Statewide results: Tobacco tax close, term-limits change leading


The statewide results are very early, very limited and most likely very conservative, because they represent only absentees that have come from the few counties already reporting. Here's what I can draw from them: The change in term limits, Prop. 28 -- promoted by opponents of the current term-limits law but described as reducing the amount of time a legislator can serve -- is going to win handily. It's ahead 66-34. It doens't mean voters are turning against term limits (sadly); there wasn't a huge campaign on either side, so it's mostly about the actual ballot language, and the sponsors were careful to say it "limits legislators terms in office." Still, it's good news for people like San Francisco Assessor Phil Ting, who is likely to head up to Sacramento for the first time and will be eligible to serve in the Assembly for 12 years.

The cigarette tax is also winning, despite about $40 million in spending by the tobacco companies. That one's closer -- 53-47 -- but since absentees are usually more conservative than election-day votes, that's a good sign. If things hold up the way they normally do, the gap will widen and both measures will win handily.

In the Congressional D2 race, Jared Huffman is, as expected, well in the lead with more than 40 percent of the vote. The second-place Dem is Norman Solomon, but he's trailing the top Republican, Daniel Roberts, by three points. If Solomon does well with today's voters, he may wind up in the November final.