November 9, 2006
It was certainly a shocking turn of events today as George Allen decided to concede a race that was well within the parameters for a recount. It's a process that could have gone on for weeks.
A reserved George Allen took the stage today conceding a race that was far from over. At last check, Jim Webb's lead over Allen was about .3 of one percent, well within the parameters for a statewide recount. However, Matt Smyth with the Center for Politics says a recount might not have been met with a favorable response.
"They (the Republican Party) realize the negative PR that might be generated by a losing candidate pushing for a recount might be seen as sour grapes to a lot of voters," Smyth said.
On top of an image issue, there is much precedence in Virginia for recounts not changing much. Just last year, the Attorney Generals race, won by Republican Bob McDonnell, went to a recount with little change.
"It is unlikely to change a hundred or more votes in terms of the outcome. It is a pragmatic thing to do. It is something that fits with Virginia's civility in politics," said Smyth.
Even with Senator Allen conceding this race, Smyth says we have not seen the last of George Allen.
"He is still popular in the party. Just because he lost in 2006 doesn't mean that his career is over by any means," he said.
He has several chances for elected office in the next several years. If Senator John Warner decides to retire before 2008, Allen could run for his Senate seat. Also, there is a Governor's race to be challenged in 2009.