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Several Midterms Races Are Still Too Close To Call

Nov 8, 2018
Originally published on November 8, 2018 5:41 pm
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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The Democrat running for governor of Georgia, Stacey Abrams, says she is not conceding the election until all votes are counted. Her campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo, spoke to reporters today.

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LAUREN GROH-WARGO: There are at least 25,000 outstanding votes and hundreds, if not thousands, of more that we are learning about and discovering every day.

KELLY: That's despite the fact that Abrams' Republican opponent, Brian Kemp, has declared victory. He has stepped down from his job as Georgia secretary of state.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Georgia's governor's race is not the only one from Tuesday's midterm where we can't quite see the finish line. There are several tight gubernatorial and congressional races around the country still unresolved, 15 to be exact.

KELLY: Yeah. Sorry, everyone, but the midterms are not quite over yet. One still to be determined - who will be representing Utah's 4th Congressional District even though President Trump tried to call that race yesterday.

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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Mia Love gave me no love, and she lost - too bad. Sorry about that, Mia.

CHANG: Well, in fact, Congresswoman Love hasn't officially won or lost yet. Only about 70 percent of the ballots have been counted in her district so far.

KELLY: Meanwhile, California still has five House races undeclared. Mailed ballots have until Friday to arrive and still be counted, but FiveThirtyEight's election analyst Nathaniel Rakich says Democrats probably have the advantage there.

NATHANIEL RAKICH: The demographics of person who tend to vote later in the race tend to be more Democratic-leaning. So think, for example, young voters who might be more likely to wait until the last minute to send in their ballot.

CHANG: Then next door in Arizona, Republicans are suing to stop some of their voter mail from possibly flipping a Senate seat. Just tonight, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema took a slim lead over Republican candidate Martha McSally to fill the vacancy left by Jeff Flake.

RAKICH: So for Republicans, anything that preserves the status quo is good.

KELLY: But Chris Herring, GOP chairman in Maricopa County, Ariz., said their concern is that ballot signatures couldn't be verified in a few counties.

CHRIS HERRING: When you treat one voter with one set of rules and other voters with a different set of rules, you are violating the 14th Amendment. It needs to be uniform for the entire state of Arizona so that all Arizona voters are given that equal protection.

CHANG: Speaking of Senate seats, two more fights are still sizzling in the South as possibly Florida heads to a recount in the race between incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson and the state's former governor, Republican Rick Scott.

KELLY: And in Mississippi, Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith and her Democratic challenger, Mike Espy, both received 41 percent of the vote. That one's headed to a runoff.

CHANG: And that's just a sample of the unfinished races so far.

KELLY: So when might all this dust finally settle? Well, Nathaniel Rakich says we're in for a long month, Ailsa.

RAKICH: I would say that we won't know the final results for a matter of weeks in all elections. I would say that all the votes won't be counted until maybe Thanksgiving.

CHANG: However long it takes, we'll be following it right here on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.