9 a.m. Update: Coakley has conceded.
Democrat Martha Coakley has yet to concede the gubernatorial election.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Republican Charlie Baker leads, 48.4 percent to 46.6 percent, a lead of about 38,000 votes out of more than 2 million cast.
The Associated Press has called the election for Baker.
The Coakley campaign wants all the votes to be counted before she concedes.
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Soon after midnight, Martha Coakley’s running mate, Steve Kerrigan, came out to address the crowd gathered at the Copley Plaza Hotel. They had waited for hours to learn the outcome.
Kerrigan said Coakley wants every vote to be counted.
“So folks, it’s going to be a long night, or rather, a long morning,” he said before leaving the stage.
“We’re behind right now,” said John Walsh, former chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party. “There’s enough votes there that need to be counted. The nature of election night results are such that if you look at the election night numbers and the reported numbers three days later, there’s always a little shift. You got a few towns that are out there hand-counting, which happens every time. Usually, nobody pays attention, because it doesn’t matter.”
Walsh said no one is giving up until the final counts are done.
In the hotel lobby and in the ballroom, Coakley supporters appeared to recognize that it’s over, even as they hung on to hope.
“You know, we’re just kind of waiting and hoping and hoping for the best at this point,” said Kristen Cullen.
Baker found himself in a tough spot. It appears he’s won the election, and in his address to supporters shortly after 1 a.m., he was gracious to his opponent.
“She put her heart and her soul and every ounce of energy that she had into that race, and as I watched those numbers come in, I kept thinking: this is going to end badly for one us,” Baker said. “It’s true. And so, I talked to her a couple of minutes ago, and she said she really wants to wait until the morning to see the final results … Hey, and that’s fine. That’s fine. In politics, elections, every vote counts, and I’m perfectly fine with giving her until the morning to see the results come in.”
Baker appeared to have no doubts about the outcome. Though, he did not lay out his vision for Massachusetts, but he made clear he’s ready to do so as soon as Coakley concedes.
“We can’t wait to make this state sing from one end to the other across the commonwealth in every region in every community to build the Massachusetts that we all dream and hope for,” Baker said.
And with that, Baker left the stage, leaving the next step to Coakley.