Too-close-to-call race updates

One Senate race is solved, and that is in Oregon.

In the last day, The Oregonian declared Jeff Merkley the winner of the Oregon US Senate seat over Republican incumbent Gordon Smith. With 94% of the vote in, Merkley has opened up a 3% lead over Smith. The rest of the precincts to report are in strong Democratic areas.

In Georgia, Saxby Chambliss is heading for a runoff against State Representative Tim Martin. Chambliss failed to get the 50% required to avoid a runoff. With 99% of the vote in, Chambliss has 49.83% of the vote. The runoff is scheduled for December 2nd.

In the Minnesota Senate race, Al Franken has closed to within 236 votes of incumbent Senator Norm Coleman. This race, no matter who wins this final count, is heading to a runoff.

And the last Senate race that we are following is the race in Alaska, where incumbent Republican Ted Stevens is still leading. Stevens currently holds a lead of 3,257 votes over Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. There are still 60,000 absentee ballots and 9,000 early votes yet to be counted. As soon as these are in, we should get a better idea.

There are still five House seats that are currently too close.

In the Virginia 5th, the Virginia Democratic Party is claiming victory. Tom Perriello is leading incumbent Republican Virgil Goode by 648 votes, and the margin keeps widening. Perriello said to reporters that he feels confident that they have enough votes, and that a recount won’t change the outcome of the election. Still, Goode is not conceeding, and a recount is expected.

Perriello also said that he expects the final number of this initial count to be completed by noon today.

In the Washington 8th, Republican incumbent Dave Riechert is increasing his gap over challenger Darcy Burner. There is still nearly one-third of the votes to be counted, but it seems that Riechert is increasing his lead with votes coming in from Pierce County. It will be days until we know the result of this election.

In the Maryland 1st, Frank Kratovil continues to increase his lead over Andrew Harris as absentee votes are currently being counted. Kratovil has a lead of 2,000 votes. There are about 7,000 absentee ballots yet to be counted, mostly from Hartford County.

NBC 4 in Columbus, Ohio has just reported that in Ohio’s 15th District Congressional race, the gap between Steven Stivers and Mary Jo Kilroy has widened. Union County has new results coming in, which has given Stivers 244 additional votes. Stivers currently has a lead of 390 votes. Franklin County will count their provisional ballots next week.

And finally in the California 4th, State Senator Tom McClintock has a 709 vote edge over Democrat Charlie Brown. There are still a number of provisional and mail-in ballots dropped off at polling places that still need to be counted. The Sacramento Bee says that counting these additional ballots could take weeks.