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    A very good day in ballot counting for Murray, Larsen

    Sen. Patty Murray widened her small lead after tens of thousands of additional ballots were counted. Congressman Rick Larsen moved ahead of his challenger, John Koster.

    In what our political expert, Chris Vance, and others said would be a crucial night of vote counting, Sen. Patty Murray received a noticeable boost during the late afternoon and evening ballot tabulation. Her fellow Democrat, Congressman Rick Larsen, jumped ahead of his opponent, John Koster.

    In what appeared to be the complete returns for Wednesday (Nov. 3), the counts continued to be very close. But both Murray and Larsen, locked in the state's two tighest congressional races, made significant gains.

    But the Secretary of State's web site showed that Murray received enough help to put her a little more than 1.6 percentage points ahead of Rossi.

    When the day began, her lead stood at only about 1 point, with a 14,000 vote margin. As things stood at 8:40 p.m., Murray's margin had nearly doubled to some 27,000 votes out of more than 1.5 million counted.

    Larsen had ended Tuesday night's counting behind Koster, but moved nearly 500 votes ahead Wednesday night. His margin over Koster stood at about one-quarter of 1 percentage point.

    Joe Copeland is political editor for Crosscut. You can reach him at Joe.Copeland@crosscut.com.

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