Democratic party candidate Conor Lamb is probably the winner of yesterday's special election in west Pennsylvania's 18th district, turning a house seat blue and red faces pale. But there's only a few hundred votes in it, with no concession from GOP opponent Rick Saccone, and recount talk in the air. NBC News called it for Lamb, but most networks stayed on the fence early Wednesday morning.
Under state law, supporters of either candidate can request a recount if they believe there was an error in the initial tally. There is no provision, however, for automatic recounts in tight congressional elections.
Bob Branstetter, general consultant for the Saccone campaign, told NBC News that the campaign has been in touch with legal counsel and is exploring all its options.
The little-known third party Libertarian candidate had over 1,300 votes, more than the margin separating the two major candidates.
The race is being closely watched as a pulse check on Trump's political health ahead of November's crucial midterm elections.
Donald Trump won the heavily-gerrymandered district by 20 points in 2016, and the sheer scale of the swing left bodes deep trouble for Republicans in November's congressional elections. Counting went on all night, with Washington County deciding not to count absentee ballots until the morning (then taking four hours to tally 1,000 of them when everyone yelled at them to get cracking) after it became clear Lamb's lead might be unassailable.