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Checking In on Those Lingering Midterm Races

Since our last update, closure (or something close to closure) has come to seven of the nine midterm contests that were unresolved.

Still Undecided

Minnesota Governor : The recount has begun. It is expected to last nine days (it started Monday). Mark Dayton led Republican Tom Emmer by about 8,700 votes. After the recount is completed, challenged ballots will be reviewed by the State Canvassing Board from Dec. 8 through Dec. 10. The Canvassing Board is scheduled to certify the results on Dec. 14.

New York 1: In the last unresolved House race, the Democratic incumbent on Long Island, Timothy Bishop, was clinging to a lead of about 200 votes over Republican Randy Altschuler after military ballots were counted Tuesday. The race could be decided by a judge’s review of challenged absentee ballots. That process may start Wednesday. A total of about 2,000 absentee ballots were challenged by the campaigns.

Mostly Decided

Alaskan Senate: Senator Lisa Murkowski’s write-in campaign succeeded, at least according to virtually everyone except the state of Alaska (granted, they do have a say in this matter). But Alaska has failed to certify Ms. Murkowski’s victory only because a federal judge ruled that certification must be delayed while a lawsuit filed by Joe Miller, the Republican nominee, is heard in state court. The lawsuit challenges the state’s standards for counting write-in ballots. On Monday, a state judge moved the lawsuit from Fairbanks, Mr. Miller’s hometown, to the capital, Juneau – a move Mr. Miller opposed. Legal wrangling aside, Ms. Murkowski is almost certainly returning to the Senate.


California 11: In our last update, Democratic Representative Jerry McNerney had declared victory after an updated count gave him a lead of about 1,700 votes. Well, the Associated Press eventually agreed; the latest count showed Mr. McNerney leading the Republican challenger, David Harmer, by about 2,700 ballots . (The New York Times bases its calls for House races on the A.P.’s calls.)

California 20: The Democratic incumbent, Representative Jim Costa, ultimately prevailed against the Republican, Andy Vidak, by about 3,000 votes.

Illinois 8: After absentee and provisional ballots were counted, Melissa Bean, the Democratic incumbent, still trailed Republican Joe Walsh by about 300 votes. Ms. Bean admitted defeat, and Mr. Walsh became another tea-party backed candidate to become a tea-party backed representative.

Kentucky 6: Republican Andy Barr conceded to Democratic Representative Ben Chandler after a re-canvass of the vote totals showed Mr. Chandler remained ahead by about 650 votes.

New York 25: Republican Anne Marie Buerkle, an assistant state attorney general, is going to Washington. The Democratic incumbent, Dan Maffei threw in the towel a couple of days before Thanksgiving.

Texas 27: After a six-county recheck of vote totals did not significantly dent Republican Blake Farenthold’s lead of about 800 votes over Representative Solomon Ortiz, the Democratic incumbent, Mr. Ortiz conceded the race.

Micah Cohen is FiveThirtyEight’s former managing editor.