The polls in New York close in a half hour, so the media won't be reporting returns until then. But it's still exciting and heartbreaking to watch the other states' elections returns. For starters, Bob Casey ousting Rick Santorum for a Senate seat in Pennsylvania? That's exciting. Heartbreaking would be reports of bugs and intimidation at the polls.
NBC also projects that Bob Menendez will win re-election in NJ (with only 3% reporting, though). Well, we guess a final day of campaigning with Rudy Giuliani can't do everything. And also that Sherrod Brown will win the Senate seat over Ohio incumbent Mike DeWine. And here are eight other winners that WNBC reported:
- Vermont: Political independent Bernie Sanders won the seat now held by another independent, retiring Sen. James Jeffords, guaranteeing that the next Senate will have at least one independent.
- Indiana: Republican Sen. Dick Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, coasted to a sixth term.
- West Virginia: Re-elected to a ninth term was Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, who at 88 is the oldest and longest serving senator in the nation’s history, 48 years.
- Florida: Incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson over Republican Katherine Harris.
- Delaware: Incumbent Democrat Thomas Carper over Republican Jan Ting.
- Massachusetts: Incumbent Democrat Ted Kennedy over Republican Ken Chase.
- Mississippi: Incumbent Republican Trent Lott over Democrat Erik Fleming.
- Maine: Incumbent Republican Olympia Snowe over Democrat Jean Hay Bright.
The NY State Democratic Party is getting ready for a big victory tonight, with a shindig planned at the Sheraton. All except State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, who may be celebrating at his hotel, the Jolly Madison Towers on East 38th Street. (Jolly Madison sort of sounds like a hooker name - you know, your pet was named Jolly, you grew up on Madison...)
9:00PM - Hillary Clinton is project to win re-election in NY. Tell us something we didn't know two months ago! Other project winners in New York: Eliot Spitzer for Governor and Andrew Cuomo for Attorney General. Again, not that surprising, but Spitzer's Lieutenant Governor David Paterson, State Senator from Harlem, is an intriguing story. He's the first black lieutenant governor (he became the highest ranking black politician in NY State when he was made the state Senate minority leader).
No word on the State Comptroller race, because who is doing exit polling about that? No one.
9:11PM CNN calls the Connecticut Senate race for Joe Lieberman. Somewhere, Mayor Bloomberg is smiling.
9:55PM: NY Times reports that John Faso conceded the gubernatorial race to Spitzer.
10:05PM: With 3.76% of precincts reporting, NY1 says Hevesi leads 58% to Chris Callaghan's 37%. But NY1 is not calling the race for Hevesi yet.
11:30PM Jeannine Pirro goes legal in her concession speech to Cuomo: "We fought the good fight, we presented the evidence, and the people have spoken. They have rendered their verdict, and we accept it."
11:45pm: NY1 is calling it for Hevesi: "with 65 percent of precincts reporting, Hevesi had 58 percent to Callaghan's 37 percent." That's a solid sweep for the Democrats. Callaghan says he's "baffled" at the loss.
11:50pm: CNN is calling the House for the Dems-- two seats in upstate New York switched from red to blue: the 24th, won by Michael Arcuri, and the 20th, won by Kirsten Gillibrand. The Senate is still up in the air-- Democrats have won in three of the contested races, but need six seats to gain control.
12:15am: Virginia, Montana, Tennessee, and Missouri seem to be the Senate races that the experts are watching, three of them seem to be going slightly Democratic.
12:51pm: CNN is reporting that the Tennessee Senate seat has gone to the Republicans. Three seats to go, and all would have to go Democratic for the Senate to switch. We're going to be heading to sleep for a few hours-- if something happens while we're gone, leave it in the comments.
Photographs of worker getting podium ready for NY Democrats' party and of victorious Cuomo, Spitzer, and Clinton by Mary Altaffer/AP