By Karl Kurtz
Based on preliminary election returns, we have put the Arkansas House in the Republican column and the New York Senate on the Democratic ledger. Both of these would be switches in party control. But both of them hang by a thread.
From Arkansas blogger Jason Tolbert:
Right now, Republicans have the lead with 51 seats in the House, but it is not quite over. The fight for the 51st seat as well as the Speaker’s chair continues.
In House District 52, Republican John Hutchison leads by only about 49 votes. According to the Secretary of State website, the race is 5,048 votes for Hutchison and 5,004 for his Democratic opponent L.J. Bryant. In addition, the Craighead County Election Commission approved 13 out of 49 provisional ballots early this morning that put Hutchison up another 5 votes. I am hearing there are also 4 military ballots that could come in....
But what is clear is that Hutchison’s seat is necessary for the Republicans to have a clear 51-seat majority in the 100-seat Arkansas House. It is certainly expected that Bryant will call for a recount since that seat is critical. He has three days to so. If the recount is unsuccessful, Bryant has to pay for the cost, but I am sure he could get some help with that from Democratic supporters....
With the 51st seat up in a razor-thin lead, Democratic Speaker-designate Rep. Darrin Williams issued an interesting statement that signals he is not ready to give up his chair to the Republican’s choice of Rep. Terry Rice just yet or maybe even anytime soon.
And from the New York Times:
Democrats on Wednesday began preparing to lead the New York State Senate after shocking the political establishment with strong performances in a number of contests on Tuesday.
But Republicans said they believed that uncounted absentee ballots would allow them to retain their majority, and political experts warned that even if Democrats won a numerical majority, their membership was so fragmented that they might be unable to win a leadership election in the Senate.
Republicans currently hold 33 of the 62 seats in the Senate. On Tuesday, Democrats had clearly won 31 seats and Republicans 30 in a chamber that will grow to 63 seats next year because of redistricting....
Sen. Saland's race was complicated by the fact that the Republican whom he defeated in a hard-fought primary, Neil DiCarlo, ran in the general election on the Conservative line and received 14 percent of the vote.
The Times story goes on to report on factions within the Democratic party and the possibility of some Democrats voting with Republicans to control the chamber.