FOX News is projecting the first Republican Senate victory of the night -- Republican Rand Paul will win the battle for Kentucky's Senate seat and defeat Democrat Jack Conway. This is a big win for the Tea Party and Republican reformers, who fueled Paul's first-time candidacy. The seat is currently held by retiring Republican Jim Bunning.
FOX News can also project tonight's first Republican pickup in the Senate. Republican Dan Coats will win the open Senate seat in Indiana, defeating Congressman Brad Ellsworth. This is a return to the Senate for Coats, who retired in 1998 and was replaced by Senator Evan Bayh (BYE), who dropped out this year.
We can also project that Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina will be elected to another term. This conservative favorite and potential 2012 contender faced Democrat Alvin Greene, an unemployed unknown who won his party's primary without campaigning.
FOX News can also now project that Senator Pat Leahy of Vermont will be elected to an unprecedented sixth term representing the Green Mountain State. His opponent, Republican Len Britton, never posed much of a threat .
The race for South Carolina governor is too close to call. Republican Niki Haley and Democrat Vincent Sheheen (SHUH-HEEN) are locked in a tight race. Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants was one of Sarah Palin's first Mamma Grizzlies and faced a series of attacks in her primary and general runs, including marital infidelity and tax problems.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily "Fox News First" political news note and hosts "Power Play," a feature video series, on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including "The Kelly File," "Special Report with Bret Baier," and "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace." He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.