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Tuesday, November 7th 2006

Election Night Open Thread

House Breakdown

U.S. House
Democrats 228
Republicans 196
Pick Up +26

Most At Risk Republican Seats

State Precinct Winner
Arizona 5 Democrat
Colorado 7 Democrat
Ohio 18 Democrat
Pennsylvania 7 Democrat
Indiana 8 Democrat
Iowa 1 Democrat
New York 24 Democrat
New York 20 Democrat
Pennsylvania 10 Democrat
Texas 22 Democrat
North Carolina 11 Democrat
Ohio 15 Republican
Florida 16 Democrat
New Hampshire 2 Democrat
Indiana 2 Democrat
Florida 13 Republican
New Mexico 1
Ohio 1 Republican
Connecticut 4 Republican
Indiana 9 Democrat
Illinois 6 Republican
Pennsylvania 6 Republican
Arizona 8 Democrat
Connecticut 5 Democrat
California 11 Democrat
Ohio 2 Republican
Kentucky 3 Democrat
Colorado 4 Republican
New York 26 Republican
Pennsylvania 8 Democrat
Washington 8
Connecticut 2
New York 29 Republican
New York 25 Republican
New York 26 Republican
Virginia 2 Republican
Florida 22 Democrat
Minnesota 6 Republican
Wisconsin 8 Democrat
Kentucky 4 Republican
Pennsylvania 4 Democrat
New York 19 Democrat
California 4 Republican
Nevada 3 Republican
Minnesota 1 Democrat
Nevada 2 Republican
Arizona 1 Republican
Idaho 1 Republican

Senate Breakdown

U.S. Senate
Democrats 51
Republicans 49

Senate Seats Up For Election

State Incumbent Victor
Arizona Kyl (R) Kyl (R)
California Feinstein (D) Feinstein (D)
Conneticut Lieberman (D) Lieberman (I/D)
Delaware Carper (D) Carper (D)
Florida Nelson (D) Nelson (D)
Hawaii Akaka (D) Akaka (D)
Indiana Lugar (R) Lugar (R)
Massachusetts Kennedy (D) Kennedy (D)
Maryland Sarbanes (D) Cardin (D)
Maine Snowe (R) Snowe (R)
Michigan Stabenow (D) Stabenow (D)
Minnesota Dayton (D) Klobuchar (D)
Missouri Talent (R) McCaskill (D)
Mississippi Lott (R) Lott (R)
Montana Burns (R) Tester (D)
Nebraska Nelson (D) Nelson (D)
New Jersey Menendez (D) Menendez (D)
New Mexico Bingaman (D) Bingaman (D)
Nevada Ensign (R) Ensign (R)
New York Clinton (D) Clinton (D)
North Dakota Conrad (D) Conrad (D)
Ohio DeWine (R) Brown (D)
Pennsylvania Santorum (R) Casey (D)
Rhode Island Chaffee (R) Whitehouse (D)
Tennessee Frist (R) Corker (R)
Texas Hutchinson (R) Hutchinson (R)
Utah Hatch (R) Hatch (R)
Virginia “Macaca” Allen (R) Webb (D)
Vermont Jeffords (I) Sanders (I/D)
Washington Cantwell (D) Cantwell (D)
Wisconsin Kohl (D) Kohl (D)
West Virginia Byrd (D) Byrd (D)
Wyoming Thomas (R) Thomas(R)

*6:32 PM*

Here’s The Irish Trojan’s breakdown of poll closures by time.

While he leads with 4% reporting the exit polls don’t fare well for George Allen in Virginia. Despite his gaffes I did pick him winning. But check out CNN’s results for voter behavior/opinions in that race.

For instance, as expected Allen has support with those concerned about Terrorism…but less than Republicans have enjoyed in previous years,

Importance of Terrorism Allen Webb
Extremely Important (44%) 59% 40%
Very Important (29%) 49% 50%
Somewhat Important (35%) 35% 64%
Not Important (8%) 27% 72%

*6:45 PM*

You should note that it might help Allen that the anti-gay marriage ban passed in Virginia. Obviously a big conservative issue which may help Allen.

Exit polls on the opinions of voters concerning the course of the nation leaked early. Captain’s Quarter’s is of course doing the “I told you so” thing.

About four in 10 approve. That’s down from 53 percent approval in 2004, and 67 percent just before the 2002 midterm elections.

About four in 10 “strongly” disapprove of the president’s work, more than double the number of strong approvers.

Those figures were released more than an hour ago.

*6:50 PM*

Indiana’s 8th is not looking good for Republicans. CNN refuses to call it, but it is not looking good (even with only a third of the vote counted). That one is less of a surprise. What would be a bad omen for Republicans is the results in Kentucky’s 3rd.

With 74% reporting,

Candidate Percent of Vote
Yarmuth (D) 51%
Northup (R) 48%

*7:00 PM*

With 16 states about to close, expect some new calls soon. As for right now I’d thought I’d give some of the best online election coverage:

As well, Indiana 8th has been called by Fox News. I think that is pretty solid. CNN now has Webb ahead of Allen.

*7:09 PM*

No surprise but USC alumni and star collegiate and NFL reciever Lynn Swann has lost the race for Governor in Pennsylvania.

The Would Be Governor…

*7:15 PM*

The Irish Trojan has a great scorecard with links to the actual incoming vote counts for the most contested House and Senate races.

There was no chance Krazy Katherine Harris was going to win the Florida Senate seat. But there are some interesting House races down there, so CNN’s exit polling data on voter opinions is important, 66% actually support outgoing Republican Governor Jeb Bush but those who did split there vote evenly between Harris and Nelson.

That might be more of a reflection on the voter’s poor opinion on Harris than whether Jeb Bush’s popularity can help incumbent Republican Florida House candidates from succumbing to the Dem wave.

*7:25 PM*

25 minutes LATE, CNN finally calls Indiana’s 8th for Ellsworth (D). Seriously, if you’re watching the coverage on TV turn it to Fox News. They’re way ahead of CNN or ABC News. They have returns up from the Texas governor race already even right now.

*7:30 PM*

CNN does have amazing online coverage though. Clearly the best. Fox News is saying that Tennessee’s anti-gay marriage amendment will pass. With 2% in it has over 80% of the vote right now. That might bode well for Corker (the Republican candidate for Senate). The state over the past several weeks was definitely leaning Republican. He is currently leading.

What might not bode well is the exit polls, as Fox News is reporting, a lot of people responding to the exit poll were upset with Corker’s negative attacks on Democratic candidate Harold Ford.

Did Corker Attack Ford Unfairly? Percentage
Yes 74%
No 26%

Changing topic, as I’m writing CNN has called the New Jersey race. That was one of only two races where Republicans could hope to pick up a Senate seat. However, over the past several weeks it had looked less and less likely. Menendez however will hold onto his seat.

*7:44 PM*

Fox and ABC News have called the Pennsylvania Senate race as a Dem pick up. No surprise there. However, CNN is still dragging their feet.

Ohio is a Dem pick up as well. That is per Fox News, not ABC News who I linked to (but the Fox News website sucks).

*8:06 PM*

9:00 ET brought a wave of poll closures and a number of “no surprise” calls in the Senate race. They closed in Missouri but of course Missouri is too close to call. Talent was losing early but now it is a virtual dead heat.

*8:10 PM*

In early returns Bell is doing surprisingly well in the Texas Governor race. However from their exit polls Fox News has called the race for Rick Perry. That is no surprise.

And of course, Spitzer (I hate him) has moved from New York Attorney General to Governor.

Check out the local Texas 21st District vote returns here. It hasn’t budged from 1% counted in quite a while.

Finally, Lieberman has been called the winner by CNN. The first time they’ve beaten Fox News or ABC News to a key call. “Key call” might be an inappropriate designation seeing as Joe was leading by 10+% since the primary.

*8:16 PM*

Maryland can’t be called yet. If you don’t remember that is one of the two key Senate races where the Republicans might pick up a seat. They already failed in New Jersey. In any case, the exit polls show some interesting things, including the fact African-American Republican Steele is picking up about 25% of the African American vote.

Candidate African American Vote
Cardin (D) 74%
Steele (R) 25%

That might not seem like much but…it is certainly an improvement.

*8:21 PM*

As I was complementing Steele’s pick up of the African American vote both CNN (they were the first) and Fox News are calling Maryland for the Democrats and Cardin.

*8:23 PM*

It was too much to hope for. CNN actually has more up to date vote counts than WOAI, the local news channel, and are calling the 21st District for Lamar Smith.

The Kentucy 3rd has been called for the Dems! I posted on this early from Real Clear Politics.

*8:28 PM*

Finally, no surprise, but Whitehouse (D) has won in Rhode Island. CNN has called it based solely on exit polls, which is no surprise since Chaffee has been struggling in all polls.

The 2nd in Indiana has also finally been called for the Dems. Another House pick up.

*8:34 PM*

Captain’s Quarters is looking hard at the actual break down of the votes which have been counted in the Allen – Webb contest. Northern Virignia will of course break hard for Webb.

9:28 [ET] – Allen’s up by 22,000 votes in Virginia now, but it’s still close. In Missouri, Robert Bluey tells me that Amendment 2 is leading, which is good news for Talent. He’s up by four points in the early count.

*8:40 PM*

If you’re watching Fox News you’ve seen the criticism of the calling of races (which they’re doing), before all the polls closed. I’d link to an article on News Busters criticizing calls in Ohio and Pennsylvania before ALL the polling places were closed but apparently a rush on their site has crashed them for a while.

Personally I think those complaints are bogus. I mean seriously, we’re talking about a select number of polling places that were still open and calls that were made like 10 minutes before the polls closed. Do they imagine that one guy who happened to live across the street from the one polling place still open (by court order because of some problems earlier in the day) who is watching television, sees who is called, and then decides not to go vote?

There are way bigger concerns than this to be spending your effort complaining about.

*8:51 PM*

Henry Bonilla is struggling worse than Lamar Smith did. That race is in Texas’ 23rd. Ciro Rodriguez needs to keep Bonilla less than 50% (he is right at that right now with 3% in) to force a run off.

The most interesting “contested” House races right now are:

*9:01 PM*

I think, although even Fox News won’t take a chance (they’ve seemed the most trigger happy), it is safe to call Corker for Tennessee. I think the Republicans will win that seat. Certainly of the most contested race that was the one which was leaning Republican.

This of course despite some concern about how the exit polls featured the voter’s opinion of the way Corker has conducted his campaign (see above).

On CNN Santorum has conceded to Casey for Pennsylvania Senator. That race was never in much doubt, and was called a while ago but now Santorum makes it official.

*9:04 PM*

Another contentious Republican seat has gone to the Democrats in the House. That would be CT-5.

That has been called by Fox. It marks the fourth pick up for the Democrats.

*9:10 PM*

Fox News is calling Indiana’s 9th as a Democratic pick up. However they’re reporting on possible absentee ballot problems and predict a protracted legal battle over the results in that district.

CNN is currently highlighting the exit polls in the Virginia Senate race. They point out that Allen won better than 55% of the male vote in Virginia. That race is tight, tight, tight with 90% of the vote counter. It is 50 – 49 for Allen right now.

*9:16 PM*

Ney’s old district (Ohio’s 18th) is taken easily by the Democrats.

In big news, well not really big but notable, Lamont has conceded on CNN to Lieberman. Lieberman, despite running as an independent, will caucus in the Senate with the Democrats. Bunch of hyenas, turn your back on a candidate when he loses a primary and then welcome him back when he helps you control the Senate.

*9:22 PM*

A good move by the Republicans (if you can find any this night), they’ve kept Kentucky’s 4th. Some polls had that one very, very likely to go Dem.

How many seats can the Dems gain in the House? We’re getting some mixed results. I think that, even having gained 8 of the 47 most contested Republican House seats already that they may not reach that +33 number which I predicted early today.

The most surprising race of the night? Foley’s old seat actually going to the Republicans right now! And Foley is still on the ballot!

I certainly don’t think they’ll gain the Senate.

*9:28 PM*

A cool little factoid? Plenty of times in midterm elections a party has gained control of the Senate but not the House.

Never has an out of power party taken control of the House but not the Senate in the midterm elections. In 1930 the Dems won control of the Senate but several Republican congressmen died before the House actually started their session and their replacements pushed the House to the Dems. That’s as close as it has come to happening. But, all that could change with this election.

*9:31 PM*

Fox News is really playing more loosely with their calls than other networks. CNN continues to claim the Dems have only picked up 4 seats out of the 47 contested ones, while Fox News has called 10 Democratic gains in the U.S. House. I’m following ABC News, Fox News, and CNN but I’m mainly paying attention to Fox as the night goes on.

Don’t be so damn responsible CNN! Get out with those results, not so many damn talking heads!

*9:34 PM*

John Kerry just called Senator Ted Kennedy…

…The Greatest Senator Of All Time

Maybe. Certainly not the best man of all time. Senator Lieberman just made a very nice victory speech.

*9:39 PM*

Wow, Henry Bonilla is at less than 50% with nearly 20% of District 23rd counted. Ciro Rodriguez may very well actually force a run off in this district.

*9:44 PM*

Talent is mounting a nice lead in the Missouri race with about 1/3rd counted. Still, obviously too close to call.

Candidate Vote
Talent 52%
McCaskill 44%

Captain’s Quarters is optimistic. They also think the call for Cardin in Maryland is bogus. Maybe. Steele continues to close the gap. In fact it is tied with more than a third of polling stations reporting.

10:43 – Allen’s still up by 27K with 94% counted, and back up to 50%. Steele has narrowed the gap to 5,000 in Maryland with 33% reporting, so that’s still an open contest.

Fox News is now saying they doubt they’ll be able to call Virginia tonight and we’ll be looking at a protracted legal battle.

*9:53 PM*

Wow, Joe Negron, running in Mark Foley’s Florida’s 16th district, has conceded…the startle? Well, he did it before either ABC or CNN or Fox called the district for his opponent. Here’s the vote count.

*10:00 PM*

Wait for all the polls to close? Why the hell would you do that?! ABC News has projected Dems will take the House. No surprise but still.

The polls close and Fox News calls NC – 11 and AZ – 8 for the Dems. They’ve also closed Florida’s 22nd, which is another loss for the Republicans.

Now that the polls are closed out there let’s look at Kyl in the Arizona Senate race. He should win but it’ll be a hope for the Dems tonight.

*10:10 PM*

I think Texas’ 22nd is safe to call Democratic. That is Tom Delay’s old district and it is looking like the Republican being a write in (after Delay pulled out) was too much to overcome.

The Washington Post has withdrawn their call for the Maryland Senate race. Steele leads in the race and it is playing out exactly like CQ was claiming. That would be a huge Republican gain, the Dems can thrown any hope of winning the Senate out the winner if he wins.

He’s up by four with with 45% in.

Candidate Vote
Steele (R) 51%
Cardin (D) 47%

*10:20 PM*

Well, it was looking like this all along but now it is official. With all the Senate races but 4 (or 5 if you don’t count the previously called Maryland race) called the Dems need to win 3 (and hold onto Maryland).

Here’s the current conditions of the Tennessee, Missouri, Montana, and Virginia vote counts.

I of course think Tennessee is out of reach. So Webb will have to come back and win Virginia and Mcaskill will have to come back in Missouri. Tester could easily win Montana.

*10:27 PM*

New Hampshire’s 1st, not even a key race – one in which the Republicans were suppose to maintain control – has been lost to the Democratic challenger.

*10:31 PM*

Fox News is questioning on what basis Steele is questioning the call of his race. Cardin has closed Steele’s lead to 2%, and apparently most of the outstanding Maryland votes are in Democratic districts and should go to Cardin.

Their talking head is saying they think Cardin has won because Steele is doing poorly in Republican districts (compared to previous statewide races) and the outstanding vote is largely in Democratic districts.

*10:44 PM*

Republicans will hold onto Ohio’s 15th. A nice move considering Pryce‘s position in the Republican leadership. Although that leadership may see some shakeup following this loss. I can’t see Minority Leader Hastert. He’s won by the way.

*10:50 PM*

Fox News talking heads are saying they think, looking at the numbers and outstanding votes, that the Dems will take Missouri. They’re not calling it mind you just prognosticating.

They’re also saying that they think a recount in Virginia won’t move the vote more than 800 votes. So, if Allen wins by more than that I think we can take that as a true victory (and not wait for the weeks and weeks for the recount to come back).

I am ready to say that Henry Bonilla will face a run off in Texas’ 23rd!!! His vote continues to drop and we’re about 65% reporting now.

*10:55 PM*

Webb has taken the lead in Virginia. Less than 1% of the votes are outstanding. If Webb can finish with a >3000 vote lead I will say he’s going to win.

Candidate Total Votes %
Webb 1141052 50%
Allen 1138676 49%

Fox News is going into their “long term” broadcasting, removing most of the talking heads and moving to a new anchor. I liked this team tonight, so I’m sad they’re signing off so early (11 pm here in CTS). Certainly they did better than Wolf Blitzer at CNN.

*11:03 PM*

CNN is echoing the recount analysis of Fox News pointing out that last year in a Virginia statewide Attorney General race with more than 2 million votes cast, the recount found only a 27 vote discrepancy. Wow.

Like I said if Webb can win by more than 3000 votes I think we can count that a Dem pick up.

Remember if the final tally is a margin of 1% or less there is an automatic recount in Virginia.

*11:08 PM*

ABC News is saying 28 to 36 House seats for the Dems. Right on my prediction of +33 for the Demsl, even in the face of those last second numbers showing the Republicans might make a better contest of it.

That’s a good thing. In a country so clearly upset, it would be shameful if the victory was a tenative one. A 30+ gain during wartime is seriously not a huge historical victory, better than that has happened before and I’m glad it is happening tonight.

*11:12 PM*

The First Female Speaker

I’m hopeful. Nancy Pelosi is a whack job, but the Dem candidates who have forced this change in the House have been surprisingly moderate. Can they keep her in check?

*11:15 PM*

The vote count is done in Virginia! Webb is ahead by about 2300 votes!

Is that enough to call it for the Dems. I think it will hold up. I think the Democrats will win Virginia!

In other notes Nancy Pelosi is giving her kind’ve victory speech on CNN. “We need a new course in Iraq,” etc. At least they’re saying very open minded things like “Let us work together.”

Although no one is of course going to touch the Virginia race and we’re still waiting on Missouri, Tennessee (although I think that is Republican), and Montana but CNN is prognosticating that the Dems will control the Senate 51 – 49. They are not calling it, merely allowing talking heads to talk.

*11:22 PM*

Like I said, it looks like Bonilla will face a runoff,

Candidate Vote
Bonilla (R) 47%
Rodriguez (D) 21%
Uresti (D) 12%
Gilliland (D) 11%

That is with better than 70% of the vote in.

*11:28 PM*

The AP has called Tenn. for Corker (R). That’s something I did more than an hour ago. Fox News is still waiting (and you know if Fox News is waiting that CNN and ABC are waiting). All the network pundits are saying Mcaskill has the majority of the outstanding votes in Missouri and will win. On Fox News they seem to think that Tester will win Montana.

28% are in, in Montana and Tester is crushing Conrad.

*11:30 PM*

Fox News has called Tennessee for Corker. That one was leaning Republican in the polls coming down to the wire. It was a “bloody” campaign (both in the primary and during Corker versus Ford). Here’s the vote count:

Candidate Vote
Corker (R) 51%
Ford (D) 48%

That is with 95% in.

Fox News had a very notable observation in Virginia. In an “odd” practice Virginia counts the absentee ballots with the normal votes. So, there are no (or very few) outstanding absentee ballot in Virginia. That is something to keep in mind.

*11:36 PM*

George Allen is speaking on CNN. “Blah, blah, blah…I love my family…blah, blah, blah…thank you everyone….thank God…blah,blah,blah…”

Finally he gets to the good things: “And the election continues!”

“How important it is to get every vote in….we’re still counting votes…”

So, we go to a recount and Allen refuses to give up. I love how the Attorney General is at Allen’s campaign headquarters. I wonder if the Secretary of State (who will be in charge of the recount) is there as well.

“We’ll see you tomorrow to count the votes!”

But of course, imagining a 2300 – 2400 vote swing during a recount is a stretch. It would be a surprise. It is worth nothing that there is one county in Virginia that didn’t even finish their normal count! There is actually only 99.6% of the vote counted.

I still think that Jim Webb has won Virginia and will hold off in any recount. We’ll see.

*11:42 PM*

As the bouncing pundits said, Missouri is turning Democratic.

It is now basically tied (erasing a Talent lead) in Missouri.

Fox News just ventured into future politics and said that Rumsfield will step down without being “fired”.

*11:50 PM*

So, is there any hope for Allen? His campaign is claiming some sort of media adding problem. Apparently not however. Webb’s lead is probably at least 1800, there are less than 1% of all ballots to be counted, the absentee ballots have been counted.

Most political scientists, especially in regards to Virignia which actually has a stellar vote counting record, say that more than more than a 700 or 800 vote gain is nearly impossible in a modern American recount.

*11:56 PM*

Here’s the official Virginia SoS website with the Senate results.

Candidate Votes %
Webb 1148750 49.44%
Allen 1146952 49.36%

*12:10 AM*

In case you didn’t know Arnold has won in California. No big surprise, although early he looked very much like he was vulnerable. In the end he absolutely crushed his Dem opponent.

A quick look at Missouri where it is now clear that the major urban areas (including Kansas City) are the last to come in and are helping Mcacskill in her bid to unseat Republican Senator Talent.

Candidate Vote %
Mccaskill (D) 819895 50%
Talent (R) 804342 48%

That is with 81% reporting.

Tester considers with a considerable lead in Montana with better than 40% of the votes counted.

*12:16 AM*

Wow. I missed it but The Irish Trojan is reporting that Webb has claimed victory. I suppose that is no surprise, that is the right move but…how’d I miss that?

ā€œIā€™d like to say that I appreciate what Senator Allen said, that we have to respect the democratic process: we fight, we argue, then we vote, and we count the votes. But Iā€™d also like to say that the votes are in and we won.ā€

*12:18 AM*

I heard earlier today fear that Clinton’s massive campaigning would carry some of the upstate Republican House seats in New York for the Democrats. She certainly has a coattail but now it appears districts like the 26th and 29th are staying Republican.

That is just a tiny little gem of a present for Republican supporters.

*12:20 AM*

I fucking hate Shepherd Smith on Fox News. I hate him. He is a dumbass. Since he has taken over the anchor chair tonight all he’s said is “Well, now can the Democrats offer some solutions instead of just pointing out some problems?”

I’m not saying they didn’t win by just pointing out how Republicans had screwed up, rather than offer real solutions, but I mean com’n Shepherd could you be just a little less biased against the Dems.

*12:25 AM*

Who wants to call the Missouri Senate seat for the Dems? I do.

That is better than 80% of the vote in, a nice lead for Mcacskill, and a vote clearly trending for even a bigger lead for her (with so much Democratic territory in the state out).

*12:48 AM*

Conrad Burns is closing in on Tester in Montana. Fox News continues to predict (but not make an official call) that Burns will lose.

Fox News: “Bad News For Burns

*12:54 AM*

McCaskill is claiming victory in Missouri!

“We have heard the voice of the voters and they have said they want change…they have said they want a different set of priorities…they have also said they want to restore the luster of hte American dream…”

I called this one a while ago, and now clearly she thinks she has won. Not sure what other major media outlets believe she has won. Certainly not ABC, CNN, or Fox.

Wow, Montana polls in some parts are staying open for 4 more hours. Montana polls will stay open until 4 A.M. in parts of the state! There is obviously no chance the media outlets will call that race before all the polls close.

Fox News has Shepherd going off the air at 2 EST. Some no name is taking the anchor chair for the 1 AM shift.

*1:00 AM*

I am heading off to bed. I feel comfortable predicting a Dem pick up in Montana. The current Montana Senate vote count stands at:

Candidate Vote %
Tester (D) 124395 51%
Burns (R) 114687 47%

It would not be surprising to see a 30+ Democratic gain in the House. There are probably about 25 or so major outstanding House seats (some we won’t know until recounts).

Jim Talent is conceding in Missouri. Still CNN will not call it. They’re talking about it looking like 2000 and having to wait weeks and weeks to know who controls the Senate. What a bunch of baloney…

I am telling you, unless there are a bunch of outstanding votes in Virginia Webb will win that recount. And I have no idea what they’re talking about on CNN about a recount in Missouri, McCaskill leads by 30,000+ votes and Talent is conceding. If Montana keeps up its trend for Tester, then the Dems WILL control the Senate, you can put that in your pipe and smoke it even before the Virginia recount finishes.

*1:09 AM*

Fox News has called the Missouri race for McCaskill. Here are the vote counts from CNN.

As Fox News has been reporting all night – the rural areas of Missouri count their votes early (they each only have a small number of votes) and so those votes come in early and make the Republican look like s/he is winning, but when the urban precincts finally come in Democratic the campaign swings.