After Recount, Allen West Still Losing

While the outcome of the race in Florida’s 18th Congressional District between incumbent Congressman Allen West and Democratic nominee Patrick Murphy has seemingly been assured for a week and a half now, West has not give up and instead has been pursuing a legal strategy that is clearly designed to try to bring the margin between him and Murphy inside of the 0.5% of the vote that would mandate an automatic recount. Unfortunately fr the former Lt. Colonel, his latest bid at a recount has ended up actually increasing Murphy’s lead:

Florida Rep. Allen West’s reelection prospects grew dimmer Sunday, as a recount of early ballots showed him falling further behind his Democratic opponent.

Democrat Patrick Murphy, a 29-year-old construction company executive, gained 242 votes after the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections completed its re-tabulation, increasing his lead to more than 2,100 votes over West, a tea party hero. Murphy’s lead is just outside the 0.5 percent margin that would trigger an automatic district-wide recount under Florida law.

West won a legal battle Friday when the office’s canvassing board decided to re-tally all early votes that had been cast. The Republican had argued that those votes had been accidentally double-counted on election night and provided a winning margin to Murphy.

But with Murphy’s margin growing after the recount, West’s legal options appeared to narrow. With St. Lucie County having a noon deadline Sunday for certifying its election results, Murphy’s campaign argued that the election was effectively over. Florida has a Tuesday deadline for certifying the results from all three counties that make up the 18th Congressional District.

“By state law, he is effectively the winner,” Eric Johnson, a senior Murphy advisor, said in an interview.

Tim Edson, West’s campaign manager, said the advisers would be spending the coming hours assessing the vote totals. He did not specify whether the congressman had any plans to concede. Advisers said it was unlikely any decision would come Sunday.

“We’re going to take a look at where things stand,” Edson said. “If we believe the results are fair and accurate, we’re going to decide how to move forward. That decision has not been made.”

The odds of West being able to make up this margin in a recount are infinitesimal at this point, and his advisers would most assuredly know that. At this point, the ball in his court. Do the honorable thing and accept defeat, or continue to fight a battle that he will ultimately lose.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, Congress, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Chris Berez says:

    Who has to foot the bill for all this madness? The taxpayers? West should be forced to refund every single penny. What a pathetic little lunatic West is.

  2. Markey says:

    Maybe West will sandbag his office while refusing to concede to the communists without a fight next, will look great on Fox..

  3. An Interested Party says:

    Do the honorable thing and accept defeat, or continue to fight a battle that he will ultimately lose.

    When has Allen West ever done anything honorable…

  4. legion says:

    @An Interested Party: Dammit! That’s what I was going to say! I’ll just have to satisfy my snark by pointing out that West was a loser long before this election…

  5. Jim Henley says:

    This problem can certainly be solved by firing a gun next to the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections’ head.

  6. Babel says:

    I particularly liked the quote from the adviser: “We’re going to take a look at where things stand,” Edson said. “If we believe the results are fair and accurate, we’re going to decide how to move forward. That decision has not been made.”

    So, let me get this straight, if you believe the results are fair and accurate then you’ll DECIDE how to move forward? What would there be to decide exactly if you believed the results were fair and accurate?

  7. Franklin says:

    @Babel: Heh. The results are clearly pending Allen’s approval: “I lost big time. I’m Allen West and I approve this message.”

  8. “Do the honorable thing”

    Allan West should be serving time at The Hague. There is no “honour” in a war criminal.

  9. gVOR08 says:

    Where do the Republicans keep finding these people, and why?

  10. Jenos Idanian Who Has No Pony Tail says:
  11. Septimius says:

    Also from the article (that Mataconis conveniently neglected to block quote):

    “This week, the Florida Secretary of State’s sent a team of auditors to investigate the office’s handling of the election, saying it was “concerned” about the results.”

    Yep, obviously nothing to see here. Move along.

  12. Davebo says:

    West will eventually be named the Victor, provided Jenos has “the courage to believe”!

    Fish in a barrel folks. Thank god there’s still low hanging fruit!

  13. mantis says:

    @Jay Tea’s puppet Jenos Idanian:

    Heaven forbid we actually find out what the election results were…

    They did a full recount of early votes over the weekend. Murphy picked up votes in the full recount. The election result is Murphy won, West lost.

  14. legion says:

    @Jenos Idanian Who Has No Pony Tail: It’s curious that you only seem to care about voting issues when there’s a Republican (and a nutjob, incompetent, criminal Repub, at that)whose job is at stake. Not so concerned about the hundreds of thousands of votes in Arizona that may go uncounted due to hackery, incompetence, and general corruption, are you Jenos?

  15. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @legion: I don’t pick the topics here. The subject was the Florida race, and it seemed relevant to bring up just how effed-up the ballot counting was.

    I’m also interested in just how Romney scored exactly zero votes in a lot of precincts in Philadelphia (where Republican poll watchers were apparently physically kicked out of polling stations by Democrats) and Chicago (where the infamously corrupt Democratic machine that gave us Obama holds control), but that hasn’t been brought up here.

    Why don’t you toss out a link, and see if the hosts will run with the story? If it makes Republicans look bad, they ought to snap it right up.

  16. Jim Henley says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Are there any precincts in, say, Idaho, where Barack Obama got zero votes? Utah? West Virginia? If you don’t know, you’re suffering from observer bias.

  17. Whitfield says:

    I heard that 40% of the ballots somehow were “accidently” not counted and Obama got over 100% of the people who voted! Get an independent commission in there to start from scratch. I would not want any voting irregularities to affect any candidate’s election.

  18. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Jim Henley: Well, apparently in some Utah precincts, Romney won 100%. In three of them, Romney won all 45 votes, Obama zero.

    Which I find plausible, considering Romney’s Mormonism. Not all Mormons are as liberal and as corrupt and as loathsome as Harry Reid, after all.

    But apparently Romney won zero votes in 37 Chicago precincts and 59 Philadelphia precincts — and I feel fairly confident that each of those precincts has more voters than all the precincts where Romney won unanimously put together.

    So, in at least 76 precincts, not a single voter chose to vote for Mitt Romney. Even in Philadelphia and Chicago, I find that difficult to believe.

  19. legion says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: That’s really funny, considering the number of times I’ve personally called you out in a discussion thread for trying to derail the topic to your own preferred canard-of-the-day. Apparently you believe that just because the R/R Express spent the entire campaign demonizing poor black people & effectively blaming them for all the woes of the Western world, there’s no reason even a handful of them might be dumb enough to vote for the people promising to make their lives worse. That even though one particular party was doing its damnedest to take away their ability to vote, forcing them to spend hours in line just to have their say, they might not recognize who was doing it to them.

    You problem is you assume everyone is as gullible and thick-headed as you are; so that any decision they make that’s different than the one you would have made must be driven by baser means. Thankfully, that ain’t so.

  20. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @legion: Let me get this right: in a thread about a black man who lost an election that featured a LOT of irregularities, you’re 1) rejoicing in his apparent defeat and 2) talking about how racist the election was?

    Dude, you could at LEAST make a token (pardon the expression) gesture towards addressing the topic, and THEN go into your full hate-me mode. It’s kind of rude to the hosts.

  21. legion says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: You’re just full of jokes tonight, aren’t you? We’re rejoicing in the defeat of an incompetent, disgraceful member of Congress. _You_ brought up the electoral results in a completely different contest in a completely different part of the country. _You_ got called out by several people for being amazed that not one single black person in some areas might be convinced to vote for a party that was actively trying to suppress them there, while ignoring the fact that there are multiple areas where Obama got no votes, even from people who would be actively harmed by Romney’s promised policies. And you cap it off by accusing _me_ of doing what you’ve already done in trying to derail the thread from the fact that the only mistakes found in West’s election were in his favor.

    Oh wait – you’re not _full_ of jokes, you _are_ a joke.

  22. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @legion: Actually, my first comment was about specific irregularities in West’s election.

    So, you wanna start it over? You wanna argue that West was unjustified in asking for a recount, considering the incredibly gross errors already uncovered? Or you wanna engage in personal attacks?

    If that’s your preference, I’ll pass, thanks.

  23. legion says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Well, let’s take a look back at reality, shall we? West first wanted a recount because of the closeness of the race. But the margin went beyond the 0.5% limit for a state-funded recount. Only then did the tales of irregularities come forth, but you know what? I don’t begrudge him the recount he did get. What we’re laughing about – and you might have noticed this if you’d read through Doug’s original post – is that after the recount, his losing margin got bigger. As I mentioned in my previous post – but I’ll say it again just because your anguish tastes so sweet – the only irregularities in the election were in West’s favor.

    And as I’ve also said before, I don’t use personal attacks as a substitute for an argument – they’re just a delicious dessert topping I provide for free.