Latest House projection: GOP 245, Dems 190: DEVELOPING…
Update (below): Californians defeat pot legalization measure
12:05 am: New South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, 38, is the daughter of Sikh immigrants from India who ran a clothing business.
Haley has rarely emphasized her Indian roots, however, and identified herself in campaign material as a Christian.
She still endured a racial taunt in June when a Republican lawmakerdismissed her by saying, “We already got one raghead in the White House.” A raghead is an offensive term usually directed at Middle Easterners.
LOS ANGELES 9:00 pm: Despite spending more than 140 million dollars of her own money on her campaign, former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman has failed in her bid to replace Arnold Schwarzenegger. Veteran Democrat Jerry Brown has won the election to be governor of California. 8:55 pm: Three-term Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California retains her seat against Republican challenger Carly Fiorina, the former chief executive of US computer giant Hewlett-Packard.
8:53 pm: Californians rejected a proposal to legalize all marijuana consumption, cultivation and trade in their famously laid-back state.
The proposals in so-called Proposition 19 — one of a series of referendums held at the same time as mid-term elections — were rejected by 57 percent against 43 percent in favor, according to CNN. Fox News also forecast a “No” vote.
WASHINGTON 11:50 pm: Republicans have failed to take control of the Senate, according to results and exit polls reported by US media from key toss-up states.
11:45 pm: Representative John Boehner, who is expected to be Speaker in a Republican-controlled House, says Americans have sent a message to Obama through the ballot box to “change course.”
“It’s clear tonight who the winners really are and that’s the American people,” he said. “We hope President Obama will now respect the will of the people, change course, and commit to making the changes that they are demanding.”
11:40 pm: Facebook says more than 11 million people clicked on the “I voted” button on their Facebook page.
11:15 pm: It looks like there will be no African-Americans in the Senate after tonight. All three black Senate candidates — Kendrick Meek in Florida, Alvin Greene in South Carolina and Mike Thurmond in Georgia — have gone down to defeat at the hands of Republican opponents. The only incumbent black senator, Roland Burris, a Democrat from Illinois who was named to Obama’s vacant seat, is retiring.
11:10 pm: New Mexico’s Martinez, a former district attorney, is the first female Hispanic governor in the United States. Haley is the second Indian-American to be elected governor. Bobby Jindal, who is also of Indian origin, is currently governor of Louisiana.
11:00 pm: All three of Sarah Palin’s “Mama Grizzlies” have won their gubernatorial races: Susana Martinez, a Republican from New Mexico, Mary Fallin, a Republican from Oklahoma, and Nikki Haley, a Republican from South Carolina.
10:55 pm: A third Tea Party-backed candidate has picked up a Senate seat: Republican Mike Lee in Utah. He joins Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida in the upper chamber.
10:50 pm: Democrat Russ Feingold loses his Senate seat to wealthy Republican businessman Ron Johnson in Wisconsin and Republican John Hoeven wins in North Dakota, giving the Republicans a net gain of four seats in the Senate.
10:25 pm: With many of the important races in the East wrapping up, attention is turning to a number of high-profile contests in the West.
Democrat Harry Reid, the Senate Majority leader, is facing a stiff challenge from the Tea Party’s Sharron Angle in Nevada and another key Democratic Senator, Barbara Boxer, is battling former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina, in California.
Also in California, former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman is in a tough fight with veteran Democrat Jerry Brown to replace Hollywood’s Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor.
There’s a three-way fight in Alaska. Republican Lisa Murkowski is running for Senator as a write-in candidate after losing the primary to Joe Miller, a Tea Party favorite. Democrat Scott McAdams is also on the ballot.
10:15 pm: A sample of what some of the voters are saying:
“I’m unemployed for almost one year. I need to find a job and I’m sure I will not get it with the Democrats”: Tom Gutierrez, 41, a Republican from Miami.
“I voted Democrat in the last election and I am somehow disappointed but won’t change my vote. For me it was about choosing the best of two evils, and I voted Democratic because the alternative was worse”: Timothy Smith, 52, who works on Wall Street.
“I have members in my family who are Tea Party voters, but if I had to bet in three or four years from now the Tea Party will be remembered as a joke”: Dan Lustig, 43, who works in real estate in New York.
“(Obama) shouldn’t have made all these promises that he couldn’t pull through. He made it sound like it was going to be instant, everything was gonna be taken care of right away, and it hasn’t”: Danielle Martinez, 40, a Republican from Los Angeles.
10:05 pm: Resurgent Republicans can also be expected to challenge Obama on a range of foreign policy issues — from the Middle East to China to Afghanistan to nuclear arms control.
“Congress sets the temperature for a lot of these issues,” said Steven Clemons, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. “They will complain about whatever he does and poke holes in whatever he’s doing.”
As president, Obama reigns supreme over foreign policy but the Republicans can create headaches by holding up White House nominations for diplomatic and military posts and launching contentious hearings or investigations.
“It’s going to be very messy,” Clemons said.
9:55 pm: Boehner, the man expected to be the next Speaker of the House, is set to become the sharpest thorn in Obama’s side come January.
Boehner has worked relentlessly to keep angry US voters focused on the sour US economy and unemployment.
He and top deputies have vowed to cut taxes, beef up military spending, and roll back regulations they say stifle business and smother job creation — the top issue in the election that saw a Republican wave take back the House.
NEW YORK 9:40 pm: Republicans surged across the country but not in New York where Democrats held on to their seats in elections for state governor and the Senate.
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo shrugged off the erratic Republican and Tea Party candidate Carl Paladino to take the governor’s mansion, the job his father, Mario Cuomo, held in the 1980s and 1990s.
Sitting senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand scored easy wins.
WASHINGTON 9:35 pm: The Republican victory spells the end of Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi’s four-year tenure as the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House. The new Speaker, the number-three US elected official, is now all but certain to be Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio.
9:35 pm: Controlling the House will give the Republicans sweeping powers over the legislative agenda in Washington and hand them the chairmanships of key committees. The new Congress takes office in January.
9:30 pm: CNN is projecting the Republicans will pick up at least 50 seats in the House while MSNBC says they will gain around 60.
9:15 pm: Now we’ll have to wait and see how many seats the Republicans pick up in the House. They needed 39 seats to recapture the House from the Democrats and analysts have forecast them gaining anywhere from 45 to 80.
9:12 pm: REPUBLICAN MAJORITY IN HOUSE. US television networks project the Republican Party will capture a majority in the House of Representatives.
NEW YORK 9:10 pm: Blumenthal, the state attorney general, notched up a narrow victory in the Connecticut Senate race over McMahon, who spent an estimated 50 million dollars of her own money on the campaign.
Blumenthal’s bid to fill the seat vacated by retiring senator Chris Dodd almost foundered over his exaggerations that he had served in the Vietnam War, when he had in fact never been deployed there.
WASHINGTON 8:50 pm: Manchin, the governor of West Virginia, beat Republican businessman John Raese to win the Senate seat from the state. He made waves with a campaign ad in which he shouldered a rifle and fired a bullet through papers labeled “cap-and-trade bill.”
8:45 pm: The door is closing on Republican hopes of gaining control of the Senate with the failure to capture West Virginia from the Democrats.
They will have to carry out an unlikely sweep of the remaining toss-up Senate races
8:40 pm: Democrat Joe Manchin wins the Senate seat in West Virginia after vowing independence from President Obama and to shoot down climate change legislation.
NEW YORK – 8:35 pm: Democrat Richard Blumenthal wins the Senate seat from Connecticut, beating Republican Linda McMahon, a millionaire former executive with World Wrestling Entertainment.
WASHINGTON – 8:30 pm: Republican John Boozman beats Democratic incumbent Blanche Lincoln to win the Senate seat in Arkansas, giving the Republicans their second pickup of the night in the upper chamber.
MIAMI – 8:25 pm: Rubio’s win in Florida gives the Tea Party its second Senate seat of the night. Rubio, 39, a Hispanic rising star in US politics, beat Charlie Crist, a Republican running as an independent, and Democrat Kendrick Meek.
NEW YORK – 8:10 pm: O’Donnell, a protege of Sarah Palin, the former Republican candidate for vice president, was one of the more colorful candidates of the election but she spent as much time running away from her past statements as she did running against her opponent Coons. Having once said she dabbled in witchcraft, O’Donnell appealed to voters with a campaign ad that said: “I’m not a witch. I’m nothing you’ve heard. I’m you.'”
8:05 pm: Democrat Chris Coons defeats Republican Christine O’Donnell, the Tea Party candidate who declared that she was “not a witch” in a campaign commercial, in the Senate race in Delaware.
MIAMI – 8:00 pm: Republican Marco Rubio, another Tea Party favorite, easily wins the Senate seat in Florida.
WASHINGTON – 7:50 pm: Coats, who picked off the Senate seat in Indiana from the Democrats, was considered a must win for the Republicans if they are to have anychance of seizing the upper chamber. Republicans need a 10-seat swing but a scenario of six or seven seats changing hands is considered more likely.
7:35 pm: Historically, sitting US presidents have seen their party lose seats in elections halfway through their first term, though George W. Bush defied that trend in 2002.
Control of the House would allow Republicans to thwart Obama’s plans to tackle global warming and overhaul US immigration, and to control committees that could launch damaging probes into his administration.
If they win the House, Republicans are promising to reverse Obama’s sweeping health reforms and to enact tax cuts which they claim will cut the deficit and ignite growth.
All year voters have made it clear that the sluggish rebound from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, with unemployment standing at 9.6 percent, was their major concern.
7:30 pm: The polls have closed in Ohio, North Carolina and West Virginia.
7:10 pm: Paul, the first US senator for the grassroots Tea Party movement, decisively beat Democrat Jack Conway by around 55 percent to 45 percent in Kentucky. “There is a Tea Party tidal wave coming to Washington,” Rand said after casting his vote earlier in the day
7:00 pm: The polls have closed in another five states: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia.
.7:00 pm: Republican Dan Coats wrests the Senate seat from the Democrats in Indiana, the first net pick-up by the Republicans in their battle for the upper chamber.
6:59 pm: TEA PARTY BREAKTHROUGH. Republican Rand Paul, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party and the son of former presidential candidate Ron Paul, wins the Republican-held Senate seat in Kentucky.
6:55 pm: Early indications point to strong overall turnout, after record-breaking campaign spending and last-minute barrages of robo-calls and TV advertisements.
But it’s unclear which side will turn out in greater numbers — Democrats rushing to the defense of Obama or Republicans energized by the Tea Party movement.
Turnout is typically lower in non-presidential elections and was just 47.8 percent of eligible voters in 2006, which was the best mid-term turnout since 1994 when 48.3 percent of voting-aged citizens participated.
6:50 pm: The polls say otherwise but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she expects the Democrats to hold the House. “With the early returns and the overwhelming number of Democrats who are coming out, we’re on pace to maintain the majority in the House of Representatives,” Pelosi said.
6:45 pm: Other races being closely watched include the Senate tussle in Nevada, where Majority Leader Harry Reid is in a tight race with Republican and Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle, his gaffe-prone upstart rival.
In California, former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman, a Republican, is running against veteran Democrat Jerry Brown to replace former movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor. Whitman has spent more than 140 million dollars on her campaign.
6:30 pm: Among the early races to watch are the Senate contests in Kentucky and Indiana. Republican Rand Paul, a Tea Party favorite, is seeking to win the Republican-held Senate seat in Kentucky while Republican Dan Coats aims to wrest the Senate seat in Indiana from the Democrats.
6:15 pm: President Barack Obama, who crisscrossed the country over the past few weeks trying to stave off a disaster for the Democrats, is hunkered down watching the election returns at the White House. He is to give a news conference on Wednesday after an election that is expected to shape the next two years of his presidency.
6:10 pm: Even if the Democrats lose, Obama can take heart from a bit of history. The three biggest mid-term election losers of the last century — Bill Clinton in 1994, Harry Truman in 1946 and Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1938 — all won the presidential election two years later.
6:00 pm: THE POLLS HAVE CLOSED IN INDIANA AND KENTUCKY. The first results will be coming in shortly from the US elections as Republicans seek to seize control of the House of Representatives and Senate from the Democrats.
All 435 seats are up for grabs in the House and 37 of the 100 seats in the Senate. Governors are also being elected in 37 US states.
The Democrats currently hold 255 seats in the House to the Republicans 178. Two seats are vacant. There are 57 Democrats in the Senate, two Independents who vote with the Democrats and 41 Republicans.
The Republicans need a net gain of 39 seats to take control of the House and a net gain of 10 seats to take over the Senate. Most polls have them easily winning the House but falling short in the Senate.