Armed with the latest results and additional data, HA now projects challenger Charlie Wiggins the winner in his race against incumbent State Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders, by a 12,758 vote margin… you know, give or take a couple thousand.
For each county I divided total votes cast in the race by total ballots counted, and multiplied that by the estimated ballots on hand to calculate the estimated votes remaining. Then, to adjust for the late-ballot trend, I divvied up the remaining votes between the two candidates based on the percentage of the vote each respective candidate has received in results released after election night.
While Sanders has led Wiggins since the first ballot drop, and remains ahead by 3,785 votes, the late ballots have trended strongly in Wiggins’ favor throughout much of the state. Wiggins led in only eight counties on election night, but has led in 14 counties in the ballots counted since. Furthermore, more than half of the votes remaining lie in King County, where Wiggins has won over 61 percent of the late ballots. If anything, my calculations underestimate Wiggins strength, by failing to adjust for the favorable trend within the late ballots.
Based on these numbers it is safe to project that Wiggins will take the lead (and never give it up) once King releases today’s results. But I’m guessing it won’t be until early evening tomorrow before the rest of the media declares Wiggins the winner.