Friday, July 13, 2007

How did Weinroth do in the end?

(UPDATE: I notice people googling into just this one blog posting... you may be interested in this followup post)

Seems relevant to the question of how the fall election may go. Here is a map of the election results from the November 2005 General Election which was won by the late Bob O'Connor. This map shows the percentage won by Republican Joe Weinroth across city voting districts.

It deserves some analysis I suppose, but for the moment I will let the image speak for itself. Note that I do not imply that there are any similarities between the two candidates (DeSantis and Weinroth) in themselves..far from it actually. But given the fact that both Weinroth and Roddey (two very dissimilar candidates for sure) wound up with a nearly identical result within the city of Pittsburgh, you can't really ignore this as a baseline.

Note also I am having some technical glitch getting a PDF created of this for those who occasionally for a larger file. I will link a PDF file to the map when I get a chance.


Blogger Schultz said...


It looks like DeSantis has some work to do! What would that graphic look like if you included Pecentage NOT O'Connor, in other words, all votes for Weinroth and the independents?

Your buddy "Mad Dog" said that DeSantis has Zero probability of winning, which pretty much sums up your post from a few days ago. I think you guys are vastly underestimating the power of democracy. 0% chance? Do you agree? Come on now!

Saturday, July 14, 2007 1:00:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

mad dog? I need to refine that map anyway. I'll make that and some other relevant ones next week.

anyway... I don't discount democracy in the least. Quite the opposite! I just do not go around making unfounded assumptions that these patterns do not reflect the philosophical beliefs of voters. Everyone in the ‘Burghosphere’ seems to think this is all some lockstep voting directed by the ACDC or similar.

Let's just take one part of those results. All that white area which results from virtually zero African American vote. Does that part of the community vote in lockstep with the ACDC. Not at all! In the previous mayoral election (2001), the African American community split a nearly 50-50 as possible between the endorsed Murphy and unendorsed O’Connor... thus reflecting more independence and less willingness to follow the ACDC endorsement than rest of the community. So looking toward this fall. Does DeSantis have any known support in the African American community? Like a single prominent supporter? Note that I am sure there will eventually be someone of color who supports him, but I don’t see how a community that takes its politics seriously… possibly overly seriously given the political infighting that has hurt it here in Pittsburgh.. will all of a sudden do a 180. It takes a lot more than a few months to build the kind of political trust to make such a switch even conceivable.

So no. there isn't any discounting of democracy on my part. I seem to be the only person in town that thinks voters here actually think. Most who think there is some big swelling of support for MD thus far are projecting their own frustrations. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say a lot of that are the frustrations of BP supporters. The biggest things that hurt Bill Peduto were not perceived attacks on Luke pushing up his own negatives.. That was the effect, not the cause. The root cause was a belief among a lot of ordinary Pittsburghers that they were being told they were stupid for not supporting Bill. and just to be clear, I don't think it was Bill who did anything himself to engender that feeling… but that is how the flashmob of Pedutoheads seems intent on projecting into the community. It is showing in this race as well. It hurt BP an awful lot in the end.

I actually think DeSantis understands his conundrum. Attacking LR has proven to be counterproductive, wonkish diatribes buy you little, and time is too short to actually generate a reputation of note. I really can’t imagine what their strategy is other than to wait around and see if the mayor implodes. I do read that MD will have enough money to at least capture all those who have any proclivity at all to vote Republican… plus some of the uber-frustrated Democrats. I doubt he will have the money or the grass roots support to engineer the type of election day GOTV efforts that really helped Pat Down or Bruce Kraus. Remember, Bill Peduto had done some amazing things in a short public career to go into this election season about as well positioned for a run for mayor as any candidate in decades. Yet polls really showed him unable to even retain his support from 2 years ago. I would guess that most who think MD actually has a chance still don’t understand what happened in the spring.

I have to admit I do not understand the motivations of MD campaign. The result of a half-baked campaign like this will only strengthen LR in the end... thus making it that much harder for anyone to run against him in 2009. If I were (more?) cynical I would say that is the real purpose. The more the public/media plays up the fall as being a truly contested election will only increase the legitimacy a victory, even if slight, will confer. The unknown of the counterfactual is always debatable… but its hard not to see how this all would have played out if there had not actually been an election this year. Remember, that would have been the default outcome if not for the public outcry of mostly Peduto supporters pushed the point. A lot of the obvious mayoral gaffes would have added up in a way that have been obviated by the primary victory. Thus it is always important to be careful what you wish for.

Saturday, July 14, 2007 4:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i so completely disagree with your analysis. Three more months of deception, dishonesty and mayhem will earn a rightfully positioned Republican this win.

Saturday, July 14, 2007 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

Uh.. ok…. But is there any specific premise you dispute or logic you find flawed? I really am curious how anyone thinks that a MD victory would actually happen.

It sounds like you agree with me completely that the only strategy that is viable is sitting around and waiting for LR to implode. Which isn't really a strategy as much as wishful thinking.

But to lighten the discourse a bit… I really figure that as long as the mayor stays away from Jeff Reed, as in the Steelers kicker, he will be ok.

For Chris S. I will do that other map, but I am not sure why it would really matter much. Are the votes for the Socialist candidate really going to be in the R column this time around (or ever). I read there will be a S candidate this time around anyway. Same for those who voted for Dave Tessitor. Last I talked to Dave he sounded kind of busy and didn’t mention any plan to run for Mayor this time around.. but are the votes for him more likely in one camp or the other? But the larger than typical number of 3rd party/independent candidates are the cause of any difference in the “not O’Connor” vote compared to previous elections.

Sunday, July 15, 2007 6:39:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

Speaking of politicians and Steelers kickers, I seem to recall from covering 2000 campaign events for the Trib that Kris Brown was a Republican, and spoke before a GWB apperance in Mellon Square. I think the Steelers' punter at the time--whose name escapes me--also was there. I wonder if kickers are more likely than other NFL players to be Republicans. Hmm.

I appreciate what you said about Peduto supporters. I voted for Peduto in the 2005 primary and would have voted for him again, but sometimes I think his supporters were campaigning in the city they would like Pittsburgh to be, and not the city it actually is. They also seem to have an East End-centric view of the city. As a friend put it, it's as though Peduto was running to be the mayor of Shadyside.

In terms of whether a Republican can win in the city, the more sobering numbers to me are Roddey's, and not Weinroth's. Let me ask you this, though: Why do you characterize DeSantis' campaign as "half-baked." Because it has low odds of success?

Sunday, July 15, 2007 9:05:00 AM  
Blogger Schultz said...

Half baked campaign? Are you just assuming DeSantis is just another Republican running just for the sake of it? After talking to him the other day I can say that is not the case. If you listened to his campaign kickoff speech or his interview on America Entrepreneur you would have learned that Mark wouldn't give up a CEO job of his tech startup to run a "half baked" campaign, and he certainly wouldn't run unless he had intentions on giving it his all.

When it comes to the minority vote in Pittsburgh I ask the following - what has voting Democrat all of these years done to help your cause?

Oh, and mad dog = Mike Madison.

Sunday, July 15, 2007 9:29:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

S: Well… Roddey was a pretty successful fellow both in the private sector, in media, as a corporate executive and as a public servant (Port Authority Chairman for years when the T was built, ALCOSAN chairman for years). You really think MD comes close to that type of stature in the community? So no, I don’t think MD is just another Republican.

Actually, I have to say give Roddey a lot of credit for taking the ALCOSAN role. Not much to be gained from being the region’s sewage czar, it’s an infrastructure that is failing and needs more money yet it is so taken for granted that it provides only political cost with no gain. I’m at a loss to respond to the point about minority vote other than to say pale skin 30 something me is not who you (or MD) needs to be preaching to. If that is really the argument he is relying on (which I dount actually), he at least needs to connect with the community to make it.

JP: In itself no… most successful ideas were long shots at some point. But there is a difference between building toward that goal and being counterproductive.

In this case, the decision to completely forgo the primary gave up an awful lot of earned media that would have flowed easily. Even if you didn’t want to participate, the way MD actually got on the ballot really left a lot of confusion. I guarantee you that a poll of likely voters right now would show that a sizable % of likely voters don’t know there is a Republican candidate on the ballot. I am sure some focused advertising will make up for that, but it’s a lot of money that needs to be spent just to get back to breakeven. It all gives the appearance, not that I believe it, that the campaign is based upon someone waking up one morning and saying: you know, MD should be mayor. And that does not even get into what all the equivocating has meant to fundraising. A whole lot of default money flowed to LR because he was the presumptive victor. I read MD has money on hand, but as a SWAG I bet there is a couple hundred $K that would have been in the balance. Do I need to even mention diversity, or lack of it. And why have a big press conference to announce what we all know to a bunch of people who know it already. The idea is to show off all the support you have and build the proverbial bandwagon. And why do it Downtown in the Pennsylvanian? Real appeal for the average Pittsburgher in Brookline.

Those successful ideas that start as improbable events… they almost always have a strategic vision that go with how to get from point a to point b.

Add it up, and all that is going to happen is to make LR a more powerful mayor for the next two years.

I think I ought to leave the sociopolitical analysis of NFL kickers to others to muse on… that is almost too esoteric for the Journal of Sports Economics .

Sunday, July 15, 2007 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

Even as I was typing my question, I had a feeling that you might refer to his decision to forgo the primary. I agree that the write-in campaign was not the best way to go about things.

I think that people who follow politics closely often make the mistake of assuming that everyone follows politics closely, or even watches the news every night. So I wouldn't be surprised if you are correct and a lot of people don't realize that there is a Republican on the ballot.

And holding an event at the Pennsylvanian probably doesn't do much to dispel the stereotype of the GOP as the party of the wealthy. I have a feeling that is a stereotype that is still very resonant among the average Pittsburgher.

Sunday, July 15, 2007 2:57:00 PM  
Blogger Bram Reichbaum said...

First of all, thank you a lot for fixing whatever problem I was having. This is the first time I've been able to log on in a month!

"The root cause was a belief among a lot of ordinary Pittsburghers that they were being told they were stupid for not supporting Bill ... it hurt BP an awful lot in the end."

That opinion has some internal logic, I suppose, but I can't imagine there's any sort of data to back that up.

Those from whom we heard such complaints, IMHO, were already invested in the Luke machine. I don't even think unwashed masses were ever exposed to the blurghosphere arguments.

Besides, very similar accusations of classism and condescension didn't seem to hurt Dowd.

Now, as to your assertion that attacking Luke has already proven not to work ... again, I couldn't disagree more. I think going massively negative is just what the doctor ordered. But it has to be negative in the right way, on the right issues, substantive issues ... not sporadically and reactively.

Sunday, July 15, 2007 10:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is probably the wrong forum for this comment, but it's on my mind so I'll say it. I can't speak for anyone else, but I have always voted for the candidate I thought to be better, no matter what their party. The sad thing is that as long as I've been voting, there have really only been place-holder mayoral candidates on the Republican side. Maybe I just didn't know enough about them (although they didn't make much effort to change that), but none of them seemed like they had any particular qualifications. I always got the feeling that the Republicans had to put *someone* on the ballot and they drew a name out of a hat or something.

MD on the other hand, seems like more than just a generic Republican. If I vote for him (and I probably will) it won't be because I think we need a new party in power, but because I think he has what it takes to be a good mayor. It is my hope that enough of my fellow Democrats will see him that way too. I honestly think he has a better chance than, say, Weinroth did. A slim chance still, but a chance.

Monday, July 16, 2007 10:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much credit do you think Roddey deserves for his role on the ALCOSAN board? In addition to the stereotypical Democratic patronage (jobs), there are millions of dollars worth of GOP style patronage at ALCOSAN: contracts.
Roddey's business acumen for his entire career was putting big campaign donors together with elected officials, and those whom the elected officials appoint to boards and authorities which control millions (if not billions) in public money. No, I don't think Roddey gets any special recognition for that, unless it's for the chutzpah to then turn around and run as a "refomer" after a career suckling at the public tit (indirectly, of course).

That said, Roddey was a lot better at the game than DeSantis has been.

Monday, July 16, 2007 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

eek… and I thought I was cynical..It's my fault for opening that up. The relevant point is simply that there have been high profile Republican candidates in the past… candidates with organization, fundraising and name recognition… might not have been for the mayor’s race, but the ACE race covered the whole city.

For Bram.. The belief that the perception of going negative on LR hurt his own support is BP's own assessment of the situation at the end of his campaign… not mine. If true I am not sure why the same dynamic would not be at play even more so in the fall.

I would also not stretch the point about the Dowd campaign. Very different circumstances and races. It is clear PD actually didn’t get much support at all in Lawrenceville. You could did make a case those charges actually stuck where they were intended to… fair or not.

Monday, July 16, 2007 5:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris, I think you are right on target. It's so hard to argue against facts and figures, I guess that's why scientists rely on them.

BTW, if you haven't learned already, "Shultz" is head of the nascent Democrats for DeSantis "movement". So MD (that's Doctor of Medicine) prescribes a grain of salt big enough to sink the Titanic.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007 2:56:00 AM  

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