Stop me if you've heard this one before. Two guys run for a seat in one of the houses of Congress. The campaign gets a lot of national attention. Come Wednesday morning, we discover that the two are in a virtual dead heat. Questions arise: What happens next? How long will this take to resolve?
This time it's the special election in New York State to replace Kirsten Gillibrand in the U.S. House, after she was appointed to a vacant Senate seat.
Of course, that New York tally is not all that close. Democrat Scott Murphy leads his Republican opponent James Tedisco by a landslide margin of 42/1000ths of a percentage point. That is more than four times the lead that the Minnesota U.S. Senate recount shows Al Franken holding over Norm Coleman.
Apparently, those New York numbers do not include absentee ballots. So that lead could widen, shrink, or disappear, before any consideration of a recount.
Even if Democrat Murphy's lead does not hold up, this looks to me like a positive indication for his party. Even after President Obama has got himself into various controversies, Democrats still made a good showing in one of the normally-Republican congressional districts they gained in their 2006 takeover of Congress.