A still-smiling Sharron Angle took the stage at The Venetian just past midnight to offer her concession speech in the U.S. Senate race she lost Tuesday to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Angle focused her speech on the positive, saying, “We know how to win, and we know how to lose.”
“I’ve never seen the kind of patriotism I’ve seen displayed over the past 20 months,” she said. “You’ve done an incredible job — we the people — and I’m so proud of you.”
The crowd had dwindled to a fraction of its original size by the time she took the stage.
Angle, who lost to Reid by about 5 percentage points, said her campaign had inspired and energized not only the Republican Party but others “to do what they know they need to do as Americans” — vote.
She also thanked campaign donors and pointed to the more than $14 million in campaign contributions raised during the stretch run.
“We were able to inspire not only Nevada but an entire country,” she said.
Last updated: 11:23 p.m.
Reid: Nevada chose hope over fear
A beaming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took the stage at Aria to deliver his victory speech at 10:45 tonight, thanking his wife — who was at his side — family, staff and volunteers for helping him through the tough fight to retain his U.S. Senate seat.
“Today, Nevada chose hope over fear,” Reid said to cheers. “Nevada chose to move forward, not backward. Nevada made this choice because we know it’s not about us versus them, it’s about every Nevadan, all of us, in this together.”
“I wish my voice could convey what’s in my heart,” Reid continued. “That’s thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Reid walked to the stage to Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising,” and the senator referenced his own “rising” from a hardscrabble childhood in a small Nevada town all the way to Washington.
“If a poor kid from Searchlight can make it, anyone can make it,” he said.
Nevada also will rise again, Reid said.
“Nevada’s going to recover,” he said. “We’re going to bounce back stronger than ever.” Reid said he’s long been a fighter and isn’t finished.
“In fact, I’m more determined than ever,” he said. “You see, I’ve been in some pretty tough fights in my day — they’ve been in the streets, they’ve been in the boxing ring, they’ve been in the United States Senate. But I have to admit, this is one of the toughest.”
He added that he wants other Nevadans to join him in the fight.
“Remember, tomorrow it’s back to work for the people of Nevada,” he said. “Tomorrow morning there will still be too few jobs for too many people, too many foreclosure signs in too many yards.”
Meanwhile, at the Republicans’ election night party at The Venetian, the crowd thinned after Fox News and other news organizations called the the election for Reid.
Angle had yet to appear.
Only part of Reid’s victory speech aired at the Republican victory party. His image was met with boos and angry heckles before he disappeared from the screen altogether and the channel was changed back to Fox News.
The crowd also booed when Fox News showed a photograph of President Barack Obama on the phone with newly re-elected Rep. John Boehner of Ohio.
Angle campaign volunteer Dudley Winn wasn’t ready to concede anything. Just before Reid began his victory speech just down the Strip, Winn said he still felt the election was too close to call.
He said he just didn’t buy the result after what he saw and heard while working for “Susan Angle,” as he called her.
Winn admitted, however, that he didn’t fully understand how elections work outside of his home state of Texas, where he cast his own ballot.
Winn traveled to Nevada from Lubbock, Texas, with a group of Republicans to help the Angle campaign.
“We don’t like Obamacare. We don’t like how Harry Reid has dictated the Senate,” he explained.
Ardelle Bellman worked the phones for Angle and came to the Republican victory party in an Angle for Senate T-shirt. She left in what she called a “dejected mood” about 10:30 p.m.
Bellman said she didn’t want to see Angle concede because she didn’t buy the results and wants her candidate to challenge them.
“There were too many (voting) machine discrepancies,” she said. “She can’t just give a concession speech and walk away.”
Last updated: 10:33 p.m.
Reid defeats Angle, retains Senate seat
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has won the hard-fought race to defend his U.S. Senate seat from Republican challenger Sharron Angle, bringing an end to the nasty $50 million, five-month general election campaign that pitted the most powerful man in the Senate against a Tea Party-backed conservative.
The Review-Journal called the race based on Reid’s lead of nearly 27,000 votes over Angle with 41 percent of precincts reporting.
Reid supporters at the Democrats’ election night party at Aria erupted in cheers as MSNBC and others called the race for Reid tonight.
“The Tea Party Express has been derailed in Nevada,” said former Sen. Richard Bryan, who was in the audience.
Polls had long shown Angle and Reid neck-and-neck, with Angle leading by several points in the most recent surveys.
Last updated: 9:45 p.m.
News organizations call race for Reid
The Associated Press and CNN also have called the U.S. Senate race for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid over his Republican challenger Sharron Angle. Reid was set to take the stage at the Democrats’ election night party at Aria at CityCenter.
Last updated: 9:40 p.m.
Fox News calls race for Reid
Fox News called the U.S. Senate race for Senate Majority Harry Reid over Republican challenger Sharron Angle just before 9:30 p.m.
Some members of the crowd gathered at the Republicans’ election night party at The Venetian cried out in shock and dismay and then fell quiet upon hearing the news. Reid was leading by about 30,000 votes statewide and by more than 41,000 in Clark County.
Last updated: 9:17 p.m.
Reid lead at 51 percent
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s lead over Republican challenger Sharron Angle has narrowed somewhat as voting results pour in from around the state. But he still has a solid lead with 51 percent of the vote to Angle’s 45 percent.
Reid is handily winning Clark County, with 54 percent of the vote to Angle’s 42 percent. He’s also beating Angle in Washoe County.
But Angle, as expected, is winning the rural counties, where Reid is especially unpopular.
Last updated: 8:52 p.m.
Reid lead quiets Angle crowd
The crowd inside the Republican election night party at The Venetian grew quiet as early voting results showing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid beating his Republican challenger Sharron Angle by about 10 points statewide flashed on-screen.
Meanwhile, on the 20th floor of Aria at CityCenter, the Tea Party Express had converted a corner suite into a "war room" of sorts.
Sal Russo, the California architect of the Republican-tied Tea Party organization, sat at the head of a table with a half dozen others working laptops to study returns from various states.
Four toteboards lined the room. Elsewhere, a bedroom had been converted to a "media room," with camera equipment on the bed. A handful of people were watching CNN. The view of the Strip was spectacular.
Tea Party Express spokesman Dustin Stockton said the results so far were "mixed."
"Florida is breaking strong, Ohio and North Carolina less so," he says. "We are happy they are calling the House in the Republicans’ favor."
The Tea Party Express room was a far distance across Aria from the Democrats’ election night party. Stockton said the group had made Reid its No. 1 target and wanted at least to make a symbolic gesture to be in the same hotel.
"If this is where Harry Reid was going to be watching the election results, that’s where we wanted to watch the election results," he said.
Last updated: 8:36 p.m.
Dems cheer Reid lead
A massive cheer erupted from the crowd now several hundred strong inside the ballroom at Aria as early voting results from Clark County flashed on a TV screen, showing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid well ahead of Republican challenger Sharron Angle. A chant of "Harry! Harry!" began, but quickly died when other results showed Dina Titus and Joe Heck nearly tied in their contest for representative to Congress in District 3.
Reid was leading Angle by 12 points in Clark County. Early statewide results showed him leading by about 10 points.
Last updated: 8:10 p.m.
Reid leads in Clark County
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is beating Republican challenger Sharron Angle in Clark County, according to early voting results posted on the county’s website tonight. Reid has so far earned 54 percent of the vote to Angle’s 42 percent.
Last updated 7:52 p.m.
Dems chair thanks voters, supporters
Sam Lieberman, chairman of the state Democratic party, took the stage at the Democrats’ election night party at Aria at CityCenter at 7:20 p.m. to thank voters and supporters.
"Tonight, we celebrate," he said. "Tonight we acknowledge. Tonight we thank. Tonight we recognize. Tomorrow we go back to work at building our future together with Senator Harry Reid at the helm."
He said he would be back with more updates when results start coming in.
Meanwhile, at the Republicans’ election night party inside a ballroom at The Venetian, cheers erupted as large television screen announced the results of an Edison Research exit poll, which showed Republican Sharron Angle leading 54 percent to Sen. Harry Reid’s 39 percent in the hotly contested U.S. Senate race.
Another cheer went up when a party official thanked the crowd for "attending the Harry Reid retirement party."
"Glad you all could make it," he said.
Last update: 7:25 p.m.
Angle celebrates with Reno supporters
In Reno Tuesday, Republican Sharron Angle attended a 6 p.m. "victory" party at the Peppermill with about 500 cheering supporters.
"This is an awakening of our America, our Nevada that goes beyond party lines, beyond generational lines," she said.
The polls had not yet closed, but Angle said she was "cautiously optimistic" about her chances over four-term Democratic Sen. Harry Reid.
Angle got misty-eyed as she talked about her love for "God, family, country."
"I sound like a Marine," she said. "This is one nation under God. We owe our future to Him. This is all about the people, about the Constitution, about our founding fathers."
She spoke to the crowd for less than five minutes, then posed for pictures, one by one with hundreds of supporters.
Angle left at 7:20 p.m. to fly to Las Vegas to watch final returns at a Republican party at The Venetian on the Strip.
Meanwhile, outside The Venetian’s ballroom, Sharron Angle yard signs lined the halls, one every few feet. The room began filling up just past 7 p.m. Those gathered there were watching Fox News and chatting.
Not far away at the Aria at CityCenter, Democrats were gathering in a huge ballroom for their own party. Two big screens flanked the stage — one tuned to a local news station and the other to MSNBC. The stage was large but spare, with a simple podium on which a "Harry Reid" placard hung. John Mellancamp’s "Small Town" was playing.
Last update: 7 p.m.
Dems, GOP await Reid-Angle results
Democrats and Republicans began gathering early Tuesday evening at separate parties on the Las Vegas Strip to await election results for the most closely watched race in the nation — that between Senate Majority Harry Reid and Republican challenger Sharron Angle.
The Nevada Republican Party is holding its election night party at The Venetian. The Nevada State Democratic Party, meanwhile, is at the Aria at CityCenter.
Both were hoping their gathering would soon turn into an election night victory celebration after a hard-fought and nasty $50 million, five-month general election campaign that has pitted the most powerful man in the Senate against a Tea Party-backed conservative.
The few dozen Republicans gathered inside The Venetian’s ballroom just after 6 p.m. cheered as Fox News reported positive GOP results and projections from across the country.
On another projection screen a local newscast showed Reid casting his vote earlier Tuesday. The footage drew boos from the GOP audience. Similar footage of Angle at the ballot booth drew a cheer.
At Aria, dozens of Democrats began gathering in a ballroom so huge it left reporters at a loss to describe, and could serve as a symbol of Reid’s journey from a tiny home in Searchlight to the U.S. Senate.
The polls closed at 7 p.m.
Before today, nearly 380,000 Nevadans already had cast ballots during the two-week early voting period, or more than half of those expected to vote as officials predicted a turnout of 60 to 65 percent.
Thanks to an advantage of 60,000 registered voters, the Democrats turned out at least 7,500 more voters than Republicans in early and absentee voting. But the GOP had a higher turnout rate by about 4 percentage points, and most analysts predicted that GOP enthusiasm would carry over to today.
To win, Reid must have delivered a large number of Democrats to the polls and hold his own among swing independents, who were leaning Angle’s way by double digits, according to surveys. Angle’s camp believes it can win if she holds her GOP base and finishes strong with nonpartisans.
Review-Journal reporters Steve Tetreault, Henry Brean and Ed Vogel contributed to this report. Contact reporter Lynnette Curtis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0285.SLIDESHOWS
Election Day 2010
Election Night 2010