An update on the above races:
With about 1.28 million of the 2.3 million previously uncounted ballots remaining to be counted and reported, Republican Steve Cooley's lead in the race for California Attonrey General, which had expanded to over 51,000 votes as of 9:12 a.m. November 9, has dropped to just under 36,200 as of 5 p.m. this evening. The new votes appear to have come from Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties. (The vast number of the ballots counted from the 2.3 which had been uncounted on election night appear to be late absentee ballots (either received by mail on or after the weekend before the election, or brought to polling places on election day). At least some counties are processing those in the order received.)
Los Angeles County has reported just over 100,000 of their 400,000 plus initially-uncounted ballots, all of which appear to have been absentee ballots. Over 322,000 L.A. County ballots remain to be counted and/or reported. Los Angeles is planning to report on an additional ballot report, totaling approximately 100,000 votes, today, and those totals should appear later tonight or tomorrow morning. Those again appear to be all late absentee ballots, which can be processed more quickly than provisionals, which need to be hand-checked for eligibility.
While Kamala Harris should win the plurality of these L.A. County absentee ballots, we don't expect a major improvement in her numbers until Los Angeles (and other Democratic-leaning counties) move into reporting the provisional ballots. Expect a not-insignificant number of these 133,000 provisional votes to work their way into the Friday, November 12 report from Los Angeles, giving us a better idea of how the vote is likely to break over the week ahead. Expect significant narrowing of the Cooley lead as those votes work their way into the ballot count. Provisionals will tend to include significantly more Democratic voters than the overall electorate.
Meanwhile, in the 11th Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Jerry McNerny has built a 628 vote (.5 percent) lead over Republican challenger David Harmer. Absentee and/or provisional ballots from Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin and Santa Clara counties remain to be processed; McNerny leads substantially in voting in the Alameda (14% lead) and Santa Clara (8% lead) county portions of his district, while trailing narrowly in Contra Costa, and more broadly in San Juaquin counties. We expect McNerny to hold and build his lead as provisional ballots are added to the vote count totals. (An American Independent candidate in that race is pulling 4.9% of the vote, which percentage will be far more than the margin of McNerny's likely victory.)
And in the 20th Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Jim Costa, after trailing by more than two percent on election night, appears to be poised to take the lead from late absentee and provisional ballots. As of the 4:44 p.m. count this evening, Costa trailed Republican Andy Vidak by 27 votes (.2%).
Vidak's area of strength was Kings County, where he thrashed Costa, nearly 70% to 30%. Kings County completed their reporting of all ballots on November 8, so all remaining votes will be coming from Costa strongholds of Fresno County (where he leads by more than 60 to 40 percent) and Kerns County (where Costa leads 61 to 39 percent). We do not know what portions of the unreported votes from those counties are within Costa's district.
Barring unexpected developments, expect Costa to be re-elected to represent the 20th District, though a recount could well be forthcoming.
6:55 p.m. update:
Without updating the number of unprocessed votes, the Secretary of State's office has released new figures impacting the A.G.'s and 20th C.D. races. With approximately an additional 234,000 votes added between Harris and Cooley, Cooley has increased his lead to nearly 41,000 votes.
In the 20th C.D., Vidak has re-opened a 1% lead, leading by 648 votes. It is thus too early to suggest a likely winner in that contest.
10:50 p.m. update:
Additional votes have been added from Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Sacramento, San Diego, and San Mateo counties.
Cooley is currently leading Harris by 43,212 votes (.5%).
When the unprocessed ballot report is updated (likely Wednesday morning), we'll have a good idea of the number of ballots left to count in Cooley strongholds (particularly Orange and San Diego counties, but also places such as Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura), versus Harris strongholds (most of the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles). (It appears that approximately 157,000 of the more than 400,000 initially-unprocessed Los Angeles counties ballots are included in this count, leaving some 250,000 ballots from Los Angeles to be added to the totals. Harris is currently leading in L.A. County 53% to 40%.)
Again, we'll also have a better idea of how things are breaking after the Friday report from Los Angeles, which should incorporate the first batch of provisional ballots from that county, which are expected to break strongly for Harris.
In the 20th C.D., the numbers reported at 6:55 p.m. were apparently as the result in a glitch in the SOS computers and/or input. The SOS is again reporting that Costa is trailing by 27 votes, or .2%.
November 10, 2010: 6:55 p.m. update:
Harris has erased much of Cooley's lead, and now trails him by 11,400 votes, or .1% of the vote counted to date.
In the 11th C.D., Democratic incumbent McNerney has increased his lead over Republican Harmer to 2,498 votes (1.3%).
And in the 20th C.D., after trailing since early returns on election night, Democratic incumbent Costa has taken a 1,318 vote lead over Republican challenger Vidak, and now holds a lead by 1.8% of the vote.