It's Election Day in America, and Fusion is on it. Check back here all day for updates. (P.S. have you voted yet?)
Democrats shellacked again in 2014 midterms
President Obama called it a "shellacking" when Republicans took control of the House in 2010. The president will have to find a new way to describe the rebuke he received at the polls on Tuesday.
Republicans took control of the Senate, picking up at least seven seats held by Democrats. Sen. Mark Begich (D) still faces a tough race in Alaska and in Louisiana, Republicans could pick up another seat in a Dec. 6 runoff.
The GOP also had a great night in gubernatorial races, winning close races in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Florida and pulling off victories in deep blue states like Maine, Massachusetts, and Maryland.
Obama's unpopularity ultimately doomed Democrats. Preliminary exit polls showed that most voters cast their ballot as a referendum on the president. One third said they voted to express opposition to Obama, while just under two in ten said they voted to support him.
Vulnerable incumbents running in red states like North Carolina's Kay Hagan and Arkansas' Mark Pryor distanced themselves from the president but ultimately lost. And Obama's campaign stops for gubernatorial candidates in Illinois and Maryland didn't pay off.
The one saving grace for Democrats is that voters also have a negative view of Republicans, according to exit polls. While this election may have been a Republican wave, it's not necessarily a mandate for their policy agenda.
Even though the Senate has shifted hands, don't expect much to change in Washington over the next two years. Republicans in the Senate haven't spelled out their agenda yet, but expect more conflict and gridlock between the GOP and Obama leading up to the 2016 presidential elections.
Biggest surprise of the night: Republican wins Maryland gubernatorial race
Republican Larry Hogan won the race to become Maryland's next governor, defeating Democrat Anthony Brown.
The result is shocking because Democratic voters outnumber Republicans in the state two-to-one. With 88 percent of precincts reporting, Hogan led Brown 52-46 percent.
Hogan's victory is also a rebuke to Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a potential Democratic presidential candidate. Brown was O'Malley's handpicked successor.
What does the election rout mean for Obama's promised immigration fixes?
President Obama vowed to take action to reform immigration policy after midterm elections. Now that Democrats have taken a drubbing from Republicans, will that change the president's agenda?
The White House hasn't said specifically what types of actions it would take, but activists involved in discussions believe that deportation relief for millions of people had been on the table.
The question will certainly be front and center tomorrow morning. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), a vocal proponent of immigration reform in Congress, will hold a press conference tomorrow morning. So will Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO.
Don't expect any immediate answers from the president, but he'll be on the spot.
Tennessee just made it easier to restrict abortion
Voters in Tennessee approved a constitutional amendment that will make it easier for lawmakers in the state to restrict abortion. As we reported earlier, conservative lawmakers there previously passed measures that curbed abortion access, such as mandatory waiting periods, but they were struck down by the state’s Supreme Court. This measure may pave the way for some of those measures to take effect.
Voters in the other two states considering abortion restrictions - Colorado and North Dakota - defeated "personhood" amendments that would have defined a fetus as a person.
Tillis defeats Hagan in North Carolina Senate race
Rising GOP star Garcia falls in New Hampshire
Voters re-elected Democratic incumbent Rep. Ann Kuster for the state's Second Congressional District, according to WMUR, which called the race with 76 percent of precincts reporting.
Fusion went to New Hampshire in late October to catch-up with the 31 year old ahead of the election. The GOP hoped that Garcia would reach a new, younger, and more diverse voter base, but her message apparently didn't resonate with voters in her district.
Joni Ernst wins in Iowa, handing Senate to Republicans
Republican Joni Ernst has brought home the bacon in Iowa, defeating Democrat Bruce Braley. Ernst's victory is the sixth Senate seat the GOP has flipped from Democrats, meaning they have taken the majority in the U.S. Senate.
Ernst, a state senator, burst onto the national radar after she ran a campaign ad boasting that she grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm.
Democrats suffer midterm bloodbath
Can we call it a wave election yet?
Republicans needed to flip six seats to take control of the Senate. It looks like they will surpass that total.
So far, the GOP has taken five seats from Democrats: Colorado, South Dakota, Montana, West Virginia, and Arkansas. Democrats also failed to pick up GOP seats in Kansas, Kentucky, and Georgia, which could have cut off a Republican path to victory.
Republicans could pad their impending majority by picking up two more seats from Democrats in Iowa and North Carolina, where Joni Ernst (R) and Thom Tillis (R) are leading Bruce Braley (D) and Kay Hagan (D). In Virginia, incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Warner is in an unexpectedly close race with Ed Gillespie.
On top of all that, a month from now Republicans could unseat Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) in a runoff on Dec. 6.
Marijuana legalization passes in Washington, D.C.
A measure to legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana will win in Washington, D.C., according to analysis by NPR and USA Today.
The new law will undergo a review by Congress, which means it could take several months before it actually goes into effect.
Under the law, D.C. residents will be able to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and grow up to six plants. Read all about it here.
Voter protection hotline sees spike in calls
A national hotline that fields voter questions and complaints says it has seen a 40 percent spike in calls from the 2010 midterm elections.
Election Protection, which staffs hotlines in both Spanish and English, had fielded more than 18,000 calls by 8 p.m. ET, up from 13,000 four years ago.
The 2014 midterms are the first major elections since the Supreme Court stripped a key part of the Voting Rights Act, designed to protect minority voters, last year.
The organization reported issues with registered voters missing from voter rolls in Georgia and confusion surrounding the new photo ID requirement in Texas. Its partner organizations have also fielded complaints about a lack of help and ballots for non-English speakers.
Cory Gardner defeats Mark Udall in Colorado
Republican Cory Gardner has unseated Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado, ABC News projects.
Gardner's victory comes after Republicans picked up Senate seats from Democrats in South Dakota, Montana, West Virginia, and Arkansas. Republicans now need to win just one more seat to take control of the Senate.
Udall's loss stings more than the others because it comes in a swing state that President Obama won in 2008 and 2012.
The Democratic senator almost single-handedly focused on painting Gardner as anti-woman, based on his positions on abortion and contraception. Udall won female voters 52-43 percent, according to preliminary exit polls, but that wasn't enough. He won women by 15 percentage points in his last race. Turnout among women and Democrats was at its lowest since 1992.
Latino activists criticized Udall for not doing enough to court Hispanic voters in the state, who helped carry Obama to victory twice, as well as Sen. Michael Bennet in 2010.
Louisiana Senate race heading to a runoff
No Senate candidate in Louisiana received 50 percent of the vote, so incumbent Mary Landrieu (D) and Republican Bill Cassidy will head to a runoff on Dec. 6. Depending on the other results tonight, we might not know which party controls the Senate for another month.
Republican candidate projected to win in Montana
Republican Rep. Steve Daines will win the Senate seat in Montana, according to ABC News analysis of exit polls. The GOP only needs to pick up a net gain of two more seats to take control of the Senate.
Colorado personhood and Florida marijuana initiatives go down
Colorado voters will reject an attempt to define a fetus as a person, ABC News predicts.
In Florida, voters were projected to shoot down a measure to legalize medical marijuana, according to the Associated Press. Exit polls showed a majority of Florida voters supported the measure, but it didn't reach the 60 percent threshold need for ballot initiatives in the state.
Minimum wage hikes are popular
Early returns show both liberal and conservative voters approve of a higher minimum wage.
Illinois, a blue state, is projected to pass a minimum wage increase, but so is Arkansas, a deeply red state. Voters there are poised to raise the minimum wage to $8.50 by 2017.
The Illinois referendum is non-binding, but returns show voters staunchly support increasing the rate from $8.25 to $10 per hour by 2015. Red state voters in Alaska, Nebraska and South Dakota are also likely to pass minimum wage hikes.
GOP needs three seats to take control of Senate
Republicans are only three seats away from taking control of the Senate, according to election projections from ABC News.
The biggest victory for Republicans so far came in Arkansas, where Rep. Tom Cotton unseated Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, a two-time incumbent. Republicans are also projected to pick up Senate seats in West Virginia and South Dakota.
Making history: 100 women in the House
For the first time ever, the House of Representatives will have more than 100 female members, according to the National Journal.
While that's a record high, it's nowhere near gender parity. More than 300 men will also hold seats. The Senate, which currently boasts just 20 women, also stands to gain several female members, among them Democratic candidate Jeanne Shaheen, who is projected to win New Hampshire.
Democrat Jeanne Shaheen projected to win in New Hampshire
ABC News projects Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen will defeat her Republican challenger Scott Brown in a hotly contested Senate race in New Hampshire.
Brown, who represented Massachusetts in the Senate from 2010 to 2013, moved to New Hampshire last year and launched a Senate campaign, leading some to call him a "carpetbagger."
The National Journal's Ron Brownstein tweeted that support from women played a crucial role in the victory.
Republican Tom Cotton wins Arkansas Senate race
Polls are closed in Arkansas, and ABC News projects that Republican Tom Cotton will defeat Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor.
It's the second Senate seat that Republicans have flipped tonight. The GOP needs a net gain of six to win control of the Senate.
Polls are closed in New Hampshire
Polling places have closed in a slew of states, including New Hampshire, where Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) is facing a tough race against Republican Scott Brown, a former senator from Massachusetts.
Fusion went to New Hampshire to see whether Brown can make carpetbagging cool again.
We'll also be keeping our eye on the results from Florida, where Gov. Rick Scott (R) faces off against former Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican-turned-Democrat.
South Carolina elects first black politician to statewide office since Reconstruction
Tim Scott is projected to win the Senate race in South Carolina, making him the first black politician elected to statewide office since just after the Civil War.
Scott, a Republican, became a senator in 2013, when he was appointed to replace Jim DeMint. He will also be the first African American elected to Senate in the South since Reconstruction.
The Washington Post followed Scott's campaign in May through what they called "an unconventional listening tour." Via the Post: "He’s mopped up the floors of a burrito joint, manned a shoe shop and ridden the bus through rough neighborhoods in Charleston."
Polls closed in North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia
As expected, ABC News projects that West Virginia Republican Shelly Moore Capito will win a Senate seat held by retiring Democrat Jay Rockefeller. Capito is the first woman to represent West Virginia in the Senate.
The race between North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan (D) and GOP challenger Tom Tillis is too close to call.
Polls have also closed in Virginia and Georgia, both of which have Senate races that are currently too close to call.
That was quick, Mitch McConnell wins in Kentucky
To give you an idea how unexpectedly fast the call was made …
Can dogs vote if they're really, really cute?
The Internet is awash with "I Voted" stickers today, but it's hard to top this one:
Giving Treats, a fundraising effort that gives donations from treat sales to shelters, used Election Day as an excuse to melt our hearts (and raise some money).
And just in case you think cats aren't doing their civic duty, meet Lewis from Phoenix.
Polls begin to close
Polling places have begun to close in Indiana and Kentucky, where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) is up against Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.
For results in Senate, House, and gubernatorial races across the country, check out this map as the night goes on. ABC News has you covered with early exit poll data, which provide the first clues we'll get about how voters voted and why.
Obama has tough words for black male voters
President Obama did 14 radio interviews over the past two days in markets with competitive Senate and gubernatorial races. On one of them, he tried to cajole black men to get to the polls.
Here's what he said on Charlotte's Power 98, courtesy of The Hill's Justin Sink:
Black Democrats are worried about low voter turnout, especially in North Carolina and Georgia. Both states have toss-up Senate races and losing both could hurt the party's chances of keeping control of the upper chamber of Congress.
Traditionally, there is a large voter turnout gap between black men and black women. But that could have more to do with felony rates than shooting the breeze in the barbershop.
What's America up to on Election Night?
American Idol singer wants your vote…for Congress
Clay Aiken garnered millions of votes as a fan favorite on American Idol. Now he's looking for a few hundred thousand as he tries to represent North Carolina's second congressional district in the House.
The crooner has an uphill climb, but that didn't stop Aiken from being upbeat as he (joined by his mother) cast his ballot and posed for selfies on Tuesday.
No word on whether he was still smiling when his campaign bus broke down a short time later.
Uber discounts rides to get voters to the polls
Need to get to the polls in a hurry? If you're in Denver, you can call on Uber at a cheaper rate than normal.
The ride-sharing company is offering discounted rides to all Coloradans — new and existing users — on Election Day.
Colorado is home to a few tight elections today, including one for a Senate seat and another for governor. Both races were too close to call in the lead-up to the vote, according to a Quinnipiac University poll of likely voters released Monday.
This isn't the first time Uber has offered civic-minded discounts. In 2012, the company teamed up with Rock the Vote to offer free rides to new customers. A spokesperson for Uber told Fusion that discounts are also being offered in Providence, R.I., this Election Day.
At least one traditional cab company, Union Cab of Madison, Wisconsin, is offering voters free round trip rides to and from polling places.
Cory Booker *really* wants your vote. Even if you think you hate his guts
New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker, who's running for a full Senate term a year after he filled the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg's seat, has always been social media-savvy. But Booker has really stepped it up today—he's been on Twitter offering to personally call potential voters, trying to sway doubters and generally being jovial with his followers.
Here are some of his best Election Day tweets.
2014 is the most expensive midterm ever
Spending on elections has increased at a record-breaking pace since the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling. So how much has this year's election cost?
The ten most expensive Senate races cost almost $700 million combined, Yahoo News' Meredith Shiner reports. Much of the spending has been driven by outside groups, which dropped $498.7 million on Senate races and $283.1 million on House races.
Read the rest of the report here.
See where Facebook users are voting across the country
Facebook gets excited about elections (even the midterms) and is prompting users to let their friends know if they've voted. They're tracking the real-time voting trends with a constantly updating map. More than 4.4 million people had reported voting on Facebook as of 2:45 p.m.
Poll: Immigration reform is a top concern for Latino voters
Immigration reform is one of the most important issues for Hispanic voters in 10 key states, according to a poll released today by Latino Decisions.
The poll found that 45 percent of Hispanics rated it as a top concern in the 2014 election. The voters surveyed came from Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, North Carolina, Nevada and Texas.
Of those polled, 34 percent rated jobs and the economy the most important issue. Another 21 percent focused on education and schools. But immigration led the list, ranking especially high in Kansas and North Carolina, where there have been fierce battles for Senate seats.
Latinos typically vote in low numbers during midterm elections, which might explain why some Democrats in close races have avoided talking about immigration reform and some Republicans have rejected the idea outright.
The poll was sponsored by the Latino Victory Project, National Council of La Raza and America's Voice, all groups that advocate on behalf of Latinos and immigrants.
Reports of voting irregularities in three states
If it's Election Day, you can bet voters will experience problems trying to cast their ballots.
In Georgia, people received an error message when they tried to find their polling place on the Secretary of State's website, according to CNN. There were voting delays at multiple polling places in Hartford, Conn., WTNH-TV reported. Gov. Daniel Malloy, who faces a tough re-election race today, has filed suit to extend voting hours, according to ABC News.
Voting machines were registering votes for the wrong candidate in Virginia Beach, according to The Virginian-Pilot newspaper.
An ad in a Kentucky newspaper seemed to try to dissuade students from casting ballots in the state. But students may register using their dorm address. The Brennan Center for Justice has a handy student voting guide here.
Think Progress reported that voters in Missouri are being asked to present two forms of ID if would-be voters cannot present a photo ID. There is no photo ID requirement in the state.
If you think you are being asked to present documentation that is not required, you can call Election Protection. The organization runs hotlines in English and Spanish
Is it OK not to vote?
If historical patterns hold, over six in ten American voters won't cast a ballot in this election, including three quarters of voters under 30.
Surely, many of those people will catch heat for not performing their civic duty. But over at Bloomberg View, Megan McArdle gives us five reasons why it's OK not to vote. Here's a snippet:
1.It doesn’t matter. I can’t reiterate this enough: In a national election, the odds of your vote making a difference are very close to zero, even in a competitive race. Even in a local election, the odds are really very small — as are the odds that you are making an informed choice about those down-ticket elections. If you’re busy or don’t want to wait in line at your polling place, rest assured: The nation is getting along fine without your contribution.
Apparently, this guy isn't a Mitch McConnell fan
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's (D) Twitter account posted a picture of someone with plumber's butt
The first election results are in … in Guam
It's already Wednesday in the U.S. territory of Guam, so the election results are in. Republican Gov. Eddie Calvo reportedly won reelection. Over 56 percent of voters in Guam also voted to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, according to the Pacific Daily News.
Republicans and marijuana legalization advocates might be encouraged by the results, but they shouldn't toke up to celebrate.
Lil Jon flew from Los Angeles to Atlanta to vote
It turns out that several celebrities who appeared in a Rock the Vote PSA with Lil Jon failed to vote in the past.
So Jon is making sure he's being a good citizen.
Dem donor heckles Udall in Colorado
Colorado Sen. Mark Udall (D) has taken heat for his singular focus on women's issues during his campaign. This time, the criticism came from his own party. The Guardian reports from a Udall campaign stop this weekend:
Then, finally, came the only reference to policy in Udall’s speech. “And by the way, I’m proud to stand with Colorado’s women,” he said, almost as an aside. “I’m proud to stand for reproductive freedom.”
An angry voice from the crowd jeered: “That’s not the only thing you stand for! Jesus Christ!”
Udall turned to a short, dark man on his left. The senator look genuinely stunned. “I’m sorry?"
"That’s not the only thing you stand for!” The heckler was Leo Beserra, a 73-year-old who made millions on Wall Street and, since the early 1990s, has shared a generous slice of that wealth with Colorado Democrats.
Minutes after interrupting the senator’s speech, he vented, once again, to the Guardian. “I’m trying to figure out who in the hell decided this was how the campaign was supposed to go.”
He said he had just watched a Sunday morning talkshow in which Udall was ridiculed.
"Who is running the worst campaign? Him. Because [f**king] abortion is all he talks about. He should not talk about it any more whatsoever. There are so many other issues.”
Obama cuts campaign ad for Hagan
6 pm, 10/3/14
A major theme in this year's election has been President Obama's unpopularity. Democratic incumbents facing tough races have sought to distance themselves from the president.
But in North Carolina, President Obama cut a last-minute radio ad for Sen. Kay Hagan. At this stage of the campaign, almost all voters have made up their minds. So the Obama ad could help convince Democratic base voters to get out and support Hagan at the polls.
Emily DeRuy is a Washington, D.C.-based associate editor, covering education, reproductive rights, and inequality. A San Francisco native, she enjoys Giants baseball and misses Philz terribly.
Geneva Sands is a Washington, D.C.-based producer/editor focused on national affairs and politics. Egg creams, Raleigh and pie are three of her favorite things.
Jordan Fabian is Fusion's politics editor, writing about campaigns, Congress, immigration, and more. When he's not working, you can find him at the ice rink or at home with his wife, Melissa.
Ted Hesson was formerly the immigration editor at Fusion, covering the issue from Washington, D.C. He also writes about drug laws and (occasionally) baseball. On the side: guitars, urban biking, and fiction.