First indicators of how the battle for the Senate will play out come at 7 p.m. ET

Posted at 5:56 PM, Nov 04, 2014

Poll watching hints: In the battle for control of Senate, the first real indicators should come at 7 pm ET and 7:30 pm ET.

Polls close in Kentucky and Georgia at 7 pm ET and both have close races. Georgia is one of two where the winner must clear 50 percent to win; no one will be surprised if that ends up in a runoff. If it looks like either Democrat Michelle Nunn or Republican David Perdue start bumping into that 50 percent mark, it could be an omen. More likely, it will be past midnight in Georgia before we know the results.

In Kentucky, all the recent polling gives Senator Mitch McConnell a clear lead over Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. If that tightens up tonight, it could also be an early Republican warning sign.

New Hampshire closes at 7 pm ET. It’s a genuine toss-up between Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen

North Carolina at 7:30 pm ET is another one to watch. Democratic Senator Kay Hagan is neck and neck against Thom Tillis, the Speaker of the North Carolina House. This is the most expensive race in the country.  It could well be a canary for the rest of the night.

If North Carolina and New Hampshire both go Republican, they are likely to have a very good night.

Want to keep up with all the latest DecodeDC stories and podcasts? Sign up for our weekly newsletter at