On Election Night a few weeks back, several races remained outstanding. In the weeks that have followed, all but one of the contests has been settled, with the final one (NY-1) now being tended to by a judge. Let's run down the results.
-CA-11. Republican efforts to take back Richard Pombo's old seat have proven unsuccessful. Democrat Jerry McNerney ultimately prevailed, despite the fact that late on election night Republican David Harmer had the lead.
-CA-20. Democrat Jim Costa narrowly won reelection in this Central Valley district, as absentee ballots from Fresno and Kern County were enough to give him a victory in a very low-turnout election. Losses in both CA-11 and CA-20 mean that the GOP picked up not one House seat in the Golden State this cycle.
-IL-8. Democrat Melissa Bean first won this district in 2004 when she beat longtime Republican representative Phil Crane, despite the fact that George W. Bush won the districtwide vote by 14 points. She lost narrowly this time around to Republican Joe Walsh, whose victory (along with Robert Dold's victory in neighboring IL-10) suggests that the demise of the Republican party in the Chicago suburbs has been over-stated.
-KY-6. Democrat Ben Chandler, grandson of former governor Albert "Happy" Chandler, won a narrow victory in this Lexington-based district over Republican challenger Andy Barr. For liberals, however, this is not much of a win, seeing as how Chandler had been an unreliable vote for much of the 111th Congress.
-NY-1. The last outstanding congressional race will probably be won by incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop. He had the lead by the end of Election Night, but a transcription error ended up swinging the race in favor of Republican challenger Randy Altschuler, at least temporarily. Yet Bishop has outpaced Altschuler in the counting of absentee ballots, and he currently has a lead of several hundred votes. It will be up to a judge to decide the fate of scores of challenged ballots, but the fact that Altschuler has challenged more ballots is not a good sign. Silver lining: Alec Baldwin, the star of the formerly funny comedy series 30 Rock, which jumped the shark at some point in Season 4, had reportedly been thinking about challenging Altschuler in 2012 should the Republican have pulled out victory. With Bishop eking out a narrow victory, no need to worry about referring to him as the "Honorable Alec Baldwin" anytime soon!
-NY-25. On November 3, absentee ballots put Republican challenger Ann Marie Buerkle ahead of incumbent Democrat Dan Maffei, who won an open seat victory in 2008 in this Syracuse-based district. With all absentee ballots counted, Buerkle has been declared the winner.
-TX-27. Republican Blake Farenhold held the lead in this south Texas district by the end of Election Day, and a few days ago Democrat Solomon Ortiz conceded defeat. Farenhold's victory depended entirely upon strong hauls in metropolitan Corpus Christi, which actually was one of the first areas in the South outside east Tennessee and west North Carolina to go Republican.
-VA-11. Democrat Gerry Connolly won a narrow victory against Republican challenger Keith Fimian in this metro-DC district. Connolly won this Fairfax County-based district narrowly in 2008 when Republican Tom Davis resigned. It went narrowly for George W. Bush in 2004 than heavily for Obama in 2008. In the final count, about 900 votes separated Connolly from Fimian.