The biggest surprise of the night isn’t President Obama’s victory. It was always plausible to believe that Obama would triumph based on narrow wins in battleground states like Ohio and Virginia.
The real surprise is in the Senate, where the Democrats will probably expand their majority in what should have been a difficult year for them. And it won’t be because of the comments of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock on the subject of rape. Their comments pretty much ensured that the Republicans wouldn’t gain control of the Senate. However, a good showing by other candidates, especially in Red States, would have avoided a rout.
We may yet see that showing, but right now the odds are against.
Deb Fischer has held up her end in Nebraska, defeating Bob Kerrey by claiming nearly 59 percent of the vote. And Jeff Flake has held off Democrat Richard Carmona in Arizona.
But Power Line Picks Rick Berg (North Dakota) and Denny Rehberg (Montana) seem to be in trouble. With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Berg trails Heidi Heitkamp by 50.8 to 49.2. And Rehberg trails incumbent Jon Tester by 51.5 to 44 with 21 percent of precincts counted.
Finally, in Nevada (a purple state), Republican Dean Heller and Democrat Shelly Berkley are essentially tied (Heller 45.6, Berkley 45.4) with about 30 percent of precincts counted.
So we may well see Democrats win North Dakota, Montana, and Nevada. In each case, the result would be an upset. And rather upsetting.
I’ll check back in on these races tomorrow and offer some additional commentary.