TPM News

Democrats have captured the 23rd Congressional District in New York.

CNN and Fox News called the race for Democrat Bill Owens, making him the first Democrat to hold the upstate New York seat since the Civil War. With 87 percent of precincts reporting, Owens led conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman by 49-45.

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President Obama will wake up Wednesday morning on the one-year anniversary of his historic election with two fewer Democratic governors he can call allies.

In New Jersey, Republican Chris Christie unseated Gov. Jon Corzine (D). Virginia Republicans swept the statewide races and picked up seats in the state house as Republican former attorney general Bob McDonnell walloped state Sen. Creigh Deeds (D) by more than 15 points.

Here's what we know:

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Democrat Bill Owens is leading by 4 points in the NY-23 congressional race with 76% of precincts reporting. Owens is currently at 49% over Conservative Doug Hoffman's 45%.

As we noted earlier, Owens could be the only Democrat win in today's elections.

Jon Corzine (D-NJ) just delivered his concession speech to Governor-elect Chris Christie (R-NJ) moments ago, saying he's "proud of [his] administration" and he's "grateful to all" of New Jersey. Watch the video below.

The incumbent governor began his speech by recounting his concession call to Christie, who was "gracious in his response." Corzine said the two "will work hard together to make sure that the transition is smooth."

Corzine's loss was a bit of a surprise in today's election, given that this race was neck-and-neck until the end. Five polls on the New Jersey election yesterday were split, with Christie ahead in three and Corzine ahead in two. GOP candidate Bob McDonnell beat Democrat Creigh Deeds in the Virginia gubernatorial race handily earlier this evening.

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After hopping a plane to New Jersey earlier this evening as returns began to show a victory for Republican governor-elect Chris Christie, RNC chair Michael Steele will head back to the airport to fly back to to D.C. and gloat to the press about his party's dual wins in both New Jersey and Virginia.

Steele will host a 10 a.m. press conference at RNC headquarters in Washington, where he'll talk about tonight's victories (and maybe a defeat, too -- as of this post, the Democratic nominee is still leading in NY-23). The victory lap comes less than a year after Steele began his turbulent tenure as the head of the Republican party, and it's fair to say it will be the first objectively great day for Republicans since President Obama's victory last November. Expect to see a lot of smiles from a lot of tired Republican operatives who won't be getting much sleep tonight.

In a Maine ballot measure, the votes against gay marriage have taken the lead, with 51 percent of the vote.

With 28 percent of precincts reporting, it's still too soon to call. But it's worth noting that the numbers have flipped in favor of abolishing Maine's gay marriage law. From the time the polls closed at 8 p.m. until just recently, the numbers had shown more votes to uphold gay marriage.

Votes for Question 1 would abolish the law, and votes against it would uphold gay marriage.

The high turnout -- the city clerk in Bangor, for example, saw more voters than at a gubernatorial election -- does, however, bode well for gay marriage.

After hearing from all sides of her caucus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced some minor changes to the health care bill she unveiled last week, enshrined in a so called "Manager's Amendment" to the greater bill she plans to bring to the floor.

You can read the Manager's Amendment here (PDF). By agreement, it will have to be online for at least 72 hours before the bill can come to the floor, meaning we could see action by the end of the week. At a glance I see some tweaks firming up the provisions ending the anti-trust exemptions for insurance companies, and creating some real consequences for violators.

Again, at a glance, I see no changes to the public option, particularly one, requested by House progressives, to create a ceiling on the rates negotiated between the government and health care providers. I also see not a single word about abortion--Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) wants to ban any and all federal money--including money spent on subsidies for private insurance plans--from paying for abortions, and he's been raising quite a fuss about it.

But it's legislative text, so we're still going through it, and will certainly have more for you in the morning.

Late update: Pelosi has issued a statement on the amendment, which I've pasted below the fold.

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Democrat Bill Owens leads conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman by 51-44 percent with one-third of precincts reporting.

If Owens hangs onto that margin, New York's 23rd Congressional district will be the only bright spot on the map for Democrats tonight.