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Okay, Let's Talk About This

Let’s say it. This is a much tighter, harder fought night that a lot of people thought. Joe Donnelly lost his seat in Indiana. Republicans have held Tennessee. It looks very tight in Florida and Republicans have the advantage in the Senate and Governor’s race. Democrats are still fairly well positioned to take the House. But it’s much more of a district by district slog than a wave. And there’s no guarantee as of 9:17 PM. A lot of counting to go.

9:25 PM: Here’s what the guy I follow in Florida says: “Florida Senate race is almost surely going to be in recount range. With what’s out in S FL, it should get very tight.”

9:31 PM: This has been a stressful night and we’ve already booked some key disappointments for the Democrats. But as of this moment Democrats appear to be booking the House victories they need for a majority in the House. I don’t mean they’ve won it. And it’s much closer than expected. But this is a district by district struggle now. And they’re – so far – getting the seats they absolutely need. Weirdly, it’s looking like Texas may net real pick-ups for the Dems.

9:42 PM: Perhaps this is stating the obvious. But the big take-away for tonight so far was that Democrats were energized but so were Republicans. That created big problems for Democrats in the Senate. And it at least limited Democratic gains in the House. Still a long way to go.

Nail Biting

Nail biting time for the Dems. Top of the ticket races in Florida are super tight. Gillum and Nelson really need a lot of the votes in the South and it’s going to be tight.

Cook Report is calling KY-6 for Barr over McGrath. That’s a big win.

8:49 PM: AP calls Indiana for Braun.

8:51 PM: Spanberger now has a minuscule lead in VA-7. Other movement for Dems in Virginia too.

9:03 PM: Spanberger holding on to tiny lead.

The 8 PM Flood Begins

A ton of results coming in. A bunch of calls Senate Dems. But all ones that were expected.

Two races I’m watching very close are KY-6 and VA-7. Razor thin back and forth all night in these races. Gonna try to dig into the county levels see what I can figure out.

8:08 PM: We’re started to see GOP holds in key House races. Not big surprises. But they’re notching them up. Rep. Brian Mast (R) in Florida. GOP is ahead in VA-5 and they’re ahead in VA-7.

8:17 PM: This is pretty nailbitey.

Now We're Getting Somewhere

Still early, still uncertain, a lot of key races which are basically tied and bouncing between the Republican and Democrats with small leads. But we’re starting to see a key thing, maybe three of four House races that were not really on people’s radars where Republicans are now in tough races against Democrats. None of these races are necessarily Democratic wins. But in wave elections you get surprised on election night that races that weren’t competitive, didn’t seem competitive, actually are. That’s what a wave looks like, national trends are showing up in districts people weren’t watching.

7:50 PM: We’ve got an early confirmed pick-up, Jennifer Wexton in VA-10. This isn’t a surprise. This was seen as a very likely Dem pick up. But it’s a pick up. Meanwhile, the guy who I follow on everything Florida seems to be seeing good things.

7:53 PM: Remember 8 PM eastern is the flood. We who are about to be overwhelmed, salute you!

7:55 PM: Republicans seem to have won FL-25, Diaz-Balart. That was a real reach for Dems. But it was one to watch.

7:59 PM: Another Dem pick up: FL-27. But again, this was one of the low hanging fruits.

Okay, 7 PM Is Here

7 PM is when this really starts. Polls close in all or most of Florida, Virginia and Georgia. We’ll get a bunch of results pretty quickly. Here’s my results watching guide. Of course, you can find all results in our map right you can see to the right. In these states we also have big governors races.

7:07 PM: We’re seeing a lot of bouncy numbers out of Florida. These results can only be be interpreted by seeing what counties and regions they’re from. I’ll try to give indications of what those are telling us.

7:16 PM: Results out of Florida shows some positive signs in the details. Still way to early to say anything with confidence – that’s for Senate and Gov. Also decent signs on the House side in Florida. Check the map for all the results or you can go directly to my races to watch in my guide.

7:21 PM: Meanwhile, these very lopsided numbers for Donnelly in Indiana are not going to stay that lopsided. But that race is looking considerably more promising for Republicans than Florida.

This is key re early leads for Dems in FLA House races …

7:27 PM: I’d heard some words of caution about McGrath’s numbers in KY-6. But she’s got a decent lead with 40+% of the vote. Results here.

7:32 PM: VA-7, Brat v Spanberger is now coming into view. Basically tied with a few votes. Here’s the results.

7:37 PM: I’d say we’re seeing the outlines on the east coast of the range of wins Democrats need to win the House majority. Again, predicting nothing. But they’re running well or ahead in the key seats. But still early.

Okay Let's Do This, Folks

Here’s my guide to watching tonight’s results and my list of the early races to watch to get a sense of what to expect over the course of the evening. Here’s some exit polls – which will be updated over the course of the evening. You can look at exits for different states, nationwide, etc.

Here’s the race I’m watching right now: Kentucky 6. (This race will be an important tell. But so far we only have a thousand votes – 6:22 pm.)

Also. This guy (Steve Schale) knows Florida. Watch his updates.

6:34 PM: Basically we have some results from Indiana and Kentucky. But tiny amounts. Really nothing that tells us anything. At 7 PM we get Florida and Virginia and some of Georgia. We’ll know a lot pretty quickly then.

6:46 PM: Okay, we’re starting to get some actual numbers from KY-6. Basically tied, with minuscule lead for McGrath. But again, sub-1% reporting. Counting real slow.

6:59 PM: About 6% in and KY-6 is really straight up tie, keeps going back and forth.

The Official Josh Guide To Watching the Midterms

So here we are, not much left but the counting. We’ll be hosting election results on the front page of the site. But you can bookmark this page too, where you can find all the results for Congress, governors and major state propositions and referenda. If you want a list of people who are highly knowledgeable and try to make sense of the numbers in real time, here’s my Twitter list of smart election data people.

Below is a list of races to watch in the early evening to get a sense of where things are going.

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Oh, Brad

How are things going in Dodge City? Well …

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Thoughts on a Momentous Day

So here we are.

Because of the nature of our biennial federal elections, unified Republican control of the federal government and a thoroughly pliant Congress, Donald Trump has had free rein, more or less untrammeled, for almost two years. Democrats and all Trump’s opponents have had no recourse or ability to constrain him beyond organizing, protesting and trying to make a public case against the Trumpian slide into quasi-democracy and authoritarian rule.

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