With an additional 12,719 mail-in ballots having been tallied and added to the election day count, which now accounts for 167,009 (35 percent) of roughly 480,000 potential votes, Mark Leno’s lead over London Breed in San Francisco’s mayoral race has narrowed to 255 with an estimated 79,000 ballots waiting to be processed.
With the latest ranked-choice accounting outlined in the table above, the current tallies for the top four vote getters in the race are as follows:

1. London Breed 35.89% of first choice votes (49.91% based on ranked choice result tallies)
2. Mark Leno 25.74% (50.09% based on ranked choice results)
3. Jane Kim 22.72% (CONCEDED)
4. Angela Alioto 7.49%

And if the trend for the latest batch of previously unprocessed ballots holds for the remainder to be tallied, London Breed would pass Mark Leno and become the next Mayor of San Francisco by a margin of around 8,000 votes (3.34 percent of all ballots cast).

35 thoughts on “Leno’s Lead Down to 255 Votes in SF Mayoral Race”
  1. There’s too much uncertainty about the pool of uncounted ballots to project an outcome to two decimal places.

    1. Perhaps that’s why we wrote, “if the trend for the latest batch of previously unprocessed ballots holds for the remainder to be tallied” (versus “we’re projecting”).

      1. You can be 99.99999% certain the trend will not hold to two decimal places.

        [Editor’s Note: And equally certain that “if the trend for the latest batch of previously unprocessed ballots [held] for the remainder to be tallied,” it would. And now back to the actual numbers and direction of the trend(s) at hand…]

          1. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect that London Breed will be in the lead soon since any given pool of mail-in ballots will likely be statistically similar to the previous batch processed. It doesn’t depend on decimal places, it’s just stating the expectation that the next batch will be generally in the ballpark of the last, and while that’s not a guaranteed outcome it would be unexpected if it didn’t happen. Stats tell you what to expect, and they tell you how likely you can expect it, but they don’t guarantee anything. There is such a thing as wrong stats, but they can also be right and predict the wrong result. That’s probability, and if that’s not making sense you’d probably need an actual math lesson on the topic to truly explain it. There are explanations for your confusion, but they would require an in depth look that can’t be conveyed through internet comments.

          2. And here’s where it gets a little tricky.

            While mail-in ballots have, in fact, favored Ms. Breed, Election Day ballots favored Mr. Leno. And while the majority of ballots remaining to be processed are “mail-in” ballots, which would seem to favor Breed, they were hand delivered to a polling place on Election Day, which could favor Leno if they follow the trend of “election day” votes.

            Regardless, the early trend favors Breed, as we calculated above, and we’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

          1. I meant they learned from that mistake. (Tho the Trib would have been hard-pressed to fit the qualifying language in a banner headline)

  2. anyone reviewing where the VBM ballots were from? Quick glace looked like a good portion came from inner sunset, but I haven’t spent the time or energy to actually look…

  3. So when did the rules change that allow ballots that are ‘postmarked’ by election day. but not RECIEVED by election day, to be counted?

    1. Pretty sure that’s been the rule for a long time. After all, voters have no control over when mailed ballots are received, only when they are mailed.

  4. So it looks like the turnout was actually pretty good = 52% (167k rec’d + 80K uncounted = 247/480)

    1. And in fact, a little above the long-term average for all elections held in San Francisco since 1972 (which would be a little under 50 percent).

    2. I know that voters will mail ballots days after the election(?!!).

      But it, well – used to be – possible to get a postmark on your mail for that day – even up to 11:59p – which is after the polls close, like at the Airport branch (don’t think the PO does ‘postmarks’ anymore at retail outlets)

      But perhaps you’re right, and I’m just confused.

      1. Technically, to be counted “mailed ballots must be postmarked before or on Election Day and received by the Department of Elections no later than Friday, three days after Election Day.” And ballots returned in person “must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.”

        Keep in mind that the majority of “vote-by-mail” ballots which have yet to be processed were, in fact, returned in person to a polling place on election day, which further complicates forecasting their results.

  5. It seems that Breed was seen as the most moderate candidate though IMO Angela Alioto was. The results, if Breed wins, reflect not San Francisco going to the right as per a NYT article yesterday but maybe progressives realizing SF is not working anymore and more of the same won’t cut it.

    The NYT article mentioned the trifecta of crises facing SF. Homelessness, the filthy streets which are getting national attention and the exorbitant cost of housing. Tourism business is falling off and the hotel Industry is worried.

    It will be interesting to see final results by district and if indeed Breed comes out on top in the less progressive areas of the city. The fact Breed is gaining as absentee ballots are counted and that such voters tend to be more “conservative” is perhaps indicative of voter perceptions.

    1. And with “the tourism business falling off ” – source, please – I bet the ones really getting worried are the ones financing all those new hotels we see on SS frequently…’cuz they must be really bad at forecasting (and no amount of semantic quibbling over the importance of “if” will save them).

      1. The NYT article references this: “As San Francisco streets have grown dirtier, videos showing syringes scattered throughout downtown have gone viral. The city’s hotels have urged the mayor’s office to solve the homelessness crisis, while the San Francisco Travel Association attributed the city’s lower-than-expected tourist numbers in 2017 to the shock of seeing people living in tent communities on the streets. At the same time, new development is stalling.”

  6. Don’t believe any…er everything you read in the Gray Lady: “SFTA… said in its annual report that 25.5 million people visited the city last year. That’s actually an improvement over 2016’s 25.1 million”, so reports that other SF real estate site.

  7. I mean, Leno was big behind prop F. And prop F provides free legal counsel to all evicted tenants, even ones who failed to pay rent or had other at fault evictions. So it’s basically totally bonkers.

    1. Agreed. You the taxpayers are paying lawyer fees for every deadbeat, drug dealing, and other disruptive tenant which drives up the costs of settlements and thus costs of doing business as a landlord in SF. I can’t begin to count the number of mom and pop landlords who are trying to evict bad tenants and are then extorted for five to six figure sums, well in excess of the rents received for the entire tenancy.

      The net effect, reduction of rental stock. Talk about creating laws with intentional bad consequences.

      1. Not to mention providing free legal counsel even for tenants who could afford to provide it for themselves.

          1. I’m not surprised. “Free” is an easy sell to a city mostly full of liberal progressives. They think when things are “free” that it gets conjured up out of the ether, instead of actually coming from someone else’s pockets.

      2. Yes! Owning rental properties in SF has been dicey in recent years and will only get worse. Potentially every evicted for cause tenant will challenge the eviction now using the “freebie” F grants them. If Costa is repealed in the fall being a landlord in SF will become a nightmare.

        Spot on about extortion of landlords. My dentist’s elderly parents moved into assisted living 5 years ago. They rented out their Sunset home. The home has been trashed and it has taken more than a year and a large cash payout to get the tenants out. There was a net loss for the owners over that time. Now the home will sit empty. A relative in Hong Kong may mover here in a year or two and use it.

        The situation for mom and pop landlords is night and day different in many other markets. Different in a positive way. I own rentals in 4 metros outside the BA and the bottom line is “pay to stay”.

      3. “The net effect, reduction of rental stock. Talk about creating laws with intentional bad consequences.”

        No, if they don’t pay their rent, and there was no justifiable reason to withhold rent (e.g. landlord’s breach of the warranty of habitability), then they WILL be evicted. Giving them the right to a free lawyer doesn’t change that.

        Your argument is no different than complaining about the Public Defender’s Office on the grounds that some of their clients are guilty.

        1. There is always some claim of breach of warranty of habitability. Have you read the boilerplate answer to the complaint filed by the tenants’ public interest attorneys? Or sat in on one of their training seminars?

          Better yet, sit in on the mandatory settlement conferences week before trial and day before trial. A loose wire? An uneven door jamb, issues which weren’t issues prior to nonpayment of rent are much bigger issues as a defense to nonpayment of rents.

          Jeff Adachi and I don’t see eye to eye on a lot of issues.

        2. The Public Defender’s Office is a bad analogy to taxpayer-provided lawyers for tenants – because the while the Public Defender’s Office is taxpayer-funded, so is their opposing counsel – The DA’s office. With civil suits, now the tenants get taxpayer-funded lawyers, and the owners have to pay out of pocket.

  8. In a town with, what 65% of voters being tenants? Offering them free stuff will win every time..

    1. will we be able to see in election results how many home owners vs. renters voted. In general, renters are less likely to vote. Many, but certainly not most, are more transient, not sure if that holds true for SF though.

      1. And by tenants, there is a bifurcation between the rent controlled ones versus the market rent ones, the latter being much more conservative and educated about the true costs of freebies. They are the ones paying.

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