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Still (Out)Standing

Had the presidential race been a little closer in the Electoral College, we may have woken up to a Florida-like recount situation in more than just one state today. While President-Elect Barack Obama racked up at least 349 Electoral Votes, there are still two battleground states undecided.

In North Carolina (where Obama narrowly leads) and in Missouri (where John McCain retains a slight edge), it could be awhile yet before we know who won them. Provisional ballots have yet to be counted and there could be some wrangling about the final outcomes in those states. It's fairly academic at this point but remember – Missouri has gone with the eventual winner in every election except one for the past century.

In the Senate races, the picture is even crazier. In Minnesota, incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman retains a lead of just over 500 total votes over comedian-turned-political activist Al Franken in a race that is almost certain to head to a recount. In Georgia, incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss is hovering right around 50% as the final votes are counted, a threshold he needs to keep in order to avoid a runoff. In Oregon, a state that votes all by mail and traditionally slow-counting, Incumbent Republican Gordon Smith clings to a small lead.

And in Alaska, Republican Senator Ted Stevens, found guilty by a Washington, DC jury just days before the election of lying to prosecutors about gifts received from oil company executives, hangs on to a small lead in the polls over Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. An eventual Stevens victory could lead to all kind of melodrama but it appears that regardless of the outcome there, Democrats will remain short of the 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate.

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