With 44 states having now closed their polls and the next hour mark nearing, there’s more than enough evidence to make a few basic observations…
Democrats are enjoying an evening worthy of solid jubilation, as Senator Obama wins the key states of Pennsylvania and Ohio on his way toward an apparent victory. Democrats are picking up seats in the House and Senate, but it appears they will not attain the filibuster-breaking threshold of 60 votes.
According to the network projections, Democrats defeated incumbent Republicans in New Hampshire (Shaheen over Sununu), Virginia (Warner over Gilmore), North Carolina (Hagan over Dole) and most likely will win the open races in Colorado (Udall) and New Mexico (Udall). However, Republicans retained enough Senate seats to prevent the attainment of 60: Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and, it appears at this point, Roger Wicker in Mississippi.
In the Senate, Republican incumbents remain up in the air: Minnesota with Sen. Coleman versus Al Franken; Oregon wtih Sen. Gordon Smith versus Jeff Merkley; in Alaska, Sen. Ted Stevens against Mark Begich.
Louisiana’s Senate race, the only serious challenge against an incumbent, is still close between Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and Republican Treasurer John Kennedy.
We take special note of Senator McConnell’s victory. The Senator has been a stalwart ally of manufacturing. He has been a key leader on energy supply legislation and against the destructive Employee Free Choice Act.
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