AD-72: What Will Edgar & Allen Do in Their All-Republican November Matchup?
Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 11, 2012
This week, I’ll be doing a series analyzing OC’s multi-candidate Assembly races that have now narrowed down to two. Our opener is the surprise in AD-72.
Conventional wisdom held that if any OC district was going to feature an intraparty battle in November (courtesy of Prop 14), it was going to be the Republicans in AD-74 between Allan Mansoor and Leslie Daigle or the Democrats in AD-69 between Tom Daly and either Julio Perez or Michele Martinez.
Conventional wisdom held that the Republican vote would split three ways between Edgar, Allen, and OC Board of Education Member Long Pham, while Joe Dovinh would hold most of the Democrats, with a small number of votes going to Democrat Albert Ayala.
Most people (myself included) predicted an Edgar vs. Dovinh matchup in November, a few predicted Allen vs. Dovinh, even fewer predicted Pham vs. Dovinh, but did anyone predict Edgar vs. Allen?
How did this happen? Edgar was weaker than expected allowing Allen and Pham to eat up more Republican votes while Ayala was stronger than expected eating up much of Dovinh’s votes from Democrats.
This race was incredibly evenly divided. First place was quite low at 28.2% and last place rose up to 13.6%. Second, third, and fourth place were 0.5% apart.
(Some readers may be wondering if Dovinh or Pham could still catch Allen with the remaining uncounted ballots. There just aren’t enough out there. 62,400 out of the 409,824 ballots counted in Orange County so far cast votes in AD-72, which equals 15.2% of the votes. There are 17,125 uncounted ballots remaining in Orange County, which leaves approximately 2,603 votes remaining in AD-72. To make up the current 245-vote deficit, Dovinh would need to be ahead of Allen by 9.4%. Dovinh never led Allen by more than 5.2%. To make up his current 341-vote deficit, Pham would need to be ahead of Allen by 13.1% and also be 3.7% ahead of Dovinh. Pham never led Allen by more than 5.5%. Now, of that 17,125 uncounted ballots, there are 15,642 provisionals, which do tend to favor Democrats; presumably, 2,378 of those provisionals cast votes in the AD-72 race, but provisionals have a higher invalidity rate than other ballots. Note also that Albert Ayala is still there sucking up a good chunk of votes that would otherwise go to Dovinh.)
The Edgar and Allen camps now face an interesting quandary: tack left, tack right, or try to do both. During the primary, Edgar and Allen both tried to run right, each proclaiming he was the real conservative and the other was closet liberal.
Both Edgar and Allen have interesting partisan histories. Edgar was a registered Democrat until switching his registration to Republican the same week that he filed to run for office for the first time when he did so in his successful bid for Los Alamitos City Council. Allen has donated large sums of money to Democrats, as reported by Jon Fleischman over at FlashReport.
If they run right, Edgar and Allen can each undercut each other’s bases and grab Pham’s supporters. If they run left, they can pick up Dovinh and Ayala’s supporters. Will Edgar and Allen both run right? Will they both run left? Will one run right while the other runs left? Will they attempt to be all things to all people, running right in mail to Republicans, running left in mail to Democrats, and proclaiming their independent/bipartisan/maverick qualities in mail to No Party Preference voters?
In the primary, both men were willing to dip into their personal funds to finance their campaigns. Edgar dropped $100,000 while Allen dropped $95,500. (By the way, Pham dropped $100,000 while Dovinh only dropped $1,000.) Many people will note that candidates often loan their campaigns money to make their warchests look bigger than they actually are. Well, not in AD-72! The largest remaining warchest is less than $25,000. Edgar, Allen, and Pham all spent the bulk of the money they dumped in their campaigns. To recoup that money, they’re going to have to raise it.
Edgar and Allen will need to spend the summer raising more money or else be willing to dip into their personal fortunes again. Either way, this should be an interesting November in AD-72, as Democrats laugh at Republican money being spent against Republicans.
(For our more literature-oriented readers, I will note in the race between Troy Edgar and Travis Allen, Marilynn Poe has endorsed her Council colleague, Edgar.)