California Dreaming - 2010 House Races

With the midterms only 10 months away it is time now to cast our eyes over the biggest state in the country - California.

How will we fare in 2010?

Below the fold for all the details and hey go check out the 2010 Race Tracker Wiki over at Open Congress for all your House, Senate and Gubernatorial needs.

(Cross posted at Daily Kos, MyDD and Open Left)

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CA-04: Charlie Brown Concedes

This is a heart-breaker. Via e-mail from Charlie Brown, Democratic candidate in CA-04:

Thanks to the extraordinary work of our local elections officials, I am pleased to report that the high standards of fairness, accuracy, and transparency have been met.  And with the counts and recounts across district four complete, and more than 370,000 votes tallied, the outcome of this election is no longer in question.  Unfortunately, we've come up less than one half of one percent---just under 1,800 votes---short of victory.  

So a short time ago, I called Senator Tom McClintock to congratulate him on a hard fought victory, and to wish him well in Congress.

To you, I can only offer my deepest gratitude-for your generosity of time and resources, and your unwavering energy and encouragement.  Together, we have transformed the 4 th District, and lifted this campaign higher and farther than anyone thought possible.

Charlie's a class act and really has always had an uphill battle in this district, which has a PVI of R+11, especially once Doolittle withdrew from a re-election bid. My uncle who lives there assured me there was no way this seat would go Democratic and Charlie almost proved him wrong.

Dave Dayen at calitics sums the race up:

Charlie fought a very good fight, actually becoming a point person for veteran's issues around the country and leading by example with his Promises Kept Challenge, donating 5% of his campaign contributions to organizations serving veterans and their families.  And he showed through two cycles that the supposedly hopeless 4th District is more than winnable to the right candidate.

What makes this an even more bitter defeat is that this race was our last hope at turning a red seat blue here in CA. Last cycle we defeated Pombo and despite having several solid candidates in bluing districts this cycle and despite having a presidential candidate at the top of the ticket who won 61% of the vote statewide, we were unable to convert a single seat. Ah the ole incumbency protection racket at work. Suffice it to say that for us here in California, Prop 8 isn't the only result inspiring some soul searching and some blame laying. As much as we've accomplished here in the last, really, just 3 years, it's clear how much more work there is still to be done.

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CA-04: Charlie Brown Within 359 329 Votes

Votes are still being counted in CA-04, which is the race between Charlie Brown (D) and Tom McClintock (R) for John Doolittle's seat. As the count has continued, the vote margin, which has consistently favored McClintock, has been sort of fluctuating within 1000 or so votes. Today, we've gotten some good news from the Brown campaign: now that provisional ballots are being counted, Charlie has pulled to within 359 329 votes.

This just in via e-mail from Todd Stenhouse, Charlie's campaign manager:

Including provisional ballots just reported from Nevada County, the race is now closer than it has been at any point since election day---Charlie has now closed the gap to just 359 votes! [...]

Every day, we are hearing that election day provisional ballots, thousands of which have not yet been tallied, are breaking for Charlie by substantial margins in Placer, El Dorado, and Nevada Counties.

This news is particularly sweet considering McClintock's sort of premature declarations of victory e-mails over the past two weeks.

Again from Stenhouse:

Earlier this week, our opponents arrogantly and falsely proclaimed "the fat lady hasn't begun singing yet, but she's on stage and wearing a McClintock button." 

As he watches his lead evaporate, McClintock knows this opera is far from over.  And that singer has gone backstage to re-accessorize.


This race is closing fast. Just 2 days ago, the margin was 592. The key here is that for Charlie to win, every single vote needs to be counted but at this point, between lawyers and staff, that is an extremely expensive proposition. Please send Charlie some love HERE to make sure every single ballot is counted and to prepare for what may be an extended recount.

[editor's note, by Todd Beeton]David Dayen at calitics has the update that it's actually now down to just a 329 vote spread.

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AK-Sen, CA-04: What remains to be counted

This was cross-posted on my blog, at Campaign Diaries. There is a lot of confusion about CA-04 and AK-Sen, so this is an attempt to look at what remains to be counted. (Also posted today, a look at the impact of Obama's Cabinet appointments on the 2010 landscape.)

When the Alaska's Division of Election finally updated their totals this evening, it was once again Mark Begich who gained the most, extending his lead from 814 to 1022 votes (or 0.35%).

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Downballot loose ends

The latest on downballot races:

CA-04: Charlie Brown trails by 709 votes.
MD-01: Kratovil up by 2K votes
VA-05: Periello up by 747 votes
WA-08: Burner down by 5300 votes--trails in King County now.
MN-Sen:  Franken down 239 votes

Mixed news, to be sure, but we'll +21 in the House.

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