November 09, 2006
More on Garcia's win

I wanted to put this bit in its own post, because I'm going to visit this theme with a number of candidates over the next few weeks. At the end of that Caller story, we see this:

While the late votes from Odem and Mathis were deal sealers, Garcia said the real story of his victory was about the people who voted for him. In particular, the ones who were willing to cross the political aisle when they went to the polls, including voters in predominantly Republican Aransas County where Garcia fought Seaman almost to a draw, losing by only 176 votes.

By comparison, in 2002 popular Democratic San Patricio County Judge Josephine Miller lost to Seaman by about 1,800 votes in Aransas County.

Garcia said he tried to reach all of the voters, both Democrats and Republicans, speaking to better educational opportunities, tougher environmental policies and reformed insurance and tax structures that would lower insurance rates along the coast and reduce property taxes.

In the most conservative reaches of District 32, Garcia defended himself against Seaman's televised ads calling him a "liberal" and a "trial lawyer," explaining repeatedly that he is a civil defense lawyer.

"In a state and country divided by red and blue, we spoke purple," Garcia said. "I cannot tell you how many folks called, e-mailed, pulled over to say, 'Juan, I have never voted for a Democrat before. You are my first one. Don't let us down.'"

You hear that sort of thing a lot. How does it match up to reality? The story gives some of it. In Aransas County, for example, the top votegetter among the Statewide Dems was Bill Moody, who got 2364 votes, for 36.88% of the total. Garcia got 3026 votes and 44.94%. Let's do a table:

County Seaman Pct Garcia Pct Willet Pct Moody Pct
Aransas 3202 47.6 3026 44.9 3702 57.8 2364 36.9
Calhoun 2012 46.1 2164 49.6 1813 43.5 2168 52.0
SPatricio 5346 40.9 7140 54.6 5555 44.0 6601 52.3

Garcia did clearly better in Aransas and San Patricio, and ran even with Moody in Calhoun while Seaman did better than Willet. I won't be able to judge Nueces, where most of the votes are, until I see precinct data, but it's clear that Garcia outperformed the high scoring statewide Democrat overall in the smaller counties. Another point in favor of Run Everywhere, since (with all due respect to Bill Moody), I daresay Juan Garcia was the only Democratic candidate from outside those counties who spent any significant time campaigning in them.

I'll be looking at some other candidates in this fashion as well, which will give me something to do until the precinct data becomes available. Based on my eyeball survey so far, I suspect we'll see a few more examples like this.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 09, 2006 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

Did you also notice in the Caller Times article that the delay in counting was caused by errors with electronic voting machines?! Lucky there was a paper trail to re-count. Here's what the article said:

"San Patricio County Judge Terry Simpson said there were problems counting returns from the three precincts in question because of liquor elections there, and said the electronic machines did not register the returns properly.

"Election officials reached an unofficial vote tally by 3 a.m., with all 35 precincts reporting. Election workers were telling Watts and Archer that Garcia was the victor, but the Secretary of State's Office advised them against releasing results until another count could be completed.

"'The machines weren't able to scan both the liquor election and candidate ballots,' said Stephanie DeLeon, deputy election clerk."

With Mary Denny not coming back and the Rs on their heels, I hope paper trail ballots make it through the Lege this time.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast on November 9, 2006 8:47 AM