Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Looking back, looking forward

Whenever the next mayoral race is set, the inevitable prognostication will soon follow. Let's add some real data to the punditry to come. Since city council seems to be the nexus of city politics these days, here are the results of the last two mayoral primaries in the city with election returns recompiled by (currently defined) City Council District... Note the obvious that the incumbents listed are the current incumbents for each city council district. I assume everyone knows the initials for the various candidates.

Dist. Incumbent ML BO BP OTHER
1 Vacant 22.7% 55.0% 18.9% 3.5%
2 Deasy 33.1% 46.5% 18.1% 2.3%
3 Koch 24.2% 46.9% 24.8% 4.1%
4 Motznik 37.8% 45.3% 15.5% 1.4%
5 Shields 18.5% 56.6% 23.6% 1.3%
6 Payne 10.8% 59.3% 18.3% 11.6%
7 Bodack 16.7% 47.5% 32.5% 3.4%
8 Peduto 20.9% 29.0% 48.8% 1.2%
9 Carlisle 11.3% 55.0% 18.7% 14.9%

1 Vacant 53.9% 37.8% 2.6%
2 Deasy 46.6% 43.3% 2.7%
3 Koch 44.7% 45.3% 5.1%
4 Motznik 45.0% 46.1% 2.3%
5 Shields 34.8% 57.6% 2.8%
6 Payne 43.8% 43.5% 9.6%
7 Bodack 47.2% 44.9% 3.4%
8 Peduto 57.2% 31.6% 2.9%
9 Carlisle 42.9% 45.9% 8.8%


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ML ... Mike Langley?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 4:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How soon they forget ... Mario Lemieux! And it looks like the voters didn't mind getting close to B.O.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 10:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please note neither Ms. Payne, Mr. Deasy or Mr. Koch were council members in 2001

Thursday, September 21, 2006 8:06:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

As I said: Note the obvious that the incumbents listed are the current incumbents for each city council district

but its not just those three. Peduto, Bodack and Shields were all yet to be elected at the time of the 2001 primary.. Actually, of current city council members, only Motznik was then on council having just been elected a couple months before.

Friday, September 22, 2006 12:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What this shows is that O'Connor's numbers were relatively the same from 2001 to 2005 in almost all districts.

O'Connor had jumps in support in District 1 (the North Side, which was Murphy's home turf); Districts 6 and 9 (both heavily black - the black wards are often very loyal to the party endorsed candidate, and Murphy was endorsed in 2001, while O'Connor was endorsed in 2005). The other 6 districts were pretty much the same from 2001 to 2005,with slight increases in support for O'Connor.

Is this significant? Probably not: neither Murphy or O'Connor will be on the ballot next time.

But it does show me that O'Connor consistently sold to a plurality of the Democratic voters only, and if Lamb and Peduto weren't both in the race, then it was possible that O'Connor would not have won.

We can assume that Ravenstahl will win his own district by margins similar (or larger) than O'Connor did. What happens in the majority black wards? Peduto and Lamb were handily defeated in those wards, with Hop Kendrick stealing away 10-15% of the black vote. If it's Peduto v. Ravenstahl: Does Ravenstahl inherit all of O'Connor's support? Will that be enough? Where do Lamb's votes go?

Friday, September 22, 2006 2:52:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

I certainly do not have those answers.. but I do think it is just too early to tell how allegiances will realign. Too much is still in flux. It is difficult to even guess given that Murphy/anti Murphy divisions are fading and do not align with other divisions that are emerging.

As for 2005… that BO did not get a plurality is not that telling in itself. Both BP and ML had some core support that didn’t overlap with each other that much. That they eroded BO’s results is not that surprising and it’s a little hard to see them coalescing around any one candidate. And while it is certainly important in many races, it’s also easy to overemphasize the role of the endorsement in mayoral primaries. If the Democratic endorsement mattered in and of itself, we would likely be into the 4th term for a Mayor Flaherty. That being said, I would lay odds on the Democratic endorsement deciding the upcoming council election.

As hard as it is for some people to hear. When it comes to actual primary voters, Pittsburgh remains a very very very old demographic. And despite popular belief (or wishful thinking) I can prove that there is no trend in recent mayoral primaries to counteract that yet. If you are looking for young voters, especially if you look at those under the age of 30, who actually vote in local primaries…. the names look an awfully like the names of the older supervoters in the city. Put another way, if you net out the children and household members of party committee persons you wind up with virtually nonexistent primary voters who are ‘young’ by any definition of the term. Again, I am talking about primaries.

One result is that the news/discussion/buzz many people think is important is actually meaningless in these types of races. One admittedly anectdotal example. My mother votes in almost all elections as most her age tend to do, is a fairly avid watcher of local news which is always on her TV (and always always on as it leads into the lottery each day) and has no known allegiances to any party endorsements. That makes her a supervoter who is not locked into a particular candidate and who is reachable via traditional media. In other words: the prime voter you need to get elected in this town. To put it bluntly: in 2005, she really did not know who BP was as at all as she went off to vote and had only a vague notion of ML. The candidates that registered with her included BO and ‘others’.

The battle for the next mayoral race will be fought in the Bingo halls.

Friday, September 22, 2006 4:58:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

I agree. I'm not sure, for example, that Bill Peduto and his supporters understand this. I could be wrong, but it didn't seem like he did nearly enough retail politicking last year.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 9:09:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

I think he did a lot of retail politicking.. but it was far too heavily focused on preaching to the choir.

anyway. Rich Lord has a piece today on the relative experience level on City Council these days. It mentions in passing the upcoming races for Mayor and City Controller. It got me thinking... so just to put on the record something that will prove how bad my political prognostication is.. here is some speculation of what may happen if the mayor's race is held in 2007:

Pokora is running for controller.. but I would not be surprised if Bodack jumps in. What if LR engineers some mutual support for Bodack as City Controller in exchange for supporting his mayoral bid. Bodack used to run the ACDC which ought to help with the endorsement. If LR could leverage that for just some support from Bodacks district, and assuming he gets support at home and maybe some west/south support it could be a decent base... depends on how broken a field it is in the end.

as for the City Controllers race then. Even without being the incumbent Bodack can probably make a decent run at getting the endorsement given his work on the committee. With LR's support in District 1 it could be a decent base. The institutional support that comes from controllers office may not be what it once was. See how the one controller employee did in trying to get the District 1 endorsement. Of course there is DS who wants to be controller.. but he probably can't make that same deal with the mayor for mutual support and will have little chance of getting much support in West. So he could still be a strong candidate but he may be placated by the CC presidency for now.

and all bets are off if the mayors race does not happen in 07.

so there you have it.. I was going to make a post of this, but I figure why advertise a prediction that most likely will not happen.. that and why even risk the Heisenberg effect.

Monday, October 02, 2006 5:40:00 AM  

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