TPM News

NRCC Election HQ -- The Republicans gathered at this downtown Washington hotel are starting to feel good about tonight. And nothing so far made them feel better than taking out Reps. Alan Grayson (D-FL) and Tom Perriello (D-VA).

The pair were top targets for the Republicans, just as they were national mascots of sorts for progressives across the country. And when Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) announced to the still relatively thin crowd here tonight that the pair had been defeated, a mighty cheer rang out.

Periello's Fifth District seat got a visit from President Obama on Friday, a fact that was not lost on the crowds here. "Sorry," Walden joked, to laughter from the crowd.

RNC Chair Michael Steele also took the stage -- he and Walden are the first of many speakers expected to culminate with House Minority Leader John Boehner -- and did his best to pump up the already excited crowd even further. Steele said things look very good for the GOP on the House side, and he said they had their grassroots to thank.

"To our grassroots who got up early and knocked on doors late, we thank you," Steele said. "Thank you for helping us to pull this elephant, if you will, across the finish line. To turn the elephant to face the future."

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D) has won the race for New York Governor over Carl Paladino (R).

With 0% of precincts reporting, CNN projects that Cuomo is the winner.

Though the Tea Party-backed Paladino had some early momentum that helped him beat Rick Lazio in the September 14 Republican primary, his campaign has since been plagued by controversy and concerns about his temperament.

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Two Democratic sources tell TPM that their exit poll data shows Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) either tied with or down by the thinnest of margins against his Republican challenger Ron Johnson.

A senior Dem source says one exit poll has them down by a point. The other has it dead even.

Customary notes of caution about exit polls apply, and, of course, these are Democratic sources pulling for their candidate. But the early data is clearly closer than they expected they would be.

It's looking like a bloodbath tonight for Virginia Democrats, with two incumbent Congressmen already going down to defeat -- and possibly more on the way.

The Associated Press reports that Democratic Rep. Rick Boucher of VA-09, who was first elected in 1982, has lost re-election to Republican Morgan Griffith in this southwest Virginia district, after many years of its voters splitting their ticket between Boucher and Republican candidates.

Meanwhile, freshman Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello (D) of VA-05, who upset Republican incumbent Virgil Goode in 2008, has lost to Republican Robert Hurt.

That's not all: Two other freshman Dems, Glenn Nye and Gerry Connolly, both of whom picked up seats from the Republicans in 2008, are currently trailing in their seats. With 44% of precincts reporting in VA-02, Nye trails Republican Scott Rigell by 53%-43%. In VA-11, Connolly trails his 2008 Republican opponent Keith Fimian by a narrower 50%-48%, with 30% of precincts reporting.

Late Update: ABC and CBS have called VA-02 for Rigell. That's three Democrats losing in Virginia, with a possible fourth on the way.

A quick update from DNC headquarters.

With over 80 percent of precincts reporting, incumbent Dem Ben Chandler in Kentucky's sixth congressional district is holding on to a razor thin lead over his Republican opponent Andy Barr. With over 80 percent of districts reporting, Chandler enjoys a 500 vote margin. This is a seat Dems regard as a bellwether, and at least one Dem source suggests it will likely end in the recount.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), the freshman Democrat who defeated a Republican incumbent in 2008, and then became a star of the blogosphere and cable TV for his full-throated attacks against Republicans, has now gone down in crushing defeat, so soon after he burst onto the national scene.

With 160 of 239 precincts reporting, Republican former state Sen. Dan Webster leads Grayson 57.4%-39.2%, and has been projected as the winner by CNN and the Orlando Sentinel.

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We now have a result in a key red state -- where Democrats have been saved the loss of the seat that was previously held by the late Dem Senator Robert Byrd since 1958 -- as Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin has defeated Republican businessman John Raese.

With 12% of precincts reporting, Manchin leads by 54%-43%, and has been projected as the winner by NBC News and Fox News.

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Unfortunately for Linda McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, she couldn't write the ending to this storyline. In the Connecticut Senate race, Democratic state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has defeated McMahon, the Republican nominee, in the contest to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd.

With less than 1% or precincts reporting, Blumenthal leads by 62%-36%, and has been projected as the winner by Fox News and NBC News. (Keep in mind that with so few precincts in, the margin is likely to fluctuate considerably throughout the night -- the current numbers are not final.)

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Marco Rubio, who has actually been compared to a young Barack Obama by excited Republicans, has ascended to the U.S. Senate from the state of Florida. Rubio has handily defeated both Gov. Charlie Crist, the independent candidate, and Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Democrat -- a three-way sweep that quite literally is the stuff GOP dreams are made of.

With 649 of 6,881 precincts reporting, Rubio leads Crist and Meek 51.6-28.9-19.5. CNN and Fox News have called the race for Rubio.

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