Wednesday, April 5, 2017

How I did and What's Next? Boulder City Primary Analysis

Unofficial results from 2017 Primary in Boulder City
So I promised I would do an update once the election came. Yesterday was the day, and the results above, while unofficial, are likely to be the final outcome. So how did I do?

1. No one will clinch a spot in the primary.

As predicted the field was too crowded and no one got it locked in the primary.

2.The Boulder City Alliance will play a part but will not have a huge impact.

This one I got way wrong. I noted that if they got both candidates in, Harhay and McManus, then I had greatly underestimated their impact, and I did. There are several reasons I think I was wrong. In the analysis I predicted McManus would make it and Harhay would not. Clearly Harhay outperformed expectations more than anyone else. One reason is that Harhay ended up being a far better candidate then I gave him credit for. While he did not raise much money, he did take the time for face to face outreach. A much smarter man than myself told me Harhay would outperform expectations. I asked why, and his reply was, "He is at the credit Union, knocking doors and getting face to face. You cannot underestimate looking someone in the eye and talking to them."

Another thing that I believe impacted the outcome was the adding of question one. I think the fact that the "growth" question is to be on the ballot in June drove turn out for those who are opposed to this idea. This really helped Harhay and McManus.

3.Mayor Lungaard will get in the general almost purely on the back of his door to door, putting up signs effort.

I was also off on this one. Several people informed me later that some of those signs went up without permission. I don't know if that is true, but it definitely hurt him that his door to door efforts were early and then done. I think after the signs he just stopped, assuming, like myself, it was enough. He and I were both wrong.

4. Loudin and Stuckey will not make it to the general.

As predicted, their efforts were just not enough.

5. Councilman Walker will move on to the general election, but it will be closer than he would like. In fact, he may not get the most votes of any candidate.

I nailed this one. Look at the totals: he came in third and was less than 20 votes from coming in fourth. The crowded field and the growth issue definitely hurt him as I predicted they would. The question remains: in a less crowded field would he fair any better?

6. Milburn will move on and McDonald will not.

Another one correct. Milburn's longtime in Boulder City was the clincher, and this is closer than even I would have predicted, but in the end McDonald, who did a great job, won't be on the ballot. I hope he's willing to give it a third run because we could use a guy like him in the future.

So 4 out of 6. Not bad, I'll take it.

What's Next?

Clearly the story of the night is Harhay and the Alliance. The great news is they showed that good old fashion, knock doors, speak to your neighbor, encourage people to vote, drive them to the polls etc.. still can beat out big money. Also in the good news for them: it looks like question 1 will be on the ballot this election. This will be a rallying cry for those who are worried about growth, which many are.

But they better not celebrate too soon. There are two big things that could really hurt them and having them looking back on tonight saying, "what could have been?" See, the general election for this group, I believe, will be an all or nothing. The primary was a very uniform voting block when it came to Harhay and Mcmanus, more than I would have guessed. Therefore, as goes question 1, so goes the council. We will have either, 'no' on 1 with McManus and Harhay as our council men or 'yes' on 1 with Walker and Milburn. I don't think there is middle ground. The reason this should concern the Alliance is they won tonight but much because it was a divided field. Their best candidate had approximately 36% of the people vote for him. That means 64% did not. Those that cast votes for candidates that are not moving on, most for Mcdonald, some for Loudin and Lundgaard, are those more naturally people who would have voted for Cam and Milburn? I think they are.

Also, we can say that the Alliance mostly went unopposed this primary. Many may call this crazy as there were 6 other good men running and lots of money spent. But what I mean is, because there were so many good men running, there was the sense of, "lets see how this plays out before we get engaged." That was not the case on the Alliance side. They were engaged when others were not. But that ends today. There will be big push from many who were on the sidelines for the two other candidates and for voting yes on question 1. Look for the same great minds who came up with "Debt Free BC" to be out in force on question 1. Maybe they will say "Boulder's Might is by Growing Right" or "Save our Schools and Get New Pools." Okay, hopefully they are better at slogans than I am, but whatever it is, they will be out in force.

The real question will be who can win the Question 1 battle. Because I think most in Boulder City are like myself, I am worried about growth, and I like our small town, but am not opposed to listen to proposals to change the 30 home limit. I have been studying Question 1 and am currently undecided. Unless the Alliance can get ahead of Question 1 and convince voters like myself, I think they may say, "I thought we were winning" as they look up at a scoreboard that says 0-3.

1 comment:

  1. It's amazing how you can make small- town politics interesting, even to one who doesn't live there.