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Races to watch

By CNN staff
CNN's political team is watching some races more closely than others.
CNN's political team is watching some races more closely than others.

Watch CNN live on TV, online and on your iPhone tonight from 7 p.m. ET to get all the news and results from the hotly contested 2010 midterm elections. And share your election experiences with CNN iReport.

(CNN) -- Here are races that could affect the balance of power and future of some well-known politicians. Keep checking back as we update with results.

House | Senate | Governors


Race: Arizona-03
Between: John Hulburd (D) and Ben Quayle (R)
Why we're watching: Quayle, son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, survived allegations that he wrote blog posts for a nightlife website and saw his numbers surge after he appeared in an ad calling Barack Obama "the worst president in history."
Result: CNN projects a win for Quayle

Race: Florida-08
Between: Alan Grayson (D) and Daniel Webster (R)
Why we're watching: Grayson has likened his opponent to the Taliban, called a lobbyist a "K Street whore" and summarized the GOP health plan as "die quickly." Democrats worry his rhetoric could hurt him in the polls.
Result: CNN projects a win for Webster

Race: Hawaii-01
Between: Charles Djou (R) and Colleen Hanabusa (D)
Why we're watching: Hanabusa is trying to take back the seat in this erstwhile Democratic district, but Djou is well-positioned to keep it.
Result: Stay tuned

Race: Idaho-01
Between: Raul Labrador (R) and Walter Minnick (D)
Why we're watching: A surprise winner in the GOP primary, Labrador, a lawyer, faces off against incumbent Minnick, who has raised eyebrows -- first by questioning whether he would back Nancy Pelosi for House speaker and, second, by rejecting a Tea Party endorsement.
Result: Stay tuned

Race: Louisiana-02
Between: Anh Joseph Cao (R) and Cedric Richmond (D)
Why we're watching: Cao snatched the seat from the scandal ridden William Jefferson and narrowly won re-election against Richmond in 2008. Though Cao voted against the final version of the health care bill, he was almost abandoned by the GOP when he voted yes on the first version.
Result: CNN projects a win for Richmond

Race: Massachusetts-04
Between: Sean Bielat (R) and Barney Frank (D)
Why we're watching: The Tea Party and a group of gay conservatives announced last month they were going after Frank, an openly gay congressman who has served 15 terms in the House.
Result: CNN projects a win for Frank

Race: Michigan-15
Between: John Dingell (D) and Rob Steele (R)
Why we're watching: A Dingell loss would be historic as the congressman has been in office since 1955, but former President Clinton recently campaigned for the 28-term incumbent because he's in the tightest re-election battle he's seen in a while.
Result: CNN projects a win for Dingell

Race: Minnesota-06
Between: Michele Bachmann (R) and Tarryl Clark (D)
Why we're watching: The 6th Congressional District house race is the most expensive in the nation, with Bachmann raising over $10 million so far and Clark more than $4 million.
Result: CNN projects a win for Bachmann

Race: Mississippi-04
Between: Steven Palazzo (R) and Gene Taylor (D)
Why we're watching: Palazzo has tried to paint Taylor as in league with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, prompting Taylor to call him a "liar." A conservative Democrat, Taylor points out he has bucked his party on health care, cap and trade and economic stimulus.
Result: CNN projects a win for Palazzo

Race: Missouri-04
Between: Vicki Hartzler (R) and Ike Skelton (D)
Why we're watching: Skelton, 78, is a survivor in a fairly conservative district but observers wonder if he can survive the anti-incumbent tide that Hartzler, an educator, will try to ride to the Beltway.
Result: CNN projects a win for Hartzler

Race: New York-15
Between: Michael Faulkner (R) and Charlie Rangel (D)
Why we're watching: Rangel is a legend in his Harlem constituency and seemed untouchable until the latest round of ethics charges against him.
Result: CNN projects a clear win for Rangel

Race: Ohio-01
Between: Steve Chabot (R) and Steve Driehaus (D)
Why we're watching: Driehaus' Cincinnati-area district has long been a conservative stronghold. He won the seat in 2008. Now, he's in a rematch against Chabot, who wants his old job back.
Result: CNN projects a win for Chabot

Race: Pennsylvania-08
Between: Mike Fitzpatrick (R) and Patrick Murphy (D)
Why we're watching: Murphy, an Army captain, defeated Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick in 2006 to become the first Iraq War veteran elected to Congress. He was re-elected in 2008 and now faces Fitzpatrick again.
Result: CNN projects a win for Fitzpatrick

Race: South Carolina-05
Between: Mick Mulvaney (R) and John Spratt (D)
Why we're watching: Winning Spratt's seat is important to the GOP calculus for winning the House, and the 14-term incumbent's position as House Budget chairman could be a liability.
Result: CNN projects a win for Mulvaney

Race: Texas-17
Between: Chet Edwards (D) and Bill Flores (R)
Why we're watching: The district leans Republican, but Edwards won it handily in 2006 and 2008. Flores, a businessman, wants to return the seat to the GOP.
Result: CNN projects a win for Flores

Race: Virginia-05
Between: Robert Hurt (R) and Tom Perriello (D)
Why we're watching: Obama wants Perriello to keep his seat, which the freshman won in a tight 2008 race, and stumped with him last month. Hurt, a state senator, is fighting to bring the seat back to his party in this Republican-leaning district.
Result: CNN projects Hurt will unseat Perriello, in a Republican gain.

More on the House races


Race: Alaska
Between: Scott McAdams (D), Joe Miller (R) and Lisa Murkowski (O)
Why we're watching: Murkowski wants to become only the second person to win a Senate write-in campaign after Strom Thurmond. A recent poll placed Murkowski in the lead after she lost the GOP primary to the Tea Party-backed Joe Miller.
Result: Stay tuned

Race: California
Between: Barbara Boxer (D) and Carly Fiorina (R)
Why we're watching: Observers say that if the seat can't be taken from Boxer, California is irrevocably blue. Fiorina, the ex-CEO of Hewlett-Packard, was an economic adviser to Sen. John McCain and best out two rivals in June's primary.
Result: CNN projects a win for Boxer

Race: Colorado
Between: Ken Buck (R) and Michael Bennet (D)
Why we're watching: The incumbent, Bennet, was named to replaced Ken Salazar after the senator joined Obama's Cabinet. Buck, the Weld County district attorney, has enjoyed support from the Tea Party, though he once blasted the so-called "birthers" in the movement.
Result: Stay tuned

Race: Connecticut
Between: Richard Blumenthal (D) and Linda McMahon (R)
Why we're watching: Can the former wrestling executive, McMahon, wrestle the seat away from state Attorney General Blumenthal? Blumenthal, who sparked controversy when he said he misspoke when he said he had served in Vietnam, wants to succeed his Democratic counterpart, Chris Dodd.
Result: CNN projects a Blumenthal win

Race: Delaware
Between: Chris Coons (D) and Christine O'Donnell (R)
Why we're watching: The Tea Party- and Sarah Palin-backed O'Donnell defeated longtime lawmaker Rep. Mike Castle in the GOP primary. Coons hopes to replace Sen. Ted Kaufman, appointed to fill Vice President Joe Biden's seat.
Result: CNN projects Coons will beat O'Donnell handily

Race: Florida
Between: Charlie Crist (I), Kendrick Meek (D) and Marco Rubio (R)
Why we're watching: The resumes in this one are impressive. Meek, a former state trooper, is taking on newly independent former Gov. Crist and ex-state House speaker Rubio for the seat.
Result: CNN projects Marco Rubio will win with more than 50 percent of the vote

Race: Illinois
Between: Alexi Giannoulias (D), LeAlan Jones (G) and Mark Kirk (R)
Why we're watching: Giannoulias, Obama's basketball, buddy is locked in a three-way race to replace Democratic Sen. Roland Burris. Then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich was ousted from the state's top office for allegedly trying to sell the seat.
Result: CNN projects a win for Kirk

Race: Kentucky
Between: Jack Conway (D) and Rand Paul (R)
Why we're watching: Paul, the son of 2008 presidential candidate Ron Paul, is facing state Attorney General Jack Conway. The race has been marked with bitter attacks and bizarre accusations as both men vie to replace Sen. Jim Bunning.
Result: CNN projects Rand Paul will be the next senator from Kentucky

Race: Nevada
Between: Sharron Angle (R) and Harry Reid (D)
Why we're watching: Quite simply, can Reid, the Senate majority leader, survive? Angle, a Tea Party candidate an ex-state lawmaker, has blamed Reid for Nevada's high jobless rate, while Reid has countered that Angle is an extremist and political neophyte.
Result: CNN projects a win for Reid

Race: Pennsylvania
Between: Joe Sestak (D) and Pat Toomey (R)
Why we're watching: Rep. Sestak, a retired Navy admiral who served in the Clinton White House, defeated Sen. Arlen Specter in the primary. Toomey, a former six-term congressman who is conservative on tax issues, promises a tight race.
Result: CNN projects a win for Toomey

Race: Washington
Between: Patty Murray (D) and Dino Rossi (R)
Why we're watching: Three-term incumbent Murray has collected quite a war chest to take on Rossi, known across the state after two gubernatorial runs. Murray and Rossi have attempted to link their opponent with George W. Bush and Obama, respectively.
Result: Stay tuned

Race: Wisconsin
Between: Russ Feingold (D) and Ron Johnson (R)
Why we're watching: Feingold, who is often cited for his campaign finance reform efforts and who refused to accept money from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, is seeking a fourth term. The Tea Party-endorsed Johnson is a political newcomer.
Result: CNN projects a win for Johnson

More on the Senate races


Race: California
Between: California Attorney General Jerry Brown (D), Meg Whitman (R)
Why we're watching: The race to succeed GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pits Brown, who was governor of the state more than 30 years ago, against former eBay CEO Whitman. Whitman, who spent an unprecedented $140 million on her campaign -- $119 million from personal funds -- faced a distraction when a former nanny accused her and her husband of employing her despite knowing she was an illegal immigrant. Whitman denied the allegation.
Result: CNN projects a win for Brown

Race: Florida
Between: Rick Scott (R), Alex Sink (D)
Why we're watching: The two candidates are in a highly contentious battle for a governorship being vacated by Charlie Crist, the Republican-turned-independent ran for U.S. Senate. Scott, a former health care executive, scored an upset victory over state Attorney General Bill McCollum. Sink, the state's chief financial officer, led Scott shortly after the primary in polls, but the Republican closed the gap by October. Sink would be Florida's first female governor.
Result: Stay tuned

Race: Massachusetts
Between: Charlie Baker (R), Tim Cahill (I) and Gov. Deval Patrick (D)
Why we're watching: Despite Massachusetts' strong Democratic bent in presidential races, Bay State Republicans have scored a number of big victories in statewide races in recent years. They had a 16-year lock on the governorship from 1991 to 2007. Can Patrick fend off Baker, a health care executive, and Cahill, the state treasurer, in a national anti-incumbent climate?
Result: CNN projects a win for Patrick

Race: Ohio
Between: John Kasich (R), Gov. Ted Strickland (D)
Why we're watching: Plagued by scandals and a bad state economy, Ohio Republicans were routed from office in the Democratic wave years of 2006 and 2008. Kasich, an ex-congressman, is hoping to take the governorship back for the Republicans. Recent polls showed him with a consistent lead over Strickland, who is seeking a second term.
Result: CNN projects a win for Kasich

Race: Oregon
Between: Chris Dudley (R), Former Gov. John Kitzhaber (D)
Why we're watching: Kitzhaber, a popular former two-term governor, began his quest to reclaim his old job as the prohibitive favorite. But he has a strong and charismatic opponent in Dudley, a former member of the Portland Trailblazers NBA basketball team. If Dudley were to win, he would become Oregon's first Republican governor in 24 years.
Result: Stay tuned

More on governor races

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