And Then There Were 5: Races Still Awaiting a Victor

Nick Corasaniti NOVEMBER 14, 2014 NYT FD

Fewer than 200 votes separated Martha McSally, a Republican, and Representative Ron Barber, a Democrat, in Arizona’s Second District race, which is headed for a recount. Mike Christy/Arizona Daily Star, via Associated Press

Good Friday morning from Washington, where five House seats in the new Congress remain undecided more than a week after the election, Senate Democrats are showing a rebellious streak and President Obama appears to be warming up his veto pen.

House Democrats took a beating in the Republican wave on election night, but they’ve been doing pretty well ever since, having won the vast majority of the 15 races that were not decided on election night.

“No amount of money or field can save seats in a wave, but in close races, an aggressive early strategy can be the deciding factor,” said Representative Steve Israel of New York, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Five races remain undecided, with two of them in Louisiana to be settled in a runoff:

Arizona’s Second District: The race for former Representative Gabrielle Giffords’s seat is headed to a recount as required by Arizona law in any election in which the candidates are separated by fewer than 200 votes. Martha McSally, the Republican, is ahead of Representative Ron Barber by 161 votes. The recount is not likely to begin before Dec. 1 and is expected to take weeks.

California’s 16th District: Johnny Tacherra, the Republican challenger to Representative Jim Costa, had a roughly 700 vote lead when he came to Washington this week for orientation. But by Wednesday, he was trailing Mr. Costa by fewer than 100 votes. Only provisional ballots remain to be counted, but The Merced Sun Star reports it is unclear how many remain.

California’s Seventh District: Nearly 19,000 provisional and absentee ballots are left to be counted in the race between Representative Ami Bera, a Democrat, and Doug Ose. Mr. Ose led by roughly 3,000 votes on election night, but Mr. Bera had edged ahead by 711 votes on Wednesday. The Sacramento Bee reports that a full count will take another week.