From NBC's Doug Adams
While everyone is focused on the outstanding Senate races, don't forget about the still undecided House races. Here's an update of where they stood as of this morning.
CALIFORNIA 4: Both Tom McClintock (R) and Charlie Brown (D) are in DC this week for freshman orientation. They're even staying at the same hotel (Hyatt Regency). McClintock leads by 592 votes as of this morning, with thousands of ballots still to be counted. Counties have until December 9 to finish the counting, and results will be certified by December 13. Republicans are confident McClintock will prevail and keep the seat in GOP hands.
OHIO 15: State Sen. Steve Stivers (R) holds a 393-vote lead over Mary Jo Kilroy (D), but a lawsuit is holding up counting 27,000 provisional ballots in Franklin County -- home to the city of Columbus. At issue are about thousand provisional ballots where voters failed to print and/or sign their names on the ballot envelopes. The secretary of state (a Democrat) has ordered that the ballots be counted, and Republicans have sued to stop that. A ruling is expected by Thursday afternoon, and counting of all the provisionals should be completed by next Monday. But official results won't be released until certified (on or before November 25th). Of course, an automatic recount seems likely. Democrats are optimistic they can win this GOP-held open seat, because the outstanding 27,000 ballots are from Kilroy's home, where she is a Franklin County commissioner. Both Stivers and Kilroy were in Washington DC this week for freshman orientation.
VIRGINIA 5: The Democrat Tom Perriello has claimed victory over incumbent Virgil Goode (R), but might need a recount to be sure. Perriello has a 745-vote lead out of more than 316,000 cast. The results will be certified next Monday, and Goode will have 10 days to request a recount. Republicans have sued to require counting some 200 late arriving military ballots, but even if they are all for Goode, it is not enough to overcome Perriello's lead. Democrats seem to have picked up this seat.
LOUISIANA 4: This election, which was postponed by Hurricane Gustav, is set for Sat December 6. Democrats are hoping they can win yet another GOP open seat here in this matchup between Caddo Parish DA Paul Carmouche and Republican John Fleming, a physician and businessman. The latest poll shows Carmouche up by about 10 points, but both national parties are now airing ads in the district. Vice President Cheney is coming to Shreveport to hold a fundraiser for Fleming on Friday. It's a Republican district, but Carmouche is a good candidate -- a social conservative with strong law and order credentials -- while Fleming is a relative newcomer to politics who emerged from a crowded primary. Democrats could win this one.
LOUISIANA 2: Remember William Jefferson, the New Orleans congressman who was indicted last year on bribery and other corruption charges? Well, he's still around, and likely will stay for awhile. He's expected to breeze to re-election on the run-off on December 6. His opponent is little-known Republican lawyer Anh "Joseph" Cao, who stands little chance in the heavily Democratic district. Ironically, his federal trial in Virginia is also scheduled to start a few days before the run-off.
ILLINOIS 5: And don't forget Rahm Emanuel's old job. There should be a Chicago brawl over his House seat, when leaves Congress. Emanuel hasn't said when he'll formally resign his seat, but when he does, state law requires Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) to call for a primary and special election within five days; and those elections must be held within 115 days. That's a very short time for such a hotly contested seat.