US Midterms Live: Polls close in Indiana, Kentucky, Florida and Virginia


8 mins ago

Source: Mark Vancleave

Remember earlier when we said Rashida Tlaib had become the first Muslim congresswoman?

She’ll have to make some room on that podium, as Democrat Ilhan Omar has a huge majority over her opponent in Minnesota; at 78.8%, she’s expected to win.

Whatever about the parties, it’s a good day for diversity in Congress.

12 mins ago

Historic win in West Virginia, according to Joe Manchin:

You made history tonight…West Virginia made history tonight…Nobody in the United States has ever won in a state that the president in the previous election won by 42 points. The opposite party wins.

18 mins ago

UPI 20181106
Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Source: UPI/PA Images

Another first for Congress: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been elected to the House in New York, making her the youngest woman in Congress at 29.

In June, she made headlines after she beat an establishment congressman Joe Crowley, seen as a potential standardbearer, to make it on the electoral ticket.

Ocasio-Cortez is a Bronx-born Latina activist and Bernie Sanders volunteer who has never held elected office before now.

Source: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez/YouTube

24 mins ago

Democratic candidate Phil Bredesen has lost to Republican Marsha Blackburn in a race for the Senate in Tennessee. Taylor Swift previously endorsed Bredesen.

She’s coming in for a bit of criticism from conservatives on Twitter

29 mins ago

Source: Sky News

White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders has said that there isn’t a “blue wave” as predicted, but more of a “ripple”.

She says that the states that Trump visited, the candidates are doing well.

Responding to those comments, a former advisor to Hillary Clinton said that Democrats didn’t get the “slam dunk” they wanted, and said it was looking “pretty bad” after they lost a number of governorships.

33 mins ago

“We have a president of the United States who is a pathological liar,” Bernie Sanders says during his victory speech, after reclaiming his Senate seat in Vermont.

41 mins ago

If you think predicting this US election is too complicated – you’re not alone.

Speaking to MSNBC, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill said “I’m gonna be really honest with you – I have no flipping idea what’s going to happen tonight.”

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49 mins ago

Let’s have a look at the Senate race in West Virginia.

Here, Democrat Joe Manchin has beaten Republican Donnelly to keep his Senate seat in the strongly Republican state.

But let’s qualify that Democratic ‘win’: Manchin often takes conservative positions at odds with his own party.

A fellow democratic challenger in West Virginia Richard Ojeda, voted for Trump in 2016.

53 mins ago

So based on the results we’ve had so far – the ‘blue wave’ claims that were made before the Midterms by some seem to be off.

It’s almost certain now that the Democrats won’t win back the Senate, but they’re still on track to take the House.

As the New York Times’ Nate Cohn predicts that the Democrats will pick up an extra 32 seats in the House at least. 

Image from iOS

58 mins ago

Democrat Rashida Tlaib has become the first Muslim and first Palestinian American congresswoman. She’s been elected to the House.


So with the results so far – has either party made gains in the House or Senate?

The Democrats have picked up two seats in the House; Republicans have made one gain in the Senate – GOP candidate Mike Braun has just taken a Senate seat in Indiana.


If you heard earlier reports of voting problems and technical difficulties in Georgia..

Technical issues

.. the problem was apparently due to not plugging the voting machines in. 


Half of the votes have been counted in Texas, and Beto O’Rourke is at just over 51%. Definitely one to keep watching.


This is crucial, and lays a good foundation for Republicans to keep control of the Senate.


A tip just in from a reader in Florida: Watch Miami and Broward in Florida, where there are big leads for both Governor and Senator, with 75% and 50% of votes counted.

If Dems win control of the Senate that’s where it comes from now, we’re told.


Back to Indiana, one of the first states to close its polls, Greg Pence, the older brother of US Vice President Mike Pence, has won a seat in the House of Representatives.

The 61-year-old is a businessman and military veteran.


Nailbiter update: the O’Rourke/Cruz, Gillum/DeSantis and Nelson/Scott races are still far too close to call, with less than a percentage point between the candidates in each of those three races.


An update on where we stand from Fox News:

Fox News 2
Source: Fox News


Well – ‘historic first’ alert.

Ayanna Pressley will become the first black woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress. She made headlines after beating a 10-term incumbent Michael Capuano, who was heavily backed by the political establishment.



As Beto supporters are told to stay grounded – here’s an interesting piece about how those up in the sky cast their vote.


Election Campaign in Texas
Source: DPA/PA Images

So – in the latest count, Beto O’Rourke is leading at 55% after 17% of the vote counted. In Dallas county alone, he won 66%.

It’s early days, but that’s quite impressive by a grassroots candidate in a red state.

CNN’s John King seems to be talking directly to Irish people when he says:


So, remember Gillum? 

He’s currently on 49.64% and his opponent Ron DeSantis 49.4%. Literally nothing in it.

If Gillum wins, he’ll become Florida’s first African-American governor.


Here’s how the Senate currently looks.

Source: CNN


CNN reporting that 6 senators including Elizabeth Warren, have been elected to the US Senate.


In Florida, Democrat Bill Nelson is inching ahead of his opponent Rick Scott. A few things about these candidates that makes that interesting.

Incumbent Nelson has had climate change issues at the heart of his campaign, and he’s been the targetted by Donald Trump on Twitter.

With half the votes counted, and Nelson has 51% of the vote. The remaining areas where votes need to be counted are Republican strongholds. 


Ok, a few results next.

The Democrats have taken an early lead as polls in the eastern states close, and votes are counted.

Democrat Jennifer Wexton has won a Republican seat back in Virginia, but that isn’t surprising as this is a district Clinton won in 2016.


Meanwhile Cruz ensures his American flag backdrop is picture perfect – a sign that his place in the Senate is ironclad?



Well Beto has certainly inspired Beyoncé – she’s just after posting a series of photos to Instagram with her wearing a “Beto for Senate” hat.



Source: Christine Bohan

Our Acting Editor Christine Bohan has an update for us from Texas:

Polls close shortly here in Texas, with all eyes on whether Beto O’Rourke can defeat incumbent Republican Ted Cruz in the Senate race. Polls suggest not – it seems more likely that Cruz will win out. But Republicans and Democrats will be paying a lot of attention to the race, and how O’Rourke galvanised high levels of support with his strongly left-wing agenda.

Even if he doesn’t win tonight, O’Rourke has shown the levels of support a progressive candidate can get in a red state – he raised an unprecedented $38 million in donations in the last quarter, and banners and t-shirts with his name on them can be seen everywhere across cities like Austin – which raises the questions: what will his next move be after this? And will this inspire more progressive politicians to follow his lead?


Couple of interesting Exit poll results: this one from MSNBC shows that healthcare, the campaign issue championed by Democrats during the Midterms, was most important.

Although based on the other options, it’s possible that the Republican vote was split between the other three issues.

Exit poll

Meanwhile, CNN’s exit poll indicates that 77% of Americans believe their country is more divided than ever.


Oh my god.

300 brownies and 28 pizzas.

I know what I’m ordering when I finish at 6am…



Another interesting one on tunrout: this time in a crucial swing state, Ohio.

There’s reportedly been a massive increase in voter turnout in a state where Donald Trump secured 51% of the vote in 2016, winning it comfortably (Clinton got 43%).



Oh dear. The Democrats hopeful for governor of Florida, Andrew Gillum, has been evacuated from his election marquee because of a leaky roof.



A handy map for results: when polls close across the US, via Politico.

Poll closing times



As we wait for the first few results to pour in, and what they might mean, here’s an interesting insight into what is influencing people’s vote: a significant 1-in-6 voters say this is the first midterm election they’re voting in.

There’s reportedly been an historic turnout for a midterm election in the early ballot votes – let’s see if that translates in how people voted today.



A sea of red and blue on all screens in US newsrooms..



Fianna Fáil Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee has asked when we’ll know if the Democrat candidate running for a Senate seat in Texas, Beto O’Rourke, has won.

Polls close in Texas at 8pm, or 1am Irish time. If Republican Ted Cruz keeps the lead he’s had in the polls, we won’t be waiting long for a result.



Quick recap on the US Congress before results start pouring in:

The House of Representatives has 435 seats, and the Republicans have the majority currently. The Democrats need to retain the 193 seats they have, and win an extra 24 seats to overturn that. They’re expected to get an increase between 30-35 seats.

The Senate has 100 seats, but there are just 35 seats available in this Midterm, and 26 of those were held by the Dems, with 9 held by Republicans. 

Another bit of info for ya: 10 of those 26 Democratic seats are in states that Trump won in 2016 election. So the Republicans are expected to hold their majority in the Senate – and possibly increase it by two seats.



CSPAN, the US version of Oireachtas TV, has given us these handy graphics of when the polls close. In short, we’ll get the first results from the east of the country, and the last from the west.

The first polls in Indiana and Kentucky have now closed.



As we edge into Oscar awards season territory, here’s a script we could sink our teeth into: Alaska’s two Midterm races, for governor and their one House seat, are tied together by “a plane crash, a knife-wielding congressman, and a common theme: women having unprecedented impacts on every race”.

Oscar in the bag.

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This is interesting. The Spanish for “Where to vote” is trending on Google in the US.



If you’re not waiting up all night, here are a couple of key contests to watch out for if you happen to wake up in the middle of the night:

The Texas Senate: Republican Ted Cruz vs Democrat Beto O’Rourke

Fourth-generation Irishman Beto O’Rourke has built up a quite a following and is seen as the first proper contender to dethrone Cruz from his stint in a Republican stronghold. The last time a Dem won a seat in the senate in Texas was in the 1980s.

At the moment, Cruz has a seven point lead and is leading consistently. Turnout will be crucial here.

The Nevada Senate – Republican Dean Heller vs Democrat Jacky Rosen

Heller was described recently by The Guardian newspaper as “the most vulnerable Republican incumbent”. He once hosted a campaign rally at a Vegas gun store. 

His opponent Jacky Rosen is a first term congresswoman who is hoping to capitalise on the strong vote for Hillary Clinton in the State two years ago. There’s only two points between them; just 20,000 votes separated Clinton and Trump in 2016.



It’s also going to be the greatest barometer on whether people are happy with Donald Trump as their president.

Donald Trump
Source: Evan Vucci



So what’s all the fuss about anyway? Why do we in Ireland care about the results in the US? Three reasons:

  • If the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives (the US Dáil), it will make passing legislation much more difficult for Trump.
  • If the Democrats take control of the Senate, it means they’ll have the power to black the appointments of Supreme Court judges, and control impeachment outcomes.
  • If Republicans lose their majority in the House, it will be the first time voters show their lack of confidence in him – how will he react to that?

We’ve actually explored that last point in this piece > Donald Trump is obsessed with ‘winning’, so what would losing the midterms mean for him?



For those stressed out about the results, keep this ‘The Calm Place’ piece by the New York Times is a must: it plays soothing gifs of fields, gives you breathing exercises, and lets you pet a 3D dog. Vital reading.




There will be a lot of comparisons between this Midterm and the 2016 election.

Right now, it’s expected that the Democrats will “flip the House” – meaning take the majority that the Republicans have held up until now.

They need 218 seats in the House for a majority – at the moment almost all predictions see them achieving that (including Fox News).

But we’ve been here before.



And that’s quite a significant part of this election: turnout.

Historically, turnout is much lower during the midterms than in presidential elections. In the 2014 midterms, just 36.4% of Americans registered to vote used it – that’s the lowest turnout since the end of the second World War.

It was 40% in the 2010 midterms, and 58.1% in the 2016 US election.

Also, traditionally, Republicans are more likely to vote in the midterms – meaning if we see a turnout higher than the mid-40s, that indicates Democrats are turning up to vote.



One of the most interesting parts of this US election so far has been the huge emphasis on urging people to vote – by celebrities.

Actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, musician Taylor Swift and the Rock are among the US stars telling people to use their vote today.

The Rock
Source: Instagram



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