Time for a new Power Line Picks thread [Ernst wins] [UPDATES on Mills and Love with correction]

Let’s start this thread with more good news. Power Line Pick Elise Stefanik has won her race in New York’s 21st Congressional District. She is, in fact, routing her opponent Aaron Woolf.

We’re proud to have supported Stefanik. I want to thank my older daughter Laura for first calling her to my attention.

Now let’s move to other good news. Joni Ernst is leading Bruce Braley in Iowa by 4 points and 22,000 votes with 56 percent of the expected vote counted.

Ernst and Stefanik provide evidence that the GOP is now fielding formidable conservative female candidates. What a difference four years make.

UPDATE: Joni Ernst has been declared the winner in Iowa. Her victory gives the Republicans six Senate pick-ups and means that Republicans will control the Senate beginning in January.

Ernst was perhaps the biggest star to emerge this season. With apparent ease, she unified the Republican Party behind her, not an easy thing for a relative political unknown to do. It’s fitting that her victory puts the GOP over the top.

THE FINAL TWO RACES: The Power Line Picks are 4 for 4 so far. However, our two remaining picks are trailing.

In Minnesota’s Eighth District, Stewart Mills is about 3 points and 4,000 votes behind incumbent Rick Nolan. That’s with about 50 percent of precincts reporting.

In Utah’s Fourth District, Mia Love trails Doug Owens. However, I’m seeing conflicting reports as to how much she’s trailing by and how much of the vote has been counted. Please disregard my previous post about this race, while I try to figure out where things actually stand.

THAT’S MORE LIKE IT: Mia Love has moved into the lead albeit a very small one. For some reason, only 16 percent of precincts have reported, according to ABC News. But I’m seeing another report that has Love up 0.5 percent with the majority of precincts counted.

Unfortunately, Stewart Mills continues to trail Rick Nolan. With 72 percent of precincts reporting, Mills is down 49-47, which translates into 4,700 votes.

FINAL REPORT: Mills has lost his race. Love has won hers. So the Power Line Picks went 5 for 6. That’s a good bounce back from two years ago when we went 1 for 6.

We try to identify mostly tough races. Thus, except in a wave election, we don’t expect to go 5 for 6. But neither do we regard 1 for 6 as acceptable.

That’s it for me tonight. Thanks to those who followed our coverage.