11/24/2010 02:41 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Kamala Harris and Reality Win Attorney General Race

As we've noted before, the market-driven Republican Party wants to make reality itself negotiable. But in the race for California's Attorney General, reality is proving stubbornly simple: Kamala Harris has won. Overcoming the opposing campaign's best efforts to game the vote count, plus a million dollar attack by Karl Rove, Harris is slated to become the first African-American and first female Attorney General in California history.

There are only about 150,000 ballots left to count. To catch Harris now, Republican Steve Cooley would need to claim two-thirds of them. This is not just unlikely; it's close to a statistical impossibility, the more so that many of the remaining ballots are in counties where Kamala Harris has prevailed so far. Most projections have Harris winning these last votes by about a 50-42 margin.

Over the past week, signs have been appearing that the Cooley Campaign knows it's losing. First we saw attempts to question the county registrar's integrity and aggressively challenge ballots in Democratic-leaning counties. These were transparent attempts to create a narrative of doubt about the process. It was an example of an increasingly -- and distressingly -- common willingness among Republicans to not just stretch the truth, but to fold it into entirely new shapes. Cooley spokesman Kevin Spillane repeatedly justified his campaign's efforts to prevent "any" voter fraud -- without producing "any" actual evidence of said fraud.

But now the Cooley team has begun to tone down the fraud rhetoric and, it seems, has started looking inward, in a fashion: by blaming the state GOP for their looming loss.

While the vote won't be finalized for at least a week, we believe Democrats can look forward to a full state sweep. The only thing likely to delay that outcome further is the possibility of a demand by the Cooley campaign for a recount. But before taking such a step, we hope the candidate himself will instead seize the opportunity to restore a little class and integrity to our badly battered democratic process, by gracefully accepting the outcome. It would be a service to voters, as well as to his own legacy.