Democratic Lt. Gov. John Garamendi pulled out an expected win Tuesday in the 10th congressional district, although his margin of victory was just slightly more than half of his party’s 18-point registration advantage.
Garamendi garnered 53 percent compared with Harmer’s 43 percent.
Does the narrower-than-expected win signal a GOP comeback in District 10?
It was an open seat in a low turnout special election. Such elections are rarely useful as predictors of the future. And while Harmer’s candidacy undeniably galvanized local Republicans, they lack the numbers required to overtake the Democrats anytime soon.
I looked over some of the details of the results this morning and noted a few interesting numbers:
Harmer won by nearly 1,000 votes in the Alameda County portion of the district, which is primarily Livermore.
Garamendi owes his win to Contra Costa County, where his 12,514-vote lead accounted for almost all of his victory margin of 12,870 votes.
Garamendi barely won among votes cast at the polls on Election Day in Contra Costa, beating Harmer by 399 votes. But Garamendi more than made up for it with votes cast through the mail, where he beat Harmer by 12,115 votes.(Contra Costa comprises two-thirds of the 10th District.)
Also in Contra Costa County, Harmer received 463 fewer votes than the total number of registered Republicans who voted by mail. Garamendi, on the other hand, received 4,265 more votes than the total number of Democrats who voted by mail. There’s no way to know for certain that the Reeps all voted for Harmer and the Dems all sided with Garamendi. But if most of them voted their respective parties, it indicates that the 8,790 decline-to-state registered voters broke for Garamendi.