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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

While I Was Out, Some Votes Were Counted . . .



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Periodically on the NR cruise, guests would ask me for the latest on the various unresolved races. I had to tell them I had no real updates; I had been on a boat with them, with spotty Internet access.

While I was gone, here’s what we know is resolved:

  • Barring some astonishingly unexpected turn of events, Lisa Murkowski will be sworn in for another term as senator from Alaska.
  • Republican Renee Ellmers defeated incumbent Democrat Bob Etheridge in North Carolina’s 2nd congressional district. In the end, Etheridge choked.
  • Republican Joe Walsh defeated incumbent Melissa Bean in Illinois’s 8th district. He’s an eagle, that guy.

And now the not quite resolved:

  • In New York’s 25th district, there’s promising news for Republican challenger Ann Marie Buerkle: “Republican Ann Marie Buerkle increased her lead over U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei by a seemingly insurmountable 567 votes on Sunday when Wayne County completed its unofficial tally of absentee votes.”
  • In Texas, the recounting hasn’t added up to much change in the totals: “A ballot recount in South Texas demanded by U.S. Rep. Solomon Ortiz is nearly complete, but he’s still trailing Republican challenger Blake Farenthold. Only about 15,000 absentee and early ballots have yet to be re-tabulated in Cameron County, which includes Brownsville, in the 27th Congressional District race. Farenthold’s spokesman said officials expect to finish on Monday. All the other votes have been recounted, and Ortiz trails by about 800 votes, roughly the same tally on Election Day. The recount so far has resulted in each candidate gaining or losing only a few votes.”
  • In New York’s 1st district, Democrat Tim Bishop appears to have taken the lead through a count of absentee ballots: “After four days of absentee ballot counting in the race for the First Congressional District, incumbent Rep. Tim Bishop, D – Southampton, took the lead from Randy Altschuler, the Republican challenger and businessman from St. James. According to spokesman Jon Schneider, Bishop leads by 15 votes. Altschuler started the absentee ballot count, which began on Tuesday, with a 383-vote lead.”
  • Finally, the outlook for California’s Republicans appears to be some tough math: “U.S. Rep. Jim Costa of Fresno had a 2,742 vote edge over Republican Andy Vidak, a political novice from Hanford, in the 20th Congressional District. Costa had 51.6 percent of the vote to Vidak’s 48.4 percent in the district that includes all of Kings County and parts of Kern and Fresno counties, according to the secretary of state’s office. . . . Kings County had finished its count, Fresno County tallied about 99 percent of its ballots as of Friday, and Kern County planned to release the count from about 4,500 remaining ballots on Monday.”
  • “To the north, U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney of Pleasanton was leading by 1,783 votes over Republican David Harmer, an attorney from San Ramon. His lead in the 11th Congressional District was less than 1 percent of all votes cast.”

And we may get a chance to kick around Phil Hare again: “Defeated less than three weeks ago, U.S. Rep. Phil Hare, D-Ill., said Friday he’s thinking about running again in 2012. He said he probably wouldn’t make a decision for at least another couple of months.”


Tags: Andy Vidak , Blake Farenthold , David Harmer , Joe Walsh , Lisa Murkowski , Phil Hare , Renee Ellmers


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