by Ralph Routon
Just because Sen. Michael Bennet has maintained a steady lead over challenger Ken Buck in the U.S. Senate race tonight doesn't mean the race is over.
Here's why: At last report, Bennet has a lead of 50-45 percent, which translates to a 43,000-vote edge, or 406,191 to 363,731.
However, those results still don't include a single vote from El Paso County, with results delayed by technical snags. And if you look back to the 2008 election, in the Senate race that year between Mark Udall and Bob Schaffer, in this county Schaffer actually prevailed ... by almost 48,000 votes. If that margin (it was 57-38 percent in the county then) translates directly to Buck now, he could jump into the lead.
It'll mean a close race into the night, regardless.
Likewise, El Paso County should lessen John Hickenlooper's cushion in the race for governor, but he's far enough ahead that it shouldn't matter.