Minnick Defeats Sali
The race for Congress here in Idaho's 1st District pitted a socially moderate, fiscally conservative businessman/veteran who happens to be a Democrat against an incumbent, Bill Sali, who's basically an ineffective embarrassment to the district.
Because the MSM won't get off their butts and make the call, it looks like it's up to me to do so. With 452 of 469 precincts reporting, and Walt Minnick with a lead of over 4,500 votes, Bubblehead is projecting that Walt Minnick has defeated Bill Sali in Idaho's 1st Congressional District. The outstanding precincts are 5 in Canyon County (where Sali leads 54-46) and 12 in Bonner County (where Minnick leads 54-46). Congratulations to Walt, his staff, his supporters, and to all the citizens of this district who won't be embarrassed by their Congressman anymore!
Update 0610 05 November: The 5 precincts in Canyon County reported, reducing Minnick's lead to 3,500 votes. This leaves only the 12 precincts in far-north Bonner County yet to report, but Minnick was ahead 54-46 in the 21 precincts that had already reported there, so there're just not enough votes left for Sali to make up the difference. (In Idaho, absentee ballots have to be at the election office by 8 p.m. on election day, so there won't be a wait for them.)
Update 0859 05 November: One of the TV stations finally called it; it's now down to 4 precincts left, and Minnick has a 3,600 vote lead. Bill Sali supporter Adam has conceded the race (and turned comments off for his concession post, which is probably a smart move on his part), but the actual Congressman is tardy; I wonder if he's going to try to stretch this out until it gets embarrassing, which would be his style. Maybe he's hoping he'll get named to the soon-to-be vacant Lieutenant Governor spot -- after all, he's been such a big help to Gov. Otter in the past. *snicker*
Update 1008 05 November: Still no word from Bill Sali on when he's going to concede; Walt Minnick says he'll hold off on declaring victory until the last three precincts report. Chris at The Unequivocal Notion has a very good analysis about what this means for Idaho politics, and The MountainGoat report is collecting other reactions to this huge story.
Update 2140 05 November: Bill Sali has announced he's not going to concede the race until he's sure "all the votes are counted", despite the fact that all precincts have reported and the final margin is well outside the recount criteria. Representative de-elect Sali's non-concession notwithstanding, the two other current members of the Idaho Congressional delegation who are returning to D.C. next year (Rep. Simpson and Sen. Crapo) have already graciously called to congratulate Walt Minnick. "Graciousness" is a word we already knew wasn't in soon-to-be former Congressman Bill Sali's vocabulary, so I'm not surprised he's causing himself and his Party more embarrassment by failing to do the honorable thing. At this juncture, I think it's become a moot point; Congressman-elect Minnick will get sworn in on Janurary 3rd whether Bill Sali has "conceded" or not. And if the Capitol Police have to haul Sali and his staff out of the Congressional offices on that date because they're still not giving up, so be it.
Update 1253 06 November: Bill Sali did end up conceding in a voice mail to Walt Minnick last night. Dennis Mansfield has a positive post about his friend, the soon-to-be former Congressman.