Democrats say they will hold on to the Senate, but two of the three Democratic incumbents still face an uphill climb.
New tallies show Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer, D-Mamaroneck, Westchester County, leading challenger Bob Cohen by 504 votes, up from 466 reported earlier this month. (Please see update below.)
But Sens. Craig Johnson of Long Island and Antoine Thompson of Buffalo continue to trail their GOP opponents, Jack Martins and Mark Grisanti respectively.
Johnson trails 427 votes, while Grisanti holds a 597-vote lead.
There are still 2,700 absentee ballots left to count in the Thompson-Grisanti race and 4,100 in the Johnson-Martins contest. In Westchester County, there are still 2,455 absentee ballots and 1,070 affidavit ballots cast that have not been counted.
Democrats are pushing for a full hand recount in the Buffalo race, which could delay the outcome of that contest for months. Without a decision, the balance of the Senate could potentially remain in doubt through Jan. 1. Democrats currently have a 32-29 majority with one vacancy.
Despite falling into the red, Democrats remain confident they can keep the majority.
“New Yorkers have spoken, and now it’s our job to ensure their voices are heard through a full, fair, and honest count of every vote. With each new tally, Democratic candidates are gaining strength and moving forward along a clear path to victory – counting every vote,” said Austin Shafran, a Democratic spokesman.
Republicans need to win two of the three races in order to capture the majority.
Update: Senate Republican spokesman Scott Reif e-mails to dispute the Democratic numbers: “We’re being told that there are more than 3,800 absentee ballots and approximately 10,000 votes that still need to be counted in the Cohen-Oppenheimer race.”