Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Can Anyone Prove Me Wrong? HBJ Odds of Winning Slim to None with Too Much Ground to Cover

The vote difference between Hannah-Beth Jackson and Tony Strickland in recent days has decreased from 2,141 votes to 1,721 with Strickland still very much in the lead. Here's what the table looks like with Santa Barbara counting 2,000 provisional ballots and HBJ gaining 65% of that vote.

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Can Hannah-Beth catch up at this point? HBJ's campaign sent out a nice email today to supporters which would have you believe she still has a shot at winning.

This deficit may seem like a lot but there are still over 3,000 provisional ballots in Santa Barbara to count and an estimated 14,000 provisional ballots in Ventura County, and these ballots should favor us.

The bottom line is we are still in the game here and have a good shot at winning. We always knew it was going to be a close race, and it will be close to the very end. We could very well see a little more up-and-down movement while LA and Ventura finish up their non-provisional vote count, so hang in there!

Spin versus statistics, which are we to believe? I wish I could say that she has a chance but, if I did, it would venture it be a very small one. If we are to plot the vote count updates since election day just in Ventura, where most of the vote remains, we never see Hannah-Beth's line cross Stricklands at all which makes the "up and down movement" statement made by her campaign only partially true. The combined differences have gone back and forth a bit but the trend makes it hard to believe that she could end up the victor in this race.

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If we look at the trends for each of the counties, we see the same thing:

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With 17,000 votes to count (there may be more to count in Los Angeles but it would likely number in the hundreds), let's say Hannah Beth did as well in Ventura as she recently has done in Santa Barbara. This is unlikely given the demographics of Ventura County and the vote to date but is the best case scenario.  Then let's look at the more likely scenario and what it would take for her to win.

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I wish Hannah-Beth the best but I don't see these figures working out.  In saying "The bottom line is we are still in the game here and have a good shot at winning.", her campaign is very much hoping for the best.

I believe in the wisdom of many and would be happy to be proven wrong. If I made a mistake in my assumptions or my numbers I would certainly be pleased to eat crow. Take out your TI Calculators! As I am not a mathematician, I would also be interested in hearing if anyone can figure out the probabilities involved with this rather real world math problem.

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Anonymous David Pritchett said...

Wow; quite the analysis, long on technique and heavy on conjecture, but are wonky ways to think about hypothetical scenarios.

This all depends upon where the uncounted votes are originating, and how random, or not, of the rest of the votes uncounted.

Do solid Dem trends dominate the provisionals and late mail votes?

Just chill and wait it out and count all the votes.

11/20/2008 11:39 PM  
Anonymous patrick said...

I think you are right -- Strickland has this one in the bag. I hope the next time redistricting is done, we get a district more in line with SB's values.

11/21/2008 6:53 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

And wonky is a bad thing, David? LOL.

I suppose that all the Ventura votes could be from Oxnard and I could be very wrong. Assuming the same origin randomness of vote by mail and election day and maybe a slight percentage difference toward HBJ -- it would still be a hard mountain to climb.

11/21/2008 7:04 AM  
Anonymous Gerry Mander said...

Sara, you are so right. It's kind of embarassing that HBJ continues to insist she has a many people predicted, she was NOT the right Dem to take this District. Now we're stuck with Strickland.
Perhaps now HBJ will go back to practicing law, and leave the elected offices to others who aren't as polarizing?

11/21/2008 7:47 AM  
Blogger Don McDermott said...

As the volumn of uncounted votes decreases, with Strickland still in the lead, it seems likely that he will win. Demographics, or location of voters, Oxnard vs Christain Oaks for instance, will have influence. And with provisional ballots hanging in the breeze the "get out the voter" drives may have more influence than demographics. As a wonky and graphic assessment as this post is, it is still is a wait and see for us Jackson hopefulls.

11/21/2008 8:06 AM  
Blogger jqb said...

Why waste so much time on this sort of thing when it has no effect? She wins if she wins and she loses if she loses and we'll know soon enough which.

11/21/2008 7:33 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

jqb -- on one level yes, we will know when we know. This isn't so much about that as the rather interesting phenomena that campaigns can't really spin how they are going to do when the data is so available.

When we can check for ourselves which wasn't so easy a few years ago -- it's harder for a campaign to set the agenda. This is something Obama's campaign understood much better than McCain's for instance.

It is also interesting to see the trends and see if it would play itself out the next time around.

It will also say something about provisional votes and voters that bring their ballots in on election day. As Don says above -- will it also end up meaning that the GOTV efforts were valuable or will it mean they mattered little as it held to the same trend as before....that is where the value is to me.

11/21/2008 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Dexter said...

Carpinteria carpetbagger and that town's answer to Hannah-Beth Jackson, has widened her lead over favorite son Steve McWhirter, to 65 votes. This is of course due to those curiously one-party provisionals...

11/22/2008 7:30 AM  
Anonymous say it aint so, Joe said...

umm, carpetbaggers aren't people who have resided in the same city for several years....joe, you must be confused......

11/23/2008 11:18 AM  
Anonymous Dexter said...

My name isn't joe, kathleen!

11/23/2008 6:19 PM  

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