Politics

7 House Races, 1 Senate Race Still Uncalled as Florida Recount Deadline Nears

Some counties in Florida expected to miss Thursday’s machine recount deadline

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) addresses his election night party in Naples, Fla., where he declared victory in the Florida Senate race with incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., on November 6, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2:54 p.m. | Officials have yet to determine the winners in one Senate contest and seven House races — a week and two days after the midterm elections.

If the 2000 presidential race is an indication, the outcome of the Florida Senate race could be weeks away as state election personnel recount votes for Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and his GOP challenger, Gov. Rick Scott. Nelson trailed Scott in the initial tally by less than 15,000 votes.

House Democrats have already passed the threshold for a majority that they haven’t held since 2010. They currently have 230 seats called in their favor with the potential to win some of those seven not-yet-called races. They’re likely to finish in the low-230s with a 28- to 32-seat majority.

In the Senate, the GOP flipped seats in Indiana, North Dakota and Missouri — states that President Donald Trump won by double digits in 2016. But Democrats picked up seats in Nevada and Arizona.

Here are the races yet to be called as of 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon that will determine the size of the Republicans’ majority in the Senate and the Democrats’ in the House:

Senate

Florida

The race for the Senate seat in Florida is as nasty as ever as state and local officials finish up the automatic machine recount launched last Saturday.

State election officials were supposed to complete their machine recounts by Thursday, but some counties have said they will not be finished re-tabulating votes by that deadline. Republicans, including GOP Sen. Marco Rubio, have argued that any votes that remain uncounted by the Thursday deadline — and there will be hundreds of thousands — should be thrown out. Democrats say that is ludicrous.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott declared victory over three-term Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson late last Tuesday, but more than a week later the race remains uncalled by The Associated Press. Scott’s margin narrowed since election night as votes from Broward continued to trickle in and absentee and provisional ballots remained uncounted.

A judge tossed out the lawsuit from Scott and the National Republican Senatorial Committee against Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes for failing to turn over information about ballots that have been counted. There has been no evidence of voter fraud in Broward, the judge ruled. Scott has also called for a Florida Department of Law Enforcement Investigation into Broward’s handling of ballots.

President Donald Trump and Rubio, without citing any evidence, have also accused Broward County officials of voter fraud.

Democratic groups have sued Scott to try to prevent him from being involved as governor in the recount process, which will go to a manual recount if the machine recount yields a margin between the candidates of less than 0.25 percent.

Mississippi

The Mississippi special election for the final two years of former GOP Sen. Thad Cochran’s term is heading to a Nov. 27 runoff after no candidate cleared 50 percent Tuesday night.

Just 1 point separated appointed GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and former Democratic Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy, with Hyde-Smith ahead 41 percent to 40 percent. Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel took 16 percent of the vote.

House

Late vote counts favoring Democrats

Seven of the last eight House races that have been called by The Associated Press have flipped to the Democrats after Bruce Poliquin lost his Maine 2nd District seat Thursday afternoon.

Republican incumbents

In California’s 45th District, Democrat Katie Porter’s lead over Rep. Mimi Walters grew to nearly 4,000 votes, according to results released Wednesday night. That's nearly a 10,000-vote swing from Walters’ 6,000-vote cushion on Election Night.

In Georgia’s 7th District, Rep. Rob Woodall leads by less than 500 votes over Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux in the Atlanta suburbs. Bourdeaux has called for a recount.

Utah Rep. Mia Love, who spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention and is the only African-American Republican woman in the House, pulled within 1,500 votes of Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams with 90 percent of precincts reporting in the 4th District. Love’s campaign has filed a long-shot lawsuit to halt counting votes in McAdams' home county over alleged signature discrepancies on ballots. McAdams has said the Love campaign’s tactic “smacks of desperation.”

With just some absentee and provisional ballots left to count, Democratic challenger Anthony Brindisi leads Rep. Claudia Tenney by about half a percentage point in New York’s 22nd District. Tenney ran one of the most pro-Trump campaigns of any vulnerable Republican this cycle.

Republican incumbents in New York’s 27th (Chris Collins) and Texas’ 23rd (Will Hurd) hold narrow edges in their respective races, but those contests remained uncalled Thursday.

Open seat

One open seat held by the GOP remains uncalled.

Republicans, including new House GOP standard-bearer Kevin McCarthy have claimed victory for Young Kim over Democrat Gil Cisneros for the seat vacated by retiring Rep. Ed Royce in California’s 39th District.

But Kim’s lead has dwindled as officials continue to tally mail-in votes. Her lead has shrunk from 4,000 votes on Election Night to just 122 by Thursday with more mail-ins left to count.

Experts have predicted Cisneros will overtake Kim.

Watch: Bill Nelson Makes a Statement on Florida’s Senate Race Recount

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