Update on Congressional races still to be decided

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Mark Begich took the lead as the early votes were counted, and seven-times-indicted Ted Stevens has conceded the Alaska Senate race. That makes seven Democratic pickups, with Georgia and Minnesota yet to be determined. The Democrats hold 56 Senate seats, and two independents (Joe Lieberman and Bernie Sanders) also caucus with Democrats.

The polls in Georgia have shown Republican Saxby Chambliss ahead of Jim Martin by three or four points. It’s all going to come down to turnout–I doubt much voter persuasion will occur between now and December 2. Barack Obama moved his field staff from Ohio down to Georgia, and many other groups, like Democracy for America, are helping Martin too. The state’s largest newspaper has endorsed Martin.

Chambliss has to be favored in this red state, but if the Democrats have a superior GOTV effort, Martin could pull off an upset.

The Minnesota recount has begun. Al Franken went into it 215 votes behind Norm Coleman (out of more than 2.5 million cast, or 0.008 percent). As of Wednesday evening, he had narrowed the gap to 181 votes. The state has a good “voter intent” law, meaning that if a person can determine the voter’s intent, the vote will count even if an optical scanner did not record it.

I can’t say I feel overly confident, but this study suggests Franken may have a good chance of taking the lead during the recount.

One wrinkle is that Franken successfully sued to get information about voters whose absentee ballots were rejected in one county. His campaign wants that information for all of the counties so that wrongfully excluded absentee ballots can be counted. However, it’s not clear whether those votes will ever be counted, even if the ballots were rejected because of clerical error.

As for the House races, we narrowly lost in CA-44, a district we did not target that was not considered competitive.

CA-04 has still not been called, but Democrat Charlie Brown trails carpet-bagger Tom McClintock by about 600 votes, and it seems unlikely he will be able to make up that margin.

It looks like we will pick up VA-05, which was viewed as quite a longshot before the election.

Louisiana will hold two runoff elections in December. Corrupt Democrat “Dollar Bill” Jefferson will most likely hold the second district. The fourth district is competitive, and Dick Cheney recently headed to Shreveport to campaign for the Republican.

UPDATE: I forgot Ohio’s 15th district, which is going to count provisional ballots. It seems like Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy has a decent chance of beating Republican Steve Stivers.

Democrats will end up with something between 255 and 259 House seats out of 438. Not bad at all.

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Five ways to help win a Senate seat in Georgia

This is a quick reminder that the runoff election for U.S. Senate in Georgia will be on December 2, and there are many ways you can help Democrat Jim Martin beat Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss.

Depending on how the recount in Minnesota turns out, which won’t be resolved for a few weeks, Martin could be the key to getting Democrats to that magic filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

1. Go donate to Martin’s campaign. It will only take a minute of your time.

2. Help google-bomb Saxby Chambliss. This is easy, and Chris Bowers explains why it is helpful:

Have you started linking to Saxby Chambliss yet? The more people who do, the higher it will appear in search engine rankings. If we can push it into the first ten results for Saxby Chambliss in Georgia, then it will result in a lot of excellent voter contacts. Everyone who encounters the site will be a voter looking for more information on Saxby Chambliss, and we can show them this great website made by an enterprising activist.

Log on to the various blogs where you comment, and click on your user page. Then click “profile.” There should be an area where you can write text that will be your “signature,” attached to all comments you make.

You want to embed a link to the Saxby Chambliss website. Here is what I did:

See if Saxby Chambliss is helping you.

If you don’t know how to embed a link, write this all on one line with no spaces in between:

<

a href

=

“http://saxby-chambliss.com/”

>

Saxby Chambliss

<

/a

>

3. Kick in a few more bucks to Martin’s campaign.

4. If you live in Georgia or close enough to travel there (not every Bleeding Heartland reader lives in Iowa!), sign up to volunteer for Martin’s campaign during the next few weeks. You were planning to take some time off for Thanksgiving anyway, right? Set aside extra time to volunteer.

Remember that there are many ways to volunteer besides knocking on strangers’ doors and calling strangers on the phone. You can help sort literature for the canvassers. You can help stuff envelopes. You can bring a home-made meal to the campaign office for the staff and other volunteers. I heard of one woman in Iowa who used to do laundry for field organizers renting apartments without washing machines. Every hour that staffer doesn’t have to spend in a laundromat is an hour he or she can be getting out the vote for Jim Martin.

5. Ask some friends or relatives to make a campaign contribution. Explain to them that this race will affect the Republicans’ ability to obstruct the change we need.

Please feel free to suggest other ways activists can help Martin bring this race home.

UPDATE: MyDD commenter ATL Dem made a fantastic suggestion:

In the meantime, I’m also running this Google ad to assist in desmoinesdem’s project No. 2:

Hi from Saxby Chambliss

Read about my work in D.C.

Too bad it’s not for you!

saxby-chambliss.com

It’s getting monster response — over 15 percent of people searching for “Saxby Chambliss” are clicking it. The bad thing about that is that my $10 a day budget gets used up pretty fast, so if you’re of a mind to, go to Google and click on “Advertising Programs” and set up another ad.

Please feel free to steal this idea!

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