Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hill moves to the general election

Congratulations to Baron for his victory-- and to Gretchen Clearwater and John Bottorff for a race well-run...

Since the race is of particular interest to me, I've spent some time looking at the numbers and have a few things to note:

-John Bottorff did really well in Clark County (25%), presumably because he shares a last name with a former long-time state rep. John also did well in the western part of the district, while Gretchen did really well in Monroe County (more than 30%).

-Even though Baron thumped his opponents as individuals, he did relatively poorly against them as a group.

Baron only got 68% of the vote this year-- compared to...
-79% with two opponents in 2006
-88% with one opponent in 2004

-unopposed in 2002
-86% with two opponents in 2000
-70% against two opponents in his first effort to replace Lee Hamilton in 1998

Because of the presidential primary, voter participation was way up. As a result, Baron doubled his average vote total over his five other primaries (98K vs. 47K). But his opponents got as many votes as he has received historically (47K)-- and far more votes than all of his previous primary opponents combined, quintupling that average (47K vs. 9K).

Should this be added cause for concern for Hill going into November? It's difficult to say. On the one hand, he still won comfortably. On the other hand, he lost 11% and the apparently widespread anger about his endorsement of Obama may last until November.