- Chris Good at The Atlantic: "This is the first major victory for a Tea Party candidate tonight. Paul sealed it up in a race with high turnout, possibly around 48 percent."
- Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post: "The first tangible evidence of an American electorate deeply dissatisfied with the direction of the country and particularly with the state of the economy...Paul's victory over state Attorney General Jack Conway (D) came as soon as polls closed in the Bluegrass State and took one of Democrats' few chances at winning a Republican-held seat quickly off the electoral board...The early Republican victories coupled with preliminary exit polling suggested an electorate unhappy with the majority party and the direction in which Democrats had taken the country.
- Jonah Goldberg at National Review: "Aqua Buddha Be Praised!"
- Matthew Cooper at National Journal:
Republicans are taking two lessons from Obama. The first is that he's vulnerable in 2012. The second is: Why Wait? Barack Obama didn't finish a first term before running for president. Neither did John Edwards but that's another story. So should we expect every Republican Senator or House member who wins tonight to wait their turn. Rand Paul's father, the libertarian Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, ran for president a couple of times as a Republican and on the Libertarian Party line. Do we think the son will wait? Watch this space.
- Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, in a statement congratulating Paul:
For nearly two years, Kentuckians have said they want their government to focus on jobs and the economy. And at every turn, President Obama and Washington Democrats have ignored the people, and pursued their own left-wing agenda. Tonight, Kentucky voters sent a strong message to Washington by electing Dr. Rand Paul to the United States Senate. His message of reining in outrageous Washington spending and the overreaching policies of the Obama Administration resonated throughout the state. Senator-elect Paul ran a great campaign, and I am excited to have him as my colleague in the Senate next year to help us stop this crippling agenda.
Remember, tho, Twitterverse: A Rand win in Kentucky means the GOP expensively holds a seat it already held.
Aqua Backfired. Evangelicals backed Rand Paul by, um, 40 points.
Rand Paul, first Tea Party candidate to win major office?
Feeling a little queasy -- not sure if it's newsroom pizza or fact I just wrote "Sen.-elect Rand Paul" for the first time