Tells BRAD BLOG that 20% margin win is 'a major victory for grassroots organizing'
Plans to continue investigating reported problems in today's elections around the state...
By Brad Friedman on 6/6/2006, 9:37pm PT  

Updating this item with the latest news on top now. See 'below the fold' for the earlier reports, and the map of Bowen's enormous win!

1:04a PT... I just got off the phone with Senator Bowen where she's just heard from Senator Ortiz who has conceded!

It was a remarkable win, in many ways, given the 56% undecided in the state just a few days ago, and the fact that she was outspent by Ortiz, who also ran TV spots over the weekend (Bowen didn't run any, by the way.)

I asked her then to what she attributes this victory (with a whopping 20%+ margin) to?

"I think it's a major victory for grassroots organizing. People sent out messages to their email lists, to their friends. We used the net and the blogs to get our message out. I think it's also that people are beginning to understand if you don't make sure that elections mean something, you will lose your democracy."

(The BRAD BLOG was one small part of that netroots efforts with our recent endorsement and interview of Bowen, which was crossposted over at Huffington Post. You guys did all the rest!)

Was she surprised? "I really had no idea what to excpect. The 56% undecided a few days ago was rather...unnerving."

So what's the message that needs to get out between now and November? "People need to take a look at what's happened in the Secretary of State's office. The issues with voter registration and his certification of these voting machines....I mean look at what happened today with the problems around the state. I'm concerned about what happened in Kern County...and I won in Kern County!"

Will you be looking into it? Even though you won it? "You bet I will!"

Our kind of patriot. (Some of those meltdowns reported earlier here.)

Glad it wasn't a squeaker. I gotta be up in about 5 4 hours to do a radio show...And tomorrow's gonna be another big day. I just have a feeling...Congrats Senator! We'll be right there with you through November!

See below for earlier reports from the evening and map as of 1:04am...

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An early sign...but a very good one. That said, we've seen good early signs before. Let's hope this one holds! New graphic below. Numbers still holding. If you don't know who Debra Bowen is, and why this race matters, read this.

9:36p PT...Just spoke with Bowen's Chief of Staff, Evan Goldberg. He says these early numbers are the first set of "pre-counted absentee ballots." Apparently they can count absentees early, and then release them as of poll closing at 8pm. But still...so far, so good.

As specific county numbers have been adding in on top of the pre-counted absentees, he says, the general 65%/35% margin seems to be holding steady...(Click graphic for updates and county by county numbers)...

10:32a PT...Some slippage...But very very slight...

12:03a PT...A bit more slippage, but holding steady at 50%. Oddly enough, the only notable-sized county going for Ortiz seems to be Sacramento. Guess Mr. McPherson has a lot of friends there... (UPDATE...it's not odd at all, Ortiz is from Sacramento we just learned from Bowen's Chief of staff)

1:04a PT...ORTIZ CONCEDES! BOWEN WINS! SEE COMMENTS FROM BOWEN AT TOP OF ITEM!