Sunday, November 18, 2018

2018 election update for Nov. 18. Hobbs declared SoS winner.

Updated voting numbers

My reporting started with 0630, Saturday, Nov 10. Here are new results as of 6:00 AM, Sunday, Nov 18.

Numbers flagged with “+” favor Democrats. Numbers flagged with “-” favor Republicans.

I’m carrying forward previous results so you can track trends. For example, yesterday Sinema was beating McSally by 49,318 votes. This morning it stands at 53,676.

Observations

Of note: As of last night (this morning), Katie Hobbs kept her lead for SoS with a 18,373 vote advantage; her previous high - yesterday - was 15,025! Hobbs is the winner.

See this post at Blog for Arizona by AZBlueMeanie: Katie Hobbs elected Secretary of State. Gaynor conceded.

Also of note: In the AZ LD28 Senate race Kate Brophy McGee led her Democratic challenger, Christine Porter Marsh, by only 284; but that was yesterday. Brophy McGee now widened the lead to 347. I had hoped, given enough time and enough ballots, Marsh might take this one. Marsh is Arizona’s 2016 Teacher of the year. It’s not looking good. But, as AZBlueMeanie notes, there are still 60K ballots to count in Maricopa and 7K in Pima.

For the two seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission, Sandra Kennedy (D) leads the next highest vote getter, Justin Olson (R), by 21,469, Both Kennedy and Olson beat Rodney Glassman who withdrew.

The good news
US Senate, Sinema vs. McSally: +20,102 +29,832 +32,169 + 38,197 +38,075 +39,505 +46,783 +49,318 +53,676
US House, Kirkpatrick vs. Marquez-Peterson, +19,584 +22,563 +22,563 +24,768 +24,718 +24,718 +27072 +27,072 +27,917
AZ SoS, Hobbs vs. Gaynor, –10,696 –2,008 –424 +5,667 +4,957 +5,916 +13,171 +15,025 +18,373
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. Olson n/a +4,642 +5,575 +10,473 +10,126 +10,960 +16,642 +18,458 + 21,469
AZ Sup/Public Instruction, Hoffman +31,809 +43,563 + 46,721 +54,057 +53,780 +55,102 +62,638 +65,171, +69,558
AZ LD2 numbers are either not changing or increasing for Dems so I’m calling it.
AZ LD2 Senate, Dalessandro over Kais.
AZ LD2 House, Gabaldon and Hernandez beat Ackerley and Sizer.

Some of the not-so-good news
CD8, voucher queen Lesko leads Tipirneni, –29,455 –30,219 –37,518 –30,887 –31,374 +31,806 –32,279 –32,540, –33,071
LD28 Senate, Kate Brophy McGee leads but not by much –616 –617 –643 –549 –536 –472 –380 –284 –347

Saturday, November 17, 2018

2018 election update for Nov. 17 - Hobbs wins SoS race

Updated voting numbers

My reporting started with 0630, Saturday, Nov 10. Here are new results as of 7:00 AM, Saturday, Nov 17.

Numbers flagged with “+” favor Democrats. Numbers flagged with “-” favor Republicans.

I’m carrying forward previous results so you can track trends. For example, yesterday Sinema was beating McSally by 46,783 votes. his morning it stands at 49,318

Observations

Of note: As of last night (this morning), Katie Hobbs kept her lead for SoS with a 15,025 vote advantage; her previous high - yesterday - was 13,171! Hobbs is the winner. Gov. Ducey called this one. More on that below.

Also of note: In the AZ LD28 Senate race Kate Brophy McGee now leads her Democratic challenger, Christine Porter Marsh, by only 284. Given enough time and enough ballots, Marsh might take this one. Marsh is Arizona’s 2016 Teacher of the year.

The good news
US Senate, Sinema vs. McSally: +20,102 +29,832 +32,169 + 38,197 +38,075 +39,505 +46,783 +46,783
US House, Kirkpatrick vs. Marquez-Peterson, +19,584 +22,563 +22,563 +24,768 +24,718 +24,718 +27072 +27,072
AZ SoS, Hobbs vs. Gaynor, –10,696 –2,008 –424 +5,667 +4,957 +5,916 +13,171 +15,025
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. Glassman, +1,602 +8,517 +9,747 +14,782 +14,461 +15,360 +21,023 +22,970
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. vs. Olson n/a +4,642 +5,575 +10,473 +10,126 +10,960 +16,642 +18,458
AZ Sup/Public Instruction, Hoffman +31,809 +43,563 + 46,721 +54,057 +53,780 +55,102 +62,638 +65,171
AZ LD2 numbers are not changing so I’m calling it.
AZ LD2 Senate, Dalessandro over Kais.
AZ LD2 House, Gabaldon and Hernandez beat Ackerley and Sizer.

Some of the not-so-good news
CD8, voucher queen Lesko leads Tipirneni, –29,455 –30,219 –37,518 –30,887 –31,374 +31,806 –32,279 –32,540
LD28 Senate, Kate Brophy McGee leads but not by much –616 –617 –643 –549 –536 +472 +380 +284
LD11, Holly Lyon is still way behind, trailing each of the R candidates by about 10K.

Post-election blues

Ducey calls the secretary of state race for Democrat Katie Hobbs.

Steve Gaynor hasn’t formally conceded in the secretary of state’s race, but Gov. Doug Ducey said Friday he has congratulated Democrat Katie Hobbs for winning.

Ducey said he concluded there is no way Gaynor, a fellow Republican, can overtake Hobbs in the vote count.

“I said, ‘Congratulations, a race well run, and I’m looking forward to working with you, I think we can work well together,’” Ducey said.

His decision to effectively call the race for Hobbs came even before the latest vote tally was released Friday night.

It showed her increasing her lead over Gaynor since Thursday by close to 2,000 votes. She now leads the race by more than 15,000 votes out of nearly 2.3 million ballots already counted.

There are about 67,000 ballots left to be counted.

That includes 60,000 from Maricopa County, where Hobbs is slightly outpolling Gaynor. The balance are from Pima County, which has provided three votes for Hobbs for every two for Gaynor.

Of course, Arizona GOP launches ‘audit’ of election practices by Maricopa County recorder. There is nothing independent about this, and it’s only an “audit” to those who are smoking something weird.

Alleging voting “irregularities,” the state Republican Party is launching its own “independent audit” of practices by Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes — aided by a law firm that represents the party.

In a news release Friday, party Chairman Jonathan Lines said the investigation will focus on “allegations of fraud in the election.”

Lines provided no examples, however. In fact, he said the plan is to have attorney Stephen Richer, chosen by the party as the auditor, set up a website for people to submit information.

The GOP inquiry also will go into the decision by Fontes, a Democrat, to open “emergency voting centers” on the Saturday and Monday before the Nov. 6 election. Lines has questioned the legality of such centers, even though they have been operated before by Republican recorders and are used in multiple counties.

You gotta wonder how many lines this Lines guy has been sniffing. Even Ducey wants no part of this.

Ducey sought to distance himself Friday from Lines’ allegations and audit. “The election’s over, the people have spoken,” he said.

As to the election process, he said it can be good to examine it regularly. “I always want, and I’ve said many times before, that we can improve, we can reform,” the governor said. “We want it to be easy to vote and we want it to be hard to cheat.”

But Ducey threw cold water on the idea of having that driven by a party-led probe.

“Those are issues that can be handled in a legislative session or after the calendar turns,” he said.

'Decorum at the White House' - LOL

From the NY Times Friday evening briefing:

A federal judge on Friday ordered the White House to restore credentials to Jim Acosta, who was barred last week after a testy exchange with President Trump at a news conference.

The ruling was narrow, the judge said. “I have not determined that the First Amendment was violated here,” he said. But that and other legal issues could be addressed in court at a later date.

The White House press secretary said the administration would temporarily reinstate Mr. Acosta, above, and would “develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly news conferences.”

“There must be decorum at the White House,” she wrote.

LOL? Oh, hell no. Let’s call this one ROFL.

For more, see CNN’s Jim Acosta Returns to the White House After Judge’s Ruling.

Friday, November 16, 2018

2018 election update for Nov. 16

Updated voting numbers

My reporting started with 0630, Saturday, Nov 10. Here are new results as of 5:30 AM, Friday, Nov 16.

Numbers flagged with “+” favor Democrats. Numbers flagged with “-” favor Republicans.

I’m carrying forward previous results so you can track trends. For example, yesterday Sinema was beating McSally by 39,505 votes. his morning it stands at 46,783.

Observations
The numbers I report here may be close to the final results. Or maybe not. As of last night (this morning), Sinema widened her lead yet more to 46,783 votes – the largest difference of that race.

Of note: As of last night (this morning), Katie Hobbs kept her lead for SoS with a 13,171 vote advantage; her previous high was 5,916! I was ready yesterday to call this one but the analysis of remaining ballots suggested caution. Caution, schmaution. It sure looks like Hobbs got it.

Also of note: In the AZ LD28 Senate race Kate Brophy McGee now leads her Democratic challenger, Christine Porter Marsh, by only 380. Given enough time and enough ballots, Marsh might take this one. Marsh is Arizona’s 2016 Teacher of the year.

From Steve Farley at 930pm 11/15 (Thursday) Update: (h/t Myra Christeck)

Total remaining ballots to be counted in the state are 85,000 in Maricopa, 7,000 in Pima, and 265 in Yuma. The only remaining race that can change is LD28 Senate, so all eyes will be there in the coming days.

Meanwhile, it looks like Democrat Katie Hobbs is going to be our Next Secretary of State – she now has a 13,171-vote lead with 92K ballots left to count, all from counties that have favored her. Congrats, Katie! I am so happy for you and Kyrsten and Kathy and Sandra and us all!

The good news
US Senate, Sinema vs. McSally: +20,102 +29,832 +32,169 + 38,197 +38,075 +39,505 +46,783
US House, Kirkpatrick vs. Marquez-Peterson, +19,584 +22,563 +22,563 +24,768 +24,718 +24,718 +27072
AZ SoS, Hobbs vs. Gaynor, –10,696 –2,008 –424 +5,667 +4,957 +5,916 +13,171
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. Glassman, +1,602 +8,517 +9,747 +14,782 +14,461 +15,360 +21,023
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. vs. Olson n/a +4,642 +5,575 +10,473 +10,126 +10,960 +16,642
AZ Sup/Public Instruction, Hoffman +31,809 +43,563 + 46,721 +54,057 +53,780 +55,102 +62,638
AZ LD2 Senate, Dalessandro +9,494 +10,349 +10,349 +10,913 +10,913 +10,913 +11,843
AZ LD2 House, Gabaldon beats Ackerley +6,930 +7,532 +7,532 +7,879 +7,879 +7,879 +8,488
AZ LD2 Hernandez beats Sizer +7,114 +7,813 +7,813 +8,255 +8,255 +8,255 +8,985

Some of the not-so-good news
CD8, voucher queen Lesko leads Tipirneni, –29,455 –30,219 –37,518 –30,887 –31,374 +31,806 –32,279
LD28 Senate, Kate Brophy McGee leads but not by much –616 –617 –643 –549 –536 +472 +380
LD11, Holly Lyon is still way behind, trailing each of the R candidates by about 10K.

'Democrats are invigorated.' GOP does nothing but claim, without grounds, 'Democrats are stealing this erection.'

Those quotes (without the misspelling), are from the Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) review of the election, Election Day starts weeks of political theater in AZ.

Arizona’s 2018 election cycle didn’t end on Election Day.

Republican leads in close races on November 6 vanished as county recorders counted ballots in the days after, and Republicans turned to attacking Arizona’s electoral process, making unfounded claims of vote rigging.

Anybody who thought talk of the elections would simmer down after the polls closed on November 6 was quickly proven wrong as Democratic victories in federal, statewide and legislative races became apparent, shaking up an already contentious election cycle.

As Democrats turned the tide, enough to take the lead in key statewide and legislative races, along came calls of voter fraud and election-snafus from some Arizona Republicans and national GOP figures. Kory Langhofer, an attorney for the state Republican Party, said at a press conference November 9 that “the Democrats are stealing this election, and we’re not going to allow it.”

So what can the GOPlins do? Practice some psychological projection, I guess.

On November 15, state GOP Chairman Jonathan Lines announced he hired a local attorney to conduct an “audit” of the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office, though the announcement doesn’t mention the fact that there’s nothing requiring the Recorder’s Office to comply. Republican Party officials will also launch a website to field complaints about the voting process as part of their outside investigation.

And then, of course, the sore-loser-in-chief does his best to further divide the nation.

President Donald Trump added to local claims of impropriety shaping Arizona’s elections, though he, too, did not provide any evidence of wrongdoing.

“Just out–in Arizona, SIGNATURES DON’T MATCH,” he tweeted on the same day Langhofer made his claims. “Electoral corruption–Call for a new Election? We must protect our Democracy!”

He made similar unfounded accusations against election officials in Florida, tweeting on November 10, “Trying to STEAL two big elections in Florida! We are watching closely!”

There is some irony in Trump’s displeasure with the outcome of Arizona’s elections, in particular the U.S. Senate race.

Sen. Jeff Flake opened the door to that contest when he opted not to run for re-election. The president celebrated the decision, mocking Flake with whom he often clashed. Trump tweeted on the day Flake announced his decision that he had “zero chance of being elected” anyway, and has continued denigrating him on social media as weak and unelectable.

But Trump may now get more out of his public feud with Flake than he ever bargained for.

The president’s preferred successor for Flake’s seat, Republican Martha McSally, lost the election to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. And while Sinema has said she’s willing to buck her party and work with Republicans, she’s not likely to win over Trump any more than Flake did.

My hunch is that Sinema will do that until she gets treated to Trumpian dishonesty just like what Trump did to renege on an immigration deal with Pelosi and Schumer.

The early returns were disappointing to Dems and the Associated Press prematurely called some of the races. They had to back off as more and more ballots came in (and are still coming in) favoring the Dem candidates.

It might be useful to figure out what will be in the Republican play book for the 2020 election. How about the increased deficit? How about stagnant wages? How about tax breaks promised but not delivered? How about repeated attempts to take away your health insurance? How about ripping kids from their moms? How about rampant corruption in Trump’s cabinet? And how about his thousands and thousands of lies - about everything? That’s the short list I freely offer to the GOPlins.

IMO, better policies, better messaging, and harder work won the day for Dems.

Arizona Democratic Party Chairwoman Felecia Rotellini called this election the tipping point for Democrats.

This election was a culmination of an unprecedented Democratic field program – 4,000 volunteers knocked on 1 million doors – the excitement of possibly electing a Democratic senator and a wealth of unique Democratic candidates up and down the ballot, she said.

“We saw early on that everything, the polling, the fact that Hillary [Clinton] only lost by 4 percent in 2016, all eyes were on Arizona with respect to really elect Democrats up and down the ballot,” Rotellini said.

With Arizona U.S. Senate contests looming in 2020, 2022 and 2024, Democrats are invigorated.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Breathtaking Hipocrisy

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.

There are many things to be upset about in today’s world, especially in the political arena. What probably gets my blood boiling quickest though, is the unadulterated hypocrisy I see coming from the Right.

According to the Arizona Capitol Times, AZ House Speaker Mesnard recently criticized Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes for his opening of certain Emergency Early Voting Centers during the General Election. He accused Fontes of selectively choosing where to open these centers and said, “those type of ‘shenanigans’ foster doubt in the public about the integrity of our election system.” Mesnard added that “And I cannot think of a more dangerous reality than people questioning the integrity of an election system.”

Okay, maybe he really does believe this. It is of course, something that any patriotic American should be worried about. Even if he does believe it though, his party and foremost, its leader (President Trump), has been stoking this “dangerous reality” ad-nauseam. And, the Arizona Republican Party recently jumped on his bandwagon with unfounded claims of deliberate election fraud by the Democrats.

At the same time, GOP Congressman Andy Biggs published an op-ed in the Daily Caller titled, “Democrats have a Civility Problem to Fix.” How about this Andy, you guys go first. I mean REALLY, the audacity! I find it beyond the pale that Biggs is lecturing Democrats about civil discourse. After all, his party’s fearless leader has been a master at fomenting hatred and polarization. In 2017, Trump’s first year in office, the FBI reports hate crimes alone were up by 17%.

In his piece, Biggs criticizes Congresswoman Maxine Waters for “incit[ing] criminal conduct by promoting harassment and intimidation of Republicans, conservatives, and Trump supporters. Okay, there may be some truth to his criticism, but she only responded to President Trump calling her “crazy”, “one of the most corrupt people in politics” and of being a “low IQ individual…somewhere in the mid–60s.” No, his attacks do not excuse her of any bad behavior, but let’s not act like she drew first blood. And oh by the way, what she actually said, was “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd” she followed later on MSNBC with a prediction that people are “going to protest, they are going to absolutely harass” Trump staffers. None of that sounds like “destruction in American politics. Especially not, in comparison to the incendiary comments and Tweets routinely coming out of the Oval Office. How’s about Biggs and his Congressional colleagues do their job as a co-equal branch of our government and act as a check on the worst impulses of this Commander-in-Chief?

Congressman Biggs goes on to write that, “I suspect we will continue to see masked domestic terrorists commit crimes against conservatives and reprehensible conduct toward conservatives.” I assume he is referring to the Antifa protestors who wore scarves on their faces, but I can’t recall any actual terrorism they perpetrated. I do however, remember James Alex Fields, the white nationalist who ran down Heather Heyer, at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Heather was one of the counter-protestors carrying signs promoting equality and protesting against racial discrimination, hardly the stuff of domestic terrorists. I also remember Cesar Sayoc, an early and impassioned Trump supporter, who mailed pipe bombs to numerous prominent Democrats and news organizations who had been critical of President Trump (their constitutional right as American citizens). And, I remember Robert Bowers, the white nationalist who killed 11 worshippers in a Jewish synagogue. Bowers is an anti-Semite who wrote on his social media page about his stark opposition to immigrants, especially the migrant caravan President Trump has been scaring everyone with (and now post-election, has gone silent about). Are these maybe the incidents of domestic terrorism Biggs is referring to?

I do agree with Biggs’ statement that there are “destructive ironies in American politics today, and they must be corrected before the foundations of our Republic collapse.” But, I suspect the ironies I see aren’t the same ones to which he refers. Rather, that people (especially those in Congress who have responsibility to care for our Nation and all its people), would march lock-step with this nationalistic (by his own claim) President and at the same time, pretend to hold the high ground. No side is totally blameless for the mess we currently find ourselves in. But, I think we have a better chance of finding our way out of it if each side just focuses on cleaning up their own piece of it before they resort to slinging mud across the aisle. What was that proverb about those living in glass houses?

2018 election update for Nov. 15 and a look at what lies ahead for the SoS race

Updated voting numbers

My reporting started with 0630, Saturday, Nov 10. Here are new results as of 6:30 AM, Thursday, Nov 15.

Numbers flagged with “+” favor Democrats. Numbers flagged with “-” favor Republicans.

I’m carrying forward previous results so you can track trends. For example, yesterday Sinema was beating McSally by 38,075 votes. The lead appears to have stabilized over the last three days; this morning it stands at 39,505 votes.

Observations
The numbers I report here may be close to the final results. Of note: As of last night (this morning), Katie Hobbs kept her lead for SoS with a 5,916 vote advantage! That lead has stabilized around five to six thousand during the last three days so I am thinking that Hobbs will be the second winner of a state-wide race, Hoffman being the other.

The good news
US Senate, Sinema vs. McSally: +20,102 +29,832 +32,169 + 38,197 +38,075 +39,505
US House, Kirkpatrick vs. Marquez-Peterson, +19,584 +22,563 +22,563 +24,768 +24,718 +24,718
AZ SoS, Hobbs vs. Gaynor, –10,696 –2,008 –424 +5,667 +4,957 +5,916
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. Glassman, +1,602 +8,517 +9,747 +14,782 +14,461 +15,360
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. vs. Olson n/a +4,642 +5,575 +10,473 +10,126 +10,960
AZ Sup/Public Instruction, Hoffman +31,809 +43,563 + 46,721 +54,057 +53,780 +55,102
AZ LD2 Senate, Dalessandro +9,494 +10,349 +10,349 +10,913 +10,913 +10,913
AZ LD2 House, Gabaldon beats Ackerley +6,930 +7,532 +7,532 +7,879 +7,879 +7,879
AZ LD2 Hernandez beats Sizer +7,114 +7,813 +7,813 +8,255 +8,255 +8,255

Note: Gabaldon and Hernandez have about the same number of votes. The pairing with Republican opponents was arbitrary; the difference in what I report above results from Ackerley getting more votes than Sizer.

Some of the not-so-good news
CD8, voucher queen Lesko leads Tipirneni, –29,455 –30,219 –37,518 –30,887 –31,374 +31,806
LD28 Senate, Kate Brophy McGee leads but not by much –616 –617 –643 –549 –536 +472
LD11, Holly Lyon is still way behind, trailing each of the R candidates by about 10K.

When will it all be over?

It seems to be a done deal for the Corporation Commission. Howard Fischer at the Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports:

Republican Justin Olson will be taking the second open spot on the Arizona Corporation Commission.

New vote tallies Wednesday evening put Olson 4,422 votes ahead of fellow Republican Rodney Glassman. And while there are more than 100,000 votes yet to be counted, Glassman told Capitol Media Services he had no reason to believe he could make up the difference.

“On election night I was 4,000 votes behind Justin,” he said.

“Ten days later I’m still about 4,000 votes behind,” Glassman continued. “I have no reason to believe that there’s going to be any substantial changes.”

Glassman’s concession formally means that the commission, now an all-Republican affair, will have one Democrat. Sandra Kennedy, who had served on the commission between 2009 and 2012, was outpolling both of the Republicans.

Hobbs is leading Gaynor for the Secretary of State office and her numbers are pretty stable. However, the lead is small and there are lots of ballots still out there. Fischer continues:

In other results Wednesday, Democrat Katie Hobbs is making headway in her bid to be the next secretary of state, with her lead over Republican Steve Gaynor up by more than 1,000 from a day earlier. It now stands at 6,115 votes.

Hobbs is being propelled in part by the fact that voters in Maricopa County, where Republicans hold a voter-registration edge, were choosing her over the GOP nominee. As of Wednesday, Hobbs had a lead of more than 13,000 votes out of more than 1.3 million already counted in the state’s largest county.

She also picked up steam with another batch of votes from Coconino County where she is outpolling Gaynor by a margin of 2–1.

Gaynor has done better elsewhere.

Mohave County finished its vote counting on Wednesday, with 51,900 votes for Gaynor against just 18,774 for Hobbs.

In Navajo County, the final tally was closer, with Gaynor picking up 19,040 of the 35,970 votes cast there for that office.

But it’s not the votes that are already known that is keeping the ultimate outcome of the race in the air.

There also are about 19,400 ballots yet to be counted in Pima County. But election officials there have said they don’t intend to update their count until sometime Saturday.

Hobbs, currently a state senator from Phoenix, has been picking up close to three votes in that county for every two for Phoenix businessman Gaynor. But even assuming the remaining votes come in at the same rate — meaning perhaps 11,400 for Hobbs versus 8,000 for Gaynor — the ultimate outcome of the race rests with Maricopa County where Recorder Adrian Fontes said his office still has another 104,000 ballots to process.

To this point, the trend of early ballots now being counted from this county has broken in Hobbs favor, albeit just slightly. The latest tally has Hobbs picking up 50.5 percent of the votes tallied.

But at the processing rate of 20,000 a day, it could be days until either candidate has a sufficient margin to claim victory.

If Hobbs takes the office it will be the first time a Democrat has been in that position since Dick Mahoney, elected in 1990, left office four years later.