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Valadao’s Lead Over Cox Narrows As Kern Reports New Totals



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A Kern County update of 11,578 votes helped cut incumbent TJ Cox’s deficit as he continues to trail David Valadao in the 21st Congressional District race.

In the update released today, Cox took 57.2% of the votes for a net of 1,670. In Tulare County update Thursday evening, Valadao took 58.6% of the 70 new votes, or a net of 12.

Through Thursday evening, Valadao leads by 2,368 votes, or 50.8% to Cox’s 49.2%. Prior to today, Valadao’s lead stood at more than 4,000 votes.

Valadao (R-Hanford) is trying to unseat the first-term Cox (D-Fresno) and reverse the result in 2018, when Cox defeated then-Congressman Valadao by 862 votes.

Overall Vote Totals, by Number and by County

Congress 21 Fresno Tulare Kings Kern TOTAL Lead Percentage
Cox (D) 27,528 2,728 15,811 28,910 74,977      (2,368) 49.2%
Valadao (R) 29,212 2,727 25,906 19,500 77,345         2,368 50.8%
Last reported  Nov. 10, 1:45 p.m.  Nov. 12, 5:05 p.m.  Nov. 6, 2:53 p.m.  Nov. 12, 11:30 a.m.
Estimated remainder in CD 21                          844                                          191                         1,529                            11,856      14,420

While Cox took more than 60% on Election Night returns in Kern County, subsequent updates have seen the margin shrink. In a Nov. 7 update, Cox took 58.6% of newly counted Kern County votes; Tuesday, he earned 55.9%.

Kern County Update for Nov. 12

Kern  County  New Votes  For Cox  For Valadao  Difference
                    11,578                    6,624                         4,954                      1,670 for Cox
57.2% 42.8%

Tulare County Update for Nov. 12

Tulare  County  New Votes  For Cox  For Valadao  Difference
                           70                                          29                               41                                  12 for Valadao
41.4% 58.6%

Remaining Votes Estimate

Of the four counties that comprise the district, the bulk of votes remain in Kern County. While the county says they do not know how many of their approximately 45,000 votes county wide are in the district, based on the percentage of county voters who reside in the county district (25.4%), that would be 11,856.

The estimated votes remaining are just an estimate by GV Wire℠. The numbers will change depending on how many new votes are actually reported countywide.

Kings County has the next largest estimated total yet to report, 1,529 countywide. However, their counting halted earlier this week because of a report of COVID-19 exposure. Counting is scheduled to resume on Nov. 21.

Fresno County is scheduled to report next on Friday afternoon. It has 5,090 votes remaining to be counted, with 844 estimated in the congressional district.

Tulare County has been reporting nightly. It has an estimated 191 district votes yet to count.

Vote Totals by Percentage, by County

Congress 21 Fresno Tulare Kings Kern
Cox (D) 48.5% 50.01% 37.9% 59.7%
Valadao (R) 51.5% 49.99% 62.1% 40.3%

Can Cox Overtake Valadao?

If vote percentages remain constant, and applying them to the estimated remaining vote count, Valadao may just have enough to hold on.

That GV Wire calculation has changed based on yesterday’s report, as Cox’s overall percentage lead in Kern County slipped 0.8%.

If things hold steady, Cox would pick up a net of 1,911 votes, but not enough to overtake Valadao’s current lead.

Estimated Shares of Remaining Votes by County and Overall

Estimated Vote Share Fresno Tulare Kings Kern TOTAL Lead
Cox (D)                         409                        96                             580                      7,080         8,165         1,910
Valadao (R)                         435                        95                             949                      4,776         6,255

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email