American voters appear to be delivering a serious rebuke to president Obama and the Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections with early results suggesting that the Republicans are on track to make a net gain of more than fifty seats in the House of Representatives. However it is now highly unlikely that they will gain control of the Senate, with the Democrats retaining 52 or even 53 seats, down from their current hold of 59. A more dependable result will not emerge for several hours, due to variations in poll closing times, and the four hour time zone spread from the East Coast to Alaska.
Insofar as one can judge a uniform swing, it would appear to be around 7%, with the new House numbers projected as 236 Republicans to 199 Democrats, a reversal of the current Democrat majority of 77. The Democrats appear to have lost a significant number of seats listed as toss-ups, including three seats in Virginia, a brace in North Carolina and several seats in Ohio.
Having said that, there’s also a STOP PRESS:
“Despite universal projection of a GOP takeover of the House, the Democrat leadership has released a statement claiming that it is too early to tell, and that they are confident in retaining control of the House.”
We’re at the pointy end, people. Fifty states, several territories, 35 Senate races, 435 House of Representatives Congress seats, 39 governorships, and innumerable state positions from judge to dog catcher to be voted on: it all comes down to today and it all boils down to the question: how much trouble is Barack Obama in? As Rundle writes: “…one whole dimension of this loss is due to the political failure of Obama and his team to take people with him, on the road of government, and the assumption that politics could be exchanged for administration on the day after the inauguration.”
Can Obama find it in himself to change course midway through his Presidency? Pull up a chair with Crikey today as we crunch over that question and more on our mid-terms 2010 live blog, kicking off at 1pm.