Wednesday, May 16, 2007

post election ramblings

I will leave to the news and others to explain the election returns. What is interesting is that if you were to read all of the pre-election gnashing, especially in the greater blogosphere, you would have thought the fix was in for all of the endorsed candidates... yet you could go through the list of endorsed candidates who were defeated and it isn't short.

but more interesting is that the returns were quite varied. It's not like there was some mass revolt to the party's endorsed candidates. There is no evidence that the people who were voting for Kraus, Dowd, Arnet, Frazier and others were withholding their votes for LR or DO or Lamb or Burgess... at least not that many.

So in some cases the same exact voters were deciding to vote for and endorsed candidate who was unopposed, in others they were choosing the endorsed candidate who had lots of opposition , in others they were choosing the unendorsed candidate against a single endorsed opponent and in others they were choosing the unendorsed candidate in a wide field. Maybe voters deserve a little more credit than they get for being discerning. It seems to me that the blogosphere sometimes ranks up there with political talk show hosts in saying that the people who don't think like they do are just not thinking. Clearly the voters yesterday were deliberative if nothing else. Is it fair to go so far to say that most races were decided by just these type of 'ticket splitters'?


Or maybe I should temper that by saying it applies to just those who showed up. Turnout deserves a mention. So some numbers for Allegheny County in 2007

Population: ~1,226K
Voting Age: ~973K
Registered Voters: 894K *
Votes Cast: 219K
Turnout: 24.6%
Participation: 22.5%

for the city:

Population: ~310K
Voting Age population: ~252K
Registered voters: 228K*
Votes cast: 46,513
Turnout: 20.4%
Participation: 18.4%

nuff said.

* but I will save for a future post the screwyness of the "registered voters" data.. Think hearse.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even more damning ... I read an article a while back that dubbed LA's first Hispanic mayor the "10 percent" mayor because he only got the 10 percent of the voting age population. I looked at the numbers for O'Connor and came to about the same conclusion, which could probably also be said for Murphy. Which points, I think, to the power that the so-called supervoters and committeepeople have. They are really involved in a process in which very, very few people are involved.

Monday, May 21, 2007 8:39:00 PM  

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