Election Night a Nail Biter for Voters and Manufactured Housing Caucus Candidates

Inf eric millerRaces important to the manufactured housing industry seemed to be tightening Tuesday as Americans went to the polls. Receiving a morning endorsement from the Elkhart Truth and news of ever decreasing margins, Indiana Congressman Joe Donnelly awaited the outcome of his race with opponent Jackie Walorski. Election projection.com favored Donnelly by just one percent. As late as October 26, the lead for Donnelly was five points or more. In Nevada, polls showed Sharon Angle was up one to three points on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Some websites providing up-to-date polling information including electionprojection.com failed to load, indicating overwhelmed servers Tuesday afternoon.

All 435 seats in the House of Representatives were up for the vote, with Republicans needing a net gain of 39 to take control. In the Senate, 37 of 100 seats were to be decided. Listening to Sean Hannity’s show Tuesday afternoon would give you the impression Democrats weren’t turning out in the numbers needed. That could have been bad news for Donnelly and Reid.

The first projected victory of the night came in for Kentucky Tea Party favorite Rand Paul. In the closely watched races in Indiana, early results showed both Baron Hill and Joe Donnelly trailing opponents. With seven percent of precincts reporting, Donnelly had 38 percent of the vote compared to 57 percent for Walorski. Baron Hill was trailing his opponent Todd Young, 42 percent to 53 percent. Also early in the evening, another Tea Party favorite, Marco Rubio, was projected to have won his race for the Senate in Florida. Despite claims that Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell had been closing the gap with Democrat Chris Coons, this was one race called early against the Tea Party.

With 66 percent of precincts reporting, Donnelly had moved ahead 48 percent to 47 percent for Walorski. With 54 percent of precincts reporting, Hill was still trailing Young, however, 40 percent to 55 percent. By 9 p.m., most other House races in Indiana had been called for Republicans. With 93 percent of precincts reporting, Donnelly maintained the one point lead, but still the race hadn’t been called. At 99 percent Donnelly was still in the lead with less than 700 votes standing between a win and defeat. I was following ABC News and listening to NPR coverage, and hadn’t heard the race called, but at 9:33 Donnelly’s Facebook page came up with a message that said, “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the great people of north central Indiana in Congress for another term.” At 9:50 the margin had widened favoring Donnelly, but ABC News still hadn’t called the race. At 9:55 ABC News called the race for Donnelly.

In Massachusetts with 28 percent of precincts reporting at 9 p.m., Barney Frank had a comfortable lead of 67 to 31 percent. With 65 percent of precincts reporting the race was called for Frank, 61 percent to 37 percent, far above the 10 percent lead he had held in recent polls.

Races as they were called:

8:50 p.m. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) Lost to Republican John Boozman. 55-37 percent margin.

9:04 Baron Hill (D-IN) With 83 percent of precincts reporting, the District 9 race in Indiana was called for challenger Republican Todd Young.

9:10 Bill Posey (R-FL) With 52 percent of precincts reporting, the District 15 House race in Florida was called for incumbent Bill Posey.

9:13 Richard Shelby (R-AL) With one percent of precincts reporting, the Alabama Senate seat was said to have been retained by Richard Shelby.

9:40 Barney Frank (D-MA) With 65 percent of precincts reporting the race was called for Frank, 61 percent to 37 percent.

9:42 Joe Donnelly (D-IN) While Donnelly had announced his return on Facebook, the race hadn’t been called.*

12:43 Harry Reid (D-NV) Breaking news email alert arrives indicating Nevada Democrat Harry Reid had retained control of his Senate seat, beating Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle. Reid won by a margin of five percentage points, and eight points ahead of the most recent polling numbers.

Finally, some of the more interesting candidates out there failed to get many votes. Recently released from prison and running as an independent, Ohio’s Jim Traficant lost to Democrat Tim Ryan. Also, unemployed and indicted South Carolina Democrat Alvin Greene, who won the primary with 59 percent of the vote despite very limited campaigning and campaign spending, no website, and no yard signs, lost to Republican Jim DeMint. California Senate candidate Jenny Oropeza won re-election despite being dead (Oct 20).

*The news outlet referenced was ABCNews.com. ##

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