Gonna take a miracle for Schrader

So, did Jamie McLeod-Skinner oust Kurt "Soft Hands" Schrader from his comfy chair in the U.S. House of Representatives? No one is saying so definitively, because of the ballot counting fiasco in Clackamas County. I get that, but I'm a little surprised no one has written up the odds of Schrader pulling it out in the weeks of painful waiting ahead.

Here's what I can gather.

The Secretary of State has JMS ahead by 9,678 votes: 27,985 to 18,307. Ballotpedia must have some later numbers from somewhere: they say 28,641 to 19,047, or a margin of 9,594. When the vote count went up by 1,396, Schrader made up 84 votes.

Can Schrader make up 9,600 more with what's left to be counted? Since reportedly 45 percent of the registered Democrats in his newly drawn district are in Clackamas County, I guess it all depends on what happens with the hand-processing there.

Where does Clackamas stand at this point? As of Tuesday, they said they had received 91,547 ballots. I can't find any figure for how many more came in since then, but I'd guess another 10,000 or so. That gets us to about 102,000 out of about 306,000 registered voters, a one-third turnout, which sounds roughly right.

How many more Fifth District Democratic Party votes are left to be counted?

In the latest report it released, Clackamas says it has counted 4,056 ballots on the Democratic side of the district, and 11,571 on the Republican side. That's almost a three-to-one ratio, Republican over Democrat. County-wide, in the U.S. Senate races, the ratio is similar: 5,930 to 16,837.

Also, just looking at the district count and the county-wide count, it looks as though about 68 percent of the votes counted in the county so far from affiliated voters were from within the Fifth District. 

How many uncounted ballots are there overall in Clackamas County? In the nonpartisan race, Bureau of Labor and Industries, 27,342 votes have been counted. That would leave about 75,000 ballots left to count.

But that number would include affiliated voters as well as Republicans. How many unaffiliateds are in there? Compared to the 22,767 in party primaries for Senate, the 27,342 count so far gives us 4,575 unaffiliated voters, or about 16.7 percent of the total.

So let's run some rough numbers. Let's say there are 75,000 votes still to be counted. Of them, maybe 13,000 are unaffiliated. Of the other 62,000, maybe 46,000 are Republicans. That leaves maybe 16,000 votes left to be counted in Kurt vs. JMS.

In order for Schrader to make up 9,600 votes with only 16,000 left to go, he'd have to get 13,800 of the 16,000, or 86.3 percent. That would be something, and it doesn't seem likely. So far in Clackamas, Schrader's margin is 55 percent to 44 percent. If it all comes down to Clackamas, it's hard to see JMS losing.

Now, the district includes more than just Clackamas. Parts of it are in Deschutes and Multnomah Counties. But given that the other counties are not as screwed up as Clackamas, I'm assuming that the figures from those places aren't going to change much, and even if they do, they aren't going to tilt things in Schrader's favor.

Well, that's a whole bunch of guessing and grossly estimated numbers, isn't it? But come on, political experts, prove me wrong, I'm all ears.


  1. Oregonian might have read your blog.

    1. Right? I should bill them. By the time I ended the last version of the blog, it seemed like I was an unofficial assignment editor for several publications.

  2. For some godforsaken reason, Clackistan is publishing updated numbers of their own, but not pushing them to the SOS site.

  3. The maths certainly don't look good. HOWEVER, don't count the clerk out. This is a dry run for November.

    The Secretary of State needs to step in and take over the county operation. Hall is talking about changing ballot suppliers, which is all well and good, but with less than 180 days to the general, there's no time to follow any kind of process. They also MUST tighten up their security. They've got folks wandering around in that office who very clearly shouldn't be there. If the governor's election is tight this fall, every MAGA-type is going to descend on that office to stop the steal, or whatever.

    Slow rolling the count is a diversion. Watch everything else that's happening. This is not good.


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