Vanguard Analysis: Dan Wolk Still Projecting to Third

Dan Wolk waiting for results at his party at Tres Hermanas Restaurant in Davis
Dan Wolk waiting for results at his party at Tres Hermanas Restaurant in Davis

At the close of the day on Friday, Charlie Schaupp’s lead over Bill Dodd grew to nearly 500 votes while Bill Dodd’s lead over Dan Wolk shrunk to 500 votes. However, those numbers more reflect what counties processed additional ballots.

The Vanguard has now analyzed the race and has additional projections to make.

As of the end of the day on Friday, Colusa had completed their count. Lake County had 6053 votes to count, Napa had 8600, Solano 1790, Sonoma had 28,015 and Yolo County had 7182.

Only 14.9% of Sonoma County is in the district while 75.7% of Yolo County is in the district.

The Vanguard’s analysis relied on several assumptions.

First, we assumed proportionality in the remaining ballots. This has two key implications. The first is that to estimate the ballots in Sonoma and Yolo County, we assumed that the district representation was proportional. Therefore, we estimate the votes to be counted in Sonoma as 4174 and in Yolo at 5437.

In addition, we assume that the proportions of votes throughout the district are roughly proportional within each county.

Third, we use the percentage of the vote share already cast in each county to estimate the projected vote totals.

This analysis shows that Bill Dodd finishes second by 221 votes to Charlie Schaupp and that Dan Wolk finishes about 2000 votes off the pace.

However, this analysis has some flaws, as well. It assumes that the voter population would be an average between the early votes and election day votes. Unlike in the city council race, we do not have the data that would separate election day votes from early votes.

This scenario projects Dan Wolk to receive about 23.7% of the additional vote, whereas at present he has 24.6% of the additional vote. This suggests that the remaining votes to be counted are in areas that are less advantageous for Dan Wolk and more advantageous for Bill Dodd and Charlie Schaupp.

However, because of the large number of remaining votes, for Dan Wolk to win in this scenario he will have to receive roughly 28.3 percent of the remaining vote. This is a sizable increase for Dan Wolk, but not completely out of the question.

The main problem that Dan Wolk faces is that he is only ahead in Yolo County, where he finished first. Dan Wolk only finished ahead of Bill Dodd in one other county – Solano, with a relatively small population. And he didn’t finish ahead of Charlie Schaupp in any county other than Yolo County.

Yolo County only accounts for 20.8 percent of the ballots that remain to be counted, if our estimate is fairly accurate.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Davis Progressive

    i’m sure the wolk defenders will poke holes in this, but the most basic point is that it appears that the remaining areas to count were not friendly to him in the other results. for all of the bashing of krovoza, dan wolk hardly fared better outside of yolo.

    1. Dave Hart

      Wolk defenders have as much to answer to as Krovoza defenders since they split each others’ votes. Both of them would most likely have gotten 3/4 of each other votes if they had not run against each other.

  2. Good Government

    “dan wolk hardly fared better outside of yolo”

    Actually, that’s not true at all. I did the math. Dan did a lot better than Joe outside of Yolo. In fact, the difference is far more pronounced outside of Yolo (See the “Just Krovoza v Wolk” numbers). Outside of Yolo, Krovoza was closer in votes to Dustin Call than he was to Dan Wolk.

    Votes outside of Yolo:

    Dodd 13163 32.8%

    Krovoza 5100 12.7%

    Wolk 8149 20.3%

    Call 2644 6.6%

    Schaupp 11084 27.6&

    Total 40140 100%

    Just Krovoza v Wolk


    Krovoza 10850 42.2%

    Wolk 14867 57.8%

    Total 25717 100%

    Yolo County:

    Krovoza 5750 46.1%

    Wolk 6718 53.9%

    Total 12468 100%

    Outside Yolo:

    Krovoza 5100 38.5%

    Wolk 8149 61.5%

    Total 13249 100%

    1. Davis Progressive

      obviously i flubbed my point and well done rebutting me. i was trying to make the argument that dan wolk hadn’t beated either dodd or schaubb outside of yolo with the except of solano where he works and his mother represents.

  3. Robert Canning

    Thanks for the analysis David, and to good government (whoever you are) for running these numbers. I’m not sure what gg’s point really is. These sorts of analyses don’t really answer questions like: “Who was the better candidate?” or “Who should’ve run in the first place.” In my judgment they reflect, as David has pointed out in post-election articles, things like party affiliation, base registration in the district, number of candidates who split the party votes, likelihood of voting by the party base (especially for the Republicans), contribution of independent expenditures, the effects of the top-two system we now have (given the numbers, it is likely that it would still be Dodd vs. Schaupp in November under the old system), and probably a bunch of stuff I’m not smart enough to think of.

    It is interesting to speculate about the effect anti-Dodd independent expenditures had on suppressing the Democratic vote for Dodd. Or the effect positive Wolk mailers (both from the Dems and IE’s) had on enhancing his vote count. As I said in an earlier post, the Democratic party endorsement and backing seems to have given Dan about a 6% bump over Krovoza.

    In the end, either Yolo candidate could have beaten Dodd – although if there was only one, it’s hard to say how the dynamics of the race would have been different. It will be interesting to see what Dan and Craig decide to do at this point.

    1. Good Government

      My point was simply to dispute the assertion that “Dan Wolk hardly fared better [than Krovoza] outside of Yolo.” My sense was, and the math confirmed, that the difference was more pronounced outside Yolo.

      1. Alan Miller

        I know, that’s why it will never happen, until people understand there is no democracy until it does, except by luck and strategy, which isn’t really democracy.

        Main complaint about CBFR was the lookback, though complexity was a problem.

        And I wasn’t complaining, I was pontificating.

      1. Alan Miller

        That is a skew of how it works and you know it, or maybe you just read the first two paragraphs of the article about how confused people were instead of how it works.

          1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

            Quan is a travesty. However, it’s no more fair to judge IRV based on her horrible performance in office than to judge traditional first past the post systems by how a terrible mayor, like Antonio Villaraigosa, did on the job.

    1. Dave Hart

      Instant runoff voting while far too complex for the all the Phd geniuses in Davis, would probably have produced a Wolk/Dodd ballot, not a “second-place” winner. It would still be a top two primary. It just would have reflected the entire electorate more accurately.

      1. Don Shor

        If there had been IR voting, Republicans would probably have run a couple more candidates to try to stimulate tactical voting, and you could just as easily have ended up with a Dodd/Schaupp runoff.

    2. David LJohnson

      Jean Quan is not only a debacle, she gamed the system to win. Quan’s campaign for the second vote was “anybody but Perata.” Perata came in first but only with a plurality. We have enough underhanded games and loopholes in our political process without choice voting. In any case, runoffs are better and simpler.

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