November 13, 2016
As President-elect Donald Trump and his team continue with the transition toward the presidency, a number of major races remain unresolved Sunday.
Winners in the presidential race have yet to be declared in two states, Michigan and New Hampshire. Trump has consistently held a lead in Michigan; he's currently up by about 12,000 votes.
The same is true of Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, though her lead is under 3,000 votes. Her lead actually exceeds that of Gov. Maggie Hassan over Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte in the Senate race, though Ayotte already has conceded.
Trump's current margin in the Electoral College is 290 to 228. Winning Michigan would enable him to become the first Republican with 300 or more electoral votes since George H.W. Bush in 1988.
With the Electoral College having been clearly decided, those two states won't determine anything of consequence, but that is not true of the nation's other undecided races.
North Carolina's governor's race remains a tight battle between Democrat Roy Cooper and incumbent Republican Pat McCrory, with Cooper slightly ahead in the count. That race could drag on for a while; Republicans recently sought a hand recount in Durham County of 90,000 votes.
Because Louisiana always treats Election Day as an all-party primary, three important seats remain up for grabs there, with runoffs scheduled for Dec. 10.
Republican John N. Kennedy and Democrat Foster Campbell will square off for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican David Vitter. The crowded Louisiana primary field — 24 people received at least 1,000 votes Tuesday — also included two Republican congressmen, Charles Boustany and John Fleming, as well as David Duke.
Kennedy, the state treasurer, emerged on top with 25 percent.
Should Kennedy win as expected, Republicans will enter January with a 52-48 edge in the chamber. Democrats, who expected to win the Senate back this cycle and fell painfully short, are looking upon Campbell, a member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission, as their last hope for chipping into the GOP majority.
Two Louisiana House seats are also unresolved. In the state's Third District, a Republican will definitely retain the the Lake Charles-area seat, either Scott Angelle or Clay Higgins. The seat was held by Boustany.
The Fourth District seat is an open one as well. In this case, the runoff will be between Democrat Marshall Jones and Republican Mike Johnson. Jones did better on Nov. 8, but about 70 percent of the overall votes were for the five Republicans on the ballot.
Two undecided House races await final numbers in California. A pair of incumbents, Democrat Ami Bera and Republican Darrell Issa, hold slender leads over challengers in their districts (Bera in the Seventh in the suburbs of Sacramento, Issa in the 49th in the San Diego area).
Regardless of the outcome in those four House districts, Republicans will retain a majority. Democrats have posted a net gain of six seats so far, but the GOP will still hold at least 239 of 435 seats.
The lag in counting California ballots is also reflected in the final tallying of the popular vote in the presidential race. Both candidates have now surpassed 60 million votes, with Clinton continuing to build a lead. The New York Times has Clinton with a current edge of more than 630,000 votes.
Source: Politico.com by David Cohen