The election is nearly two weeks gone, but they are still counting ballots in the Alaska Senate race, as well as seven House contests: CA 11, where Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) holds a narrow lead over his GOP challenger; CA 20, where the latest counts show Rep. Jim Costa (D) regaining the lead; IL 08, where Rep. Melissa Bean (D) is trailing her GOP opponent; KY 06, where Rep. Ben Chandler (D) holds a narrow lead; NY 01, where Rep. Tim Bishop (D) is trailing; NY 25, where Rep. Dan Maffei (D) is trailing; and TX 27, where Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D) is behind.
If the races finish they way they are leaning now, the Republican net gain in the House will increase from 60 seats to 64.
This is all an explanation why there is not as yet a declared winner to my Official 2010 Election Contest, where you were asked to predict winners in a dozen races, in addition to coming up with a breakdown of the next House and Senate.
(There has not been a call in the Minnesota gubernatorial race, where Democrat Mark Dayton leads Republican Tom Emmer by about 8,700 votes. But that race was not part of the Official Contest.)
When a winner is declared in Alaska -- and more and more it looks like Sen. Lisa Murkowski will hold onto her seat, the first person to win a Senate race via write-in since Strom Thurmond (D-S.C.) in 1954 -- I'll look to see if we can announce a winner in the Junkie contest. And that winner, lest we forget, gets authentic campaign buttons for Republicans Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George Bush, or Democrats George McGovern, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton (your choice). If anyone gets every pick correctly, they win all six buttons, plus a Johnson and Goldwater button from 1964 to boot.