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The eyes of political junkies from coast-to-coast continue to be glued on the Rick Scott-Bill McCollum showdown in Florida, and eagerly await McCain vs. Hayworth in Arizona and Murkowski vs. Palin Miller in Alaska.

In the meantime, however, two other states had races on the ballot today worth keeping at least one eye on, and quite possibly both of them.

  • In Vermont, it could scarcely be closer in the highly competitive five-candidate race to determine the Democratic nominee for Governor. After leading most of the night, Secretary of State Deb Markowitz has into a near tie with 2002 nominee Doug Racine. With one-third of the precincts in, Racine now trails by just 39 votes out of the more than 22,000 votes cast. Peter Shumlin is still in the argument, in third place but only 290 votes out of the lead. UPDATE: This is pretty damned amazing. With just over half of the precincts now reporting, it is Shumlin at 26, with Markowitz and Racine both at 25. First and third are still separated by just 226 votes. Now, with a few more precincts in...make that forty-one votes. Racine now up front. Unreal!
  • In the Democratic Senate primary in Vermont, Patrick Leahy is winning in a landslide, notching 89% of the vote. His opponent, veteran Daniel Freilich, might still run as an Independent, according to Politics1, but it is hard to imagine either him or Republican Len Britton providing anything in the way of serious competition.
  • Meanwhile, Oklahoma's primary came to an end tonight, four weeks after it started. Two districts held Republican runoffs today, with one upset and one expected result. The upset came in the 5th district, where former state legislator Kevin Calvey (long thought to be the frontrunner before his surprise second-place finish in a multicandidate primary) was easily defeated (65-35) by youth camp director James Lankford. Lankford is heavily favored in November in this largely Republican district. Meanwhile, in the 2nd district, lightly-funded Charles Thompson easily defeated lightly-funded Daniel Edmonds (66-34). The only way that uber-conservative Democrat Dan Boren loses here is if the national wave is worse than advertised, and sucks a guy who has barely broken the five-figure fundraising mark across the finish line.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:09 PM PDT.

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