UPDATE November 7, 2014 at 6:00pm: As IVN predicted, the latest count shows Scott Peter’s lead widening dramatically to almost 4,500 votes. As of Friday evening, Peters now has 51.2% of the vote (92,410 votes) to Demaio’s 48.8% (87,919 votes).
IVN is projecting that first-term incumbent U.S. Representative Scott Peters will keep his seat in the race against Republican challenger Carl DeMaio in California’s 52 Congressional District.
With an additional 30,000 ballots recorded by San Diego County as of 5 p.m. on November 6, Peters moved into the lead by 861 votes. That is an increase of 7,158 votes, while DeMaio only gained an additional 5,545 votes.
Thus, in the latest round of returns, Peters won 56.3 percent of the vote and DeMaio trailed with 43.6 percent.
The majority of these new ballots are vote-by-mail ballots being returned to the precincts on Election Day. Historically, the results of these ballots mirror the results of the ballots cast on Election Day. Peters won the day-of vote by a sufficient margin, so if he took the same percentage of mail ballots, he would win by more than a couple thousand votes. These results are consistent with that pattern. It is unlikely that any additional ballots will depart from that pattern sufficiently enough to change the projection of the vote count.
It is, however, possible that the county counted ballots from a geography that inordinately favors Peters, but that is unlikely. And there is a small possibility that a large percentage of the remaining ballots are from the Republican-heavy Coronado. But even so, the dramatic 13-point margin for Peters in the late returns that have been counted to date indicates that the trend will not reverse substantially enough in DeMaio’s favor.
The race for Congressional District 52 made national headlines for being one of the most negative and most expensive races this election cycle. DeMaio would have also been the first openly gay Republican elected to the House.
Editor’s Note: IVN calls one big race per election. In 2012, we called Obama winning Florida before any major news station. You can read why here.
Photo Credit: IVN