Author Archives: Lisa Aliferis

Election Blog Fond Farewell — Until Next Time!

By Lisa Aliferis, Jon Brooks and Tyche Hendricks

With the 2012 election mostly put to bed, this blog is retiring — temporarily. This post features thoughts on elections in general from KQED Election Editor Tyche Hendricks, Election Blog editor Jon Brooks and contributor Lisa Aliferis.

Tyche Hendricks, KQED Election Editor

As the dust settles on this election — with its nail-biter races that ranged from the presidential contest to board of supervisors races and local parcel taxes — it’s a good time to note that our individual votes really can make a decisive difference. It’s true, given our electoral college system, that nobody campaigns too hard for California’s votes in the presidential race. But we did have some state and local races that were decided by razor thin margins.

In two California congressional races, long-time incumbents lost their seats by just a few thousand votes out of more than a quarter of a million votes cast. San Diego Rep. Brian Bilbray and Sacramento area Rep. Dan Lungren both lost by exceedingly narrow margins. And in Alameda County, a sales tax hike for transportation projects fell just about 700 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed for passage. With more than half a million votes cast, that was a defeat by a margin of .14 percent. Continue reading

Final Update on Races Too Close to Call

Physician Ami Bera (D) won a hotly contested House seat over incumbent Dan Lungren (R). (Randy Payne/Flickr)

Physician Ami Bera (D) won a hotly contested House seat over incumbent Dan Lungren (R). (Randy Payne/Flickr)

The election blog is coming to an end soon <sniff!> so this is the last update I’ll be posting on those stubbornly close races. Most of them were decided yesterday. There are still 1.7 million votes [PDF] to count statewide.

Jump for joy or read ‘em and weep. Counties have until December 7 to send final counts to the state. The secretary of state must certify the election by December 14.

Many of the close races we have kept an eye on are in Alameda County which finished counting votes yesterday. Here is an update on all the races we’ve been following:

Congressional Races

Quick Read: Sexy Story — That Youth Carried Prop. 30 — Is a Myth

Questions are swirling around the accuracy of this year’s California exit poll. And now CalBuzz blogger (and former San Jose Mercury news political editor) Phil Trounstine questions just how much of a role the 18 to 29-year-olds played in the passage of Prop. 30.


There’s a popular myth now in circulation – a logical conclusion from the exit polls – that says young voters were the key to Jerry Brown’s Prop. 30 victory. Surely, Gov. Gandalf’s outreach to college students and parents with young children were important factors in Prop. 30′s success.

Read more at: www.calbuzz.com

Wednesday Update on Races Too Close to Call

Ami Bera (D) is holding onto a tight, but growing, lead against Dan Lungren (R) in this Congressional race. (Photos: Republican Conference and Randy Bayne via Flickr)

The vote counting continues on. Latest from the secretary of state’s office is there are still a whopping 1.9 million votes [PDF] left to count. Counties have until December 7 to report their final results. The secretary of state will certify the election by December 14.

In particular, we’re tracking the likely Democratic supermajority in the state legislature.

In the current Congress, the 112th, Democrats hold 34 of 53 House seats. In the new Congress, the 113th, Democrats have definitively picked up two seats, a sure total of 36 seats. There are two other races too-close-to-call, but it’s looking like Democrats will win. That would bring California’s Democratic Congressional delegation to 38 seats out of 53.

Here is an update on the races we’re following:

Congressional Races Continue reading

UPDATE: Races Too Close to Call

Dan Lungren and Ami Bera are locked in a tighter than tight race. (Photos: Republican Conference and Randy Bayne via Flickr)

The number of too-close-to-call races is shrinking. Many counties continued to count votes over the holiday weekend. They have until December 7 to report their final results.The secretary of state will certify the election by December 14.

Of special note in these races is the make up of the California Congressional delegation. You’ve heard all about the Democratic supermajority in the state legislature.

At the national level, California Democrats have also gained ground. In the current Congress, the 112th, Democrats hold 34 of 53 House seats. In the new Congress, the 113th, Democrats have definitively picked up two seats, a sure total of 36 seats. There are two other races too-close-to-call, but it’s looking like Democrats will win. That would bring California’s Democratic Congressional delegation to 38 seats out of 53.

Here is an update on the races we’ve been following:

Congressional Races Continue reading

STILL Too Close To Call — Could Be Days; List of Undecided Contests

Dan Lungren and Ami Bera are locked in a tighter than tight race. (Photos: Republican Conference and Randy Bayne via Flickr)

Sit down and take a deep breath. The updated Secretary of State’s numbers show more than three million votes left to count.

If you’ve been following the handful of too-close-to-call races across the state, you’ll likely be waiting for a few days.

Counties have until December 7 to report their final results.The secretary of state will certify the election by December 14.

Here are the races still too close to call:

Congressional Races

  • Bera v. Lungren (7th Congressional District): Bera’s (D) lead is slim, but keeps edging up. Yesterday, he led Lungren (R) by 182 votes. Today, with an additional 40,000 votes counted, he’s up by 1,779. (105,245 to 103,466) Continue reading

Too Close to Call! List of Still-Undecided Contests Across California

In this 2008 photo, workers sort California mail in ballots. (Justin Sullivan: Getty Images)

In this 2008 photo, workers sort California mail in ballots. (Justin Sullivan: Getty Images)

With estimates that for the first time vote-by-mail will exceed in-person voting in California, county voting officials are presumably working hard to get all votes counted. Counties are required to report their final results by December 7, and the secretary of state will certify the election by December 14.

In the meantime well over a million mail and provisional ballots are still being counted statewide.

Here are the races still too close to call:

Congressional Races

  • Bera v. Lungren (7th Congressional District): The political newsletter The Nooner reports that Bera is ahead by 182 votes with 193,000 uncounted ballots. Next update is Friday, 3pm.
  • Bilbray v. Peters (52nd Congressional District): Only a few hundred votes separate the San Diego candidates.
  • Ruiz v. Bono Mack (36th Congressional District): Ruiz is ahead, and local media have called the race for him. But Bono Mack has yet to concede.

Assembly Races

Continue reading

Young Voter Turnout Under — or Over — Estimated in California Polls?

They also have exit polling in France. This man did not appear to wish to answer. (Stephen Rees: Flickr)

They even have exit polling in France. This man did not appear to wish to answer. (Stephen Rees: Flickr)

This election, KQED has focused in part on young voters and their views on different issues.

So how much of a role did young voters play in Tuesday’s electoral outcomes? It’s hard to say exactly or — as it turns out — even approximately.

The respected Sacramento political newsletter The Nooner Wednesday pointed to an exit poll showing 18-to-29-year-old voters made up 27 percent of California voters in yesterday’s election. That’s compared to 22 percent in 2008.

Yet the highly regarded Field Poll had predicted on Monday that a maximum of 15 percent of these young voters would turn out.

So what gives? I called Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo, thinking that he would explain how pre-election predictions can run awry. Instead, he walked me through the exit poll industry in California — and what an interesting trip that was. Continue reading

Ballot Measure Results in All Bay Area Counties

Here are links to KQED’s county and local ballot measure results in six Bay Area counties:

San Francisco

San Mateo

Santa Clara

Alameda

Contra Costa

Marin

For results in Napa, Solano and Sonoma, here are links to the election results pages at the county registrar of voters:

Napa County Registrar of Voters

Solano County Registrar of Voters

Sonoma County Registrar of Voters