Here are the latest absentee numbers. The vote is now around 12% of the expected total vote, up from 10%. Democrats bump up from a 5.8% ballot lead to a 5.9%. That's positive movement on their part but a far cry from the 8-9% they need to break even and the 12-13% they need to pick up seats.
The biggest changes were in the Central Valley where CA-16 went from a D+2% to D+5% turn-out advantage but CA-21 went from D+16% to D+11%. Democrat Jim Costa and Republican David Valadao are considered pretty much shoe-ins, so these shifts aren't surprising. The absentee numbers here have been low so far. Hence the ability to have a big one day shift.
Based on my calculations, CA-10 already has over 25% of the total overall ballots for the whole election. The spread is even, 42%D/42%R, just as it was when Jeff Denham had his big primary victory. CA-24, CA-36, and CA-52 are also over 20%.
CA-52 had a big Republican turn-out advantage in the primary, similar to CA-36. While Rep. Mary Bono Mack turned that into a 16.2 point win, Rep. Brian Bilbray eked out a 2.5 point win. Even though Bilbray has another big turn-out advantage, the model isn't kind to him. This is contrary to almost every other district in the state where Republicans exceeded any turn-out advantage, either by picking up Democratic votes or winning a good share of independents. Bilbray retains the biggest Republican edge in competitive seats in the state. So I'm not sure how he can do better.
Politico has an article today about how well Democrats are doing here. This surprised me because it's contrary to what I'm hearing. Now Republicans might be blowing smoke up my butt, although I can't think of why they'd tell a reporter we're doing badly and tell me we're very competitive. What I do know is this:
1. Despite cries of Republicans getting beat in June, the opposite happened. Republicans got more votes in almost every competitive district.
2. Absentee turn-out in June was D+5.5%. The final vote was D+5.3%. It's currently D+5.9%. That doesn't sound good for Democrats.
3. Twelve of the 16 internal polls released have been released by Democrats. Releasing internal polls is usually a sign the candidate is losing and trying to convince people otherwise.
4. Those internal polls have mostly been lackluster. They've shown Democrats with big leads is some, but haven't shown a lead in either CA-7 or CA-10.
5. The one independent poll out there showed Rep. Brian Bilbray with a comfortable lead.
The truth? I suppose we'll see November 6.