In addition to the excellent background diary posted by Dan Sullivan this morning, it seems to me that an “open thread” on the Virginia AG “recount” is in order. Note that this spreadsheet, being updated by @Taniel and @notlarrysabato, is an excellent source for the latest numbers. As of 5:12 pm, Mark Herring has picked up 183 votes, while Mark Obenshain has picked up 92 votes, for a net increase of 91 votes for Herring and a lead of 256 votes (up from 165 votes at the start of the “recount”).
UPDATE 8:22 pm: Adam Zuckerman of the Herring campaign reports, “Final results: Herring +907. Herring 1,105,045. Obenshain 1,104,138.”
UPDATE 4:07 pm: Talking Points Memo reports: “‘As we near the conclusion of the recount I’m confident that the final total of the recount is going to show Mark Herring ahead,’ Obenshain said Wednesday at a press conference. Obenshain added that the attorney general race is ‘over.’ He said he called Herring earlier in the day to concede the race.”
UPDATE 12:56 pm: @benpershing tweets, “Odd scene at #vaag recount court in Richmond, lawyers keep arguing over ballots even though Obenshain will concede.” Ha, gotta love lawyers!
UPDATE 12:35 pm: The @washingtonpost tweets, “#BREAKINGNEWS: Republican candidate Obenshain will concede in Virginia AG race http://wapo.st/18RvoD2 ” 🙂 @MSchmidtRTD adds, “@MarkObenshain to hold news conference at 3pm. Several sources indicate he may be conceding in #VAAG race before court wraps recount today”
UPDATE 11:51 am Wednesday: Per WRIC, “Herring’s campaign says the 866-vote edge has been reached with 73 percent of the recount statewide completed.”
UPDATE 8:35 pm: @BrianSchoeneman tweets about Fairfax County’s results: “Final unofficial numbers until we finish double check: Obenshain +206, Herring +572. Net Herring + 366. 13 challenged ballots.”
UPDATE 5:04 pm: @notlarrysabato tweets, “1158/2558 in- margin is 632. Mark Herring 1,104,510– Mark Obenshain 1,103,878. This one’s over folks”
UPDATE 4:54 pm: @benpershing tweets, “Loudoun has completed its #VAAG recount: Herring net gain of 62 votes, w/ 2 challenged ballots sent to Richmond.” @Taniel tweets, “Insane: Thanks to Loudoun, Mark Herring’s lead has now broken the 600-vote barrier — 632, to be exact!”
UPDATE 3:34 pm: I’m told that Herring picked up 2 votes in PW County.
UPDATE 2:42 pm: Herring campaign attorney Marc Elias said that there’s a lot of counting going on, with data flowing in every minute. Having said that, as of 2:25 pm today, 49% of the state has been recounted, and Herring has gained 742 votes, Obenshain 300, for a net increase of 442 votes (and a 607 net margin for Herring). What’s most important, in Elias’ view, isn’t the absolute numbers but what the trend is and how the recount is shaping up. One question is trying to figure out which challenges might or might not be upheld. But the number of challenges isn’t that great (there are under 100 so far) and are highly unlikely to change the outcome. (note that there have been more challenges to Herring ballots than to Obenshain ballots)
UPDATE 1:29 pm: I hear from the PW County Dem Chair that so far, there are no changes to vote totals with half the precincts completed. Also, @psullivan1 tweets, “AlexandriaVa #vaag recount done. Unofficially no vote change but more later.”
UPDATE Tuesday 11:43 am: @Taniel tweets, “New Fairfax numbers make Herring’s lead really jump up to 442 votes!”
UPDATE Tuesday 11:20 am: @Taniel tweets, “11am #VAAG update: 5 counties have now completed their recount, and Herring’s lead has grown to 325 votes.” Also, @ArlingtonVotes tweets, “Arlington recount done! +2 for Herring in CAP + 1 challenged also CAP.”
UPDATE 9:22 pm: @amaxsmith tweets, “Final for today “@BrianSchoeneman: Total + 95 votes for Obenshain, + 234 votes Herring. Net Herring increase of 139.”
UPDATE 7:57 pm: Herring attorney @marceelias tweets, “7:50 Recount #s: Herring +145 net votes. Margin= +310. 8% of state recounted.”
UPDATE 7:53 pm: @Taniel tweets, “Latest Fairfax numbers (as supplied by @amaxsmith) push Mark Herring’s lead to 283 votes.”
UPDATE 7:36 pm: WTOP reporter @amaxsmith tweets, “Sounds like there are at least 3 challenged ballots that will go to court in Richmond. But that’s it from whole day of counting.” Also, this is just bizarre (also from Max Smith): “Here’s something odd: 8thCD Absentees come up as MINUS 38 for Herring, MINUS 27 for Obenshain(2 challenges). Makes total +191 H,+73 O”
UPDATE 5:58 pm: Herring campaign attorney @marceelias tweets, “Recount 5:30pm update: Herring up a net 99 votes. Margin now +264. 5.5% of state (almost 100 precincts) recounted.”
Now (5:12 pm), here’s my update from the Mark Herring for AG campaign conference call at 2:30 pm.
*They have observers (700-800 volunteers) throughout Virginia and are tracking the numbers, as precincts are counted, against the certified results.
*They continue to expect small movement, but certainly nothing that would affect the results of the election.
*As of the call at 2:30 pm, Herring had picked up 55 votes, Obenshain 35 votes, for a net gain of 20 votes for Herring (making the total margin as +185 for Herring as of 2:30 pm). They expect this trend to continue.
*The recount seems to be going along relatively smoothly, the challenge level has been “relatively low” (at most 20 challenges as of 2:30 pm).
*They feel very confident that Herring will be declared the winner for the 3rd time.
*The recount should finish up Wednesday, then the court will review Wed/Thur/Fri, hopefully wrapping this up by the end of this week.