Election night 2011: A preview


(We Are Ohio)

Off-year elections often get a bad rap for being boring affairs. On paper, 2011 would seem to justify the charge. After all, only three governorships are up this year, and one of those (Louisiana) got decided in the October primaries. The other two (Kentucky and Mississippi) are exceedingly unlikely to be any closer than 15 points. But true election junkies know that there is life beyond the governor's mansion, Congress, and the White House. And a paucity of real races in those environs doesn't mean there isn't plenty to watch on Tuesday, however. From two high-profile recall elections, to critically important initiative battles in two states, to a couple of state legislatures that might be teetering on the brink, to a host of competitive mayoral races, there will be no shortage of battles to capture the attention of political junkies. With that in mind, what follows beneath the jump is a handy guide to the top contests to watch roughly 48 hours from now. From the first poll closings of the day in Kentucky (6 PM ET/3 PM PT) to the time mail-in ballots start to be tallied in the 1st Congressional District in Oregon (11 PM ET/8 PM PT), there will be a whole hell of a lot to keep an eye on. So follow me across the fold to take a look at the races people will be citing Wednesday, with an eye towards 2012.

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