AP Declares Webb Winner in VA, Allen Hasn't Made Recount Request

Mary Katharine Ham
|
Posted: Nov 08, 2006 10:59 PM

How does 51-49 feel to ya?

The AP calls it for Webb, but they're not clear on why they called it for him.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch fills the gaps:

The AP contacted election officials in all 134 Virginia localities where voting occurred. About half said they had completed their post-election canvassing and nearly all had counted outstanding absentees. Most were expected to be finished by tomorrow.

The Democrat's lead over the Republican incumbent rose to more than 7,300 votes, within the margin under state law for a state-paid recount. Out of 2.3 million votes cast, the margin is about 0.3 percent. But election experts say overcoming that kind of lead has almost never been done in a recount.

I'm not gonna dispute it if the guy won, but geez. Can you imagine the AP going precinct-to-precinct to expedite a win in a close election for the Republican candidate? Ha. Also, you'd think the AP would put that in its story. It seems a rather important part of the sourcing.

Sources say Allen's not inclined to call for the recount that the law would allow, at no cost to him. I'll trust Allen on that, but he hasn't made an announcement yet. If he thinks he can't make up the difference in a recount, he's probably right, and he'll go quietly and with dignity, so very unlike a Democrat.

This is what Allen adviser Ed Gillespie said about the possibility of a recount earlier today:

"We are going to respect the laws of Virginia," Gillespie said. "The process has not yet been completed, and only after the process is a winner declared."

Gillespie noted that last year, when there was a recount in the attorney general's race in Virginia, a 3,000-vote lead for Republican Robert F. McDonnell the day after the election evaporated to a 360-vote lead after the recount. Almost all of the votes were lost during the canvass.

Republican lawyer William Hurd said an error in Stafford County discovered during Wednesday's canvass shrunk Webb's lead by 1,000 votes.

The local electoral boards have until Tuesday to complete the local canvasses. The State Board of Elections will meet Nov. 27 to certify the results. After that, Allen has 10 days to decide whether to petition the court for a recount.

We shall see.