Close, Hard-Fought Races in Tennessee, Missouri At this hour, the polls were scheduled to close in some 25 states -- including many with crucial contests that will help determine who controls the next Congress.

Close, Hard-Fought Races in Tennessee, Missouri

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6451126/6451129" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

And we're joined again here in the studio by NPR's Mara Liasson. And, Mara, you and I were looking at some projections, some voting reports, coming out of key House races that we were following - Indiana and Kentucky. These are partial returns, we should -

LIASSON: Partial returns. They're not projections, they're actual votes. That's what's good about -

BLOCK: And these are places where polls have closed.

LIASSON: Yeah. Polls have closed in Indiana and Kentucky and earlier this evening we said that those would be bellwethers because polls close early and we could see something. Okay. Let's see what we're seeing. Anybody who has a television set can see this on the bottom of their screen.

BLOCK: Or at NPR.org, our Web site.

LIASSON: Or at NPR.org, our Web site, go there right now and turn off your TV set.

However, let's take a look at Indiana. Okay. District 2. That's Chris Chocola who's the incumbent Republican. Joe Donnelly is his Democratic challenger. One-hundred-and-thirty-nine of 528 precincts reporting - somebody else can tell me what the percentage is - but right now the Democrat is leading with 59 percent of the vote to 40 percent of the vote for the Republican incumbent. Now we're not projecting anything, but that is a sign of Democratic -

BLOCK: And that's with about a quarter of the precincts.

LIASSON: You do the math. I'll tell you what's on the screen. That's the easy party. Okay. The 8th District, which is where John Hostetler is the Republican incumbent, Brad Ellsworth is the Democratic challenger. Ellsworth with 213 of 633 precincts - even I can say that's about a third - has 61, the Democrat has 61 percent of the vote. The Republican has 38 percent.

This is a very interesting race. John Hostetler is what you might call odd incumbent. He refuses to hire consultants. He refuses to hire pollsters or do fundraising. His operation I think is run by his family. Brad Ellsworth is very attractive, charismatic sheriff who signed Grover Norquist's No New Taxes pledge. That's something that hardly any Democrats ever do, but a lot of Republicans do. So he ran as a conservative, he's way ahead now.

BLOCK: And in the third race, Baron Hill, the Democrat, against Mike Sodrel. Very, very close at this point. It doesn't like either has pulled dramatically ahead and not as many precincts reporting.

Mara, thanks very much. That's NPR political correspondent Mara Liasson.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.