Southern California -- this just in

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Measure R struggling in early returns

November 4, 2008 | 11:11 pm

Measure R continues to trail narrowly with 16% of the precincts reporting. I just spoke with county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky who said that thus far he's encouraged, with the caveat that the night is still young.

"I said at the outset of the evening that if we were at least 60% or less after the absentee ballots came in we're dead," Yaroslavsky said. "And, if we're in the mid-60s, we have a fighting chance."

Yaroslavsky said that returns in other races suggest that the absentee ballots were a conservative sample and that Measure R could fare better in later returns. Indeed, Measure R was at about 64% after the absentee ballots but has crept up to 64.94%. It needs two-thirds approval to pass.

For full coverage of the transportation ballot measures -- including high-speed rail -- go to the Bottleneck Blog.

The early returns in the 2nd district supervisors race don't look so good for Bernard Parks.

--Parks  39.2% / Ridley-Thomas  60.8% (17% reporting)

--Steve Hymon