The score -- so far -- in NY-20: Scott Murphy (D): 77,344 (50%), Jim Tedisco (R): 77,285 (50%), a difference of 59 votes. The AP: "After a frenzied, bruising special election, a New York congressional race that became linked to President Barack Obama's economic recovery efforts won't be decided for at least two more weeks."
The Albany Times Union adds, "As of Monday, 5,907 absentee ballots were received by the state Board of Elections out of around 10,000 mailed, according to spokesman Bob Brehm. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by March 30 and received within seven days for regular absentee ballots or 13 days for military and overseas ballots."
"Despite the uncertainty of the outcome, both candidates struck an optimistic chord," the New York Times says. "'The people in Washington said it couldn't be done,' Mr. Murphy told cheering supporters in Saratoga Springs on Tuesday night. 'The people in this room and all across the 20th District tonight said something very different.' Mr. Tedisco took the stage at his own Saratoga Springs celebration with a joke: 'From now on, just call me 'Landslide Tedisco,'" he said. He added, with conviction: 'I believe that when the smoke clears, we will have won a tremendous victory.'"
Here's the spin war…The statement from NRCC chairman Pete Sessions: "Jim Tedisco has closed the gap in a district that has come to exemplify Democratic dominance in the Northeast in recent elections… Less than 150 days ago, President Obama carried New York's 20th District, and former Congresswoman Gillibrand was handily reelected in this district by a margin of 62-38 percent, despite the fact that her Republican opponent spent $6 million trying to defeat her. For the first time in a long time, a Republican candidate went toe-to-toe with a Democrat in a hard-fought battle over independent voters. This was hardly a common phenomenon in 2008, particularly in the Northeast."
Here's DCCC chairman Chris Van Hollen: "From 21 points down to securing a majority of the vote tonight, congratulations to Scott Murphy who ran an extraordinary campaign focused on his record as a successful businessman who helped to create jobs and his strong support for President Obama's economic recovery act. As votes continue to be counted, we're confident that Scott Murphy will expand his lead. Scott Murphy's strong showing in this district where Republicans outnumber Democrats by more than 70,000 represents a rejection of the obstructionist agenda and scare tactics that have become the hallmark of House Republicans."
But isn't this a bit over the top? The NRCC sent out a fundraising e-mail a little after midnight with the subject: "Don't Let'em Pull a Franken." "Democrats have almost succeeded in stealing the election in Minnesota and seating Al Franken. We cannot allow them to manipulate electoral results to seat another tax-troubled liberal."
Politico chalks this up as a loss for the GOP: "The first election to take place during the Obama administration was a push, with neither side winning big or losing big. But that in itself ranks as a defeat of sorts for the GOP, which invested heavily in the race."