Update 11:19 p.m.: The St. Lucie County Canvassing Board has ordered a recount of all early votes in that county, beginning Saturday morning. The ruling is a victory for West, but overcoming his current 1,900-vote deficit will still be difficult.
A Florida judge on Friday denied Rep. Allen West's (R-Fla.) request to recount early votes in St. Lucie County, dealing another setback to the congressman's effort to overcome an apparent defeat in last Tuesday's election.
Conservative firebrand Rep. Allen B. West (R-Fla.) appears to have lost his reelection bid, with final vote totals in the state's new 18th Congressional District showing him trailing by more than 2,000 votes.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Democrat Patrick Murphy leads West by 2,442 votes -- 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent. That is outside the margin (0.5 percent) for a computer recount.
Election Day, as it usually is, was a good day to be an incumbent.
The president was reelected, only one incumbent senator was defeated, and only about two dozen House incumbents will not be returning.
In fact, most House incumbents who lost on Tuesday lost in large part because their district boundaries were drawn in redistricting to be tougher. In fact, more than two-thirds (15 of 22) of confirmed losers in the House were drawn significantly more difficult districts and were considered top targets because of it. Four districts were bound to feature an incumbent loss because two incumbents were put into the same district.
We’re now just more than five weeks from Election Day, which means it’s time to bring out the big guns.
And by the big guns, we mean the nasty ads.
The Fix’s Sean Sullivan today noted a particularly stark ad in the North Carolina governor’s race in which African-Americans say that Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory doesn’t understand them.
Updated at 5:27 p.m.
Consider this Reason No. 41 that Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) won’t be the GOP’s vice presidential nominee:
At an event late Tuesday — shortly after The Fix wrote about how West is too much of a bomb-thrower to be the GOP’s vice presidential nominee — the freshman congressman suggested that as many as 81 Democrats in Congress are not only secret Communists, but actual members of the Communist Party.
Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) has quietly emerged as a — if not the — favorite of the tea party element for the GOP’s vice presidential nomination.
Herman Cain became the latest big-name Republican to pitch the Florida congressman for the job on Monday, calling him an “excellent choice.” Cain joins Sarah Palin , Newt Gingrich , and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley in pitching West, who this weekend confirmed that, if called, he would probably take the job.
And, in a lot of ways, it makes sense.
West is, after all, a favorite of the conservative base, comes from an invaluable state in the presidential race, has shown he can raise big money, is a great speaker, and as an African-American veteran of the Iraq war, carries the kind of profile that Republicans would love — LOVE — to have on the ticket. West, on the surface, would be a great balance to a business-friendly Northeastern governor with a more moderate past in Mitt Romney. (He even sings! Though not as well as Cain.)
But it’s not happening, for several reasons.
Updated at 6:52 p.m. with news that Hasner will run in West’s district
Tea party firebrand Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) announced Tuesday that he will switch districts and run for reelection in Florida’s new 18th district.
West’s 22nd district, which was already Democratic-leaning, got even tougher under a new GOP redistricting plan released last week. The new district would have gone about 57 percent for President Obama in the 2008 presidential race.
Florida Republicans have apparently settled on a new congressional map they hope will help them cement their overwhelming majority in the state’s delegation for a decade to come.
While the state’s GOP lawmakers have been tossing around a series of proposals for the past few weeks, sources tell The Fix that they have settled on a map that is expected to pass out of the state legislature in the coming days. (The map can be viewed here.)