Councilwoman Jean Quan has taken the lead in the Oakland mayor's race with 51% of the vote — thanks to preliminary results of ranked choice voting.
The preliminary results show that Quan got a huge bump from supporters of Rebecca Kaplan — if Kaplan fails to catch up to Quan when all the votes are counted. Quan picks up three times as many votes as ex-Senator Don Perata from Kaplan voters if Kaplan fails to advance into the final round of ranked choice balloting.
However, the results are subject to change because there are still huge numbers of ballots to count.
"We're not ready to declare victory yet, but it looks good," Quan said.
The preliminary results also show that Perata may face a tough road in his attempt to retake the lead. He not only needs to pick up a lot more first-place votes, but he also needs to come out ahead of Quan on more ballots that went for Kaplan.
The results show that before Kaplan is eliminated, Perata is still ahead of Quan by nine percentage points. But then without Kaplan in the race, Quan slingshots by Perata to take a two-point lead, 51.09% to 48.91%. Quan receives 15,426 votes from Kaplan ballots while Perata only picks up 5,133. Indeed, the Anyone But Perata movement that sprung up in recent months appears to have made it difficult for the ex-senator to win.
The ranked-choice voting results also show that Kaplan's attempt to overtake Quan and then speed by Perata, too, may not be that easy. To get past Quan, Kaplan needs to pick more votes when college professor Joe Tuman is eliminated. The results show that Kaplan gets 4,361 votes with Tuman out compared to 2,818 for Quan and 2,724 for Perata.
In other words, for Kaplan to have a chance, she's going to need a lot more first-place votes, and she's going to need to continue to pick up even more votes from Tuman supporters. And then if she does, she hopes to get a huge boost from Quan ballots to slingshot past Perata as well.
Update 5:55 p.m.: Registrar spokesman Guy Ashley said there are a total of 15,000 votes left to count in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Leandro and that the office hopes to be done by late Sunday.