The Senate is Democratic!

It's over. The New York Times:


Never mind that Senator George Allen of Virginia had not conceded. Jim Webb, his Democratic opponent, claimed victory Wednesday on the strength of a roughly 7,000-vote margin.
And The Associated Press, a widely accepted authority for calling elections, agreed with Mr. Webb, declaring Mr. Allen, a Republican, the loser.
UPDATE: Allen has a press conference at 3pm est....

***

UPDATE: 2:47 pm EST and Montana Democrat Tester has been declared the winner. Control of the Senate comes down to the outcome of the Allen/Webb race, in which Jim Webb has declared himself the winner.

****
In Virginia, Webb leads by about 7,000 votes, or a third of one percent, with 99.71 percent reporting. The count's been stuck there for about an hour -- since 2:30 EST. As of 3:30 EST, Tester leads in Montana by 2 points, with 75 percent reporting. Outstanding are Gallatin and Cascade counties, which should go for Tester. Looking very good for the Senate.
****
The Dems held vulnerable Senate seats in Minnesota, Maryland (open) and New Jersey. They picked up Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island early in the evening.

But all night long it looked as if they'd fall short. Republican Jon Kyl beat Pederson in Arizona -- considered a long-shot -- Claire McCaskill was trailing Jim Talent in Missouri and Jim Webb was losing to George "Macaca" Allen in Virginia.

It certainly looked like the GOP would hold the Senate. But Webb started coming back after 97 percent of precincts had reported in Virginia. And McCaskill made a move late in the game in Missouri.

Currently, the Senate looks like this:

Dems: 46 47
Republicans: 49
Bernie Sanders + Joe Lieberman independents

McCaskill won leads talent by 1 percent (15,000 votes) with 81 percent of precincts reporting and Webb leads Allen by one 10th of 1 percent (2,700 votes) with 99 percent of precincts reporting. The only remaining precincts are in counties in which Webb is doing well. According to Virginia law, a losing candidate can request a recount if the margin is less than one percent. Webb has declared victory (as a candidate should when a race is likely to be contested).

Montana was the only action in the West, and 52 percent of precincts are reporting. John Tester leads Conrad Burns 53-45 percent.

If everything holds up, the Senate will go to the Dems 51-49, assuming Lieberman caucuses with the Dems as he's said he would.

Still a ways to go.

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