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Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy Wins Re-Election

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy Wins Re-Election

(L) FEMA (R) Ct State Dept(HARTFORD, Conn.) -- Democratic Gov. Dannell Malloy has fended off a tough challenge from Republican candidate Tom Foley. As of Wednesday afternoon with just over 96-percent of precincts reporting, Malloy had just over 50-percent of the vote to Foley’s 48-percent. Malloy also leads Foley with over 23,000 votes. Foley conceded the race Wednesday afternoon. In the concession speech posted on his website, Foley did not congratulate his opponent, but made clear he will not contest the results.The race was a re-match, as the two faced off in 2010, but back then Malloy only beat Foley by about 6,000 votes.

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Nine Republicans Who Could Shake Up Things in the New Congress

Nine Republicans Who Could Shake Up Things in the New Congress

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- There are a lot of new Republicans headed to Congress next year, but some members of the largest GOP wave since the Hoover administration stick out more than others.Here are some of the newly minted senators and members of Congress likely to shake things up at the Capitol:JONI ERNST, Senator-Elect, Iowa

Joni Ernst is a hog-castrating, Harley-riding Sunday school teacher, and her next stop is the U.S. Senate. Ernst, 44, catapulted to national stardom when she released an ad titled “Squeal,” in which she described castrating hogs. It was a theme she carried throughout the campaign, all the way to election night.“We did it, from the biscuit line at Hardee’s to the United States Senate,” Ernst, an Iowa state senator, said as she declared victory Tuesday evening. "We are going to make them squeal.”Ernst will be the first female ever to represent Iowa in the Senate and will add to the post-9/11 generation of veterans serving in the Senate. She will likely play an influential role in the 2016 presidential race, as would-be candidates try to court her before the first-in-the-nation caucuses.TOM COTTON, Senator-Elect, ArkansasTom Cotton has experienced a meteoric rise in the Republican Party, serving just one term in the House of Representatives before being elected to the U.S. Senate.At the age of 37, Cotton, who holds two Harvard degrees, will be the youngest lawmaker to serve in the next U.S. Senate come January. Throughout his campaign, Cotton touted his experience in Iraq and Afghanistan as preparing him to deal with national security issues, like the threats posed by ISIS.CORY GARDNER, Senator-Elect, ColoradoCory Gardner, a 40-year-old congressman, defeated Democratic Sen. Mark Udall Tuesday partly by billing himself as a new generation of Republican lawmaker.He supports alternative energy along with over-the-counter birth control, which helped him fend of Democrats’ attacks against his record on women’s health, and is seen as one of his party’s rising stars.

BEN SASSE, Senator-Elect, NebraskaWhile Nebraska’s newest Republican senator has never held elected office, Ben Sasse, 43, is no political rookie.Sasse most recently served as president of Midland University, a small Lutheran college near Omaha, but has also worked in Congress and served in the second Bush administration. Outside the political ring, he wrestled in college at Harvard University and played (American) football at Oxford University, where he did graduate work.ELISE STEFANIK, Member-Elect, New York

Elise Stefanik, 30, is the youngest women to be elected to Congress in history, and the first Republican to win her upstate New York district.She’s a familiar figure in Washington GOP circles: Stefanik served on President George W. Bush’s Domestic Policy Council and worked in the office of chief of staff Josh Bolten. In 2012, she helped craft the party’s platform and prepare Rep. Paul Ryan prepare for his vice presidential debates.MIA LOVE, Member-Elect, UtahMia Love, 38, became the first female African-American Republican in Congress Tuesday. The former mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, unsuccessfully ran for Utah’s Fourth Congressional District in 2012, but will now represent the district, and a new generation of Republican lawmakers, in Washington.THOM TILLIS, Senator-Elect, North CarolinaThom Tillis, 54, was one of the Republican Party’s prized recruits, and delivered for the GOP by flipping the sixth Democratic seat to give Republicans control of the Senate.In just eight years, he has gone from city councilor in suburban Charlotte to U.S. senator, making waves in Raleigh along the way for leading a conservative shift in North Carolina’s historically moderate state politicsDAVID PERDUE, Senator-Elect, GeorgiaAs a white, Southern, male businessman, Perdue may look like a cookie-cutter Republican senator, but he’ll likely stand out from the crowd. A businessman with experience in overseas manufacturing, Perdue won an intensely negative race in which his Democratic opponent, Michelle Nunn, ran the Obama-vs.-Romney playbook and hammered him for “outsourcing.”Perdue’s role in the Senate will get most interesting when it comes to immigration. Perdue fought viciously with fellow Republicans in a primary and a runoff over who really supports “amnesty,” but while Perdue plainly says he’s opposed, he’s also signaled a willingness to at least talk about comprehensive reform after border-security measures are passed.Unlike some of his Republican Senate brethren, Perdue won’t be beholden to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- the most powerful business lobbying group in the country -- because they made enemies of each other during a bad meeting early on in the campaign, and the Chamber backed one of his primary opponents. Somewhat ironic for the Senate’s newest businessman.LEE ZELDIN, Member-Elect, New YorkOf all the competitive House races on Election Day, Lee Zeldin’s victory in New York’s 1st congressional district on Long Island stands out above the rest.

“Victory is sweet,” Zeldin, 34, proclaimed during his victory speech Tuesday night, six years after he was handily defeated in his first bid for the House of Representatives.Today, Zeldin is a 10-point winner, holding his opponent to just 45 percent of the vote while carrying 55 percent of the tally himself.

“We can’t change Washington unless we change who we send there to represent us,” Zeldin, who will become the only Jewish House Republican in the 114th Congress, told his supporters. “That’s what you did tonight.”

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Election Results 2014: Here Are the Key Races That Are Still Too Close to Project

Election Results 2014: Here Are the Key Races That Are Still Too Close to Project

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Voters in states across the nation handed Republicans control of the U.S. Senate on Election Day 2014, strengthened their majority control of the House of Representatives and also made a strong showing in gubernatorial races.But several key contests remain undecided as of Wednesday morning, and may not be resolved for some time, even sparking talk of recounts in some states and districts. Here’s a roundup of the races that have truly come down to the wire.Alaska -- SenatePolls closed early Wednesday morning, but the outcome of the Alaska Senate race could be unclear for days because of slow ballot-counting procedures in far-flung communities. First elected to the Senate the same year as Barack Obama won the presidency, Democratic Sen. Mark Begich is fighting to secure a second term in the U.S. Senate in a year when three of his Democratic colleagues lost their seats. He’s opposed by Republican Dan Sullivan, the state’s former attorney general and a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. As of Wednesday morning, Sullivan leads Begich, 110,203 votes to 102,054.Democrats are banking on their strong ground game in distant areas to help Begich keep his seat, but Republicans hope Sullivan’s efforts to link Begich to Obama will help him win another seat for the GOP. Over the weekend, Sen. Ted Cruz and former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney swooped into the state to help Sullivan shore up support among the conservative base. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Sullivan leads Begich by just over 8,000, votes, but the race has yet to be projected.Virginia -- SenateThe Virginia Senate race between Sen. Mark Warner and Republican candidate Ed Gillespie was expected to be a bright spot in an otherwise bleak night for Democrats. But even one of the most favorable races for the president’s party ended much tighter than anticipated, with a recount all but certain. As of Wednesday morning, Warner leads Gillespie by just 12,150 votes, or roughly half a percentage point of the electorate: 49.1 percent to 48.6.The race was one of several where third-party candidates received single-digit support that could have decided the contest: Robert Sarvis, a Libertarian, received 2.5 percent of the vote. While the race was too close for ABC News to project a winner, Warner declared victory by midnight on Election Night. “It was a hard-fought race. It went a little longer than we thought,” Warner told supporters. “I want to congratulate Ed Gillespie. He ran a hard fought campaign.” Gillespie has not conceded, and can request a recount under Virginia law, as the difference between the two candidates is less than 1 percent of the total votes cast. Brian W. Schoeneman, Fairfax County Electoral Board secretary, said such a count is possible. “We’re in recount territory,” he said.Colorado -- GovernorIncumbent Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper remains locked in a tight race with his Republican challenger, rancher and banker Bob Beauprez. As of Wednesday morning, Hickenlooper leads Beauprez 902,991 to 880,727 votes. Hickenlooper faced criticism from liberals and conservatives for his positions on the death penalty and gun control, though he did enjoy an improved economy under his tenure. Unemployment has fallen to 4.7 percent, down from 9.1 percent when he took office. Beauprez, a two-term U.S. congressman, first ran for governor unsuccessfully in 2006. Beauprez’s stance on key social issues has been in the limelight this campaign cycle. The Republican says he anti-abortion personally, although he did not support a “personhood” referendum that was on the ballot in the state this year.Arizona -- Second Congressional DistrictPossibly the most competitive House race this election between Democratic Rep. Ron Barber and Former Air Force Col. Martha McSally, a Republican, remains in play. As of Wednesday morning, the race is a 50 percent to 50 percent tie, with McSally holding a slim 36-vote lead. This race looked much like the duo’s 2012 faceoff, which was similarly tossup-race tight, when the victor, Barber, was declared 12 days after Election Day. The congressman squeaked by with fewer than 2,500 votes more than McSally to win in that race. The race likely will not be called until a full count of all absentee and early voting ballots are complete, an arduous, meticulous task given how few votes separated the two in 2012.Arizona -- First Congressional DistrictIn neighboring Arizona district one, Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick and Arizona’s Republican Speaker of the House Andy Tobin are also still waiting for the final call to be made in their race. Kirkpatrick holds a several thousand vote lead as of Wednesday morning. The congresswoman was identified early on as a top Democratic incumbent Republicans were targeting in the House, and was hit throughout with aggressive ads including one by the National Republican Congressional Committee that suggested her relax view on border security left the state’s border vulnerable to ISIS invasion. In the past few weeks, top pollsters predicted that her prospects for staying in office were dimmer than ever. In 2010, Kirkpatrick was ousted from the seat in the sweeping Tea Party wave that midterm after serving just one term.California -- 52nd Congressional DistrictIt still remains unknown whether scandal-stricken former San Diego City Councilman and openly gay Republican Carl DeMaio was able to beat incumbent Rep. Scott Peters after a House race marked by nasty attack ads, allegations of sexual assault, and a mysterious campaign headquarters break-in. The race was razor thin as of Wednesday morning. DeMaio leads, slightly with 72,431 votes compared with Peters, who won 71,679 votes.

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Marijuana, Minimum Wage and Abortion: How Tuesday’s Key Ballot Measures Did

Marijuana, Minimum Wage and Abortion: How Tuesday’s Key Ballot Measures Did

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Voters across the country opted for change, not just in their representatives but on ballot issues that included legalizing marijuana, raising the minimum wage -- which passed everywhere it showed up on a ballot -- and tighter controls on gun sales.VICTORIESALASKA – MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION This is the second time in recent years that Alaskans voted on legalizing marijuana. The last attempt in 2004 failed 44 percent to 55 percent. Having legalized marijuana this year, Alaskans can expect Snoop Dogg to perform for them sometime soon. He promised a concert in Alaska if they passed Measure 2.OREGON – MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION Oregon becomes the fourth state with full marijuana legalization, after Colorado and Washington last year, and joining Alaska Tuesday night. This also happens to be the third time Oregonians voted on pot legalization in their state, having rejected the ballot initiatives in 2012 and 2010. One of the reasons this attempt was successful may have been that voters aged 30-44 turned out at a slightly higher rate than those 65 or older. Residents will be able to possess eight ounces of marijuana at home and one ounce in public. But it won’t go into effect overnight: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will have until Jan. 1, 2016 to implement all necessary rules and procedures necessary to regulating marijuana in the state.WASHINGTON, D.C. – MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION Revelers celebrating the passage of Initiative 71 which legalizes pot possession should hold off on smoking in the streets -- this is far from over. Any law passed in Washington, D.C., including by ballot initiative, is subject to a Congressional review period and already one member of Congress, Republican Andy Harris of Maryland, has pledged to work to overturn it. And now that the Senate has turned red, Congress can more easily overturn the D.C. vote. Pot sellers should also probably lay low for a while. I-71 does not regulate the sale of marijuana, which means it’s technically still illegal to sell weed, even if obtaining it isn’t -- another aspect of the measure that the city council might try to fix legislatively.MINIMUM WAGE – Arkansas, Alaska, Nebraska, South Dakota Minimum wage measures are consistently popular with voters. In 2006, all seven measures on ballots around the country passed, as did a 2013 measure in New Jersey. So it’s no surprise that voters supported raising the minimum wage in all four states where that question was on the ballot this year. A fifth state, Illinois, also passed a minimum wage ballot, but that was only a way for voters to express their personal preference and was non-binding.WASHINGTON – GUN CONTROL A ballot measure that would mandate background checks on gun show buyers and online sales passed handily, while a dueling measure that would have prevented the expansion of background checks failed. Had both gotten a majority "yes" vote, the state supreme court would have likely had to work out the legal implications.DEFEATS

FLORIDA – MEDICAL MARIJUANA Florida needed to clear 60 percent for this constitutional amendment to pass and it came close with 58 percent, but no cigar (or…joint?) Obviously, it was a tougher sell because of that high bar. Also, the anti-medical marijuana camp spent most of the $4.7 million in TV ads that featured in the Sunshine State, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of Kantar Media/CMAG advertising data in late October. Plus, voters 45 and older far outnumbered younger voters, who were more likely to support broad medical marijuana legalization. There is already a more limited medical marijuana law on the books in Florida. This amendment would have broadened the number of types of legal medical marijuana.COLORADO – PERSONHOOD This is the third time a personhood amendment in Colorado has failed since 2008. But this is the closest it’s ever come to passing with 37 percent of voters choosing “yes.” If it had passed, the implications for abortion in the state weren’t explicitly spelled out but could have been potentially far-reaching: it would have given legal rights to all unborn fetuses, meaning it wouldn’t have banned any type of abortion outright but would have given anti-abortion activists a way to accuse anyone having an abortion of murder.

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Wants to Take a Nap

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Wants to Take a Nap

ABC/ LOU ROCCO(NEW YORK) — Presidential prospects? New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is more worried about getting some shut-eye.“I haven’t had time to think about [2016]. I’m on two hours sleep, so fair to say, what I’m looking for is a nap,” Christie said in an interview Wednesday with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America.Christie, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, lauded the quality of the GOP’s candidates in Tuesday’s races. Republicans seized control of the Senate by gaining at least seven seats, and also made a strong showing in gubernatorial races, winning in Maryland, Arkansas, Illinois and Massachusetts.“The president took a beating last night, and the fact is, you’ve got to sit down then with the folks on the other side and say to them, ‘OK, let’s see what we can agree on together.’ And I think the president needs to lead. I’ve been urging him to do that for years. He needs to lead and work with these folks now,” Christie, 52, said.The lead-up to Election Day gave Christie a chance to travel across the country, increasing his national presence. But he declined to discuss his interest in running for president in 2016.

Other potential Republican candidates include Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

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Five Winners and Losers from the Midterm Elections

Five Winners and Losers from the Midterm Elections

(NEW YORK) — On a night when Republicans took over the Senate and Democrats experienced even more losses than they were originally expecting, some of the longer-term winners and losers were people who didn't have their name on a ballot.Fortuitous fundraising and a focus on presidential prospects helped a few Republicans on Tuesday, while two candidates who tried to game the system -- by physically moving to another state in one race and moving to a new political party for another -- didn't work out for them in the end.

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WINNERSMitch McConnellNot only was Mitch McConnell able to hold onto his job as Senator from Kentucky, but now he gets a promotion as well after Republicans were able to tilt the balance of power in the Senate.Chris ChristieThe tough-talking New Jersey governor wasn't listed on any ballots this year but, because of his role as the head of the Republican Governor's Association, he increased his national presence and has the results to prove it. With some races left to call, at least 21 of the 34 candidates that he stumped for ended up winning.Scott WalkerAfter keeping his post as Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker has essentially shown his critics that his constituents are fans of his attempts to break unions. This also secured his spot as a top Republican presidential contender.House RepublicansWhile the Senate was the center of most analysts' attention during the race, Republicans in the House also had a good night because now their majority is even stronger than before.Kay HaganThe incumbent Democratic Senator no longer has a job, but she also lost her job in the most expensive race of the entire election. The cumulative fight between Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis is estimated to have cost more than $1 million.LOSERSPresident ObamaMany are casting these midterms as a referendum on President Obama's policies and a general reflection on Americans' general displeasure with this administration. His low approval ratings and attempts by candidates to distance themselves meant that the president tried to steer clear of the campaign trail for much of the lead up to the election, but he still ended up being the biggest loser on Tuesday night.Harry ReidThe Nevada Senator did not have a race to run himself but -- because of how the other races played out -- ended up losing a title out. Reid will have to hand over the Majority Leader mantle to McConnell.Charlie CristThe fan behind his podium wasn't enough to keep his campaign cool, as Charlie Crist now has the distinct honor of being considered a loser for each political party. He started his political career as a Republican, but decided to rebrand himself an Independent when Marco Rubio beat him in the 2010 Senate race. His time as an Independent didn't work that well either, so he registered as a Democrat in 2012. He lost as a Democrat on Tuesday.Scott BrownThough he never switched parties, former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown did try running in another state this time around, but that didn't turn out too well. Brown, who has had a summer home in New Hampshire for years, lost that state's race against incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen.Martha CoakleyThe former Massachusetts Attorney General isn't going to be able to lose her unfortunate nickname (of "Choakley") after Tuesday's race. She was first appointed to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat after he died, but then was beaten by Scott Brown in a special election. This time around, her former foe had moved up north in hopes of friendlier folk in New Hampshire, but that didn't help her new gubernatorial cause as she still ended up losing this race to Republican Charlie Baker.

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Senate Leadership Elections Next Week

Senate Leadership Elections Next Week

(WASHINGTON) -- Senate leadership elections will be held on Nov. 13, an aide to Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky said.Following Tuesday's elections, next week's vote will allow the parties to choose their leaders, with most expecting that McConnell, the current Senate minority leader, will be chosen for the majority leader position.

Harry Reid has been the party leader for the Democrats since 2005, though he'd need support from his party next week to take the Senate minority leader role starting in January.The full Senate is scheduled to return on Wednesday, Nov. 12.

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Midterm Election 2014 Results: GOP Takes Stronger Grip on the House

Midterm Election 2014 Results: GOP Takes Stronger Grip on the House

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Republicans have strengthened their majority control of the House of Representatives. Now, the only question remaining is how big that majority will grow.As of 12:30 a.m. ET, ABC News had projected that Republicans had won 239 seats in the House to 180 for Democrats, which already gives the GOP a stronger hold than they had in the previous Congress, when they had a 34-seat majority. ABC News projected that by the time the night is over, Republicans will have gained between 14 and 18 seats in the House.While majority control of the Senate has been the primary point of discussion through the midterm elections, President Obama could face the largest House majority since the Great Depression if Republicans win a net gain of 13 seats in the lower chamber in Tuesday's elections.With House Republicans adding to their current 34-seat majority, it will possibly diminish some of the power of a conservative wing of lawmakers who have challenged House Speaker John Boehner's leadership on issues like health care, immigration reform and government spending.After voting in West Chester, Ohio, Tuesday morning, Boehner told reporters he feels good about the GOP's chances to not only add to his majority, but also pick up the Senate majority."We've listened to the American people," Boehner said. "We've kept our focus on the economy and jobs nonstop. I think the voters in America today are going to send a very clear message to the president and Democrats in Washington that the American people want us to focus on their priorities, not Washington's priorities."Although some conservative candidates have been reluctant to publicly declare whether they would vote to elect Boehner as House speaker, his hold on the leadership post should grow after spending the past three months campaigning across the country, winning over the favor of many grateful Republicans.Even a modest electoral wave could hand Republicans their largest House majority in decades. Republicans have set a goal of 245, exceeding the 242 seats they held after the Tea Party wave of 2010. Republicans in the 80th Congress held 246 seats during President Harry Truman's administration, but if the GOP can pick up 13 or more seats, President Obama will face the largest class of House Republicans since the 71st Congress was sworn in January 1929, when the GOP had 270 seats, during the Hoover administration.

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Election Results 2014: Republicans Take Control of Governorships in MD, AR, IL, MA

Election Results 2014: Republicans Take Control of Governorships in MD, AR, IL, MA

(WASHINGTON) -- Republicans, having taken control of the Senate and built on their House majority, also made a strong showing in gubernatorial races around the country on Tuesday. GOP candidates in Maryland, Arkansas, Illinois and Massachusetts all took control of governor's seats that were previously held by Democrats. The only upset Democrats were able to pull off was in Pennsylvania.MarylandIn a major upset, Republican candidate for Maryland governor Larry Hogan is now projected to win the state’s highest office, according to ABC News. Hogan, a businessman, will replace outgoing Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley, representing a party switch for the state. In the last 45 years in the state, Robert Ehrlich Jr. was the only Republican to serve as governor and for only one term from 2003-2007.MassachusettsMassachusetts’s highest office is now projected to switched party hands again. According to ABC News, Republican Charlie Baker will likely defeat Democrat Martha Coakley, and take over for outgoing Deval Patrick, a Democrat. The last serving Republican governor in the state was Mitt Romney, who was elected in 2002. Baker is a Massachusetts native from Needham, just outside Boston. He ran on a centrist platform, highlighting his previous business and management experience as both a former healthcare CEO and former Secretary of Administration and Finance under Governors Weld and Cellucci in the early 1990s. Coakley, a two-term attorney general, also lost a statewide race for Senate in 2010 to Republican Scott Brown. Coakley and Baker came down on opposite sides of several key initiatives on the Massachusetts ballot this year, including a repeal of an incremental gas tax increase, a 5 cent plastic bottle deposit, and expanded requirements for paid sick leave.VermontIn a surprising development, neither incumbent Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin, the chair of the Democratic Governors Association, nor Republican challenger Scott Milne in Vermont is projected to reach the 50 percent needed to win the election. The race will now likely be decided by the state legislature, which is currently controlled by the Democrats.Shumlin was expected to win the election handily, coming in with a much stronger donor base and name recognition. According to the latest campaign finance report, Shumlin raised four times as much money as Milne. Polling throughout the election had Shumlin consistently ahead by a wide margin -- the latest poll by CBS/NYT/YouGov showed Shumlin with a 12-point lead. The day that Milne filed his candidacy for the governorship of the Green Mountain State, he put his chances of winning the election at 1 percent. Milne has never held elected office and is the president of his family-owned business, Milne Travel. Shumlin is seeking his third two-year term, as there is no term limit in the state.MaineDespite heavy storms and power outages across the state Tuesday, Mainers have voted and ABC News is projecting that the blunt and sometimes inflammatory Republican Gov. Paul LePage will win a second term. LePage faced a tough race with two challengers: Democratic candidate Mike Michaud and Independent Eliot Cutler. Culter was polling around 10 percent heading into Election Day and may have siphoned off enough votes from Michaud to help LePage secure a victory. In 2010, LePage won with only 38 percent of the vote. He faced tough criticism during the majority of his first term after making some large tax cuts.FloridaBased on ABC's analysis of the vote so far, Republican Gov. Rick Scott is projected to fend off a tough challenge from Democratic candidate Charlie Crist. In a brutal and expensive campaign that will likely be remembered for how unpopular both candidates emerged from it, Scott defeated his Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat opponent Crist, ABC News projects.Crist attempted to seize on Scott’s sagging poll numbers in the state, while Scott looked to paint Crist as a candidate who would take any position just to get a vote. One of the more memorable exchanges between the two came when Scott refused to debate for nearly 10 minutes over a fan that was set up below Crist’s podium. Carlos Lopez-Cantera will stay on as Scott’s lieutenant Governor.IllinoisABC News can project that Republican Bruce Rauner has defeated Democratic incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn, in a campaign that doubled fundraising records in President Barack Obama’s home state. Rauner threw millions of his own fortune into the race, running as a socially moderate anti-corruption businessman.GeorgiaGeorgia Republican Gov. Nathan Deal is now projected to secure a second term and defeat Democratic challenger Jason Carter, in a race that was neck-and-neck heading into Election Day. Deal suffered from low approval ratings for most of his first term after facing ethical investigations related to campaign finance rules. Carter, grandson of former President Jimmy Carter and a former state senator, was able to run a successful campaign and kept the race exciting until the end. He pitched himself as a defender of the middle class.WisconsinIn one of the most closely watched races of the midterm election, Wisconsin incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker defeated Democratic challenger Mary Burke, ABC News reports.Walker, a possible contender for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, wins his third gubernatorial election in four years -- becoming the first governor to achieve the feat in U.S. history.On Oct. 28 in Milwaukee, President Obama made a rare campaign appearance with Burke, a former business executive and commerce secretary under former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle. Her loss is a major disappointment for state and national Democrats, who were hoping to take Walker out of the 2016 presidential conversation before it began.TexasThe gubernatorial race in Texas has also made national headlines. The race to replace Republican Gov. Rick Perry was thrust into the national spotlight after Democrat Wendy Davis emerged as a star after her 11-hour filibuster to block an anti-abortion bill last summer. However, ABC News projects that the highest office in the Lone Star state will stay in Republican hands with Greg Abbott.From the beginning, Davis faced a long uphill climb. The Lone Star state hasn't elected a Democratic governor since 1990, and Abbott made a name for himself among conservatives after battling to the Supreme Court to keep the Ten Commandments on display on the grounds of the State Capitol complex in Austin.PennsylvaniaDemocrats have already enjoyed one major upset in Pennsylvania. Democrat Tom Wolf is projected to beat incumbent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in an historic election. In 40 years, since the state started permitting two gubernatorial terms, no sitting governor seeking re-election had been defeated before Tuesday night.Corbett was understood to be one of the most vulnerable governors this campaign season. He spent most of his term facing strong opposition to his dramatic cuts in the state's education budget and faced a gap in charisma and likeability compared to Wolf.ArkansasRepublicans have also netted one party switch. Republican Asa Hutchinson is projected to beat Democratic candidate Mike Ross, and take over from outgoing Democrat Mike Beebe in Arkansas.ABC News will be keeping track of all of the key gubernatorial races and more throughout the evening. Check back for updates.

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott Projected to Win Re-Election

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Projected to Win Re-Election

(L)(C) OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR (R) WYLLIE FOR GOVERNOR(WASHINGTON) -- Based on ABC News' analysis of the vote so far, Republican Gov. Rick Scott is projected to successfully fend off his tough challenge from Democratic candidate Charlie Crist.

In a brutal and expensive campaign that will likely be remembered for how unpopular both candidates emerged from it, Scott defeated his Republican-turned-independent-turned-liberal opponent Crist, ABC New projects. Crist attempted to seize on Scott’s sagging poll numbers in the state, while Scott looked to paint Crist as a candidate who would take any position just to get a vote.

One of the more memorable exchanges between the two came when Scott refused to debate for nearly 10 minutes over a fan that was set up below Crist’s podium.

Carlos Lopez-Cantera will stay on as Scott’s lieutenant governor. 

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Senate Elections 2014: Republicans Seize Control of Senate

Senate Elections 2014: Republicans Seize Control of Senate

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Republicans handed a major defeat to President Obama and Senate Democrats on Tuesday night when they seized control of the Senate by flipping at least seven seats from the Democratic to the GOP column.Republicans secured victory in seven states where Democrats currently hold seats -– Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia. Three incumbent Democratic senators lost their seats – Sens. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Mark Udall, D-Colo.Iowa and West Virginia elected their first female senators -- Joni Ernst and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, respectively.Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell won re-election in Kentucky, putting him one step closer to becoming Senate Majority Leader next year. Current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid congratulated McConnell on the Republican win."I'd like to congratulate Senator McConnell, who will be the new Senate Majority Leader,” Reid said. “The message from voters is clear: they want us to work together. I look forward to working with Senator McConnell to get things done for the middle class."Louisiana will go to a Dec. 6 run-off between Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy.Throughout the election cycle, Republicans tried to turn the campaign into a referendum on President Obama, tying their Democratic opponents to the unpopular president in campaign ads and stump speeches.Exit polls found nearly two thirds of voters nationwide said the country is heading down the wrong track with over half of voters disapproving of President Obama. Half of voters expect life for the next generation of Americans to be worse, the largest number to say so in exit polls since 1996.While a majority of voters expressed dissatisfaction or anger towards the Obama administration, just as many said they were dissatisfied or angry with Republican leaders in Congress.

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Thom Tillis Projected to Defeat Kay Hagan in North Carolina

Thom Tillis Projected to Defeat Kay Hagan in North Carolina

(L) US SENATE / (C) NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY / (R) SEAN HAUGH FOR SENATE(WASHINGTON) -- Based on exit polls and analysis of the vote in so far, ABC News projects that state House Speaker Thom Tillis will defeat Sen. Kay Hagan in a race Democrats hoped would be a bright spot on Election Night. Hagan’s seat is the seventh to flip to Republican control this cycle, padding the GOP’s new majority.Hagan, who entered office with the help of President Obama’s coalition of support in 2008, did not receive the margins of support she needed from urban voters in Charlotte and Greensboro to counter Republican turnout in rural parts of the state. Both candidates ran intensely negative campaigns. Tillis, like Republicans across the map, depicted Hagan as a rubber stamp for President Obama and criticized her for missed congressional hearings and personally benefiting from federal stimulus money through a company owned by her husband. Democrats localized the race, accusing Tillis of leading a conservative state legislature responsible for cutting public education funding and denying equal pay to women. The candidates, parties and outside groups spent more than $100 million on the race, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, making it the most expensive Senate race in U.S. history.

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Pat Roberts Projected to Defeat Greg Orman in Kansas Senate Race

Pat Roberts Projected to Defeat Greg Orman in Kansas Senate Race

(L) OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY, SHAWNEE / (C) US SENATE / (R) ORMAN FOR SENATE(WASHINGTON) -- Based on analysis of the vote in so far, ABC News has projected Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., will win the Kansas Senate race Tuesday night despite a strong last-minute push from independent Greg Orman. Republicans needed to hold on to the seat in order to gain control of the Senate. The fate of Roberts’ Senate seat came into question when Democrat Chad Taylor dropped out of the Senate race in September, paving the way for Orman to jump in the polls.  Roberts, who has represented Kansas in Washington, D.C. since 1981, faced setbacks in the campaign over questions about his residency as well as concern from conservative voters about his track record in Washington, D.C.Orman, a little-known businessman, had declined to say which party he would caucus with should he win the Senate seat, but Republicans suspected he would align himself with Senate Democrats.

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Perdue Holds Off Nunn in Georgia Senate Battle

Perdue Holds Off Nunn in Georgia Senate Battle

(L) NATIONALSERVICE.GOV / (C) PERDUE FOR SENATE / (R) SWAFFORD FOR SENATE(WASHINGTON) -- Based on preliminary exit poll data, ABC News can project that Republican David Perdue, a former CEO of Reebok and Dollar General, won the Georgia Senate race, clearing the 50-percent threshold needed to avoid a January runoff.  He bested Democrat Michelle Nunn, daughter of well-known former Sen. Sam Nunn, and Amanda Swafford, the Libertarian candidate who could have acted as a spoiler in the race. Throughout the campaign, Perdue touted his business experience on the trail, but faced criticism after a leaked deposition showed he said he spent most of his career outsourcing jobs abroad. Perdue will replace outgoing Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

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“American Idol’s” Clay Aiken Loses North Carolina House Bid

“American Idol’s” Clay Aiken Loses North Carolina House Bid

Jeffrey A. Camarati/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- No longer “Invisible” as he once lamented in a hit single, 2003 American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken won’t be adding a congressional seat to his resume. Insisting he’s hung his hat up from the music business -- shy of a spontaneous breakout in song on the campaign trail -- the former crooner reportedly decided to run against Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers in North Carolina to combat deep disenchantment with Congress both in his district and across the country.With 97 percent of votes counted and with a margin of 59-41, ABC News projects Ellmers will return to Congress after this year’s lame-duck session comes to a close. Aiken was not able to reverse the tides in the district where Ellmers dethroned seven-term Democratic incumbent Bob Etheridge in 2010.

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Gardner Projected to Defeat Udall in Colorado Senate Race

Gardner Projected to Defeat Udall in Colorado Senate Race

(L) US SENATE / (C) US CONGRESS / (R) SHOGAN FOR SENATE(WASHINGTON) -- Based on analysis of the vote in so far, ABC News projects that Rep. Cory Gardner, a rising Republican star, has defeated Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado, where universal mail-in ballots and a large bloc of Hispanic voters added uncertainty to one of the tightest Senate races in the country. Udall, the son of the late Arizona Congressman Mo Udall, lost control of the race this fall amidst criticism that his campaign focused too closely on Gardner’s past positions on women’s health.In March, Gardner said he no longer supported personhood amendments, which doctors say would limit access to birth control and make abortions illegal. He later voiced support for over-the-counter birth control.Nearly half of all ads in the race mentioned abortion, according to CMAG/Kantar Media, which tracks television ad spending. Though more Republicans returned ballots than Democrats in the final days of the race, Democrats -- whose get-out-the-vote operation in 2010 powered Sen. Michael Bennet to a narrow victory and served as the blueprint for their national operation this year -- were optimistic they could make up the difference.

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Gov. Scott Walker Projected to Win in Wisconsin

Gov. Scott Walker Projected to Win in Wisconsin

(L) BURKE FOR GOVERNOR (R) WALKER FOR GOVERNER(WASHINGTON) -- In one of the most closely watched races of the midterm election, Wisconsin incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker has defeated Democratic challenger Mary Burke, ABC News projects.Walker, a possible contender for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, wins his third gubernatorial election in four years -- becoming the first governor to achieve the feat in U.S. history. On Oct. 28 in Milwaukee, President Obama made a rare campaign appearance with Burke, a former business executive and commerce secretary under former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle. Her loss is a major disappointment for state and national Democrats, who were hoping to take Walker out of the 2016 presidential conversation before it began.

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Facebook Posts Show What Voters Think About 2016 Presidential Candidates

Facebook Posts Show What Voters Think About 2016 Presidential Candidates

Scott Olsen / Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If you were looking for a respite from politics after hitting the polls on Tuesday, no such luck.Facebook has been interpreting users' posts from Tuesday as a way to read the presidential tea leaves for 2016.Hillary Clinton, widely seen as the likely Democratic presidential candidate, received largely positive mentions, with 59 percent of the comments about her being favorable, while 39 percent were negative and 3 percent were neutral.The former secretary of state dominated the Democratic conversation, with more than four times the mentions than her most likely Democratic opponent, Vice President Joe Biden.The Republican field was more evenly split between three of the most likely candidates -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.Of the trio, Paul had the highest favorability, with 60 percent of his mentions being positive as compared to only 37 percent negative.Bush, the son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother of former President George W. Bush, had more negative comments -- 50 percent -- compared to his positive mentions -- 46 percent.Christie had the closest split, with 46 percent of his mentions falling into the negative category and 45 percent being considered favorable. The remainder for each (8 percent for Christie, 5 percent for Bush and 4 percent for Paul) were all deemed neutral.This year's midterms mark the first elections in which Facebook has actively analyzed political chatter in real time to see how users were reacting, let alone how they were relating Tuesday's votes to their possible votes two years from now.

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Republican Steve Daines Projected to Win Montana Senate Race

Republican Steve Daines Projected to Win Montana Senate Race

(L) STATE OF MONTANA / (R) US CONGRESS (WASHINGTON) -- Based on exit polls and analysis of the vote in so far, ABC News projects that Republican Congressman and businessman Steve Daines will win the Montana Senate race against state Rep. Amanda Curtis. Republicans were widely expected to pick up the seat held by Democratic Sen. John Walsh, and have now flipped four Democratic seats. Walsh, a former lieutenant governor and retired National Guard colonel, bowed out of the race in August following a New York Times report that he plagiarized his 2007 master’s thesis for the Army War College. Montana Democrats replaced Walsh with Curtis, a 34-year-old teacher with a nose ring and YouTube video blog. Curtis, with her background in labor activism and support for gun control, was not expected to win in Montana.

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Midterm Elections 2014: Louisiana Senate Race Will Go to a Runoff

Midterm Elections 2014: Louisiana Senate Race Will Go to a Runoff

(L) US Senate / (R) US Congress / iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Louisiana Senate race is heading into a December runoff, as no candidate was able to secure 50 percent of the vote.Based on preliminary exit polls, ABC News projected Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., will face off against Rep Bill Cassidy, R-La., in the runoff.Campaign committees and outside groups have already reserved airtime ahead of an expected runoff. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has set aside $3.3 million to run ads in the month ahead of the December runoff.The Koch-backed group Freedom Partners has also reserved $2.1 million in television advertisement time ahead of an anticipated runoff in the Bayou State.Here’s everything you need to know about what happens next:When will we know the winner?

The runoff election to determine the ultimate victor in the race is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 6.Why is this happening?Louisiana has a unique non-partisan "jungle primary" electoral system, meaning that all candidates run on the same ballot on Nov. 4 instead of holding separate party primaries in advance of the general election. The rules of the “jungle primary” dictate that if no one candidate receives over 50 percent of the vote in the general election, the two candidates with the most votes advance to a runoff election.This race was expected to go to a runoff due to the presence of a second Republican candidate, Tea Party favorite Col. Rob Maness, who touted the endorsement of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.What did today tell us about what will happen in the runoff?Though the final outcome of this race remains ambiguous, Louisiana voters have gained some clarity in that they can now focus on just two candidates, Landrieu and Cassidy. But that’s just about where the clarity ends and uncertainty begins again.Polling in advance of Tuesday’s election has indicated that Landrieu is likely to lose in a runoff scenario against Cassidy. A recent NBC/Marist poll, released just days before Tuesday’s election, showed Landrieu losing to Cassidy by a slim 5-percent margin, 45 to 50 percent, respectively. Polling aside, runoffs in Louisiana can be unpredictable. A lot can change in a month.While Cassidy will likely pick up many of the voters who went with Republican alternative Rob Maness in the general election, the runoff may also inspire new voters who sat out the general election to make their voices heard.What does history tell us?Runoffs are familiar territory for Sen. Mary Landrieu. Of her three previous Senate elections, Landrieu has won two through runoffs. Now the question is: Can she manage a third?Landrieu’s first Senate race in 1996 was won in a runoff by a margin of less than 6,000 votes. But it was her reelection victory in 2002 that sealed her reputation as a runoff survivor.The 2002 midterms were characterized by a wave of Republican victories at a time when then-President George W. Bush enjoyed broad popularity. Republicans had already captured a Republican majority in the Senate before the Louisiana runoff and expected Landrieu’s opponent, who benefitted from President Bush’s endorsement, to pick up the seat. But following a revamped ground game, Landrieu managed a runoff surprise and retained her seat in the Senate.In 2008, Landrieu benefited from the Obama wave that brought historic levels of black voters to the polls and avoided a runoff scenario altogether.What’s different today?Few comparisons can be drawn between Landrieu’s 2008 victory and the situation she faces in 2014. If President Obama was Landrieu’s ticket to victory in 2008, he is her liability in 2014. Landrieu has made every effort to distinguish herself as an independent from Obama in this election, while defending her vote for what she calls “an imperfect” healthcare law and a record of voting with the president 97 percent of the time.While emphasizing her independence, Landrieu has simultaneously had to walk a careful line not to draw distance from her core base of Democratic-leaning black voters, who remain more loyal to the president than other groups of the electorate. In a televised debate, Landrieu said she’d give Obama a “6 to a 7,” when asked to rank him on a scale from 1 to 10. And just Monday, first lady Michelle Obama released a web video endorsing Landrieu.It’s also worth noting that Louisiana has grown increasingly red since Landrieu first came to office 18 years ago, a change that was hastened by the exodus of some of the state’s black population following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Landrieu is currently the only Democrat left standing in the state’s statewide delegation.How much is this thing going to cost?If control of the Senate is still hanging in the balance after Tuesday night, the sky is the limit when it comes to campaign overtime spending in Louisiana.Reports indicate that both Republican and Democratic campaign committees have prepared their respective war chests for a runoff, having already set aside approximately $5 million in advertising time, with outside groups having reserved almost $6 million.

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