It's Election Day, and Democrats' chances of retaining control of the Senate look pretty slim, according to election models at the Washington Post, the New York Times, and FiveThirtyEight, which put the chances of a GOP victory at 96%, 73%, and 76%, respectively. The Post notes that all three election models agree that the GOP is likely to pick up seats in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia, while Democrats will probably hang on to North Carolina and New Hampshire—leaving Alaska, Georgia, Iowa, and Kansas as the races to watch. Harry Reid says the Iowa race will be crucial for Senate control, although there is a chance control may not be decided today, or even this month. More:
- Mitt Romney believes the polls this time around and he's confident about the GOP's chances, the Hill reports. This election is the "last chance" for voters to "pass judgment," says Romney, who has campaigned for Republicans across the country but hasn't indicated he's planning a third bid for the presidency.
- Despite an economy that's slowly finding its stride, polls indicate voter interest is "substantially lower" than it was four years ago, with a populace worn down by ISIS and Ebola, the Times reports. Lackluster candidates comparing each other to Taylor Swift and clown cars haven't helped.
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell—heavily favored to win his race in Kentucky—may soon be the body's majority leader, and he told a crowd last night that the rollback of President Obama's policies will begin today, Politico reports. "These people need to be stopped and it starts tomorrow night," he said.
- Democrats, meanwhile, are trying to limit their losses in an election that also stands to give the GOP its biggest share of the House since it held 246 seats in 1946, the AP reports. Democratic incumbents are struggling in many of today's 36 gubernatorial contests as well, but the party holds out hope that a huge get-out-the-vote operation will save its Senate majority.
- And if the Republicans do usurp Senate power? They'll have pulled off a "spectacular feat," as NPR puts it, with a victory despite their "non-transformation"—in other words, without changing a platform that was supposedly destined to doom them, like opposition to ObamaCare, gay marriage, and abortion rights.
- Democrats also hope that overzealous Republicans, if they do take over, might actually work to their advantage ahead of the 2016 presidential elections. "If Republicans take the Senate and expand their margins in the House, no one in their right mind would believe that Ted Cruz and the Tea Party House Republicans will say, 'Now is the time for us to compromise'. They're going to double down," Democratic Rep. Steve Israel tells the Times.
We could be in for a late night
... or an early one.