Early returns from Florida and Indiana [UPDATED as the evening goes on: GOP TAKES INDIANA]

Florida and Indiana are the first two states with potentially close Senate races to be reporting vote counts. In Florida, the very early returns seem favorable to Sen. Bill Nelson (and to the pinko crook Dem running for governor). However, these returns are very early.

In Indiana, rural districts are going heavily for Republican Mike Braun. In most of these districts he’s significantly outperforming the ill-fated GOP nominee in 2012. In suburban and urban districts, there is some reason to think it’s a different story.

Steve’s friend Henry Olsen is doing a bang-up job at NRO of covering the Indiana returns. You should out his analyses.

UPDATE: Kristen Soltis Anderson, a Florida native (and one-time ace high school debater) cites early exit poll numbers from Florida indicating that President Trump’ approval rating in the state is 51 percent. That seems like a decent sign for the GOP candidates.

A GOOD SIGN FOR THE GOP IN INDIANA?: Exit polls suggest that 53 percent of voters thought Sen. Joe Donnelly’s vote against Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation was important in deciding their midterm vote. That could cut either way, but I suspect it cuts in favor of his challenger who, indeed, seemed to pick up steam after the Kavanaugh vote.

VERY GOOD SIGNS FOR THE GOP IN INDIANA: According to Henry Olsen. He writes:

Indiana is looking GREAT for Braun. As the Election Day vote comes in, Donnelly is slipping everywhere. He is now running behind his 2012 margins in both Marion (Indy) and St. Joseph’s (South Bend). He needed to run AHEAD of his 2012 margins here to hold off Braun’s rural surge.

This might be the “Dreiband effect.” I’ll explain if Donnelly loses.

FLORIDA UPDATE: The two big Florida races are incredibly tight. With approximately three-fourths of the precincts reporting, Republican DeSantis leads Democrat Gillum 49.7 percent to 49.1 percent. In the Senate race, Rick Scott leads Bill Nelson 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent.

As Kristen Soltis Anderson, formerly known as the Gator Pundit, says, “In Florida, some of our chief exports are orange juice, Tim Tebow fans and extremely close election results.”

FEAR THE DREIBAND EFFECT: About half of Indiana’s vote is counted. Mike Braun leads Joe Donnelly by 14 points!