Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Statistical First Impressions

Here are some bullet points about the numbers coming out of the primary election:
  • The most obvious numerical result is that no one received a majority of the vote (>50%)
  • Turnout was low 42%.
  • The Byers and Pratt vote was highly correlated. There are many ways to measure that effect, but one way to look at it is to calculate the relative percent differences by precinct and vote totals. For example, the relative percent difference in their vote totals was only 1.5%. No other combination of candidates had vote tallies that were so closely associated with one another. In short, the numbers would support the notion of a voting bloc.
  • Byers and Pratt had overwhelming victories on Lopez, Shaw, and Waldron. Pratt, for example, collected 28% of all her votes from those islands. Byers collected 27% of all her votes from those islands (whereas those islands make up only about 17% of the population).
  • Byers and Pratt did better in each other's districts than in their home districts. In other words, Byers did better on San Juan than Pratt did. Pratt did better on Orcas than Byers did.
The next vote tally will be posted at 5pm today.


  1. Be careful what you wish for, Gordy. The 6-member Council elected according to the desires of their districts will soon be gone unless the lawsuit prevails. What a mess the CRC majority brought to the voters of San Juan County.
    Janice Peterson

  2. You can flap all you want about your personal opinions about each candidates liberal/consevative/eco/tax/land use/igloo building bend, but speaking strictly from a statistical point of view the outcome of this election will be determined by 2 factors (non-mutually-exclusive factors)

    Turn-out and Lopez

    One would expect that there are very few individuals who will jump from Forlenza over to Pratt, so you can expect that Pratt will be facing an uphill battle on both Orcas and San Juan. She will need every vote she can get. BUT - If a big turn out shows up on Lopez, you can expect that most of those votes will go her way. The question will be - How many additional voters will come out onthe other islands?

    As for Byers, if - Hughes prevails - she will have a much harder time garnering votes than if Ayers does. Ayers support comes from a very disticnt group on Orcas. Likely a portion of his voting block will split out between Byers and Hughes - giving Byers a dlight bump in votes. If Byers picks up even 10% of the Ayers vote on SJ and Orcas she's in because Lopez will seal the deal.

    The moral of this story is that even with a loss on both Orcas and San Juan both Pratt and Byers are likely to prevail due to the massivly one sided vote on Lopez.

    So... anyone care to discuss the McClarren/Stephens race?


  3. I cannot imagine any Ayers voters voting for Byers. The people who voted for Ayers tended (I believe) to be libertarian, not communitarian.

  4. Did the Charter Review Committee deliberate in the minutes the implications of creating a voting bloc where the recognized characteristics of one district representing 1/7 the population could tip elections in favor of a particular voting bloc?

    At lease the members of the CRC who then went on to join up with the campaign committees pushing the voting bloc?

    I'm sure glad Gordy Peterson and Ron Zee had this all figured out. Congratulations. Ron's a pretty smart guy.

  5. McClerren looks poised to pull nearly half of Lopez. If we can get him introduced well on Orcas and San Juan there should be a good shot. Why Lopez is so in love with Pratt is mostly about the coal issue, but it is obvious that Stephens has lost many of those who voted him in.

  6. It should be remembered that since there was no primary triggered between the Lopez candidates – turnout in that district was lower than would be otherwise. This is important because it can fairly be anticipated that the “Lopez Effect” was actually less acute than otherwise had there been a primary needed between the candidates from Lopez. That is the skew is understated by the data in the primary. Simply if turnout was higher on Lopez, it would amplify the already shocking disparity. In other words, we can look forward to an even greater skew in the general if the current scheme is allowed to stand.

  7. Anyone feel a Graduate Degree paper in Political Science being written here?

    I'm curious where the earlier poster is getting information that McClearen is poised to pull 50% of Lopez? Is there a foundation to that statement? If so, what demographic is it hitting and to what extent is that demographic established on the other islands?

    And to Nick's statement- I fully agree- the Lopez effect will favor Pratt and Byers by 250%, which yields a more profound overall effect when everyone actually shows up to vote.

  8. However if its the case that half of Lopez would tend to favor McClerren already that would sort of upset the apple cart. Old time lefties really don't cotton up big money politics.

    Lopez may be left leaning, but it also libertarian leaning, and that's the key.

    I also think if Bob Jarman puts a good amount of time on Lopez meeting and talking to folks it will make a big impact. He is quite good with the one-on-one.

    And lots of folks can get McClerren introduced on San Juan and Orcas.

    Split the vote on Lopez and the math plays out pretty well. As for the coal issue, hell, Lovel doesn't "own" that one. Let her go lay down on a rail road track and stop the trains ... please. I seriously doubt any of the candidates are "keen for koal" though several of them know how the world works and would rather spend their time on local issues they can make a real difference on.

    Might as well vote for Lovel because she can make the sun rise in the morning. "Oh look! She did it again!."

  9. The coal "issue" being all that's talked about is a symbol of what's wrong with this County. First, there's no way our opposition is going to make the slightest bit of difference. That's reality. This is an international issue. If we don't sell it, Canada will. Second, how much gall does it take for a First World Nation to deny Third World Nations carbon-based fuels--we ruined the planet, so you mustn't burn anything? Right. And if we're depending on Lovel and her Friends to handle a major oil spill, we're screwed. Happily, there are so many trained and equipped national, international, state and regional agencies prepared to address oil spills now that they'll be tripping over each other. No one asks Lovel about the budget, or the fact that Council merely bonded us out of immediate bankruptcy. No one asks Lovel or Lisa how their grants-based spending philosophy is going to help us when the state and federal governments are in horrific deficits. No one asks, when did you ever run a business on your own dime? Actually, that applies to Jamie as well, doesn't it? Lovel and Lisa are classic silver-spoon socialists; Lisa born to it and Lovel married into it. I'll support them when they donate their real property to the common good. I'm tired of them donating MINE.


  10. As my progressive "Friend" says, "your are either uneducated, ignorant, or evil" In case you are uneducated they would tell you the following. "We're not telling them they MUST not use coal. We're offering to atone for our sins by giving them cargo ships full of money to build clean alternate energy, while we shut down our own fossil fuel plants, and reduce our lifestyles to the level of Chad" We will start atoning right here in the San Juans by making sure the carbon footprint doesn't increase. We do that by removing private property
    so no new building can take place. We'll get around to making it like Makinac
    Island and banning cars pretty soon too.

    Now, if you don't agree with this you must evil!