**BALLGAME: NY-09 has been called for Republican Bob Turner; and NV-02 for Republican Mark Amodei -- see updates below**
Polls are closed in New York, and will close out west at 10pm ET. Track the Big Apple results HERE and the Reid country totals HERE. NY-09 has been represented by the likes of Geraldine Ferraro, Chuck Schumer, and Anthony Weiner. Al Gore won this district by....37 points in 2000, although it has been drifting rightward ever since. That Republicans are even remotely competitive in this race is due to a combination of Anthony Weiner's depravity, US-Israel relations, a hot-button social issue, and a very unpopular president. Homestretch polls showed GOP candidate Bob Turner ahead by single digits, and Democrats are already spinning this sucker as a loss. Maybe I'm jaded from recent New York special election debacles, but I'm still half-expecting Democrat David Weprin to pull this thing out. We'll see, won't we?
NV-02 is a major swing district in Nevada. Lefties will hasten to point out that it's traditionally red territory -- after all, the special is to replace now-Senator Dean Heller, a Republican -- but not so fast. Nevada has been trending blue in recent cycles (McCain won this district in 2008 by 88 votes, out of a third of a million cast). The Democratic candidate, Kate Marshall, is a twice-elected statewide officeholder with significant financial backing from Harry Reid's machine, and strong name ID. Watch the margin in this one. The Weiner race may be more dramatic, but Nevada is a major swing state heading into 2012. Obama desperately wants to hang on to the Silver State's six electoral votes next year, and Democrats have targeted Nevada as one of the few Republican-held Senate seats they may be able to pick off in an otherwise tough cycle. Tonight is an early skirmish in both of those fights.
Each of these races is a referendum on this president, but for different reasons. Both Democrats have used Mediscare as a featured electoral ploy. A GOP split would be expected. A sweep would be sweet. Stay tuned...
UPDATE - The numbers are looking very grim for Democrats, especially in Queens, which was Weprin's firewall. Some smart politicos on Twitter have crunched the numbers, and are already calling this one for Republican Bob Turner. Oh my. Still waiting for the official AP verdict. Wow.
UPDATE II - Things are looking even better for the GOP in Nevada. Oh, I'm starting to feel it.
UPDATE III - The Associated Press has called NY-09 for Republican Bob Turner. Turner will be the first Republican to represent that district since 1922! Some smart types project the final margin could be close to double digits. Whoa. A truly stunning rebuke of President Obama from New York voters.
UPDATE IV - It's over in Nevada as well. Amodei wins in a romp. Huge, huge night. Obama put on notice, Mediscare rejected, 2012 up next. Spin away, liberals.
UPDATE V: Amodei wins by a whopping 22 points in Nevada, Turner by eight (!) in New York City.