Here are some quick updates from a host of House races around the country that either have not been called by the Associated Press, or likely to head to recounts:
- CA-11: Second-term Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney has declared victory over Republican David Harmer. The margins have fluctuated, but McNerney has moved into a 1500-2500 vote lead in recent tallies. Harmer is waiting until all the returns are in to concede, but an analysis by McNerney's campaign points out that only about 12,000 votes remain to be counted, and that Harmer is not likely to make up close to enough votes to make up the difference.
- CA-20: Democrat Jim Costa has also declared victory, and an analysis of the balloting seems to indicate that his lead will almost certainly stand. The returns in the 20th district were a tale of three counties, with Vidak having an enormous lead in Kings County, which was more than offset by Costa's more modest edge in Fresno and Kern Counties. The bad news for Vidak? According to the California Sec. of State, Kings County has finished their count. Meanwhile, Kern and Fresno County are still counting ballots. The expectation, therefore, is that Costa's 1300-vote lead will expand in the coming days.
- IL-08: Gearing up for what might be an acrimonious overtime, the Illinois GOP is sending in the lawyers to challenge absentee ballots as the clock ticks down on their tabulation in this suburban Chicago district. Even with their efforts, the math for Democratic incumbent Melissa Bean looks pretty daunting. More absentee ballots remain in Lake and McHenry Counties (which GOP opponent Joe Walsh carried) than remain in Cook County (where Bean ran strongest). With just 1500 total votes remaining to be tallied, Bean will have to win those ballots by a better than 60-40 margin to make up her 347-vote deficit.
- KY-06: A recanvass of this contested House race is set for Friday. Democrat Ben Chandler holds a lead of 643 votes. The recanvass, for all intents and purposes, is a rechecking of the math. If the recanvass confirms the outcome, Republican Andy Barr will have to act fast--recount requests must be in by the close of business on Friday.
- NY-01: Suffolk County officials are auditing their voting machines, after an accounting error dramatically altered the results in this contested Long Island district. Once leading comfortably, Democratic incumbent Tim Bishop now trails GOP challenger Randy Altschuler by a few hundred votes. Given the bizarre flip of this race, Bishop's campaign has called for a full recount. Nearly 10,000 absentee ballots still hang in the balance, making it clear that the outcome of this race is still far from certain.
- NY-25: Freshman Democrat Dan Maffei trails by just over 600 votes as the counties of the 25th district enter into a weeklong period where they will tally their absentee ballots. Maffei's camp is urging patience, pointing out that Republican Ann Marie Buerkle is likely to stretch her lead, because his stronghold (Onondaga County) is the last one to count its absentee ballots. Even in spite of that, the math is going to be tough. Maffei carried the populous Onondaga County by eight points, but there are only roughly 6000 absentee votes in the county. Unless he hugely overperforms in the absentees, the math gets really tough for Maffei.
- NC-02: Technically, the AP has called this race, in favor of Republican challenger Renee Ellmers. But an alteration to the vote totals late last week moved the race within the one-percent threshold for an automatic recount, which Democratic incumbent Bob Etheridge seems inclined to avail himself of. Given that the result falls just inside that threshold (Ellmers leads by 1600 votes), the recount is not liable to change the results.
- TX-27: Longtime Democratic incumbent Solomon Ortiz is asking for a manual recount of his race against Republican Blake Farenthold. Farenthold has a small lead of under 800 votes over Ortiz, who has served in the House since 1982. South Texas was a disaster area for Democrats, who also lost a number of state legislative seats in the area (including one held by the Congressman's son, Solomon Ortiz Jr.).
In a sign of how shocking some of these House races were, please not that FOUR of the apparently victorious Republicans highlighted above made Hotline On Call's Jeremy Jacobs' Top 5 Freshmen That Are Not Ready for Prime Time.