CNN is finally projecting what has seemed inevitable for the last week or so: Republican Bob Corker will defeat Democrat Harold Ford Jr. in the race to succeed retiring Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist in Tennessee. It's the Republicans' first big Senate win of the night, and it makes the outcome of the race in Virginia even more important.
With Ford's apparent loss in Tennessee, the Democrats now need to sweep Montana, Missouri and Virginia to take control of the Senate. Montana seems to be within reach; with about a fourth of the votes counted, Democratic challenger Jon Tester has opened up a 10-point lead over Republican Sen. Conrad Burns. Missouri seems like a long shot, but it's not impossible. With more than two-thirds of the precincts reporting, Democratic challenger Claire McCaskill has pulled within three percentage points of Republican Sen. Jim Talent, and CNN says that votes in some Democratic-friendly areas are yet to be counted.
As for Virginia, who knows? With 99.26 percent of the precincts reporting, Jim Webb leads George Allen by about 1,800 of the more than 2.2 million votes that have been counted. Appearing before supporters a few minutes ago, Allen said he's a long way from giving up and seemed to consider a recount to be a fait accompli. "I know that you'll be like eagles and hawks watching how every one of these votes will be counted," Allen said. "Stay strong from freedom and representative democracy. Accuracy in elections will prevail."