Tuesday, November 06, 2007

earn yours today

You can get one of your own:


Only a few election day notes. According to various reports County Elections czar Mark W. is predicting a 40% turnout county-wide. I really have to believe he mis-spoke. My only specific prediction today is that actual turnout will be closer to 14% than to 40. In fact, it will be interesting and insightful to compare turnout within the city of Pittsburgh with what happens elsewhere in the county. We should be able to at least come up with a good guess after the fact as to how turnout was impacted by the mayors race.

I keep getting asked for predictions. I think I have put enough data out there for everyone to form their own prognostications. On the specific question of turnout and its impacts. There are several factors for how high or low turnout could impact the two candidates.. but looking at the core question: low turnout is to the advantage of Desantis. Why? Only if you get to a low vote count can you get a Desantis victory into the realm of possibility. When turnout is higher you will inevitably get straight Democratic party ticket pullers. Anyone who thinks that the coverage of this election rises to the level that would blunt that pattern is projecting... which is a nicer way of saying delusional. In the 2006 general I counted over 40K straight ticket pullers in the city alone. If those people don't stay home, nothing else matters.

Which gets to a curious point. I really almost never watch local TV news. but yesterday I caught some mostly to see what the election coverage was leading up to election day. The thing is, there was almost no election coverage, at least compared to what I expected. On one evening news broadcast I watched, the lead stories were in order Steelers, Steelers again, weather, weather as it impacts the steelers, some other local stuff I think on potential for a school strike, news about when steelers will be on the news next week... and even then I didn't see anything on the election which was then the next day. I figure there must have been some election coverage buried in there somewhere, but you really didn't get any sense of urgency and you would not be surprised if people didn't know the election was the next day.. even if they had a vague idea an election was coming up.

That lack of media coverage is the only way I make sense of a couple things. Another story I saw said that the LR campaign ramped up efforts near the end because "people didn't know there was an election". I swear one person I myself recently asked who they were supporting in the upcoming election answered "Hillary". So I believe that was a real issue for them and is probably why there were so many mailers near the end. The goal was not to sway voters away from Desantis, but to generate enough interest among core voters so that they actually bother to pay attention to when election day would be.

One curious point is that the MD campaign claims it did not do any polling. Others have made that point to me. But read that Desantis campaign quote carefully. It says they didn't spend any money on polls, which is a very different thing from saying they did not have polling data. I assure you that was not an answer to the question they were asked. Reporters don't ask how much money you spend on polls, they ask what your polls show. You can rest assured there was R polling being done.... either paid for by state of county party or wrapped up in in-kind contributions.. but they had it, just as there was D polling. Consider the possibility that they didn't do polling. To run a half million dollar campaign without any polling would be some form of malpractice, it's not that expensive to run a 500 person sample frame which would be more than enough for this kind of race. Trust me, they knew where there strengths and weaknesses were in detail and that info only comes from what we call polling, even if they choose to call it something else.

4 Comments:

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

As I noted on my blog, the DeSantis campaign did do a phone poll. (Though it may have been a way of soliciting volunteers. There was a question at the end of the poll as to whether you were willing to put up a sign or volunteer.)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007 1:29:00 PM  
Blogger EdHeath said...

There is one possibility with a slightly higher turnout. Assuming city democrats can muster up the courage or just rage to vote for one local republican, then a higher turnout could be a sign of frustration with the Mayor. Unlikely, I'll grant you, but worth mentioning.

Chris Schultz on his "Democrats for DeSantis" blog is complaining that old people should not be allowed to vote (because they vote straight democrat). He might just as well complain that young people should be forced to vote.

It is weird that nobody released their poll results. The only possibility I can think of is that the Mayor's numbers are low enough (in the mid fifties?) that he is effectively going to be emasculated for the next two years and is praying for a miracle (and doesn't want to give anyone an excuse to stay home today since he is going to win anyway). For DeSantis, he needs everyone possible to vote for him, so doesn’t want to give anyone an excuse not to vote, since his polling shows him losing. I think a forty percent or better showing by DeSantis would be a tectonic plate shift-type earthquake for Pittsburgh. Hell, DeSantis could switch parties and run in the primary next time, and might win the democratic nomination.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007 1:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice shout-out in the Post-Gazette Early Returns blog!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007 9:24:00 PM  
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