Saturday, November 1, 2008

Of Bedknobs and Balloting: Republicans See Numbers Fall in Key Counties

Depending on which Kansas Republican you want to listen to, Kansas is either seeing record voting turnout numbers- upwards of 78% by election day with almost 30% of registered voters casting advance ballots- because of the "Obama Effect" or because 78-year-old Republican Senator Pat Roberts has captivated the minds of Kansans young and old alike, driving them en masse to register to vote and stand in long lines at the polls.

You know, it's awfully hard to snicker in writing.

So, here are your perspectives:

Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh on Friday predicted a record voter turnout in Kansas -- caused in part by what he called the “Obama Effect.”

The candidacy of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has produced a surge in voter registration, especially among 18- to 30-year-olds, said Thornburgh, who is a Republican.

“We’re seeing that not only in the state of Kansas but we’re seeing that around the country as well,” he said.

Or, if you'd rather, Christian Morgan's partisan delusion:

“Despite what you might have heard from Ron Thornburgh’s press conference today crediting the ‘Obama Effect’ for increased voter interest in Kansas, below is the real story from Senator (Pat) Roberts’ campaign about the great progress we have made in Republican voter registration and turnout efforts this year,” the release from Kansas Republican Party executive director Christian Morgan said.

We're just going to ignore the crazy "Pat Roberts is the reason people are flooding to the polls" blather and instead focus on the second half of the quote- the part about "the great progress we have made in Republican voter registration" this year.

Christian, dearheart, sometimes your lies are just silly unverifiable prattle, but today you've it upon something that can be proven untrue...with numbers and charts and graphs, even!

According to data compiled by Washburn Univeristy political science professor Bob Beatty, the Kansas Republicans Party doesn't come into the 2008 election with particularly good news on the new voter registration front:

Since 2006, Shawnee County [which accounts for 30% of the district's voters- BB] has added 6,641 voters, a 6.5 percent increase. Of those new registrants, 3,369 are Democrats compared to 2,999 unaffiliated and 223 Republican.

Douglas County, home to 20 percent of district voters, has gained 6,157 registered voters since '06. An astounding 4,944 of the registrants are Democrats, while 1,611 are unaffiliated. Republican numbers actually decreased by 400 registrants.

In Crawford County, Republican registrants went down by 830 registrants, or 10 percent. Democrats added 367, a 4 percent increase, and unaffiliated increased by 550, or 8 percent. [Additionally, Republicans have also lost about 500 voters in Riley County, compared to the Democrats picking up another 1,000 or so. Oh, also, emphasis ours.]

While Republicans certainly still outnumber Democrats in most of the state of Kansas, we wish Christian would share whatever it is he's been smoking if he really does believe Kansas Republicans have done a good job registering new voter.

When the arrow is pointing down, Christian, it's always always a bad sign.

Jenkins should be pleased, of course, to see increase in Republican registrations in a couple of counties that Jim Ryun did very, very well in 2 years ago:

Of 624 new registrants in Pottawatomie County, 464 registered as Republicans but only 91 as Democrats and 87 unaffiliated. In Miami County, there are 676 newly registered Republicans compared to 499 Democrats. Another 739 are unaffiliated.

Good news, yes, but Boyda's advantage in counties that make up 41% of the electorate probably negates Lynn's happy feelings.

What's the final word, Dr. Beatty?

Analyses of several key counties — minus Geary, which only has a handful of voters in the 2nd — shows momentum in the 2nd district with new registered voters is not with the Republicans.

So, Christian, you said something about Republicans doing a good job registering new voters?


Anonymous said...

Great post BB! Do you think Christian Morgan believes his own bullshit? If so I hope he remains the KRP Executive Director forever!

Anonymous said...

This piece just shows how much this blog misses the mark...

Voter registration means very little. Voter turnout is what matters, and Morgan was speaking directly to that. Roberts operation has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on voter a turnout program. Thornburgh was raving about a projected high voter turnout.

Roberts campaign focused on this increasing the number of advanced ballot delivered and return. Traditionally the Democrats kill the Republicans on advance ballot numbers...this year the Republicans have take the advantage compared to Democrats.

But again, this blog misses the real story. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Actually, advance voting trends old female and Republican.

Morgan was indeed trying awfully hard to show some reason for voter excitement that had something to do withthe republican party...unfortunately nothing the KS GOP has done can account for lines at polling locations statewide.

Anonymous said...

Actually no...Dems have a historical advantage with advanced voting.

They traditionally have better gotv programs and voter registration organizations here in Kansas. Another factor why Dems have had an advanced voting advantage here in Kansas is due to the Democratic Party's superior operation compared to the Republican Party's operation.

However, Roberts has turned that on its ear this year.

Next time you want to talk about advanced voting know a little about how advanced voting works in Kansas.

Anonymous said...

wait...the republicans are excited they have only 30,000 more advance ballots turned in than the democrats...when republicans out number democrats 2-1 in the state AND there are still days left before they all have to be turned in? guys are really reaching, aren't you?

Anonymous said...

when you traditionally get beat in advanced ballots, having a 30,000 ballot lead is HUGE.

Lets' be modest in saying the Dems typically have a 15,000 advanced ballot advantage. 45,000 votes in Kansas is a HUGE number swing.

If you knew politics, I wouldn't have had to explain that to you.

Boyda Bloc said...

Children, children...both sides still have many, many advance ballots to turn in...and, of course, the Democratic Party has been waging a real field know, door to door and that kind of thing.

Oh, also, did we mention the big counties in this district, the ones that have most of the voters, actually saw Republican numbers DROP this year.

Stop thinking you know something, because, to be honest, none of us do until the polls are closed.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Roberts get-out-the-vote program turned out exactly like I said.

In a year Republicans were supposed to lose across the board: they dominated the Senate race, they picked up a Congressional seat from an incumbent Dem, added an additional seat in the state Senate and only lost two seats in the state House.

Maybe just maybe registration doesn't mean jack unless those registered voters actually vote. And maybe having a strong get-out-the-vote program is where the games is actually played.

Ya think?

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This blog is not affiliated in any way with the Kansas Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, or the campaign to re-elected Congresswoman Nancy Boyda. All commentary herein not directly attributed must be considered the opinion of the authors of this blog and not of any other individual, including Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.