AS IT HAPPENED: Election Night 2012
Welcome to the Political Beat’s Election Night 2012 coverage of the November 6 General Election. We’ll be busy this evening updating results from important Bay Area and California races, including all of the statewide propositions and the Presidential race. Keep refreshing this page for the latest results and projections from the Political Beat team.
0320 PST: We close this live blog tonight with a few more results from local measures around the Bay:
- San Francisco voters approved a parcel tax to support beleaguered City College, along with a bond to fund park improvements and a change to the way city businesses are taxed, but rejected a measure which would have asked the city to come up with a plan to drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.
- Berkeley voters appear to have passed by a 52-48 margin Measure S, which would prohibit sitting or lying on city sidewalks.
- Richmond voters rejected by a 2-1 margin Measure N, which would have imposed a tax on sugary drinks sold in the city.
- Voters in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties approved sales tax hikes to support public services.
- Marin County voters approved Measure A, a parcel tax to support open space preservation and conservation efforts.
0310 PST: Democrats appear to be falling just short of capturing a 2/3 supermajority of both chambers of the state legislature. Democrats are elected or leading in 28 of the state’s 40 Senate seats, one more than the number needed for a supermajority, but hold only 53 of the 80 Assembly seats — one short of the 54 needed for a 2/3 majority.
The 2/3 number is significant because it would give legislative Democrats the power to raise taxes without Republican support for the first time in recent memory.
0138 PST: The California Beat now estimates that Democratic incumbent Jerry McNerney will be returned to Congress from the 9th Congressional District — an important hold for House Democrats. He leads GOP challenger Ricky Gill 54-46 with almost all precincts reporting.
0135 PST: We begin our roundup in Alameda County, where voters delivered a mixed verdict on the 12 tax measures placed before them. Measure A1, which would have established a parcel tax to support the Oakland Zoo, appeared to have failed, achieving only 63% support — short of the 2/3 mark required. Joining it on the scrap heap of voter-rejected ideas were parcel taxes supporting the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District and tax and bond measures to support swimming pools in the city of Berkeley, all of which fell short of the 2/3 mark.
A facilities bond supporting Washington Hospital in southern Alameda County appeared to have passed with 72% support, while Measure Y, which would renew an existing parcel tax in Piedmont, was just above the required 2/3 mark with 68% support. But Measure B1, which would have increased the county’s sales tax to support transportation projects, and Measure L, a parcel tax supporting the San Leandro Unified School District, were falling just short of the required 2/3 supermajority.
0105 PST: We’re working on bringing you a roundup of local measures, but one projection of some significance: The Beat now estimates that, when all the votes are counted, Dublin City Councilmember Eric Swalwell will be elected to the House of Representatives from the 15th Congressional District. He unseats fellow Democrat Pete Stark, who had represented the East Bay for nearly 40 years, but is losing tonight 53-47 with nearly all the precincts reporting.
2345 PST: The California Beat estimates that, when all the votes are counted, Prop. 39, which would force corporations to use a “single sales factor” formula for calculating their state income tax instead of allowing them to choose which of two formulas would result in a lower tax bill, will pass.
2341 PST: The California Beat estimates that, when all the votes are counted, Prop. 31, which would have switched the state to a 2-year budget cycle and given local governments a chance to take control of more public services, will be defeated.
2325 PST: Gov. Brown speaking to Prop. 30 supporters in Sacramento: “Let’s not go overboard with the Kool-aid with the market ideologues who miss the point that America works with both business and individuals. Prop. 30 is a unifying force.” Prop. 30’s lead is now gaining more ground, up by approximately 38,000 votes with an estimated 41 percent of ballots cast counted.
2319 PST: Richmond’s Measure N, a penny-per-ounce tax on businesses that sell soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages, was losing by a 2-to-1 margin with just under a third of precincts reporting. Opponents of Measure N — namely the soda industry — outspent its opponents by a 10-to-1 margin in their attempt to defeat the plan.
2308 PST: Prop. 30 has just taken a slight lead by about 8,500 votes — it’s first of the night — but it’s still too early to call. Supporters in Sacramento are waiting for Gov. Jerry Brown to speak at the Prop. 30 campaign headquarters near the State Capitol.
2255 PST: With 61% of precincts — mostly in Alameda County — now reporting, Rep. Pete Stark, who has represented the East Bay for nearly 40 years, is slowly edging closer to challenger Eric Swalwell in the 15th Congressional District. He now trails 54-46 — but are there enough uncounted votes remaining for him to make up the difference?
2250 PST: The California Beat now estimates that, when all the votes are counted, Prop. 36, which would require a “third strike” offense resulting in a 25-to-life prison sentence be a serious or violent felony, will pass. The measure leads 68-32 with a bit more than a third of the vote counted.
2245 PST: We estimate now that a bit more than a third of the eventual vote total statewide is now counted. Governor Brown’s tax measure, Prop. 30, continues to close the gap — it’s down roughly 81,000 votes, about a 2% margin. Meanwhile, Prop. 39, which would eliminate the option for corporations to reduce their state income tax liability by choosing whichever of two formulas produced the lowest tax bill, continues to cruise, leading 59-41. Prop. 36, three strikes reform, is also cruising, up 68-32.
Proposition 34, which would repeal the death penalty, continues to trail 56-44, defying pre-election polls which predicted the measure had a shot at passage.
2235 PST: Not much movement in the Congressional races we’re following — Dublin City Councilmember Eric Swalwell continues to lead veteran Rep. Pete Stark 55-45 in an all-Democrat matchup in the East Bay’s 15th Congressional District, while Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney continues to cling to a 51-49 lead over Republican challenger Ricky Gill in the 9th Congressional District, covering eastern Contra Costa County and part of the Central Valley.
2225 PST: The California Beat estimates that, when all the votes are counted, San Francisco’s Proposition D, which would consolidate elections for cost-efficiency and Proposition E, which would replace the city’s payroll tax with a gross receipts tax, have passed.
2212 PST: There are two very tight races for State Assembly seats in the East Bay. Alameda Vice Mayor Rob Bonta narrowly leads Abel Guillen 53-47 in a runoff vote for California Assembly District 18, recently vacated by Mary Hayashi who’s seeking a seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. In Assembly District 20, Bill Quirk leads Jennifer Ong 52-48 in early returns.
2208 PST: Marin County’s Measure A, which would raise the sales tax for open space and conservation funding is passing 72-28 in early returns.
2202 PST: The California Beat estimates that, when all the votes are counted, California’s Proposition 38, Molly Munger’s school funding initiative and opposing proposition to Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30, will be defeated. Proposition 40, the referendum on the CA Redistricting Commissions State Senate maps, has passed, the Beat also projects.
2152 PST: Gov. Mitt Romney has called President Barack Obama to concede the election, the Associated Press is reporting. Romney is expected to address supporters at his Boston election headquarters very soon.
2141 PST: In the East Bay, two tax measures are a bit shy of the two-thirds approval needed for passage in early returns. Measure A1, a parcel tax increase to raise money for the Oakland Zoo is winning 60-40; Measure B, a sales tax increase aimed at raising money for public transportation and alleviating congestion in the county is winning 63-37.
2136 PST: The California Beat estimates that, when all the votes are counted, California’s Proposition 35, which increase penalties against human trafficking will pass.
2122 PST: The California Beat estimates that, when all the votes are counted, San Francisco’s Measure F, which would require the city to study the possibility of draining Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, will be defeated.
2116 PDT: In Santa Clara County, Measure A a one-eighth-cent sales tax increase for 10 years to raise an estimated $50 million annually for county public health programs is winning 56-43 with 46 percent of precincts reporting. Measure E, which would increase the number of cardroom gaming establishments to 30 in the city of San Jose was losing 60-40.
2102 PST: Meanwhile, in the East Bay’s 15th Congressional District, veteran Rep. Pete Stark, one of the 10 longest-serving members of Congress, is down 56-44 to fellow Democrat Eric Swalwell in early returns.
2055 PST: We’re still waiting for significant reporting from the generally more-Democratic coastal counties, but with Alameda County reporting early returns now, Prop. 30’s standing improves — it’s now down 52-48. Prop. 32 continues to trail 51-49, while Molly Munger’s Prop. 38 trails 75-25.
Prop. 35, which would increase penalties for human trafficking, and Prop. 40, the referendum on the state redistricting commissions’s state Senate maps, both appear to be passing easily, while supporters of Prop. 36, which would reform California’s “three-strikes” law, have reason to be optimistic — that measure leads 68-32, even with many coastal counties yet to report.
We estimate that, based on an estimate of 69.9% turnout, about 25% of expected votes have been counted.
2046 PST: Meanwhile, in one of the tightest Congressional races in the country, Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney leads Republican challenger Ricky Gill in early returns from the 9th Congressional District, which now covers parts of Contra Costa, San Joaquin, and Sacramento Counties.
Meanwhile, with a bit more than 20% of the expected vote counted, Governor Brown’s tax measure, Prop. 30, is trailing 53-47, while Molly Munger’s Prop. 38 is being crushed. But Prop. 32, the measure which would prevent unions from spending payroll-deducted dues for political purposes, is trailing by a narrow margin.
1952 PST: Good evening to all of our online visitors tonight! We’ll be updating this page with the latest election returns and provide our own projections — based on state and county returns — on most major races in California and throughout the Bay Area. Polls will close at 8 p.m. PST in the state.
The Presidential race is too close to call at this hour, though President Barack Obama is in a better position than his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Ballots are still being counted in three key battleground states which are too close to call, Ohio, Virginia and Florida.
Follow @californiabeat on Twitter for instantaneous updates on all races.
The Political Beat team is also watching all of the state’s eleven propositions, including Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax hike on wealthy state residents to fund education and Proposition 38, a competing measure put forth by Molly Munger.
Proposition 39 is also a tax measure which aims to raise taxes on multi-state businesses.
Propositions 34, 35, and 36 all pertain to law enforcement matters: ending the death penalty in favor of life in prison sentences, increasing penalties on human trafficking and three-strikes reform, respectively.
Proposition 37 is a hotly-contested effort for mandatory labeling of genetically modified food sold in California.
In San Francisco, there are several Board of Supervisors races, most notably the one in District 5 where incumbent Christina Olague is hoping to hold onto her seat in the progressive leaning district.
In the East Bay, Oakland City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente is running against Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan for an at-large council seat.
Voters throughout the Bay Area are also being presented with the now-usual avalanche of tax measures, including more money for the Oakland Zoo, an increase in the minimum wage in San Jose, and county-wide sales tax increases in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.
We’ll also be keeping an eye on San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s measure to replace the city’s existing business payroll tax with a gross receipts tax, and a measure in San Jose which would expand cardroom gaming to raise more revenue for city coffers.
Keep refreshing this page for updates as the night progresses.
Contact Beat Political Director, Steven Luo, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Beat News Service is contributing reporting.