10:31 AM PT: There are still three Congressional races outstanding in California, each of which features a Democrat narrowly leading the incumbent Republican. The closeness of these races is reminding us of the protracted statewide count in the Attorney General race between Kamala Harris and Steve Cooley in 2010, but fortunately, each of our outstanding races are each contained in one county.
• CA-36: Moving south in Riverside County, incumbent Republican Mary Bono Mack trails Democrat Raul Ruiz by 4,500 votes, but is refusing to concede. Riverside County tells us that there are 183,000 votes left to count there. Not all of these are in the district - the district only makes up a third of the county - but even given that, there's likely another 60,000-70,000 votes out here. Ruiz's lead is substantially greater than Bera's, meaning that Bono Mack would need to get 53%+ of the vote among the remaining ballots. The Riverside Registrar is promising an update at 6pm PT tonight, so we'll get a better idea then.
• CA-52: Finally, in San Diego, Dem Scott Peters leads Brian Bilbray by 685 votes. The San Diego RoV tell us that there are 450,000 votes left outstanding, but again, most of these will fall outside the district. About 100,000 of these will likely be in the district. (This squares nicely with the turnout from CA-50 in 2008, where approximately 300,000 votes were cast.) As with CA-07, it's to early to conclude anything from Peters' narrow margin.
10:40 AM PT: MI-01: Here's another candidate who isn't conceding even though his race was called by the AP: Democrat Gary McDowell, who currently trails GOP Rep. Dan Benishek by 2,297 votes. There are an unknown number of absentee and provisional ballots that remain uncounted, but more intriguing is this statement from McDowell, whose campaign says it is "looking to resolve discrepancies between AP-reported numbers and tallying errors in some counties." If this is in fact the case, it certainly wouldn't be the first time the AP has screwed up the vote count.
Q. What about a bid for governor for you? A possibility?
A. You know that I believe fervently in that vision. I don't know of many other candidates who articulate that vision. Am I going to do something? Oh gosh, I don't know. People approach me every day and ask, "Walsh, are you going to run for the governor? Are you going to run for Senate?" I want to do my part to lead a movement to present a vision to this. I'd rather go down fighting. Democrats have ruined this state but they've been able to do it because the Republicans have allowed them to.
11:24 AM PT (David Jarman): WA-Gov: The numbers tightened a tiny bit with yesterday's count in the Washington gubernatorial race, where, as is Evergreen State tradition, we may be a few more days before we get a call. Dem Jay Inslee now leads GOPer Rob McKenna 51.1-48.9. King County, however, has at least 400,000 ballots yet to count. The Inslee camp estimates that McKenna would need to pull 45% in the remaining King County ballots to win (and 60% in the remaining non-King County ballots); however, he's currently pulling 37.3% in King County. For a more detailed analysis, you might check out the spreadsheet put together by our own dgb. (The "d" is for Dave, as in Dave's Redistricting App.) His straight-line extrapolation points to a 52.2% win for Inslee in the end.
As for why it takes so long to count all of Washington's ballots, it's always a convenient explanation to blame the state's vote-by-mail system, which only requires ballots to be postmarked by Election Day (as opposed to Oregon, which requires them to be received by Election Day). Goldy argues, though, that Oregon manages to get its count done much faster by virtue of putting more resources into the counting process, and by virtue of starting the count earlier (allowing ballots received early to be processed early). King County has a current processing capacity of only 75,000 ballots per day, so as long as that continues, it's going to take more than a week to count regardless of when the ballot deadline is.
11:29 AM PT: FL-18: So even though GOP Rep. Allen West trails Patrick Murphy by more than the 0.5% margin which would enable him to seek a recount, and even though the remaining absentee ballots look very unlikely to change that picture, this is what he's doing:
West has filed an injunction against Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties supervisor of elections to impound their voting machines and paper ballots. West also is demanding a hand recount in St. Lucie County.A court hearing is taking place in Palm Beach on Thursday at 5pm; a hearing in St. Lucie is scheduled for Friday. Murphy's campaign has issued a fundraising appeal to help defray the legal bills they've suddenly started running up. (Republican law firms are notorious for deploying their associates pro bono to help candidates like West. More like faux bono, amirite?)
11:49 AM PT: FL Lege: Here's a new category to add to the DLCC's list: supermajorities broken. While Florida Democrats are still deep in the minority in both houses of the state legislature, they saw important gains on Tuesday night, and quite critically, those gains have erased the GOP's two-thirds majorities in both chambers. Also of note: Chris Dorworth, who was expected to become the next House speaker, appears to be on the verge of losing to an unheralded and underfunded Democratic challenger. While it would be an understatement to say there's an extremely long way to go before Democrats can even think about taking back power, at least this will put a few brakes on Republican extremism.
12:12 PM PT: NV-Sen: Fuck this, I'm already bored of the 2014 elections. Thankfully, we can move on to 2016, because Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he's "planning on running for reelection" four years hence. Okay, done with 2016. Anyone talk to Heidi Heitkamp yet to see if she plans to seek a second term in '18?
Back to the already-ancient 2012 races for a moment, though. Reid Wilson points out that Nevada's unique "none of the above" ballot option took 45,000 votes in the Senate contest, while GOP Sen. Dean Heller beat Democrat Shelley Berkley by only 12,000. It's hard to say whom NOTA might have helped, but you'll recall that Republicans launched an unsuccessful lawsuit earlier this year to overturn the institution. It's also the first time in quite a while that NOTA (which is only used in statewide races) drew more votes than the winner's margin.
12:27 PM PT: OH-Gov: I think I love former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland as much as I hate the man who beat him two years ago, Republican John Kasich, and I fervently hope that Teddy Ballgame decides on a rematch for 2014. He's always kept the door open to the possibility, but he's 71 and there are other up-and-coming Dems (like Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald) who need Strickland to decide so that they can move forward with their own plans. But for now, we're still reading tea leaves, and here are dregs from the latest cuppa:
"Am I the candidate that is going to run against him? I'm certainly not prepared to say that," Strickland told The Plain Dealer just hours after both Obama and Brown were re-elected. "But I will be fully participating in efforts to get a Democrat in the governor's office. And I think there (are) strong possibilities other than myself that could do that. I haven't closed any doors but I haven't made any plans either."
12:36 PM PT (David Jarman): Polltopia: Sensing a new trend today: newspapers hanging their own pollsters out to dry. One is the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, which published a story about how the pollsters basically got it right... except for their very own pollster, Susquehanna (who almost single-handedly got susceptible people thinking that Pennsylvania was competitive). That seems like basic CYA than an ominous callout, though, as Susquehanna is a Republican polling firm and the Tribune-Review is an explicitly right-wing paper.
The second one seems more important, though: a much bigger and more serious paper, the Miami Herald, published a story giving its own much higher-profile and more seriously-regarded pollster, Mason-Dixon, the opportunity to address its final poll that gave Mitt Romney a 6-point lead on the election's eve. M-D's director, Brad Coker, goes ahead and blames Hurricane Sandy for screwing up his sample (which, of course, had nothing to do with Florida). Given the skepticism with which their article treats Coker's excuses, you've got to wonder whether Mason-Dixon (who were already sacked by the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2010 after their woeful NV-Sen polling) will still be working for the Herald next time.