(Note: This thread is for discussing the national results. Discuss state results here.)
UPDATE at 2:20 a.m.: While Democrats will continue to control the Senate, as most people expected, it looks like Republicans will be right around 240 seats in the House — which would be a net increase of more than 60. It would be the first time since the House expanded to 435 members that the GOP won at least 60 new seats and became the majority party (in 1914 and 1938, they won more than 60 but remained a minority; in 1920 they won more than 60 after already holding a majority).
The Democrats have pulled off that winning combination twice: in 1932 and 1948, which was the last time we saw a swing of 60-plus seats in either party’s favor.
UPDATE at 8:55 p.m.: No sooner did I write that it’s too early to see any big moves in the House, than ABC called a very significant win in Virginia’s ninth district: Morgan Griffith over 14-term Democrat Rick Boucher. According to the prognostications of Five Thirty-Eight’s Nate Silver, a Boucher loss means the Democrats could yield as many as 70 seats.
That’s right: Seventy seats.
Of course, it’s unlikely that all of the 69 seats that Silver rated as easier GOP pickups will actually change hands. But this is the first concrete sign that the Republican wave could reach truly historic proportions.
A net gain of 70 seats would put the GOP at 248 seats — within seven of the Dems’ current total, and the highest number of Republicans in the House in more than 80 years.
UPDATE at 8:45 p.m.: Both WSJ and ABC are calling it early in favor of John Boozman (R) in Arkansas, a GOP pickup, as well as projecting holds for the Republicans in Florida (Rubio), Oklahoma (Coburn), New Hampshire (Ayotte), North Carolina (Burr), Alabama (Shelby) and — drumroll, please — Georgia (Johnny Isakson).
Projected as Democratic holds are Maryland (Mikulski) and Delaware, where it appears to be a short night for Christine O’Donnell.
That makes it a net +2 for the Republicans in the Senate at this point.
In the House, it’s still too early to see any big moves.
UPDATE at 7:45 p.m.: The Wall Street Journal says the Ohio Senate race has gone to Rob Portman, another hold for the Republicans (George Voinovich is retiring from the seat). Portman is one of the few politicians outside of Georgia and Alabama with whom I’ve dealt a fair bit over the years; he was the U.S. Trade Representative under George W. Bush while I was writing about trade in Brussels. And he’s also one of the few politicians that I hold in pretty high regard. He always struck me as a smart, principled guy who will be a good addition to the Senate.
Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont is also projected easily as a winner tonight.
UPDATE at 7:20 p.m.: Well, that was fast: ABC News has already called the Senate races in Kentucky, Indiana and South Carolina for Republicans Rand Paul, Dan Coats and Jim DeMint, respectively. Paul is of course the son of libertarian favorite Ron Paul. Coats will be returning to the Senate, where he served from 1989 to 1999. DeMint is an incumbent.
Indiana is the first pickup of the night for the GOP.
P.S. — Don’t expect updates on both threads every 15 minutes all evening long…
ADDED at 7:05 p.m.: Here are some benchmarks to use as you evaluate the night’s results.
In the U.S. House, Republicans currently hold 178 seats. To reach a majority, they need a net gain of 40 seats.
The GOP held a majority in the House from January 1995 until January 2007 (the party’s first majority since the late 1950s). During that span, Republicans held as many as 234 seats and as few as 222. To get back to that low-water mark, they need a net gain of 44 seats; to reach the high-water mark, they need a net gain of 56 seats.
In the Senate, Republicans currently hold 41 seats. To reach a majority, they need a net gain of 10 seats (a 50-50 tie would result in Vice President Biden holding the deciding vote in case of a deadlock).
The GOP’s high-water mark in the Senate in recent decades was 55. That’s virtually impossible to reach tonight.
I’m going to experiment with live-blogging the national results separately from the Georgia ones (which you can discuss here). This is where we’ll discuss national races.
Nate Silver of Five Thirty-Eight has posted an excellent hour-by-hour schedule of what to watch for, broken down by each congressional race’s importance to the GOP’s chances of taking over the House. We should start having some idea about the earliest results sometime after 7 p.m. (polls closed at 6 in Indiana and eastern Kentucky).