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Recounts And Close Races


The midterm elections are still not over. And some of the biggest races may not be settled for close to a week. In Florida, the races for both governor and Senate are so close that the secretary of state has ordered a recount. The governor's race in Georgia, a key Senate race in Arizona and a handful of House contests all remain too close to call. NPR political correspondent Asma Khalid is tracking all of this. Good morning.

ASMA KHALID, BYLINE: Good morning.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Busy, busy time. You know, the election just won't end. When might we know who won those big Florida races?

KHALID: Well, Florida has been ordered into a recount. And the results of this machine recount are due by 3 p.m. Thursday. If at that point, any one of these races - the U.S. Senate or the governor's race we're talking about - is within a quarter of a percent, there would then be a manual recount of a portion of those ballots. But, you know, Lulu, what I think has just really been eye-opening for a lot of people around this Florida race is that it has kind of turned into this bitter war of words. We're hearing about legal action from both sides at this point.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We mentioned those other big races in Georgia and Arizona. Where do those stand?

KHALID: Well, in Georgia, Republican Brian Kemp is hanging on at 50.3 percent of the vote. That's just above the 50 percent threshold that he needs in order to avoid a runoff. Kemp did resign this week as secretary of state and claimed victory.

But Democrat Stacey Abrams says there are still a lot of provisional and mail-in ballots that need to be counted. You know, at this point, her opponent Brian Kemp says, mathematically, it's impossible for her to win. And just yesterday, he said it was time for her to concede immediately. He called her antics a, quote, "disgrace to democracy."

In Arizona, we, you know, we have another really interesting race I want to mention. You have Democratic Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema, and she's been expanding her lead ever since Tuesday. At this point, she's up by about 30,000 votes. But, of course, you know, there, there's also still a lot of votes out, possibly more than 250,000, because Arizona just has a lot of mail-in voting. And that's really a big part of the story there.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I mean, it's fascinating looking at all these different races and why they're playing out this way. But Democrats won the House. There's still a lot of races to be called, right? What's the latest?

KHALID: That is true, indeed. Well, most of the races that we're looking at that still need to be called are mostly in California. And that's, again, because a lot of people in that state vote by mail. You know, officials say it's just a big state and it takes a really long time to count all the people there.

Yesterday, we got word that one more GOP incumbent in California has now officially lost. That's Representative Dana Rohrabacher, who represents a portion of Orange County. He was a 15-term incumbent. And he lost to Democrat Harley Rouda.

You know, this Republican loss, though, came just shortly after another Democrat, Katie Hill, defeated Republican incumbent Steve Knight. So we've seen a couple of losses now for Republicans in these days after the election.

So Democrats now in total are up 32 seats. And, you know, they could add still another four to five to that total. So Lulu, I would say that the big storyline here is that you know this so-called blue wave, it was kind of slow to come in Tuesday night. But now in the House it really does look like a pretty solid rebuke for Republicans.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's NPR's Asma Khalid. Thank you so much.

KHALID: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Asma Khalid is a White House correspondent for NPR. She also co-hosts The NPR Politics Podcast.