What follows is a possible scenario, not a prediction. I learned from the special election in December 2008 in the 6th Representative District race that special elections have more variables and fewer givens than a regular general election,so I am shying away from making a prediction. I will, however, offer some observations and offer one possible outcome, based on those obseravtions.
Republicans tend to vote in higher percentages than Democrats and Democrats tend to vote in higher percentages than Others from what I have researched in the previous special elections for state representative races in the 6th Representative District and the 7th Representative District within the last 24 months. After talking with some people who have a fair amount of knowledge and reviewing those prior numbers, here is what I think might happen.
Out of the 25,044 registered voters in the 5th Council District as of Jan 1,2009 I assume the turnout will be about a 10 % higher turnout among Republicans than Democrats and 5% higher turnout among Democrats than Others.
In this example,
(1)Republican turnout is 25% or 1755 out of 7,021 registered Republicans,
(2) Democratic turnout is 15% or 1689 out of 11,261 registered Democrats and
(3)turnout for Others is 10% or 676 of 6,762 Others.
If Lisa Diller wins the mathematical equivalent of 100% of the Democrats (1689) and Jamie Moulthrop wins the mathematical equivalent of 100% of the Republicans (1755) and Diller wins 60% of the Others (406) to Moulthrop’s 40% of Others (270) ,based on Others in a Democratic area trending Democratic, Diller wins 2094 to 2025. This would be a 51% to 49% victory for Diller.
Here are the actual numbers from what took place on Feb 19th:
DILLER ELISA C. DEMOCRATIC 808 60%
MOULTHROP JAMES REPUBLICAN 545 40%
Total votes cast 1,353
Turnout was 5.53%
Turnout was lower than I expected and the winning margin was higher than I expected.It appears likely Diller secured a higher percentage of Others than expected, secured enough Republican votes to take away the mathematical equivalent of Moulthrop getting 100% of the Republican votes or secured a combination of those two events.
It is possible that Diller got the overwhelming number of Democrat votes and Democrats turned out in higher numbers than Republicans. This data is not yet available,but that is another possibility.