Election 2018 Results Open Thread

It's all over but the vote counting.

As this post is being published, we are roughly 30 minutes away from the first polls closing in the midterm elections, with Indiana and Kentucky closing at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, followed at either 30 minute or hourly intervals right up until 1:00 a.m. EST, when polling locations in Alaska and Hawaii will close. This map from Politico provides a good guide of when polls close across the nation:

Politico also provides a fairly good guide of which races to watch for as the hours tick by tonight, especially on the Congressional District level where the outcome of races in states such as Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are likely to give us an early indication of whether we’re looking at shift toward Democrats, a “Blue Wave,” a “Blue Tsunami,” or a race where Republicans somehow manage to maintain a slim hold over the House. The New York Times provides a similar guide, as does The Washington PostKeep in mind that these guides don’t tell us when we might get an idea of who is winning in particular states, especially since most states provide that polling locations must remain open until everyone who was in line at the time the polls close has a chance to vote. Additionally, if races are close it could be some time before we have an idea where individual races are going and what that means for the national picture as a whole.

As for where to watch the returns, all of the cable news networks will, of course, be covering returns tonight as will the broadcast networks. Additionally, there are several online news sites that will be providing their own version of coverage. As for here at OTB, it’s unlikely that there will be frequent posts throughout the night about individual races but there may be some in races of note. Instead, you can look for plenty of analysis of what happened beginning tomorrow morning. In the meantime, I’ll likely be commenting on the returns as they come in on Twitter so you can follow there if you wish. I can’t guarantee I’ll stay up all night, and I certainly won’t be up until one o’clock in the morning, but I’ll put in as much time as I can even if it means I’ll have to pay the price for lack of sleep in the morning.

In the meantime, feel free to use this post as an open thread to talk about the returns as they come in. Try to keep it civil, though, since I probably won’t have time to moderate very much. And if my predictions end up being wildly wrong, I can take it.

Update 11/7/2018:James Joynermyself Both and have wrap-up posts of last night’s results.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2018, Congress, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook


  1. Kathy says:

    It’s waiting for results that’s hard. Around this time two years ago, I just wanted the election over so we wouldn’t have to hear about El Dennison any more (back then he still went by El Cheeto, I think).

    Speaking of which, if we get 0.01% of reports favoring the GOP early on, he’ll claim total and absolute victory.

  2. Mikey says:

    My Virginia district isn’t competitive, but VA-10 (Wexton vs. Comstock) is right close by, so that will be an interesting one to watch.

    Eyes are, of course, on the big race in Texas, although I am merely hopeful, not optimistic, about O’Rourke’s chances there. But even if he loses, he made a great showing and forced the GOP to put a whole lot of resources into a state that should have been a run-away gimme for them.

  3. Gustopher says:

    The fact that polls are closing at 6-7pm local time in some places is just plain offensive. They just do not want working people to vote.

    I’m looking at you, Vermont! Also Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama… lots of places.

  4. @Gustopher:

    From a Portuguese point of view, the whole American thing of elections at Tuesday (instead of Sunday) seems a bit strange.

  5. Kathy says:

    I’m following results on Five Thirty Eight. their forecast moved to +40 Democrat seat gains in the House, due to:

    Our real-time forecast has moved toward Democrats in the House. That’s because Democrats are doing well in early returns in districts like the Kentucky 6th, Ohio 12th and, surprisingly, the North Carolina 2nd. But it’s still early in those latter two districts.


    The Senate still looks bleak. +1R

  6. One American says:

    @Gustopher: our employers here in Hawaii allow 2-3 hours to go vote, they rarely do though.

  7. Kathy says:

    @Miguel Madeira:

    From a Mexican point of view, too.

    On the other hand, we don’t get absentee ballots (not really), nor early voting, nor voting by mail.

  8. Jc says:

    @Mikey: you in Wittman’s district? That’s mine and I voted again for him to be replaced, but it’s carved so much in his favor

  9. Stormy Dragon says:

    Kim Davis going down at the hand of the man she wouldn’t give a marriage license to. #Karma pic.twitter.com/ooHnAMn9Ss— Stephanie Jones (@MsMcJones) November 7, 2018

  10. Mikey says:

    @Jc: VA-11, Gerry Connolly.

  11. Bille says:

    So much for polls again. Voters in Florida look to be voting in Desantis and Scott with about 75-76% of precincts in.


  12. michilines says:

    I don’t understand how they can call anything in Texas without any info from Houston. Doug retweeted AP calling for Abbott.

  13. James Pearce says:

    Greetings from Chicago! I was supposed to get here this morning, but then this happened…

    Anyway, Illinois has a new Dem governor. Congrats, IL.

  14. Jc says:

    @Mikey: ah yes, that’s my old one. Born and raised Ffx county. Great area.

  15. EddieInCA says:

    Well, I was certainly wrong. It’s 2016 all over again. Hard to believe. But it’s happening again.

  16. Franklin says:

    Yeah, not looking good according to 538’s realtime forecast.

  17. MarkedMan says:

    @Franklin: Bigotry always under plots (Sad Face)

  18. Guarneri says:

    @James Pearce:

    Suicide is generally not cause for congratulations.

  19. mattbernius says:


    Yeah, not looking good according to 538’s realtime forecast.

    The entire thing about realtime is it’s realtime.

    As of my writing this, it’s shifted pretty significantly in the Dem’s favor for the house.

    By the time you read this, it could shift again — the nature of real time.


    The Senate still looks bleak. +1R

    Again, the Senate always lags by design. In 2010, the ascendant Tea Party year, the Dems still won the senate. And would hold it in 2012 as well.

    Let’s not move the football here.

  20. James Pearce says:

    @Guarneri: All the winners deserve congratulations. Even Cramer, Cruz, DeSantis, and Scott. (Heitkamp, O’Rourke, Gillum and Nelson are gone.)

    Also, KS has a Democratic governor. (Colorado elected Polis and Jason Crow. You’re welcome, liberals.)

  21. grumpy realist says:

    @James Pearce: Um, you do realise that your link goes to a story about a train crash which gets superseded by an ad for hair spray?

  22. Franklin says:

    @Franklin: OK, false alarm. 538’s realtime predictor isn’t particularly stable. It’s using the smallest bits of data to chaotically swing from one extreme to the other.

  23. mattbernius says:

    In separate, but very important news, Florida passed a really important Criminal Justice reform measure:

    Approval of the amendment ends Florida’s outlier status as the state with the most people permanently barred from voting — only three other states ban felons from the polls for life.

    Amendment 4 restores the right to vote to convicted felons who have completed all terms of their sentences, including probation and restitution, but excludes those who are convicted of murder or sex crimes. Those people will still be barred from voting unless their rights are restored by the state clemency board, which consists of the governor and the three cabinet officers (attorney general, chief financial officer and commissioner of agriculture and consumer services).

    Read more here: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/election/article220678880.html

    Too bad this didn’t apply to this election. But it’s in place (finally) for 2020.

    One down, three to go.

  24. Todd says:

    Well at 9:15pm central it looks like things are playing out sort of as expected in the House (so good for the Mueller investigation/Oversight in general), but things are looking pretty bad in the Senate. Even if Dems pick up AZ and NV, it looks like the GOP might get almost everything else, including FL. This will make the 2016 election result even more consequential, as Trump/McConnell will continue to pack the courts with conservatives and there will be even less drama about confirmations than there was with Kavanaugh. If there’s another SCOTUS opening …

  25. grumpy realist says:

    One of my betes noirs (Kris Kobach) looks to being tossed out on his ear. Good.

  26. Todd says:

    One other quick not so great thought about the Mueller investigation though .. with the GOP picking up seats in the Senate, I wonder if this will make it more likely Jeff Sessions and even Rod Rosenstein get fired in the pretty near future.

  27. michilines says:

    @mattbernius: Matt, this whole subject really interests me and I appreciate your input about it. It’s an aspect of voter suppression that is rarely discussed and I appreciated your bringing it up on a regular basis.

  28. James Pearce says:

    @grumpy realist: I didn’t know about the ad, but I knew about the train crash. I was on the train.

  29. Todd says:

    On another note, if Richard Cordray loses the Ohio governor’s race (he’s behind with like 87% reporting, I have to question his decision to leave the consumer financial protection bureau position.

  30. Franklin says:


    The entire thing about realtime is it’s realtime.

    No. It was clearly flawed and they’ve admitted it and have already changed the settings on it this very evening.

    It is possible to do a better job on a realtime predictor, and I would have expected Nate Silver’s team to do so.

  31. James Pearce says:


    It’s using the smallest bits of data to chaotically swing from one extreme to the other.

    Nate Silver has an explanation. “You don’t understand math.”

    (For the record, I don’t think 538 is half the oracle they think they are.)

  32. One American says:

    Looks like ol Nancy may be swinging her gavel again and Maxi will be in charge of your finances! Win Win. Would be nice if the left coast could at least make their vote count, nothing new though.

  33. michilines says:

    Now they are calling the senate for Cruz without El Paso reporting.

  34. mattbernius says:

    Thanks for the encouragement. The criminal justice reform space is really new to me (8 months). But, beyond being my current livelihood, it’s also one that I’ve quickly grown to appreciate. I cannot say love primarily because most days I’m appalled at the present state of our “modern” systems.

    My general feelings about it can best be tied to a stanza from Wilde’s “Ballad of Reading Goal” that has stuck with me for 20+ years:

    The Chaplain would not kneel to pray
    By his dishonored grave:
    Nor mark it with that blessed Cross
    That Christ for sinners gave,
    Because the man was one of those
    Whom Christ came down to save.

    Setting aside the Christian aspects, this really gets to our really conflicted (not to mention often hypocritical) approach to Criminal Justice.

    BTW, if you have questions, send them in my direction — I’ll do my best to answer (or connect you with far smarter people).

    Thanks for the correction. Could you point out the post where they made that comment? I missed it and I’d love to read what they wrote!

  35. mattbernius says:

    One more little victory (with @michilines in mind)… Lousiana joins the 21srt century and overturns a Jim Crow-era law that allowed for nonunanimous jury rulings in felony cases.

    Here’s a summary of the law:

    The passage article is currently nonexistent beyond the headline:

  36. Mister Bluster says:

    WTOP Washington DC is reporting that the Democrats now control the House of Representatives.

  37. Stormy Dragon says:

    My “all the close Senate seats end up breaking the same way” prediction looks good, although sadly they broke the wrong way.

  38. One American says:

    @Todd: in all seriousness, what do you think is to be gained from Mueller? Rather baffling

  39. Scott O says:

    @One American: In somewhat seriousness, why are you so afraid of Murller? Not at all baffling.

  40. Kylopod says:

    538’s liveblog nearly gave me a heart attack.

    On Election Day 2016, I was busy with a work project for most of the evening and didn’t get to check what was going on in the election until 11PM EST. As I finished the job and got into the elevator, I flipped my phone to 538’s liveblog. The first thing I saw was that it projected a 58% chance of Trump winning the presidency.

    Now, ordinarily, 58% chance isn’t that high. It’s barely above “toss-up.” If this had been 2000 and I’d seen such a projection for Bush, I would have been disappointed but not surprised, and I still could have held out reasonable hope he’d still lose. But given that 538’s final pre-election projection gave Trump only a 29% chance of winning, I immediately knew something fundamental had changed. As the night wore on I remained glued to the liveblog and watched their estimate of Trump’s chances climb and climb, dipping a little at certain points but overall becoming more and more overwhelming, while the 538 contributors basically said that unless something really unexpected happened, Clinton was doomed.

    Fast-forward to tonight.

    I, also, spent most of my time looking at 538’s liveblog. Quite early on, their forecast of Dems’ chances of flipping the House kept shrinking and shrinking until finally they gave the GOP more than a 65% chance of retaining it. Then it fell back to giving Dems a slightly better than even chance of flipping it, and it stayed roughly in 55-65% range for quite a while–still way too close for comfort. Combined with the bad news coming out of the Senate (starting with Indiana), this gave me a real feeling that it indeed was 2016 all over again.

    This turned out to be an illusion, as it became increasingly clear that Dems were indeed making big if not massive gains in the House. (Nate Silver actually admitted his model was going haywire, and made adjustments to it while it was happening.) 538 currently projects a pickup of 34 seats, which puts it roughly in the range of their pickup of 31 seats in 2006.

    So tonight is a mixed bag, relative to expectations. There were some disappointments, no doubt, the Dems didn’t do as well as the polls suggested, and perhaps the worst of it is that it’s essentially validated the GOP’s use of racism as a campaigning tool.

    But no matter how Republicans try to spin it, a Dem-controlled House is highly significant, so the results should be seen as a basic, if not overwhelming, victory for Dems. 538’s model made me a lot more scared than I should have been.

  41. Todd says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Still too many old white people addicted to conservative propaganda in many parts of our country.

    Also, I do think the Kavanaugh hearings really did make a difference … in that it reminded many wavering Republicans why they held their nose and voted for Trump in the first place … they paid more attention to/cared about SCOTUS more than the left. 2016 is going to haunt us for decades, as Mitch McConnell will have two more years to confirm more conservative judges.

  42. Todd says:

    @One American: @One American: For rational, serious people who still care about the rule of law, the Mueller investigation will almost certainly produce irrefutable evidence of Donald Trump’s corruption. However, if we’re being honest, I’m not sure what, if any, political effect the report will have. As we saw in some of tonight’s Senate races, there are still large swatch of our country where a majority of people aren’t in fact all that serious or rational.

  43. Gustopher says:

    I was expecting to be either ecstatic or despondent, but the results are the modest victory the prognosticators gave — Dems get the House, and Republicans get a few more seats in the Senate. Not terrible.

    Dems picked up a lot of governorships.

    And I am pleased that Scott Walker is unemployed soon. And Kobach. Conventional wisdom would have them joining the Trump administration as people exit the revolving door, but why would Trump want to hire a bunch of losers?

  44. Teve says:

    One of the biggest pieces of racist voting suppression was just ended here in Florida. 1.4 million Floridians just had their rights restored.

  45. Teve says:

    And I am pleased that Scott Walker is unemployed soon. And Kobach. Conventional wisdom would have them joining the Trump administration as people exit the revolving door, but why would Trump want to hire a bunch of losers?

    Republicans just elected a dead pimp in Nevada.

    Which, come to think of it, isn’t as bad as electing a guy who made fun of a disabled reporter on national tv.

  46. Teve says:

    If gerrymandering wasn’t at an historically extreme level, how many seats would dems have gained? 50? 60? With unemployment at 3.7%? Republicans barely winning the governorship in freaking Georgia even *with* the cheating maxxed out?

  47. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mister Bluster:..WTOP Washington DC is reporting that the Democrats now control the House of Representatives.

    Check that.
    WTOP correctly reported that Democrats won enough seats to rule the roost in the next session.
    I erred when I typed Democrats now control the House of Representatives.
    The 116th United States Congress can convene as early as noon on January 3, 2019.
    The birthday of Cicero and me.

  48. Todd says:

    Republicans retained the Senate last night because the President was able to convince enough (mostly older white voters) that their daughters are more likely to be raped by poor women & children from Central America than rich frat boys from Maryland. #Kavanaugh and #caravan

  49. mattbernius says:

    The Republicans retained the Senate last night because they were always going to maintain the Senate last night. That said, they might have picked up seats for the reason you mentioned.


Speak Your Mind