Thursday, May 8, 2014
VOLUME 1 SCPR ELECTION ANALYSIS SERIES - STARK CO. SHERIFF'S RACE: DORDEA'S ELECTION TO LOSE?
This blog is Volume 1 in a series that the SCPR will be publishing between today and November 4, 2014 (general election day) on various races for political offices which The Report deems to be worthy of political analysis.
Volume 1 - For Stark County sheriff: Democrat George T. Maier versus Republican Larry Dordea - THE VOTER TURNOUT FACTOR
A fun thing for the likes of the Stark County Political Report is to try to predict outcomes of elections.
You win a few, you lose a few.
But fun it is.
The most intriguing race in Stark County for November, 2014 in the race for Stark County sheriff.
From Democratic candidate George T. Maier's standpoint it has been a tortured road for him to get the right to be the Stark County Democratic Party standard bearer.
For Republican Larry Dordea, his march to his Party's nomination has been "a walk in the park."
Looking at the base numbers from Tuesday's primary election: (Note all graphics extracted from the Stark County Board of Elections website, highlighting added by the SCPR)
At first blush, the numbers indicate "good news" for Dordea.
Some 2,000 more Republican voted for him than Democrats voted for Maier. And, significantly, a factor that the SCPR thinks will play large in the November general election is "the fact" that only 5.5% of registered Democrats troubled themselves to vote whereas 7.2% of registered Republicans turned up for Dordea.
But only if Dordea can capitalize the primary trend line continuing into the November general election.
GOTV ("Get Out the Vote") is the factor that The Report thinks will be "the decisive factor" in whether Maier or Dordea is elected Stark County's next sheriff.
For Maier, that 2014 is what is known in the trade (i.e. politics) "an off-year election" (i.e. a non-presidential election year in which many more people - particularly Democrats - vote) does not bode well.
In the 2012 presidential election, nearly 71% of Stark County's 258,893 registered voters voted.
Compare that to 13.7% in Tuesday's primary election.
In presidential election year voting, Democrats seem to "come out of the woodwork" to vote in numbers that they do not vote in "off-year-elections" and "odd-year-elections," in most venues.
But more relevantly, look at the 2010 general election results in terms of number of registered voters voting in the governor's race, which is "the" common characteristic that 2010 has with 2014:
In 2014, we can expect about 50% of Stark County registered voters will vote.
Of critical importance to Maier and Dordea, is who makes up that 50%.
If more Republican or Republican leaning voters vote, then Dordea should win.
And as a political generality, Republicans and Republican leaning independents/non-partisans do vote in greater numbers than their Democratic counterparts.
The battle in Stark County between the "organized" Republicans and Democrats as well as the specific Maier and Dordea campaigns will be to get a predominance of their voters to the polls on November 4th.
However, there are factors playing into the GOTV that are beyond the control of the Stark GOP/Dems and the Dordea/Maier campaigns.
The significant of all those factors is the slate of candidates known as "statewide candidates."
Offices for governor, secretary of state, Ohio treasurer, auditor and attorney general are up for election this November and most of the money dedicated to getting out a favorable mix of the voters either way to vote in the general election comes from the state Democratic/Republican Party organization.
Moreover, the mere presence of statewide candidates (who almost never run uncontested; contrary to county/city/village/township and board of education races) draws the interest of voters and makes it more likely that a greater percentage will vote than do in odd-numbered-year elections and primary elections of any year.
To overcome what appears to be an "apparent" Dordea advantage in this year's election, the Maier campaign team will have to work especially hard to neutralize that advantage given all the turmoil that has wracked the Stark County Democratic Party from February 5, 2013 through December 11, 2013 through April 2, 2014 in getting to Maier as the Party's candidate.
Of course, there are other key factors to consider in reading the "political" tea leaves as the SCPR endeavors to determine which way Stark County voters go in November as to whether the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee appointed George T. Maier remains as the Stark County sheriff.
And between now and November, the SCPR will be exhaustively analyzing those factors.