Thursday, November 6, 2014

California Post-Election Day

California has a methodical, some would say slow, way of counting VBMs turned in on election day as well as provisional and damaged ballots. That'll take much of the next 28 days. They do always finish on time and count every ballot. Before 2014, Republicans always did very well in the first ballots, which are most of the VBMs that come in before election day. Then Republicans would lose ground on election day in 90-95% of the races. And then lose more ground post-election day in 90-95% of the races.

This changed in the primary, as Democrats started to emphasize VBM. Republicans did better on election day than VBM in around 3/4 of the races and improved post-election day in about 3/4. This year, in the general, Republicans improved on VBM in around 40% of all the races. That's a drop from the primary, but not the universal drop you saw before. Since VBM/election day followed a pattern closer to the primary, post-election day may follow the same. Here are the current margins and how much the district changed post-election day. So Doug Ose is winning by 2.8%. If the primary pattern is the same, this is how much the margin will increase or decrease.

CA-7 R+2.8%; R+0.6%
CA-9: D+3.0%; R+2.1%
CA-16: R+1.0%; D+1.1%
CA-24: D+3.2%; R+0.9%
CA-26: D+0.4%; R+1.2%
CA-31: D+2.0%; R+0.3%
CA-52: R+0.6%; D+0.2%

The biggest improvement was a Republican margin increase of 3.2% in CA-10 from 14.7% to 17.9%. In 2012, however, Democrats gained as much as 5.8% after election day. That swing was much larger because ballots were more mixed in the primary than in the 2012 election. CA-7, 9, and 24 are unlikely to change, but still could. CA-16, 26, 31, and 52 are far more likely to flip.

Most California counties will begin counting today and have a report by the end of the day tomorrow. How long it takes them depends on the number of ballots they have. Some counties are pretty fast and provide updates daily, while others are less frequent. You can find out who has updated their counts each day here. Once the counties report how many unprocessed ballots they have, there'll be a PDF here.

Orange county is very good and they actually counted a bunch of ballots yesterday. I’m tracking a bunch of competitive congressional, state senate, and assembly districts. Of those, the only one that I have that’s entirely within Orange county is AD-65. The Republican had 56.0% of the vote at the end of election day. The 1,745 new ballots gave her 57.8% of the vote. It's only one district on one day but it could be a sign that post-election day counting will be more like the primary.

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