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Republican Young Kim hung onto a small lead over Democratic candidate Gil Cisneros in the 39th Congressional District, while Orange County’s three other Republican-held Congressional districts were on track to flip blue, according to Wednesday’s updated ballot count.
Kim’s lead fell Wednesday from 711 votes to 122 votes, out of 198,880 votes reported so far – or from 0.4 percentage points to 0.06 points.
It’s the first time the 39th, 45th, 48th and 49th congressional districts –long considered Republican strongholds – have been seen as competitive races in recent history.
“It’s a hell of lot more competitive (countywide) and I don’t think we’re going backwards … This is no longer a red county, we’re a purple county and our survey data suggests we’re … looking like the rest of the country in terms of moderation on key issues — DACA, climate change, immigration, the role of the federal government resolving these problems,” said Fred Smoller, Chapman University political science professor and California politics expert.
National Democrats targeted the four 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.
Three other districts inside or touching Orange County have Democratic incumbents. Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Whittier) holds the 38th district seat, which barely touches Orange County by encompassing the small city of La Palma. Sanchez easily won re-election this year.
Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) holds the 47th District seat, which stretches from Long Beach to parts of Westminster and Garden Grove and encompasses Cypress and Los Alamitos. Like Sanchez, Lowenthal easily won re-election this year.
Congressman Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) who holds the 46th District seat which includes Santa Ana, Anaheim and parts of Orange, also won his reelection by a landslide.
Smoller said it could be the first time Democrats have held all Congressional seats in Orange County.
“I don’t think ever, quite frankly [about Democratic control],” Smoller said. “But I think you could safely say that certainly since the end of the Great Depression, the seats have been dominated by Republicans.”
Democrats have held the 38th, 46th and 47th congressional districts since the 2011 redistricting.
In the 34th State Senate District, incumbent Republican Sen. Janet Nguyen’s lead over Democrat Tom Umberg continued to narrow, from 18 percentage points on election night to 5.6 points on Saturday to 2 points on Wednesday. Several more rounds of results remain, based on the estimate of outstanding ballots and rate of counting.
Roughly 81 percent of the total estimated ballots in OC have been counted and reported.
There were 59,140 Orange County ballots added to Wednesday’s count, with an estimated 202,460 ballots left to count.
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
Young Kim (R): 99,501 votes, 50.0%
Gil Cisneros (D): 99,379 votes, 50.0%
Kim’s lead fell from 0.4 percentage points to 0.06 points since the prior day’s update, or from 711 votes to 122 votes. Updated figures are calculated based on vote counts from Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. LA county didn’t update Wednesday and is scheduled to update their count Friday.
45th Congressional District
Katie Porter (D): 126,574 votes, 50.8%
Mimi Walters (R, Incumbent): 122,777 votes, 49.2%
Porter took the lead in Tuesday’s update, and was ahead of Walters by 0.2 percentage points. The lead grew to 1.6 percent, or 3,797 votes.
48th Congressional District
Harley Rouda (D): 126,536 votes, 52.7%
Dana Rohrabacher (R, Incumbent): 113,574 votes, 47.3%
Rouda’s lead over Rohrabacher increased from 4.6 percentage points to 5.4 points since the prior day’s update. As of Wednesday’s update, Rouda was ahead by 12,962 votes.
49th Congressional District
Mike Levin (D): 128,665 votes, 55.1%
Diane Harkey (R): 104,794 votes, 44.9%
Levin’s lead grew from 10 to 10.2 points since the prior day’s update. Updated figures are calculated based on vote counts reported from Orange and San Diego counties. Wednesday’s update had Levin with a 23,871-vote lead.
65th State Assembly
Sharon Quirk-Silva (D, Incumbent): 57,974 votes, 55.4%
Alexandria “Alex” Coronado (R): 46,765 votes, 44.6%
Quirk-Silva’s lead increased from 9.8 points to 10.8 percentage points since the prior day’s update. As of Wednesday’s update, Quirk-Silva was ahead by 11,209 votes.
74th State Assembly
Cottie Petrie-Norris (D): 83,962 votes, 51.8%
Matthew Harper (R, Incumbent): 78,156 votes, 48.2%
Harper was ahead on election night, but Petrie-Norris pulled ahead Nov. 8 with a 0.4 percentage-point lead, which increased to a 2.2 point lead with Wednesday’s update. Petrie-Norris’ lead increased to 3.6 points, or 5,806 votes after Wednesday’s count.
34th State Senate District
Janet Nguyen (R, Incumbent): 109,192 votes, 51.0%
Tom Umberg (D): 104,766 votes, 49.0%
Nguyen’s lead dropped from 18 percentage points on election night, to 5.6 points on Saturday, to 2.0 percentage points Wednesday, or 4,426 votes. Updated figures are calculated based on vote counts from Orange and Los Angeles counties.
Fourth District Supervisor
Tim Shaw (R): 61,374 votes, 50.2%
Doug Chaffee (D): 60,943 votes, 49.8%
Shaw’s lead narrowed slightly since the prior day’s update, from 0.6 points to 0.4 points, or 431 votes.
Todd Spitzer (R): 396,262 votes, 53.3%
Tony Rackauckas (R, Incumbent): 346,890 votes, 46.7%
Spitzer’s significant lead held at 6.6 percentage points, or 49,372 votes, since the prior day’s update.
This list only shows the top vote-getters. View results for all the candidates on the Registrar of Voters website.
Harry Sidhu: 22,561 votes, 34.2%
Ashleigh Aitken: 20,700 votes, 31.4%
Sidhu’s lead narrowed in the latest update, from 3.6 percentage points to 2.8 points, or 1,861 votes.
Anaheim City Council, District 2
Jordan Brandman: 3,720 votes, 41.0%
James Derek Vanderbilt: 2,765 votes, 30.5%
Brandman continues to have a lead, which stood at 10.5 points, or 955 votes, in Wednesday’s update.
Anaheim City Council, District 3
Jose F. Moreno (Incumbent): 4,645 votes, 52.9%
Mitch Caldwell: 2,758 votes, 31.4%
Moreno continues to have a significant lead, which stood at 21.5 points — 1,887 votes — in Wednesday’s update.
Anaheim City Council, District 6
Trevor O’Neil: 9,024 votes, 45.8%
Patty Gaby: 6,789 votes, 34.5%
O’Neil continues to have a significant lead, which stood at 11 points in Wednesday’s update, or a 2,235-vote lead.
Anaheim Measure L
Yes: 35,192, 52.2%
No: 32,171 votes, 47.8%
The measure gained slightly in the latest update, going from a 3.8 percentage point lead to 4.4 points. The yes vote was ahead by 3,021 votes as of Wednesday’s updated tally.
Santa Ana Mayor
Miguel Pulido (Incumbent): 21,512 votes, 51.2%
Sal Tinajero: 20,477 votes, 48.8%
Pulido’s lead narrowed slightly, from 3.8 percentage points to 2.4 points, since the prior day’s update. As of Wednesday, Pulido was ahead by 1,035 votes.
Santa Ana City Council, Ward 2
David Penaloza: 11,139 votes, 27.7%
Sandra Pena Sarmiento: 8,026 votes, 20.0%
Penaloza continued to have a wide lead, which stood at 7.7 percent in Wednesday’s update, the same as the prior day’s update. Penaloza was ahead by 3,113 votes as of Wednesday’s count.
Santa Ana City Council, Ward 4
Roman Reyna: 21,943 votes, 54.7%
Phil Bacerra: 18,141 votes, 45.3%
Reyna’s wide lead grew slightly from the prior day’s update, from 8.2 points to 9.4 percentage points. As of Wednesday, Reyna was ahead by 3,802 votes.
Santa Ana City Council, Ward 6
Cecilia “Ceci” Iglesias: 15,848 votes, 39.1%
Nelida Medoza: 13,592 votes, 33.5%
Iglesias’ wide lead narrowed slightly from the prior update on Tuesday, from 6.7 points to 5.6 points. As of Wednesday, Iglesias was ahead by 2,256 votes.