Buzz is still crunching numbers at his UNIVAC 3000 in the OVC control center, and the Democrats still have a slight chance of getting the 60 seat majority in the United States Senate. There are three seats still up for grabs --- Alaska, Minnesota, and Georgia. All three seats are currently held by incumbent Republicans. If the Democrats win them all, they will reach sixty seats. OVC believes this is a long shot. We called a 59 seat Democratic majority in our pre-election prediction, and we still stand by that number.
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) failed to garner 50.0 percent, and thus Georgia law requires a runoff between the top two vote getters. Chambliss received 49.8 percent of the vote on November 4th. Democrat Jim Martin received 46.8, and Libertarian candidate Allen Buckley garnered 3.6 percent of the vote. Buckley is out, so Chambliss faces Martin in a December 2nd runoff. The race has attracted national attention, with John McCain stumping for Chambliss this week despite condeming Chambliss' anti Max Cleland ad from 2002. McCain told CNN in 2003 "I'd never seen anything like that ad. Putting pictures of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden next to the picture of a man who left three limbs on the battlefield -- it's worse than disgraceful. It's reprehensible."
Martin has asked President-elect Barack Obama to campaign for him. As of today, Obama has not said whether or not he will stump for Martin, however he has ordered that his campaign offices in the state remain open to assist Martin. The special election will not see the turnout numbers we saw on November 4th, so an Obama led get out the vote effort may help Matin significantly. OVC still believes that Chambliss will survive the Martin challenge. We also believe that Obama will make a campaign appearance or two for Martin sometime before the December 2nd runoff.
Norm Coleman (R-MN) holds a slim lead of 206 votes over Democrat Al Franken out of the 2.9 million votes cast. That's a lead of .007 percent. This race is headed to a mandatory recount. Republicans have already begun the "vote fraud" cry, because Coleman's lead has fallen from a little over 700 votes on November 5th to the current 206 vote difference. Look for a long battle and the "attorney full employment" act in Minnesota. The recount begins on Thursday, but will not be completed for a month, according to Minnesota election officials.
OVC expects Franken to win, as we predicted prior to the election. We also predicted this race would be close. For political junkies, recounts are heaven on earth. Buzz and I will keep you up to date.
Believe it or not, they still haven't counted all the votes in Alaska eleven days after the election. Incumbent and seven time convicted felon Ted Stevens (R-AK) has a few thousand vote lead on November 5th, but that lead has turned into a thousand plus vote lead for Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. A recount is a definite, because it only takes 10 voters to petition the state for a recount when a race is this close. We believe Begich will prevail.
If Stevens, the longest serving Republican Senator in history, manages to pull it out, the full Senate will most likely move to expel him. It takes a two-thirds vote, and it is very likely the Democrats will be able to pick up ten votes from the GOP. If this happens, there will be a special election to fill the vacancy, and we will bet dollars to donuts that Governor Sarah Palin will run.
Bottom line. We see the Democrats going two and one in the final contests. That means the new Congress will stand at 41 Republicans, 57 Democrats, and two independents who will caucus with the Democrats. Yes, we believe Joe Lieberman will remain in the Democratic caucus