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Pa. race called for Toomey and what that says about J Street

As the Political Insider puts a wrap on what has been a long day, several news organizations are now projecting Republican Pat Toomey the winner in the super-hot Pennsylvania senate race.

If those projections hold he will beat Rep. Joe Sestak, the man who ousted Sen. Arlen Specter in this year's Democratic primary, by a narrow margin.

The results will ignite a firestorm of spin about J Street, the controversial pro-peace process, pro-Israel group that supported Sestak in a big way.

Eric Cantor's remarkable rise to the GOP heights

Despite some high-profile losses, it's been a great night for the Republicans and a great one for Rep. Eric Cantor.

Cantor's easy reelection victory and the GOP conquest of the House – according to several network projections – mean he's now in line to become Majority Leader, second only to Rep. John Boehner, who is expected to easily win the Speakers position.

Dressing up in Nazi garb doesn't help in Ohio

Apparently dressing up in Nazi uniforms isn't a big political draw in Ohio.

News outlets say Rep. Marcy Kaptur, a Democrat, has defeated GOP challenger Rich Iott, a Tea Party -backed who attracted national attention – all of it unwanted – when The Atlantic revealed he had participated in Nazi reenactments.

Barney Frank wins in Mass.

For weeks we've been hearing about how Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), one of a small handful of openly gay House members and a liberal bastion, could lose to Republican Sean Bielat in a race some critics said was tinged with gay bating.

Well, so much for predictions; the AP has been called for Frank, and projections have him winning some 61 percent of the vote to 36 percent for Bielat.

Frank was a big Tea Party target, and apparently that didn't make much of a difference in a night that's shaping up as a mixed bag for the insurgent movement, but with some high profile losses.

Schakowsky wins easily in Ill. in J Street-shadowed contest

In a congressional race that took on J Street overtones, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat, easily turned back a challenge by political newcomer Joel Pollack, a Republican who made criticism of the incumbent's positions on Israel the centerpiece of his campaign.

Pollack also had vocal support from Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz.

Schakowsky was supported by the J Street PAC, so the race will be one in a series that will be interpreted as a referendum on the pro-Israel, pro-peace process group.

Grayson, freshman Jewish House member, loses

Rep. Alan Grayson was one of the new members of the Jewish delegation in the House – and he was one of the first defeated on this Bloody Tuesday for the Democrats.

Grayson, an outspoken liberal Democrat who sometimes suffered from foot-in-mouth disease, lost to Republican Daniel Webster in Florida's 8th district.

Grayson blamed low Democratic turnout, but his controversial statements – including a Holocaust allusion in the health care debate that got him in trouble with the ADL – were undoubtedly a big part of Tuesday's results.

Blumenthal wins, Hodes loses in Senate bids

If you care about how many Jews serve in the Senate, early returns contain bad news and good news.

In Connecticut, Democrat Richard Blumenthal has defeated pro wrestling mogul Linda McMahon, a Republican, according to NPR and Reuters.

In Which Your Intrepid Intermarriage Columnist Goes To A Tribute Dinner

 Benefit events are not a huge part of my life. I’m more of an online donation kind of person, and to say I’m not a very good dresser (or a member of high society) is to put it mildly.

Nonetheless, last night I had a great time as a guest at the Jewish Outreach Institute tribute dinner.

Ky. Senate race called for Rand Paul; Big Problem for Jewish GOPers?

Update: CNN is calling the Delaware Senate race for Democrat Chris Coons, who apparently will beat Republican/Tea Party darling Christine O'Donnell. That's better news for the Republican Jewish Coalition, which also refused to endorse her candidacy.

In the non-surprise of the evening, libertarian/Tea Party favorite Rand Paul looks like an easy winner in the Kentucky Senate race.

This isn't good news for Jewish Republicans, who otherwise seem poised to have a pretty good night. The Republican Jewish Coalition conspicuously spurned Paul as being outside the GOP mainstream.

Another Kiefer Controversy?

The Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea will open its Anselm Kiefer exhibit, "Next Year in Jerusalem," this week.

I can't wait.

Kiefer has been courted controversy ever since he established himself in the '60s, taking pictures of himself doing the Nazi salute. As a non-Jewish German born the year the war ended, in 1945, there was always a layer of suspicion added to any explanation he gave.  But he always gave one, maybe frustratingly plain to some, but never coy.

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