Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): A Wrap Up

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Wrap Up

There's a good chance we don't know who controls the Senate before bedtime tonight. If we're lucky, we'll know early, early tomorrow morning. Worse case scenario, we don't know until December or even January.

The DailyKOS has a handy map showing when polls close across the country. (Their times are listed in Eastern, so think one-hour earlier, Kansas friends.)

We need three of toss-ups, in addition to pick-ups in West Virginia, Montana and South Dakota -- currently held by Democrats, but likely to swing. That's assuming we're able to hold Kansas and Kentucky. If we lose those we need five toss-ups from Alaska, North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas, Iowa, New Hampshire (!!), Georgia, and/or Louisiana. 

Things don't get all that interesting until 6:30 p.m. when North Carolina polls close. If Kay Hagan loses, I think the Senate is officially ours. The Real Clear Politics average gives Hagan the tiniest edge, a .7 advantage. 

Voters' part in the Sunflower State Showdown ends at 7 p.m. I told you my predictions yesterday, but I am re-thinking everything today. Several poll watchers, election workers and voters have called to tell me their polling stations were packed this morning. That's not unusual, but there's a polling place across the street from where I work, and into the afternoon, I am watching a continuous line. Most of the voters appear to be of the gray-haired variety. Make of that what you will. JoCo election commissioner Brian Newby told the Kansas City Star today that turnout looks high. I can't decide if that's good for our team or bad for our team. We should know some results within an hour of poll closing, but there is a western sliver of the state in which polls close at 8 p.m. 

At 8 p.m., Colorado polls close. The RCP average and the most recent polls appear to give Republican Dan Gardner the advantage. But it's Colorado. The people there are super, super weird, and half of them are probably high. 

Louisiana also closes at 8 p.m. All of the Important Pollsters and Pundits (IPPs) are calling the Pelican (Bayou??) State a toss-up. Doesn't matter. It is highly unlikely this race is decided tonight. If no candidate gets 50 percent of the vote, the runoff election will be Dec. 6. 

Another toss-up state, Georgia, is also likely to require a runoff election. The runoff isn't scheduled until January. JANUARY!! The good news is all of the smart people believe that we win it in a run-off election. The bad news is that everyone who lives in Georgia is going to wish for an electromagnetic pulse to knock out all communications between tomorrow and the Jan. 6 election. I can't imagine the prospect of having to listen to more campaign garbage for two more months. Sorry, Georgia. Really, really sorry.

At 9 p.m. Iowa polls close. The race there is about as much of a must-win for Republicans as I can remember. If things go badly in the evening -- say, heaven forbid, Kansas has been called for Orman (who VP Joe Biden has now outed as "with" the Dems. Huge shocker.) -- Iowa could look like a do-or-die.

And here's why political watchers aren't getting any sleep tonight: Alaska is a toss-up. In the worst case scenario for Republicans, the Senate is effectively tied with a supposed Independent from Kansas awarded a Senate seat, Louisiana and Georgia up in-the-air, Arkansas or Kentucky go wonky. Alaska polls close at midnight, waaaaaay past my bedtime. 

Long story short: I'm probably skipping the parties this year. (I don't really like them anyway -- too country club, too social climbing, etc.) I am going to try to peel myself away from the television and Twitter and spend some quality time with the people who matter to me.

I advise you to do the same. 

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