With the House Republican leadership hierarchy facing the prospect of being a nearly all-male club, the lone woman in the caucus' inner circle says she "would love to see another woman around the leadership table."
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The Associated Press just reported that Rep. Solomon Ortiz has officially requested a recount in the Texas 27 race where he is trailing tea party newcomer Blake Farenthold by just under 800 votes. The 73-year-old Corpus Christi congressman, who has held the seat for almost three decades, asked for a manual recount.
Oh, there's hubbub, alright. MSNBC's decision to bench primetime star Keith Olbermann without pay for revelations that he donated $7,200 to a trio of Democratic candidates has rattled the media food chain. Plenty.
Vermont independent Sen. Bernard Sanders on Friday blasted MSNBC for suspending host Keith Olbermann for donating to Democratic candidates, calling it a violation of the TV man's First Amendment rights.
Blue Dog survivor Heath Shuler may get his wish: a head-to-head showdown with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi announced Friday that she will seek the House Minority Leader's post in the new Congress, surprising some observers who thought the San Francisco Democrat might retire after "shellacking" her party took in the midterms. Pelosi figured in race after race across the country, with Republicans trying to tie the unpopular House leader around their opponents' necks and Democrats -- especially moderates like Shuler -- desperately scrambling to disassociate themselves.
Another impressive House win for the tea party -- maybe the most impressive: Challenger Blake Farenthold has defeated longtime incumbent Rep. Solomon Ortiz. With 100 percent of the vote in, the former conservative talk show host was holding a razor-thin 799-vote margin over Ortiz. Ortiz has represented the South Texas district for 28 years.
It's not often Republicans have something to brag about in Democrat-dominated Maryland, but the win Tuesday in Congressional District 1 was the exception. Republican Andy Harris easily took his rematch with first-term incumbent Democrat Frank Kratovil in the traditionally conservative district, which combines part of the Baltimore suburbs with the rural Eastern Shore. With 75 percent of the vote counted, Harris had 54 percent of the vote to Kratovil's 42 percent.
North Carolina's Rep. Heath Shuler, a leader of the conservative Blue Dog Democrats, won re-election Tuesday night, beating back a tough challenge from Republican Jeff Miller. Miller tried to portray Shuler, a former Washington Redskins quarterback, as a follower of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but Shuler fought back by floating the possibility that he would oppose Pelosi by seeking the speakership himself if Democrats retained the House. That's a moot point now, but the response may have helped the congressman win his third term.
President Obama campaigned for only one individual congressman this fall: Rep. Tom Perriello of Virginia. Perriello lost tonight to Republican Robert Hurt 53 percent to 45 percent.
Republican challenger Morgan Griffith defeated Democratic Rep. Rick Boucher in Virginia's 9th Congressional District. With 69 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Griffith had 52 percent of the vote, and Mr. Boucher 46 percent. Fox News declared Republican Robert Hurt the victor over Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello in Virginia's 5th Congressional District. With 65 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Hurt had 53 percent of the vote, and Mr. Boucher 45 percent.
With only 1 percent of precincts reporting in Virginia's 11th Congressional District, Republican challenger Keith Fimian was leading Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly, 51 percent to 41 percent. Rep. Bobby Scott was re-elected from Virginia's 3rd Congressional District, defeating Republican challenger Chuck Smith. With 17 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Scott had 61 percent of the vote, and Mr. Smith 36 percent.
The spirited campaign of Marco Rubio continues, even as election day wanes. The conservative U.S. Senator hopeful in Florida has his patriotism intact as the long hours tick by - telling his supporters that their votes for him were an effort to "reclaim America." And Mr. Rubio also helps them wear proof of their activities:
If Republicans do register a historic, record-breaking tidal wave tonight, it will be because of districts like Texas 27, where longtime Rep. Solomon Ortiz has gone from congressman-for-life to fighting for his political life against an upstart, out-of-nowhere Republican challenger. Democrat Ortiz, who has held the seat since 1983, is struggling to hold off tea party favorite Blake Farenthold in the South Texas district that runs along the coast from Corpus Christi south to the Mexican border. Real Clear Politics on the eve of the election moved the race, which was once classified "Safe Democrat" from "Leans Democrat" to "Tossup."
Reports of lower-than-hoped-for turnout in Democratic strongholds across the country this afternoon. In Delaware, Democrat Chris Coons' Senate campaign reported "lower turnout ... than we're comfortable with." In Connecticut, GOP Senate candidate Linda McMahon's campaign is also reporting low turnout in Democratic precincts -- McMahon spokesman Shawn McCoy told "National Review" the Connecticut race "could be the biggest upset in the country." And in Wisconsin, Rep. Steve Kagen's campaign sent a midday email urging Democrats to get to the polls because "we have just been going over the morning voting numbers -- and turnout isn't where we need it to be."
Democrat Chris Coons, up 10 points or more in pre-Election Day polls, is expected to easily defeat tea party phenomenon Christine O'Donnell today. But a noon email alert from the Coons campaign indicates the Delaware Democrat isn't taking anything for granted. The campaign reported in the noon email to supporters that turnout New Castle and Kent counties is "lower ... than we're comfortable with."