(CNN) - The good news for Democrats so far: Things aren’t quite as awful as they could be, according to early exit polls. The bad news: That’s still pretty bad.
The short version: it’s all about who’s showing up today…and who isn’t. Two-thirds of Hispanic voters, 6 in 10 young voters and the overwhelming share of black voters are backing Democrats. There just aren’t as many of them as there were last cycle: The percentage of youth voters dropped by half in early exit polls, from 18 to 9. The black vote has edged down to 10 percent.
(CNN) - The gender gap hit Linda McMahon hard in Connecticut: according to early exit polls, the Senate contender trails 60 to 39 percent....among women.
Side note: the controversy over Dick Blumenthal's misstatements about his Vietnam-era service don't seem to have made a big impression on the state's voters: by 62 to 36 percent, they say he's honest and trustworthy.
(CNN) - Charlie Crist and Kendrick Meek battled each other for independent voters in Florida's Senate race. Rubio won the war.
The Republican cleaned up with that group, according to early exit polls, capturing 48 percent of independents in the three-way race.
(CNN) - The thing about Delaware is: it's no Kentucky.
The Tea Party's first Senate loss of the night may be no big surprise - the only question heading into tonight's been how big a victory margin Chris Coons would capture over Christine O'Donnell. But the exit polls lay out the political and demographic roadblocks facing any Tea Party favorite here.
(CNN) - For the GOP, this year’s all about undoing 2006 – nowhere more than in Ohio, where the last midterm cycle cost the party a Senate seat and the governor’s mansion...both up for grabs tonight.
The White House made Ohio a top priority; the president made more campaign stops here this year than anywhere else. And the huge Democratic GOTV operation here, one of the strongest in the nation, swung into high gear for a big early ballot push.
(CNN) - How did Rand Paul become Kentucky's junior senator?
In an undeniably unhappy year, his state's voters still stand out. Three in four voters here describe themselves as "dissatisfied" or "angry" toward the federal government. And those voters backed Paul by a margin of nearly 2 to 1.
(CNN) - Half of Kentucky's voters have at least some reservations about the candidate they backed in tonight's Senate faceoff, according to early exit polls. They may not be sure how much they like the candidate they back - but they're a lot more confident about someone who isn't on the ballot tonight.
Seventy-eight percent of Democrat Jack Conway's voters dislike Sarah Palin - who stumped for Paul this fall - while 73 percent of Republican Rand Paul's voters are Palin fans.
(CNN) - Voters in both parties are upset with how activist the government's been: Two out of three Democrats say it isn't doing enough. And four in five Republicans say it's doing too much.
Sixty-one percent of Democrats say the new health care law needs to be expanded. And 82 percent of Republicans say it should be repealed.
(CNN) - They may not blame him for the state of the economy, but just 45 of voters in early exit poll results are happy with President Obama's performance, while 54 percent disapprove. That's the same territory President Clinton's numbers were in back in 1994 exit polls, when 44 percent of voters approved of the job he was doing, while 52 percent were unhappy. Back in 2006, the same numbers for President Bush were 43 and 57 percent.
(CNN) - Voters think the economy’s a wreck…but who’s to blame? Thirty-five percent of voters in early exit polls pin the blame on Wall Street. The next name on the list: former President Bush – 29 percent point their fingers in his direction. President Obama follows, at 24 percent.
Just 35 percent of voters think the country’s on the right track, to 62 percent who think things are heading in the wrong direction. They’re not quite as pessimistic as they were just two years ago, when those numbers were 21 and 74 percent – but angrier than they were back in 2006, when 41 percent felt the nation was on the right track, to 55 percent who said they were headed in the wrong direction.