The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Sunday, May 08, 2005

What A Day!

For all of y'all who have worked on a campaign before, is there any other more peaceful, emotional, apprehensive, exhausting, and (possibly) gratifying time in your life than immediately after an election? I'm simultaneously exhausted and energized after days like today... and I wasn't even working on a campaign for months at a time, 15 hours a day, 100 hours a week like alot of the campaign staffers were.

I hate to brag, but what the hell, I'm going to. Outside of the District 6 race, I called every race correctly. In the mayor's race I even did a pretty damn good job of calling the final outcome.

TJ Connolly prediction
Castro- 47%
Hardberger- 25%
Schubert- 28%

My prediction
Castro- 40%
Hardberger- 31%
Schubert- 26%

Actual Outcome
Castro- 41.99%
Hardberger- 30.05%
Schubert- 26.32%

Big Mo' is with Hardberger. For all the accolades bestowed upon Castro and his team, they couldn't break 42%. Yet tonight was supposed to be a race to see if Julian could get the 50% plus 1 to miss a run-off, TJ Connolly? Please. Has anyone else been scratching their head for the past few months wondering why everyone thinks that it is so amazing that Julian has led both Hardberger and Schubert? Of course he would. In a city that's 58% Latino with two Latino mayors in 140 years, when you're Latino and running against two white guys who are splitting a key constituency, of course you're going to have a 10 point lead on election day. But you won't get the simple majority.

The whole dynamics change now. Schubert voters either stay home or go vote for Phil. Methinks they'll see the need for Phil as mayor and vote for the Judge. There's no way that Castro breaks into the North Side any further than he already has- if he hasn't done it in over a year, what makes anyone think he can do it in one month? Finally, Hardberger's voters are just more consistent voters, taking a slight amount of pressure off of his campaign. He's not going to have to worry as much as the Castro campaign will. If the South and West sides of town couldn't turn up to vote in the general, what makes you think they'll turn out for a run-off?

As far as the City Council races I predicted, here's what I had to say about them over the past few days:

District 3- Gutierrez pulls off an upset.
District 6- Ray Lopez and Larry Romo go to a run-off. I'm salivating already.
District 7- Noel Suniga and Elena Guajardo go to a run-off. In this traditionally Dem district, how do you think Suniga's votes for Bush and the R's are going to play?
District 8- Art Hall wins on Saturday, barely (and when I say barely, I mean in getting a simple majority. I think Hall will hold a comfortable lead over his opponents).
District 9- Kevin Wolff wins in a walk.
District 10- Chip Haass gets a nice, comfortable victory and starts to think about what else he'd like to do in the next 1-2 years.
Now Districts 9 and 10 weren't really stretches, but I think I did pretty well overall.

No one could've seen Roland Gutierrez blasting Ron Segovia the way he did. This thing was all but over once the early vote numbers were in, literally. Gutierrez could have not received one single vote on e-day and yet still would've won by 9 votes over an incumbent. Absolutely amazing. But Gutierrez should take heed that this is the second straight election that an 1st-term incumbent from District 3 has been ousted. Work the district Roland, take nothing for granted, don't throw apples at your wife, and start fundraising like crazy as soon as you can.

District 6 was a tight one (but not as tight as District 7). Delicia Herrera makes up a 86 vote early vote deficit to take 2nd place by 106 votes over my endorsee Larry Romo. That's all field right there. Kudos to their campaign team, you deserve it. I said for a couple of weeks here on this blog that Herrera was hard-charging, but I never thought she would come close to making the run-off. I saw her numbers being somewhere around Dominick Dina's in 4th place. Boy was I wrong. Herrera definitely has momentum.

The Lopez campaign though should be very, very worried. After spending upwards of $50,000 (the second most of any non-incumbent city council candidate), all they had to show for it was 31.31% of the vote. Delicia Herrera and Larry Romo, who combined did not raise or spend as much money as Lopez, received a combined 45% of the vote. You're going to have to do a much better job in the run-off. One other noticeable quirk in District 6 is that the four 'minor' candidates received a total of over 1,100 votes in a 9,118 vote race. I think this means one of two things, either the four candidates had a relatively small, but committed base that would vote for them regardless, or that 12-13% of the voters still didn't know who was who in District 6.

One more thing about Larry Romo before we move on. Larry was probably the hardest-working candidate out of all of them. No one single candidate can say they knocked on as many doors as he himself did (over 6,000). No one can say they worked the district for as long as he did (4 years), or that they worked the endorsing organizations as hard as he did. Sometimes it just isn't meant to be. Herrera or Lopez should think seriously about hiring him on as a District Director, as I think very few people in District 6 have the contacts/connections or the respect that he does.

District 7 was a heartracer and a heartbreaker of a race. First off, let's talk about the amount of people who voted in this race. If my math is correct, nearly 14,000 people voted. I don't know how much of this had to do with the City Council race or because of Julian Castro, but that's really, really high. My heart also goes out to Cynthia Test, the last time I checked the results around 9 or so, she was in second by several dozen votes with 97% or so of the precincts reporting. At 1 this morning when I got in, I see she lost by about 3 dozen votes. That's tough. And she wouldn't have been anywhere near that position if she hadn't had a good e-day field campaign, making up 200 votes on Noel Suniga today- nearly tying with frontrunner Elena Guajardo for most e-day votes. But thems the breaks.

I still think that Guajardo wins this run-off. It's going to be a good contrast of well-rounded, experienced leadership versus a moderate, pro-business *ahem*Republican, stance.

In District 8, Art Hall was about 130 or so votes away from having to participate in a run-off. That's about 65 or so people changing their minds to vote for someone else. Extremely close, a little closer than I thought it would be (51-53% for Hall is what I wrote on a previous post). I don't know at what point and time Burt Cecconi becomes one of those perennial candidates, but he's sure getting close. If he can't pull it off in '07, he needs to hang it up.

And so for the mayor's race and two city council races, we get to do this all over again in one month. Fun, fun. What do y'all have to say about all this?