Jim Webb and Jon Tester are the Winners

11/08/2006 09:58 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Jim Webb and Jon Tester have won the initial count in Virginia and Montana. It is clear and indisputable that they deserve the same presumption of victory that George W. Bush received in 2000. They are the winners until conclusively proven otherwise by every method of counting and court review possible.

We have winners in Virginia and Montana. The question is whether George Allen and Conrad Burns can petition the courts and the electoral process within their states to change those outcomes.

As it stands, the Webb and Tester leads are conclusive. They will not be over taken in the regular count. The vote count shows that they have been elected as the new senators from their states.

Of course, Allen and Burns can spare their states the grief and the hassle of a recount (I believe these were the kind of words used against Gore in 2000, and I haven't even gotten to constitutional crisis), if they gracefully accept the will of the people.

I will be consistent here and say that if their states allow for a recount to challenge the results of the elections, they should definitely get one. I believe in counting all the votes. We have done that already, and Webb and Tester have won. But there is little harm in double checking if state law provides for it.

But what is clear is that there are winners. And if the losers want to challenge the vote, that is their right. If Allen and Burns choose to accept that they have lost instead and bow out graciously, I am sure no one would argue. They would set a fine example of civility.