With Democrat Scott Murphy appearing to pull away, the speculation has begun surrounding when and if Republican Jim Tedisco will concede in the upstate New York special election.

The Hill's Reid Wilson reports:
With his chances dwindling, Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R) could concede to venture capitalist Scott Murphy (D) as early as Friday afternoon, according to sources.

Murphy holds a 401-vote lead in the race to fill Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's (D) House seat, and court challenges have been resolved on all but 600 ballots, making a Tedisco comeback extremely unlikely.

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Indicating that a concession is imminent, a Tedisco attorney on Thursday called his rival's campaign in search of a cell phone number for Murphy, a source close to Murphy's campaign told The Hill.

Tedisco trails Murphy by 401 votes in the latest tally of the upstate New York special election. There are about 600 ballots yet to be counted, so it looks pretty unlikely that Tedisco can overcome Murphy's lead.

Several Republicans have already said the seat is lost. Former Rep. Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican who once chaired the National Republican Congressional Committee, told the Washington Times on Sunday: "We've lost the New York special election. It's gone."

And Republican strategist Mike Murphy tweeted that Tedisco has lost.

If - or when - Tedisco does concede, it will be a blow for Republicans, though it is unclear how well that story will stick. In particular, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele made the seat a top priority as soon as he was elected to his post.

"That's a seat that we should be able to go in and be competitive and win," Steele said on CNN at the beginning of February. "I want to put -- make it a focal point right out of the box and see how we do."

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) also touted the race as a chance for a pickup.

"As I said, we also need to compete everywhere. And when I say compete everywhere, New York 20 is probably the best example," he said at CPAC at the end of February. "This is where [Sen.] Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed to the Senate. It's an open race. Jim Tedisco is the minority leader in the New York assembly. He is our candidate. This election is on March 31st, and it is a giant opportunity for us to let America know that America is on our side."

It is unclear though, how long that stories legs will be, though, since most people are probably tired of thinking about the race.

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com