In the run-up to Tuesday's election, there was a lot of chatter about whether the GOP's impending gains would constitute a "wave" election year.
We ran through some of the pro and con arguments here, and NBC's Chuck Todd argued on TV early Tuesday night that, despite it looking like a very good night for the GOP, it wasn't quite a wave.
The argument Todd cited — and which was alluded to in our own piece — was that if it was indeed a GOP wave, someone like Scott Brown would win in the New Hampshire Senate race. Well, Brown lost to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). Hence no wave, right?
In fact, even early on Election Night, this was showing many of the hallmarks of a wave election.
While Brown didn't get swept up in the wave, virtually every other close race is being won by Republicans, and there are even a few shockers. Consider:
- Republicans are winning the vast majority of toss-ups in the races for governor and for Senate — including Cory Gardner in Colorado, Thom Tillis in North Carolina, David Perdue in Georgia and Pat Roberts in Kansas. In fact, New Hampshire is basically the one toss-up the GOP hasn't won.
- Former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie, who virtually nobody gave a chance to come anywhere close in the Virginia Senate race, is currently within half a point of Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.).
- Republican Larry Hogan won the Maryland governor's race -- a race few thought he even had a chance in just a couple weeks ago.
- Another Democrat who was supposed to win easily, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, led his race by just one point against an unheralded Republican and will be at the mercy of the state legislature, which under Vermont law gets to pick the next governor if nobody gets to 50 percent plus one.
- Longtime Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), whose race was rated as safe by virtually all handicappers, is ahead by less than half a point t with 99 percent of precincts reporting.
- Another incumbent in a supposedly safe district in Maryland, freshman Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), leads Republican Dan Bongino by just two points in another race that hasn't been called.
- The GOP led Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.) in another race that was rated as safe for Democrat, 51-49.
- Republicans won a House seat in blue-leaning Maine for the first time in years and also in a Democratic-leaning seat in the Las Vegas area, defeating Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.). Neither race was a top GOP pickup opportunity.
- Longtime incumbents the GOP has frequently targeted, like Reps. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) and John Barrow (D-Ga.), have finally lost.
Here is the current picture of the "toss-up" Senate races, as of Wednesday morning:
And House races:
That's what a wave looks like. Whether it was Brown or some other Republicans we have never heard of before, it's clear that plenty of Republicans are getting swept up in something of a wave.
Another thing to remember here is that, while Brown lost, a wave election doesn't mean *everyone* in those kinds of races win. In 2010, after all, Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) both survived in toss-up races.
Shaheen just appears to be this year's exception to the rule.
This post was originally posted Tuesday night. It has been updated.