In past years, I have closely monitored TV and web coverage of the returns and posted here in real time, which some people really appreciate--I presume folks who are not or can not be glued to those sources, or who find the coverage too scattered and like to get only the key races featured in one place. So here we go again, updated at top. See my preview of all the key races here.
8:40 Beto up 7% with good number in but less than half. Dems hoping Dade and Broward bail out Nelson and Gillum. Still good votes for Dems in House.
8:10: Gillum and Nelson now trail slightly. Beto up by 12% early.
7:50: First big Dem flip, Wexton in VA.
7:35: CNN has Dems already leading in 15 or more "flip" House seats, including some not really on their target list. McGrath in KY with nice lead. Nelson and Gillum lead now with half the vote in.
7:20 Dems leading by a little in two key Florida House "pick up" races plus one that was not on their list. CNN has 6 Dems leading in GOP districts. But early. Polls close in Ohio, W. Virginia, N. Carolina at 7:30... Connelly still losing badly in Indiana and a good chunk in now --14%. Nelson up by 3 1/2 points with one-third in...
7:00 Slam dunk races called as polls close: Bernie Sanders, Tim Kaine etc. First returns find Nelson and Gillum narrowly winning in Florida, but way early. MSNBC has Gillum running ahead of Hillary pace.
Donnelly still trailing badly in Indiana but (they say) GOP areas coning in first. New lawsuit in Georgia attempts to force Kemp out of overseeing the aftermath of election, challenges, recounts, etc. Half a dozen key states with polls closing at 7 (ET)....Bunch of slam dunk races will be called right away. Kornacki and MSNBC focusing on 66 House districts held by GOP that Dems have real shot at. One of those, in KY, even right now in early returns.
Beyonce just endorsed Beto O'Rourke in Texas--3 hours before polls closed. Not exactly profile in courage.
6:10: The cable channels are reporting their version of exit polls, just on what issues voters around USA seemed to find most important today. NBC found over 40% naming health care, which might help Dems, but the same number or more pointed to the economy, gun rights and immigration. Very early returns from Indiana find Donnelly trailing in Senate race but most votes from rural counties. Lot of reporting on voting malfunctions and long lines around country but will take time to see if it's the usual or very high this year. Of course, this should be a national holiday.
Note: the fabled "Needle" at NY Times is back. I like it, others mock.