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It's Election Day: Here Are 5 Headlines That Tell The Story

Sweepers stir up dust as they clean the reflecting pool in front of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.
Mark Wilson
Getty Images
Sweepers stir up dust as they clean the reflecting pool in front of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.

Voters across the country are headed to polls this morning. Thirty-six U.S. Senate seats and 36 governor's chairs are in play.

Our friends at It's All Politics have a ton of coverage. We'll leave you with five headlines from across the web that give you a broad overview of what to expect:

1. "Senate battle could go overtime" (Politico): The Big Question for tonight is: Will Republicans manage to gain enough seats to control the Senate. Politico reports, it may be "days, weeks or even months" before we know the answer.

"Political operatives in both major parties are prepared for the outcome of the most highly contested Senate seats to be in doubt well into the early-morning hours and for results in Alaska to be unclear for days. Prolonged runoffs are possible in both Louisiana and Georgia," Politico reports.

2. "Republicans Have A 3 In 4 Chance Of Winning The Senate" (FiveThirtyEight): Nate Silver, the stats guru with a fairly impeccable record of calling American elections, has released his final forecast, saying the GOP has a 76 percent chance of taking the Senate.

Silver reports:

Republicans have "been modest favorites in the FiveThirtyEight forecast all year, in part because the national environment is favorable for them: the group of states holding key Senate elections lean red; several Democratic incumbents have retired and the others were last elected in 2008, a high-water mark for the Democratic party; President Obama is unpopular and midterm elections have a long history of being challenging for the president's party."

3. Where did Obama go wrong? (Washington Post): The incumbent president has been treated like Kryptonite by members of his own party running for office. So what happened to the president that so deftly managed tough political odds to win a second term handily?

The Post blames big managing stumbles:

"'This is an administration that is very good at articulating some of its plans and responses and has delivered good speeches, but translating that into action has been a problem for the past six years,' said David Rothkopf, the author of 'National Insecurity: American Leadership in an Age of Fear.' 'Right now, the vast preponderance of evidence is that management is not one of the strong suits of this administration.'

"Obama's list of second-term leadership crises is a formidable one: the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov; long waits at Veterans Affairs hospitals; Edward Snowden's disclosures of the National Security Agency's secrets; apileup of foreign children along the southern border; Islamist terrorists marauding across Syria and Iraq and beheading foreigners, including Americans; and the arrival of the Ebola virus in the United States."

4. On Election's Eve, G.O.P. Is Confident, but Voters Are Sour (The New York Times): There is no message of hope and change this election cycle, says the Times. Instead, both parties "trucked in umbrage and outrage."

The paper adds:

"In Iowa on Monday, the Republican Senate hopeful Joni Ernst jumped on the comments of the retiring Democratic senator she hopes to replace, Tom Harkin, who said he did not care 'if she's as good looking as Taylor Swift.'

"'I am offended,' she said as she barnstormed through Iowa on the last full day of campaigning. 'To be compared to Taylor Swift, I guess that's O.K., though; I mean she's a very successful woman. But if my name were John Ernst and I were a guy he wouldn't be saying those things about me.'

"For their part, Democrats in New Hampshire pronounced themselves appalled after the state's Republican chairwoman, Jennifer Horn, announced in Manchester: 'This is our time, we need to crush it. We need to grab it, run with it, push their heads under over and over again until they cannot breathe anymore, until the elections are over on Tuesday night and we've won it all.'"

5. Clear Weather In All, But One Of The States With Close Races (Weather.com): The Weather Channel reports that weather should not be a big issue in most states with significant races. They report:

"At this time, it appears inclement weather will only be a significant concern in one of the 11 close Senate race states: Arkansas.

"A band of rain with embedded thunderstorms will slide slowly across the Natural State Tuesday. The best chance of rain much of the day will be in northern and western Arkansas. Furthermore, daytime highs may be stuck in the 50s where the rain persists longest. "

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.