CD 19 Election - A Look at the Numbers

Fred Scheibl - April 15, 2010

In Tuesday’s election for Congressional District 19, Democrat Ted Deutch was the winner, receiving 62% of the votes cast. Voter turnout, an indication of voter interest (or lack thereof) was an anemic 15.2% of registered voters (10% in Broward and 17.4% in Palm Beach). The turnout in the 2008 election by contrast, was 73% in Broward and 72% in Palm Beach.

How did the vote compare?

Let’s look at the “liberal” vote versus the “conservative” vote in each election:

Liberal Conservative
2010 Deutch: 62.1% Lynch + McCormick: 37.9%
2008 Wexler + Graber: 72.8% Lynch: 27.2%

So the “conservative” vote increased by 10% for those that turned out.

Were the dynamics of 2008 overwhelmed by the candidacy of Barrack Obama which provided for the high turnout numbers, and coattail effect on other Democrats down-ticket? Absolutely not- in 2004, the turnout was 67% and 75% in Broward and Palm Beach respectively very similar to 2010.

To see if that mattered in CD19 we can look at previous elections, but there was no conservative candidate in 2006 or 2004. In 2002, Wexler won against Republican Jack Merkl with 72.2% of the vote with a turnout of 45-50% in the 2 counties. From this I conclude that the increase in conservative votes in 2010 COULD be significant, but it is certainly not a trend that will bring us a victory any time soon (barring a scandal or some other unexpected event).

There is something going on in Broward though – the Lynch share went from 27% in 2008 to 43% in 2010. Of course Broward only accounted for 19.6% of the votes cast.

How did all the grass roots support for Ed Lynch help? We know that South Florida 912, DC Works for Us, and the South Florida Tea Party were all making calls and walking precincts independent of the campaign, and many members of those groups helped the campaign directly. Hard to say objectively, but it surely didn’t hurt. Many calls were to people who were Lynch supporters but didn’t know about the election. Of course on the other side, Organizing for America ran 17 local phone banks for Ted Deutch, last weekend alone.

South Florida 912 selected a subset of the precincts in northern Palm Beach and did “saturation calling”. When the county releases the precinct vote tallies tomorrow or Monday, I will compare them to 2008 and see if there is a statistical difference between the years and contrasted with other precincts in 2010. Stay tuned.