One Democratic House member has taken the lead in his race and one Democratic challenger has stretched his advantage as elections officials in Arizona and California counted more ballots in two contested races Friday afternoon.
Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., took a 586-vote lead over Republican Martha McSally Friday after local elections authorities counted more early ballots. McSally led Barber by almost 9,000 votes in ballots cast at polling places, but Barber leads among early voters, and that margin is expanding as the counties in Arizona's 2nd District tally outstanding early votes. This is the first time Barber has led McSally in the vote count since election night. As Hotline On Call reported yesterday, early voting has tended to favor Democrats in Arizona lately, especially in this district.
Meanwhile, in California's 7th District, Democrat Ami Bera expanded his lead over GOP Rep. Dan Lungren as Sacramento County tallied additional ballots. Bera had a scant 184-vote advantage over Lungren after the final election night tally, but that expanded to nearly 2,000 -- 105,245 to 103,466, almost a one percentage point margin -- as the county tallied some of the 162,000 outstanding mail ballots and 31,000 outstanding provisional ballots left over after Tuesday. (Some of those ballots apply to other congressional districts.)