House races

House races

New results show California Rep. McNerney edging toward win

California Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) is breathing easier after an updated vote count showed him with a 568-vote lead over Republican David Harmer, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

But with McNerney's lead at just 0.3 percent of the vote, the Democrat's victory is far from certain.

The latest numbers came from Alameda and Santa Clara counties, where McNerney beat Harmer from 8 to 14 points.

Updated results from Contra Costa and San Joaquin counties are still outstanding. California's 11th district was one of nine House races that couldn't be called on Tuesday night.

According to the Mercury News, tens of thousands of votes still need to be counted after an influx of vote-by-mail ballots were dropped off at the polls on Election Day.

The counting should be done by next Friday, with the final result expected before Thanksgiving. The losing candidate then has five calendar days to request a recount. There are no automatic recounts in California.

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Rep. Chandler claims victory in Kentucky

Kentucky's secretary of state certified Rep. Ben Chandler (D-Ky.) the winner of a close reelection contest Friday, but Republican Andy Barr has already requested a recanvass of the results and has not yet conceded.

Chandler's margin stands at just 649 votes, but the recanvass appears unlikely to change the result. 

The process is different than a re-count — the recanvass is simply another check of the vote totals already reported. It's set to take place Nov. 12. 

Chandler claimed victory Friday in a message to supporters, saying, "It is your support and hard work that helped us win the battle. I am humbled and honored that the people of Central Kentucky have again chosen me to be their voice in Congress." 


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'Hillary voters' abandon Democrats

The blue-collar voters who supported Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential run deserted her party in droves on Tuesday, according to a new poll.

Democrats' support from white, non-college-educated male voters dropped 12 percent from 2008, according to a survey Greenberg Quinlan Rosner conducted Nov. 2-3 for Democracy Corps and Campaign for America's Future.

Only 29 percent of blue-collar men support Democrats in 2010, down from 41 percent last cycle, according to the survey of 1,000 2008 voters, of which 897 voted on Tuesday.

"These are gigantic losses," Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg, whose firm conducted the survey, said on a conference call with reporters Friday.

Greenberg said President Obama and the Democratic leadership failed to articulate a clear economic message.

The process surrounding the healthcare bill, which passed in March, reinforced the perception voters' had that the Democrats were spending too much time bickering with the GOP, increasing federal spending and listening to lobbyists instead of average people on major legislation.

According to the survey, Republicans took the lead in May and Democrats weren't able to close the gap before Election Day.

Obama took responsibility for his party’s drubbing during a press conference Wednesday. "It underscores for me that I've got to do a better job," he told reporters.

But Greenberg warned it will take a sustained effort to recapture the blue-collar voters that backed the Republicans' takeover of the House.

Meanwhile, during an interview with a New Zealand TV station, Clinton was asked if the United States was ready for a female president.

"I hope so," she said, according to Fox News. But she was quick to add: "Well, not me. But it will be someone and it is nice coming to countries that have already proven that they can elect women to the highest governing positions that they have in their systems."

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Ellmers slams NRCC after committee declines to help with legal costs

Republican Renee Ellmers, who will likely face a recount in her bid to unseat Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.), appealed for help Thursday from the National Republican Congressional Committee. 

The NRCC declined and Ellmers isn't happy about it.  

The Republican said she asked the committee for help covering the costs related to a looming recount — Ellmers leads Etheridge by some 1,600 votes and earlier this week the incumbent signaled his intention to request a recount. 

After elections officials discovered a counting error in one of the state's counties, the Republican's lead over Etheridge shrunk. The difference between the two is now less than 1 percent of the vote, enabling Etheridge to ask for a recount. 

In a message to supporters Thursday, Ellmers said she has hired a total of 11 attorneys — one to monitor proceedings in each of the state's counties — and another "to work with the North Carolina State Board of Elections."  

"Months ago, I went to Washington and asked the National Republican Congressional Committee and many conservative leaders to help my campaign," Ellmers said in the statement. "Many conservative groups, like the Susan B. Anthony List, Concerned Women of America, Freedom Works, and Sarah Palin’s Sarah PAC all helped, but the NRCC declined."

She continued: "Later, they did support other campaigns in North Carolina — which, unfortunately, lost — but we never received their support. In fact, their spokesman told the press "that the campaign wasn’t ready for prime time," which actually made it even harder for us to raise money. So, I am doubtful we will get support from the NRCC to help with the expense of the recount." 

The committee said it has offered its assistance to all campaigns facing recounts, but has advised them to initiate their own recount funds to raise money. 

The tension with the NRCC harkens back to a comment made earlier in the cycle by Ellmers consultant Carter Wrenn, who told a reporter that the committee knew who was behind a videotaped confrontation with Etheridge that made the rounds on YouTube and first vaulted the race to national attention. 

According to a New York Times story published Thursday, Republican operatives have now admitted that they were behind the taped confrontation with Etheridge.

On Thursday, Wrenn told the North Carolina News Observer, "You don't mislead the press. It's silly."

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Race called for Rep. Grijalva

The AP has called the race for Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who faced the toughest reelection campaign of his career.

Grijalva had declared himself the winner Wednesday but his Republican opponent, Ruth McClung, hadn't conceded.

He has pulled ahead by almost 6,000 votes as more ballots get counted.

McClung hasn't officially conceded but said: "After all the votes are counted, I'm prepared to concede victory."

Meanwhile, Grijalva's fellow Arizona Dem, Gabrielle Giffords, is still awaiting the outcome of her race.

Giffords leads Republican Jesse Kelly by about 3,000 votes — about 30,000 votes remain uncounted. 

Elections Director Brad Nelson told the Arizona Daily Star he hoped to process another 17,000 votes today, leaving about 13,000 provisional ballots outstanding. By state law, those must be counted by next Friday.

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N.C. congressional race heads toward recount

Seven-term Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.) has put Republican opponent Renee Ellmers on notice that he fully intends to seek a recount in the race if the margin between the two remains below 1 percent of the vote.

Ellmers declared victory Tuesday night and the race was called in her favor, but after the discovery of a counting error Wednesday, the Republican's lead shrunk by 453 votes. 

An error in one of the state's counties prevented three full boxes of votes from being counted Tuesday. After further investigation Thursday, state elections officials verified that those previously uncounted votes were valid and did in fact shrink Ellmer's lead. 

It was critical for Etheridge, because the adjusted totals placed the race within the 1 percent margin that allows the incumbent to request a recount.    

"I have notified the Board of Elections that it is my intent to request a recount if the margin is less than 1 percent when all the votes are counted," Etheridge said Wednesday.  

Etheridge's race gained some brief national attention earlier this year when a video hit YouTube of the congressman on a Washington street in a confrontation with two young men. Republican strategists now admit they were behind the incident.  

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed Ellmers in August, and the race made national news again in September when the Republican released a campaign ad labeling the proposed Islamic cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero in New York a "victory mosque."

-Updated at 8:05 p.m.

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Dem Rep. Bishop survives closest race of career

Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) won a tenth term in Congress. 

He trailed in returns most of Tuesday night and, at one point, The Associated Press declared Republican Mike Keown the winner. The AP later reversed the call and Bishop gained enough votes to win reelection.

Keown has conceded the race. 

It was a bitter-sweet victory for Democrats, who saw many longtime incumbents lose Tuesday night in the anti-icumbent wave.

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Rep. Maffei challenger not giving up yet

Republicans ousted a total of four Democratic members of New York's congressional delegation Tuesday, but Rep. Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.) appears poised to hang on, clinging to a 2,200 vote lead over GOP challenger Ann Marie Buerkle.  

In a statement Wednesday, Buerkle thanked supporters and told them she's not giving up just yet.

"There are still uncounted eligible ballots throughout the 25th district, and this election will not be over until every eligible ballot is counted," she said. "And, when that count is over, I am confident we will have won this seat." 

Almost 10,000 absentee ballots have yet to be counted in the race, and Republicans are hopeful the counting of those votes will shrink her gap with Maffei. 

New York Democratic Reps. Michael McMahon, John Hall, Scott Murphy and Michael Arcuri all lost Tuesday. 

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