Nov 8, 2018

Recount mayhem: The razor thin races to watch in Florida and Georgia

Illustration:Aïda Amer/Axios

All eyes will now turn to the deep southeast, with potential recounts and a potential runoff for extremely high stakes gubernatorial contests.

The big picture: Florida could be heading to three statewide recounts, and Georgia Democrats are prepared to use litigation as they search for the roughly 25,000 votes needed to force a gubernatorial runoff.

In Georgia: Gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp resigned today as the state's secretary of state. Kemp was due to face a lawsuit brought by Georgia voters for his role overseeing his own race.

  • Kemp currently has 50.3% of the vote, per the AP, and must finish with a clean majority to prevent a runoff.
  • The race has been marred by allegations of voter suppression and conflicts of interest, with Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams pledging Tuesday night not to concede to Kemp until "every vote gets counted."

And in Florida: "These are the first statewide recounts since the case of Bush v. Gore, which prompted Florida to switch from antiquated paper punch-card ballots to touch screen machines that were soon discarded and replaced with the current system of optical-scan paper ballots," the Miami Herald reports.

  • If the gubernatorial race maintains its current .47% margin, there will be recounts for governor, Senate and agriculture commissioner.
  • “The recounts will be nationally watched … [we’re] under a microscope,” Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner said on a Thursday conference call per the Herald.

The bottom line, via Axios' Alexi McCammond: The slim margins and the possibility that both Democrats could actually win these races in the end would be huge news not just for Dems in 2018, but for those with an eye on challenging Trump in the next presidential election.

  • People have been pointing to Andrew Gillum's loss as an example of why Democrats can't run a progressive nominee in 2020. That argument would be weakened if he pulls out a win after the recount.

Go deeper: Take a look at results across the country, with our handy map

Go deeper

Protests for George Floyd continue for 10th day

Thousands of protesters march over the Brooklyn Bridge on June 4 in New York City. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

All four former Minneapolis police officers have been charged for George Floyd’s death and are in custody, including Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, who were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

The latest: Crowds gathered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Thursday evening and in Atlanta, Georgia, despite the rain. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms joined demonstrators on Thursday. Demonstrators in Washington, D.C. dispersed following a thunderstorm and rain warning for the region.

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

1 hour ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.