Republicans usually LOSE recounts in big elections

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

When Mark Obenshain conceded the Virginia’s attorney general race to his Democratic opponent this week, it fit nicely with a recent trend about recounts of major statewide elections since the Bush-Gore recount of Florida in 2000.

Republicans tend to lose the big fights.

Across the country, there have been about 20 statewide recounts between the years of 2000 and 2012, according to FairVote.org.

If one looks at the recounts of major statewide races since 2000 — U.S. Senate, gubernatorial, lieutenant governor and attorney general — Republicans have lost four and won just one.

That might come as a surprise to those for whom the Bush v. Gore recount is the most memorable contest.

Here are recent recounts lost by Republicans:

Washington Senate race, 2000: Democrat Maria Cantwell defeated Republican Slade Gorton. Cantwell initially won with 1,953 votes; a recount indicated she won by 2,229 votes.

Washington governor’s race, 2004: Republican Dino Rossi was initially thought to have won by 261 votes. But Democrat Christine Gregoire was later deemed the victor after a hand recount showed her up by 129 votes.

Minnesota Senate race, 2008: Republican Norm Coleman was beating Democrat Al Franken by 215 votes in the initial count. But a recount led to Franken being named the winner by 225 votes.

Virginia attorney general’s race, 2013: Obenshain trailed Democratic opponent Mark Herring by 165 votes. After the recount, Herring said his lead had increased to 800.

But here’s one recent recounts won by Republicans:

Alaska Senate race, 2004: Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski defeated her Democratic opponent, former Gov. Tony Knowles, by about 10,000 votes. While Democrats requested a recount, Murkowski held her lead.

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