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Rand Paul (AP/Photo by Patrick Reddy, The Eqnuirer)

Viewer's guide

Campaign 2010 | Here are the House, Senate, and governor races to keep an eye on as the evening hours tick away

Tonight's election returns promise packed action for pundits and voters alike: The late evening hours will begin to reveal results in a slew of races for 435 House districts, 37 Senate seats, and 37 governors' mansions.

Here's a look at a few of the key races to watch throughout the night:

6 p.m.: Polls begin closing in Indianaand Eastern Kentucky. Watch for results in the Kentucky race for Senate: If Republican Rand Paul wins his close race, it could signal the beginning of a happy night for Tea Party enthusiasts. Three close House races in Indiana could also offer a glimpse at how Republicans will fare in a region that has favored Democrats.

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7 p.m.: Polls close in Vermont and a handful of Southern states, including parts of Florida. Watch for a possible early call in the race for Senate in Florida. Republican Marco Rubio looks set to beat Gov. Charlie Crist(a former Republican running as an independent). A closer battle to watch: The Florida governor's race that pits Democrat Alex Sink against Republican Rick Scott. The Republican is another Tea Party favorite, and his win in politically diverse state like Florida could be another good sign for the GOP.

7:30 p.m.-10 p.m.: Polls close across most of the South, North, and Midwest. Watch the close race for governor in Ohio. Democrat Ted Strickland is in a fierce battle to protect the seat he won in a landslide in 2006. Republican John Kasich could prove one of several GOP candidates to win governor seats over the next few hours in industrial Midwest-always a key battleground in presidential elections. A series of House races in Ohiowill also show if voters will oust Democratic incumbents as expected.

We'll also begin to learn the fate of Sen. Russ Feingold in Wisconsin. The prominent Democrat has been surprised by a tight race with Republican Ron Johnson. A Feingold loss would be a major upset and could signal more losses for Democrats in the Senate.

Watch the House maps on WORLD's home page during these hours to see if the predicted domino effect proves true: If Republicans are destined to take control of the House, they'll begin to post a series of wins as election results roll in from handfuls of states.

10 p.m.-midnight: Polls close and results begin pouring in from Western states and the Pacific coast. Results will begin tabulating in one of the most-watched races in the country: the race for Nevada's Senate seat. Will Democratic Sen. Harry Reidlose-and position as Senate majority leader-to Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle? These hours will begin to tell.

Also important during the late hours (and into tomorrow morning): Results for Colorado's Senate seat, where Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet has narrowed his race with Republican Ken Buck. Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer will see if she can hold off Republican opponent Carly Fiorinain a difficult-to-predict race for Senate in California. A Boxer loss would be another major upset.
To keep up with the results of these and other Senate, House, and governor races, go to WORLD's home page and click on the appropriate tab above the interactive national map.

Jamie Dean
Jamie Dean

Jamie lives and works in North Carolina, where she covers the national political beat and other topics as news editor for WORLD. Follow Jamie on Twitter @deanworldmag.

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