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Friday, November 9, 2012

Little Changed in Latest Election Results

Posted by on Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 7:38 AM

First off, let's just put any lingering concerns over R-74 to rest. It closed Tuesday night with 51.79 percent support, and a 68,111 vote lead. Two days later it enjoys 52.56 percent support and a 123,478 vote lead. About 75 percent of the vote is now in, and the late ballots have trended toward approval. R-74 has won. It's not worth tracking anymore. So I won't.

Mazel tov.

As for the governor's race, I know Rob McKenna is telling reporters (at least, those he's on speaking terms with) that he has the math to take the lead. But if there's one thing we learned from his campaign, it's that Rob McKenna isn't very good at math.

Democrat Jay Inslee got 51.32 percent of the 1.9 million ballots counted on election night, for a 50,209 vote lead. Another 575K ballots later, Inslee's margin has been squeezed slightly to 51.13 percent, while his numerical lead has actually grown to 54,398 votes. It doesn't do McKenna much good to narrow the margin without chipping away at Inslee's overall lead.

McKenna's thesis is that early voters broke for Inslee, but that late voters broke for him. And in fact, we're beginning to see that trend, particularly in King County, where Inslee won only 56.7 percent of yesterday's smaller second drop, sharply down from his 63 percent election night tally. That's a pretty big swing. But it's just one, smallish, local batch, and statewide, it hasn't yet proved big enough. Indeed, while fifteen counties have trended toward McKenna since Tuesday, eight counties have actually moved a bit in Inslee's direction, including Yakima and Pierce. The result has been a bit of a wash.

The problem for McKenna's math wizards is that the pool of uncounted ballots is fast running dry (maybe 600K to 800K remain), and King County still accounts for a slightly disproportionate share of those outstanding. I'll continue to keep a close eye on this race, but I still don't expect to regret calling it for Inslee on election night.

But there are two other statewide races that can legitimately still be considered too close to call: I-1240, the billionaire-backed charter schools initiative, and the race for Secretary of State between Democrat Kathleen Drew and Republican Kim Wyman. That said, don't expect either to flip their leads.

I-1240 led Tuesday night with 51.24 percent support and a 46,178 vote lead. Today its lead has shrunk to 50.97 percent support and 45,582 votes. That's the right direction, but barring an explicable late surge in the No vote, too little too late to kill the fucker.

In the Secretary of State race, Wyman has actually expanded her lead, from a bare 50.39 percent and 14,243 votes on election night, to 50.71 percent and 32,499 votes today. That's the wrong direction for Drew, and I see no reason to expect it to change course.

So there you have it. For all the bellyaching about slow ballot counts, it appears the election night results will stand. And for good reason: 60 percent is a pretty damn big statistical sample.

 

Comments (29) RSS

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1
Fiscal Cliff Countdown.....52 days
Posted by Fiscal Cliff Countdown.....52 days on November 9, 2012 at 8:01 AM · Report this
Baconcat 2
You can't really use Election Day voters as part of your "late voters broke my way" argument because a large number of those ballots -- more so than those mailed Saturday - Monday -- represent voters who had long since voted but hadn't dropped their ballot off. I reckon trends will flip back to those from election night when we get down to the final 200,000 ballots.
Posted by Baconcat on November 9, 2012 at 8:06 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 3
The pathetic thing about McKenna is that Rossi had a better shot of winning at this point during the vote counting in 2004 than McKenna has right now.

Oh well, it makes for fun reading.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on November 9, 2012 at 8:09 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 4
I'm confused about something. How is the percentage margin shrinking while the numerical lead is growing? I thought maybe there was a third candidate, but it's just Inslee and McKenna.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 9, 2012 at 8:11 AM · Report this
pfffter 5
Goldy, what are you going to do when McKenna finally loses? I think you should send him flowers.
Posted by pfffter on November 9, 2012 at 8:11 AM · Report this
pfffter 6
@4 proportion
Posted by pfffter on November 9, 2012 at 8:12 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 7
@ 3, from what I recall Rossi actually won the first and second counts, and only lost on the third. Better shot at winning? He did win.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 9, 2012 at 8:13 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 8
@ 6, thanks. That was kinda counterintuitive, but then again it's been a long time since I did math like that.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 9, 2012 at 8:14 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 9
@7, the last count is what counted Matt and the decision by the judge in Chelan County.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on November 9, 2012 at 8:18 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 10
@ 9, "Having a better shot" is an odd way to describe a "lead." It would make sense if this appeared to be headed to a recount, but it doesn't look like it will.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 9, 2012 at 8:34 AM · Report this
11
So, in his best case scenario, McKenna needs to *win* by >6% in the remaining ballots?
Posted by Joel_are on November 9, 2012 at 8:36 AM · Report this
12
@6 & @8, it's even more simple than proportion. On Election Day, Inslee got more votes. On Wednesday, Inslee got more votes. On Thursday, Inslee got more votes. More votes + more votes + more votes=more votes.

That his margin of more votes is lower doesn't mean he didn't get more votes. It just means that he got more votes.
Posted by Timothy http://www.moreperfect.org on November 9, 2012 at 8:47 AM · Report this
Diana 13
Of 2,475,680 ballots counted, 2,406,838 have voted for either Inslee or McKenna, or 97.22%. One may assume that 2.78% of the total were either an under or over vote (a vote for no candidate, or for more than one candidate), or a vote for Donald Duck/my dog/my wang. There are an estimated 595,614 ballots left to be processed, of which approximately 97.22%, or 579,052 may be expected to contain a vote for either Inslee or McKenna. 2,406,838 votes have been counted for governor, plus 579,052 expected votes, equals 2,985,890 total statewide votes for governor, with approximately 1,492,945 votes needed to win. Inslee currently (as of 10:26pm 11/8/12) has 1,230,618 votes, and needs 262,327 more to win. McKenna currently has 1,176,220 votes, and needs 316,725 more votes to win. Thus, Inslee needs 45.30% of the remaining votes statewide to win. McKenna needs 54.70% of the remaining votes to win. (If, by some fluke, every single remaining ballot of the 595,614 left to count contains a viable vote for either candidate for governor, Inslee would need 45.43% of the remaining votes to win, and McKenna would need 54.57% of the remaining votes to win.)
Posted by Diana on November 9, 2012 at 8:55 AM · Report this
Diana 14
Sorry, I'm off by one--1,492,946 votes needed to win. :) I believe the percentages are still correct.
Posted by Diana on November 9, 2012 at 9:02 AM · Report this
care bear 15
The King County ballot tracker finally says they've received my ballot. I was getting a little bit worried.
Posted by care bear on November 9, 2012 at 9:25 AM · Report this
Diana 16
New numbers are up as of 9am today. I won’t go through the math again, but Inslee now needs 45.31% of the expected remaining 595,646 votes to win, and McKenna now needs 54.69% of the remaining votes to win. Not much change.
Posted by Diana on November 9, 2012 at 9:35 AM · Report this
17
For the citizens of Washington to reject the charter school law written by ALEC and bought by billionaires, the remaining votes will have to run about 54% against.

About a third of the votes left to be counted are from King County, which has been running against the ballot measure, but not in that proportion.

So, while it still remains "too close to call", there is little probability that the initiative will be rejected.
Posted by Charlie Mas on November 9, 2012 at 9:36 AM · Report this
18
At this point, the only margin that really matters is the magical 2,000 vote threshold that triggers an automatic recount. And, of course, that could turn into a complete gong-show.

According to the Sec. of State, there have been 2,475,680 ballots counted as of last night. The estimated remaining ballots are 595,614, for a total turnout number of 3,071,294 (~79% -- holy crap!!).

So McKenna's total vote share would have to increase to about 49.93%. Statistically possible? Considering 36% (more than 214,000) of the remaining estimated ballots are from King County (and 80,000 more are in Snohomish county where Inslee is holding a good margin), I'll shave my mustache (after I grow one) if McKenna ultimately wins.
Posted by Mr. Happy Sunshine on November 9, 2012 at 9:46 AM · Report this
19
@16 Diana -- Damn, sister...you are way faster than me with the spreadsheet! I tip my hat...
Posted by Mr. Happy Sunshine on November 9, 2012 at 9:49 AM · Report this
Diana 20
Thanks, Mr. Happy. I missed my calling as a math nerd. Taking into account your point about the needed 2,000 vote lead to avoid a recount, as of 9am there have been 2,407,006 votes for governor, and there are 579,087 more expected votes to be counted (97.2% of the 595,646 left expected to contain viable governor votes). One would need 1,494,047 votes to win, including a +2,000 vote lead to stave off a recount. Inslee would need 45.48% of the expected remaining votes to win, and also avoid a recount. McKenna would need 54.45% of the expected remaining vote to win, and also avoid a recount.
Posted by Diana on November 9, 2012 at 10:15 AM · Report this
21
I wonder what counts as early vote vs. late vote. I for one dropped my ballot off at the dropbox at Magnuson days before the election (is that early or late???) and it's yet to be counted.
Posted by I Got Nuthin' on November 9, 2012 at 10:22 AM · Report this
22
You're not alone @21. I dropped mine off on Monday at Magnuson Park and it has been received but not verified.
Posted by sanotehu on November 9, 2012 at 10:34 AM · Report this
23
OK, a few notes...

1) The 9am update consisted of 175 ballots tallied in Columbia County. No reason to recalculate your spreadsheet.

2) The count of "remaining ballots" is just an (under)estimate. As Mr. Happy Sunshine says @18, the current total comes out as a 79% turnout, but he then says "holy crap" about that number. In truth, though, 79% would be extremely low turnout. We had 84.6% turnout in 2008, 82.2% in 2004 (from a spreadsheet downloaded from here). Sherril Huff says King County has 985,000 ballots in-hand, which translates to around 84% turnout, a bit above 2008 in the county ... and more ballots will arrive today.

3) All that said, it would require an astonishing, absolutely unprecedented "late ballot" effect to produce a win for McKenna. It's more conceivable to envision a win for Drew or No on I-1240, but the hurdle is still very high in both cases.
Posted by N in Seattle http://peacetreefarm.org on November 9, 2012 at 11:02 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 24
Look. People mailed in their ballots.

They may not arrive until today.

Anything else anyone says is just ... speculation.

And informed speculation says it's over. And King County and other blue areas turned out massively. When everyone votes, we win.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on November 9, 2012 at 11:18 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 25
Washington, your elections are starting to look as inept as Florida's. Not good.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 9, 2012 at 11:34 AM · Report this
Goldy 26
@21 Here's how I define "early" vs. "late". All of the ballots that arrive as the close of business the Friday before election day, plus some of those that arrive on Monday, plus all the votes at from the accessible voting machines, are tallied as an undifferentiated clump on election night. These are the "early" votes.

All the rest of the ballots are "late."
Posted by Goldy on November 9, 2012 at 12:06 PM · Report this
27
I still don't get what the rush is. Speaking of Florida, I'd rather votes be counted correctly than counted fast.
Posted by maddogm13 on November 9, 2012 at 12:09 PM · Report this
Diana 28
As of 12:46pm 11/9/12 there have been 2,410,638 votes for governor, and there are 575,016 more expected votes on hand to be counted (97.2% of an estimated 591,487 ballots on hand remaining to be processed). One would need 1,493,827 votes to win, including a +2,000 vote lead to stave off a recount. Inslee would need 45.39% of the expected remaining votes on hand to win, and also avoid a recount. McKenna would need 54.96% of the expected remaining votes on hand to win, and also avoid a recount.

These figures are just a mathematical snapshot based upon available information at vote.wa.gov. The snapshot will change every time more ballots either arrive, or are counted. I'm actually not using a spreadsheet, just paper and a calculator. Old school.
Posted by Diana on November 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 29
@25 - Um, inept how? Washington has a tradition of doing it slow, but doing it right. It worked for pot, it worked for marriage, and you can fuck off. :)
Posted by Pridge Wessea on November 9, 2012 at 7:21 PM · Report this

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