Webb’s Lead Holds — AP And NBC Call VA For Dems
(Photo of Jim Webb on election night via AFP/Win McNamee.)
Meet Senator-Elect Jim Webb. The AP and NBC News called the VA Senate race this morning for Webb, as his lead holds through the reexamination of votes throughout the state of Virginia. According to the WaPo, Webb still leads by more than 7,300 votes with almost all of Virginia's close to 2 million cast votes re-tallied. From the WaPo:
But Webb continued to lead by approximately 7,300 votes with virtually all of Virginia's 2.3 million ballots counted Wednesday evening, and Republicans said there appeared to be little hope that glitches or math errors might uncover new GOP votes. Gillespie said Allen was "realistic," and an e-mail sent late Wednesday said the senator would make a statement "at the conclusion" of the statewide canvass of votes. The e-mail said "more details will follow from the campaign" early Thursday.
Several Republicans who are close to Allen or involved in a potential recount said privately that they doubted Allen could overcome Webb's lead, which stood at 13 times as large as George W. Bush's lead over Al Gore in Florida in 2000.
"I don't see the votes there," said one Washington Republican who has been advising Allen and spoke on condition of anonymity because he didn't want to undermine the senator's message. "It's like the old saying: 'If you're not the lead dog, the view doesn't change.' "
On Wednesday night, the Associated Press called the election for Webb, after the wire service contacted election officials in all of Virginia's 134 localities and said about half had completed their post-election canvass. The AP showed Webb beating Allen by 7,236 votes.
At Webb headquarters in Arlington, sleepy volunteers answered constantly ringing phones with a cheery new greeting: "Hello, Senator-elect Webb's office."
By all means, ensure that every vote is counted properly and carefully. But when the vote count is done, and Webb is still ahead, George Allen should concede. Congratulations to Jim Webb — it was a well fought race, and it looks like the best man won. Boo-yah!
When you think about the numbers involved — 7,300 votes, give or take — all of you who worked making GOTV calls or canvassing or fundraising…you made the difference in Virginia. This Democratic victory, in communities all across the nation, was because of people like you making it happen…one call, one door, one ride at a time. Thank you, for myself, my family and my country. Just…thank you.