Monday, November 20, 2006

Data digging...

As anyone who spends much of their time staring at spreadsheets knows, it doesn't take long to get lost in the numbers. Also, it doesn't help if you're dividing your attention between election results and football games, as I did yesterday.

Anyway, after a few hours of "analysis" here is a first cut.

Using the wide angle lens to get a sense of the outcomes of county races by council district, the graph below shows the percentage of votes candidates received in each district. (Note: I've lumped all council candidates into two categories for ease-of-labeling purposes.)



(Click to enlarge the picture.)

Nothing too surprising here. The Democrats won handily in the heavily Democratic districts (mainly, Columbia), with the same being true for Republicans. The only parts approaching anomaly status are:
  1. Merdon receiving less than half of the votes cast in his council district (#1)
  2. Ulman receiving less votes than Mary Kay Sigaty in his council district (#4)
  3. And, Merdon garnering significantly less votes in the Republican stronghold District 5 than Greg Fox
With a systemic registration disadvantage, Merdon needed to have a strong showing in the traditionally Republican areas, as well as capture some additional votes from the more Democratic areas. But, as you can see above, Merdon was unable to outperform any Republican council candidate in the middle three, largely Democratic districts.

I'll probably post charts like this all week, until my Thanksgiving blogging hiatus. Hopefully, by the time I get around to this tomorrow, the Excel-induced blurred vision and lack of perspective will lead to more insightful analysis.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

You leave out the fact that in the CE race there was a third candidate. It's not apples to apples to compare Merdon votes to the R Council candidate votes. It appears as though the independent votes came from the R voters, but impossible to verify.

District One is interesting. What do you make of it?

Anonymous said...

It appears Ball is weak, comparatively speaking, in his district. Ken Ulman gets more votes than Ball, but less than Mary Kay Sigaty - both districts in Columbia. Ball should have won that district by much higher than 60% in a democratic district in a democratic year.

Hayduke said...

The Wallis factor is what accounts for much of the discrepencies between the council/CE candidates. Note that Ulman only managed to best the council candidates in two districts (#2 and #5).

As for whether Wallis took more votes from Merdon or Ulman, what I've seen leads me to believe it's about the same. I'll post more about this (and District 1) tomorrow and Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

District One is odd. The D council candidate significantly did better than the D exec candidate and surpassed the R exec candidate.

Also District five is odd. The R exec should have picked up every vote that the R Council picked up. The same wouldn't necessarily be true for Districts 2,3,4 because in those districts a vote for Wallis was likely a vote for Merdon.

Hayduke said...

Correction: Wallis' total in District 3 should be 5%.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I am totally wacko but I think the Merdon incident at Cattail hurt him in that district. When I told a couple friends who belong to Cattail that I was volunteering for him they asked about that whole incident. Gossip spreads especially with stay at home moms living in Western How County. I dont think he lost too many votes but a chunk.

Anonymous said...

I also wonder how much Merdon's refusal to endorse Greg Fox in the District 5 primary had to do with his poor showing out there? I know some people claim he had to be neutral, but many Republicans I talked to during the primary got the impression he was supporting Wayne Livesay and that might have hurt him among the base.

Anonymous said...

I think the calls from famous people and smear mailings sent to voters worked. as said all over these blogs, voters just dont realize how important local politics are and dont pay attention to it. if they get this type of call or smear lit they believe the smear and think oh lance is cute, i'll vote for ulman. people are idiots and lazy and dont look into things. i just hope ulman proves me wrong.

Anonymous said...

Merdon lost in Republican areas because he was running like a democrat, looking for "new revenue" and athletics for Middle School students are some of the things Republicans were not looking for. He was busy courting democrats and the likes of Wayne Livesay and wasn't worried about working with his party's candidates, He was only worried about helping himself, hence he not only lost the County Executive seat, he gave his council seat to the Democrat party.....

Anonymous said...

Merdon lost because of Bush and Iraq. Of course, Lance and Sheryl Crow helped too.

I voted for Ulman because he was Secretary of the Cabinet and Director of the Board of Public Works! Oh, and he saved Merriweather.

I am thankful that Howard County runs itself at this point.

Anonymous said...

If you actually think 9,000 voters in Howard County voted for Ken Ulman instead of Chris Merdon because they were unhappy with Bush and the war, you're simply fooling yourself. Did some of them? Yes, of course. But it was a small minority of them. Ulman ran a better campaign, he had a better message, and he didn't have to deal with a lot of Merdon's issues--not lifting a finger for his fellow Republican candidates, helping the District 1 Democratic Council candidate, making a mountain out of a mole hill with Comp Lite (with a subtle hint of racism to boot), and having so many Republicans seeing him for what he was--a flip-flopping opportunist.

If you're upset he lost, at least look at the situation rationally, or else Republicans will never win that seat again.

Anonymous said...

wow. Mr. A. Nony Mouse is calling Chris Merdon racist. Nice. Try the high road next time- the scenery is better. I wonder if the League of Women Voters can also be considered racist for their stand against Comp Lite? Or if I am a racist for my stand against comp lite? Or, if Harry Dunbar is a racist for his stand against comp-lite? Maybe the 7 or 8,000 folks that signed that petition are racist, too. Nice. Very nice.
mary catherine

Anonymous said...

Did Anon call Merdon racist? No, he didn't. He merely pointed out that there is a racial component to the Comp Lite issue. Comp Lite boils down to one issue--the Korean church on St. John's Lane. The existing residents nearby are nearly entirely white and many of these people have lived there their entire lives--and it is a Korean church. Merdon clearly fed off that prejudice, and everyone knows it. Plenty of people opposed Comp Lite for what they consider to be legitimate reasons, but you can't deny that race played a factor. In the future, debate posters on the merits of their comments, don't jump to conclusions... take the high road right?

David W. Keelan said...

"...making a mountain out of a mole hill with Comp Lite (with a subtle hint of racism to boot), "

Pointing out the racial component to the comp lite issue, eh?

Whether it was meant to infer Merdon is a racist or not the way it was written did infer Merdon was a racist for supporting the petitioners. It would be prudent to be more careful in how one writes.