The writing is on the wall for Republicans — they will not take the Senate in 2012. Polls have closed in the races that were being closely watched, but some are still too close to call. As has been noted in previous day, Republican candidates blew their party’s chances in Indiana and Missouri thanks to their comments about abortion in the context of rape. Others, including Sen. Scott Brown and Josh Mandel just weren’t strong enough to compete against in tough states.
Here is how these races stand as of 10 PM (red is for the GOP and blue is for Democrats and the projected winner is on the right with the color of the text being the party in control of the seat after tonight’s election):
If you’re pulling for Mitt Romney, you can’t be excited with what exit polls reported. Sure, exit polls aren’t definitive, but they do provide an indicator of what to expect. Based on what we’re seeing, the 2012 electorate is roughly the same as 2008, especially in swing states. This is an ominous sign for Romney’s campaign.
Currently, Romney is trailing President Barack Obama in Ohio, which is a must win. He’s ahead in Virginia, but the northern part of the state hadn’t reported at last look. Exit polls show each of these states to be very close, but Ohio may be too far gone for Romney, which means that the night could end early.
Here’s the Electoral College as of 9 PM. Polls have close in Florida, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, but no projections have been made.
Looking at some of the Senate races, Richard Mourdock is trailing Rep. Joe Donnelly in the Indiana race. Josh Mandel is down to Sen. Sherrod Brown in Ohio by a hefty margin. Sen. Scott Brown is losing in Massachusetts, though it’s still early. George Allen is currently leading Tim Kaine in Virginia. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) was projected to win re-election.
It’s generally thought that Republicans will not take the Senate this year, despite going up against many vulnerable and unpopular Democrats. The reasons are a mix of gaffe prone candidates and having to run against incumbent Democrats in swing states where President Barack Obama’s campaign is actively competing. But Aaron Blake noted on Friday that there is still a path for the GOP to take control of the Senate:
With six seats listed as “toss-ups” in the latest Fix rankings, a split of those seats would lead to the exact same 53-to-47 Democratic majority that we have today. And for a Republican Party that had designs on regaining the majority, that would certainly be a disappointment.
But with 11 days to go, Republicans also continue to have a very real shot at winning that majority. And that’s because they have something that Democrats don’t: Lots of opportunity.
While the map hasn’t exactly trended in the GOP’s favor in recent months when it comes to the top races (Indiana, Massachusetts and Missouri, in particular), Republicans continue to have plausible opportunities to win in a huge amount of seats that we currently rate as “lean Democratic.”
Recent polls have shown GOP candidates within striking distance — though still trailing — in a bunch of “lean Democratic” states: Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
After hearing rave reviews from friends who attended FreePAC in July, I expressed optimism that there would be a place for libertarians after we had been all but pushed aside by conservatives. They frequently say they need us and we should go along, but having a prominent role or voice seems is a prospect in which they don’t seem to have much of an interest.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend FreePAC Ohio, the latest of these FreedomWorks’ sponsored events. The day started with strategy and training sessions for activists, this was, as David Spielman put it, a chance for the some 7,000 attendees — a completely packed house — to become “freedom ninjas.”
Speakers touched on every aspect of activism and campaigning, from where to place signs to how to engage independent voters, an important bloc that will decide the outcome of the election in November. Jackie Bodnar and Kristina Ribali, both staffers at FreedomWorks, explained old and new media angles.
Nearly every speaker acknowledged that Republicans are just as much to blame as Democrats for the budget and entitlement crisis that face the United States. One comment was heard a few times throughout the day, both from speakers and on a couple of t-shirts I saw: “Sometimes you have to beat the Republicans before you can beat the Democrats.”
Some 5,000 grassroots activists are gathered today at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati, Ohio for FreePAC, a one-day event hosted by FreedomWorks geared towards strategy and training for the upcoming election.
This is, I believe, the second event of its kind. The first being held in July in Dallas, Texas, just a few days before Ted Cruz won the runoff for United States Senate. Cruz was endorsed by FreedomWorks PAC, and the event was to help light a fire under activists before voters headed to the polls.
With Ohio again serving as an all important swing state in this year’s election and Sen. Sherrod Brown, perhaps one of the most liberal members in the Congress, up for re-election. FreedomWorks is hoping that they can ignite energy in the Buckeye State for Josh Mandel, who is running against Brown.
The program for today will get underway around 1:45pm with grassroots training kicking off the day. A Call to Action Rally will begin at 4pm and will close out the day. Speakers will include Glenn Beck, Matt Kibbe, Deneen Borelli, C.L. Bryant, Katie Pavlich, and Josh Mandel.
If you weren’t able to attend, you can still catch the action live by clicking here.
Earlier this year, I interviewed U.S. Senate candidate and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel for a piece on United Liberty and have reported on what a far-left radical his opponent, Senator Sherrod Brown is.
Ohio, birthplace of the great Senator Robert “Mr. Republican” Taft, who lead the fight against the New Deal, hasn’t elected a conservative to the Senate in my lifetime. But with endorsesments from FreedomWorks and Senator Jim. DeMint’s Senate Conservative Fund, Mandel has shown himself to be a true movement conservative.
With polls showing the Senate race is tied, outside groups are lining up to help Mandel combat Brown’s support from the environmental lobby and Washington lobbyists.
One such group is the Government Integrity Fund, run by a group of Ohio conservatives, who are running tough ads such as this:
According to today’s Politico influence email update, they are on air now:
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown has been a busy statist.
First, he attacked his Republican opponent, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel for promoting his Tea Party credentials.
What was Josh’s sin? It certainly wasn’t a lack of conservatism. Mandel, a rising conservative leader, is Endorsed by FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth. Josh once represented a portion of Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s district in the Ohio House of Representatives while standing firmly to the right of the Republican caucus.
Josh’s fault was noting in a television ad an endorsement from a dubious conservative group. Brown’s crack team of communications wizards must have spent hours digging through Archive.org’s snapshots of my now-defunct Ohio blog before sending my 2010 commentary to the Talking Points Memo.
Then, Team Brown attacked Mandel for dropping his vowels and sounding “southern” at a Romney rally.
While I’m flattered by the attention brought to MY TWO YEAR OLD BLOG POST during a competitive U.S. Senate race, it is sad to watch an incumbent Senator be so desperate. After spending his entire adult life in elected office, Sherrod must have serious issues to discuss, right?
Wrong! As the Senate’s most liberal member, Sherrod knows his rigid ideology and environmental radicalism put him so far out of Ohio’s mainstream, voters would toss him out of office if they find out the truth.
In the Buckeye State, the battle for U.S. Senate is between two men who started their political careers in their early 20s as Ohio State Representatives.
But for Senator Sherrod Brown of Avon and State Treasurer Josh Mandel of Cleveland, that is where the similarities end.
While Democrats still like to pretend that President Barack Obama isn’t toxic for members of Congress facing potentially tough bids for re-election, I’d expect news of Sen. Sherrod Brown deciding not to appear with him today will be pointed out by Republicans in Ohio:
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) will be in Ohio on Wednesday when President Obama delivers a speech on the economy at a Cleveland-area high school, but he won’t be appearing with the president.
Brown has a series of his own appearances Wednesday, including a visit to the Ohio Farm Bureau and a tour of a specialty-vehicle factory, his congressional office said. Brown will be joined at the factory by Veterans Affairs officials and will tout the creation of 30 jobs through programs to provide mobile care units for veterans.
A source close to Brown’s campaign said that the commitments were scheduled before Obama announced his trip, and that Brown would appear with Obama at campaign events later in the year.
But those assurances were unlikely to quell Republican claims that Brown is avoiding appearances with Obama that his GOP opponent, Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel, could later use to paint Obama and Brown as overly cozy.
While they claim that the events were already scheduled, we all know these could have been rescheduled. The fact that the President of the United States is coming to your state and you’re not appearing on stage with him, even for a few moments, speaks volumes.