It was exactly a week ago that D.A. Steve Cooley took the lead from Kamala Harris in the still too-close-to-call race for attorney general.
Tonight, she has taken it back, and now leads her Republican rival by a mere 5,000 votes, or about six one-hundredths of a percent. Harris was down by 15,000 votes earlier in the day, but jumped in front thanks to updates from Democratic strongholds like L.A. County, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Contra Costa.
There are still hundreds of thousands of ballots left to count.
Couple positive signs for Harris: 1) Per the most recent uncounted ballot report, there are a lot more ballots left to be counted in Harris counties than in Cooley counties. (That's true even after you take out the 85,000 ballots that just came in from those four Democratic counties.) That's a stupid way to count things, but I don't have the energy to break it down percentage-wise. Feel free to do that in comments. 2) Most of the uncounted ballots are provisionals, which are more likely to tilt her way than late absentees.
Mandatory weasel words: With that said, it's still anybody's ballgame. With the margin this close, it wouldn't be surprising to see Cooley jump back in the lead tonight or this weekend.
Perhaps anticipating they would fall behind today, the Cooley campaign put out a memo to supporters noting that the race may not be decided until Thanksgiving or the Dec. 3 filing deadline.
Oddly, the memo also offered up some excuses for why Cooley didn't do better:
The moment the word “Republican” appeared on the ballot next to Steve Cooley's name in heavily Democratic Los Angeles County it was a huge anchor that dragged him down, exacerbated by the collapse of the GOP ticket in the final week of the campaign. Polling released just before the election showed that the Republican Party in California was viewed negatively by a 2 to 1 margin by the state's electorate. The November 2nd election results certainly confirm the validity of that poll.
Doesn't sound like a victory speech, but we'll just have to wait to see the final result.