4:53 PM PT (Steve Singiser): With about 15 minutes expired since the polls closed in North Carolina, we can get a slight feel for the lay of the land, with about 300,000 early votes already tallied.
- On the issue of Amendment One, the early numbers are a little more optimistic than polling had hinted. The measure to deny recognition of anything other than "one man-one woman" is passing, but only by a 52-48 margin.
- In the Democratic primary for governor, right now Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton has a lead that meets the threshold to avoid a runoff. He leads Bob Etheridge 50-33, with the rest of the field mired in single digits. On the GOP side, Pat McCrory is mashing, as everyone expected him to do. He's cruising with 86 percent of the vote.
- At the congressional level, the early numbers are mostly "as expected", though establishment pick Hayden Rogers (the chief of staff to outgoing Rep. Heath Shuler) is getting a sweat in NC-11. He only leads Cecil Bothwell by a 46-40 margin. Meanwhile, the closest race is the GOP primary in NC-13, where well-funded George Holding is holding off former Raleigh Mayor Paul Coble 42-40. Establishment pick Richard Hudson is narrowly avoiding a runoff in NC-08 (43 percent), while a runoff looks possible in the open seat in NC-09.
4:55 PM PT: Guess what? Mitt Romney won North Carolina, too.
4:58 PM PT: The AP also finally called it for Richard Mourdock. Interestingly, Howey Politics' final poll of the race had Mourdock up by ten, 48-38. That 38% figure is awfully close to the 40% Lugar's mired at now, which means that the undecideds almost entirely broke to Mourdock, who is at 60.
5:01 PM PT: Good news: The AP has called IN-02 (D) for Brendan Mullen. He'll attempt to hold this seat (which was made much redder in redistricting) against "Wacky" Jackie Walorski in November. (Rep. Joe Donnelly is running for Senate.)
5:04 PM PT: We've seen a lot of shuffling in IN-05 (R), where the leaders and runners-up have shifted spots a few times. David McIntosh is still in first, but now Susan Brooks has shot up to 2nd, down just 33-27. Wayne Seybold has dropped all the way to 18.
5:08 PM PT (Steve Singiser): In North Carolina, a lot of ink was spilled in the run-up to the primary about the fate of two longtime incumbents: Walter Jones (NC-03) and Howard Coble (NC-06). Jones' supposed fatal flaw was being too close to Democrats on a number of issues, while Coble's was more in the "been around too long" vein. Whatever the catalyst, neither man appears in any danger tonight: Jones leads former sheriff Frank Palombo 68-32, while Coble leads a three-way field with 59 percent of the vote. However, another incumbent is underperforming quite notably. Freshman Rep. Renee Ellmers (NC-02) is leading a bunch of underfunded unknowns with just under 53 percent of the vote. Quite underwhelming, to say the least.
5:09 PM PT: It looks like Shelli Yoder has IN-09 (D) well in hand, with a 42-23 lead with 41% reporting. Luke Messer looks set to clean up in IN-06 (R), with a big 41-26 lead and 80% reporting. In this dark-red district, that's tantamount to winning the election.
5:25 PM PT: I'm wondering if David McIntosh might be in trouble in IN-05 (R). He's up 33-28 with 43% reporting, but Susan Brooks lives in Carmel, in Hamilton County—and Hamilton hasn't counted a single election-day vote yet. In the early vote, she's up 35-27 in the county.
5:27 PM PT: The AP has now called IN-06 (R) for Luke Messer. Sorry, Travis Hankins. Better luck next time.
5:27 PM PT (Steve Singiser): In North Carolina, as the votes continue to pile up, one race is tightening while another, unfortunately, is not. The Democratic primary for Governor keeps looking like the race of the night, as it has been tightening over the past half hour. Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton now leads former Rep. Bob Etheridge by just six points (45-39). Unfortunately, for marriage equality advocates, the anti-equality marriage amendment looks more and more likely to pass. The lead now stands at 57-43.