Post-Thanksgiving Fiscal Cliffhangers

ALLEN WEST CONCEDES, PATRICK MURPHY WINS. After over two weeks of questioning the results in his House race, Rep. Allen West and his campaign have thrown in the towel to Democratic newcomer Patrick Murphy, ABC's John Parkinson reports: The Associated Press today called the race for Murphy. West conceded in a statement, while saying "there are certainly still inaccuracies in the results. "For two weeks since Election Day, we have been working to ensure every vote is counted accurately and fairly," West said. "While many questions remain unanswered, today I am announcing that I will take no further action to contest the outcome of this election." The race was decided by fewer than 2,000 votes, with Murphy topping West 166,233 to 164,316, according to the latest tally from the AP. The state of Florida must still certify the result.

LAST HOUSE RACE STANDING: REP. MIKE MCINTYRE FACES RECOUNT. And then there was one: With GOP Rep. Allen West's concession on Tuesday, only one House race remains outstanding. (Well, two if you count the all-GOP runoff in Louisiana's 3rd District, which will choose between incumbent Reps. Jeff Landry and Charles Boustany.) In North Carolina's 7th District, Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre declared victory on Friday over GOP state Sen. David Rouzer after the final vote tally showed him leading by 655 votes. McIntyre has clung to a slim lead for weeks, but Rouzer requested a recount on Tuesday. The race is well within North Carolina's one-percent recount margin, and the recount will begin the Monday after Thanks giving and is expected to be completed by Wednesday, The Hill's Mario Trujillo reports.

HOUSE OUTLOOK: DEMS GAIN 7 SEATS, COULD GAIN 8. Allen West's concession gives Democrats a net gain of seven House seats in 2012, and if McIntyre holds on in North Carolina, they will gain eight. Democrats have fallen well short of the majority--next year, Republicans will hold 33 or 34 more seats, depending on how McInty're race shakes out--but they scored some feather-in-cap victories: Dems knocked off West and a few other GOP incumbents (California's Mary Bono Mack, Dan Lungren, and Brian Bilbray; Illinois's Joe Walsh and Bobby Schilling); they gave Rep. Michele Bachmann a scare as she narrowly won reelection 51 percent to 49 percent; they secured victory for notable Democrats in Arizona Rep. Ron Barber, who retained Gabrielle Giffords's seat for the party, and Illinois's Tammy Duckworth, a multiple-amputee veteran and former assistant secretary of Veterans' Affairs, who defeated the loathed (by Democrats) Rep. Joe Walsh; and they staved off challenges to vulnerable moderates as Rep. John Barrow won re-election in Georgia and Rep. Jim Matheson fended off GOP star-candidate Mia Love in Utah, both with some help from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Coming off the massive losses of 2010, this was more of a feel-good year for Democrats--even if their gains fell within the range of pre-election expectations. As Republicans have argued, their candidates ran on the House GOP agenda and won despite attacks on the Paul Ryan budget--meaning that while Democrats made some gains and prevented the upset losses that can demoralize a party, the House GOP returns with what Republicans are calling a mandate for fiscal conservatism.

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