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Election 2014: Recap of Election Day developments

Republicans triumphed nationwide as they easily picked up enough seats needed to win control of the Senate.

You're reading our recap of Election Day events. Click here for the most recent updates.

Proposition 48, on Central Valley casino, fails

Colorado governor's race is still a toss-up

Rand Paul takes a jab at Hillary Clinton

Call it the opening shot of the 2016 election cycle. Tonight, as Democrats reeled from a string of defeats, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) sought to remind voters that Hillary Rodham Clinton was one of the most prominent surrogates for many of the losing candidates.

“You didn’t think it could get worse than your book tour?” Paul tweeted at the former secretary of State, with an accompanying photo of Clinton and Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. “It did.”

Just to rub it in, Paul added a link to a Facebook page featuring a gallery of pictures of Clinton embracing Democratic candidates who lost Tuesday night.

Maeve Reston

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom wins reelection

No regulation of health insurance rates

(Los Angeles Times)

Proposition 45, a ballot measure that would have allowed regulation of some health insurance premiums, has failed, AP reports. The measure was targeted by a $57-million opposition campaign.

Marc Lifsher

Full story

What indictment? Rep. Grimm reelected in bizarre New York race

(Andrew Burton / Getty Images)

Even though he threatened a reporter on camera and was recently indicted on charges of fraud and perjury, voters in New York have decided that Republican Rep. Michael G. Grimm will keep representing them in Congress.

Grimm held on to his House seat in New York’s 11th congressional district after defeating former New York City Councilman Domenic Recchia, who had his own woes on the campaign trail. At one point, Recchia summed up his foreign policy experience by discussing a student exchange program. The race became a national punch line, and today, Grimm wound up with 55% of the vote.

James Queally

Full story

George P. Bush, of the Bush family, is the first in his family to win on his first try

(AP)

Among a slate of other Republicans elected in Texas on Tuesday was George P. Bush, who was at now governor-elect Greg Abbott’s victory party along with his father, Jeb Bush. George P. Bush won the office of land commissioner in a landslide.

"This is the future of our state -- it’s a conservative future,” George P. Bush said, speaking both in English and Spanish. He also alluded to Battleground Texas, a group led by former Obama organizers, which had hoped to chip away at the GOP dominance of the state. “They said we couldn’t beat Battleground Texas. Ladies and Gentlemen, we just did."

George P. Bush, 38, is the first in his political family dynasty to win an election on his first try, AP reported.

Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Full story

McDonnell takes early lead in L.A. County sheriff race

Jim McDonnell led in early voting returns Tuesday in the race to lead a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department demoralized by scandal and facing federal oversight of its jails.

The early count, which included mail-in ballots received before election day, gave McDonnell more than 75% and his opponent, retired Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, just under 25%.

Cindy Chang

Full story

A new GOP mandate? No, that's a map

Six of the Senate seats Democrats were defending in this election were in deeply conservative states that Mitt Romney carried by big margins in 2012, Cook noted. When Republicans win those states — states such as Arkansas and South Dakota — "that's not a wave election," he said an election analysts. "That's a map election."

When the GOP wins Senate seats in swing states like Colorado, North Carolina and Iowa, as it did on Tuesday, that clearly adds up to a rightward shift — a wave. But for a tidal wave, Republicans needed an upset or two, a surprise victory in a Democratic state.

Earlier this year, they hoped that might be possible in Minnesota or Michigan. It didn't happen. Nor did the GOP take swing-state New Hampshire, where Sen. Jeanne Shaheen apparently held on to her seat. So this year's GOP surge was more than a ripple, but not quite a tsunami. And that makes it a little harder to understand exactly what voters were trying to say.

Doyle McManus

Full analysis

Marijuana advocates eyeing California in 2016

California politics sure have changed

Marijuana legalization measures pass in Oregon, DC

This fourth term, no one's ever had it, no one's ever going to have it again.
California Gov. Jerry Brown

California voters widely reject Prop. 46, on medical malpractice

Prop. 2, to bolster California's rainy-day fund, passes

Chris Megerian

Full story

We are humbled by the responsibility the American people have placed with us, but this is not a time for celebration.
House Speaker John Boehner

Water bond passes, supporters say future drought relief is on the way

Much of the night’s attention was on the Republican takeover of the Senate, but there were quite a few upsets over in the House tonight, too. A few key races show how tough the environment has become for Democrats.

Coal-state Democratic Rep. Nick J. Rahall in West Virginia lost his bid for a 20th term, and Georgia Rep. John Barrow, one of the last of the conservative Blue Dog Democrats in the South -- who has survived tougher cycles -- was also defeated.

Democrats picked up a key Florida seat from a conservative Republican, but still a tough night for Democrats.

Melanie Mason

Full story

Kuehl has slight early lead in L.A. County supervisors race

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Early mail-in ballots give a slight lead to Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors candidate Sheila Kuehl in her race against Bobby Shriver for the 3rd District seat being vacated by Zev Yaroslavsky.

William Nottingham

Full story

Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives …

Much of the night’s attention was on the Republican takeover of the Senate, but there were quite a few upsets over in the House tonight, too. A few key races show how tough the environment has become for Democrats.

Coal-state Democratic Rep. Nick J. Rahall in West Virginia lost his bid for a 20th term, and Georgia Rep. John Barrow, one of the last of the conservative Blue Dog Democrats in the South -- who has survived tougher cycles -- was also defeated.

Democrats picked up a key Florida seat from a conservative Republican, but still a tough night for Democrats.

Lisa Mascaro

Full results

What does GOP victory really mean?

Do we have to look up 'pusillanimous' ?

Jerry Brown says he won't repeat previous mistakes in his last term as governor

I'd like to congratulate Senator McConnell, who will be the new Senate Majority Leader. The message from voter is clear: they want us to work together. I look forward to working with Senator McConnell to get things done for the middle class.
Harry Reid

Kashkari loses gracefully

Teen worker removed after 'inappropriate' tweets

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

A teenage poll worker was removed from an Orange County polling place Tuesday after election officials learned she had been tweeting obscenities and taking photos of voters.

Her tweets included what appeared to be a photo of voters at the polling station with a caption that included a well-known expletive (deleted here): “PLEASE SHUT THE ... UP BEFORE I THROW THE TABLE.”

Later she wrote that “Every voter that came is Vietnamese with the last name Nguyen or lee &; they don’t speak English,” followed by four emoticons of guns.

“It’s completely inappropriate and she’s being removed,” county Voter Registrar Neal Kelley told The Times. Poll workers are “trained very clearly that that kind of behavior is unacceptable.”

Christine Mai-Duc

Full story

Not exactly a shellacking, but close

GOP wins control of Senate

Republicans seized control of the Senate, winning back the chamber they surrendered to Democrats in 2006.

The win was not unexpected, as both history and the political map favored the GOP. The party out of power typically wins congressional seats in the midterm election, especially in the sixth year of a presidency.

In addition, most of the election played on political terrain favoring the GOP. Democrats had to defend far more seats, and most of the competitive races were in states President Obama lost in 2012.

Republican wins closely watched Colorado congressional race

(Los Angeles Times)

In a closely watched 6th Congressional District race in the Denver suburbs, Republican Rep. Mike Coffman defeated his Democratic challenger, former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.

The 6th District is very much a microcosm of Colorado as its electorate is evenly divided among Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters. Coffman had represented a staunchly conservative district until it was redrawn in 2011 to become much more competitive. In 2012, he won reelection to his seat by about 2 percentage points even as President Obama won the district by about 5 percentage points.

Also in Colorado Tuesday, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck won election to the 4th Congressional District, the seat vacated by Rep. Cory Gardner. Four years ago, Buck lost in a competitive U.S. Senate battle with Democrat Michael Bennet.

Full results

GOP's Perdue defeats Democrats in Georgia Senate race

GOP Snyder elected governor of Michigan

Flashbacks: Jerry Brown's victories in '74 and '78

Gov. Jerry Brown wins historic fourth, final term

(Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has been elected to an unprecedented fourth term as California governor, AP is reporting.

He defeated little-known Republican Neel Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury official who ran the bailout of Wall Street banks. Kashkari had little money and had trailed badly in opinion polls for months.

Brown has not laid out a detailed agenda for the next four years; he has said that he would continue the work he has been doing.

Michael Finnegan

Full story

NC Senate race close, likely to end in GOP win

Full results

Udall's defeat in Colorado is historic

Koch-aligned Super PAC announces runoff ad bashing Landrieu

GOP Scott Walker wins re-election as governor of Wisconsin

GOP on verge of taking control of Senate

Overwhelmed, election websites crash

So much for low turnout. High web traffic overwhelmed a company that built 18 government election websites, including three in California.

Maureen Szlemp, a spokeswoman for SOE Software, based in Tampa, Fla., said the company had not experienced outages like this before. In Ventura County, that meant many voters resorted to calling the registrar for polling place information.

"It was kind of old school," said Tracy Saucedo, the county’s assistant registrar of voters.

— Javier Panzar

Full story

Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott wins second term

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, brushed aside a formidable challenge from former Gov. Charlie Crist to capture a second term in the populous and politically important state.

Crist’s campaign marked a remarkable effort at resurrection; he served as governor as a Republican, ran for Senate unsuccessfully as an independent, and sought the governorship anew as a Democrat.

The race seethed with the two men’s distaste for each other; at one point Scott refused to take part in a live debate for minutes because he was disturbed by a fan that Crist had brought onstage.

Full story

Republican Gardner unseats incumbent in Colorado Senate race

Rep. Cory Gardner swept to victory in Colorado’s much-watched U.S. Senate race, the Associated Press projected, defeating first-term incumbent Mark Udall after a furious campaign that drew a blizzard of money from candidates, parties and deep-pocketed outside groups.

As much as any other in the country, the race featured Democrats’ argument that Republicans were engaged in a war on women with their views on contraception, abortion rights and personhood measures. Gardner attempted to blunt the assault by reversing his views on personhood measures — which hold that human rights begin at conception — and calling for over-the counter dispensing of birth control pills.

But, like other Republicans across the country, he also assailed the incumbent as an ally of President Obama, whose popularity has fallen despite two successive wins in Colorado in presidential years.

Full story

Republicans close in on control of U.S. Senate

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky overcame a stiff challenge in his home state and was reelected Tuesday, as Republicans quickly gained three seats in their quest to seize control of the U.S. Senate.

The GOP easily won West Virginia and an open seat in South Dakota, which pushed them closer to their goal of taking six Senate seats from Democrats.

Maeve Reston, Mark Z. Barabak

Full story

Louisiana Senate race thrown into December runoff

Louisiana’s U.S. Senate race was thrown into a December runoff after neither of the two leading candidates — Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu or Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy — exceeded 50% of the vote, the Associated Press projected.

Like other Senate veterans, Landrieu had been fighting to retain her seat, due to the unpopularity of President Obama in the Republican state. She leaned strongly on her family’s legacy — her father, Moon, served as the city’s mayor, a post now held by her brother Mitch — and fought to persuade new Democratic voters to side with her. But Cassidy and fellow Republican Rob Maness benefited from the GOP cast to the midterm electorate, although the presence of two of them split the vote. Maness will not take part in the runoff.

Voters say no to medical marijuana in Florida

(Los Angeles Times)

Florida voters rejected a proposal to legalize medical marijuana, a setback to advocates who were hoping to make legalization inroads in the South.

But a state law that requires such ballot measures have approval of 60% of voters to pass proved insurmountable after a bitterly fought campaign in which opponents of legalization were bolstered by $5 million in contributions from Las Vegas casino magnate and GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson.

The measure, according to a projection from the Associated Press, will fall just a few percentage points shy of passing.

Evan Halper

I don't expect the president to wake up tomorrow and view the world any differently than he does now. He knows I won’t either.
Mitch McConnell

Owning or renting: GOP will have 24 Senate seats to defend in 2016

If Republicans net six or more Senate seats tonight, they will seize control of the chamber for the first time since Democrats took over after the 2006 midterm elections under President George W. Bush.

Throughout this election, the campaign terrain has been tilted to the Republicans' advantage. Democrats had to defend far more Senate seats than the GOP, and the hardest-fought contests were in states that President Obama lost in 2012, several by double-digits. That changes dramatically in 2016, when 34 Senate seats will be on the ballot. Republicans will be defending 24 and Democrats just 10—and in a presidential year, which guarantees an electorate more convivial with Democrats.

Mark Z. Barabak

'You're rich!' 'No, YOU'RE rich!'

Both Jerry Brown and his Republican challenger Neel Kashkari were raised in prosperous households, both achieved professional success, and both are wealthy. Kashkari has tried to down play his millions and to portray Brown as out-of-touch and entitled. Brown has done the same. The tactic shows the enduring potency of a "Wall Street scoundrel" attack in politics — and the trouble that a banker seeking public office can face even six years after the global economic meltdown. For a year, Brown's reelection team has used Kashkari's riches as a weapon to impugn the first-time candidate's credibility in his long-shot attempt to oust the governor.

Michael Finnegan

Full story

Victory for two master strategists

Wearing it proudly

A little good news for Democrats

Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen fought back a furious campaign from Republican Scott Brown, a former senator from Massachusetts, to claim another term in the U.S. Senate from New Hampshire, the Associated Press reported.

The race had been among the most watched as an indicator of whether a Republican wave was building. Brown had moved to the state after his 2012 defeat in Massachusetts and worked steadily to suppress criticism that he was a carpetbagger.

Shaheen carried baggage of her own in the form of President Obama; Brown relentlessly criticized her as an ally of Obama.

Full story

Two key counties in Colorado

Colorado is divided almost evenly into thirds between Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters. As polls close, all eyes will be on two suburban Denver counties that often swing statewide elections: Jefferson and Arapahoe.

"The saying in Colorado politics since as long as I’ve been paying attention has been, 'as goes Jeffco, so goes Colorado.' So far, and it’s important to note that it’s early, I’d say it’s going Republican," said Curtis Hubbard, a partner at a Democratic consulting firm.

Meanwhile, Arapahoe County has been one of the keys to the winning streak Democrats have been on in statewide races for more than a decade, and its performance tonight will be the true measure of whether Republicans have a strong ground game.

Kurtis Lee

Full story

Republican Greg Abbott wins Texas governor's race

Just how badly will Kashkari and Davis lose?

Both Texas and California are in the midst of trying to rebuild struggling parties from the ground up, led by a pair of underdog candidates for governor, Democrat Wendy Davis and Republican Neel Kashkari. Changing the political complexion of states as big as Texas and California seems too monumental for either candidate; both Davis and Kaskhari seem certain to lose Nov. 4. The only question is how badly.

Mark Z. Barabak

Full story

L.A. eyeing a pot of gold

If Proposition 1 passes, Los Angeles is hoping for hefty slices of the $900 million allocated to groundwater cleanup and the $725 million for recycling treated wastewater. The state money, which would require a 50% local match, would help L.A. develop local water resources and reduce its reliance on imported supplies from Northern California and the Colorado River.

Bettina Boxall

Full story

Surprisingly close Virginia Senate race could prove a bellwether

The Senate race in Virginia wasn’t supposed to be this close.

Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, a popular former governor seeking a second Senate term, is trailing in early returns behind Republican insider Ed Gillespie, the former party leader.

Virginia is increasingly a bellwether state as demographic shifts fuel a political one, splitting the state into the Democratic north and the Republican south.

Voters backed President Obama – twice. But more recently, conservatives punched back with the dramatic ouster of Republican Rep. Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, who lost his Richmond-area primary earlier this year to little-known newcomer David Brat.

Warner was favored for an easy reelection today, but the tight early showing could make this race — and state — one to watch.

Lisa Mascaro

Hang on, we have to count these 88 votes to see who won

(Los Angeles Times)

In the last decade, 28 of Los Angeles County's 88 cities have canceled elections for city council or mayor at least once — because no one bothered making a challenge.

Not all cities cancel elections; some still go ahead anyway, which permits a last-minute challenge by a write-in candidate. The city with the most canceled elections in the last decade is the City of Industry, an oddly shaped, 12-square-mile area in the San Gabriel Valley that looks like the grin of the Cheshire cat. The City of Industry is home to only about 400 residents and hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of businesses, such as warehouses and manufacturing plants. Industry has canceled all five elections in the last 10 years — and actually, hasn't had an election with the name of a City Council candidate on the ballot since 1998. In a special election to replace a council member who died in office, Dave Winn won 78 votes to John Garcia's 10.

Rong-Gong Lin II

Full story

Wolf projected to win Pennsylvania governor seat, dispatching current Gov. Corbett

Where the Senate stands

Immigration and a GOP-controlled Senate

Republicans are unlikely to agree on how to change immigration laws, or whether to even try. About the only thing they agree upon is the need to beef up border security. But that's a vote that could create more political problems than it resolves. Many Latino voters — who will be crucial to the GOP's future presidential chances — are likely to view such a move as insufficient, even hostile. The last time a Republican Congress passed a border-only immigration bill, Latinos protested in the streets, helping Democrats regain control of both chambers in the 2006 election. The upshot: Republicans will probably punt on the issue.

Lisa Mascaro and Michael Memoli

Full story

Arkansas Senate race called for tea party's Tom Cotton

Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton, a tea party freshman, dispatched Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, according to Associated Press projections. The defeat of one of the rare Southern moderates remaining in the Senate underscored the sharply Republican turn the state has taken in recent years.

The heir to a political dynasty — his father is a popular former governor and senator — Pryor was elected to his second term six years ago unopposed, winning 80% of the vote. Since then Republicans have claimed the statehouse, the House delegation and the other Senate seat. President Clinton, an Arkansas native, was among the Democrats laboring for Pryor, who like other Democrats was pulled down by the unpopularity of President Obama.

Cotton represents the southwestern corner of the state, including the small town of Hope, where Clinton was raised.

Oh Canada! A reminder of California's size

Coal country goes red; big gender divide in some key states

Complaints reported in states with new voter ID laws

Poll monitors and voting rights groups reported thousands of questions and complaints during the early hours of voting in the first major national election since the Supreme Court overturned key aspects of the Voting Rights Act.

The Election Protection Coalition reported receiving more than 14,000 calls to its election day hotline from voters asking for registration information and to report complaints about mistreatment at the polls. That tally, through 5 p.m. Eastern time, was higher than the total number of calls they received during the last midterm election in 2010, the group said.

The most complaints came from Georgia, Florida and Texas, the group said. Each of the three states has some form of voter identification law.

Monitors with the group accused those states of a series of lapses, including misinformed poll workers and the alleged loss of 40,000 names of registered voters in predominantly African American counties in Georgia. The group said its hotline received more than 1,300 calls from that state alone.

—Matt Hansen

Full story

Alaska: 'Money's power to warp politics'

(Bill Roth / Alaska Dispatch News)

The Alaska Senate race has become the most expensive campaign in the state's history. More than $22.5 million in outside money has been spent to reelect Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, while $16.7 million has been spent to elect challenger Republican Dan Sullivan. In pure dollars of outside spending, that makes the Alaska Senate race the fourth most expensive in the country, after North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa. But the $39 million has been used to sway a mere 500,000 or so voters, making the battle between Begich and Sullivan the priciest per capita this election season.

Maria L. La Ganga

Full story

Rand Paul celebrates McConnell's win

$107 million later, this election's most expensive Senate race comes to an end in North Carolina

(Getty Images)

“I’m just glad it’s over,” said a Charlotte resident who voted for Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan. “I don’t recall seeing anything like this. And I don’t know that either candidate will do a quality job for North Carolina.”

The U.S. Senate race here between Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis, speaker of the state House, has been a high-volume mudfest for nearly a year. Republicans hungry for a Senate majority saw the first-term Hagan as vulnerable, and the party, along with outside conservative groups, poured millions of dollars into the state in an attempt to link her to President Obama. Democrats and outside groups saw her seat as crucial towards saving their majority, and went on the attack against Tillis.

The result was the most expensive Senate race over, with spending around $107 million, and close to 100,000 ads. Turnout was reported to be brisk at several polling places on a sunny and crisp morning. Hagan held only a slim lead.

Joseph Tanfani

Full story

You again, Florida?

Election director says Lil John's ballot is in the mail

Rapper Lil Jon had a lil election day tiff with Georgia’s Fulton County. The 2014 Rock the Vote spokesman blasted the county's elections office on Instagram, saying he never received his absentee ballot and had to fly to Atlanta to vote.

Richard Barron, director of registration and elections in Fulton County, told The Times that Lil Jon's ballot is in the mail. He said the county received Lil Jon’s application for an absentee ballot Oct. 24 and posted it the following Monday.

“Voters can request up to six months before an election, but if you mail them in closer to election day, anything can happen with the mail,” he said. “It will probably be waiting for him when he gets back to L.A.”

—Javier Panzar

Full story

An update on that fancy polling place

At the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel on the edge of Brentwood and Bel Air, one might call the ballot casting a five-star experience.

Voters rolled up to valet parking, pulled identification cards from Louis Vuitton wallets and cast ballots as a harpist strummed in the background. People showed up to do their civic duty wearing sparkling diamond rings and Michael Kors bags to match their shoes, passing a Salvador Dalí painting on their way to the ballot box.

Meanwhile, in South Los Angeles, people voted just steps from the historic Watts Towers.

Eva Duval, 74, said politicians need to take heed of her neighborhood. “They need jobs out here,” she said after voting.

—Brittny Mejia

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Prop. 2, born out of failure

Prop 2. would strengthen the state's rainy-day fund and require regular payments to pare down the state's debt.Proposition 2 is the sequel to Proposition 58, a constitutional amendment approved in 2004 and widely considered a failure. The earlier measure established a rainy-day fund, but the requirement to set aside money was easily avoided. The account was quickly drained when the recession hit, then left empty for years.This year's measure comes loaded with stricter rules intended to ensure its goals are reached.

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Fracking's future: Energy companies spend millions

Measure P in Santa Barbara County and Measure J in rural San Benito County, on the southern edge of Silicon Valley, would prohibit high-intensity petroleum operations, including hydraulic fracturing, that supporters say could trigger earthquakes, pollute the aquifer and deplete groundwater supplies during droughts. A coalition of energy companies has raised $7.7 million to defeat the measures.

Amanda Covarrubias

Full story

Judge orders some polls in Hartford, Conn. to stay open longer

A state judge has ordered polls to remain open late in parts of Connecticut’s capital, Hartford, as the state's gubernatorial election comes to a close. Voting delays in the city led President Obama to call into a local NPR affiliate and encourage voters to go back to the polls.

James Queally

Full story

In Louisiana, that thing about Obama being black

(Gerald Herbert / Associated Press)

Embattled Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu faces five challengers, making it unlikely a single winner will emerge tonight. She might have been trying to increase the African-American turn-out when she said "The South has not always been the friendliest place for African Americans."

Evan Halper

Full story

She's 102 and a first-time voter

At 102 years old, Guadalupe “Lupita” Portillo, who became a U.S. citizen last year, cast a ballot in a national election for the first time today. “I want everybody to vote,” she says through a translator outside her polling place in northeast Los Angeles. “Vote for your children, for your parents, for your cousins and nephews.”

McConnell a step closer to dream job

(Aaron P. Bernstein / Getty Images)

Republican leader Mitch McConnell moved closer to the job he has always wanted, winning another Senate term on a night he hopes to become majority-leader-in-waiting.

McConnell defeated Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes and the arrayed power of the national Democratic Party. The Associated Press projected the result.

At McConnell's election night party, big screens at opposite ends of a Marriott hotel ballroom showed Fox News Channel's election night coverage, which did not display the result prominently. Country music was playing overhead. It took several minutes for scattered cheers to erupt, as the news appeared to spread through word of mouth.

Polls showed the race to be tight until the last few weeks, when the Senate minority leader opened up a small but consistent lead, helped by an artfully played GOP campaign and Lundergan Grimes’ refusal to answer when asked repeatedly if she had voted for President Obama.

As in other states, the unpopular Obama served as a detriment to the Democratic campaign and a predictable foil for the Republican candidate.

Planning for an anticipated runoff has already begun

It's no surprise that outside groups have already scooped up TV air time for the likely December Senate race runoff in Louisiana between Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and Republican Bill Cassidy.

Reservations for $2.1 million in ads were booked as far back as July by the Freedom Partners Action Fund, a Super PAC associated with free-market policies and the billionaire Koch brothers. Last month, the Democrats’ campaign committee countered with its own purchase of air time for Landrieu.

But on the eve of Tuesday's election, Freedom Partners made a new play by plopping down nearly $600,000 for ad time in Georgia – fast-forwarding to a possible January runoff between Republican David Perdue and Democrat Michelle Nunn in the Peach State. In each state, runoffs will occur if no one candidate exceeds 50% of the vote, a difficult prospect since both races feature three candidates

For those hoping election night will bring an end to the ad wars, they may not be done yet.

Lisa Mascaro

Mitch McConnell wins reelection, AP reports

'De-felonizing' drug use: Prop 47

(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Proposition 47 would reclassify possession of heroin, methamphetamine and other illegal drugs, and theft of $950 or less, as misdemeanors in California. If the measure passes, California will become the first state to "de-felonize" all drug use, opening the door for similar efforts in other states. The effort started two years by a coalition of five groups, headlined by a philanthropic group run by New York billionaire George Soros, who are trying to change nationwide drug policies.

Paige St. John

Full story

Very early results from Kentucky, and McConnell is leading

With a handful of precincts reporting from Kentucky, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell has taken a slim 1,600-vote lead over Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes. If McConnell can best Grimes in tonight's race, and the GOP gains the required six seats to take the Senate, he could become the new Senate majority leader.

—Anthony Pesce

Full story

A bad-boy candidate for Congress

(Andrew Burton / Getty Images)

New York Rep. Michael Grimm is fighting 20 criminal charges. The GOP disavowed him. Pundits long ago declared him a political goner. Today, though, he may win another term.

Evan Halper

Full story

Winning the Senate doesn't mean rainbows, unicorns

A GOP Congress would almost certainly pick a quick fight with the White House over Obamacare, immigration and what Republicans see as the administration's anti-coal policies. Problem is, even if Republicans take the Senate, their majority would likely fall short of the 60 votes needed to break a Democratic filibuster, or the 67 votes needed to overcome a presidential veto. Furthermore, many predict that GOP control of both chambers would only heighten long-standing internal divisions. Fiery tea party conservatives would push for sweeping changes, while cooler heads would advocate a more strategic, modest agenda.

Lisa Mascaro and Michael Memoli

Full story

Vietnamese-translation error may affect Prop. 46 votes, leaders say

(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

A translation error in voter materials for California Proposition 46, which would require drug and alcohol testing for doctors, might be affecting the way Vietnamese Americans vote on the measure, community leaders say.

The translation of the measure’s title, which is printed in bold at the top of the Vietnamese language voter guide, includes a phrase that can be interpreted to mean physicians would conduct drug tests, not be required to take them, said Lucy Huynh, a community health educator at the Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance, a group focused on health and education.

“It’s not just confusing, it’s totally wrong,” Huynh told The Times.

She said that she first saw the language Friday and immediately called her boss but that the group felt it was too late to do anything about it before the election.

Christine Mai-Duc

Full story

Bored and sitting it out? Blame the governor

(Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

Today could set an all-time low for California voting in a gubernatorial general election.The current record-holder is the 2002 contest won by Democratic Gov. Gray Davis over Republican Bill Simon. Only 50.57% of registered voters and 36.05% of eligible citizens showed up. A lot more did 11 months later to recall Davis from office.

Gov. Jerry Brown must share the responsibility for an apathetic electorate. True, he has a weak opponent in political neophyte Neel Kashkari and really isn't being challenged for a record fourth term. But until last week, he wasn't even bothering to ask Californians for their votes. That's sort of insulting. And when he did, he was vague.

"A fourth term," he said, "will be very different than a first term or a second term and … a third term. Now, what that will all be, you just, you know, fasten your seat belt. It'll be a very exciting ride."

George Skelton

Full story

Ferguson fear-mongering in Georgia

A new mailer released by the Democratic Party in Georgia evoked the racial violence that followed the August police shooting of an unarmed young black man in Missouri, suggesting that a vote for Democratic newcomer Michelle Nunn was the best way "to prevent another Ferguson."

Lisa Mascaro

Full story

First polls closing in minutes

The first results from today’s U.S. elections will begin to arrive after 3 p.m. Pacific Time when polls close in the eastern portions of Kentucky and Indiana.

Soon after, you will be able follow the latest tallies nationwide on our live election results hub. Each hour more states will close polling places and the latest results will fill in. For easier reference, we’re also highlighting the latest totals from the 10 races mostly likely to decide control of the U.S. Senate.

After polls in California close at 8 p.m. Pacific Time, you can track results in ballot measures and races for statewide office with this set of interactive maps. Plus you can keep tabs on the balance of power in the Sacramento statehouse and notable local races across the state on our automatically updating pages.

Ben Welsh

Nation's fanciest polling place?

At the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel on the edge of Los Angeles’ Bel Air neighborhood, voters are enjoying live harp music, valet parking and free lamb chops. We’ll have more details later. Meanwhile, here are a couple of tweets from the scene.

Prop. 46: 'Quacks that like their Jack and smack'

(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

"Proposition 46 would raise the cap on pain-and-suffering awards in malpractice lawsuits and require that hospitals randomly test their doctors for drug and alcohol use.

Backers say the measure would rein in negligent doctors; opponents charge that it's a money grab by the lawyers who helped put it on the ballot. Supporters have raised only a fraction of the money that opponents have collected for their side of the battle. But the "yes" side is hoping that the attention-grabbing issue of drug testing can help surmount the cash disadvantage.

"We're ringing the alarm bell for the public that there are quacks that like their Jack and smack, and they hurt people,"" said Jamie Court, president of the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog."

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Kashkari's dogs have Twitter accounts (but Sutter has more followers)

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Neel Kashkari, a Republican who lives in Laguna Beach, is challenging Jerry Brown in what is certain to be a failed bid for governor. But if you want to know who he is and what motivates him, this profile from Kim Christensen is a great read.

Biden says Kansas' independent Senate candidate might just caucus with the Democrats

(Getty Images)

“I think we have a chance of picking up an independent who will be with us in the state of Kansas,” says Vice President Joe Biden to WPLR radio in Connecticut, undermining independent Kansas Senate candidate Greg Orman’s attempts to argue he is not a closeted Democrat. Orman, running in a staunchly Republican state, has said he will caucus with the winning party.

Kathleen Hennessy

Sugar Daddy: Millions spent to defeat soda tax

(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

The American Beverage Assn. has spent $9.1 million to fight San Francisco's Proposition E — which would impose a 2-cent-an-ounce tax on sodas and other sugar-sweetened drinks — and $2.4 million to defeat Berkeley's proposed 1-cent-an-ounce tax. "Sure, people ought to be more aware and educated about healthy lifestyle choices, but a regressive tax that disproportionately affects lower-income individuals is not the way to do it," said No on E spokesman Roger Salazar. A two-thirds vote is required for the measure to pass.

Amanda Covarrubias

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Turnout outlook: Not so good

'The suspense is about to end' - but not before McConnell gets dissed

(Aaron P. Bernstein / Getty Images)

Mitch McConnell, the Senate's Republican leader hails from a dark blue city in a deeply red state, and he cast his own ballot Tuesday morning in a precinct where Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than two-to-one. And so, on the day he might finally attain his goal of becoming the Senate majority leader, he had to endure a few slights in his own backyard.

As he cast his ballot at a local university here, photographers captured another voter two booths behind him signaling his disapproval of the Republican with a thumbs down gesture. One of the shots was quickly circulated by the campaign of his Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Earlier McConnell may have found another reason to take odds with his hometown newspaper, the Courier Journal (he dismissively refers to it as the "Curious Journal"). Wrapped around the front page was a final advertisement for Grimes, which excerpted the paper's endorsement of the Democrat in large, bold letters. It appeared just below a picture of a smiling McConnell the day before on the regular front page.

He seemed unfazed by it all. "I think we're going to have a good day here in Kentucky and hopefully around the country," he said.

Michael A. Memoli

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Race for California schools chief is super tight

Incumbent Tom Torlakson is in the fight of his life against Marshall Tuck for superintendent of California public schools. How tight is the race? A USC Dornsife/L.A. Times poll finds it to be almost a dead heat. Here’s a look at the poll findings. And here’s a look at the millions of dollars in contributions to a typically sleepy contest now expected to be among the tightest and most expensive on the statewide ballot today.

Related

President Obama asks Hartford, Conn. voters to go back to the polls

Voting delays in Connecticut’s capital of Hartford led President Obama to call into a local NPR affiliate and ask voters to return to the polls later today as the state’s governor fights to extend polling hours.

Av Harris, a spokesman for Connecticut’s Secretary of State Denise Merill, told us that local voting officials failed to deliver voter lists to several polling places in Hartford on Tuesday morning, barring an untold number of voters from casting their ballots before heading off to work.

“Obviously for somebody who is planning to vote before they go to work, and they get there, and they are unable to do it, that’s frustrating,” the president said on WNPR. “But the main thing I just want to emphasize is we’ve got to make sure that those folks have the chance to vote. And I want to encourage everyone who is listening to not be deterred by what is an inconvenience.”


Harris called the problem “fairly wide spread,” but did not know exactly how many voters or polling places were effected. The issue was rectified by 7:45 a.m., Harris said, and some people were able to cast their vote after signing an affadavit.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has filed a legal challenge, according to Harris, asking a Superior Court judge to keep polls open in Hartford until 9 p.m. A hearing on the matter is underway now, according to reporters on the ground. The polls normally close at 8 p.m.

James Queally

Senate control: Don't hold your breath

"We may not know for days, possibly weeks, if Republicans take control of the Senate. If the GOP has a really big night, the results will be obvious early. Two states to keep an eye on would be North Carolina and New Hampshire. But if the tossup races start falling more randomly, and if the contests end up as close as many polls have shown, prepare for a long count."

David Lauter

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Jerry Brown's dog is trying to guilt you. Polls close at 8 p.m.

The GOP is upping its ground game today, Maeve Reston says

It's all a snooze, nothing is sexy

Six state propositions are on the ballot and none are sexy. All are snoozers. But each is significant. Long-time Sacramento columnist George Skelton tells it like it is.

Here's the Vine version:

Prop. 1 An easy yes

Prop. 2 Another no-brainer yes

Prop. 45 A close-call, but yes

Prop. 46 Makes sense

Prop. 47 No way

Prop. 48 A bad precedent

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'If we win Iowa, we're going to be just fine'

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's words to activists in one last push to help Rep. Bruce Braley in a competitive race against Republican Joni Ernst, a campaign dynamo with her homespun tales of castrating hogs and service in the National Guard. Her politics are as conservative as they come.

Lisa Mascaro

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