Friday, November 07, 2008

crunching some numbers from 11/4

We ended up with exactly 12,000 votes-- after getting 9,920 in 2006. Unfortunately, with 93,000 more voters this time (from 221K to 314K), that translated into a lower percentage: 3.8% this year vs. 4.5% in 2006.

Going into the campaign season, we thought this was a strong possibility: more voters, but a lower percentage-- given the higher voter turnout during presidential elections (especially this year). Beyond that, and to generalize, these voters are characterized by the relative excitement they have for the presidential election and the relative ignorance they have about the down-ticket offices.

As for specific counties, I'm a bit surprised that we received fewer votes in six of the 20 counties. (I thought they'd vote for me again in 2008 if they voted for me in 2006, but perhaps memories are short?) We increased our vote percentage in four counties (Dearborn, Floyd, Ripley and especially
Switzerland). Jackson and Brown were still our two best counties. Washington moved up to 3rd. Switzerland, with a significant radio campaign, moved from 18th to 4th. Perry and Spencer became our bottom two. (We got very little media coverage there and didn't purchase much media.)

Many people have asked whether I'm disappointed. Yes and no. I'm not disappointed with the way in which we ran the experiment. We did everything we could given the resources we had. We worked very hard and as far as I know, we worked smart. But of course, we were disappointed in the results. We wanted to win. If not win, then we wanted to hit double-digits and make a far bigger splash. But it is what it is.

Perhaps I turned off a lot of people with one of our TV ads. Perhaps people were somehow more prone to the (lame) "wasted vote" idea. Less media coverage of the race. Only one debate. Far less negativity from the other two. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. We'll never know. But I think the biggest thing, by far, is the limited extent to which people pay attention to politics. As I've often said, we're fortunate to live in a country where we don't need to pay much attention to politics-- and people take advantage of that. The problem, of course, is that we allow all sorts of shenanigans to go on.

What does the future hold for the 9th District, for the Libertarian Party, and for freedom? Stay tuned...