December 4th, 2008
02:03 PM ET
10 years ago

One month later, four House races still unresolved

Four congressional races have yet to be decided.

Four congressional races have yet to be decided.

(CNN) - One month after Election Day, four congressional races have yet to be decided.

Two of those contests could come to conclusion this weekend.

Saturday is election day in Louisiana's 2nd and 4th Congressional Districts, where contests were delayed due to Hurricane Gustav.

The race in the 4th district is to replace retiring 10-term Republican congressman Jim McCrery. Democrat Paul Carmouche is facing off against Republican John Fleming in a campaign that's attracting national attention and money.

In the 2nd Congressional district, nine-term Democratic Rep. William Jefferson is running for re-election against Republican Anh "Joseph" Cao. Jefferson's been battling scandals and a federal indictment for the past three years, but the district, in and around New Orleans, is mostly African-American and heavily Democratic.

In two remaining districts, the vote counts are in dispute. In Virginia's 5th Congressional district, Republican Virgil Goode is calling for a recount. The nine-term Congressman trails Democrat Tom Perriello by 745 votes out of nearly 310,000 cast.

And the battle to succeed eight-term GOP Rep. Deborah Pryce in Ohio's 15th Congressional District is headed to court. Republican Steve Stivers leads Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy by 149 votes out of nearly 260,000 cast. Ohio's state Supreme Court will rule on whether to count thousands of disputed provisional ballots.

But at least one fight whose results were up in the air nearly a month after voters headed to the polls has officially drawn to a close, with the GOP holding on to a closely-contested House seat.

Republicans held on to a seat in northern California when Democrat Charlie Brown conceded defeat Tuesday to Republican state senator Tom McClintock in the battle for California's 4th congressional district. Brown's concession came a day after the counties in the district turned in their final vote counts.

Those tallies gave McClintock a lead of more than 1,500 votes out of nearly 370,000 cast. Given his narrow loss, Brown could have asked for a recount, but opted to concede. The seat was held by retiring nine-term Republican congressman John Doolittle, who was under investigation in connection with the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

This is Brown's second straight narrow defeat for Congress. He ran against Doolittle in 2006, losing by only 7,000 votes.

The district is mostly rural and registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats. John McCain beat Barack Obama in the district by a double-digit margin.

With California-4 settled, the Democrats will have a 255 to 176 edge in the new Congress, pending the resolution of the four remaining races. Democrats had a 235 to 199 margin over the Republicans heading into the election, with one seat vacant.

Filed under: Congress • Democrats • House of Representatives • Republicans
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. TexasAnnie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    "Ohio's state Supreme Court will rule on whether to count thousands of disputed provisional ballots"

    Does it bother anyone else to think that your vote will NOT be counted should you have to vote a provisional ballot due to some screw-up in the elections office?? Just because there is a dispute doesn't mean your ballot might not be legitimate. I'm sure some in dispute should be tossed– but I seriously doubt ALL of them should be tossed. I know we had several people in our precinct who had to vote a provisional ballot because for whatever reason the elections office had either dropped their name from the rolls or moved them to a different precinct– despite the fact these folks still lived in the same house they had been in for years & who had voted regularly during that time. It was just a plain screw-up in the elections office– but they had to vote "provisional" as a result. So, did their ballot ever get counted or not?????????

    I've read in other stories about whether or not to count "absentee ballots" in some places. Since I've had to vote absentee twice in the last couple of years, I'd really like to think my ballot got counted!

    THIS STUFF JUST FLAT DISTURBS ME! If you vote a legitimate ballot, it should be counted!!

    December 4, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. B2CJester

    Ok they want to put a dump in and take out a part of resting History. How about they dig up there loved ones and put them in a dump.

    December 4, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. George Arlington, TX.

    I noticed for the first time that the Republicans and Democraes when runing adds did not state their party. I understand their ploy they are betting that the voter is stupid.

    December 4, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. LucieLee

    There's gotta be a better way in finding a resolution to these contested Congressional races. I am really confused as to why anyine would seriously want to run for these seats....frankly!

    December 4, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. Brenton Clark

    I really can't believe that McClintock won CA-04 (my district). Not only is he of the branch of the Republican party that thinks government shouldn't do anything but loves to get the perks of government employment, he's never lived in the district he's going to represent! I would have thought that would turn most people, even staunch conservatives, against him. I guess party affiliation triumphs over most everything else, unfortunately.

    December 4, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. Sue

    Mr. Obama will NOT change the previous policies. He is already making excuses> We will be bombing and waring peoples all over the world with this false promises person!!!

    December 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. J

    I am very disappointed in CNN reporting. I have been watching all the poles and numbers BUT SOMEHOW CNN continues to report that ALL the poles are show Obama as favored. The numbers seen on actual voting DO NOT reflect was is later reported in an article. I bet they won't post this comment either, since it isn't pro-bama.

    December 4, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. boered1

    Sue December 4th, 2008 4:06 pm ET

    Mr. Obama will NOT change the previous policies. He is already making excuses> We will be bombing and waring peoples all over the world with this false promises person!!!

    not only is this off topic but umm what are you basing your rant on today? the simple fact is, other than selecting who he would like in his cabinet, and making SUGGESTIONS, Obama is NOT even in office yet and has done NOTHING and yet you, like many others, have already written him off using the same arguements you used during the election.. sad really but hey you got to see you name on a blog good for you!


    December 4, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. Lynne

    I sometimes think we make things much harder than they have to be by trying to be too perfect for appearances sake. The whole thing needs an overhaul!

    December 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. Iowa Mom


    Can you tell the future? If not, I suggest you at least wait until he is actually in office. He cannot do too much right now since Dubya is still "in charge".

    December 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. Ryan

    To TexasAnnie: I live in Ohio's 15th district and believe me, it gets worse. The lines were so long on election day that may people were offered a provisional ballot as a way to not stand in line. I decided to just wait because I knew something like this would happen. But thousands of people showed up to vote, saw a line out the door, were offered a "legitimate" way around it, and were later told they don't count unless the Supreme Court says you do. That's democracy for you.

    December 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. Rick

    I guess stashing $90K cash in your freezer is perfectly legit. I guess underpaying your taxes even though you are the Chairman of the committee responsible for tax legislation is OK. Certainly is in the eyes of Nancy Pelosi.

    December 4, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. ticker

    So CNN who are the "Whites" and "Blacks" in this story?

    We had the feel good story about the "Black Businessman" in the other ticker, talking about the Barrack Obama Inauguration.

    Or is CNN going to start calling it "The First Black President Presidential Inauguration"

    People at CNN who are bigots, or cant write, or are bigots who cant write, shouldnt be employed by CNN.

    There should be an editor approving garbage like "Black Businessman" before it gets posted by CNN staff.

    Not like this will get posted anyhow...

    December 4, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Ann

    Jefferson will be re-elected. He would be re-elected if he was in prison. He would be re-elected if he were dead and running.

    December 4, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. Jeff from Atlanta

    I can't believe it that if this were a Republican ridden with scandals, these blogs would be blazing with crooked Republicans agains blah blah blah!!!

    Funny that if it's a democrat it's OK.

    December 4, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. lynne

    well said, Reg in AZ. I felt character had much to do with this election. The differences were obvious. The black community came out for the election in unpresidented numbers. It was was not just a great moment in time to be voting for a black candidate for the presidency, but a black candidate of such caliber. I saw in the Republican campaign blaring all that is wrong in politics, not just the republican party.

    December 4, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. Mike, Syracuse NY

    So where is all the liberal outrage about Jefferson running for reelection? I guess as long as you are a Democrat and black in a black district, anything goes.

    December 4, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. repub

    remember, o-boy is only 1/2 black

    December 4, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. sally

    This is what needs to happen. President Bush resign now, then Chaney would become president. He would appoint Condoleezza Rice as VP. then Chaney would resign, then Condoleezza Rice would become the Republican FIRST black president. wouldn't that just pi... all the democrats off??? food for thought

    December 4, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  20. curious

    We need a "no confidence " vote on all of Congress and senate. One by one, so we can scrap the whole heap and start over

    December 4, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  21. No More Republicans!

    I ask all americans: IF there is any resistance, what so ever, from the republican dirt bags in office. against progress from our democratic majority. VOTE THE REST OF THE REPUBLICANS OUT!

    Please keep up to date as to how much they vote against progress, for no other reason then biggoted party ignorance. Unfortunately we do not have a philibuster proof number, as such, the republicans can continue to drag our country down until we rid ourselves of ALL of their kind. They have been holding us back with their inability to move into the future. Let's rid ourselves of their archaic ways!

    December 4, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. william

    Throwing out thousands of provisional ballots? I guess the tried and true GOP tactic of voter suppression still exists.

    Any good statisticians out there? I am betting the profile of 'close' elections - a couple of hundred votes out of a few hundred thousand, or as in Michigan, several million, does not fit a Gaussian distribution - it should be possible to prove that manipulation of close votes is involved.

    Even if the voters are exactly split, the statistical variations due to turnout should not so frequently fall so absurdly close to the dividing line.

    December 4, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  23. phyllis

    I believe that to eliminate all the voter fraud and all that mess, they should go back to ONE day voting. No early voting, it not only costs alot of money, but that is where people like ACORN got to vote several times. When you vote, you have to have voter registration in your hand, they mark it so you can't vote again. Why hasn't anybody thought of this, and why do we have sooo many days to vote. Also you can only vote if you pay income tax, why should the freeloaders get to vote??? If you can't read the ballot, you can't vote either.

    December 4, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  24. Jan

    What a bunch of sorry, sore winners! you democrats are a weird bunch of cats–I thought you would be ecstatic with your saviour's win! No such luck. These CNN blogs are deteriorating just like the "change" mantra of Mr Obama.

    December 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. Debra Hasan

    Goooooooo Democrats.

    December 4, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
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