Missouri's Bellwether Record Falls?

They're still counting presidential votes in Missouri, which has picked the winner in every presidential race since 1904, with one exception.

But an analysis of the votes yet to be counted indicates Missouri's bellwether status is history.

With all precincts reporting and all absentee and overseas ballots counted, Republican runner-up John McCain leads by less than 6,000 votes. Only provisional ballots remain to be counted and there are only 6,000 to 8,000 of those, according to the Missouri Secretary of State.

"I don't see the gap closing," says Laura Egerdal, spokeswoman for Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.

Egerdal says most provisional ballots prove to be invalid. Typically, she adds, only 30% are added to the vote count. "Even if there are 8,000 provisional ballots and 50% are counted and all of those votes go to (president-elect) Obama" that's still not enough to catch McCain.

Counties have two weeks to report their canvas of the provisional ballots. Egerdal expects to have some reports and a clearer sense of the result in a few days.



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