By Jim EllisNov. 10, 2020 — The California Secretary of State — as has been the office’s practice because the counting process there is always so long — has issued its report on how many ballots are outstanding on a countywide basis.
The ballot reception period here will not conclude until Nov. 20, though vote envelopes would have had to be postmarked on Nov. 3 in order to be admitted to the count.
The SoS office is, at this point, showing a generally low number of outstanding ballots, but when looking at the total votes cast in the districts when adding the outstanding number to the recorded votes, the aggregate totals look reasonable and are all much higher than the 2016 congressional vote in each district. If the outstanding ballot number is in actuality near completion, then the races will be called right after Nov. 20, since there will be little in the way of adding extra votes to the district totals.
Extrapolating the number of ballots remaining to be counted with the area of the specific county within the congressional districts in question could provide a projection basis to in order to estimate how many votes the trailing candidate would need to win their respective race.
Below is a recap of the five most contested races in the state. Technically, Reps. Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) and Ken Calvert (R-Corona) are also uncalled, but their margin is large enough that each should be re-elected. The eighth race not technically called is in the Sacramento area, but challenger Brynne Kennedy (D) has already conceded to Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove).
Jay Obernolte (R) vs. Christine Bubser (D)
• Current Standing: Obernolte +24,925 votes (55.5% to 44.5%)
• Estimated Remaining Votes: 76,223
• Minimum % Bubser Needs to Reverse: 66.3%
Inyo County: Obernolte 50.5 – 49.5%
• Estimated Remaining Votes: 370
Mono County: Bubser 60.1 – 39.9%
• Estimated Remaining Votes: 245
San Bernardino County: Obernolte 56.2 – 43.8%
• Estimated Remaining Votes: 75,608
If the estimates of the number of outstanding ballots are near correct and relatively complete, and the county percentages remain constant as compared with their previous performance, Obernolte would win with more than 55 percent.
Rep. T.J. Cox (D-Fresno) vs. Ex-Rep. David Valadao (R)
• Current Standing: Valadao +4,570 votes (51.8% to 48.2%)
• Estimated Remaining Votes: 70,047
• Minimum % Cox Needs to Reverse: 53.3%
Fresno County: Valadao 51.5 – 48.5%
• Estimated Remaining Votes: 8,151
Kern County: Cox 61.3 – 38.7%
• Estimated Remaining Votes: 58,661
Kings County: Valadao 62.1 – 37.9%
• Estimated Remaining Votes: 1,529
Tulare County: Valadao 50.0 – 50.0%
• Estimated Remaining Votes: 2,114
If the estimates are near correct and the county percentages remain constant in the after-county as compared with their previous performance, Rep. Cox would win a close victory with less than 51 percent. Realistically, this race is likely too close to call.