Thursday, November 05, 2015
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
We aim to please here at the Troy Polloi. Late last night, we received a message we thought we would share.
Dear Democratus: I am so confused. The Democrats were split and the Republicans kept saying Gordon would win. Franco gave Gordon 3-1 odds, Wiltshire 5-1 odds and Madden 7-1.* But Madden won but the Republicans have a majority on the council but, but, but...Also, my mother-in-law came to visit and won't leave. Please explain all of this.
Confused in Troy
Dear Confused: We have assembled our crack squad of political statisticians, the very same that accurately predicted the election outcome. Let us take a trip into the numbers.
Not too much though. Numbers get boring after awhile. First congratulations to the winners and condolences to the defeated. The Democratic Party had a great night (not without some clouds on the horizon). The Republican Council Candidates had a great night (not without some clouds on the horizon).
Despite a challenge from the Working Families Party, the establishment Democratic candidate (who has never held office and who is not yet a registered Democrat) won easily against Republican candidate Jim Gordon. Technically, it was almost a landslide at an 8% spread (a landslide is 10%). Without Wiltshire in the race, it would have been a devastating defeat. The establishment Democrat (who has never run for office and who was an enrolled blank) also defeated the anti-establishment candidate (who was a two-term councilman, Council President and a registered democrat) easily.
Without Wiltshire in the race, does anyone doubt that Madden would have captured half of Wiltshire's vote? That's would be a resounding show of support. Now, for the districts.
District 1 - A straight up majority win by political newcomer Jim Gulli. Rounding up, it was a 53%-47% victory. Gulli's victory was not decisive in a district that many said was a Gordon stronghold. Gulli got less votes than Gordon did two years before (699 to Gordon's 770) and Ryan received more votes than the 2013 loser,(623 to Scales 590). The Democrats are hoping this loss turns into a win with the absentees. Very doubtful. We think the absentees break the way the general breaks. Counting on the absentees is wishful thinking. If Ryan had bothered to get the WFP line, or Green line, it's a much closer race and maybe a win. This is not a safe seat unless you're a McGrath. Not that McGrath. The other McGrath.
District 2 - McGrath 534 to Robertson's 310. Let the big dog eat. This is McGrath's district whenever he wants it. While his defeat looks like an unprecedented victory, it actually mirrors the thorough ass-kicking McGrath gave a hapless Bob Martiniano in 2009. That was McGrath 537 to Martiniano's 308. This isn't even McGarth's best vote count. In 2011 McGrath received 610 votes. That said, Robertson's defeat looks almost as bad as my mother-in-law after a pub crawl. And a well earned. ass-kicking it was.
District 3 - Bodnar beat Steele by about the same percentage he beat his opponent in 2013. Even if Steele had all the WFP votes, she still loses. A swing district though.
Based on past voting, all three districts seem relatively unscathed by the upstart Team Troy. In fact, it is likely that Wiltshire supporters aided Ryan's numbers. We are not convinced that a different democrat in District 2 would have altered the outcome in any significant way.
District 4 - Doherty's best showing and the worst showing for an R since the Nick Helper debacle of 2009. A Democratic district.
District 5 - Give Kopka not all, but just half, of Bissember's vote and it's a landslide. A landslide against a well-known, Eastside favorite who had five lines. Casey received fewer votes (630) than Seamus Donnelly (740) and we're not even sure what a Seamus Donnelly is. A Democratic district.
District 6 - Give D'Arcy less than half of Corey Jenkins vote and Donohue loses. Donohue's numbers are almost twice that of Ned's 2013 race but well short of Mahoney's 2011 effort.
At-Large - Without delving too deep into the at-large contest, does anyone believe that but for Team Troy, Weaver or Dresher would be on the Council and not Ashe-McPherson? Again, this does not assume all Team Votes go to the Democrat, only half that vote.
That's a 6-3 Democratic majority. But it's not. Team Troy did run and the GOP candidates did win districts that they should not have. That's a democracy and there's no sense in the Democrats whining about it. The fact that Team Troy cost the Democrats a majority on the City Council does not reduce the GOP majority. The point here is that the Republicans have the most precarious of holds on the Council that could easily evaporate in two years.
When it takes a split opposition vote and 3-4 lines to obtain wins in Districts 1-6 and one at-large seat, there's much work to be done to hold that majority.
That said, we believe this council, with an exception or two, will work with the new mayor and the new mayor will work with the new council. Most will want to make a good impression on the voters. Lest we forgot, it wasn't Bodnar or Gordon that undermined Rosamilia at every turn. It was Wiltshire (D-At-Large) and Zalewski (D-5) that did so, sacrificing Troy's interests to that of their own ambition. With both gone, their minion, Doherty, will get-along-to-go-along. After the past four years, we'll give Mantello and McPherson a fair shake. The council can't be more dysfunctional than the last four years.
*Ironically, better odd than Franco writing for a newspaper again