The latest absentee ballot totals show Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY) holding on to his lead over Conservative Party opponent Doug Hoffman in the recent special election, the Watertown Daily Times reports.
With about 40% of the total absentee ballots counted, Owens leads by 2,832 votes, with only 4,262 absentees left to be opened up by the various counties. If Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava were to keep up her current percentage of 21% the absentees -- she dropped out of the race the weekend before the election, after most absentees had been mailed in -- then Hoffman would need to win 3,099 out of the remaining pile.
Hoffman conceded on election night, when he was apparently down by 5,000 votes, and Owens was sworn in that Friday. However, corrections of clerical errors revealed that Owens had only won the election day total by about 3,000 votes -- and Hoffman recently said he would take back his concession if it were possible.
The absentee count shows that Hoffman is making some minor headway with these votes, but the likelihood of him actually catching Owens is shrinking by the day -- and it was quite small to begin with.
Late Update: "I'm never gonna rule out a win, but as I've said from the start, there's a very small shot," Hoffman spokesman Rob Ryan just told us. "And we will see, we'll make a decision as we get near the end of the week, how to proceed."