Election Day Dispatches
Entry 7: Congratulations, Sen. Joe Donnelly! Goodbye Richard Mourdock.
From my perch at the Ohio Republican Party's victory, I can say it: Congratulations, Sen, Joe Donnelly! The Democrat who managed NOT to speak up for the divinity of rape-induced pregnancy is clearly going to win Indiana's U.S. Senate seat, pushing aside Richard Mourdock and making it exceedingly difficult for Republicans to take the upper house. I know this because Donnelly is taking Vigo County (Terra Haute) by 20 points. That's better than the margin for Barack Obama in 2008, when he won the state. I'm not going to make too many sweeping projections based on votes like this, but Vigo counts fast. We've got almost 80 percent of that vote in.
Obama didn't really contest Indiana this year, and he's narrowly losing Vigo County, by less than 100 votes. That puts him ahead of the Kerry vote here in 2004. Also—I’m using exit polls, and I shouldn't—he's running 12 points behind Mitt Romney. Kerry ran 20 points behind George W. Bush. Obviously, falling back to the usual crushing defeat in Indiana is lousy for the president. But if he's running 8 points ahead of Kerry in a blank canvas state, we have our first hint that the polls were not skewed.
David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at email@example.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.