Democrat who supported a woman’s right to choose and same-sex unions.

Stuck trying to choose between the lesser of two evils, Florida voters narrowly backed the socially distant Republican who bore a resemblance to Skeletor than warm, sociable orange-colored Democrat of convenience.

11.22 pm. This is the weirdest election night I can remember. I’m trying to concentrate and live-blog while the Colbert studio audience is going wild.

11.21 pm. Even truer:

10.53 pm. So true:

10.49 pm. Georgia looks like Perdue has it; North Carolina and Virginia remain extremely tight – but the GOP seems to have a good chance in both. We’re headed to a 52 – 54 Republican majority.

10.47 pm. Well, the Independent hope in Kansas just faltered in the final stretch. That’s actually a surprise.

10.43 pm. Chuck Todd, running the math, says the Dems won’t have a shot at winning the House until 2022. So that’s a permanent veto an anything any Democratic president might ever want to do. How is our system so fixed and our country so polarized that this has come to pass?

10.40 pm. So far, the results seem pretty blah to me. It looks like a deeply normal swing away from the president’s party. There are a few outlier results – Virginia, for example. But so far: no huge shift, no clear message, except widespread discontent.

10.38 pm. This graphic really does expose what’s going on in this country:

One political party is simply peddling mass delusion – and the media echoes it.

10.35 pm. Ezra’s take on Udall’s loss:

The Colorado race had two unique features. One was that Udall focused like a laser on the “war on women” theme. He argued, almost endlessly, that Gardner wanted to ban over-the-counter sales of birth control — a charge that Gardner denied, and countered by releasing a proposal for birth control to be sold over-the-counter (which is, for the record, an excellent idea). If Udall loses what was clearly a winnable race, it suggests that perhaps the war-on-women theme wasn’t such a good move.

The other interesting wrinkle in the Colorado race was that the state had recently moved to a vote-by-mail system. The Democrats who passed the plan thought it would help them hold the younger, more diverse voters who show up for presidential elections but tend to melt away during midterms. But it looks like it really boosted voting among senior citizens, who tend to vote Republican.

10.30 pm. Because we need some light relief:

For shame!

10.28 pm. Udall’s loss means we have one fewer Senator able to challenge the CIA on the torture program.

10.27 pm. Heh:

10.24 pm. Scott Walker’s victory is another real result, it seems to me. Not that he is, to my mind, even the slightest bit presidential. And the same goes for Kasich.

10.20 pm. Karl Rove is disappearing into his own neck. And yes, I’m watching Fox. Couldn’t take any more drums and Wolf Blitzer.

10.15 pm. An important thing to know about Tom Cotton: he’s a completely unreconstructed neocon. Tim Murphy on this Kristol protegé:

[I]t’s foreign policy where Cotton could make his biggest impact in the Senate. “Groups like the Islamic State collaborate with drug cartels in Mexico who have clearly shown they’re willing to expand outside the drug trade into human trafficking and potentially even terrorism,” Cotton said during a September tele-town hall. “They could infiltrate our defenseless border and attack us right here in places like Arkansas.” Three weeks later, he put his money where his mouth was, airing an ad featuring footage pulled straight from an ISIS propaganda film called Flames of War.

This is what you can expect more of from Cotton, an Army veteran who first rose to fame after writing a letter to the editor of the New York Times demanding that everyone who worked on a story on a top-secret terrorist tracking program be tried for treason. During his brief tenure in the House of Representatives, he was one of the few House Republicans to vocally back an intervention in Syria.

10.09 pm. I have to say I’m surprised by how well Roberts is doing. Warner looks as if he could pull it out. So far: an underwhelming night after an underwhelming campaign. And we may not even know the final result tonight.

10.07 pm. On his way to hang with yours truly, a certain Seattle resident tweets:

10.03 pm. Why I still love Ron Paul:

10.01 pm. It’s crazy tight in Florida. Ambers’ take:

10 pm. Fox just called Colorado for Cory Gardner. That’s the first real news of the night, if you don’t count Shaheen in New Hampshire. It looks as if medical marijuana has failed to make the 60 percent margin to win.

9.29 pm. Weird stat – did it have something to do with medical marijuana on the ballot? – but here it is:

Legal weed is leading by big margins in DC, but the Florida vote is still shy of the crucial 60 percent.

9.24 pm. The Obama coalition lives, but is slightly weaker. The exit polls show that 12 percent of the vote was African American – and the Dems won 90 percent of them. Latinos split for the Democrats by 64 – 34. But white men voted Republican by a whopping 63 – 35 percent.

9.20 pm. The demographics look familiar. The under-30s almost perfectly mirror the over-65s: the young vote Democrat by 55 to 42 percent; the old vote Republican by 56 – 43 percent. But there are many more older voters than young ones.

9.09 pm. One small historical nugget from this evening: the first popularly elected black Senator from South Carolina, Tim Scott. In fact, he’s now the first African-American ever elected to the Senate in the South. Yes, he did once was campaign co-chairman for Strom Thurmond. But you can’t win ’em all.

9.05 pm. If you wonder, as I do, why Democrats never actually defend their policies or even achievements in power, and run solely on some poll-tested social issues, then your bafflement will likely only increase tonight, as mine has:

9.04 pm. And Cotton beats Pryor – not a huge surprise, but Cotton really is a darling of the neocon intellectual right. A little goofy but thoroughly uncomplicatedly orthodox on every GOP position. Yes, Harvey Mansfield still produces more Straussian politicians.

9.03 pm. So Scott Brown didn’t make it. Hard to beat this for a tweet:

9 pm. Never quite done it like this before. I’m still rehearsing some comic bits for Colbert as I blog. So bear with me for a bit – and see you on the TV at 11.30 tonight.

(Photo: A vertical LED illuminated meter located atop the spire of the Empire State Building in New York shows the preliminary results of the midterm US Senate elections on November 04, 2014. By Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images.)