Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Few Clues at County Fair

A Few Clues in County Fair Mock Vote

The Johnson County fair has wrapped up, and with it the annual auditor's office mock election (disclaimer: that's the day job). As always, it's unscientific. Kids and non-locals get to vote (which this year skews one specific result). But my guess is kids' votes generally align with parental leanings, and in the 12 year history of the event I haven't seen a result that deviated dramatically from the general lay of the land or the eventual result.

That said, let's check some numbers. The important number to note isn't Obama outpolling the entire GOP field. That's good for maybe a little bragging, thus I mention it, but this is after all Johnson County, which went 70% Obama in 2008.

The important numbers are within each party.

Barack Obama 234 92%
Uncommitted 20 8%

Or, in caucus results format: Obama, 100 percent of delegates. The uncommitted anti-Obama vote is below the Democrat's 15 percent viability threshold.

On the GOP side the numbers are scattered all over the place... which is probably a pretty accurate assessment. This is the extra-expanded, anyone who might conceivably run ballot. These numbers track fairly close to recent public polling, with one exception.

Michele Bachmann 32 22%
Mitt Romney 24 16%
Ron Paul 16 11%
Sarah Palin 11 7%
Uncommitted 11 7%
Herman Cain 10 7%
Rick Perry 9 6%
Rick Santorum 9 6% *
Newt Gingrich 7 5%
Tim Pawlenty 6 4%
Rudy Giuliani 4 3%
Gary Johnson 3 2%
Buddy Roemer 3 2%
Jon Huntsman 1 1%
Roy Moore 1 1%
Fred Karger 0 0%
Thaddeus McCotter 0 0%

About that asterisk: Rick Santorum was running at zero at 11:00 Thursday morning. (One of the traditions is posting preliminary results during the fair to make things interesting.).

Then about 6:00 that evening a whole bunch of people in matching Rick Santorum t-shirts showed up. Turned out to be Karen Santorum, the candidate's spouse, and all the Santorum kids, who are spending the three weeks before Ames campaigning across the state. (The candidate was at another event in Pella.) So that Santorum total largely represents the all-important immediate family vote.

So aside from that statistical anomaly, we see Bachmann in the lead, Romney winning his silver, Ron Paul with his rock-solid ten percent (well, 11 in this case), Palin ahead of the Platypus, Pawlenty seriously lagging, and Karger and McCotter tied with Kevin Phillips-Bong.

There were also a number of issue questions. The most local-electoral relevant was on the proposed jail, which "won" a narrow 51-49% plurality. "Won" because remember, a bond issue takes 60 percent. I discuss that more in a rant which I may or may not get the nerve to actually post.

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