The Epic of Gil, the Ascendance of Aitken, and Other Blue-Surge-Soggy Sagas


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Well, I’m leaving up my previous post, because it will provide a good springboard from which to discuss future installments of the Blue Surge in Orange County.

Yes, the ancient Gil also had his own flood!

(1) THE EPIC OF GIL

Prediction number 1 from yesterday, that Gil Cisneros pulls ahead of Young Kim (who at least got a free trip to DC for Ironic Candidate Orientation before today’s numbers came out) in CA-39, has been fulfilled.

The Secretary of State’s website, as of 7:00 p.m. on Thursday 11/15, didn’t show a total with Gil leading — leading me to quickly compose this post — because it hadn’t yet assimilated the Orange County update.  Lucky for readers, the Cisneros campaign can do math.  Here’s what it looked like today with San Bernardino update, Orange County FINALLY updated, and LA not due until tomorrow.  The numbers on the left are from OC. those on the right are the vote todays and percentages districtwide.

Gil Cisneros

(Party Preference: DEM)
65,399
48.1%
104,003
50.2%
  Young Kim

(Party Preference: REP)
70,633 51.9%
103,062
49.8%

The above is revised from an earlier post that did not yet include this from the OCROV:

Vote Count Percentage
YOUNG KIM (REP) 70,633 51.9%
GIL CISNEROS (DEM) 65,399 48.1%

Gil’s OC deficit is down to 5,234, reduced by 989.  And that means that when the state website is updated, it will show him with a 941-vote (989 minus 48) lead.  And as has been true with other surging Democrats, “once you go blue, the contest is through.”

It’s nice that this event happened in the OC tally rather than LA’s.  Gil and his team certainly worked hard enough for it here.

(2) WHAT’S LEFT TO COUNT

But the blue surge has brought along other fish for us to fry!  Let’s start with the “What’s Left to Count” report in OC:

Total:

Total estimated number of ballots to count (after Election Day): 441,011

Total estimated number of ballots counted (after Election Day): 284,770

Total Estimated Left to Count: 156,241

Vote-By-Mail (the most Republican category):

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots to count: 85800

Total vote-by-mail ballots counted: 85,800

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots left to count: 0

(So, you see, that’s why things aren’t going more red.)

Provisionals (the most Democratic category)

Total estimated number of provisionals to count: 130000

Total provisionals counted: 1,944

Total estimated number of provisionals left to count: 128,056

(So that’s why the blue surge may be rising for quite a while longer.)

Vote-by-Mail Returned at Polling Places (the most intermediate category, more or less)

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls to count: 187800

Total vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls counted: 187,526

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls left to count: 274

Election Day Paper Left to Count (these tend to go slightly Democratic)

Total estimated number of election day paper ballots to count: 13200Total election day paper ballots counted: 7,947

Total estimated number of election day paper ballots left to count: 5,253

(Once again, this tends to extend the length of the surge a little.)

Eligible Vote-by-Mail Ballots received after Election Day (these votes by “procrasticrats” tend to go somewhat Democratic)

Total estimated number of eligible vote-by-mail ballots received after Election Day left to count: 20,947

Total eligible vote-by-mail ballots counted: 1,553

Total estimated number of eligible vote-by-mail ballots left to count: 19,394

(These will tend to extend the surge, at a lesser height, by about a day.)

Conditional Voter Registrations (probably very Democratic?)

Total estimated number of Conditional Voter Registrations to count: 3,264

Total eligible Conditional Voter Registrations counted: 0

Total estimated number of Conditional Voter Registrations left to count: 3,264

(I think that this is a new category this year, and I suspect that this total overlaps with provisionals, and just tells you how these particular provisionals will be counted.)

And all of that explains why the following seats may still be in play!

(3) THE AITKEN TRAJECTORY

Here’s what the last three vote totals have been in the Anaheim Mayor’s race (only the top four candidates are presented):

Tuesday, 11/13

CITY OF ANAHEIM Mayor
(7.246% of 830,079 OC ballots)
60,151 votes cast Vote Count Percentage
HARRY SIDHU 20,834 34.6%
ASHLEIGH AITKEN 18,626 31.0%
LORRI GALLOWAY 8,846 14.7%
CYNTHIA WARD 5,444 9.1%

Wednesday, 11/14

CITY OF ANAHEIM Mayor
(7.368% of 889,219 OC ballots)
65,519 votes cast Vote Count Percentage
HARRY SIDHU 22,561 34.2%
ASHLEIGH AITKEN 20,700 31.4%
LORRI GALLOWAY  9,745 14.8%
CYNTHIA WARD 5,913 9.0%

Thursday, 11/15

CITY OF ANAHEIM Mayor
(7.364% of 935,438 OC ballots)
68,888 votes cast Vote Count Percentage
HARRY SIDHU 23,384 33.9%
ASHLEIGH AITKEN  21,764 31.6%
LORRI GALLOWAY 10,223 14.8%
CYNTHIA WARD 6,154 8.9%

I’ll put an Excel chart below for those who want slightly better data, but we can note a few things from just what’s above.

First of all, befitting Anaheim, the result we see here is a partly a late shift towards Democrats and partly towards Tait allies.  (As the other chart will show, Thursday was a slower counting day for the OCROV generally than was Wednesday.)  Here’s what the rise or fall was for each of the four main candidates on these two days:

Sidhu (Disney Republican): -0.4%, -0.3%
Aitken (Tait Democrat): +0.4%, +0.2%
Galloway (Disney Democrat): +0.1%, 0%
Ward (Tait Republican): -0.1%, -0.1%

Overall, the Dems picked up an average of 2.5%/day and he Reeps lost an average of 4.5%/day.  Or if you prefer (and you probably do), the Taiters picked up an average of .2%/day and the Disnoids lost an average of .3% a day.  However you look at it, Aitken is doubly blessed in these final days of counting and Sidhu is doubly cursed.

Sidhu has a 2.3% lead over Aitken.  If the trends of his losing 0.35% and her gaining 0.3% per day continue — which depends on the surge not slowing — then next Wednesday he’s at 32.5% and she’s at 32.6%.  Now it would be unusual for a straight line projection like that to be accurate — as we can see, Wednesday and Thursday were quite different.  But if there are enough votes for the count to go on for six more days, then Ashleigh will be coming back from Thanksgiving expecting a treat.

For my fellow geeks, you can see that the Anaheim Mayoral race picked up about half as many counted ballots on Thursday as Wednesday.  Aitken picked up about 300 votes on Sidhu per day over those two days. (3,138 to his 2,550).  With a 1620 vote margin to surmount, that suggests that it would take her six more days of counting to do it.  But note: while the number of ballots will slow down at some point, the nature of those ballots will become more and more Democratic.  The question is: will they be Tait Dems or Disney Dems — or somewhere in between?  (This is exactly why Disney’s people wanted Galloway in the race.)

Mote also — and my hope is that this is just a temporary aberration caused by Republican lawyers trying to gum up the works at the ROV’s office on Thursday — the most disturbing statistic in that chart is that the ROV went from processing about 60,000 ballots overall on Wednesday to only 46,000 on Thursday.  That Anaheim’s total dropped by 50% rather than by 27% suggests that they are counting provisionals — and that the OCGOP (or perhaps it’s Disney?) is challenging every provisional ballot in Anaheim.

In that case, get to the ROV’s office and get trained, Team Tait — because there aren’t enough active Democrats to get the job done by themselves!  (And if Ashleigh wasn’t leery of the Mouse before, then she certainly must be by now!)

(4) WILL MIGUELITO CRY SAL T. TEARS?

Here was what the Santa Ana Mayor’s race looked like on Tuesday:

CITY OF SANTA ANA Mayor
(4.565% of 830,079 OC ballots)
 37,892 votes cast Vote Count Percentage
* MIGUEL A. PULIDO 19,676 51.9%
SAL TINAJERO 18,216 48.1%

And then on Wednesday:

CITY OF SANTA ANA Mayor
(4.722% of 889,219 OC ballots)
 41,989 votes cast Vote Count Percentage
* MIGUEL A. PULIDO 21,512 51.2%
SAL TINAJERO 20,477 48.8%

And now on Thursday:

CITY OF SANTA ANA Mayor
4.781% of 935,438 OC ballots)
 45,562 votes cast Vote Count Percentage
* MIGUEL A. PULIDO 23,224 51.0%
SAL TINAJERO 22,338 49.0%

Look at how the percentage of the Orange County vote comes from Santa Ana keeps on creeping upwards!  It’s 4.565%, then 4.722%, and finally (after a slow day) 4.781%.  That’s some evidence of how the counting is moving towards more Democratic ballots.  It should hit or pass 5% of the county’s vote before long.

Pulido is the de facto Republican in this race, albeit one loved by the portion of the masses that gets goodies from him, so the trend towards Tinajero will be somewhat attenuated.  But it’s there!  At this rate, Sal takes a narrow lead in four days.  But to get a good sense, you have to look at the raw margin between them, which slipped from 1,460 to 1,035 to (again, after a slow day) 886.  (Maybe it will only take three days, if they’re as full as Wednesday was.)  But again, if the provisionals-and-paper crowd turns out to be different from most Democratic voters, then Pulido will still pull out the squeakiest victory of his long career.

(5) RAH, UMBERG?

Tom Umberg — not among my favorites, but vouched for by his former opponent Jestin Samson, who is — looks like he’ll bring at least about a 2,000-vote margin with him in the Los Angeles county portion of his district — so the question is whether he can pull Janet Nguyen below that number.  It’s going to be close.

Tuesday’s result:

STATE SENATOR 34th District
(20.978% of 830,079 OC ballots)
 174,137 votes cast Vote Count Percentage
* JANET NGUYEN (REP) 91,483 52.5%
TOM UMBERG (DEM) 82,654 47.5%

And Wednesday’s:

STATE SENATOR 34th District
(21.235% of 889,219 OC ballots)
 188,828 votes cast Vote Count Percentage
* JANET NGUYEN (REP) 97,589 51.7%
TOM UMBERG (DEM) 91,239 48.3%

And Thursday’s

STATE SENATOR 34th District
21.177% of 935,438 OC ballots)
 198,096 votes cast Vote Count Percentage
* JANET NGUYEN (REP) 101,492 51.2%
TOM UMBERG (DEM) 96,604 48.8%

If Umberg needed 50%+1 from OC, it would be a tough slog.  His deficit has gone from about 8,800 to 6,350 to 4,900: pretty good, but no sure thing.  But all he has to do is get down to within 2,000 of Janet.  That should take just two or three days.  He’s in good shape — and he should finally get his revenge for that Supervisor’s race that I’m not supposed to mention.

(6) Can Lowenthal Cause Diep Trouble?

Tuesday:

MEMBER OF THE STATE ASSEMBLY 72nd District
(14,834% of 830,079 OC ballots)
 123,136 ballots cast Vote Count Percentage
TYLER DIEP (REP) 65,361 53.1%
JOSH LOWENTHAL (DEM) 57,775 46.9%

Wednesday:

MEMBER OF THE STATE ASSEMBLY 72nd District
(14.850% of 889,219 OC ballots)
 132,052 votes cast Vote Count Percentage
TYLER DIEP (REP) 69,500 52.6%
JOSH LOWENTHAL (DEM) 62,552 47.4%

Thursday:

14.624% of 935,438 OC ballots)
 136,803 votes cast Vote Count Percentage
TYLER DIEP (REP) 71,709 52.4%
JOSH LOWENTHAL (DEM) 65,094 47.6%

First of all, looking at the dip in the percentage of the tabulated county vote that fell within this district, we should recognize that the lack of movement on Thursday doesn’t necessarily mean that much.  This is more like a day and a half of counting rather than two.  So I’d credit J-Low with reducing Diep’s percentage by about .5% per day  That would suggest that he could pull ahead in about five days, if the surge lasts that long.

In terms of raw vote totals, Diep’s lead has gone from 7.586 to 6.948 to (in the half-day) 6615.  That suggests a much harder slog.  We can call it 600 votes per day, but means that it would take eleven full days of counting for Josh to pull even.  I doubt that we have that many in store.  Again, the nature of those ballots will become more favorable to Josh over time — although I think that I vaguely remember that this is less true of the Vietnamese-dominated districts than most — but I’m less optimistic about this race than some others.  Definitely watch for people at the ROV arguing to keep in Vietnamese provisionals and knock out others.

NOTE: THIS WILL BE UPDATED WITH ANALYSIS OF OTHER SD-36 AND AT LEAST ONE OTHER RACE, BUT I’M PUBLISHING IT RIGHT NOW TO GET THE WORD OUT BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose worker's rights and government accountability attorney, residing in northwest Brea. 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. Occasionally runs for office to challenge some nasty incumbent who would otherwise run unopposed. (Someday he might pick a fight with the intent to win rather than just dent someone. You'll know it when you see it.) He got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012 and in 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. A family member co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)