Election Night: What to watch for

Election day is here, and the news couldn't get much better for Republicans up and down the ballot.

But even the most enthusiastic Republicans have a nagging worry that the Democrats may still pull off some kind of miracle and maintain control of the Senate.  Reasons vary, but many in the party believe that the vaunted Democratic turnout machine may yet salvage seats in North Carolina and Georgia, thus putting the GOP's expected majority in peril.

When will we know what kind of night it's going to be?  If Georgia, New Hampshire, or North Carolina is called for the Republican before 10 PM Eastern, it may signal a genuine wave election in the Senate.  On the other side of the coin, if Kentucky is close or McConnell is behind at 10 PM, the Democrats may be in better shape than they ever dreamed.

Some other key races and the time the polls close:

9:00 pm ET

Colorado: Most – but not all – polling shows Republican challenger Cory Gardner with the lead over Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo. If that holds true later in the evening on Election Night, then Republicans would be on their way to winning statewide in a race that’s been a problem for them since 2004. But if Udall is hanging on, Democrats would breathe a BIG sigh of relief.

10:00 pm ET

Iowa: We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: As Iowa goes, so goes control of the Senate. And if you want to see how Election Night is breaking, this race – between Democrat Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst – is the one to watch. A Des Moines Register poll on Saturday showed Ernst with a seven-point lead. But a Quinnipiac poll released on Monday had it dead even.

1:00 am ET

Alaska: This is the state with the last final poll-closing time of the night, and it could be hours – if not days – until we determine the winner of the Senate contest between Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and GOP challenger Dan Sullivan.

Most people think that Iowa will tell the tale of GOP Senate control.  But Republicans won't need Iowa if they clean up out east.  Winning Georgia, North Carolina, and New Hampshire will seal the deal for the Republicans and send Harry Reid packing.

Resources:

The Green Papers is your one stop shop for everything you want to know about the election, especially when polls close. The site has a good rundown of key races here.

For specific races, the best resource is the individual state's Secretary of State website that will give real time results of the count.

CNN always has good coverage on the net and their webpage I've found to be the easiset to navigate.

American Thinker will be live-blogging the results, so stop by often after the polls close to get up-to-the-minute results.

Election day is here, and the news couldn't get much better for Republicans up and down the ballot.

But even the most enthusiastic Republicans have a nagging worry that the Democrats may still pull off some kind of miracle and maintain control of the Senate.  Reasons vary, but many in the party believe that the vaunted Democratic turnout machine may yet salvage seats in North Carolina and Georgia, thus putting the GOP's expected majority in peril.

When will we know what kind of night it's going to be?  If Georgia, New Hampshire, or North Carolina is called for the Republican before 10 PM Eastern, it may signal a genuine wave election in the Senate.  On the other side of the coin, if Kentucky is close or McConnell is behind at 10 PM, the Democrats may be in better shape than they ever dreamed.

Some other key races and the time the polls close:

9:00 pm ET

Colorado: Most – but not all – polling shows Republican challenger Cory Gardner with the lead over Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo. If that holds true later in the evening on Election Night, then Republicans would be on their way to winning statewide in a race that’s been a problem for them since 2004. But if Udall is hanging on, Democrats would breathe a BIG sigh of relief.

10:00 pm ET

Iowa: We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: As Iowa goes, so goes control of the Senate. And if you want to see how Election Night is breaking, this race – between Democrat Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst – is the one to watch. A Des Moines Register poll on Saturday showed Ernst with a seven-point lead. But a Quinnipiac poll released on Monday had it dead even.

1:00 am ET

Alaska: This is the state with the last final poll-closing time of the night, and it could be hours – if not days – until we determine the winner of the Senate contest between Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and GOP challenger Dan Sullivan.

Most people think that Iowa will tell the tale of GOP Senate control.  But Republicans won't need Iowa if they clean up out east.  Winning Georgia, North Carolina, and New Hampshire will seal the deal for the Republicans and send Harry Reid packing.

Resources:

The Green Papers is your one stop shop for everything you want to know about the election, especially when polls close. The site has a good rundown of key races here.

For specific races, the best resource is the individual state's Secretary of State website that will give real time results of the count.

CNN always has good coverage on the net and their webpage I've found to be the easiset to navigate.

American Thinker will be live-blogging the results, so stop by often after the polls close to get up-to-the-minute results.