OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

OC’s Close Contests: 98.9% of Ballots Counted, Diep Falls Further Behind, BOS-1 No Longer Close, Measure N Inches Up But Still Fails

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 13, 2020

Only 1.1% of OC ballots remain to be counted

After counting 33,794 ballots yesterday, the Orange County Registrar of Voters reports 9,254 ballots remain while 796,820 have been counted, which means 98.9% of OC’s 806,074 ballots have already been counted (OC voter turnout in the 2020 primary appears to be 49.3%).

As OC Political noted Thursday, the Secretary of State defines “Close Contests” as those races where there is a margin of 2% or less, so we are tracking Orange County’s close contests where there is a margin of 2% or less.

In the 1st Supervisorial District, Councilman Sergio Contreras (D-Westminster) continued to grow his lead over Mayor Miguel Pulido (D-Santa Ana) to make the runoff against Supervisor Andrew Do (R-Westminster), increasing that lead to 2,039 votes (2.15%).  It no longer meets the “Close Contest” definition.  Even in the preposterous scenario that all 9,254 ballots remaining countywide were in the 1st Supervisorial District and every single one of them cast a valid vote for the office of Supervisor, Pulido would need to have a 22% lead over Contreras among those voters to make the run-off.  That would be a massive margin: in the votes tabulated so far, Pulido’s lead over Contreras in Santa Ana is only 12%.

A reader inquired by email as to why the number of ballots remaining, ballots counted, and voter turnout seem to be fluctuating.  The Registrar explains the moving target in this note:

These estimates were prepared based on averages and will be adjusted following additional detailed sorting.

*The number of ballots left to count can increase after election day, due [to] California voters’ ability to cure ballots after Election Day, as well as other factors allowing additional ballots to be counted.

Because Central Committee races are exhausting to analyze and write about (and presumably exhausting to read about), only races where a new person has captured sixth place (since the top six are elected in each district) are covered below.  Since the the count resulted in no changes in any of the Central Committee races in either major party, no Central Committee race is covered below.

72nd Assembly District

In the 72nd Assembly District race for the second slot to reach the top two against former Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Fountain Valley), Councilwoman Diedre Nguyen (D-Garden Grove) grew her lead over incumbent Tyler Diep (R-Westminster) to 647 votes (0.56%).  When she first took the lead in the prior count, she led him by 208 votes (0.20%).  Prior to that count, Diep had seen his lead over Diedre Nguyen continually shrink, having previously been 17 votes (0.02%), 291 votes (0.29%), 309 votes (0.31%), 1,050 votes (1.19%), 1,286 votes (1.54%), and 1,975 votes (2.56%).

As noted in yesterday’s post, there is now an all-Nguyen general election race in AD-72 between Janet Nguyen and Diedre Nguyen.  Diep now has the indignity of joining AD-73’s Assemblyman Bill Brough (R-Dana Point) as the only incumbent legislators in the state to lose their re-election bids in the primary.

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
39,122 34.02%
D) 29,214 25.40%
R) 28,567 24.84%
18,097 15.74%


Tustin Unified School District Measure N

Tustin Unified School District’s Measure N continued to steadily inch up ever so slightly to 53.59% (1.41% short of 55%), but it is virtually impossible for it to reach the 55% required to pass a local school bond.  In the prior three counts, it was 53.40% (1.60% short of 55%), 53.15% (1.85% short of 55%) and 53.01% (1.99% short of 55%).

So far, 22,939 voters have cast votes on Measure N.  Assuming the 98.9% of ballots counted is uniform across the County (which certainly isn’t the case, but it’s the only number available and is better than no estimate, and doesn’t account for undervotes or overvotes), that would leave only 255 ballots for Measure N.  Even getting 100% of those ballots would leave Measure N at 54.10% in favor of the bond, still 0.90% short of 55%.

The voters of Tustin Unified School District School Facilities Improvement District 2020-1 comprise just 2.88% of Orange County’s registered voters.  For Measure N to pass, it needs 100% of an additional 719 ballots (7.77% of uncounted OC ballots), 71.20% of an additional 2,000 ballots (a whopping 21.61% of OC’s uncounted ballots), or 63.10% of an additional 4,000 ballots (an insane 43.22% of OC’s uncounted ballots).

In the utterly preposterous scenario of all 9,254 uncounted ballots in Orange County being in the Tustin Unified School District School Facilities Improvement District 2020-1, Measure N would still need 58.50% of those ballots to reach the required 55% to pass.

Total Votes Percentage
12,293 53.59%
10,646 46.41%


(Cue my usual Nguyen disclaimer: The two 72nd Assembly District candidates, former Senator Janet Nguyen and Garden Grove Councilwoman Diedre Nguyen, are not related to each other, and neither of them are related to me. The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

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