What To Watch For As House, Senate Results Come In
Wisconsin Senate: In Wisconsin, Democrat Tammy Baldwin is fighting tooth-and-nail to beat former Gov. Tommy Thompson for the state's Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis. If she wins, Baldwin will be the first openly gay woman elected to the Senate. She'll also help Democrats keep the seat blue. But as with the presidential contest in Wisconsin, the race is exceptionally tight: A late-October poll from NBC/WSJ/Marist had Baldwin leading by just a point. As with other close Senate races in battleground states, the fate of the Wisconsin Senate could well hinge on which presidential candidate is best able to turn out his supporters.
6:00 p.m. AKST
Iowa - U.S. House, 3rd District: Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell v. Republican Rep. Tom Latham: Redistricting led to these two sitting members of Congress to run against each other. Latham, the Republican, has easily outraised Boswell who has never been considered a proficient campaigner. Outside groups, especially those backing Latham, including Karl Rove's group, have also played a major role in this race. Latham is also close friends with House Speaker John Boehner, a tie that has provided national support and funding.
Iowa - U.S. House, 4th District: Republican Rep. Steve King v. Christie Vilsack: This race pits two well-known names against each other. King is the outspoken Tea Party-backed conservative incumbent and his challenger, Vilsack, is the wife of former Iowa Governor and current Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The newly redrawn district is geographically large and leans Republican - good news for the conservative firebrand who might put off some moderate and independent voters.
Nevada Senate: Nevada's Senate race, between appointed Republican Sen. Dean Heller and Democratic Rep. Shelly Berkley, is a pick-up opportunity for Democrats. It's also a close race. Harry Reid's strong turnout machine in the state has been touted as critical to President Obama's apparent advantage there, but polls suggest that Berkley continues to trail her Republican rival. The possible good news for Berkley? Nevada polls are notoriously bad.
Utah - U.S. House, 4th District: Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson v. Mia Love: Six-term Congressman Jim Matheson is up against Mia Love, whom some consider a rising star in the Republican Party. She is an African-American Mormon and the mayor of Sarasota Springs, Utah. She would be the first black Republican woman elected to Congress. Romney's candidacy will help Love but Rep. Matheson is a moderate Democrat, a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats, and a popular Democrat whose father served as governor.
7:00 p.m. AKST
California - U.S. House, 27th District: Democrat Rep. Howard Berman v. Democrat Rep. Brad Sherman: California's redistricting and jungle primary are the reasons these two members of Congress from the same party are running one of the fiercest contests in the country. Both are liberal Democrats and Jewish supporters of Israel, but their similarities didn't matter much during a debate last month where the two nearly came to blows. Members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats have also taken sides.