We should know by 8 PM!
For people with a favorite football team, game days bring excitement. That excitement is raised considerably if your team reaches the playoff or the championship. Some view the coming election with the same excitment. But, this election isn't a game, and unlike your favorite football team, who wins this game makes a big difference in how you live your life. Who wins decides how much you pay in taxes and whether you will be more subject to government control or free to live your life. In some elections, who wins can be a matter of life and death when issues of war and peace are decided.
The big question this election is: how big will the wave of GOP enthusiasm be? Will it be big enough to overcome the polls which show Dems with a slight lead in states like WV or CA? Will we win 10 seats in the Senate and wrest control from the Democrats? How large will be the shift in House seats to the GOP?
On a related matter: will voter fraud be a factor in these close races? That fraud, which ALWAYS seems to benefit Democrats has derailed GOP victories in the past. In these close races fraud by Democrats could steal the election.
7 PM: Eyes First on Indiana, Kentucky and South Carolina
From the list of poll closing times we are reminded that polls begin to close at 6 PM EDT in Indiana and Kentucky, two of our first bellwether states. But with both states split between Eastern and Central Time Zones all precincts won't close until 7 PM when South Carolina also closes. We'll have our first peak at the nationwide trend in these states.
Obama narrowly won Indiana in 2008 by a dramatic shift of 11% of the vote from the GOP in 2004. How far will the pendulum swing back in 2010? Pay special attention to races in Indiana's 2nd, 8th and 9th congressional districts. Taking all three for the GOP, and by a large margin, will be the first sign of the wave. Don't panic we don't win all three, but I predict two out of three.
In the senate race, Republican Dan Coats is expected to win big. How big will be an indicator of what we may see in other states.
The senate race in Kentucky has drawn nationwide attention. In the closing week of the campaign Republican Rand Paul begin to pull away with a large lead in various polls.
Niki Haley, the GOP candidate for Governor in SC has a good lead going into Tuesday. But the real indicator of the GOP wave may be felt in the contest for the 5th Congressional District seat held for 28 years by John Spratt, the current House Budget Committee Chairman. Polling is sparse, but what public polling there is indicates a big upset may be possible.
7:30 PM West Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio
West Virginia is key to any GOP longshot hopes of retaking the Senate. Unfortunately, the last polls all show Democrat Gov. Manchin with a slight lead. If the wave is big enough, Raese could win. If not, we may wish Castle won the Delaware senate primary.
In both North Carolina and Ohio we expect to see significant shifts to the GOP in House seats. Ohio also has a race for Governor which has narrowed somewhat in the closing week but one in which my old pal John Kaisch is still favored to unseat Democrat Strickland. Ohio, in which Obama has spent more time than any other state, will be key to defeating Obama in 2012 so results here are of vital importance.
8 PM Florida, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut
Florida's panhandle stops voting at 7 PM CDT, 8 PM EDT. By then, we'll have some solid results in from the Eastern counties which closed an hour earlier and have a good idea of how well GOP senate candidate Marco Rubio and gov candidate Rick Scott (Dem Sink has slight lead) are doing. We might also have good indicators of how Republican congressional candidates like Allen West and Daniel Webster (set to defeat the vile Alan Grayson) are doing.
In Pennsylvania, Republican Pat Toomey continues to run a 4-5 point lead in most polls for the Senate seat being vacated by Arlen Specter(D). House races, especially the long held seat of the late Jack Murtha are also up for grabs.
Final polling in the Connecticut senate race shows Democrat Blumenthal's earlier lead narrowing. If the wave is big enough it might just carry Republican Linda McMahon over the threshold. That's unlikely to happen and even more unlikely that the wave will be big enough to lift Delaware's Christine O'Donnell(R) to victory (DE polls).
10 PM Nevada, 11 PM California, Washington, 12 PM Alaska
Starting after 10 PM we'll begin getting results from the Nevada senate race to see whether Harry Reid (D) keeps his seat. Last minute polls show that race tightening slightly in his favor. If the wave is big enough, it won't matter.
In California, Democrat Boxer maintains a slight lead over Fiorina in the senate contest. In Washington State the senate race between Rossi(R) and Murray(D) is a dead tie. Knowing the vote fraud that is all too possible in Seattle, the final result in this race could be decided by lawyers.
Finally, in Alaska, Republican Joe Miller has had a tough time in the closing weeks but still holds a slight lead. Considering that the incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski is running as a write in candidate I'd have to give the win to Miller, but the final result could be a long time in coming.
No Wave Without YOUR Vote!
How big the GOP wave is remains to be seen. But one thing is clear: in these final hours, we must do everything we can to get our friends and family to the polls on Tuesday!