Madrid throws in the towl

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Heath Haussamen has the goods:

Democrat Patricia Madrid conceded the 1st Congressional District race to Republican Heather Wilson this morning.

However, according to the Albuquerque Journal, the state Democratic Party might ask for a partial recount.

Madrid, according to the newspaper, decided against a recount because she did not believe it would change the outcome. Party Chair John Wertheim said he may ask for a hand tally of 2 percent of ballots to test the accuracy of the machines that count votes under the new paper ballot system.

Madrid, 60, leaves office as the state’s attorney general at the end of the year, but there is speculation that she could make a run for U.S. Senate in 2008 or governor in 2010.

Afternoon Update

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It looks like there are still several thousand (3,700?) votes remaining to be counted in the CD-1 race between Heather Wilson and Patricia Madrid. As I write this, Wilson maintains a 1,000-vote lead over Madrid. We may be waiting until the end of the week for a final canvas.

Nationally, it looks like Jim Webb will eek out a 7,000 lead in Virginia, which is a huge number of votes to overcome should Allen seek a recount. Some conservatives are now calling on George Allen to call it quits.

Off to a community-relations meeting at Western New Mexico University, but I’ll have the latest in a few hours.

Wednesday morning update

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So, none of the races here in Grant County were affected by anything overnight (for more on those races, check here).

Regionally, it looks like Al Kissling pulled in 40 percent of the vote against Steve Pearce, a remarkable number considering Kissling’s lack of funding and political experience. He performed better than Gary King did in 2004, and that’s saying something.

Up north, it looks like we’ll be waiting until at least this afternoon to see the outcome of the CD-1 race between Heather Wilson and Patricia Madrid. Right now, with more than 99 percent of precincts reporting, Wilson holds a .4 percent lead over Madrid. Several thousand absentee ballots likely won’t be counted until later today.

Overall, however, it was an incredible election for Democrats. As I type this, the NY Times is reporting 27 pickups in the U.S. House and four in the SenateMissouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. There are still 14 undecided house races, some of which will see a recount and others that will require a runoff. For the Senate, all eyes are on Virginia and Montana. It’s likely that Jim Webb and Jon Tester will pick up those seats for Democrats. If that happens, both houses of Congress would see a switch from Republican control.

Also, looks like Democrats were able to make additional gains in governor’s mansions, and in state legislatures as well:

The wave of voter discontent that put Democrats in charge of the U.S. House of Representatives also hit state legislatures, where the party won control of more chambers than Republicans.

Democrats picked up control of at least nine chambers in Tuesday’s election, winning the House and Senate in Iowa and New Hampshire, the House in Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, and Indiana, and the Wisconsin Senate, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“The Democrats have won pretty much across the board,” said Tim Storey, an elections analyst at the nonpartisan group.

More later!

4:30 turnout update

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Well, so far it looks like Grant County will see an incredible turnout, at least by recent standards, in today’s election.

I visited 7 precincts this afternoon to check on turnout and see if there had been any problems. Uniformly, poll workers told me the day had been a smooth one and there had been no problems with equipment.

In addition, turnout has been strong. In addition to early voting (which was at 22 percent countywide), the seven precincts reported total turnout of 1,210 out of 7,664 registered voters. The precincts I visited, Nos. 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 22 and 30, represent about one-third of the registered voters in Grant County. Combined, they came out to about 15.8 percent turnout. If that holds true throughout the County, and throughout the evening, we’ll be doing great for voter turnout:

4:30 Turnout

Here’s the data:

4:30 Turnout Chart

A few more observations: I saw Mary Ann Sedillo, candidate for District 1 County Commission, at Diane’s for lunch. She’s one of the few candidates today that doesn’t face an opponent, so I guess we shouldn’t begrudge her a good meal while the rest of the candidates are scrambling all over the county.

Also, I’m blogging from the Grant County Clerk’s office. The clerk, Howie Morales tells me that there have been a few incidents of candidates’ signs being placed too close to precinct location, but nothing worse than that as far as campaign issues.

More later.

(Almost) Final Early Voting Figures

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There was a huge influx of early voters on Friday and Saturday, if you compare the numbers from Thursday to the numbers released by Grant County clerk Howie Morales yesterday:

Grant County Early Voters II
So, it looks like the party breakdown of the early voters remained unchanged, with 66 percent of early voters calling themselves Democrats. Registered Republicans made up 24.6 percent of early voters, while 9.4 percent where registered as independents, greens or something else.

The same pattern holds true for in-person voters, who made up the overwhelming majority of those voting early:

In-Person Voters

The only big change in party breakdown comes from absentee ballots:

Absentee Voters

These numbers do not reflect the final figures for absentee ballots, which can be turned in until 7 p.m. tonight, though the in-person figures are solid. It will be interesting to watch some of the close races, and see if the absentee ballots make much of an impact. They can’t be counted until after 7.

Clerk’s office just told me that early returns should be available shortly. Stay tuned.