Election 2011: The Battle for Fetuses, Collective Bargaining, Recalls, and Three State Legislatures

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 22: A pro-life activist holds a sign as he participates in the annual ‘March for Life’ event January 22, 2009 in Washington, DC. The event was to mark the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v Wade Supreme Court abortion ruling. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

There’s no Encore post today, because the news stops for no man. It’s election night in (several parts of) America! Here’s what to watch and how, as assembled by Slate’s Sonia Tsuruoka.

6:30 p.m.: Kentucky

The question isn’t whether Gov. Steve Beshear will survive. The question is whether Democrats can once again sweep statewide elections, and rescue people like Attorney General Jack Conway – his opponent was endorsed by Palin! – on Beshear’s mojo. The results: Here.

7 p.m.: Virginia

There are three state legislatures up for election tonight. The closest-watched, and the most important for 2012: Virginia’s Senate, currently governed by Democrats by a slim four-seat margin. If Republicans seize it, they win the whip hand for redistricting. Bottled-up social conservative legislation will finally be able to make it to Gov. Bob McDonnell’s desk. I’m agnostic on whether that helps McDonnell’s national ambitions, but it’s what’s at stake.

Follow the Senate results here, and follow the House of Delegates results here. Read more about McDonnell’s awkward rise to national prominence here, and about the social conservative goals here.

7:30 p.m.: Ohio

It’s the dream of every progressive whose hopes were crushed in Wisconsin: They may be able to overturn S.B. 5, Ohio’s version of the anti-collective bargaining union reform law. That’s on the ballot as Issue 2, and the results will be here. Read about how tricky the politics have been for Mitt Romney here.

8:00 p.m.: New Jersey

It’s been a great year for Chris Christie. After he turned down a presidential bid, despite Ken Langone basically promising to buy a block of Pennsylvania Avenue for him, Christie’s approval ratings in New Jersey edged higher. And yet, and yet – he didn’t spend all of his time campaigning for the state legislature. He jumped into other states, to offer his help. Follow the link above to see whether, against expectations, Christie’s GOP can win control of either house of the legislature.

8:00 p.m.: Mississippi results for all statewide elections

The thing to watch here is not the governor’s race, which Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant will take easily, but the Personhood amendment, issue 26 – if it passes, life in Mississippi officially starts at conception.

9 p.m. Arizona

Oh, it probably won’t happen, but just for fun you can watch the recall attempt against Sen. Russell Pearce, one of the most influential immigration hawks in the country, and the Lancelot of the Tea Party’s agenda in the state.

I’ll livetweet some of this at my account, @daveweigel, with most of the activity coming after 8:30 or so.