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NBC Bay Area Published Fake Results for 2018 Oakland Mayoral Race
by Dave Id
Monday Nov 5th, 2018 1:58 PM
Local television station NBC Bay Area published fake election results for the Oakland mayor's race on their 2018 election webpage. It appears to have been live for at least several days, until the Cat Brooks for Mayor campaign called the station to inquire about it late last week.
[Screenshot of fake election results from the NBC Bay Area Decision 2018 webpage.]

Concerned Oakland residents contacted the Cat Brooks for Mayor campaign about NBC Bay Area posting supposed election results for the November 6 election which hadn't even happened yet. The "City of Oakland Mayor" results page included a notice that 100% of precincts had reported.

The fake results had Libby Schaaf winning with 25% of votes, relatively close to what she achieved in the 2014 mayoral election [See Alameda County election results (PDF).] Pamela Price was listed at 17%, on par with recent polling. From there, the "results" dove into wild speculation with Nancy Sidebotham at 15%, even though the final Sidebotham vote in 2014 stood at less than one percentage point (.26%). Ranked 6th among 10 candidates was Cat Brooks at only 8%.

Even the extremely pro-business, pro-development Oakland Chamber of Commerce has Cat Brooks at 17%, tied for second place, in a poll they conducted in early October. An earlier poll in June conducted by the Libby Schaaf campaign before Cat Brooks had even filed to run for Mayor had Brooks at 11%. (Schaaf released the poll just hours after Oakland council member Rebecca Kaplan announced her initial support for Cat Brooks. At the time, Kaplan dismissed the Schaaf campaign survey as a "push poll." Rebecca Kaplan has solidly endorsed Cat Brooks since.)

Obviously, the "election results" NBC published were completely made up. But while some minimal amount of effort was made to include a reasonable number for Schaaf and Price, the tally for Cat Brooks is insulting to her stature as a serious candidate with broad community support in Oakland, not to mention polling results to date.

When contacted by the Cat Brooks for Mayor campaign on November 2, NBC said it was a mistake that the fake results were published, but station managers would not provide further information as to how it happened or how long they had been live on their election webpage. Neither would they issue a public statement acknowledging the "error."

It is unknown what effect fake news such as this has on the actual 2018 Oakland mayor's race. For the hundreds or thousands who likely saw it, does it discourage turnout or dampen enthusiasm among supporters of candidates competing against Schaaf? Does it shape votes when a popular candidate such as Cat Brooks is falsely depicted as a lost cause?

Mayoral campaign websites:

Cat Brooks for Oakland mayor

Pamela Price for Oakland Mayor

Saied Karamooz for Oakland Mayor

Jesse Smith for Oakland Mayor
§Final results after ranked choice voting in 2014
by Dave Id Monday Nov 5th, 2018 1:58 PM
Ranked-Choice Voting FAQ:

Alameda County election results:
§Marchon 4 Mayor
by Jacie Tuesday Nov 6th, 2018 11:47 AM
Hometown hero with Ph.D very soon and has housed 200 families. He hasn’t paid to play so I guess he continues to be ignored by mainstream media

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