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Midterm Mania (Yes, Still)

USA Today reviews lessons learned from the midterms by campaign
consultants and political scientists, including: that the White House's
strategy of cultivating the base at the expense of the middle failed, as did
their efforts to appeal to minorities; that a seemingly solid
Democratic Northeast now helps the party balance out a Republican South; and
that positive economic stats didn't make voters feel better about the

The manual recount starts today in North Carolina's 8th district, where
Rep. Robin Hayes (R) leads Democratic challenger Larry Kissell by 329
votes after a machine recount was finished before Thanksgiving.  Kissell
has requested the manual recount, in which officials will hand count
ballots in 3% of precincts.  If the sampled precinct recount varies from
the machine recount numbers, then a manual recount of all precincts
will be ordered, NBC's Doug Adams reports.

Also today, final results are expected in Ohio's 15th district, where
GOP Rep. Deborah Pryce is trying to fend off Democratic challenger Mary
Jo Kilroy.  The results should be certified tomorrow.  Also tomorrow,
voting machines will get tested in Florida's 13th district, where
Republican Vern Buchanan was certified as the winner over Democrat Christine
Jennings by 363 votes, but Jennings has filed a lawsuit seeking a new
election.  Jennings alleges that voting machine errors in Sarasota
County resulted in more than 18,000 "undervotes," per Adams --- meaning
voters made selections in other races, but did not cast a vote in the
congressional race.

And we're awaiting runoffs in Louisiana on December 9 and in Texas on
December 12, though only the Texas runoff could result in another
Republican seat possibly changing party hands.  The Wall Street Journal says
GOP Rep. Henry Bonilla's fate could turn on just how angry Hispanics
are about the GOP House members' hard line on immigration reform.  "For
years, Mr. Bonilla has been one of the Texas Republican Party's
celebrity Latinos."