National election: How big is big?

(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.

ORIGINAL POST:

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).

83 comments Add your comment

[...] with live-blogging the Georgia results separately from the national ones (which you can discuss here). This is where we’ll discuss state and local [...]

Tea Party Revolutionist

November 2nd, 2010
7:06 pm

#1 – Constitutional Amendment requiring Term Limits for all members of Congress

#2 – Constitutional Amendment requiring a Balanced Federal Budget every year, no excuses.

#3 – Repeal the 16th Amendment (Income Tax) and replace it with a Flat Tax or Fair Tax, a National Lottery and massive consumption taxes on alcohol, tobacco and marijuana.

#4 – Congress must repeal The War Powers Act. This law allows the POTUS to start wars without an official Declaration of War. Congress granted it and they can take it back. Get it done.

#5 – A thoroughly independent, comprehensive, unrestricted and mandatory audit of The Federal Reserve System every three years.

#6 — Seal the borders asap and protect American citizens from the drug cartels and others who move freely across our lines.

#7 — No funding whatsoever for Obamacare.

#8 — A thoroughly independent, comprehensive, unrestricted and mandatory audit of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac every three years.

#9 — 10%, across the board, spending cuts for every government office and function including the Defense Department and all government entitlements, no exceptions whatsoever.

#10 — Follow steps one through nine.

arnold

November 2nd, 2010
7:17 pm

What will the conservatives accomplish if they become the majority? Hopefully they will have sense enough to work with the opposition.

Lil' Barry Bailout

November 2nd, 2010
8:07 pm

I think you meant to say that the Democrats will have enough sense to work with the new majority.

Lil' Barry Bailout

November 2nd, 2010
8:08 pm

Why did CNN put the black guy over at the kids table?

Peter

November 2nd, 2010
10:03 pm

Here in Georgia Kyle……… does Nathan winning mean we will Pray again for rain ?

Watch the Georgia school system go lower on the national average ?

Have unemployment go higher than the 10% it already is ?

Have more grid lock on the roads ?

Will there be ANY POSITIVE change what so ever ?

Or will Nathan double his net worth like Sonny did, and that will be the change ?

CJ

November 2nd, 2010
10:27 pm

But this is the first concrete sign that the Republican wave could reach truly historic proportions.

I predicted it. That use of the word “historic”, despite the fact that there’s nothing historic about this election.

Of 49 House elections since the membership of the chamber was set at 435, more than 60 seats flipped in seven of them and more than 70 seats flipped in four of them. Of course, the GOP took control of both the House and the Senate in the ‘94 cycle, and we’re coming off a cycle where the Dems hold 255 seats, a number which Republicans will not reach (although they might be closer than I suspected).

Rare? Maybe. Historic? Please.

Michael H. Smith

November 2nd, 2010
11:13 pm

barking frog

November 3rd, 2010
1:52 am

Miss me yet? Evidently.

Left wing management

November 3rd, 2010
1:55 am

What’s the dealio ?

Curious

November 3rd, 2010
4:05 am

Obamacare, or some version, is here to stay. I like the TEA party revolutionist’s ideas. Who’s willing to sign on? Let’s see who wants to give up something for the common good.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

November 3rd, 2010
5:00 am

Have a nice retirement, Nasty Pelosi!

~~~~~

Now we get to see how much of a “Conservative” Joe Manchin is, will he vote lockstep with the libs like all the other blue dogs?

~~~~~

Nevada ain’t even a democracy anymore. Apparently, the pre election pollsters were unable to contact all the dead people that voted, Angle was leading by 3 points and lost by 8?

Egg on the pollsters face or America’s face?

marko

November 3rd, 2010
5:28 am

I like some of the tea party revolutionist ideas. Lets just take one obvious common sense suggestion cutting every department of the government 10%. Every department no debates, no earmarks, no sacred cows, everybody gets a strong jolt of reality. It would save untold billions and if done fairly would cause very little harm. Lots of luck. I don’t want to rain on your parade, god knows I hope I’m wrong, I just don’t think that record campaign contributions were intended to secure a smaller more efficient government. Prove me wrong. I promise you won’t hear any complaints.

I Report :-) You Whine :-( mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

November 3rd, 2010
5:38 am

Here’s an interesting lead for you eager beaver “news” reporters at the AJC, tell us all why the first Senate returns reported in Illinois and Pennsylvania were so heavily skewed in favor of the dummycrats? The first votes reported in PA were 99% in favor of Sestak. In an election that the Republican easily won. Absentee ballots, maybe? State election officials can’t report any results until polls close and at that time, the only ballots they had were absentee.

Both races took nearly the entire evening to overtake all of the ACORN fraud.

We are compromising our democracy and for what? Convenience? Is this what it is all about nowadays, a citizenry not expected to sacrifice anything for their country, including putting aside one day a year to vote?

No More Progressives!

November 3rd, 2010
5:58 am

Alan Grayson lost………and blamed it on gerrymandering.

John Lewis won………..and didn’t credit gerrymandering.

Just a thought.

No More Progressives!

November 3rd, 2010
6:02 am

marko

November 3rd, 2010
5:28 am
I like some of the tea party revolutionist ideas.

Eliminate the Department of Energy. No one on this blog, much less in the White House or Congress, can tell me what they do.

Eliminate the Department of Education. See the 10th Amendment.

These aren’t really revolutionary. They’re just common sense, and adhering to the Constitution.

No More Progressives!

November 3rd, 2010
6:07 am

Peter

November 2nd, 2010
10:03 pm
Here in Georgia Kyle……… does Nathan winning mean we will Pray again for rain ?

Couldn’t hurt. And you don’t have to participate.

I Report :-) You Whine :-( mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

November 3rd, 2010
6:50 am

Chairman of the US House of Representatives Budget Committee, Paul Ryan, woo hoo!

Spending cuts, here we come, baby!

Roy-Is-A-Crook

November 3rd, 2010
7:14 am

No more King Roy, he he ha ha!!! Peasant Roy now, ha ha ha.

Roy-Is-A-Crook

November 3rd, 2010
7:15 am

Yo No More Progressives! – Its raining now, looks like even the rain gods are on our side!!

A Hearty Cheese Sauce

November 3rd, 2010
7:22 am

Ya…no more Barnes and his clashing shades of lipstick. The Rat is Dead, long live the Rat.

HDB`

November 3rd, 2010
7:55 am

Well…..here comes another Republican-inspired tax INCREASE on the poor and middle class while the wealthy get more breaks!!

Ragnar Danneskjöld

November 3rd, 2010
8:29 am

Looks like the 2010 Republican switches will exceed the Dems gains in 2006 and 2008 combined.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

November 3rd, 2010
8:34 am

Dear “I report” @ 5:00 AM, perhaps you saw Taranto’s argument last week, that Gov./Sen. Manchin is a potential defection to GOP. As his special election is for only two years, he has to face the possibility of running in 2012 with a socialist at the top of his party’s ticket, which may not help him in WV. He will be a reliable conservative vote.

Deiter

November 3rd, 2010
9:00 am

Im so happy Nancy Peelosi lost that I feel like a little girl…

NOWS THE TIME ON SSCHPROCKETS WHEN WE DANCE!!

carlosgvv

November 3rd, 2010
9:03 am

The real winners in this election are the big corporations. Their puppets will control the House and CEO personal estates will grow larger than ever. I doubt if all the sheep who voted the republicans in will ever realize how they have been used. America just keeps sliding closer and closer to the edge of the cliff.

simplthetruth

November 3rd, 2010
9:08 am

I believe that the $10 fee for automobiles would have passed if one thing had been taken care years ago. The inept, shoddy, unethical mismanagement of Grady Hospital, left the voters of this state with a serious lack of confidence, in the State’s ability or courage to deal with this situation. Grady Hospital is a prime example of a good idea screwed up by politicians and career deadheads. Many voters weren’t willing to trust politicians to take millions of dollars in “new revenue” and turn it over to what incompetent group? If the State of Georgia wants true Trauma Centers, which is a wonderful idea, start with Grady Hospital. Prove that you, the State, are serious about this, then the voters will listen.

A Hearty Cheese Sauce

November 3rd, 2010
9:10 am

Seems one Barack Obama has been stopped cold in his tracks.

Americans have spoken and said NO MORE!

A Hearty Cheese Sauce

November 3rd, 2010
9:12 am

Here Here Truth. I voted against the $10.00 for the Drama centers.

$10 Trauma Care

November 3rd, 2010
9:22 am

Simple – Grady has been completely turned around by the involvement of the business community and Pete. To me, the problem with the $10 fee is that it allows the legislature to avoid showing leadership and funding the things that need funding – like trauma centers. It may require taking money from someone’s pet project or a slight raising of taxes (or growing the economy), but the legislature has to ultimately show some leadership.

Gordon

November 3rd, 2010
9:25 am

“No more King Roy, he he ha ha!!! Peasant Roy now, ha ha ha.”

I drive by Roy’s home in Marietta every day. He isn’t governor, but he isn’t a peasant either.

TGT

November 3rd, 2010
9:25 am

It looks like the GOP gains in the House will put them at about 245 seats.

Beavis

November 3rd, 2010
9:27 am

HDB, WAKE UP, it is the dimacrats tax increase that is coming; not the GOP’s. But when did facts mean anything to a liberal…

simplythetruth

November 3rd, 2010
9:30 am

Grady has a long way to go before anyone can say it has been “turned around”. Just saying it doesn’t make it so. You and I can agree on 2 things, Trauma Centers are necessary and the legislature NEEDS to show that it has the backbone to lead.

HDB`

November 3rd, 2010
9:46 am

Beavis

November 3rd, 2010
9:27 am
HDB, WAKE UP, it is the dimacrats tax increase that is coming; not the GOP’s…..

I AM AWAKE….and the tax INCREASE is a REPUBLICAN idiom. Lest you forget….the tax cuts were passed under reconciliation…which made it have a ten-year limit!! If the GOP wanterd to keep the tax cuts…they SHOULD’VE passed it when they had the majority!! They DIDN’T…did they???

In the stimulus package, 1/3 of the stimulus was TAX CUTS!!

When did FACTS mean anything to a conservative………??

CJ

November 3rd, 2010
10:11 am

Thanks for the update at 2:20 Kyle. Details matter to us left-brain types (no pun intended).

Last night was a great night for Republicans. But the people also elected a Democratic President who, maintaining a 50+ approval rating in a bad economy, ran on reforming health care, raising taxes on those above $250,000 to help balance the budget, and investing in the physical and economic infrastructure so that we can remain competitive going forward. And the people could have, but chose not to, return control of the Senate to Republicans. And if the numbers I saw before going to sleep last night are still correct, then the people also rejected more Tea Party/Palin candidates than they elected.

But, of course, national Republicans will claim that the people spoke loud and clear on behalf of the “Tea Party/government shutdown/impeach Obama” agenda and that they’re just following the will of the people when they seek to gut programs for worker, consumer and environmental safety, and increase the deficit by trillions with more tax cuts for the wealthiest among us. We’ll soon find out if they’re right.

Randy Moss

November 3rd, 2010
10:15 am

What the [expletive] ?!?

Who wrote this piece of [expletive] blog?

I wouldn’t read this [expletive] blog to my dog!

By the way, how did Obama do yesterday?

Did MY MAN win again?

Question Authority

November 3rd, 2010
10:23 am

If voting made a difference, it would be illegal. Nothing will change. Republicans had both houses and the presidency for 8 years and government size grew and grew, liberty was beaten to a pulp, the empire attacked and occupied two soverign nations, medicare spending was expanded to include a program that is already more bankrupt than Social Seurity, not a single government program was eliminated nor any agency or department, and the list goes on and on. Aside from a handful of candidates that were fully supported by the only principled man in congress, Ron Paul, every new republican will bend over for the entrenched corrupt republicans that infest the congress and the senate and the merchantilist/fascist policies will continue. Truthfully, one need only look at voting history to see that the only difference between republicans and democrats in office is which big government programs they support. It would be nice to believe that this new crop will make a difference, and that the Tea Party will have an impact, but the truth here too is that the Tea Party was started by principled libertarians with a clue about economics and the folly of empire and their numbers in the movement are diminishing while disaffected warmonger bible thumpers are increasing in numbers in the movement. This does not paint a good picture for the future of liberty if you are country on the Tea Party group for help.

You cannot repeal the laws of economics by majority vote. The Federal Reserve will announce today QE2 which will further push the dollar to the edge of collapse along with our economy. The end of the dollar will be the end of american government as we know it.

Voters continuously reject the libertarian solution because they believe the lie that we can have our cake and eat it too. In the end, the libertarians will be proven right. Unfortunately the wreckage of our nation will tend to temper the joy us libertarians will feel when we are proven correct.

JF McNamara

November 3rd, 2010
10:23 am

I don’t really care about the winners and losers of the races, because that won’t matter.

I’m shocked that Ammendment 1 passed, however. People signed away the right to switch employers via a vague, unlimited constitutional ammendment. Your employer can now have you sign a document that says that you can’t switch to another employer in your field with no time limit or limitations on companies they can implicate? Did I misunderstand what that ammendment does?

Is big business really that powerful? Business can basically stop all competition in the job market staggering wages and decreasing competition. My employer told me to vote for it, but I didn’t think anyone would actually be dumb enough to do it. Guess I was wrong.

Tychus Findlay

November 3rd, 2010
10:39 am

Speaking as a conservative, I would remind our newly elected government officials that their election was largely in part to the public’s firing of their predecessors, not because of their extraordinary qualifications for the post. If they fall short on their promises for reasons other than cooperation from the POTUS, expect the pendulum to going flying back to the Left in ‘12.

Dearie

November 3rd, 2010
11:16 am

Hear Hear – No More Progressives! Great Post!

5:58 am
Alan Grayson lost………and blamed it on gerrymandering.
John Lewis won………..and didn’t credit gerrymandering.

The voters of the 5th District of Georgia missed having an honest, hard working, representative of the people when they did not elect Fenn Little. We can now expect the same old thing from John Lewis – ignoring his constituants,blaming race for every vote not to his liking and spend, spend, spend… How sad

HDB`

November 3rd, 2010
11:24 am

Dearie
November 3rd, 2010
11:16 am

Question: If Fenn LIttle was such a good candidate, why is it that no one in the inner city ever heard of him/her….SAW him/her….was approached by him/her……??

Never came into MY neighborhood!! I LIVE in the 5th District!! THAT’S the point!

Tom

November 3rd, 2010
11:32 am

JF: No, you didn’t misunderstand Amendment 1. Indentured servitude has returned to Georgia–we’ve taken our state back!

Jefferson

November 3rd, 2010
11:37 am

The question is will the lying liars continue to lie or will they realize they have told lies they can’t do anything about?

jm

November 3rd, 2010
11:41 am

How now Nathan Deal? Indicted anytime soon for corruption?

Going to stay out of hot water and run an ethical government? Big, deep questions for our new Republican Governor.

jm

November 3rd, 2010
11:42 am

Bad boys, bad boys, what you gonna do? What you gonna do when they come for you?

NBC Hater

November 3rd, 2010
11:45 am

I cannot believe the simpletons in this State who voted “Yes” on Amendment 1 yesterday!

How would you like your employer forcing you, at the time of your job offer acceptance hiring, to sign a non-compete clause that prohibited you from working for a competitor or in the same field for X-number of months/years after you eventually leave that organization?

(Example: Under California and/or New York law where this is already practiced, Conan O’Brien has been prohibited from doing comedy on TV for a minimum 9 months after leaving NBC earlier this year. What else is he qualified to do?)

Well, many of us working-class people will now get to find out how much we like that type of law!

Mindless, Uninquisitive Sheep!

jm

November 3rd, 2010
11:49 am

Think a guy can RUN our state while LOOKING OVER HIS SHOULDER?

I’m betting he steps in a mess of crap since he can’t look forward…

BADA BING

November 3rd, 2010
11:57 am

Yesterday, we did the Republican HoKey PoKey…….’You put the Right Wing in, You put the Left Wing out, You put the Right Wing in, You now control the House. You do the same thing in 2 more years, That’s what it’s all about’.

jm

November 3rd, 2010
11:59 am