Monday, May 27, 2019

Primary Predictions: How I did, and Ballot question predictions.

Every Vote Counts
As promised here are my general election predictions.

A few thoughts.

First, a few thoughts on the election. Every election cycle in Boulder City I have some of the same thoughts, here are a few.

#1 Gratitude that there are those who are willing to sacrifice a significant amount of time and effort it takes to run and then serve in our town. True they get some compensation but it is very small compared to the level of commitment, especially if they do it well.

#2 Gratitude that I live in such an amazing town and community, a community that is engaged and votes in much higher numbers than most places.

#3 Impressed with the level of candidates. All four candidates for city council and both for mayor are good men and women who will serve our community well.

#4 Sorrow for people in the campaigns, but mostly people outside who use this opportunity to take wonderful people and process and make it negative by exaggerating weaknesses, pretending they know what candidates think. I do not wish to dwell on this but I will give two examples. For mayor, I have heard people say that Mayor Woodbury does not care about historic preservation. You may not agree with how he approaches historic preservation, but you are not one to say he does not care about it. He and his family has done a tremendous amount for historic preservation. I believe, without his and his families involvement we would not have saved the hotel. How sad would that be. And why you may think he should have done more, or done differently it is unfair to say he doesn't care about historic preservation. 

Likewise I have heard people say Councilman McManus is a big spending liberal. This too, is unfair. I have seen nothing about what he has said or done that shows his a big spending liberal. To the contrary, he seems very conscientious of taxpayer funds. Fiscally he appears to be very conservative and his views on national politics should not be a basis for weather he is a good candidate for local office.

I could go on, but there has been many unfair attacks on all candidates and that saddens me. I think every candidate running has many positive qualities and I wish people would focus on those. But while many will call this an unrealistic dream, it is my dream, and I'll keep dreaming about it.

#5- I am only making predictions not endorsements. I have my opinion on who I think will do the best and I will vote that way. But I have not been as involved as in times past and don't feel the need nor so strongly that I will make any endorsements. My predictions are just that, but how I will vote and who I predict will win are not the same in all cases. I attempt to be as non-bias in my predictions as possible. 

All right enough about that here are my predictions.

City Council

Prediction #1- Rich Shuman will loose his bid for reelection. Rich did too little too late for his reelection. Personally I think Rich will enjoy the break and having his Tuesday nights and other time back. He has served us well but others have been more engaged in the election process and that will hurt him. I think he will be in the bottom of the four running.

Prediction #2- Peggy will win reelection. She was so close on the primary and while she may not pick up large amounts of votes from those that are no longer running, she has to pick up so few to win, she will do it. What the primary really showed me is that Peggy is really loved in the community. I figured she would do well but how much better she preformed compared to the Mayor and Rich Shuman really surprised me. It shows that many people who may not align with the incumbents have a positive view of Peggy and that will pay off for her.

Prediction #3- Claudia Bridges will be elected to the city council. In the primary she and James Howard Adams they were only separated by 35 votes. I think again they will be extremely close. But ultimately I am not going to underestimate Claudia again. I think she will get the second slot and win. I think she connects well to the city and has been running a really good campaign.

Precition #4- That leaves James Howard Adams not making it in. I cannot say how impressed I have been with James Howard Adams. I think he has run a good campaign. I have not been to every event but largely what I have seen, he has been very positive. But I don't think he connects as well as Claudia and others to those in the community and I think he will loose. However, I think he will be positioned well to run and win in the future.

Mayor Election

The mayor race is incredibly interesting. You have a very well connected, and well funded incumbent against a sitting council member with a strong base. As noted in an earlier article Woodbury had only 56 more votes than McManus in the primary.
I think primary voters who voted for each man will stay with them in the general. So, that leaves two groups of voters up for grabs. HarHay voters and voters who will vote in the general but did not vote in the primary.
HarHay votes, conventional wisdom tells you would go mostly to McManus. I think this is correct, but not nearly in the numbers that some would guess. Some would say 100%, or at least 80-90%. I think the numbers are closer to 60-40. So, that would mean 379 for McManus and 252 for Woodbury. This would put Mcmanus on top.
However, the second group. Those that will vote in the general and not the primary, I give a similar advantage to Woodbury, about 60-40. Why? McManus supporters are very committed, so much so, that most will and did vote in the primary. General election voters, who are less engaged may vote more off of name recognition. When it comes to name recognition Woodbury definitely has an advantage. So, the question becomes. How big will voter turnout be? I think large turnout favors Woodbury. The problem is that at 34% turnout for the primary, we are all ready near top numbers. I don’t think this off cycle election will have big turnout. So, I am not sure how many voters there will be to pick up. So if there are additional 400 votes at play. 240 would go Woodbury and 160 McManus by my calcs.
No matter how I look at the numbers I see this being extremely close. It will truly come down to turn out, honestly every time I go to make a prediction I keep changing it. At first I had McManus because of his primary showing and likelihood to sway HarHay Voters, then I had Woodbury predicting that turnout may make up more than the 100 or so votes, which is all he would need. Then I went back to McManus because I think some of Woodbury's adds have and will hurt him. Then I have seen many begin to rebuttal many of the attacks against Woodbury in an effective manner and thought that might help him. My gut is to stay with toss up but that is too weak so,
Prediction #5- Mayor Woodbury will win a second term. As close as it is, he has good name recognition and the moral victory of winning the primary (some people really want to back a winner). Again, I don’t feel very strongly about this one but in the end that is my call.
As always, if you think I am wrong, get out and prove me wrong with your vote. I hope we can all be excited about those willing to serve no matter who wins. I wait anxiously to support and help whomever will be leading us in the future. See you all at the polls.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Primary Predictions: How I did, and Ballot question predictions.

So, early voting is about to start for the general election and I still haven't gone over how I did on the primary. So, here it is. I made a total of 9 predictions, 6 related to city council, and 3 for mayor. So, here is each as they appeared in my first article and how I did on them. I also cover what my predictions for the general election ballot questions. I will give my predictions on city council and mayor in a future post.

City Council Predictions

Prediction #1- No candidate will get through in the primary. There are far too many people on the ballot, all of which have connections in the community and will pull a decent amount of votes so we will be onto the general.

Result- 100% correct. Although Peggy Leavitt got surprisingly close, only 120 votes shy. Her out performance of the others was truly impressive. But as predicted no one got enough votes to avoid a general election run off.
Prediction #2-Sorry Trent and Brent, but you two will get the least amounts of votes. I do not wish to be negative about either of these candidates, but I have not seen one sign, mailer or Facebook post promoting them. In fact, I have hardly heard of them, and I don't think I am alone. People need to feel like their candidate has a chance and really wants this to put their vote for their name, and these two haven't convinced the public they are serious candidates.
Result- 100% correct. Trent got 303 votes and Brent got 97. Trent may have done better than Brent but they both were clearly less than any other candidates.
Prediction #3- Peggy Leavitt and Rich Shuman will make it to the general election. Had I written this prediction a week ago, I might have not given Rich Shuman as much chance. He seemed MIA, as far as marketing his campaign, but he has showed up and will get past this first round. Incumbents by nature have some natural advantages, and disadvantages. But the advantages are sufficient to ensure that they will both be on the general election ballot. I will even go so far as to guess they will both be in the top 3, mostly because the anti-incumbent vote will be very split with the remaining candidates.
Result- I will go 75% correct. While Peggy and Rich made it. Rich was definitely the under performer of the primary. I kind of like his, “Vote for me if you like me, don’t if you don’t” attitude. Focusing on his record rather than a lot of campaigning but it is not going well. He had no business not being in the top 3 given that the anti-incumbency vote was very split.  So, I overestimated his performance but was correct that they would both make it and correct Peggy being in the top.
Prediction #4- Tom Tyler will not make it to the general election. I know Tom and he is a wonderful man, has good connections in town and through the Emergency Aid of Boulder City but he has not been as involved in city politics and doesn't have a natural base. This will prove too much for him to overcome.
Result -100% correct. Tom is a good man that did well but I think my prediction and basis for it were fairly accurate.
Prediction #5- James Howard Adams will make it to the general election. James has been involved in BC politics for sometime. The endorsement of the Boulder City Community Alliance (BCCA) was big for him and he has proven worthy of the endorsement. He has really out performed expectations . I think he will be in the top three.
Result- 100% correct. I think James has been exactly as I laid out. A great candidate all around and really has performed well.
Prediction #6- This is where I would get in toss-up territory. I had a very difficult time guessing who I would list as the #4 slot in the general election, Judy Dechaine or Claudia Bridges. Claudia got the endorsement of the BCCA, which is big. But even those in their own ranks questioned if the process was above board. Last year, they had a candidates forum with all the candidates and after they had heard all their viewpoints voted as a group on who to endorse. This time, the BCCA founders met separately with people they wanted to run, had them present at a meeting and choose to endorse before candidate filling had even ended. This left for an awkward position for people like Judy. Judy is very connected and involved with BCCA and their causes, but the endorsement went to Claudia before she had even filed. But despite this, I think Judy has been a surprisingly good candidate, and pulled much of the BCCA base to her side. She has been more engaged than Claudia and I think she will get the #4 spot and Claudia will be in #5
Result 0%- While I did say this was a toss up my ultimate prediction was very wrong. I was very impressed with Judy’s campaign and I felt she did outperform, but clearly not as much as I thought she would. Claudia was where I was clearly the most wrong. Clearly, her natural connection with the town and hard work was more than I estimated. She came in second in votes and really out performed my predictions. This was definitely where I was most incorrect.

Now onto the Mayor predictions-

Prediction #7- No one will get 50% of the vote and win in the primary. All three of these candidates are good viable candidates and they will split the vote enough that no one will get above 50%.
Result: 100% correct. Not much else to say.
Prediction #8- Mayor Woodbury will get the most votes in the primary.  Until recently I really felt the Mayor was in serious trouble (and he may still be in the general). But he has used his strengths, good connections, and a well financed campaign to his advantage. I think with others on the ballot splitting the anti-incumbent vote he will get the most votes.
Result- 100% correct. He did indeed, but how close it was. (He only had 56 more votes than McManus.) So, I was 100%, but who could have really guessed it when it was this close? I will admit to a bit of luck on this one.
Prediction #9- This one is hard for me to write, and while I have tried to be neutral as I write this, I hope I am wrong. But, Warren Harhay will not be going onto the general election. He is the moderate, middle of the road candidate, and the middle is a tough place to win primaries from. And while I applaud his self funded candidacy, it has hurt him. Signs and mailers are not everything, but they are something and that is how some people will be introduced to candidates. What is so funny about this is that I think Harhay could potentially win against either of the other two candidates in a head to head. Why? because most people who vote for Woodbury in the primary would rather have Harhay than McManus, and most people who vote for McManus would rather have Harhay than Woodbury. So, you could see a 35% for Woodbury, 35% for McManus, and 30% for Harhay. But head to head Harhay would potentially beat both 60/40. But those are the rules, and so that is how it goes. So in the end, I think it will be McManus and Woodbury in the general election.
Result-100% correct. The final result was basically, 40% to Woodbury and McManus and 20% to Harhay. I will admit that 20% is a little lower than I would have put HarHay but I still stand by that I think Councilan Harhay would beat either of the other candidates head to head but as stated, the center is a tough place to win primaries from.
So, I am giving myself an 8 out of 9 for the primary. Not bad. So, here are my general election predictions.

Ballot Questions

So, there are four questions. Here is a quick summary, in my very non-legal, non-official terms.

Question #1, should we spend $5 million to design a pool?

Question #2, should we let city council refinance debt over $1 million without making them ask the voters?

Question #3, should we spend $40 million dollars to build a new pool?

Questions #4, Should we let people drive their really cool dessert vehicles (They should call them RCDV, but use OHV instead) in the street?

Prediction #1- Both pool questions will go down. I think this town wants a new pool and I think the yes on 1 and no on 3 strategy is a smart one. Basically give the money for design so we have better plans and numbers without giving the $40 Million dollar check. But they will go down together. As much as we want a pool, $40 million is a big ask, and people feel, I think justifiably so that Council and Staff really have not done enough to explore other options besides bonding for the full amount. The idea that they will bond for $40 million but then use other funding does not fly with most people. They simply don’t have that kind of trust.
Prediction #2- Question 2 will go down in flames. What is question #2? You don’t know and that is exactly why it will go down in flames. It has to do with restructuring debt and those type of questions need a champion and someone to clearly explain the benefits to voters. This question doesn’t have one and will therefore bomb.

Prediction #3- Question 4 on off road vehicles will pass. There is a lot of people who love these vehicles in our town and while there are those who worry about the noise, the yes side is definitely more passionate about this. In fact, this may be the question that improves voter turnout more than anything else.
Stay tuned for my City Council and Mayor General Election predictions to follow.