Midterms 2018 Live-Blog With The Her Campus News Team

Welcome to Her Campus’ 2018 Midterm Election Live Blog! Your favorite news team will be hanging out here tonight — first in New York City’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza with our pals at NBC News and then around the country — to cover the results of this most intense midterm election night.

We know y’all are going to be stress-y, depress-y and glued to your twitter feeds anyway (because of who you are as people) — so why not do it with us? Use the hashtag #HCElectionNight to share your insights, anxieties and best reaction .Gifs or to chat with our reporters, writers and editors about the races and issues you care about.

With us we have HC News Bloggers and Interns past & present including Lauryn Higgins (@laurynhiggins22), Sawyer Stephenson (@sawyer_l_s), Morgan Mullings (@morgancmullings), Haley Creech (@hscreechh) and potentially more throughout the night! You’ll also hear from Nights & Weekends Editor Emily Veith (@emilycveith) and News Editor Katherine Speller (@kathriller) coming at you from @hercampus on Twitter and Instagram.

Grab your favorite wine glass and put on your coziest crying/laying around leggings — because it’s gonna get weird and political tonight.

@Kathriller 8:55 pm EST:  I am just about to head out to 30 Rockefeller Plaza to hang with our friends at NBC for a bit. So here's a brief "hello" and a reminder for everyone to stay hyped and stay hydrated (in addition to whatever vice-y coping mechanisms y'all need to get by. I see & feel you) as we cover everything going on tonight. It's going to be wild. 

@emilycveith 9:03 p.m. EST: I’m covering the Missouri Senate race. In what has been considered a tight race for the Missouri Senate seat, this race will be a good test to see if a Democratic candidate will be able to push through based on a promise of bipartisanship and cooperation, or if a Republican who has run as a close ally to President Donald Trump will be able to win with the president’s support.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, the Democratic incumbent, said Monday that she doesn’t "really care" if the Democratic Party gains a majority in the House.

"Honestly, I don't really care what happens nationwide. That's not how I look at elections. I care about what happens in this state," McCaskill told reporters, according to USA Today. "I care about whether or not the people of this state have a representative that is willing to work in the middle. You know, whether the Democrats control or the Republicans control, it takes 60 votes. So, it doesn't change that much."

McCaskill has worked to distance herself from her party during her campaign for a third term in a state that Trump handedly won in 2016. The senator has insisted that "she’s not one of those crazy Democrats."

Her opponent, however, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, has run as a close ally of the president.

McCaskill currently leads Hawley in the polls 51.1 percent to 46.5 percent, respectively.

@sawyer_l_s 9:09 p.m. EST: I’m covering the governor races for both OK and TX, along with the TX senate and Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner races. Both Texas and Oklahoma are typically red states, but Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke and Oklahoma governor candidate Drew Edmondson have excited constituents across the political spectrum.

Ashley McCray is also a standout candidate from Oklahoma — running on the Democratic ticket for State Corporation Commissioner.

With 21 percent of precincts reporting in Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt (R) leads Drew Edmonson (D) with 54 percent of the votes.

Across the Red River, O’Rourke (D) leads Cruz (R) with 51.3 percent of the votes.

@laurynhiggins22 9:15 p.m. EST:  I’m covering the #NorthCarolina midterm election and the historic #Georgia Senate race. Both longtime battleground states have seen record turnout in voting this year.

In North Carolina there’s no Senate or Governor’s race but with 49.8 percent of Tarheel’s voting for Trump in 2016, many voters are hoping to turn the state blue as much as they can.

Public school teacher, Kelly Taylor says, “I honestly can’t believe we let it get this bad. Students are scared to come to school and I’m scared for them. We have to change things and we do that by voting, and more importantly voting for politicians who support gun control.”

@hscreechh 9:15 p.m. EST: Tonight, I’ll be covering the Tennessee Senate race between Republican Marsha Blackburn and Democrat Phil Bredesen. Just a few minutes ago, CNN officially projected that Blackburn will win and keep the seat red.

CNN analysts discussed on their livestream just how critical this race was, saying Blackburn’s win means Republicans only really need two more wins to maintain control of the Senate. Blackburn will be the first female Senator Tennessee has ever had, according to CNN, in a state where Donald Trump won by 26 points in 2016.

Vox reported that Bredesen was “making a bet that voters are tired of the Trump era of politics … hoping people want politics to be boring again.” Unfortunately, this under-the-radar strategy didn’t pay off, and the Democratic party still has a very uphill battle to win, if they want to gain the majority in the Senate.

@laurynhiggins22 9:36 p.m. EST: In Georgia, history could be made tonight. Democrat Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams could become the first female African-American governor, but she’s going to need a strong finish to win over Republican nominee Brian Kemp. Current results show Abrams down 11.7 percent according to CBS News.

@morgancmullings 9:38 p.m. EST: I may be in New York but this Florida resident is covering the Florida Governor and Senator races tonight. Both are a close call and getting ready to be fully counted, but it’s not over yet.

The potential first African American governor of Florida, Andrew Gillum (D), is losing by less than a percent right now to Trump-endorsed Ron DeSantis (R). Meanwhile, Twitter users (Florida residents or other) are practically begging Florida not to turn red in the Senate election. The seat is up for grabs between former governor Rick Scott (R) and Democrat Bill Nelson. Scott leads by about 75,000 votes, according to The New York Times.

In all this vote counting, it’s important to note those who didn’t vote, or rather, couldn’t vote. While my absentee ballot was sent Oct. 24, I never got it. I’ve also received texts and DMs from other Florida registered voters who never received their ballots, and hopefully we’ll hear more from them later. If the missing ballot count rises, we may be looking at a very suspicious election.

@laurynhiggins22 9:41 p.m. EST: In #breakingnews the NAACP in Georgia just won a lawsuit that will allow voting times to be extended for an additional three hours near Spelman and Morehouse precincts. Polls will now close at 10 p.m. per courthouse orders.

 

@Kathriller 9:45 p.m. EST:  Okay, wait, so you all know that big board that Steve Kornacki uses on NBC? They let me play with it! 

Some of the wizards behind "The Big Board" told me how their team started working on it as early as January and that it's been tweaked and perfected literally up until today to make sure it was perfect for election night. Featured on NBCnews.com, they've also got interactive features (powered by the same technology that makes Kornacki and Todd's board work) that lets viewers make their own predictive maps and play out various scenarios. (That version probably doesn't carry as much anxiety as playing with a very expensive, very nerve-wracking touch screen toy — but it probably comes close.) 

@emilycveith 9:45 p.m. EST: I will also be covering California's 22nd congressional district for the House of Representatives. In has been an intense race between longtime Republican U.S. Representative and current House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and Democratic Fresno County prosecutor Andrew Janz.

According to ABC News, Rep. Nunes has held the seat since 2003, and per his website, he has fought for issues such as water shortages, tax reform, health care reform, and transportation, including redirecting the federal funds from the state’s high-speed rail project to finance improvements to highways.

Janz is a deputy district attorney for Fresno County, and he has promised to bring more water to Valley farmers, an important concern in the Central Valley, as well as fighting to protect Social Security and Medicare.

The two candidates have raised and spent obscene amounts of money during this race, but we shall see if Janz will be able to unseat the longtime congressman.

@morgancmullings 9:50 p.m. EST: So far, we’ve heard stories of voter suppression in U.S. in multiple forms; According to an article in The Washington Post, there have been “broken machines, rejected ballots, and long lines” reported by many voters. “A coalition of civil rights groups reported receiving more than 29,000 complaints of voting irregularities as of 8 p.m. — a higher call volume than in any recent midterm voting,” the Post writes.

While something going missing in the mail doesn’t seem fishy at first, 5 missing ballots among one group of associates starts to raise eyebrows. Vanessa Alvarez, a Barnard freshman, is registered to vote in Florida and never received her absentee ballot.

“And I requested a little over a month ago and made several calls asking for it,” she said. She also told me she thinks it was intentional, and that whoever is responsible may be targeting Democrats or people of color in the Florida community.

Rick Scott leads by 69,534 votes, with about 200 more precincts left to count. The latest tweets on Florida are from users begging Florida not to turn red. While it isn’t necessarily a red state, it’s history as a swing has not been favorable for those resisting Trump.

@emilycveith 9:53 p.m. EST: The race between Sen. Claire McCaskill and Missouri A.G. Josh Hawley is still a close race, with McCaskill currently having 52.8 percent of the vote share and Hawley taking 44.6 percent. This is a tight race, and even McCaskill feels it could go either way, telling MSNBC tonight, "I’m gonna be really honest with you — I have no flipping idea what’s going to happen tonight. We could win and we could lose."

@laurynhiggins22 10:02 p.m. EST: In North Carolina, Democrats are looking to overturn Republican majority rule. Republicans have held a supermajority in the state legislature and controlled 10 of North Carolina’s 13 U.S. House seats, but all of those seats are up for election.

In short, Democrats needed to flip four seats in the state House and six in the state Senate to break the Republican supermajority.

@hscreechh 10:13 p.m. EST: In Iowa’s fourth Congressional district, incumbent Republican Steve King has barred The Des Moines Register, the state’s largest newspaper, from attending his election night event, The New York Times reports. Carol Hunter, The Register’s executive editor, said King’s campaign called the paper a “leftist propaganda media outlet with no concern for reporting the truth.”

The Register apparently isn’t the only outlet banned from King’s event. Tony Leys, a reporter with the paper, tweeted that staff from The Storm Lake Times and The Weekly Standard were also turned away. Christopher Mathias of The Huffington Post also said he was kicked out for the same reason given to The Register.

This isn’t the first time King has ruffled feathers. Just yesterday, The Washington Post reported that King said he hopes Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor will “elope to Cuba” so the Republicans could have full control of the Supreme Court. This one statement somehow manages to be simultaneously racist, sexist, and homophobic — talk about a triple threat.

As results start to come in, it’s clear that this will likely be a close race — King currently has just over 50 percent of the votes.

@laurynhiggins22 10:20 pm. EST: I’m covering the #NY senate race. To get things started, in an early upset, Democrat Max Rose defeated Republican Dan Donovan in NY-11.

With only 35 percent of precincts reporting, Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand has 79.4 percent of votes. The Associated Press projects her to win over Republican nominee Chele Farley.

With only 53 percent of Georgia votes reported, Abrams is down 10.3 percent to Kemp. Abrams served as the minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives for 2011 to 2017.

In her victory speech for Democratic nominee she said, “I'm running because I want every Georgia family to have the freedom and the opportunity to thrive. You deserve nothing less, and I know Georgia can deliver a whole lot more."

As the 9th congressional district in NC wraps up, The Associated Press reports that Republican Mark Harris has defeated Democrat Dan McCready by a small margin of 0.8 percent.

@hscreechh 10:28 p.m. EST: Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis has officially lost her seat, TIME reports. Davis became infamous after she was arrested in 2015 for denying a federal order to grant a marriage license to same-sex couples.

Even when faced with the prospect of going to jail, Davis said “I didn’t have to think about it [denying the licenses]. There was no choice there,” The New York Times reports

According to HuffPost, Davis was defeated by Democrat Elwood Caudill Jr. Earlier this year, Caudill was accused of using anti-gay slurs by David Ermold, a gay man who was denied a marriage license by Davis in 2015, and who then ran against Caudill in the primaries.

While Ermold said he had no personal experience with Caudill using slurs, he says others confided their experiences in him, which he then shared on Facebook.

Caudill denied the accusations, saying he was hurt by them and that “We need to take that office into the 21st century where it needs to go and just treat everyone, regardless of anything, the same.”

Apparently, the people of Kentucky agree. Let’s just hope the accusations aren’t true.

@emilycveith 10:39 p.m. EST: Vote totals are showing that Missouri A.G. Josh Hawley is running strong in rural areas of Missouri, which proved to propel President Donald Trump to a 19-point lead over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Missouri Secretary of State’s Office, however, has said that it is keeping the official tallies secret until the last vote is casted tonight, and per its Twitter post, the office is "estimating the final vote cast will be after 9:30 p.m."

It has been reported tonight that voters are waiting were waiting beyond the close of the polls to cast their votes, and one of those places is Washington University in St. Louis.

@emilycveith 10:48 p.m. EST: According to the Missouri Secretary of State’s office, all Missouri voters have cast their ballots, and unofficial results are now out.

It looks like Sen. Claire McCaskill will be unseated, with Missouri A.G. Josh Hawley receiving 59.861 percent of the vote share and McCaskill receiving 36.799 percent.

@emilycveith 10:57 p.m. EST: It has now been projected that Democrats will gain control of the U.S. House of Representatives, surpassing 218 seats in the House of Representatives. ABC News projects that Democrats will be picking up 23 seats. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi immediately becomes the frontrunner for the next Speaker of the House, as the legislative authority for Democrats. According to ABC News, Democrats are expected to hold leadership elections on Dec. 5, potentially allowing other Democrats to challenge Pelosi for the Speaker position. Meanwhile, Republicans are projected to retain control of the Senate.

@laurynhiggins22 11:59 p.m. EST: With the majority of votes in for North Carolina, the state keeps its Republican control, with only three Democrats taking 12 of the House seats.

@hscreechh 12:08 a.m. EST: With 77 percent of Iowa’s fourth congressional district reporting, Republican Steve King has an 0.9 percent lead over Democrat J.D. Scholten. The men currently have 49.2 percent and 48.3 percent of the votes, respectively.

King was ahead as the results first started to come in, but Scholten held a decent-sized lead for most of the night. Only recently did King take back the lead with such a small margin, less than 3,000 votes, in between the two candidates. This is not the only race tonight that will come down to a relative handful of votes. Hopefully this will dispel the “my vote doesn’t matter” myth, and even more people will come out to the polls in 2020.

@emilycveith 12:21 a.m. EST: Republicans have flipped Missouri’s Senate seat, as Sen. Claire McCaskill goes down in Missouri. Missouri A.G. Josh Hawley wins another Senate seat for Republicans, garnering 52 percent of the vote share, while McCaskill only received 44.9 percent.

In her concession speech to supporters, McCaskill said, “I want you to keep that fire burning, because there is justice around the corner.”

Interestingly, we have seen Democratic Senators who had voted against Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court nomination lose their Senate seats tonight in their competitive races, including McCaskill and North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.

@Kathriller 12:25 EST: Even if the results look grim in a lot of much-hyped races, there's definitely some silver linings — and some history being made tonight.

For women of color, queer women and young women, we are seeing several victories that finally hint at the kind of representation that could (and should) be possible in our government.

@emilycveith 12:29 a.m. EST: Results are starting to come in for California races, including California’s 22nd congressional district for the U.S. House of Representatives. It looks like Rep. Devin Nunes, the longtime representative for the district and current House Intelligence Committee chairman, is holding a 15 point lead over his opponent Fresno County prosecutor Andrew Janz.

Nunes currently has 57.3 percent of the vote share, while Janz currently has 42.7 percent. Nunes has typically held at least 61 percent of the vote in his previous races.

The congressman has recently gained more national attention, and has been seen as a close ally to President Donald Trump.  

@hscreechh 12:55 a.m. EST: The Associated Press reports that Republican Steve King has defeated Democrat J.D. Scholten in Iowa’s fourth congressional district.

Vox says that King’s slim 3 percent margin of victory represents an important shift in his constituents, who may be growing tired of his inflammatory remarks regarding race and immigration.

Though things didn’t quite pan out for Scholten, it appears that this shift is occurring across the nation. Several races that might’ve been considered easy victories a year ago were very close tonight.

CNN analyst Van Jones said in the network’s livestream that a whole new type of voter, such as women and young people, assumed Hillary Clinton would win in 2016, so they didn’t push too hard. Now, after spending the last two years “shocked and upset,” they’ve been out working to change things. “They didn’t get everything they wanted, but they got a lot done,” Jones said. “It may not be a blue wave, it’s a rainbow wave.”

1:10 a.m. EST: Texas darling Beto O'Rourke conceded his bid for the Senate to Sen. Ted Cruz late Tuesday night in an emotionally raw speech to his supporters. 

“I’m so f-cking proud of you guys," O'Rourke told his supporters after it became clear that his opponent had pulled ahead in the narrow race. "...I’m as inspired, I’m as hopeful as I’ve ever been in my life, and tonight’s loss does nothing to diminish the way I feel about Texas or this country."

Cruz, a sitting Texas Senator, also called out O'Rourke in his victory speech (with some "boos" from the crowd). “I also want to take a moment to congratulate Beto O’Rourke. He poured his heart into that campaign. He worked tirelessly...It’s important. He worked tirelessly. He’s a dad, and he took time away from his kids. And I want to also say, millions across this state were inspired by his campaign. They didn’t prevail, and I am grateful the people of Texas chose a better path.”

 

@laurynhiggins22 1:15 a.m. EST: With the votes still being tallied, Georgia is too close to call at this time. Maricopa County is up for grabs and Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams needs a little over 100,000 votes to turn the state blue and make history as the first female African-American governor.

In a speech to her supporters, Abrams emphasized how necessary it was for all votes to be counted — absentee and affidavit ballots included — in order for Democracy to truly work. 

"To all of Georgia's voters, including the 1.2 million that haven't shown up before, welcome aboard," Abrams said. "... I need you to know that it is my mission to serve you, to serve Georgia, to make you proud." 

Thank you for tuning in to the Her Campus News Midterm Election Live-blog. With its highs & its lows, we sure hope it wasn't as emotionally exhausting for you as it was for us!