Sunday, November 2, 2008

Multiple Factors make Democrat Bethany Hall-Long the Likely Winner in 10th State Senate open seat.

Factor (1) She has a significant Democratic registration edge:

10th State Senate District

Democrats **** Republicans****Others*****Total
14,275*********9,953********* 7,811******32,039

The person State Representative Bethany Hall-Long seeks to replace is retiring Republican Sen Steve Amick whose legislative service is: State Representative 1986-1994; State Senator 1994-present, Minority Whip 1997-98,Minority Leader 1999-2002.
Amick’s district was primarily Newark based until 2002’s reapportionment and the center of gravity for the 10th State Senate District moved southward closer to where Hall-Long lives. In 2002 Amick won his new seat 6,436 to 4,393 over Democrat Julie Dugan of Newark. He beat Dugan 10,895 to 8,884 in their 2004 rematch.

I see Hall-Long in a similar situation as Amick was in 2002 ,but with a registration edge which Amick did not have. Each of them could claim years of legislative experience while much of it was not representing the people who would be voting for them at the time of the election: Amick’s 2002 election or 2008, in Hall-Long’s case ,since only her own election district is the only election district in the 8th Rep District that is also in the 10th State Senate District.

I heard Hall-Long and Republican Jim Weldin at the Embassy Suites debate last month and she pointed out the number of occasions she had worked across the aisle with Amick. Representing adjacent areas and overlapping representation in her election district, they most likely addressed many of the same quality of life constituent concerns.

Factor # (2)This places Hall-Long in the enviable position of being able to represent both a change and continuity at the same time.

Factor #(3)This is the fifth consecutive election that Hall-Long has been on the ballot in the area, although this represents three different ballots: the pre-2002 9th Representative District in 2000, the current 8th Representative District in 2002, 2004 & 2006 and the current 10 th State Senate District in this election cycle. Jim Weldin has not been on the general election ballot in the area since 2002. This may mean a big difference in name recognition.

Factor # (4) Hall-Long raised $89,394.47 as of 10-27-2008. Weldin raised $20,320.68.
An additional $69,000 can mean a lot more mailings and ads are possible to get one’s message out.

If Hall-Long wins she will be serving with several other former House members.
Six of the current 21 state senate members have made the transition from State House of Representative to State Senate:
Sen Steve Amick
Sen. George Bunting
Sen Bruce Ennis
Sen Cathy Clouthier
Sen Dave McBride
Sen Liane Sorenson
My pick is Hall-Long wins by 800-1000 votes.


eaglesphillies said...

Are you surprised by Bethany Hall-long's margin of victory.

John Tobin said...

Yes, I was surprised at the extent of her victory. This evening I have been looking at how other Democrats did in her district and incumbent Democrats Kowalko(25th RD) and Viola (26th RD) outpaced her in some election districts within their Rep Districts while Democratic challengers in other districts seemed to have lagged behind her,even in districts where they outpaced their Republican rival (for example, some districts where Earl Jaques beat Vince Lofink in the 27th, Jaques had a smaller majority than Hall-Long had in her race). Some of the differences in vote totals between Hall-Long and the local Democratic state representative candidate were close enough to hint at a fair amount of straight ticket voting.
I plan to do an extended post on this race within a couple days.
Thanks for reading and thanks for asking.