There is not much left to say – all the theories and predictions can be better assessed tomorrow. There’s not much left to do. Candidates have special routines and superstitions for election day. Barack Obama famously liked to play basketball. Campaign staff settle in to begin pouring over exit polls beginning midafternoon. Golf courses in the Washington area are packed today with lobbyists, politicos and congressional staff who need to kill time before the results begin trickling in.
The polls in Virginia close at 7:00 pm. Virginia will provide the first clues as to where the night is headed. There are three closely watched congressional seats in the Commonwealth.
Virginia 2nd district
Elaine Luria – incumbent
Virginia 7th district
Abigail Spanberger incumbent
Jennifer Wexton incumbent
Rep. Luria is believed to be the most vulnerable incumbent in Virginia. If she holds on to her seat, that may indicate Democrats are going to defy the odds. On the other hand, if Rep. Spanberger and/or Rep. Wexton lose that could point to a big Republican night.
New Hampshire’s polls also close at 7:00 pm. The Senate race between incumbent Democrat Maggie Hassan and Republican Don Bolduc has tightened to a dead heat. If Bolduc prevails, that could signal Republicans have a good chance to take control of the Senate. If Republicans manage to win one of the two competitive congressional races it will represent the first Republicans from New England in Congress since 2018.
Polls in North Carolina close at 7:30 pm. The Senate race between Republican Rep. Tedd Budd and Democrat Cheri Beasley a former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Rep. Budd has been leading the polls. If Beasley pulls off an upset that would be an early sign that Democrats will likely hold the Senate.
The polls in Pennsylvania close at 8:00 pm. But the results may not come in until very late and it is possible a winner would not be declared for several days. Rhode Island and Connecticut polls close at 8:00 pm. Republicans are within striking distance of picking up seats in both states in congressional district (CT 5 and RI 2). Again, if Republicans make gains in New England – a region they have been shut out of for a long time – the odds go way up that Republicans are on track to take control of the U.S. House.
In general, expect a long night. The trend towards early voting continues to increase – which depending on each state’s laws – can delay the final vote tally. Additionally, a large number of races re too close to call – which naturally delays the news organizations from calling the result until a far higher percentage of the vote is reported.
If you haven’t already – get out and vote. And then settle in for a long night full of surprises.