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More State Totals
The major issue at the Lege has been public school financing, and how well public school supporters can hold off the pro-voucher crowd. Here are some key races in that respect, based on a "races to watch" tip sheet from a public education lobbyist. Most of these races include all of early voting, and a handful of e-day boxes, meaning that about 30-40% of the vote has been counted (all Texas House races, listed by district number):

32: Seaman-R 50%, Garcia 45%
47: Bolton-D 50%, Welch 47% (this is big – possibly a Republican seat flipping to Dems, to go along with Donna Howard winning D.48)
134: Cohen-D 58%, Wong 40% (this is big – a Republican incumbent losing solidly)
85: Landtroop-R 49%, Heflin-D 48%
118: Farias-D 47.15%, Antuna-R 46.85%
133: Murphy-R 58%, Thibaut-D 40%
129: Davis-R 56%, Matula 44%
107: Keffer-R 51%, Vaught-D 46%
127: Crabb-R 58%, Trautman-D 40%
59: Miller-R 54%, Casbeer-D 46%
114: Hartnett-R 59%, Shinoda-D 40%

8:52PM Tue. Nov. 7, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

Updated State Numbers
With what I estimate is about 40% of the vote counted, here are some key races we're looking at:

Perry 41%
Bell 29%
Friedman 11%
Strayhorn 18%

U.S. Senate:
Hutchison 63%
Radnofsky 35%

Dist. 10
McCaul-R 55%
Ankrum-D 42%

Dist. 17
Chet Edwards-D 66%
Van Taylor-R 33%

Dist. 22 (DeLay's former seat)
Lampson-D 50%
Gibbs (R write-in) 27%

Dist. 31
Carter-R 59%
Harrell-D 40%

More to come on key Lege races in a minute.

8:42PM Tue. Nov. 7, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

A Blue Night
CNN just called the Maryland Senate seat for the Dems, one of the close races desperately needed by that party. The network just showed a graphic of races they've called, and it was overwhelmingly blue. (Which, if you've been living under a rock for the past eight years, is the color all the networks use to represent Dems, as opposed to Republican red. Say, at what point the official colors of the Communist Party become the Republicans' favorite color?)

And as I type this, they've just announced that Jim Yarmuth will oust incumbent Repub Anne Northrup in Kentucky.

Rhode Island's Senate seat was just called for the Dems, which is almost sad, because Repub Lincoln Chaffee was very moderate and actually opposed Bush on the war. I have to wonder whether he could have kept his job if he had switched parties.

The current seat count:
Senate (51 for a majority)
GOP 44
Dem: 43

House (218 for a majority)
GOP: 66
Dem: 83

8:18PM Tue. Nov. 7, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

Two More Democratic Senate Wins, Sort Of
CNN has called Ohio for Brown (expected) and Connecticut for Lieberman, who, despite the fact that he got kicked to the curb in the Democratic primary for his pro-war views and decided to run as an indie with huge Republican support, has said he'll caucus with the Dems.

8:14PM Tue. Nov. 7, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

Dumbest Thing I've Heard Tonight
On CNN, archconservative and guardian of our moral purity Bill Bennett said "You will see a movement to draft Rick Santorum for president in 2008."

Sorry Bill, but this election seems to cast doubt on whether Americans are prepared to elect a complete idiot for a third straight election.

8:06PM Tue. Nov. 7, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

Early State Numbers
With early voting totals released, and 1.48% of precincts:


Hutchison (R) 62%
Radnofsky (D) 36%

Austin congressional seats:
Dist. 10:

McCaul (R) 44%
Ankrum (D) 51%
(Don't get too excited - we suspect those numbers are predominantly Travis early voting)

Dist. 31:
Carter (R) 59%
Harrell (D) 40%

Dist. 21:
Lamar Smith (R) 61%
John Courage (D) 25%

Dist. 25
Doggett (D) 73%
Rostig (R) 22%

Other congressional seats:
Dist. 22 (Tom DeLay's former seat)
Lampson (D) 50%
Sekula Gibbs (R) 44%

7:54PM Tue. Nov. 7, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

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Huge Senate Pickup for Dems
I'm not sure why, because the numbers they're showing don't support it, but CNN is calling the New Jersey Senate race for Democrat Menendez over Republican Kean. That's huge – one of the crucial seats the Dems were hoping for. The only numbers I see show Menendez behind, so I'm guessing that those returns are from rural districts.

7:49PM Tue. Nov. 7, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

Early Bond Results
News 8 Austin has all seven bond propositions passing, but Prop. 4 in trouble with 56% for, 44% against.

7:45PM Tue. Nov. 7, 2006, Wells Dunbar Read More | Comment »

Irony: Librarians Yelling
I was in the ladies room chatting with a woman sporting a Texas Conference for Women tote bag, who began thanking me profusely when she realized I was the one who dished on Martha Stewart in our coverage of that event, but we were interrupted by shrieks from the main room of the Molotov Lounge when former Austin Chronicle city editor and current bonds backer Mike Clark-Madison called the Libraries for Austin party with the early vote totals: With almost 63,000 votes counted, Prop. 6 (which would pump $90 million into building a new central library) was passing with 60% of the vote.

Said Cynthia Charles, manager of the Carver Branch, "We always knew we were going to get it. Just glad that we got our new daddy. Make that our sugar daddy. It's awesome." The "daddy" is our big new main library, she later explained. "Brenda [Branch, director of the Austin Public Library] is going to be so happy we're going to have to resuscitate her."

7:40PM Tue. Nov. 7, 2006, Katherine Gregor Read More | Comment »

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