Tuesday, July 1, 2014

District 12 - By The Numbers

Digging through the weeds today.  Reading through the unofficial primary election results, looking for anything that local political geeks, such as this author, might find to be of interest.  Bear in mind that these are the unofficial numbers.

[I cited the location of the polling places, in certain instances, to provide an additional layer of geographic specificity…and for future trivia questions for those who delight in the incredibly obscure].

Looking at the overall vote totals in Howard County reported to date (which include 35 of 37 precincts, including 31 physical election-day precincts, one of two absentee vote precincts, zero of one provisional vote precinct, and three early voting center precincts), here is where we stand:

Candidate                  Votes

Lam                             4,719
Hill                              4,454
Ebersole                     2,839
Dongarra                    1,617
Stewart                       1,408
Bailey                          785
McGuirk-Spence        777
Gisriel                         621
Sachs                          486
Cohen                         346

Topline observation: As many observers expected, Lam and Hill crushed in HoCo.  Ebersole’s margin over Dongarra in Howard County enabled him to overcome Dongarra’s lead in Baltimore County.

Among voters who cast their ballot at the polls in Howard County, on Election Day:

Terri Hill and Clarence Lam flat-out dominated Howard County, finishing first or second in all thirty-one precincts.  Lam carried 20 precincts while Hill won 10 precincts.  They tied in one precinct (1-005, the Worthington Elementary School Gym).  

Rebecca Dongarra came close to a second place finish in precinct 1-011 (the Ilchester Elementary School Gym), garnering 34 votes compared to 35 for Lam.

Nick Stewart obtained the third slot in precinct 02-21 (the Northfield Elementary School Cafeteria), but there were few votes reported out of that precinct (a total of 38 votes cast, with Stewart’s name checked on 15 of those ballots compared to 16 for Lam).

As one might expect based on the overall numbers, Eric Ebersole finished third in most precincts, with Dongarra and Stewart obtaining more votes than Ebersole in a handful of precincts, primarily in the eastern part of D12 in Howard County.

Still in Howard County: Lam and Hill also tied with 100 votes apiece on the first absentee vote canvass.  Lam edged Hill for first place among early voters (1,585 to 1,501). Ebersole was third among this early voting population with 970 votes.

Turning to D12 in Baltimore County, with 22 of 25 precincts reporting (including 14 physical election day precincts, eight of eight early voting center precincts, zero of two absentee vote precincts and zero of one provisional vote precincts), here is where we stand:

Candidate                              Votes

Dongarra                                2,027
Ebersole                                 1,490
Stewart                                   1,485
Hill                                          1,472
Lam                                         1,433
McGuirk-Spence                    1,048
Bailey                                      738
Gisriel                                     578
Sachs                                      239
Cohen                                     212

Topline observations:  The race for second place was tight, with the second through fifth place finishers all garnering between 1,433 and 1,490 votes.  Most likely unsurprisingly, relative to the number of votes cast in each county, McGuirk-Spence and Bailey fared better in Baltimore County compared to Howard County.

Starting with those who cast their ballots at the polls on Election Day in Baltimore County:

This is where Rebecca Dongarra ran strongest, capturing a plurality of the vote in five of the 14 precincts.  Nick Stewart also carried five precincts.  Hill placed first in two precincts, with Ebersole and Bailey winning one apiece.

Dongarra won in precincts such as 1-13 (the Hillcrest Elementary School Gym) and 1-14 (the Catonsville High School Gym), winning the former by a decent margin over the second place finisher, Eric Ebersole (by a margin of 263 votes to 189 votes).  She also won in 1-16 (the Charlestown Retirement Community Conference Center), 13-1 (the Maiden Choice School Gym) and 13-4 (the Relay Elementary School Gym). 

Stewart carried 13 – 2 (the Arbutus Fire Hall), 13-3 (the Arbutus Middle School Cafeteria), 13 -5 (the Halethorpe Elementary School Gym), 13 – 6 (the Lansdowne Middle School Cafeteria), and 13-8 (the English Consul Volunteer Fire Department Hall).  He broke into the top three in a couple of the other precincts, most notably a solid second place showing in the aforementioned 13-4.

Hill won 1- 9 (the Banneker Community Center Gym) and 13-7 (the Baltimore Highlands Elementary School Cafeteria).  She finished in the top three in several precincts.

Ebersole won in 1-10 (the Hillcrest Elementary School Cafeteria) by a narrow 217 – 212 margin over Dongarra.  He ran a solid second to Dongarra in 1-13 and 1- 14 (both precincts mentioned above).

Brian Bailey carried 13-9 (the Riverview Elementary School Cafeteria) while finishing second behind Stewart in 13-8. 

Broken out separately from the overall Baltimore County figures reported above, Dongarra placed first in the first absentee vote canvass (51 votes with Lam the second place finisher at 49).  Dongarra also obtained the greatest number of early voting center votes (441 with Lam again placing second with 402, slightly ahead of Ebersole at 399….with Hill (329) and Stewart (294) fourth and fifth, respectively).

So what does this all mean?

If Dongarra gained eight votes, and Ebersole lost eight votes, in each of the 45 physical precincts, Dongarra would be in third place.  Candidate skill-sets and other variables aside, I believe the endorsements by the MSEA (and to a significant but somewhat lesser extent the SEIU) helped propel Ebersole into the top three…and, barring a highly improbable upset, a ticket to Annapolis.

Stay tuned, as more will follow.


  1. Congratulations on this. Since I'm another numbers guy, it's the kind of thing I routinely do after every election. You beat me to it.
    It does look like all of the Baltimore County resident candidates in LD12 except Ebersole did relatively better in their home county than in Howard. Since there were only two viable Howard County candidates, the voters in Howard almost had to go to a Baltimore County resident as their third choice (if they were going to vote for three) and that choice must have been Ebersole for many of them. (I wonder if Gisriel is still residing in Baltimore County.)

    1. Ken,

      1) Thanks. I had a bit of spare time..and the number of precincts was manageable. Would be a bit more daunting to do a thorough HoCo BoE analysis, so I am hoping that someone else is going through those numbers. Might just eyeball the raw data and look for some glaring deviations.

      2) Ha on Gisriel. Probably checking out apartment options in Anne Arundel County as we speak.

      Have a great 4th of July!