We’re seeing some interesting races in the US Senate. Alexi Giannoulias is up by about 100,000 votes in Illinois with half the vote in. Joe Sestak is up by a similar amount with half the vote in. Michael Bennet has 50,000 votes up on Joe Buck in Colorado with a quarter of the vote in. Russ Feingold is behind with 12% in, but Democrats are hopeful based on the exit polls. Right now Republicans have picked up three seats in the Senate, but there aren’t any other obvious victories out there for them. They could eventually go the GOP’s way, but right now they’re all nailbiters.
Meanwhile, in the House, it’s a bloodbath. A Democratic loss of 60 seats is seen as the middle of the projections. It could go higher. Republicans are sweeping the close races in many states.
So how to reconcile this?
I’d say that the Senate candidates got all the attention. Outside of a guy wearing a Nazi suit, there were very few Republican House candidates that got any exposure nationally, although obviously it was a different story locally. The Senate races, by contrast, got a huge bit of scrutiny. And there you have it. When voters really took a look at some high-profile candidates, they split their vote. When they just put up a D versus an R, they went for the R.
Maybe too simplistic a reading, but that’s what I’m looking at right now.
[Ed Note: Russ Feingold has lost his bid for re-election.]