Welcome to The Rational Middle’s Live Blog of the 2012 National Election. You can expect zero spin and regular updates on the races for President, the Senate, and the House. As we enter the evening, the consensus expectation is for a status quo election; no change is expected in any of the three bodies, with little expected movement in the numerical composition of Congress.
Two scenarios to consider:
A good night for Governor Mitt Romney and the Republicans means Mitt Romney earns 291, Republicans maintain their margin in the House, and Republicans pick up 2 in the Senate.
A good night for President Obama and the Democrats means President Obama earns in excess of 300 electoral votes, pick up more than a dozen seats in the House, and add 3 seats in the Senate.
The first update comes on line at 7 pm Eastern, and you can comment on Facebook from the bottom of the page.
All times Eastern…
The Romney Campaign is not conceding Ohio, and it is hard to blame them. It looks the the race is razor thin, but the leftovers are largely in big liberal counties (just as in Florida and Virginia).
Florida, Virginia, Colorado, and Nevada are turning towards the President as the post-mortem begins. It should be noted again, that the state polls were accurate, and that they saw Romney’s momentum stopped 2 weeks before Hurricane Sandy made landfall. It was the national polling that started to show improvement during the week the North East suffered the tragedy.
The major networks have caught up to The RM, and called the race for the President. Also, as reported here for most of the night, the aggregate of state polling has held up remarkably well, meaning the industry knows its business, and Fox News and Rasmussen Reports don’t.
Virginia-Romney leads by about 20,000 votes, with major outstanding votes coming from Northern Virginia
Ohio-Obama leads by 80,000 votes, with major outstanding votes coming from Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Toledo.
Florida-Obama leads by 35,000 votes, with major outstanding votes coming from Miami-Dade.
The numbers strongly indicate that Barack Obama will return to the White House for a second term.
No changes in the race for the White House, as the consensus is favorable to the President, but the race will go on into the night.
The race for the White House is super-tight, and will come down to votes in Miami, Cleveland, and Northern Virginia. President Obama has the superficial advantage, but it is too early, in my opinion, for the optimism their surrogates are projecting.
In the Senate, the Democrats have locked in a no-loss election at a minimum, and are looking towards possible additions to their total.
The Democratic roll in the Senate continues, with Missouri breaking for Claire McCaskill. Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Montana are next to check.
The President shows advantages in votes remaining in Virginia, Florida, and Ohio, with absolute leads in both Ohio and Florida.
Florida is starting to look better for Obama, with far more outstanding votes in strongly liberal counties than in conservative counties. Virginia continues to tighten, as much of the big counties are finally starting to report. In Ohio, Obama leads by 5 points despite less than 15% of the vote being counted in Cuyohoga County. New Hampshire has gone to Obama, and the numbers continue to be strong for the President in Colorado.
Nothing has happened to dampen liberal optimism in the Senate, or conservative happiness in the House.
Democrats have confirmed pickups in the Senate in 3 states, and have gained another liberal independent in Maine.
In the race for President, Virginia is tightening even as the big liberal counties are not reporting quickly. In Florida, bellwether counties are going to Obama. Races have been called in all of the Rust Belt…except Ohio…where the numbers are generally positive for the President.
Wisconsin is called for the President, and joins Michigan and Pennsylvania as Rust Belt states with early calls. The rest of the races close, but the pre-election polls continue to hold-up, with the exception of those in strongly red states.
Want close? How about 1,000 votes in Romney’s favor in Florida with 76% counted? No surprise in Michigan and Pennsylvania; Obama wins.
Democrats continue to do well in the Senate, but NBC News is projecting control of the House stays with the Republicans.
The Democrats appear to be on their way to a 3 seat pickup East of the Mississippi which would most likely take net Democratic losses off the table.
Obama continues to stay inside the polls in North Carolina, and leads in both Ohio and Florida (by a whisker). Virginia’s big urban centers are still slow to report.
The race for President is more confusing, and more interesting than ever. Virginia’s big liberal counties are slow to report, while those in Ohio are quicker. Races continue to look more like the polls than not…but again, there is still time.
The Democrats are on pace to gain East of the Mississippi, although Donnelly is only marginally ahead of Mourdock in a slow-reporting Indiana Senate race.
Any change to the status quo to this hour in the House favors the GOP.
The Senate continues to look good for the Democrats, and the race for President continues to stand on the edge. One fact that is becoming more apparent, is that early numbers seem to support the polling data going into the election. But…it is close.
The seesaw begins in Florida, and continues in North Carolina as alternating red and blue precincts report results. Obama leads in North Carolina and Ohio, Romney in Florida and Virginia.
In the Senate, it is a good night for the Democrats so far, matching the polling.
In the House, it is a poor night for the Democrats so far, matching the consensus expectation.
When looking at an election the night of, it is where the votes are being counted rather than how many. Leads by Romney in Ohio and Virginia early, and Obama in North Carolina, are not entirely significant. Conservative strongholds have yet to report in the Tar Heel State, and the big liberal bastions of the Old Dominion are also missing.
We do know that Joe Donnelly is having a solid night so far in Indiana, with help from a libertarian candidate who appears to be catching the votes of fiscal conservatives who aren’t comfortable with Mr, Mourdock after his rape comments.
Mostly rural counties make up the reporting share for Virginia, which shows leads for Romney as well as George Allen in the Senate. In Florida, 28% of the vote is in with the President leading by 3%. Florida differs from Virginia in that there already has been reporting out of the big Democratic-leaning population centers.
Obama leads in Florida with a small margin, and he is also over-performing in Republican Lake County. Romney leads in early reporting precincts in Virginia.
The House remains GOP +1, although the Democrat in Kentucky is fading.
Joe Donnelly leads in Indiana, where substantial votes seem to have gone for the third party candidate. George Allen leads narrowly in the Virginia contest.
Democrats are doing well in one House toss-up seat in Kentucky, and on the way to losing the open seat in Indiana. GOP House +1
Nothing new in the President or Senate race.
President-No news at this hour
Senate-Joe Donnely is over-performing the President in Indiana by almost 20 points.