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California House races hang in balance amid slow vote count

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California’s pro-Russia congressman, Dana Rohrabacher, is one among 4 Republican incumbents in the state whose seats are nonetheless in hazard of falling to Democratic opponents in the U.S. House of Representatives as America’s most populous state slowly counts its votes.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher speaks with fellow attendees earlier than President Donald Trump’s remarks at a gathering of the National Space Council on the White House in Washington, U.S. June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

The consequence of these races – and the way a lot they add to the Democrats’ majority in the newly constituted House – could also be unsure for weeks to return due to mail-in and provisional balloting methods that California launched in current years to spice up voter participation.

According to the newest projections by media shops and knowledge supplier DDHQ, Democrats have achieved a web achieve of 32 House seats nationwide.

California election outcomes tallied as of Wednesday don’t account for thousands and thousands of excellent ballots nonetheless to be processed statewide. Many have been mailed by voters to native registrar workplaces by Tuesday’s deadline however have but to be delivered.

In Orange County alone, nicely over 400,000zero votes remained left to be counted, greater than half of them mail-in ballots, in line with knowledge offered by the county registrar’s workplace on Wednesday. Tens of hundreds of provisional ballots for voters who waited till election day to register are also excellent.

State returns on Wednesday confirmed Rohrabacher, a 13-term congressman in coastal Orange County in Southern California, trailing his Democratic challenger, Harley Rouda, an actual property entrepreneur and former Republican, by fewer than three,000 votes – or 49.three p.c to 50.7 p.c.

Rouda, whose lead improved barely on Thursday to 51 p.c, versus 49 p.c for Rohracher, estimated that 70,000 ballots remained to be counted in the district.

Rouda mentioned he was “cautiously optimistic” that “our lead will hold and in all likelihood will increase” when all votes are in, however mentioned he would maintain off on any bulletins for at the very least a number of days.

The Rohrabacher marketing campaign didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

The Rohrabacher-Rouda race has stood out nationally in half due to the incumbent’s status for unabashedly pro-Russian views, broadly seen as as soon as placing him on a short-list for consideration as President Donald Trump’s secretary of state.

Rohrabacher’s seat is one among a number of held by a Republican in a California district that supported Democrat Hillary Clinton over Trump in the 2016 presidential election or was in any other case seen as weak to flipping Democrat.

That race and three others in the state the place Democrats have been looking for to select up a Republican seat have been both nonetheless in play or, as was the circumstances in two districts, leaning so closely towards Democrats that that they had claimed victory.

However, Republican incumbents appeared to have garnered snug leads in at the very least three different House races in Southern California that Democrats had considered as up for grabs.

Among them was Duncan Hunter, who has pleaded not responsible to felony corruption fees however managed to defeat Ammar Campa-Najjar, a former Obama administration aide of Mexican and Palestinian heritage.

No races will probably be licensed for at the very least a month, the time election officers are given to finish their “official canvass” of all votes. They have till Dec. 7 to report ultimate outcomes to the California secretary of state, who then could have one other week to formally declare winners.

Reporting by Steve Gorman; modifying by Bill Tarrant, Rosalba O’Brienand Leslie Adler

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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