Friday, November 07, 2008

Pierce County Republicans surge as Poll Votes Counted

Last evenings' posted preliminary results posted by the Pierce County Auditor's Office showed Republican percentages moving up in several close races around the county. The votes counted over the last couple of days represent mostly poll votes and it is unclear whether this surge will continue when the counting of the poll votes is complete and we move back to counting exclusively the late arriving mail-in ballots.

County Executive race tightens

In the Pierce County Executive race, Republican Pierce County Council member Shawn Bunney's lead in first choices has moved from just under 3% on election night to about 6 3/4% as of last night. This will likely result in a substantial narrowing of Democrat Pat McCarthy's lead in the RCV race.

In Tuesday night's tabulation of results, McCarthy picked up substantial second choices from Mike Lonergan and Calvin Goings supporters. Tomorrow night we will get another opportunity to see the RCV tabulation. It will be interesting to see if the poll supporters of Lonergan and Goings gave their second choices to McCarthy.

This analysis will be possible due to the release of a ballot image file with the poll ballots in the file. (As of Tuesday's listing the Auditor's office had only counted mail-in ballots received before Tuesday.)

This race appears to still be too close to call.

Close County Council races

In the open Pierce County Council, District #2 race, Republican Joyce McDonald saw her percentage of first choices rise to 47.64%. This is sufficiently close to 50%, it will make it difficult for Democrat Al Rose to catch her with second choices from Carolyn Merrival's supporters.

In Tuesday night's preliminary results posting, Republican incumbent Pierce County Council member Roger Bush (District #3) trailed his Democratic opponent Bruce Lachney by over a percentage point. As of last night's posting, Bush had pulled ahead by over 2 percent. This two-way race is still too close to call.

Meanwhile, Democrat Tim Farrell and Republican Dick Muri are cruising to easy re-election in their County Council races.

Assessor-Treasurer race too close to call

The nonpartisan Assessor-Treasurer's race is still way too close to call. Four candidates (Barbara Gelman, Dale Washam, Jan Shabro and Terry Lee) still have a shot at winning. This race will not be determined until at least a week from now.

Last night's tabulation appeared to only take about 30 minutes including the time for checking the results. It appears as if increasing the memory of the computers has substantially sped up the generation of results as compared to Tuesday night.

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