HoCo Rising recently commented on supposed high Republican turnout in the Maryland House of Delegates race in District 9A, and wondered whether Bob Flanagan would have beaten Courtney Watson if Republicans had seen similar turnout in Howard County Council District 1. Well, as commenter Ralph Norton was quick to point out, most of Council District 1 is actually in District 9A: Out of the 22 precincts in Council District 1, only 6 are not in 9A, and overall more than three quarters of the registered voters in Council District 1 vote in District 9A (28,335 registered voters out of 37,008 total registered voters in Council District 1 at the time of the general election).

(Going the other way, District 9A consists of 37 precincts, of which 16 are also in Council District 1. As of the general election District 9A contained a total of 62,577 registered voters, of which 28,335 or just under half were also in Council District 1.)

I thought it would be interesting to compare the relative electoral performance of the various District 9A and Council District 1 candidates in the 16 precincts where all of them were on the ballot. So, using the unofficial 2010 general election results by precinct I created a Google spreadsheet showing the votes for Gail Bates, Warren Miller, Maryann Maher, Jonathan Weinstein, Courtney Watson, and Bob Flanagan in those precincts they had in common, arranged in order of the total votes each candidate received in that set of precincts.

Note that the spreadsheet does not include the results from absentee ballots (which haven’t been reported yet) or the results from early voting (which weren’t broken out by precinct). This means that the spreadsheet figures should be taken with a grain of salt, but they still might be of interest, if only for the entertainment value. Note also that the column titled “Turnout” is taken from the “Times Counted” column in the unofficial results; it’s basically the number of ballots that were counted, with the proviso that some voters didn’t vote for all races on the ballot.

You can read the spreadsheet for yourself. However here are some highlights:

  • Courtney Watson was the top vote getter overall in these precincts; however Watson got only 44 votes more than Gail Bates, and ran behind Bates in all but five precincts.
  • Bob Flanagan didn’t attract as many votes as Gail Bates, but he was less than two hundred votes shy of her total, and considerably out-polled Warren Miller (by almost five hundred votes).
  • In turn Warren Miller barely beat Maryann Maher in these precincts, running less than twenty votes ahead of her.

How do these results compare with the results for Council District 1 and District 9A overall?

  • In these 16 precincts Watson’s lead over Flanagan was 50.73% to 49.18%. This is narrower than her lead of 51.39% to 48.53% in the November 2 vote total for all Council District 1 precincts, probably indicating that the other six precincts are relatively more Democratic. (This isn’t quite definitive, since these figures don’t include early voting and absentee ballots. For the record, Watson did considerably better than Flanagan in early voting, 56.70% to 43.18%.)
  • In these 16 precincts Bates and Miller polled at 27.49% and 24.83% respectively compared to 24.75% and 22.85% for Maher and Weinstein respectively. This compares to leads of 31.10% and 28.63% of Bates and Miller over Maher and Weinstein at 20.92% and 19.28% for all precincts in 9A voting on November 2, probably indicating that the rest of District 9A is more Republican than those precincts shared with Council District 1. (Again, this ignores absentee ballots and early voting. As in Council District 1, early voting in District 9A favored Democrats.)

My final conclusions are that Bob Flanagan actually did pretty well in getting Republicans people to vote for him, and that Courtney Watson should be glad her entire district isn’t part of District 9A.

UPDATE: Since I don’t have data on Republican turnout, I amended my final paragraph to note that Bob Flanagan did well in getting people in general to vote for him, not just Republicans specifically. (In other words, crossing out “Republicans” and putting in “people” was not meant as a slur on Republicans; if I make a substantive change to a post after publishing it I explicitly mark my edits.)

HoCoRising (hocorising@gmail.com) - 2010-11-11 11:59

Maybe you should start a category of posts called “HoCo Rising Ombudsman”? Ha ha.

hecker - 2010-11-11 13:39

Well, your “problem” (such as it is) is that you post a lot, you post on topics on which good data exists, and you post opinions on which the data have a bearing. So I can’t resist taking the bait :-)

Truemoderate (balic4567@yahoo.com) - 2010-11-11 16:15

Good work Frank TM

JessieX - 2010-11-13 14:58

Did you see the Saturday morning cartoon by Chris Bachmann? “Republicans and the 2010 Howard County elections” http://bit.ly/d5H6HF ;-)

hecker - 2010-11-13 19:03

I did, but to be honest I didn’t find it as funny as the similar cartoon done by the Best Buy employee about customers’ insatiable desire for the iPhone 4.