Senate Nail Biters in Colorado, Washington, Alaska : It's All Politics There are undecided Senate races in three states this morning, Colorado, Alaska, and Washington. The Democrats will still control the Senate, but these races will determine how thin that majority will be.
NPR logo Senate Nail Biters in Colorado, Washington, Alaska

Senate Nail Biters in Colorado, Washington, Alaska

While the Democrats have held their Senate majority, we still don't know just how big it will be.

In Colorado, incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet and Republican challenger Ken Buck are in a statistical dead heat with 47 percent of the vote. Bennet has an edge of about 5,500 votes, but only 87 percent of them have been counted. The Denver Post reports the campaigns seem to be gearing up for a recount battle, something that's automatic in Colorado if less than one percent separates the two candidates. So, we may become ever more familiar with provisional ballots and hanging chads.

In Alaska, it looks like incumbent Lisa Murkowski may pull off the remarkable feat of winning a seat in the Senate by write-in ballot. All write-in candidates have about 41% of the vote, the Republican nominee Tea Party-backed Joe Miller has about 34%, and Democrat Scott McAdams has about 24%. But, all the write-in's have to be verified they're for Murkowski, and election officials say they won't tally write-in names until Nov. 18th. Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell plans to urge the Alaska Division of Elections to start work early. The Anchorage Daily News quotes Miller's campaign manager as saying that lawyers are on their way to Alaska already.

In Washington State, incumbent Democrat Patty Murray is leading Republican challenger Dino Rossi by 14,000 votes, but statistically, it's a 50-50 tie. Less than two thirds of the ballots have been counted with tens of thousands of mailed ballots outstanding.  The Seattle Times says that the electoral math, for now, favors Murray with more votes still to be counted in areas where she is expected to do well.