Live Blog: GOP big shots speaking…Senate too close to call

Mike Rose

The Senate race is too close to call right now, gang. Check back at for updates. Earlier in the evening…

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty speaks at the GOP election party in Bloomington on Tuesday.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty just spoke, and although my computer died halfway through (all better now…) and my voice recorder couldn’t pick anything up, I used the old-fashioned pen and notepad method as he told the crowd to stay optimistic. About Obama’s victory, Pawlenty said, “Let’s try to be gracious about it. Let’s try to be classy about it.” Pawlenty was still excited for the deadlocked Senate race. “Keep your faith,” he said. “Stay strong.” -Devin Henry Here’s Michele Bachmann around 10 p.m.: “The election was about the work I’ve done with the bailout and bringing gas down to $2 a gallon. People care about the issues.” She added that she is excited and confident about her chances. She currently has a roughly four percent lead with about a third of all districts reporting. -Aaron Paitich At around 9:40… *Erik Paulsen has arrived at the GOP party, and gave interviews to TV and radio before being ushered away prior to his speech. His spokeswoman Stacy Johnson said he will speak when the race is called, which may or may not mean 100 percent of precincts reporting. *Michele Bachmann just walked in… I only saw her from behind, but Daily photographer Paul Bangasser said it was her. She got a rousing applause from a group sitting at the bar. -From reporter Devin Henry Also, Aaron Paitich is reporting that the GOP wants some more noise… Overheard in the lobby by campaign person: “There is no sound, no noise in there. We need to change this, get in their, we need sound and noise in their, this is ridiculous.” This was directed to Ole Hovde and others, possibly from the college Republicans. Earlier… The ballroom at the Sheraton is filling up as election results begin coming in. Ole Hovde is here, although he was on his phone when I saw him and I couldn’t stop him to chat. No major national figures have made an appearance so far; as results for races close to home come in, they’ll begin showing up, I’m sure…


-From reporter Devin Henry The banquet hall continues to fill with supporters, young and old. Loud cheers when Bachmann’s lead showed up on big screen. Erik Paulsen spotted in the hall, but no word on any speaking times yet. From two nice ladies from Bloomington: “We’re here to see a winning party. There’s a 98 percent chance McCain is going to win, they just haven’t counted my vote yet,” one of them said laughing. -From reporter Aaron Paitich