In it, but not of it. TPM DC

A few more data points are coming in from NY-20 -- not nearly enough to give us a definite answer as to who won this thing, but definitely something to chew over. So far, the answer for Democratic candidate Scott Murphy is a definite maybe.

On the one hand, the machine recanvass is now completed in the state's official numbers, with Scott Murphy having lost some more votes and Jim Tedisco gaining. That's right -- it looks like Tedisco actually won the machine count on Election Night by 68 votes, not Murphy and his original 65-vote margin, but it took us this long to find out.

On the other hand, early hints coming in are that the absentees look quite nice for Murphy -- enough that he could very well win the race, after the nearly 7,000 absentees are counted. Some further numbers and analysis, after the jump.

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Here's a really interesting moment in state-level politics: A GOP state Representative in Texas, Betty Brown, asked a representative from a Chinese-American group if they could just adopt new names that would be "easier for Americans to deal with."

The Houston Chronicle reports that during a committee hearing on a voter-identification bill, a representative from the Organization of Chinese Americans complained that there can be confusion because many Asian-Americans will have their legal, transliterated names as well as common English names that can appear on driver's licenses and school registrations.

"Can't you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers," said Brown, "if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that's easier for Americans to deal with?"

Um, the difficulty as it was explained here is that many Asian-Americans do just exactly that -- and that's the problem when it comes to Voter ID.

The state Dems pounced on Brown's comments, calling them "disrespectful." Brown's spokesman, meanwhile, accused the Dems of whipping up partisan feelings with racial rhetoric: "They want this to just be about race."

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) has latched on to the meme we've been following here. "It seems the only place the President is willing to cut spending is on the armed forces," Price said. "The President's priorities are deeply flawed. We will fight to preserve this important program."

"This decision will not only cost thousands of jobs at a critical time, it is detrimental to the country's national defense capabilities," Price added.

Why all the bile?

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Michael Steele is now raising money for the RNC using a familiar set of GOP memes: That Barack Obama and ACORN -- one of the great right-wing bogeymen of 2008, you might recall -- plan to rig the 2010 Census in order to to solidify Democratic control in 2012:

President Obama's old friends from ACORN, the leftist, urban "community" organization with a long history of promoting vote fraud, has been chosen by the Administration as a "partner" with the Census Bureau to determine population counts in cities around the country.

...

Why is this important? The U.S. population has shifted in the last ten years. States like Illinois, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania (all states Obama won in 2008) have smaller populations, and states like Arizona, Georgia and South Carolina (all states that John McCain carried) have gained population.

The trend illustrates that urban strongholds, which favor Democrats, continue to lose population to more decentralized areas in states more likely to lean Republican.

...

We must not let the Democrats and their radical leftist allies falsify the U.S. Census and manipulate elections in their favor. Our democracy, and the principle of "One Person, One Vote" are in jeopardy.


Now granted, the Congressional reapportionment that will come after the 2010 Census will probably have a slight net shift in favor of states that John McCain won (and individually some blue states will gain, while some red states will lose). On the other hand, keep in mind that Obama won 365 electoral votes last year, and that the net shift will only be in the single digits.

So this whole point is meaningless, because the 2012 Republican nominee will have to actually take a big number of states back into the GOP column, with the reapportionment being nearly immaterial. It's also not true that the blue states have "smaller" populations -- the question is the rate of growth, relative to other states.

Full fundraising e-mail, after the jump.

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One television network that isn't plagued by innumeracy or defense industry capture is Comedy Central. In case you missed it last night, here's Jon Stewart lampooning the strange but predictable fight in Washington over the Pentagon budget.

WaPo: Congress Gearing Up For Slow "Sausage-Making" The Washington Post reports that after a whirlwind of activity involving the stimulus plan and the federal budget, Congress is set to move to a slower, more deliberative pace on President Obama's other proposals such as health care and climate change. "What trumps urgency for us is getting it right," said Chris Dodd. "You're talking about building an entire architecture here."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will be holding a 9:30 a.m. ET "Housing Refinance Roundtable," featuring homeowners who have benefitted from being able to re-finance under the current low interest rates. At 11:45 a.m. ET, he will deliver remarks on improving veterans health care, along with Robert Gates and Eric Shinseki, to an audience that includes patients and health care providers from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the National Naval Medical Center and the DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center. At 6:30 p.m. ET, Obama will hold a Passover Seder at the White House.

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And the latest official numbers in NY-20 are...pretty much the same as yesterday, with Republican candidate Jim Tedisco leading by 17 votes. But really, at this point that number is obsolete, as absentee ballots are being counted and not yet reported -- we don't know what's going on.

Only one change has been officially registered since yesterday, with both Tedisco and Democratic candidate Scott Murphy gaining one vote each in Essex County, not affecting the margin. Only one county is left that hasn't sent recanvassed machine totals to the state, Greene County. And as a State Elections Board spokesman explained to us, we won't know exactly what the recanvass there will produce because Greene is recanvassing while simultaneously counting their absentee ballots, thus jumbling those numbers together when they do arrive.

And here's where it gets complicated. The Murphy campaign just put out a press release declaring that Delaware County has completely counted their absentees, the first county to do so, and Murphy has netted 20 votes. (The folks at the county appear to have gone home, as nobody is answering the phone.) These numbers are not in the state's totals right now.

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GOP strategist Roger Stone has been spotted in New York's 20th Congressional District, raising suspicions on the liberal blog the Albany Project that the well-known GOP operative is up to no good in the ongoing NY-20 vote count.

Stone, however, told the New York Daily News that he was simply visiting family and friends:

"My parents still live in Northern Westchester." Stone wrote. "I visited them at the end of last week and then drove up to the Albany area to see some friends...I certainly have no formal role in the recount. I have many friends of long standing who are involved."


When asked for further clarification by TPM, Stone referred back to his Daily News comment. But he did add: "I am highly confident Tedisco will win when the count is done."

The Tedisco campaign also told the Albany Times Union that they have had no contact with Stone, and he is not affiliated with them "in any capacity."

Stone is a colorful character, to say the least. For example, he has a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back. (pdf)

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