Election Night, Sixth and Final Thread

ELECTION NIGHT, SIXTH AND FINAL THREAD…. I’m getting pretty tired, so let’s say this is the last thread for the night.

12:00: AP is calling Pennsylvania’s Senate race for Pat Toomey (R).

12:01: Looks like John Kasich (R) held on to win Ohio’s gubernatorial race.

12:01: The thing about the Toomey and Kasich victories is that, earlier tonight, they looked surprisingly encouraging for Dems. Even though polls predicted both outcomes, the initial hopes make the defeats a little tougher for Democrats to swallow.

12:04: Not that the outcome was in doubt, but Sen. Daniel Inouye (D) has won re-election in Hawaii.

12:11: While his campaign was initially reluctant to concede, even after news outlets started calling it, Russ Feingold has conceded in Wisconsin.

12:16: Part of me thought the polls were wrong and Illinois voters would do the right thing. Apparently not — the AP and MSNBC are calling the U.S. Senate race for Mark Kirk (R).

12:20: Keep in mind, while most of these Senate races will elect members who’ll begin serving next year, Illinois’ Kirk will join much sooner and vote in the lame-duck session. The 59-41 Senate will quickly become the 58-42 Senate before this Congress wraps up its work. Kirk is in a position, then, to screw up all kinds of important measures.

12:23: I guess that debate performance didn’t bother voters as much as I’d hoped — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) won another term.

12:25: I’m afraid I just can’t keep my eyes open, so I’m off until morning. Plenty of questions to keep an eye on for those of you still watching returns come in: Can Harry Reid (D) hang on in Nevada? Can Michael Bennet (D) hang on in Colorado? How about Patty Murray (D) in the state of Washington? Did Florida really elect a criminal to be its governor? When can we expect a result out of Alaska? Will House GOP gains get to 70?

See you in the morning.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.