Democratic candidate Gil Cisneros pulled ahead of Republican candidate Young Kim in the 39th Congressional District race, according to Thursday’s updated ballot counts. If the ongoing trend holds, Republicans will lose all four OC seats they hold now and Democrats will represent all seven of Orange County’s Congressional seats.
Cisneros, after days of narrowing his gap behind Kim, took the lead for the first time by 941 votes, which is 0.45 percentage points, according to data tallies from election officials in Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.
“When the returns were first announced, the very first batch … Kim was comfortably ahead — she was ahead by double-digits. Then little by little, day by day, we’ve seen Cisneros chip away at that lead,” said Mike Moodian, a Chapman University political science professor.
Kim had a 10.6-point lead when the first returns were released on Election Day and the lead fell to 5.2 percent by the end of election night.
Moodian, a California elections specialist, said it’s likely Democrats will take all four contested seats.
“I think it’s very likely we’re going to see a clean sweep in Orange County which is something I would have never predicted, even two years ago. First, I think (President Donald) Trump has fueled and jump started this and, second, it’s the reflection of the changing dynamics of Orange County. We’re a county that’s a purple county, we’re no longer a red county,” Moodian said.
OC and San Bernardino updated their ballot counts Thursday and LA is slated to update Friday. As of Thursday, Cisneros was ahead of Kim by 6,447 votes in the LA ballot count, while Kim was 5,234 votes ahead in OC’s count and 272 votes ahead in San Bernardino.
Dave Wasserman, editor for the Cook Political report, also predicted Democrats could control all of OC’s Congressional seats in a Nov. 14 tweet.
If Kim regains the lead and holds it, she would be the first Korean-American woman elected to Congress. On Wednesday, she was in Washington D.C. for an orientation for incoming members of Congress.
National Democrats targeted the 39th, 45th, 48th and 49th Congressional districts after Hillary Clinton took all of the Republican districts in the 2016 election against Donald Trump.
This year, Democrats are on track to surpass their national goal of taking 23 seats from Republicans in their effort to secure the majority of the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives.
As of Nov. 13, the New York Times reported that Democrats took 32 seats and could take 35 to 40. It’s the biggest gain for Democrats since 1974 — the year President Richard Nixon resigned following the Watergate scandal — when they picked up 49 U.S. House seats, NPR reported Nov. 14.
About 85 percent of Orange County’s total estimated ballots had been counted and reported as of Thursday evening.
Thursday’s updated added 46,219 ballots, and there’s an estimated 156,241 additional ballots left to count in OC.
In other OC races, the results continued to narrow in the 34th State Senate District, where incumbent Republican Sen. Janet Nguyen’s lead over Democrat Tom Umberg fell further Thursday, from 2 percentage points to 1.3 points since the prior day’s update.
And in the north OC-based 4th District county supervisor race, Republican Tim Shaw’s razor-thin lead narrowed even further Thursday, from 0.34 percentage points to 0.1 points.
About 3.4 more rounds of counts the size of Thursday’s remain, based on the estimate of outstanding ballots and rate of counting.
Below is a run-down of updated vote counts in some of the county’s key races. Daily 5 p.m. updates are scheduled over the coming days.
39th Congressional District
Gil Cisneros (D): 104,003 votes, 50.23%
Young Kim (R): 103,062 votes, 49.77%
Cisneros took a narrow lead Thursday of about half of 1 percent, or 941 votes. Kim had a wide 10.6 percent lead in the first election night results, which fell as more ballots were counted. Updated figures are calculated based on vote counts from Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. LA county didn’t update Thursday and is scheduled to update their count Friday.
45th Congressional District
Katie Porter (D): 135,237 votes, 51.2%
Mimi Walters (R, Incumbent): 129,034 votes, 48.8%
Porter took the lead in Tuesday’s update, and her lead grew from 0.2 percentage points that day to 2.4 points on Thursday. Porter was leading by 6,203 votes.
48th Congressional District
Harley Rouda (D): 132,630 votes, 52.9%
Dana Rohrabacher (R, Incumbent): 118,317 votes, 47.1%
Rouda’s lead over Rohrabacher increased from 5.4 percentage points to 5.8 points since the prior day’s update. As of Thursday’s update, Rouda was ahead by 14,313 votes.
49th Congressional District
Mike Levin (D): 135,609 votes, 55.4%
Diane Harkey (R): 109,128 votes, 44.6%
Levin’s wide lead grew further, from 10.2 to 10.8 points, since the prior day’s update. Updated figures are calculated based on vote counts reported from Orange and San Diego counties. Thursday’s update had Levin with a 26,481-vote lead.
65th State Assembly
Sharon Quirk-Silva (D, Incumbent): 61,107 votes, 55.7%
Alexandria “Alex” Coronado (R): 48,530 votes, 44.3%
Quirk-Silva’s lead increased from 10.8 points to 11.4 percentage points since the prior day’s update. As of Thursday’s update, Quirk-Silva was ahead by 12,577 votes.
74th State Assembly
Cottie Petrie-Norris (D): 89,110 votes, 52.0%
Matthew Harper (R, Incumbent): 82,160 votes, 48.0%
Harper was ahead on election night, but Petrie-Norris pulled ahead Nov. 8 with a 0.4 percentage-point lead, which increased to a 4.0 point lead as of Thursday’s update. Petrie-Norris was leading by 6,950 votes after Thursday’s count.
34th State Senate
Janet Nguyen (R, Incumbent): 113,095 votes, 50.66%
Tom Umberg (D): 110,131 votes, 49.34%
Nguyen’s lead dropped from 18 percentage points on election night, to 5.6 points on Saturday, to 2.0 percentage points Wednesday, to 1.3 points Thursday. She was leading by 2,964 votes Thursday. Updated figures are calculated based on vote counts from Orange and Los Angeles counties.
Fourth District Supervisor
Tim Shaw (R): 64,536 votes, 50.05%
Doug Chaffee (D): 64,404 votes, 49.95%
Shaw’s lead narrowed to a razor thin margin Thursday, from 0.34 percentage points to 0.1 points, or 132 votes.
Todd Spitzer (R): 416,183 votes, 53.4%
Tony Rackauckas (R, Incumbent): 363,801 votes, 46.6%
Spitzer’s significant lead grew slightly, from 6.6 percentage points to 6.8 points, since the prior day’s update. Spitzer led by 52,382 votes.
This list only shows the top vote-getters. View results for all the candidates on the Orange County Registrar of Voters website.
Harry Sidhu: 23,384 votes, 33.9%
Ashleigh Aitken: 21,764 votes, 31.6%
Sidhu’s lead narrowed slightly in the latest update, from 2.8 percentage points to 2.3 points, or 1,620 votes.
Anaheim City Council, District 2
Jordan Brandman: 3,913 votes, 40.9%
James Derek Vanderbilt: 2,898 votes, 30.3%
Brandman continues to have a lead, which stood at 10.6 points, or 1,015 votes, in Thursday’s update.
Anaheim City Council, District 3
Jose F. Moreno (Incumbent): 4,805 votes, 52.8%
Mitch Caldwell: 2,878 votes, 31.6%
Moreno continues to have a significant lead, which stood at 21.2 points, or 1,927 votes, in Thursday’s update.
Anaheim City Council, District 6
Trevor O’Neil: 9,249 votes, 45.8%
Patty Gaby: 6,975 votes, 34.5%
O’Neil continues to have a significant lead, which stood at 11 points in Thursday’s update, or 2,274 votes.
Anaheim Measure L
Yes: 37,032, 52.5%
No: 33,448 votes, 47.5%
The measure gained slightly in the latest update, going from a 4.4 percentage point lead to 5.0 points, or 3,584 votes, as of Thursday’s updated tally.
Santa Ana Mayor
Miguel Pulido (Incumbent): 23,224 votes, 51.0%
Sal Tinajero: 22,338 votes, 49.0%
Pulido’s lead narrowed slightly, from 2.4 percentage points to 2.0 points, since the prior day’s update. As of Thursday, Pulido was ahead by 886 votes.
Santa Ana City Council, Ward 2
David Penaloza: 12,035 votes, 27.6%
Sandra Pena Sarmiento: 8,773 votes, 20.1%
Penaloza continued to have a wide lead, which stood at 7.5 percentage points in Thursday’s update.
Santa Ana City Council, Ward 4
Roman Reyna: 23,828 votes, 54.8%
Phil Bacerra: 19,618 votes, 45.2%
Reyna’s wide lead grew slightly from the prior day’s update, from 9.4 points to 9.6 percentage points.
Santa Ana City Council, Ward 6
Cecilia “Ceci” Iglesias: 17,124 votes, 39.0%
Nelida Medoza: 14,861 votes, 33.8%
Iglesias’ wide lead narrowed slightly from the prior update on Wednesday, from 5.6 points to 5.2 points.