Things don't look good for Republicans in Long Island's 1st Congressional District, where election officials finished counting absentee ballots less than an hour ago. A source close to the campaign of Republican candidate Randy Altschuler tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD that with all absentee ballots counted Democratic congressman Tim Bishop is in the lead by 234 votes.

There is a pile of about 1,900 challenged absentee ballots that have not been counted, but it seems unlikely that Altschuler can make up his 234-vote deficit here. In New York, if a campaign representative challenges the validity of a ballot before it is opened, it goes into a pile to be dealt with by officials later. Altschuler's campaign challenged 1,156 absentee ballots during the count, and the Bishop campaign challenged 733.

The GOP source says that the board of elections won't give any official count until the end of tomorrow because theoretically military ballots could still come in, but it's unlikely that more than a handful will arrive.

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