Skip to comments.Your Election Night Viewer Guide [races to watch, by the Rothenburg Report, with poll closing times]
Posted on 10/27/2004 5:32:21 AM PDT by Mike Fieschko
It all comes down to Tuesday night, but once the polls close in Huntington, Indiana, the information and vote tallies will be coming in at a furious pace for the rest of the night. So, we've compiled a list of the crucial states to watch in the presidential race along with most interesting Senate and House races in an effort to streamline your Election Night energy. And it's all by poll closing time (Eastern Time) so you don't miss something.
Kentucky- HOUSE- 4TH DISTRICT- This Democratic open seat is looking like a potential missed opportunity for Republicans and a must-win for Democrats. Nick Clooney (D), father of movie star George, is facing 2002 nominee Geoff Davis (R). The district is conservative but Clooney has a legitimate shot. And in the 3RD DISTRICT- Cong. Anne Northup (R) is headed for reelection once again in her tough, Democratic-leaning Louisville seat. So if Tony Miller (D) wins, a handful of other Republican incumbents in similar districts could be in trouble. If Dan Mongiardo (D) defeats Sen. Jim Bunning (R) in the SENATE race, control of that chamber is definitely up for grabs for the rest of the night.
Indiana- GOVERNOR- The race between Bush's former OMB Director Mitch Daniels (R) and acting Gov. Joe Kernan (D) has been one of the three most competitive governor's races nationwide. If Mike Sodrel (R) knocks off Cong. Baron Hill (D) in the 9th DISTRICT HOUSE race, it could be a long night for House Democrats.
South Carolina- SENATE- Cong. Jim DeMint (R) took a beating for weeks but goes into Election Day with a small lead over Inez Tenenbaum (D). But if Tenenbaum pulls off the victory, consider it an upset, and a potential indicator that the other Democratic nominees in the South could actually win.
Ohio- PRESIDENT- 20 ELECTORAL VOTES- One of the three most critical states in this presidential election (along with Florida and Pennsylvania). But the Buckeye State will close its polls first and will determine what kind of mood Republicans and Democrats are in for the rest of the night.
North Carolina- SENATE- Another Southern Senate seat to watch. Erskine Bowles (D) has to win in order for Democrats to have a legitimate shot at getting to 51 seats. But after a slow start, Cong. Richard Burr (R) looks to be well-positioned to put this seat in the GOP column.
Florida- PRESIDENT- 27 ELECTORAL VOTES- Most of the state's polls close at 7:00pm but the GOP-friendly Panhandle is in another time zone (thus the hour difference). Four years later, this state is still close. The question is if Florida will be able to be called on Election Night. Also keep an eye on the SENATE race between Betty Castor (D) and Mel Martinez (R). Of the toss-up races, it is truly a toss-up.
Pennsylvania- PRESIDENT- 21 ELECTORAL VOTES- Al Gore won the Keystone State handily in 2000 and Kerry is favored to win it again, but it's competitive. If Bush wins, he is well on his way to a second term. Keep one eye on HOUSE races in the 6th DISTRICT and 8th DISTRICT in the Philly suburbs. If Democrats pick-up both GOP seats, there could be something brewing for House Democrats.
Connecticut- HOUSE- 2nd DISTRICT & 4TH DISTRICT- Republican Congs. Rob Simmons and Chris Shays are in very competitive races. Both men represent districts where John Kerry will win by a significant margin. Can challengers Jim Sullivan and Diane Farrell ride the Northeast Kerry tide into office? It's very possible. But don't assume Democratic victories here mean they will take back the House.
New Hampshire- PRESIDENT- 4 ELECTORAL VOTES- Bush won the Granite State in 2000 against Al Gore, but Kerry looks like he is going to win his neighboring state. If Bush were to win the exact same states he won in 2000, he would total 278 electoral votes (factoring in reapportionment) so he can afford to lose New Hampshire, but not too much more. Also watch the race for GOVERNOR. In the last two months, Democrat John Lynch gave Gov. Craig Benson (R) a run for his money. It looks like Benson has opened up a slight lead, but if Kerry overwhelms Bush, it could have an affect on this race.
Oklahoma- SENATE- Another very competitive contest between former Cong. Tom Coburn (R) and Cong. Brad Carson (D). This is a Republican open seat and Democrats need Carson to win as part of their path to 51.
Missouri- GOVERNOR- State Auditor Claire McCaskill (D) defeated Gov. Bob Holden (D) in the primary but she faces a tough general election fight with Secretary of State Matt Blunt (R). The race is very competitive, but the state looks primed for a GOP takeover. At the top of the ticket for PRESIDENT, Bush should win the Show Me State's 11 ELECTORAL VOTES.
South Dakota- SENATE- The premiere Senate race of the cycle between Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D) and former Cong. John Thune (R). The race is coming down to the wire, will depend on each party's turnout effort, and will likely be decided by just a couple thousand votes.
Colorado- SENATE- Ken Salazar (D) and Pete Coors (R) are locked in one of the closest Senate races in the country. The race could be affected by the top of the ticket. Bush won the state in 2000 and needs to win it again along with its 9 ELECTORAL VOTES.
New Mexico- HOUSE- 1ST DISTRICT- Cong. Heather Wilson (R) is in a serious battle with Richard Romero (D) in a rematch of 2002 in the Albuquerque-based district. But this time, Democratic turnout will be strong with New Mexico as a battleground state (5 ELECTORAL VOTES) in the race for PRESIDENT. Wilson is one of the most vulnerable GOP incumbents in the country. Gore won the state in 2000.
Texas- HOUSE- Chet Edwards (D-17) is the only one of the "Texas 5" expected to survive Tom DeLay's mid-decade redistricting extravaganza. If Edwards and one his colleagues (Max Sandlin, Nick Lampson, Charlie Stenholm, and Martin Frost) win, consider it a moral victory for the Democrats.
New York- HOUSE- 27th DISTRICT- Nancy Naples (R) and Brian Higgins (D) face off in potentially the most even House race in the country. It's a GOP open seat that John Kerry will win, but Naples is the better candidate. This is the kind of seat Democrats have to win.
Wisconsin- PRESIDENT- 10 ELECTORAL VOTES- This is a good opportunity for Bush in a state he lost four years ago. But if he loses Florida or Ohio earlier in the evening, a win here probably won't do him much good.
Louisiana- A competitive SENATE race and two competitive HOUSE races (3rd DISTRICT & 7TH DISTRICT), all of which are expected to be decided in an early December runoff rather than on November 2.
Iowa- PRESIDENT- 7 ELECTORAL VOTES- Gore won the state in 2000 but Bush has been running very well. He probably still can't afford to lose two of the Big Three, but Iowa could help even out potential losses in New Hampshire, Nevada, and Colorado.
Nevada- PRESIDENT- 5 ELECTORAL VOTES- This is a Bush state from four years ago with the potential to turn against the President on a local issue: Yucca Mountain. Watch for Kerry to pick one out of the GOP column here, but it wouldn't necessarily be a trend.
Oregon- PRESIDENT- 7 ELECTORAL VOTES- John Kerry is trying to keep the Beaver State in his column after Al Gore won it very narrowly in 2000. At this point, a Bush win here would be an upset.
Washington- HOUSE- 8th DISTRICT- Dave Reichert (R) and Dave Ross (D) are facing off in a toss-up race in the suburban King County district. Republicans are defending the seat vacated by Jennifer Dunn and Democrats need to win this kind of race to have any chance of making Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the House.
Alaska- SENATE- Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) is trying to win after being appointed to the seat two years ago. The race should be very close, considering Bush will win the state handily at the top of the ticket, but Tony Knowles (D) looks well-positioned to take advantage of the nepotism issue and Gov. Frank Murkowski's (R) unpopularity.
And actually by this time, we'll all still be waiting for Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania to actually be called.
I have a feeling we're going to know around 3:00-4:00pm who wins the Presidency..
Drudge will have sirens and exit polls out.
They left off Hawaii!
This guy writes as if the GOP is in danger of losing the House.
Also left out: Georgia Senate (GOP pickup)
You mentioned: "Drudge will have sirens and exit polls out."
I thought VNS had been disbanded. Will there be exit polling this year?
Russert just said on Imus, that they'll know around 3:00pm.
Not sure about exit polls but somehow word about the "trend" has leaked out by mid afternoon in the last 3 national elections.
I also wonder if we will have a good idea of what will happen by Thurs or Friday. In 2 of the last 3 elections some survey firm has issued their final results and they turned out to be very accurate. Wasn't one of the bigger names. I can't remember exactly but it may have been Annenberg, or the Center for Politics. In any case in '98 they saw a trend to the Dems and predicted Repubs would lose ground in Congress and they were right. Then 2 years ago they caught the growing Republican tide and said the GOP had a good chance to gain seats. So if this outfit has something to say late this week I would take it very seriously.
They forget to mention that Gore won New Mexico by 366 votes!!! The entire summary sounds like some Democrat hoping to hit the election lottery. Basically, Bush is holding on to the states he won in 2000 and many of the so-called states are now in play. This says something about what will happen on election night.
That means he favors the Pubbies.
If we know by 3:00pm that to me Russert is predicting a Bush Landslide, since I don't think ANY pundit thinks it could be a Kerry Landslide.
Don't forget to watch the ashen, blank faces of the MSM "election anchorpersons," as they get the results early, but try to "make it a horse race." There will also be pregnant pauses...long, awkward moments of silence between co-hosts on CNN, ABC, NBC, and most definitely, CBS. They will painfully avoid calling the race until the DNC gives them the OK, just in case it's close enough for Kerry to get his legal machine working.
3:00pm, Tuesday afternoon..
Russert said there's a good possibility the news networks via exit polls will know who won.
Drudge had them on last year.. and called it close. I'm trying to decide what I want to look on Drudge or avoid the net all day and watch the election in suspense.
If I look at Drudge Tuesday afternoon, and it shows Bush up 4-5 points, I'm tuning into CBS and Dan Rather for my election coverage.
If it's tight, I'll probably be flipping around.
you got it...and all the pundits already know it because the campaign are leaking them their internal data...
BTTT for later
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Posted by upchuck, trying to live up to the Swampmeister's standards for a week or so.
Jim, you may want to be ready to put some ice on that...