One more word from Allen, and the Democrats take the Senate

The Associated Press says Jim Webb has won Virginia and Democrats have won the Senate. George Allen could concede today.

Topics: 2006 Elections, U.S. Senate, War Room, Jim Webb,

One more word from Allen, and the Democrats take the Senate

The words from the Associated Press have a pleasing ring of finality: “In a rout once considered almost inconceivable, Democrats won a 51st seat in the Senate and regained total control of Congress after 12 years of near-domination by the Republican Party.”

Period. End of sentence. No attribution necessary.

It’s not quite as official as all that yet, of course. Virginia hasn’t certified its election results. And while Jim Webb has claimed victory, George Allen hasn’t conceded it to him. But if a Democratic victory in both houses of Congress once seemed “inconceivable,” so too does an Allen comeback at this point. Before calling the race for Webb Wednesday night, AP checked in with election officials in every county in Virginia. About half of them had already completed their legally required canvasses. Almost all of them had counted their absentee votes. And Jim Webb still had about 7,300 more votes than George Allen did.

That might not seem like a lot of votes in a race in which 2.3 million were cast, but it’s a whole lot for a candidate to make up after the polls have closed. And really, a 7,300-margin isn’t even all that close as far as close elections go. As the Washington Post notes this morning, Webb’s margin is more than 13 times as large as the 537-vote victory Katherine Harris ultimately certified for George W. Bush in Florida in 2000 — and almost three times as many votes were cast in Florida in 2000 than were cast in Virginia Tuesday.

Republicans close to Allen are saying quietly — but not so quietly that their words don’t make it into the newspaper — that there’s probably no way for him to overtake Webb now. If that sounds like pressure on Allen to end this thing, it is. The Republicans don’t want another Florida, at least not if “another Florida” this time around means a long, protracted and ugly legal fight that they wind up losing.

Allen seems to be getting the message. An Allen advisor tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the senator “wants to see [the election] come to its conclusion.” He said that Allen may make an announcement as early as today.

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>