Controller Race, UPDATE 2: Northern Coast Puts Yee Up by 318; Yee Projected to Win by 2400!

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UPDATE 2: Yee is now up by 318.  Many counties have checked in since noon, when it was just Alameda (CCC) Merced (CCC) and Sacramento’s update.  Joining the CCC (completed) team are Lassen, Modoc, Mono , Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Shasta, Solano, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne.  But the substantive reports since Sacramento’s have come in from FresnoHumboldt, and Marin — no idea yet whether these are full or partial reports.

In Fresno, Perez now has a lead of 3,058 votes, or 2.9%.  In Humboldt, Yee’s lead is 2,452, or 9.3%.  In Marin, it’s 7,112, or 13.6%.  So, Fresno adds to Perez’s percentage, Humboldt adds to Yee’s, but in Marin the added votes reduced her percentage lead by two full percentage points.  I’m going to try to find the previous vote figures by county — possibly impossible for me — so we can see how these change our projections.

I think that the race just got closer.  If those three counties are all complete, then he main counties to watch at this point are Santa Cruz, Placer, and Yolo for Yee and Lake, Los Angeles, and Tulare for Perez.  If, as rumored, Los Angeles has found more than 4,900 outstanding votes — then that would look fishy enough that I would expect Yee to demand a recount there.

UPDATE 1: See the comments from earlier today, here and here, about Sacramento County putting Yee into the lead and then a reporting glitch for Santa Barbara County temporary taking away 1000 net votes from her, causing havoc among race-watchers.

ORIGINAL POST: Lots of barrel-scrapings to report this evening!  Betty Yee now trails John Perez by only 127 votes.  You’ll see why at the end of the next paragraph.

Perez - Day of the Dead

John Perez’s chance on beating Betty Yee look pretty much — well, you know. (He does have a sense of humor, right?)

As a reminder, before today our seven CCC-status counties — meaning the “Completed County Canvas,” including 1% random verification of results — were Glenn, Lassen, Napa, Riverside, San Bernardino, Stanislaus, and Yuba.  Earlier today — see update 3 of the previous report — Orange, Mendocino, Butte, and  Siskiyou joined them — plus we got at least a partial count from Yee-friendly Monterey.

In the last view hours, El Dorado and San Francisco counties joined the CCC ranks so we’re up to 13 — while we received at least partial reports from Kern, Nevada, Ventura, and … and … SONOMA!

(Yes, perhaps my poking a stick at Sonoma got them to reconsider their “all or nothing at all” reporting policy — or perhaps what we see is all there is!  I didn’t keep the total number from Sonoma beforehand, so we’ll know if and when we see the updated “Uncounted Ballots by County” statement — or when one of the bigger media outlets chimes in with the figures that they saved.)

In addition to the above 13 CCC counties, the Secretary of State reports that Alameda, Alpine, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, Imperial, Inyo, Kings, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Monterey (!), Napa, San Benito, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sierra, Tehama, and Ventura (!) had completed their counts.  I exclaim about Monterey and Ventura because they apparently did check in today — but not with their final figures.  So they were either wrong before (i.e., they weren’t done) or they’re wrong now (i.e., they are done.)  Add them in and we have 34 supposedly done, with only minor variations expected based on the 1% canvasses.

That leaves these 24 counties remaining (with estimated outstanding votes in parentheses): Amador (122), Contra Costa (14,000), Fresno (3,900), Humboldt (6,021), Kern (WAS 1,450), Lake (6,053), Los Angeles (4.898), Madera (3,458), Marin (6,200), Modoc (4), Nevada (WAS 939), Placer (8,499), Sacramento (3,200), San Joaquin (2,687), San Luis Obispo (785), San Mateo (2,129), Santa Cruz (7,271), Solano (1,140), Sonoma (WAS 28,015), Sutter (468), Trinity (521), Tulare (2,300), Tuolumne (183), and Yolo (7,182) remaining.  We’ll ignore Modoc, because the notion of it coming down to 4 votes (both of which probably went to David Evans anyway) is too depressing.  We’ll also presume, for now, that all provisional ballots will count; we can always scale back that assumption later.

First, let’s look at the ones that probably don’t matter, due to small size or close margin:

Amador (122) — Y+1.2% = +2
Contra Costa (14,000) — Y+.2% = +28
Modoc — Yee picked up 5 votes, Perez 0, in the CCC report.
Nevada (WAS 939) — Y+12.2% = ?
San Joaquin (2,687) — Y+.5% = +14
San Mateo (2,129) — P+2.5% = -55
Solano (1,140) — P+.5% = -6
Sutter (468) — P+4% = -20
Trinity (521) — Y+5% = +25
Tuolumne (183) — Y+2.7% = +5

So that’s a net of approximately 0 net vote change, unless more is left to come in  from Nevada County.  I say: forget it!  On to the bigger contests:

For Perez, we’d expect a pickup of  1035 more votes, plus 1/10 of whatever vote remains outstanding in Kern:

Fresno (3,900) — P+2.7% = -105
Kern (WAS 1,450) — P+9.7% = 140??
Lake (6,053) — P+7.4% = -450
Los Angeles (4.898) — P+4.9% = -240
Madera (3,458) — P+2% = -70
Tulare (2,300) — P+7.3% = 170

For Yee, we’d expect a pickup of 3,570, plus 1/22 of whatever vote remains uncounted in Sonoma (which is now reportedly done, but we’ll see about that):

Humboldt (6,021) — Y+9.2% = +555
Marin (6,200) — Y+15.6 = +965
Placer (8,499) — Y+3.8% = +325
Sacramento (3,200) — Y+5.1% = +165
San Luis Obispo (785) — Y+12.2% = +95
Santa Cruz (7,271) — Y+16.9% = +1230
Sonoma (WAS 28,015) — Y+4.5% = +1260
Yolo (7,182) — Y+3.3% = 235

So — with our assumptions, we’d expect Yee to pick up 2,535 more votes than Perez — enough to pulverize the current 127-vote lead.  And, while we’ve left Sonoma and Kern out of that total, more net votes are likely left for Yee in Sonoma than net votes for Perez in Kern.

These assumptions could be off, sure.  But with an estimated margin of 2400 votes, and most of the downside (rejected provisionals) on Perez’s side of the ledger, Yee looks ready to go on.  Perez’s only chance might be a full or partial/selective recount that’s as likely to hurt him as help him — and that would roil and infuriate the Democratic party, while possibly helping to elect Ashley Swearengin.

About Greg Diamond

Prolix worker's rights and government accountability attorney. General Counsel of CATER, the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility, a non-partisan group of people sick of local corruption. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Runs for office sometimes, so far to offer a challenge to someone nasty who would otherwise have run unopposed. Someday he might pick a fight intending to win it rather than just to dent someone. You'll know it when you see it. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level. A family member works part-time as a campaign treasurer. He doesn't directly profit from that relatively small compensation and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he hated. He does advise some local campaigns informally and generally without compensation. If that changes, he will declare the interest. He also runs a less frequently published blog called "The Brean," for his chosen hometown, where he is now fighting with its wealthiest and most avaricious citizen-donors. This just seems to be his way.