10:07 AM PT: FL-18: While there may be plenty of more legal wrangling ahead, GOP Rep. Allen West's request for an injunction to impound voting machines and ballots in Palm Beach County has been denied. West has a similar action pending in St. Lucie County, so at the very least, Patrick Murphy's campaign will have to deal with that one, too. And appeals are always possible. But this is a good start for Murphy, whose lead still stands at 2,456 votes, or 0.8%.
10:50 AM PT: CT-Gov: If you've followed PPP's polling, you know that Dem Gov. Dan Malloy, first elected in 2010, has seen some pretty rough approval numbers. That's probably due to Connecticut's difficult fiscal situation and some tough choices Malloy has pushed for, including a tax increase. But lately, Malloy's numbers have turned around, and PPP's final CT poll saw him surge from -19 to +12! Such a big shift always raises eyebrows, but that survey actually found smaller margins for Barack Obama and Chris Murphy than they actually saw on election day.
Something else happened on election day as well, though: Democrats maintained their margins in both houses of the state legislature, even though Republicans made a big push (centered around attacks over Malloy's tax hike). Malloy is spinning this as vindication for his efforts, which he says were necessary due to years of mismanagement by GOP governors. Republican pushback is amusing, with leaders noting that this was "the first presidential election year since 1992 in which the GOP did not lose legislative seats." In other words: "Hooray! We've hit rock bottom!" Malloy will likely still have a tough re-election fight on his hands, and there's always the "you never know what things will look like two years from now" mantra. But this is a good start.
11:11 AM PT: NY-St. Sen: I think this story actually says more about Dem Gov. Andrew Cuomo's presidential chances than it does about the New York state Senate, but in any event, Cuomo is refusing to take sides over the Senate leadership dispute that's sure to arise after Tuesday's surprise election results. As I explained the other day, Democrats may have won enough seats to claim the majority, nominally controlling 33 seats to the GOP's 30. But there are five wayward Dems (four members of the so-called "Independent Democratic Conference," or IDC, plus one inscrutable Simcha Felder), any or all of whom might cut a deal with Republicans.
Cuomo, a Democrat who apparently loathes the Democratic Party, has made no secret in the past of his preference for a Republican Senate—he's buddy-buddy with the GOP majority leader, Dean Skelos, and his fiscal instincts align with theirs. Hell, Cuomo even endorsed two Republican senators up for re-election. So just think about it: A Democratic governor refusing to say that he wants Democrats (who do, after all, have a majority, even if on paper only) to control the state legislature? That's really a hell of a thing. When it comes time to proving your partisan bona fides in a presidential primary, this kind of abstention looks like a serious black mark.
11:25 AM PT: And now here's a full piece on West's courtroom failure on Friday morning. In denying West's motion, the judge said that his request "fell woefully short of what's required" and found no evidence of any legal violations. Hilariously, West's attorney said they were "thrilled with the response today"!
11:35 AM PT: WA-01: Despite trailing by almost seven percent, Republican John Koster waited until Thursday night to concede to Democrat Suzan DelBene. Washington, as you know, counts ballots very slowly, and at last glance, under three quarters had actually been tallied. But there was never any reason for Koster to have hope, which is why he's finally given up. He also took a potshot at the GOP establishment in an email to supporters, saying: "Sadly, and for reasons untold, neither the National Republican Congressional Committee nor the Washington State Republican Party stepped up to provide us with anything more than token support." That should help ensure Koster will never run again.
Charles Darwin, the 19th-century naturalist who laid the foundations for evolutionary theory, received nearly 4,000 write-in votes in Athens-Clarke County in balloting for the 10th Congressional District seat retained Tuesday by five-year incumbent Republican Rep. Paul Broun.Not bad for a guy who died 130 years ago and who isn't even American! (Broun, by the way, was otherwise unopposed for re-election.)
A spot check Thursday of some of the other counties in the east Georgia congressional district revealed a smattering of votes for Darwin, although it wasn't always clear, based on information provided by elections offices in those counties, whether those votes were cast in the 10th District race. And because the long-dead Darwin was not a properly certified write-in candidate, some counties won't be tallying votes for him, whether in the congressional race or other contests.
A campaign asking voters to write-in Darwin's name in the 10th Congressional District, which includes half of Athens-Clarke County, began after Broun, speaking at a sportsmen's banquet at a Hartwell church, called evolution and other areas of science "lies straight from the pit of hell."
11:50 AM PT: NY-24: Even Hiroo Onodo came down from the mountains eventually: GOP Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle will reportedly concede to Democrat Dan Maffei on Friday afternoon, trailing by over 14,500 votes.
12:14 PM PT: NC-07: After seesawing a bit, Dem Rep. Mike McIntyre's lead over Republican David Rouzer has now shrunk down to 394 votes, or 0.12 percent, after standing at 507 on Wednesday. Provisional ballots are still being counted, and an official tally is not due until Nov. 16. At that point, whoever's trailing will be able to ask for a recount, which the candidate won't have to pay for as long as the margin remains within one percent.