Saturday, November 17, 2007

My Take on the Nov. 6th Election Results

It's been a while before I posted. I was at a tax seminar last week and I've been playing catch up with the work in the office. Payroll tax deposits are due on the 15th of the month and sales tax reports are due on the 20th.

I was correct in seven of the eight statewide races. The only one where I was wrong was the MDAC Commissioner's race. I thought Rickey Cole would pull it out. I was wrong. I was surprised at the amount of votes Les Riley got in that race--about 7.55% of the total. In Rankin County, he got 11%. I figured a lot of conservative Republicans would vote for Riley and I was right. This is one race where Barbour's coattails pulled a Republican through to victory (Dr. Moo's 50.8% ain't a landslide.). Dr. Moo (Lester Spell) didn't deserve reelection, but the voters thought otherwise.

I was right in the PSC race and MDOT race. I wrote that the MDOT district was leaning Republican and the PSC district was leaning Democratic. A political maven (now deceased) told me the contradiction. People will vote Republican when it comes to management issues, which is what MDOT is. But people will vote populist, i.e. Democratic, when it comes to setting utility rates. I was right in my calls. (For the boob who commented on my last post, municipal election commissioners know NOTHING on the design of a state district. Municipal election commissioners deal with MUNICIPAL boundaries.)

Rudy Warnock blew the race for MDOT Commissioner with his negative ads in the last week of the campaign. He stated Dick Hall raised his salary and his pension (Untrue. The State Legislature does that.), spent millions to renovate the office building (Untrue. Again, the State Legislature appropriated the money.), and the helicopter (Hall gave an excellent rebuttal to that charge.). It was pretty bad mudslinging on Warnock's part and it cost him a lot of votes.

I have read many blogs giving the base vote for each party. Most of them have said the GOP has a rock-solid base of 40% and the Democrats 39%. These numbers come from the losing race of Shawn O'Hara (Democrat) and Al Hopkins (Republican). The numbers may be true on the Democratic side. But they are not true on the Republican side.

Let's take a statistic to lunch. Almost all of O'Hara's vote came from black voters. Tate Reeves, the incumbent Republican State Treasurer, received 15% to 18% of the black vote. The white vote went about 90% for Reeves. O'Hara spent just $1300 yet he received 39% of the vote! All he had to do was have a (D) after his name. He was considered a "kook" candidate with a reputation of advocating snow cone stands at rest stops. He was a joke. I predicted Reeves would get 73% to 77% of the vote. O'Hara's 39% shows how strong the base vote of the Democratic Party really is.

On the other hand, Al Hopkins was a credible candidate. He spent a lot of bucks and his advertising campaign was very good. He made a lot of strong valid points against Attorney General Jim Hood's trial attorney contributions. He was gaining strength as the election campaign went on. He got 40% of the vote.

But that is not the base Republican vote. To get that, we must go back to the 2003 Secretary of State's race. The Republican nominee, Julio Del Castillo, got 201765 votes or 23.47% of the total vote. Del Castillo was a total unknown who spent very little money (Believe it or not, he took DeSoto County by a landslide.). The winner, incumbent Eric Clark received 610461 votes or 71.02% (There was a Reform Party candidate.). Allocating the third party vote to both parties, the GOP base vote is about 25%. That is it. The reason is there is no guarantee white voters will vote Republican, but there is a very strong guarantee black voters will vote at least 82% Democratic (I'm talking about state office races. I know Sen. Thad Cochran gets a near-majority black vote when he runs.).

In the Governor's race, Haley Barbour hoped to get 20% of the black vote. From the numbers I can see, he got about 9% to 10% of the black vote. That is an improvement over the 6% he received in 2003. But that is nowhere near what he was hoping to get. What helped Barbour was a lower than expected black voter turnout. Barbour's vote was down 55301 from what it was in 2003. But the Democratic vote was down 110024. If the downturn was equal for both parties, Barbour would have received about 54% of the vote. None of the Republican candidates did well among black voters. The best was Tate Reeves' 15% to 18%. The GOP has a long way to go before blacks start pushing the (R) button.

So for 2011, we can conclude the base vote for the Democratic Party is 39% and the base vote for the GOP is 25%. Perhaps all of you out there in the blogosphere can give me a better analysis to what the base vote for each party is. I've spent some time analyzing the vote trying to come up with the base vote. But all of this may change when party registration comes to Mississippi. We'll see.


Steve Rankin said...

Interesting analysis, John.

You're certainly right about black voters' resistance to the Republican label. In the 2003 state auditor's race, there was no Democrat running. In the west Jackson precincts, there was a drop-off in the number voting for auditor, and the Reform candidate got a big vote. So, rather than voting for the Republican Phil Bryant, many of those voters either left it blank or voted for the Reform nominee.

As for the base Republican vote, I believe that it's higher than 25 percent.

Party registration is the legislature's province, and the likelihood is great that that part of Judge Allen Pepper's ruling-- along with the order for voter ID-- will be reversed on appeal.

Party registration is not always reliable for gauging voting habits. The largest number of registered voters in Alaska, Utah, and Rhode Island, e.g., is independents, and yet Alaska and Utah are Republican states, while Rhode Island is Democratic.

Free Citizen

KingMaker said...

I think you're pretty close on the base for the Republican candidate, I think it's between 25% and 29%. I think that the GOP starts each race in Mississippi (statewide) with a 10 pt margin to make up before the campaign begins.