(I think that I’m done updating this post for now, as the results show no indication of changing significantly. I’ll have more to say about the election tomorrow.)
A Democratic majority in the Senate is all but certain, as Montana and Virginia both appear to have gone to the Democrats. This means that the Democrats were able to live up to the high expectations, successfully gaining control of both the House and the Senate.
With 100% of precincts reporting, Democrat Jon Tester has beat out Republican Conrad Burns in the Montana Senatorial race. The count (as of 5:30 pm ET) is 198,302 (49.07%) for 195,455 (48.37%) for Republican Conrad Burns. I believe that the difference had to be less than 0.25% for there to be a recount, and since the difference is 0.7% this appears to be a win for the Democrats.
Currently (as of 7:00 pm ET), Democrat Jim Webb is leading Republican George Allen 1,173,805 (49.55%) to 1,166,488 (49.24%) in the Virginia Senatorial race, with 94.77% of precincts reporting (from Virginia State Board of Elections). Webb’s lead has held steady for several hours now. There was some confusion earlier over the percentage of precincts reporting suddenly dropping from 99.88% to under 95%. Here’s an explanation from Raising Kaine:
The “Precincts Reporting” percentage has dropped to 94.6%. But don’t fret – this is because the website has added one or more “Conditional Votes” precincts in each county. These votes traditional max out in the double digits in the largest districts (e.g., Fairfax County had 48 conditional ballots cast compared to 272,100 total in 2005) and so won’t effect the outcome much at all. As of right now, Sen.-Elect Webb’s lead holds steady at – 7346 votes.)
So, I believe that we are still safe in calling this a Democratic victory. Because the margin of victory will be less than 1%, though, Allen will be able to request a recount, although the results are unlikely to change significantly.
From earlier today:
Although neither race has been officially called in favor of the Democrats yet, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) has declared victory in both races, according to Daily Kos (at 11:16 am ET).
The last two districts will – at best for Allen- add only a few dozen votes for him. Based on ’04 turnout numbers, Raynor only had 170 total voters (+17 for the GOP) and Fairfax City absentees went heavily for the Dems. Most likely, Webb’s lead will grow slightly.
Because the margin of victory will still be less than 1%, Allen will be able to request a recount, although the results are unlikely to change significantly.
For the latest results from CNN, click here.