Nov 24, 2010

Is Cooley's goose cooked?

If you're looking for a good read as you wait for an intimate pat down at the airport, Gene Maddaus at the LA Weekly has crunched the numbers in the still-undecided state Attorney General's race and found that Democrat Kamala Harris has an insurmountable lead over Republican Steve Cooley - barring some unforeseen problem with a large number of ballots.

Here's the relevant passage:
The county websites have more up-to-date figures in some cases than the Secretary of State. Using those numbers, we can say that Harris is leading by 49,535 votes. (2:50 update: 51,141 votes.) Given the geographic breakdown of the remaining uncounted ballots, we expect her to expand her lead by another 10,000 votes or so, ending up with a margin of six tenths of a percent (46.0-45.4).

In order to win the race, Cooley would have to win the remaining uncounted votes by a margin of 66-26. (Update at 2:50: Cooley would now have to win by 72-20.) The likelihood of that happening is extremely close to zero. One of his best counties was Orange County, and his margin there was only 60-31.
The Los Angeles Times today followed with a more circumspect story, the writing on the wall is still pretty clear. Of course, Cooley has the option of calling for a recount and challenging ballots, with unknown results (except that we'll have to wait many more weeks before a winner is declared). Cooley is holding a call with reporters today at 10:30 a.m. and we'll see what he says.

P.S. This Weekly's reporting here, with its edge, is what the paper is uniquely positioned to deliver when it comes to local politics. Hopefully we'll see more of it, although the political reporter the paper hired in June from the Las Vegas Sun, J. Patrick Coolican, recently left the Weekly to go back to the Sun.

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