1:00 PM PT: IA-Sen: Just days after his nine-point victory over Christie Vilsack, GOP Rep. Steve King is refusing to rule out a run against Dem Sen. Tom Harkin in 2014. Over his long career, Harkin has always seemed like an attractive target for Republicans. But after first unseating Sen. Roger Jepsen in 1984, Harkin then dispatched three congressmen in a row: Tom Tauke (1990), Jim Lightfoot (1996), and Greg Ganske (2002). That left Republicans with Some Dude Christopher Reed in 2008, who helped Harkin achieve his highest-ever vote total (63 percent).
That's not say Harkin won't be vulnerable in 2014. To the contrary: I expect the GOP to try hard for this seat. But King would probably be our best opponent: He's a stone-cold lunatic, and the rest of Iowa is much more moderate than his district. What's more, he can almost certainly out-crazy anyone else who might dare enter the primary field. On the flipside, he can probably raise a lot of money, but I think Harkin would have a field day with King and would probably prefer him to some anodyne establishment type. (And before anyone can say "be careful what you wish for," I'll just point out that for the last two cycles, Republicans have done us huge favors by nominating their most insane standard-bearers. MourdockAkinAngleO'Donnell anyone?)
1:39 PM PT: HI-02: It's almost too bad Virgil Goode isn't around anymore, since I'm sure we'd all enjoy another one of his meltdowns: Democrat Tulsi Gabbard, just elected to the open seat in Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District, will become the first Hindu member of the House and will apparently take her oath of office on the Bhagavad Gita. (I know I'll never forget Goode flipping out when Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison was sworn in over a Koran owned by Thomas Jefferson back in 2007.)
1:50 PM PT: TX-?? George P. Bush, son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and nephew of Dubya, has filed paperwork for a campaign committee in Texas. It's not known what office he might seek, but AG or Land Commissioner are rumored possibilities. (The attorney general's job will be open in 2014 if Greg Abbott makes a run for governor.) One thing I'd forgotten (that the New Republic's Eliza Gray reminds me of) is that George P., who speaks Spanish and whose mother is Mexican, was once dubbed the GOP's Ricky Martin. Probably not something he'd like to be reminded of. Also: Don't confuse George P. with Jeb's other son, Jeb Bush, Jr. (aka JBJ), who has already been talked about as a possible 2014 challenger to Rep.-elect Joe Garcia in FL-26.
2:18 PM PT: CA-15: Another very interesting tidbit from Greg Giroux: Rep. Pete Stark, who was just defeated by fellow Democrat Eric Swalwell, was the third longest-serving member of the House to be unseated by a member of his own party. The longest was New York City Democrat Manny Celler, who lost to Liz Holtzman in 1972 after an amazing twenty-five terms in office. Second was Massachusetts Republican Joseph W. Martin, who served 21 terms before being defeated by Margaret Heckler in 1966. Stark winds up just behind Martin with 20 terms, though the other two men both lost in primaries while Stark lost in a general election, thanks to California's new top-two primary system.
3:07 PM PT: IL-13: Democrat David Gill, whose race was called by the AP on election night, is now conceding to Republican Rodney Davis. Via email:
My exhausted campaign team has just completed a county by county analysis of outstanding provisional and absentee ballots in the 13th Congressional District, as well as some precinct based anomalies in ballot returns and turnout.
The closeness of this race (less than 1/2 percentage point) demanded that we diligently check the numbers. I am very grateful for the dedicated work of my campaign staff to go through this data in the last few days, and for the cooperation of election officials in each of the 14 counties.
It has become clear to me, based on the numbers I've seen, that there are simply not enough uncounted ballots remaining to wipe out the current 1,287 vote deficit I face in this election.
3:28 PM PT: CA-07: We just got update fresh out of the Sacramento County Registrar's bakery on Friday afternoon, and boy is it tasty: Democrat Ami Bera leads incumbent GOPer Dan Lungren by 1,779 votes, up from 184 votes on Election Night. We estimated then that there were still 80,000 votes outstanding in the district; the Sacto RoV hasn't given us an update, but even assuming again that there are still 80,000 ballots outstanding, Lungren's magic number has now climbed to 51.1%, 1.5% higher than the 49.6% he's pulled so far. The number of remaining ballots is likely lower, though, which means Lungren's magic number is higher—and that, of course, is good news for Bera.
4:40 PM PT: Ah: Sacramento County now reports approximately 130,000 ballots left to process, half of which should fall in CA-07. This means Lungren's magic number is approximately 51.4%.
4:53 PM PT: VRA: As expected, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case, Shelby County v. Holder, which could overturn Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. (Section 5 requires certain jurisdictions with a history of discrimination to seek "preclearance" of changes to voting procedures with the Department of Justice, to ensure they do not harm minorities.) Rick Hasen has more, and it sounds like he thinks the prognosis is grim for Section 5.
5:01 PM PT: CA-52: With the latest update from San Diego County, Dem Scott Peters now leads by 1,334 votes, almost doubling his 685-vote margin over incumbent Brian Bilbray from Thursday. The SD Registrar of Voters estimates 325,000 ballots left to be counted county-wide, which likely means 75-80K in CA-52 alone. Assuming 80,000 votes, Bilbray's magic number is 50.8%, 1.1% higher than his current 49.7% haul.
7:05 PM PT: CA-36: Fantastic news! GOP Rep. Mary Bono Mack has conceded to Democrat Raul Ruiz. The most recent updated vote count (as of Friday evening) put Ruiz ahead by a dominant 7,000 votes, which MBM had no hope of making up. Congratulations to Congressman-elect Raul Ruiz—an amazing win!