With 100 percent of precincts having reported in San Francisco, adding 75,266 votes to the early tally of 79,024 mail-in ballots, for a total of 154,290 (32 percent) of 482,000 potential votes, but not yet accounting for provisional nor mail-in ballots received on (or after) election day, the preliminary results for the real estate related ballot measures and mayoral race in yesterday’s election are as follows:

Regional Measure 3 (Bay Area Traffic Relief Plan): 65% YES / 35% NO in SF (54% YES / 46% NO Overall)
Proposition D (Commercial Rent Tax to Fund Housing and Homelessness Services): 45% YES / 55% NO
Proposition F (City-funded Legal Representation for Tenants in Eviction Lawsuits): 56% YES / 44% NO
Proposition G (Parcel Tax for SF Unified School District): 59% YES / 41% NO

And with respect to the mayoral race, the top four candidates are currently:

1. London Breed 35.64% (49.58% based on ranked choice result tallies)
2. Mark Leno 25.92% (50.42% based on ranked choice results)
3. Jane Kim 22.84% (CONCEDED)
4. Angela Alioto 7.58%

UPDATE (6/6/18): Leno’s Lead in Mayoral Race Narrows

65 thoughts on “Election Results and Mayoral Frontrunner in San Francisco”
  1. UPDATE: With 58 percent of precincts having reported, 44,259 election day votes have been added to the early results of 79,024 mail-in ballots in the totals above. The only significant shift was for Proposition F (City-funded Legal Representation for Tenants in Eviction Lawsuits) which moved from 50/50 in the mail-in vote to 54% YES.

  2. UPDATE: With 99 percent of precincts having now reported, 74,988 election day votes have been added to the count of 79,024 mail-in ballots in the totals above, with no significant shift in the results, but we’re still waiting for the final ranked-choice tallies for the mayoral race.

  3. I’m way confused about the RCV.
    Wth 99% reported,
    LONDON BREED 53,510 35.63%
    MARK LENO 38,938 25.93%
    JANE KIM 34,320 22.85%

    Since Breed has 35% of 99%, would Leno be the winner with all of Kim’s second choice votes ?

    1. Leno would win if all of Kim voters’ second choice votes went to Leno. But, according to all early mail in ballots (roughly half the votes cast) he is only getting 70% of Kim’s second choices. So far, this is not enough to put Leno up over Breed. Thus, Leno can only win if the second choice votes cast on election day break for him at a significantly higher rate than the early votes did.

      1. Thanks David. Any idea when the dept of elections release the results of the 2nd choices?

  4. About 3am, ABC7 was reporting that Leno is ahead.

    The question of when they tally and report the 2nd choice votes is now clearly being answered, it appears to be as fast as they can.

  5. UPDATE: With 100 percent of precincts having now reported, adding 75,266 votes to the early tally of 79,024 mail-in ballots, for a total of 154,290 (32 percent) of 482,000 potential votes, but not yet accounting for provisional nor mail-in ballots received on (or after) election day, Mark Leno is now leading the mayoral race based on ranked choice voting results, with 50.42% of the vote (69,078) versus 49.58% for London Breed (67,932), a margin of fewer than 1,150 votes.

    Keep in mind that Breed was ahead based on the early ranked choice count of mail-in ballots received prior to election day. And if the yet to be counted mail-in and provisional ballots follow the trend of the early vote-by-mail results, Breed could return to the lead in the overall ranked choice results.

  6. Ranked choice voting is unnecessarily complicated and cumbersome. One vote, one choice makes better sense. It looks like Alioto supporters wasted their votes, should have gone with London Breed who is closer aligned with their interest than Mark Leno.

    1. you clearly don’t understand ranked choice voting; Alioto supporters could vote Alioto 1 and Breed 2, and their votes would have gone to Breed when Alioto was knocked off. Wish we had ranked choice voting statewide; then the “jungle primary” wouldn’t give everyone such heartburn!

      1. And in fact, based on the table we added above earlier this morning, you can see exactly where the 14,256 votes of those voting for Alioto over Breed, Leno or Kim were redistributed (4,033 to Breed; 3,060 to Leno; and 1,797 to Kim with 5,348 discarded) based on their second and third choice votes as of 6AM today.

      2. My problem is with rcv. What are we doing, betting on horses at the track? How much money is spent on the process? I dislike the side deals of Kim and Leno getting their voters to vote each other in since neither is strong enough to win against Breed.

        Why not a win on the merits of your position?

        1. *This* is the key point. There should be a runoff between the top two; Breed is by far the overall first choice, yet she won’t be mayor because of a flurry of re-allocations and side-deals.

          1. We used to have run offs, but turnout was extremely low and they were expensive. Is RCV worse?

          2. You have the exactly same situation in a runoff: the losing candidates can endorse each other and the top vote-getter in the first round still can lose. Not only that, it denies candidates other than the top 2 finishers the chance to win, possibly against the people’s will. rcv is better than a run-off.

          3. We should not have a run off. Kim’s voters have already expressed their second choice is Leno. There is “flurry of re-allocations” because we listen to the voter for their second and third choice are, instead of picking candidates for a run-off without their input.

          4. totally agree. should be a runoff if anyone gets below 50%. ranked choice voting is absolutely terrible. its insanse to think 35% vs. 25% voted for a candidate and she might lose. may people also didnt put in a 2nd or 3rd choice because they are too polarized

          5. If there are three Whigs and one Tory running for office and the city overall prefers Whigs, what’s actually insane is if the Whigs split the vote and the Tory wins even if the city would overall prefer a Whig.

        2. As SFRealist said, we used to have a run-off between the top two, but almost no one showed up to vote and it was much more expensive. The only other option, which would negate these issues were if the run-off occurred during the general election, but that would require waiting five months before picking a new major.

          1. It wasn’t that nobody showed up for the run-off, but it was usually a more conservative vote, over all.

          2. I am fine with a run-off of the top two candidates but the road to get there is a joke.

  7. RCV is a joke. One vote should be cast for whom you want to win. Nothing more, nothing less. RCV = Jean Quan (Oakland). That worked out beautifully, didn’t it?

    1. There always will be losers and whiners. RCV expresses people’s will better than the single choice ballet.

  8. Wow, this is mind-boggling. Just about all second choice for Kim went to Leno! Amazing display of bloc politics.

    [Editor’s Note: Closer to 67 percent (versus “just about all”) and with enough votes yet to be counted to change the final result.]

    1. I’m looking at the round 9 numbers. 20%p went to Leno and 6%p to Breed. That’s more like 75% to Leno.

      1. Those are actually the Round 8 numbers. And don’t forget, like the Chronicle, to account for the 5,000 second (or third) choice votes (13 percent of Kim’s total) that were redistributed to neither Leno nor Breed.

    2. To add to the Editor’s Note, it could also be calculated as about 25k of Kim’s 33k *transferred* votes went to Leno. That’s over 75% which in elections would be considered a huge margin. I’d definitely consider that bloc politics. The remaining 5k were exhausted and went to neither remaining candidate.

  9. If Leno holds on to this…wow, is there going to be a huge backlash against RCV. And, frankly, lots of people don’t understand the system well enough. “9 rounds!?!?! That’s crazy!” As simple as it is, many voters will just not take the time to understand it.

    1. What voter needs to understand how to make a first, second and third choice?

      If you can’t follow how the number flow in the middle, it is not important. The rules themselves are intuitive and transparent. The important thing to understand is that at the end, Breed won 67,932 votes. These people prefer Breed to Leno and put her on either 1st, 2nd or 3rd choice. And likewise, Leno won 69078 votes by voters who prefer Leno to Breed.

      1. not so simple. may people dont have a 2nd and 3rd choice and that hurts certain candidates. frankly there weren’t 3 good candidates in the race to choose from, and the gang up apporach of leno and kim was super sleazy

        1. I really don’t see the issue here. If leno and kim (or any other group) thought they were ideologically similar why not have your supporters rank the other second.

          RCV solves the problem of multiple candidates of a particular strain splitting the vote. And I don’t see what the confusion is for voters. It’s like sending someone to the store to buy ice cream and listing your three choices in order.

  10. Another way to look at it: Leno & Kim said they had similar goals. If Leno prevails, it means a majority of SF voters supported those goals. I wish I had a way to know which candidate would stick to their campaign goals and be able to achieve them.

    1. Which one will stick to their goals and achieve them?

      That’s easy! None! I’m sure Leno means well and will work very hard, but eliminate homelessness by 2020? Come on. No way. Impossible. And so on.

      1. I think the Board of Supervisors make most of the decisions and rules, etc. That’s where the power is.

  11. All this talk about the mayor, but the inevitable truth it does not matter too much, who is piloting the machine. The truth is this. San Francisco is today a City for the rich/highly educated and will become more so in the future. It may not sound inclusive or fair, but just like other big metros, it will become more expensive and things will require more competition for its limited resources. Folks with lesser incomes, single income families will eventually be displaced to its surrounding and will need to commute to it.

  12. Trying to get this straight: I vote for Kim. My second choice happens to be Alioto. or vice versa. Now I don’t get a vote between the two front runners? That sounds like disenfranchisement. In that case those in a “bloc” get a say between the two finalist and those not in a “bloc” don’t get a choice between the two finalists.

    1. What about this seems like disenfranchisement to you? It’s just the same as if you had voted in a normal election and your candidate lost.

      If you had listed Alioto, Kim, then here is what had happened:
      1. Alioto is eliminated. Your vote goes to Kim.
      2. Kim is eliminated. You declined to state a third choice and so your vote becomes “Exhausted.” You have no vote in the final showdown of Breed vs Leno.

      If you had listed Alioto, Kim, Leno, then here is what would have happened:

      1. Alioto is elminated. Your vote is transferred to Kim.
      2. Kim is eliminated. Your vote is transferred to Leno.
      3. Breed vs. Leno is the final showdown, so your vote “matters” in the final showdown.

      If you have voted Breed, Leno, Kim, here is what would have happened:
      1. Your vote goes to Breed. She doesn’t get eliminated, so your vote doesn’t get moved to your second or third choices, and your vote “matters” in the end.

      1. See most people fail to understand the rcv system. I just voted for one candidate, Breed.
        Either you pick a winner on a platform you mostly agree with or run the risk of falling on your own sword.

        1. How would you fall on your own sword with this one? There are no downsides to ranked-choice voting in this situation, unless you truly only care about one candidate and don’t care at all about other candidates.

          Let’s say you voted Breed, Leno, Alioto, because you couldn’t stand the chance of Kim winning and you preferred Leno, even though you disliked the guy and wouldn’t vote for him normally. In this case, your vote wouldn’t have transferred to Leno because Breed vs. Leno is the final showdown.

          But imagine a case in which Breed had been eliminated earlier and it was Leno vs. Kim in the final tally. In that case, your vote would have been transferred to Leno, helping the person you preferred over Kim (but didn’t want to win outright).

          I don’t understand how you could possibly construe a negative in the ability to pick between two finalists if your first choice didn’t make it to the final round.

          1. Greenberg, Alioto, Breed. So you can vote moderate but Breed still gets the vote in the end.

          2. @bob tobb: You are correct that RCV was designed specifically to handle situations like this one. And it should be lauded for doing so. The issue as I see it is that there were 336 different ways you could have ordered the 8 candidates for Mayor, and folks that are accustomed to first-past-the-post are unnerved by that. They don’t want to deal with that much variability in how people feel/vote, even if it is true.

            I voted Breed but hats off to Leno for understanding how to narrow the variables for voters and deal with some of the RCV growing pains. I’d expect more bloc voting in the future, hopefully with agreements on policy platforms publicized ahead of time.

          3. most people don’t care about the other candidates at all, and they don’t understand how to do defensive voting.

        1. Are you just trolling? The exhausted vote is because you declined to state a preference (or we do not allow more than 3). If you prefer, when 32 candidates run, you can rank them in order from 1 to 32, then your vote is 100% guaranteed to never get exhausted. The reason we don’t do that is to strike the right balance between simplicity and accuracy.

          If you do any amount of reading on RCV you will understand it actually creates outcomes that are significantly closer to the true preferences of the people, which is the intention of democracy. This is not conjecture, it’s been modeled exhaustively.

          Also, traditional elections are an RCV where everyone only gets 1 vote. Your vote is instantly exhausted no matter who you pick. So .. is that not even more flawed?

    2. Do you prefer Leno or Breed in a run off? Say you prefer Leno, then put him down as the third choice. Then your one vote will count toward him. If you leave the third choice blank, then you are saying you don’t care for either of them. That’s your choice.

      1. Or simply have a one vote decides and majority wins like any sane country. Now you have national press coverage explaining why SF takes twice as long as twice as expensive to do things for minimal voter turnout.

        What message does this send? We are a small city with a village mentality with the budget of a small country and still can’t get stuff done right the first time.

        Other people only need to take one bite out of the apple, others need 346 bites. Who would you invest in?

        1. “Now you have national press coverage explaining why SF takes twice as long as twice as expensive to do things for minimal voter turnout.”

          You do know that a runoff is a second election, right? Truly twice the cost? With much lower turn out?

  13. Leno and Kim took the time and effort to teach their supporters how the system works. Look at the difference between Kim’s votes and Alioto’s. Kim gets 34,000+ first place votes, and in the end 5000+ votes are “exhausted” meaning there is no second place vote. Alioto gets 11,000+ votes, of which 5300 are exhausted—a huge percentage of voters not using the system. If Breed had made a play for Alito voters, who knows.

    1. Keep in mind that “exhausted” doesn’t necessarily mean that there was no second (or third) place vote recorded, it also includes second (or third) place votes for candidates which were eliminated in a previous round.

      In other words, if your first choice was Kim and your second choice was Alioto, your vote would have been “exhausted” in the 8th round of accounting rather than transferred to either Breed or Leno.

      1. Yes. I should have stated that there was no useable second place vote. So those Alioto voters may have had second place votes for Zhou, Weiss, Greenberg, or Bravo—all out by the time Alioto’s votes were counted. So, I do stand by my point that those voters are not using the system intelligently.

    2. Very good point. If Breed and Alioto had responded by telling their own supporters to vote for the other one as a #2, Breed might be way ahead now.

  14. You voted for Kim and Alioto. You are not disenfranchised. If you wanted your vote counted in the top 2 front runners, you should have voted for Breed and/or Leno.

  15. If Breed loses, she should blame herself. Something changed recently when she started the campaign. Prior she was humble, hardworking and well liked. She surrounded herself on the campaign with people not like her. They had the vibe of being entitled elitist. This happens when people jump on your bandwagon thinking you are going to win. On the other spectrum, she had friends scream down, intimidate other candidates with racial slurs (google Jane Kim Fillmore)

    Breed asked for Alioto #2 as well as the Republican endorsement for #2. If she would have gotten them, she would have won by a landslide. But Alioto said No.

    I’ve been to many of the events and seen Leno, Kim and Alioto’s campaign volunteers all talk and smile to each other. Breed’s crew stick to themselves and possibly thats why nobody wanted to endorse her for #2. In the end, they aren’t enemies. They all agree on the same 95%. Breed should tell her people to be more engaging. Smile more, the candidates aren’t at war so put your guns down.

    1. I will agree that Breed (and Alioto) made a mistake in not endorsing each other. Not sure why that was. Was it Alioto stand-offishness or Breed-righteousness? Either way, it did no good for either one.

      At least Breed remains POBOS – at least until next year (Mandelman).

      Sneaky Leno will preside over a City that will no doubt experience a major economic crisis during his 10 yr term. His straddling btw Prog & Mod will become quite the show. Glad not to be him.

      1. Alioto has not been active in city politics. She did put up a measure on the November ballot about anti-sanctuary, but had to walk it back after some uproar. She had a campaign office on the west side of the City but place was always dark except for stacks of undistributed mailers.

  16. Leno wins. My horse, Breed, lost. This is really the first step of many in the journey. Politics and power have ways of changing people. Progressives become more moderate and conservatives drift towards the middle, it all depends on what is at stake for the person. What defines a great statesman isn’t how he reacts during the good times (everybody knows how to blow a wad of money) but how he steers the ship during turbulent times.

    Like my contractor said, “It doesn’t really matter. I was drywalling for you under Obama, I am drywalling for you under Trump.”

  17. I think most people don’t have 3 choices. I don’t think Leno would win a runoff vs breed. Most people don’t know how to vote defensively and may don’t put a 2nd or 3rd choice

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