Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Quick Takes on the 7th CD Special Primary Election

So...what happened?

-          Turnout was lower than anticipated on the D side, with 67,880 voters casting their ballots in the D primary.  Granted, we don’t have the AVs and Provisionals in yet, but I was expecting something closer to 75,000 Election Day ballots to be cast.

-          I believe favorable weather helped bring out some medium-propensity voters, which boosted the tally to north of 67K, otherwise, we would have witnessed even lower turnout.

-          This is why I don’t do predictions pieces (I have written on this subject previously).  While “fun,” they aren’t based on sound science. 

-          While I got the top 10 right (which wasn’t that difficult a challenge) and I was within 2% of the final numbers for five of the top 10 candidates, I missed Mfume’s numbers by a wide margin.  Why?  A few reasons leap out:
o   Frankly, I expected older voters (who make up a disproportionate percentage of special election electorates) to split between Mfume, Branch, and Jalisi.  The campaigns of the latter two, combined, accounted for not even 3% of the vote (combined, my last predictions piece had them at 14%).  So that is 11% right there.
o   I thought the “Change” vote would lead to stronger performances by relatively newer faces, such as Terri Hill.  While her campaign was solid in Howard County (placing first), she was crushed in Baltimore and also trailed by a wide margin in Baltimore County.  She needed to run up big numbers in HoCo and be competitive in Baltimore (City and County) and that just didn’t happen this time around.
o   While the Carter campaign did well (a familiar name in a sizable percentage of the district), I believe some of her vote went to Mfume (despite the distinct insurgent/establishment positionings) while Rockeymoore Cummings also slightly over-performed by a couple of percentage points over my final projections.  I think some of that vote went from Carter to MRC.

Those are my initial thoughts on this most special of primaries.

In solidarity.

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