Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Observations from the Polls

I worked the polls yesterday and my brain is pretty much mush today.  But, a few observations from the flow of folks coming through to vote.

I work in a location that has two precincts that are generally 2 - 1 Republican to Democrat.  The turnout in my precinct was about 16% overall.  But the vote was 4 - 1 R to D.  So turnout was more like 20% of the registered Rs and 10% of the registered Ds.  See what happens when there is a real contest on the ballot?

I have to say that I was surprised by the amount of anger yesterday.  Some folks were not just in favor of Murdock, they were downright angry at Lugar.  A number of people mentioned that they had not realized that the Congressional District in which they now voted was the 7th.  Among the Rs, there was a goodly discussion that they did not know anyone running on their side.  There was even some outright anger that they had been moved at all.

Usually Election Day  in the polls is seeing to the nuts and bolts of the election itself, mixed with seeing friends you only catch up with twice a year when they come in to vote.

I went into the day expecting confusion over the new precincts and changes to the voting location for some.  But, I didn't really see any of that.

What I did see this year there was this undercurrent of anger that I can't say I've seen before, and it ebbed and flowed through the day, but it was present and its impact was felt in the final tally.

On the R side, Mitt Romney won with 55% of the vote, while Ron Paul came in second with half as many supporters.  Cat Ping led the pack of District 7 candidates with 35 votes and her nearest competitors Carlos May and Tony Duncan garnered 19.   36 people chose not to vote for anyone.  Murdock took the Senate race 2 to 1 over Lugar, even though Lugar has a school named for him in the District.  Paul Ogden came in tenth in the Superior Court Judge race, edging out  Borges and Orbison.

On the D side, Andre Carson got 60% of the vote and Greg Bowes came in 8th for Judge, beating out Carroll, Eichholtz, Hawkins, and King.  County Treasurer Fuentes had the highest number of voters opting not to vote for her rather than cast a vote for an unopposed candidate with 9 of 41 voters not filling in the bubble.


Gary R. Welsh said...

There were a number of hard Ds who crossed over in my precinct to vote in the Republican primary for Lugar. My precinct is largely well-educated professionals. I'm always amazed at some of the people who actually carry those slating lists into the voting booth with them to cast their votes.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a current of those "angry" people throughout the country, more in some places less in others. Being called "racist", "terrorist" or being accused of wanting "alligators in the moat" doesn't exactly glean congeniality.

If you don't definitely percieve yourself within one of President Obama's targeted groups he hopes to knit together for victory, I'm not sure what he has except lots of campaign donations and a free ride in the press.

If enough of those "angry" people don't show-up, that may be enough.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Let's make it clear that you are the source of the labeling here. I have no reason to claim any attribute of these voters than they were angry about one thing or another - no more, no less.

And, it has nothing to do with Obama's 'campaign strategy' - as you seem to want to depict it.

Just maybe, we've lost the ability to speak person to person because we'd rather just sterotype folks, so each of us can quickly claim some superiority of political philosophy so we don't really have to think.