Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It paid to win where the most votes were cast in the 5th County Council Special Election

An interesting pattern appears if we break down the polling places by the size of the impact they had on the overall votes cast. Lisa Diller won 11 of 14 polling places, but what appears as important is that she won in the places that turned out the greatest number of voters.

Impact is not the same as turnout percentage in this discussion. We are talking about numbers of voters. The 13-22nd which voted at George Wilson Community Center had a 18.35% turnout which is a high percentage in a special election with an overall 5.53% turnout,but since this district only has 109 registered voters the 20 votes cast there had little impact. By comparison, McVey Elementary School was the polling place for 3 election districts comprised of 4,176 registered voters It had only a 5.6% turnout, but those 234 voters made it the third highest polling places in terms of numbers of voters.
It is better to have a small piece of a very big pie than a big piece of a very small pie.

There were fifteen polling places and this pattern can be seen when we break them into turnout groups .

High Impact Polling Places
First Presbyterian Church –Total Turnout 241-Diller 128-Moulthrop 113
(2nd - 23rd & 5th –23rd) (7.95% turnout-241 out of 3,032 voters)
Downes Elementary School-Total Turnout 309-Diller 201-Moulthrop 108
(3rd-23rd & 4th-23rd) (11.01% turnout-309 of 2,806 voters)
West Park Elementary School-Total Turnout 100-Diller 79-Moulthrop 21
(7th-23rd)(6.86 % turnout-100 out of 1,458 voters)
McVey Elementary School-Total Turnout 234-Diller 129-Moulthrop 105
(2nd-25th,6th-25th, & 7th-25th) (5.60% turnout-234 of 4,176 voters)
Brookside Elementary School-Total Turnout 112-Diller 68-Moulthrop 44
(3rd-25th & 4th-25th) (3.66% turnout-112 of 3,058 voters)

In these five polling places, representing ten election districts, Diller beat Moulthrop 605 to 391 or 214 votes. She won overall by 263, so these areas provided much of her victory margin.
These ten election districts have 14,668 of the district’s 25,081 registered voters (as of 2-1-2009, but likely to fluctuate over time) . This is 58.5% of the county council district’s registered voters. The 996 votes casts at these 5 polling places represented 73.6% of the overall turnout district wide.Diller won 60.7% in these areas that comprised almost three quarters of votes cast.

Medium Impact Polling Places
Main Towers, Main Street-Total Turnout 34-Diller 26-Moulthrop 8
(1st -23rd) (4.35% turnout-34 of 781 voters)
Aetna Fire Hall- Total Turnout 35 –Diller 23-Moulthrop 12
(6th-23rd)(2.69% turnout-35 out of 1,302 voters)
Newark Library- Total Turnout- 55- Diller 40-Moulthrop 15
(1st-25th)(4.80% turnout 55 out of 1,145 voters)
Glasgow High School-Total Turnout 81-Diller 44-Moulthrop 37
(5th- 25th &9th-25th)(3.77% turnout-81 of 2,150 voters)
Newark High School-Total Turnout 56-Diller 34-Moulthrop 22
(8th- 25th)(6.33% turnout-56 out of 884 voters)

Diller won this group 167 to 94 or with 64% of the vote.

By contrast, in the five polling places with the lowest turnout, Moulthrop won 62.5% of the vote.
Low Impact Polling Places
Maclary Elementary School-Total Turnout 19-Diller 7-Moulthrop 12
(13th-21st) (4.03% turnout-- 19 out of 472 voters)
Shue Middle School- Total Turnout 24-Diller 14-Moulthrop 10
(14th-21st) (8.73% turnout—24 out of 275 voters)
George Wilson Community Ctr-Total Turnout 20-Diller 5-Moulthrop 15
(13th-22nd)( 18.35% turnout-20 out of 109 voters)
Medill School-Total Turnout 14-Diller 1-Moulthrop 13
(3rd-24th) (1.08% turnout 14 out of 1,301 voters)
Jennie E Smith Elem School Total Turnout 19-Diller 9-Moulthrop 10
(6th-24th) (1.24% turnout 19 out of 1528 voters)
These five polling places combined for 96 votes or 7.1% of total turnout.
These five election districts make up 3712 of the 25,081 registered voters or 14.8% of the district’s potential voters.

High Impact polling places account for 73.6% of votes cast-Diller wins 605-391

Medium Impact polling places account for 19.3% of votes cast- Diller wins 167-94

Low Impact polling places account for 7.1% of votes cast-Moulthrop wins 60-36

When asked why he robbed banks Willie Sutton is quoted as having said “Because that’s where the money is”. On February 19, 2009 those five High Impact polling places in the 23rd and 25th Representative Districts were the places where the votes were. Winning there appears to be why she won.

Election results and turnout data is from the New Castle County Department of Elections:

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