Thursday, August 03, 2006

Closing Election Thoughts

As I write this, Ed Bryant is losing to Bob Corker by a pretty definitive margin. And Van Hilleary conceded a mere two hours after polls closed. Bastard.

That's not to say that had he dropped out earlier that Bryant would've won. It would have benefitted Bryant, I'm sure, and might even have made the difference. Given the similarities between Hilleary and Bryant, it's a reasonable assertion, though. I'm beginning to see that, when given a choice between a hard-right, rock-ribbed conservative and a mushy, sorta-"centrist" Republican, voters tend to the middle. What effect more money and a clearer choice between two leaders rather than three might have had is always hard to say, but I'm beginning to wonder if it wouldn't have made the difference.

Too bad, as it's Tennessee's loss. And now Bryant and Hilleary go on the rubbish heap of Tennessee political history. As for the Corker v. Ford race, well ... it's a race now and not just a Republican walk-away. It's not gonna be pretty.

Looking at the numbers right now, all the Republicans have slightly more votes than all the Democrats, in Shelby County's polling. For Ford's homebase, and the expected big source of pro-Ford votes, that's not encouraging. On the other hand, Ford's primary was clearly his, so there's no way to know how many voters just didn't bother voting for him.

Harold Ford went to Nashville, and (tellingly) not Memphis, for his post-primary win rally. Remember that, Memphians. Not only that, but he made it a fund-raiser as well, for $150 a person! And right after, he's going to another, private, $10,000/plate fundraiser, also in Nashville. It's all about the money with that crew, isn't it?

Steve Cohen is maintaining a solid lead. I'm sure tomorrow the usual suspects will "blame" his win on too many blacks running, splitting the vote. A lot of pols are going to have to eat some crow when they go to meet him tomorrow. I hope he's petty enough to make them do it, too.

The top three County races -- Mayor, Sheriff and DA -- are showing that Shelby Countians seem to be perfectly satisfied with the status quo. All are wining by two-to-one or better margins. That's depressing, especially given all the crime that's been in the news and in talk this summer. Maybe voters are laying blame there with City of Memphis officials? Who knows, but still, it's depressing news to me. Four more years of more of the same. Feh.

Interestingly, the numbers of folks voting in those three elections is only a fraction of those voting for national and state-wide offices.

Retaining judges produced interesting results. In every race, with only a single exception, the retain/turn out ratio was 3 to 1. It's amazing. The sole exception was Judge Thomas Woodall, who had a bizarre 100% retain vote! That one demands examination and explanation.

Another interesting factoid is that each question garnered about 400,000 votes (at this writing). In other races, as few as 1500 people voted, but in these highly obscure judicial retention votes folks seem to answer out of some kind of strange compulsion. Do they think the judges will rule against them if they don't vote to retain? Again, this one demands answers.

The Tennessee Waltz investigation doesn't seem to be having much fallout, either. Kathryn Bowers and Lois DeBerry are both winning handily. I can't even recall it being an issue in any campaign. Nor the FedEx Forum investigation. I guess it really is true that Memphians don't care.

And lastly, the County Commission is finally going Democratic. Steve Mulroy is winning as I write. It's not entirely a surprise, as blacks move more and more into the county. It was going to happen eventually and that time is now.

As always, some races are still pretty close (like Cohen v. Tinker, which is now presently 28/26), so things could change by morning. And Ed Bryant is conceding now, too. I hate it.

Ah well.... Off to the Cartoon Network and then to bed.

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