2:28AM: One thing that I forgot to mention: the state Senate seat that Dems picked up tonight (SD22), was previously held by none other than Craig Romero, the briefly-hyped recruit who lost handily to Democratic Congressman Charlie Melancon in 2006. Good.
12:35AM: Eh, if it’s good enough for local media, it’s good enough for me. Dems hold HD83 and retain numerical — but probably not effectual — control of the Louisiana House by a bare 53D-50R-2I margin (pending recounts). Dems also retain a 24-15 margin in the state Senate.
12:21AM: There seems to be some confusion over HD83. The SoS site says that all 20 precincts are in and that Democrat Billiot won by a 140 vote margin. But if you look at the precinct-by-precinct returns, one poll is reporting zero votes. What’s up with this? NOLA.com and WWLTV are both calling Billiot the winner; should we be satisfied with that?
12:01AM: One note on why a bare majority may not be enough in the House: a simple majority of 53 is all that’s required to elect the Speaker of the Louisiana House, but it’s generally been tradition to let the Governor designate the Speaker, from my understanding. Many House Dems aren’t happy with letting Jindal do this, and would like to buck the tradition with a party-line vote. However, it’s not hard to imagine Jindal finding a few allies among the Democratic ranks here.
11:56PM: Democrat Robert Billiot is now up by a 51%-49% margin in HD83, with one more precinct outstanding. Should he win this, Democrats would have a bare numerical majority of 53D-50R-2I in the House (at least, that’s what I and a number of folks in the comments are tallying it as).
11:40PM: Dems are holding HD103 by 4% with all precincts in. So, tallying all this up, Republicans picked up 8 seats in the D vs. R column (with a real chance of picking up the ultra-tight HD83, but likely recounts in HD14 and HD37, where the GOP candidates are winning by 9 and 26-vote margins, respectively). Democrats look like they’ve retained 7 of these seats for sure, and are leading by a mere two votes in another (HD83).
11:04PM: Looks like Dems have lost HD07, HD14 (by 9 votes — expect a recount), HD23, HD24, HD37 (by 70 votes with 31 of 32 precincts reporting, so this one could change), HD51, and HD57. Dems will hold on to HD25, HD28, HD30, HD32, HD39, and are holding on by 4% in HD103 with 16 of 22 precincts in. Here’s a nailbiter: HD83, where the Democrat leads by 2 votes with 18 of 20 precincts in. It also looks like Dems have picked up HD54.
10:25PM: Dems are looking good to retain SD07 (65%-35% lead so far), but are on path to a defeat in SD32. However, it looks like Dems have picked up SD22, where Democrat Troy Hebert has a 500+ vote lead with all precincts in.
10:22PM: 2,750 of 3,967 precincts in, and Caldwell is up over Royal Alexander by 66%-34%.
9:50PM: In the other Senate race I didn’t mention, SD25, Democrat Gil Pinac leads by a 55%-45% margin with 36 of 92 precincts in. In the runoff, Pinac claimed 39% against two Republicans.
9:47PM: Looks like Democrat Caldwell has this locked up. With 780 of 3,967 precincts reporting, he’s leading by a massive 65%-35% margin in the AG race. I suppose that combined 66% Democratic performance in October was pretty instructive, after all.
9:41PM ET: There are four Senate races worth watching (see the chart below). Democrat David Heitmeier leads Republican Paul Richard by 63%-37% in SD07 with 10 of 66 precincts in; Republicans are leading in SD22 by a 2% margin with 29 of 111 precincts in; Democrat Bryant Hammett is trailing by a wide 36%-64% margin in SD32 with 33 of 161 precincts reporting.
9:35PM ET: With 189 of 3,967 precincts reporting, Caldwell is up by 64%-36% over Royal Alexander (R). This one is looking good.
9:12PM ET: With 34 of 3,967 precincts reporting precincts reporting, Democrat Buddy Caldwell is leading the Attorney General’s race by 63% to 37%. A solid start, especially since Republicans usually have the edge in early returns and absentee counts.
It’s run-off day in Louisiana, where the only statewide race of note is the Attorney General’s race. That was pretty much a 33D-33R-33D result in October, but I wouldn’t care to guess how it ends up tonight. Polls close at 8PM Central/9PM Eastern.
Also, control of the state House of Representatives is up for grabs. 40 House seats are looking at runoffs today; many feature members of the same party. Dems go into the runoff holding
33 34 seats outright after October, Republicans 30 (not counting any Dem vs. Dem or GOP vs. GOP run-offs). Here’s the full list of seats in play tonight (if I missed anything, let us know). Seats are color-coded by the party who controlled them before the October elections:
|D vs. D||R vs. R||D vs. R||D vs. I|
In the state Senate, Democrats go into the run-offs holding 19 seats, while Republicans hold 12. The following seats will be decided tonight:
|D vs. D||R vs. R||D vs. R|
We’ll be putting up updates as the returns come in later in the evening. The results will be available here.