With all precinct votes counted, San Francisco D.A. Kamala Harris is hanging on to a lead of 15,000 votes in the race for attorney general. That's a margin of two-tenths of a percent over L.A. District Attorney Steve Cooley.
But there are 400,000 votes left to be counted in L.A. County alone. Though the Secretary of State's office doesn't have a statewide estimate yet, about a quarter of the votes tallied so far have come from L.A. So if that percentage holds up, there could be 1.6 million votes still uncounted.
Cooley declared victory last night at 11 p.m. before a cheering crowd at the Beverly Hilton.
“Although my highly paid, trusted advisers say it may be too early, I'm declaring victory,” Cooley said. In an interview with CBS2, Cooley said he had “no doubt” in the outcome.
“If it is [too early], it's a Dewey moment,” Cooley said, with eerie prescience.
Harris passed Cooley in the Secretary of State's tally at about 2 a.m. Harris' campaign staff sent out a memo today mocking Cooley's “Dewey-esque declaration of victory.”
The Harris campaign argued that the trends are in Harris' favor. Among voters who cast their ballots before Election Day, Cooley had a 50-42 advantage. The Harris campaign believes that she outperformed Cooley by 3 points among voters who cast their ballots on Election Day — and the campaign believes that the uncounted provisional and absentee ballots will follow that pattern.
For his part, Cooley was in Sacramento today and not exactly seeking out the press. He canceled a “victory” press conference that was to be held this morning. Cooley campaign consultant Kevin Spillane coughed up the following statement:
“We will continue to monitor the situation. The only thing we are certain of is that the final outcome will be close. We are grateful for all the good wishes of our supporters and will keep you updated.”
The race won't be settled for days or even weeks.