Vote Counting Updates
Latest reports from races that were too-close-to-call before the final count now underway:
2nd Cong. District: The Associated Press has called this race for incumbent "Mean Jean" Schmidt (R-Loveland), based on tallies of absentee and provisional ballots from Adams, Pike, and especially Warren County. These increased Schmidt's lead from 2,865 to 3,200. Dr. Victoria Wulsin (D-Indian Hill) would have to win the remaining votes (mostly in Hamilton and Clermont counties) by more than a 2-to-1 ratio to prevail. The final counts there won't be announced until after Thanksgiving.
Editor at the excellent Ohio 2nd blog warns against treating AP's call as an official announcement, comparing Wulsin's campaign to a football team that’s "down by 14 on their own 33 yard line with 44 seconds left." Nobody expects that team to walk off the field rather than see the game out, so why should anyone complain about Wulsin waiting for the final count of votes from Clermont and Hamilton County?
In the AP story, Wulsin says she's in no hurry to concede and wants to make sure all votes are counted, and also that she could have won if the party gave her more support. (I agree.) "I'm disappointed that [Schmidt] picked up so many votes (in Warren County), but I'm not surprised," Wulsin said. "I will still wait until the outstanding votes are fewer than the difference between her and me."
15th Cong. District: The Columbus Dispatch reports today that the lead of Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Upper Arlington) over challenger Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Columbus) has grown to 3,717 due to absentee and provisional ballots from conservative Madison and Union counties. Pryce's net gain of 181 from those counties is described as smaller than expected, based on a Dispatch analysis that predicted a gain of 250. As many as 19,500 ballots remain to be counted in Franklin county. Kilroy would need to win more than 60% of those to pull ahead, greater than her 51% share of previously counted votes in that county. However, provisional ballots in general tend to break toward Democrats because they are more likely to have been cast by transient and/or less affluent voters, and many of these provisional ballots are from OSU students who generally supported Kilroy in this race.
In addition to absentee and provisional ballots, the final count in Franklin will include somewhere around 1,800 votes that were not tallied on election night because 30 electronic voting machines were not shut down properly. It is unclear how many of those are in the 15th Congressional District.
20th Ohio House District: The Dispatch story also notes that incumbent Rep. Jim McGregor (R-Gahanna) leads challenger Bev Campbell (D-Gahanna) by 933 votes with about about 4,500 absentee and provisional votes yet to be counted in this district that includes a small part of Columbus and several eastern suburbs. Campbell is hoping for an extra margin of support from provisional ballots cast by Capitol University students and assisted living facility residents in the district.
92nd Ohio House District: The Gongwer news service reported yesterday that the lead of incumbent Rep. Jimmy Stewart (R-Athens) over challenger Debbie Phillips (D-Athens) shrank from 1,373 to 864 as a result of final counting in Athens County (carried convincingly by Phillips) and smaller Miegs and Morgan counties (won by Stewart). However, it looks like Stewart will win. A portion of Washington County is in the 92nd district and the final count there won't be announced until today at the earliest, but officials estimated that there are only 350-400 ballots to be counted there.
UPDATE: Debbie Phillips sent an e-mail message to supporters late yesterday, conceding the race and expressing thanks:
Athens has now completed the count. I picked up a significant number of votes, but not quite enough. In the end, I have 49% of the vote. We do not have final numbers from Washington County, but the number of ballots remaining to be counted won’t be enough to make up the difference.
I want to thank everyone who helped with the campaign. We had a great team! More than 700 people contributed to the campaign, and more than 500 individuals volunteered—making phone calls, knocking on doors, walking in parades and helping out on election day. You are wonderful, and I am so grateful for your help and support.
And — we won a lot. We have a great new Governor. We won most of the key positions in Ohio. We picked up seven seats in the Ohio House, and we won Congress and the US Senate. There’s a lot of work to do to turn around Ohio, and I look forward to working with all of you to help make Ohio great again. Thank you for all the good work you do!