The Morning After: TheDC Election Liveblog

Jeff Winkler Contributor
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Check out TheDC’s liveblog from last night

1:06 p.m. – Obama’s sobering speech…UPDATE…1:12 p.m…1:33 p.m…1:40 p.m…1:50…

Some snippets so far from the president:

“Republicans throughout the campaign said they’re very concerned about debts and deficits. Well..what other proposals do they have to grow the economy if they are rejecting the proposals I have made? I want to hear from them.”

“I don’t think tax cuts arlone are the recipe for the kind of expansion that we need.”

“What American people want is for us to mix and match ideas.”

On slurpees: “They’re delicious drinks.”

“Making sure we were on projector for lower health care costs was absolutely critical for the country.”

“[It was an] ugly mess when it comes to process. That’s something that affected how people viewed the outcome…that’s something that I regret. But I think the outcome was a good one.”

“I’m doing a whole lot of reflecting.”

“Over last two years we have made a series of very tough decisions, but we were right in terms of moving country forward.”

“We were in such a hurry to get things done, we didn’t change how things got done.”

“What people don’t want is for us to spend the next two years fighting the political battles of the last two.”

“I’m not so naïve to think we will put politics aside until then [2012].”

“First allegiance of citizens is not to party…but to country. We may be proud Democrats and proud Republicans, but we are prouder Americans.”

“Needles to say, it was a long night for me… Some election nights are more fun than others. Some are exhilarating. Some are humbling.”

“But every elections is reminder that power doesn’t reside with those of us in office, but with people we have the privilege to serve”

“Clearly too many Americans haven’t felt our progress…I take responsibility for that.”

1:15 p.m. – Nikki Haley: Oh, Palin? She helped, too

Nikki Haley offered a tepid “thank you” to Sarah Palin for assisting the South Carolina governor-elect beat her opponent in the 2010 midterm election.

“When she came to South Carolina we already had a ground swell that was going but she certainly got the rest of the state to pay attention and listen to our message,” said Haley on CNN when asked how much Palin’s support helped.

Haley said she received support from many different people and that “all of it mattered.”

Included in that support was former governor Mark Sanford; as well as Mark’s ex-wife Jenny Sanford and potential presidential 2012 republican candidate Mitt Romney, both of whom were mentioned twice. Romney also endorsed Haley in the election.

12:30 p.m. – Rep. Eric Cantor wants job as House Majority Leader.

At this point, he’s a shoo-in.

12:21 p.m. – Buck says it’s not over

Though the Colorado Senate race has pretty much been called for Democrat Michael Bennet, Ken Buck’s campaign hasn’t given up hope. In fact, they are rather admirably holding on for dear life.

At noon, the campaign released a statement:

“We are still looking where returns need to be reported, as well as provisional ballots before making any decisions.

“We will have further comment later today.”

Hopelessly optimistic?

11:57 a.m. Repealing ObamaCare

More than 50 percent of likely voters think Republicans will repeal the health-care bill and 59 percent of those who voted on election day want the new law slashed, according to a new Rasmussen poll.

Including those who think that it is somewhat likely that Republicans will repeal the bill, that number is an overwhelming 89 percent. Forty-eight percent of voters on election day strongly favor the health-care bill.

The numbers of those for and against the health-care bill have been consistent since March, according to Rasmussen.

UPDATE 11:38 a.m. … UPDATE 10:50 … 10:32 a.m. Less (candidates) is more (for Democrats and Republicans) Governor edition

And it’s down to five … Four more.

Paul LePage, the tea party candidate in the Maine governor’s race has won.

Democrat Alex Sink concedes to Republican Rick Scott in the Florida governor’s race.

AP is reporting that Republican candidate Brian Dubie has conceded to Democratic Peter Shumlin in the Vermont governor’s race.

Connecticut, Oregon, Illinois, and Minnesota are left with 94 percent of more of the precincts in those states reporting.

11:35 a.m. Michele Bachmann as the GOP Conference Chair?

11:25 a.m. Steele take a moment to reflect

In a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning, RNC Chairman Michael Steele had the opportunity to reflect a little on last night’s big win.

A snippet:

It was a very exciting night, but also very very humbling night in that you begin to appreciate just what it takes to win in this country.

I heard all across the country, ‘you guys better not screw this up becuase you’re next on the list if you do’.

Steel also talked about the months of campaigning that led up to yesterday’s elections.

Check back later for a full report on Steele’s remarks.

11:20 a.m.- Barney Frank Ready with a left jab

In his victory speech late last night, Barney Frank offered a special election souvenir to his supporters while getting in one more jab at his Republican opponent Sean Bielat.

“Just to show there is no ill feeling, I asked [partner Jim Ready] if I could offer … a nice picture of Sean Bertlat being interviewed, autographed by Jim.”

Frank was referring to an incident in late October when Ready began photographing and taunting Bielat as the candidate gave an interview to reporters.

Watch below:

10:26 a.m. – Bennet wins in Colorado

The Denver Post has (finally) called the Colorado Senate race for the Democrat, appointed Senator Michael Bennet. He narrowly beat Republican Ken Buck.

9:50 Pence zeroes in on health care overhaul, keeps door open for presidential run

In a Fox News interview Wednesday morning, Indiana Republican Rep. Mike Pence said that his party will make repealing the health care overhaul a top priority. “Republicans will not rest until we repeal Obamacare lock stock and barrel,” Pence said, adding that they plan to attempt to replace it with their own proposals for health care reform.

When asked if he will run for president in 2012, Pence remained coy, but says he will “prayerfully consider” whatever the future holds.

9:26 a.m. FreedomWorks leader says the system works

Dick Armey, chairman of the tea party’s FreedomWorks called the 2010 midterm elections a “paradigm shift,” but indicated it’s Republicans who will continue with the change and not necessarily grassroots movements.

“This is really the paradigm shift,” said the former Majority Leader on CNBC. “It is no longer Washington telling America ‘you’re going to get this whether you like it or not because we want to do it.'”

Armey said that even though there was “no mandate” from voters, there were instructions to leaders in Washington that “you either govern in accordance to our requirements or we will find personnell changes in the next election.”

“The problem that the Democrats or liberals have is that they really, truly know that the Republicans do have the better ideas and that they are more enduring to the American people,” he said.

Read Alex Pappas’ recent piece, Rough night for the Tea Party Express

8:35 a.m. – ‘V’ is for ‘Victory,’ ‘Victory’ is for ‘password’

Even though Republicans have taken a humble tone after their big night, that doesn’t mean the GOP can’t flaunt it. Just a little.

The RNC chairman Michael Steele and RNC political director Gentry Collins are holding a phone press conference with reporters at 10:30 today to discuss the results. Those wishing to call in must have the password.

That password is “VICTORY.”

8:29 a.m. – Haley Barbour: ‘It is now time to sit down and see if there’s anything to think about’

The Mississippi Governor and chairman of the Republican Governors Association was on Fox. He was talking about his 2012 presidential bid.

7:54 a.m. – O’Donnell says she will see what she can do next
Christine O’Donnell said her loss Chris Coons in the Delaware senate race has a silver lining. The widely-covered candidate, however, played coy with questions regarding her political future.

“[The midterm race] speaks to the potential that could have been there,” said O’Donnell on Good Morning America.

“Our fight to influence what happens in this lame duck session isn’t over just because this election is over,” said O’Donnell.

“I’d like to see what we can do to be a voice, and to see what we can do to positively change our country. then we’ll see what we can do next,” she said.

The Pew Research Center yesterday said O’Donnell garnered more coverage than any other candidate in the 2010 midterms.

7:36 a.m. – Pawlenty wasting no time before 2012

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is wasting no time on his potential bid for the White House in 2012. As early as 12:55 this morning, Pawlenty blasted out an email offering “some insight” into “T-Paw’s future plans,” and linked to this ABC News report:

“Minnesota Republican governor Tim Pawlenty says he will not make a decision on a presidential run for 2012 until early next year, but he does already have his eyes set on Florida…”

Welcome to the presidential campaign season. If you didn’t have a chance to get away from politics during that 55-minute interim, well, too bad.

(H/T John Tabin)

7:30 a.m.- As Seen On TV: Rand Paul and Eric Cantor

Rand Paul on budget deficits and politicians’ promises: “We picked the pig clean, there’s no more bacon to bring home.”

7:25 a.m. House Republican Whip Eric Cantor on Fox and Friends: “The American people have had it with Washington.” Says President Obama agrees that government should get out of the way. (Highly unlikely that it’s true, but Cantor probably didn’t sleep much last night.)

Adds that he is not running for Speaker of the House in 2011.

7:18 a.m. Reid stresses bipartisanship on GMA: “We cannot move this country forward if we don’t work together.” Host seems skeptical.  Asks him what’s going to be different about the next Congress. “We all know our majority is smaller than what it was,” he says, adding that he’s willing to work with Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell.

The first test of this pledge will come in the lame-duck session, when Congress will debate how to extend the Bush-era tax cuts.

7:15 a.m. Sen. Jim DeMint says on Good Morning America that repealing health care is the “most important thing” Congress can do next year. When asked if he would move toward scrapping the plan he said, “Oh, yeah.”

7:08 a.m. Now that Republicans have taken the House and increased their presence in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid says he’s prepared to stop playing politics. The Nevada senator released this statement this morning:

“The time for politics is now over. And now that Republicans have more members in both houses of Congress, they must take their responsibility to present bipartisan solutions more seriously,” he said. “Simply saying ‘no’ will do nothing to create more jobs, support our middle-class and strengthen our economy. We must spare no effort to get back to work immediately in order to restore the American Dream for the millions of Nevadans and all Americans.”

6:57 a.m.- Boxer’s 10-point lead, still no concession

In the California Senate race, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer has a ten-point lead over Republican challenger Carly Fiorina with 91 percent of the polls reporting.

6:45 a.m. – Octo-politician

Despite early polls showing a close race for Michigan Democratic Rep. John Dingell, who was elected to Congress more than half a century ago, the octogenarian won a 29th term last night, Michigan media reports.

4:40 a.m. UPDATE 5:16  – Joe Miller is going to bed, Murkowski is ‘celebrating’

Lisa Murkowski said she and her supporters were celebrating in Alaska.

“To be in a three-way race and to have 40 percent of the vote at midnight … that’s a pretty impressive place to be right about now,” said the Republican write-in candidate for senate on Fox.

While even Fox momentarily misspelled the candidate’s name, Murkowski said supporters who struggle with their vowels and consonants have little to worry about in regards to challenges to those votes.

“It’s going to be alright,” said Murkowski. “But again, we’re feeling pretty good about where we are with the number of votes.”

Speaking to National Review’s Katrina Tinko, the tea party senatorial candidate in Alaska said “We’ll see what it looks like in the morning.”

The Sarah Palin-endorsed Republican candidate is currently trailing write-ins by about 5 percent with 81.7 percent reporting but didn’t suggest what most observers are saying — that those write-ins have some form of “Murkowski” written on them.

“Last result that came in just closed the gap a little bit,” said Miller. “At any rate, we know it’s likely those write-in ballots will have to be counted and reviewed.”

4:52 a.m. – Falling star

AP is calling the Minnesota’s 8th District for Republican Chip Cravaack, who upsets 18-term Dem Rep. Jim Oberstar. This puts puts the number of seats won by Republicans at exactly 60.

This defeat for the long-time congressman means that three top chairmanships will fall to Republicans under Speaker Boehner.

Missouri Rep. Ike Skelton, chairman of the powerful Armed Services Committee, lost tonight to Republican Vicky Hartzler. California Republican Rep. Buck McKeon is expected to take over that position. Meanwhile, the long-serving House Budget Committee chairman Rep. John Spratt fell to Mick Mulvaney in South Caroline, with Republican wunderkind Paul Ryan expected to take his place.

3:52 a.m. – Lisa Murkowski leading in Alaska

With a little more than 40 percent of voters choosing to write-in their choice for a new Alaskan senator, Lisa Murkowski is ahead and took shots at the tea party movement, whose candidate Joe Miller is trailing at 34.9 percent.

A little more than 78 percent of the votes in Murkowski attributed her success on real Alaskans’ focusing on Alaska, rather than allowing groups from the “other 49” decide the race.

“I know what they did in my state,” said Murkowski referring to the Tea Party Express. “They were an outside group.”

Asked about her former governor, Murkowski said “Sarah’s going do what she’s going to do. I’m going to do what I do for Alaska.”

3:14 a.m. –  Angle concedes to Reid

Sharron Angle was “still smiling” as she gave her concession speech at midnight in Nevada.
The Republican candidate for Harry Reid’s senate seat fought back her emotions as she thanked supporters and declared that the Tea Party message had been heard loud and clear.

Angle offered plenty of platitudes to small-time donors and first-time voters. The Tea Party candidate also gave an implicit nod to the grassroots movement that allowed her to give Reid a run for his money.

3:47 a.m. – Redrawing the lines

Both CQ Politics and Politico’s Ben Smith note the importance of Republicans’ victory of taking full control of the chambers in six states, which’ll be essential in future redistricting.

Republicans now control both chambers in Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Check out TheDC’s liveblog from last night
2:39 – Meg Whitman concedes to Jerry Brown

Speaking over an enthusiastic crowd, the Republican candidate for California governor, Whitman said “It’s time to unite behind the common cause …” and declared “we are all Californians tomorrow.” Sober Californians, that is.

2:20 a.m. – Fiorina not conceding

Democratic candidate Barbara Boxer is up 50 to 45 percent against Republican Carly Fiorina with 42 percent reporting. Fiorina is saying the race is neck-and-neck but even FOX is calling it. And it’s not for her. They even cut off her speech to jump to Boxer’s victory speech in which she gives a shout-out to the defeated Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold.

2:17 a.m.- Kasich defeats Strickland to take Ohio statehouse

Watch Kasich’s victory speech here.

2:06 a.m. – California governor-elect Jerry Brown’s victory speech

The once and future California governor defeats Meg Whitman and the $145 million of her own cash she spent on the race. He reminds the audience that he’s returning to Sacramento after 28 years only once at the end of his speech.

1:56 a.m. – Pelosi releases statement: Can’t we all just get along?

“Over the last four years, the Democratic Majority in the House took courageous action on behalf of America’s middle class to create jobs and save the country from the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression.

“The outcome of the election does not diminish the work we have done for the American people. We must all strive to find common ground to support the middle class, create jobs, reduce the deficit and move our nation forward.”

This call for “common ground” comes less than a year after the Speaker Pelosi said Republicans “have nothing to sell the Americans except selling fear.”

1:16 a.m. – Count Reid

Some people might call Reid an establishment senate leader who faced a tough race against an insurgent candidate. Former presidential candidate John Kerry prefers to call him the walking dead.

“Harry Reid isn’t just Dracula, he isn’t just Lazarus, he’s our Leader and our whole caucus is thrilled that he’s unbreakable and unbeatable,” said Kerry in a statement.

1:10 a.m. – Kristi Noem takes South Dakota

The S.D. Republican ‘Grizzly Mama‘ takes the senate seat against Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin.

Check out TheDC’s liveblog from last night