Friday, January 29, 2010

Another CD 22 Headache

I was thinking today about the fact that the only federal office on any given Texas primary ballot this year is for the office of congressman. No senator is running in this inbetween midterm election year.

And where I live, in CD 22, which stretches across parts of 4 counties (thanks to the gerrymandering efforts of Tom DeLay) we have three candidates on the Democratic primary ballot.

Three virtually unknown candidates.

Only one of them, a Libertarian has any kind of track record in the elections process. And that would be Freddie John Weider, Jr, and that is because he ran for the same position in the General Election in 2008 against Nick Lampson and Pete Olson.

The other two, Doug Blatt and Kesha Rogers, are first timers. So while John Weider has next to no name recognition Blatt and Rogers have utterly no name recognition that can help the voter separate them out on the ballot.

And from where I sit, unless some drastic changes occur, that will be their status come the primary election which is set to begin a mere 18 days from now beginning on February 16th with the beginning of Early Voting.

So then how does an ill-informed Democratic primary voter decide who to vote for when they reach the polling booth? Unfortunately, it is the case that some voters opt for the first name they see on the list of candidates. That is why a drawing occurs in each county to determine what place on the ballot a given candidate’s name will appear.

I know it doesn’t sound right, but that’s just the way it is. A voter need not be informed on candidates or issues in order to vote in this country. All they need to be is registered, 18 and not a felon.

So, OK the question begged today. Where do these three congressional candidates sit in regard to their ballot positions in the 4 counties that CD 22 extends over?

Unfortunately, there is no information on CD 22 from Brazoria County. The county elections website is still geared toward the November ’09 Constitutional Amendment election and the county party has no information at all. That skews things somewhat. Brazoria County had over 10,000 Democratic primary voters in 2008 in their 20 CD 22 precincts. There will be less this time but still, that’s quite a chunk. So there’s a weakness that I will have to live with. I was more successful with the 3 other counties.

Here is a screen shot of the Fort Bend County sample ballot for CD 22.

Here is the same shot of Galveston County’s sample ballot for the office.

And here is Harris County’s version of a sample ballot for that congressional district.

Isn’t that interesting?

The only true Democrat, Doug Blatt, has his name in the top position only in Harris County. Kesha Rogers got the number one spot in Fort Bend County, and Freddie Weider got the top spot in Galveston County.

So you would think that in the case of ballot position, it’s pretty much a wash, right? And in that you would be wrong.

45% of the Democrats in CD 22 live in Fort Bend County, 32% live in Harris County, and 11% live in Galveston County.

And not only that, Kesha has the number one or number two spots in all three counties. Freddie splits his 1-2-3 evenly, and Doug has only one number 1 position and runs in the #3 spot in the other two counties.

So not only does Kesha have an advantage in having a ballot position, her number one position occurs in the county with the greatest number of primary voting Democrats.

Scoring by ballot position and percent of the total primary-voting Democrats, I have the three candidates scored in the following way, using a Half Empty scale of 1 to 20 scale (where 20 is a score you get if you have the top position in all three counties for which there is a published ballot):

Kesha Rogers: 10.38
Doug Blatt: 8.7
Freddie Weider: 5.75

Blatt overtakes Weider only due to the fact that his #1 position is in more populous Harris County, and not in Weider’s least populous Galveston County.

So I find it ironic, and just a little bit too alarming, that the only true Democrat on the ballot (Rogers is a “LaRouche Democrat”) does not, if this analysis is at all valid, have the greatest advantage among the lesser informed Democratic primary voters.

Frankly, and this should be of no surprise, I am not optimistic that we will have a true Democrat to vote for in November against Pete Olson. I think that unless something happens pretty soon, the numbers being what they are, and voters doing what they do, we may just have a problem here.


Bay Area Houston said...

I sort of hope the LaDouche candidate wins so we can tell her to never set foot in our campaign headquarters until after the elections. At that time she can help clean up.

She is a rotten candidate. A rotten person.

Anonymous said...

John Coby, what are you, stupid? Blatt is nothing more than a party hack with no policies or ideas of his own. Furthermore, you should be glad there's a Democrat with the guts to challenge Obama as "totally incompetent". By backing Blatt, you express your support in the President in cutting NASA, cutting the VA, cutting high speed rail, and cutting Medicaid/Medicare.

Hal said...

Normally, Anon, I wouldn't allow your comment to be posted because of your perjorative characterization of Coby's intellligence. That's libel. However your posting was of use to me because your candidate, Rogers, has characterized our president as "incompetant." This is simply not true. And yes, Obama was born in Hawaii, too.

And Anon, NASA wasn't cut. Yes, the moon program was killed but NASA's appropriation is increased under the proposed budget.

We just don't get to go back to the moon.

But Anon, I love LaRouche Democrats because they actually make the teabaggers look sane.

Anonymous said...

Yes, both parties have them hal.

Doug Blatt said...

Coming from someone who supports a candidate that says nothing about herself and only says what comes out of Lyndon LaRouche’s mouth, I will take your calling me a “party hack” as a badge of honor.

That means that I am and have been seen as the true Democrat in the race. Being a Democrat means something to people like us. People who support other Democrats, especially ones they worked hard to elect…people that share the same ideas, values, and opinions (for the most part). We don’t equate President Obama with Hitler or call for his impeachment. We don’t stand in front of public building waving pictures and chanting. We respect our President and each other.

Every time your candidate speaks, the people in the audience turn towards me and proclaim their support of me. That’s why I have several endorsements from Democratic clubs and groups that support Democrats and your candidate doesn’t.

I may be an unknown first time candidate, but I realize that when one actually gets into office, doing and saying things against your own party isn’t the way to be a success. You and others have said that I have no personality. You made that judgment from one or two early speeches when I was getting used to speaking in front of large crowds. I don’t have the chanting and yelling at the top of my lungs, annoying patrons of public buildings experience you do.

I may not be the consummate candidate yet, but I am definitely the one with the experience and temperament to do the job in Washington. How do you think the Democratic Party elected officials in Washington will treat her if she took office? She would get absolutely no support because she and the LaRouche people have shown them absolutely none.

If you are true Democrat out there reading this, tells your friends and family to do their research before they vote. I am confident in the result.