Sunday, July 25, 2010

2008 Dem. Primary offers new examples of locals drawing more votes than Insurance Commissioner & these are in swing districts

The legislative districts I had looked at last week in assessing whether the local legislative races drew more voter activity than the statewide row offices were mostly Democratic strongholds. The 5th ,the 13th,the 16th the 17th state rep districts all have lopsided Democratic registration edges . The 1st, 2nd and 3rd rep districts have lopsided registration edges and have not been held by a Democrat at least since Nixon was president.

I began to wonder if this theory held true in swing districts that did not have a recent history of having a Democrat elected and where there was not an overwhelming Democratic regsitration edge. I looked at the 4th State Senate primary and the 6th State Senate primary, since they each qualified. The 4th had been held since the 2002 reapportionment by Republican Charlie Copeland and the area had been served prior to that by Republican Dallas Winslow. The 6th State Senate seat had been held by Republican Liane Sorenson since the 2002 reapportionment and the parts of the district in Newark not served by Sorenson prior to reapportionment had been served by Republican Steve Amick ,who saw his district shift southward following redistricting.

Here are the registration figures for each district in September 2008 the month of the primary:
4th State Senate
Democrats ---10,613
Republicans --13,291
Others -------7,454
Total --------31,358

6th State Senate
Democrats ---8,267
Republicans --7,580
Others -------5,768
Total ---------21,615

Some voters in each of these districts seem to have voted in the Governor's primary, skipped the Insurance Commissioner's primary and then voted in the state senate primary.

4th State Senate
Turnout Governor's primary----------------- 4,260
Turnout Insurance Commissioner's primary----3,618
( 15% dropff from the Gov. race)
Turnout state senate primary----------------3,854
(9% dropoff from the Gov. race)
This indicates about 6% (or 1 out of 16 voters) skipped the Ins Comm race,but voted in the State Senate race.

6th State Senate
Turnout Governor's primary ----------------2,830
Turnout Insurance Commissioner's primary---2,353
(16% dropoff from the Gov. race)
Turnout state senate primary---------------2,629
(7% dropoff from the Gov. race)
This indicates about 9% (or 1 out of 11 voters) skipped the Ins. Comm race,but voted in the State Senate race.

Among the struggles facing the statewide row office candidates appears to be the task of not only getting voters to the polls,but making sure their race is not skipped by voters who take the "act locally" part of the "think globally, act locally" motto literally.