Friday, November 10, 2006

4th District Map: Republican Erosion



Diane Farrell did better this time. She lost by only about 7,000 votes--half the number she lost by in 2004. The percentages were better, too. She came within 3% of Shays this time, while in 2004 5% separated them. A look at the map from 2004 provides further insights:



She lost ground in Norwalk, but actually gained ground in places like Greenwich (a Lamont effect?), Wilton and Monroe. She won the town of Weston, which she had lost in 2004. In both 2004 and 2006, Democrats chipped away at the GOP edifice of the 4th.

Still. Close, but no cigar. See CGG's interesting piece for more on why Farrell lost this year. She is probably done. If the 4th is to be won by a Democrat, it'll have to be someone else.

27 comments:

GMR said...

Here are some interesting numbers:

Shays won the 2006 race 106,558 to 99,913, a spread of 6,645 votes.

In 2004, Shays won 152,493 to 138,333, a margin of 14,160 votes.

So Shays lost 45,935 voters and Farrell lost 38,420. Shays got 69.9% of what he got in 2004, and Farrel got 72.2% of her 2004 vote total.

So Shays won by 6,645. It's interesting to look at Bridgeport and Norwalk.

In Bridgeport in 2006, Farrell only got 56.2% of what she got in 2004. In Norwalk, she got 61.5%, and in the rest of the district, she got 78.1% of her 2004 vote total. In no other town did Farrell get less than 70% of what she got in 2004.

In Bridgeport, Farrell's totals fell from 23,760 to 13,351, a drop of 10,409. Had she gotten 78.1% of her 2004 vote total here, she would have fallen from 23,760 to 18,560. In other words, she'd have ended up with 5,209 more votes than she did.

In Norwalk, Farrell fell from 17,720 to 10,905, so she retained only 61.5% of voters. Had she retained 78.1%, then she would have fallen from 17,720 to 13,842, so she'd have 2,937 more voters than she actually did.

In Norwalk and Bridgeport, had Farrell retained 78.1% of 2004 votes, Farrell would have ended up with 8,146 more votes and would have edged Shays.

Shays' poor spot was Greenwich: he retained only 67% of his total there (Farrell: 80%), and his margin of victory fell 3,442 votes.

Farrell didn't get out the vote in Bridgeport and Norwalk, and she needed to.

Aldon Hynes said...

You want some interesting numbers to look at? Compare the Senate results to the congressional results. Omitting Shelton which is only partially in the 4th we get:

Shays 100,452 Farrell 95,242
Lieberman 103,188 Sch+lam 96,464

In Bridgeport, Lamont and Farrell got exactly the same amount of votes.

On a town by town basis, the correlation between votes Shays received and the votes Lieberman received was .992737

Granted, correlation does not imply causality, but the Farrell campaign just might have been able to pull this off if they cooperated better in getting out the whole Democratic ticket vote.

Anonymous said...

It's time for Diane Farrell and Nancy Dinardo to retire.

Matt said...

Very interesting, Aldon-- I wonder what would have happened if Farrell's campaign didn't insist on splitting the party -- forcing all phonebanking and canvassing to be duplicated efforts rather than cooperative efforts.

And Shelton would have worked a little differently if some of the machines didn't go haywire and read zero for Lamont...

Anonymous said...

There is a great editorial in the CT Section of the new York Times Sunday edition about the GOP in CT and what needs to be done by Rell. Doubtful she'll do anything about it though becasue she hasn't done anything in the last 2 and 1/2 years. The CT Republicans are rationalizing that they lost seats in the state legislature because of George W. Bush. That's absolute nonsense and it belies the facts. The Democrats are kicking ass and Rell gave them everything they wanted so they could do it.

bluecoat said...

Yesterday and no coverage on this blog from the chickenhawk Repuplicans, neocon Democrat or the liberal contributors. It was also the occasion of the dedication of the Marine Corps Museum. For what it's all about go to The News Hour with Jim Lehrer and click on Semper FI. Bush squirmed in his seat when Lehrer, a Cold War Marine, talked about how decisions to go to war impact the rank and file while the Commadant of the Corps closed his eyes when Lehrer reminded all that the death rate for Marines in Iraq is twice that of any other service just as it has been since the Revolutionary War.

bluecoat said...

Yesterday was Veterans Day was my point but I left that out.

Anonymous said...

ROY O is now 0 for 6

Anonymous said...

"I wonder what would have happened if Farrell's campaign didn't insist on splitting the party -- forcing all phonebanking and canvassing to be duplicated efforts rather than cooperative efforts."
I started working for the Farrell Campaign in July and they were clearly the only folks doing any phoning in the district. Don't blame the ones who worked the hardest. A decentralized campaign "strategy" has been perpetuated for many years by all the legislative candidates from the House Dems and Senate Dems. Town chairs should make a better effort at bringing the campaigns together in the even numbered years. The Farrell Campaign did what it had to do, based on the performances of DTC's in 2004. The Town Chairs seem to take a powder and happily let legislators run without ever mentioning that the Dems endorsed them. The chair's job is "easier" if they don't do anything and the individual campaigns, up and down the line, do it all on their own. Farrell's loss is due in large part to continuing local problems getting out the vote (motivating voters). Constant infighting and weak chairs equal a deteriorating local party.
Diane is a great candidate and I won't blame her if she doesn't try it again. Let's give her and the campaign credit. She is courageous to run in this out of whack Repub district and she did an amazing job each time.

Anonymous said...

State employee may be punished for reading e-mail from soldier son
By: Kym Soper, Journal Inquirer
11/10/2006


This story is both sad and dumb. The employee should be able to go to her local library and have the tech rep set up an e-mail account for her on the public computers that most libraries have these days. It doesn't have to be this complicated but then Rell's office and the union is involved.

Anonymous said...

The Democratic party machine didn't get out the vote in Bridgeport or Norwalk because the votes would have gone to Lamont instead of their old croney, Lieberman. That's why Farrell lost becasue her good buddy Joe was in it for himself.

turfgrrl said...

gmr: Your analysis is right on. Farrell lost the race in Norwalk and Bridgeport. She actually did better in the suburbs than she did previously. There's a bunch of reasons why her campaign didn't get the vote out in those cities, and at some point I will delve into it. For those that think that the Lieberman campaign somehow threw voters off, I submit the Rell vote in rebuttal. You can't blame the Senate race, when the 4th CD overwhelmingly went for Rell, then split to overwhelmingly support the constitutional officers, then went on to put some new Democratic State Reps. Voters apparently voted for the candidates they wanted. Shays actually ran a good campaign, he negated Farrell's anti-war issue and avoided being tagged with the corruption and scandals that plagued other Republicans.

Matt said...

Anon 2:52:

Don't blame the ones who worked the hardest.

I could get into it over specific folks in the Farrell universe spending more time screwing Lamont and poaching volunteers (in some cases paying Lamont volunteers to stop working for Ned), but since you'd rather play the anonymous, "hear-no-evil" staffer game that the Farrell folks are so skilled at, I'll leave it be. For now.

The Farrell Campaign did what it had to do, based on the performances of DTC's in 2004.

BS. The Farrell campaign hedged its bets, and squandered needless goodwill in the process. And in the "problem cities" (especially Bridgeport, Norwalk, and Stamford) the Farrell campaign had full DTC cooperation, though in some cases so angered the chairs with their "Diane-or-no-one" efforts that Diane will likely have a hell of a time running again in 08. In Bridgeport, Farrell received precisely the same number of votes as Lamont -- still think duplicating efforts is simply "The Farrell campaign doing what it had to do?" Yikes.

As for your moaning about the independence of the state rep candidates, do I need to describe the candidates who thought they could work with the Farrell campaign, only to get screwed over by the Farrell field director both in the scut turfs they were provided with and the ability to actually get the data back from them at the end of the day? There's always tension in sharing data between campaigns, but Farrell's people were always, ALWAYS, the first to break a promise when it came to working with others. State Rep candidates stayed away because the Farrell campaign's word wasn't worth dirt.

Farrell's loss is due in large part to continuing local problems getting out the vote (motivating voters). Constant infighting and weak chairs equal a deteriorating local party.

Weak excuse. Farrell had insufficient DTC support? Please. I know better than to pin Lamont's loss on insufficient party support, and in our case, that was a problem that was actually true.

Apart from the arrogance and ignorance of the Farrell campaign and its advisors, and a micromanaging candidate whose general ambivalence towards actual progressive values minimized her campaign to little more than "I'm a Democrat, dammit!", I think Turfy has the last piece: Shays was simply a better politician, jumping to support a timeline for withdrawl at the exact same (post-primary) moment that Farrell came out against it. Somehow, the Farrell campaign was the only Democratic congressional campaign in the entirety of New England to blow it last week, and I am in no way surprised at that outcome.

Farrell was a poor candidate whose flaws were amplified by poor advice, a party machine that thought (foolishly) that they could get both Diane and Joe at the same time, and a willingness to dump on candidates both up- and down-the-ticket in a mad rush to get her into office. What's funny is that the machine cannibalized the volunteer base in the 1st and 3rd with the "Hilltopper" effort, and if they'd actually pushed a coordinated line in the 4th, we probably WOULD have Diane and Joe in office today.

My sense is that ultimately, Shays was a man with a moral conscience who enabled the corrupt and morally bankrupt to remain in power, and Farrell was a candidate with no moral center that would have enabled a larger group of principled political leaders to restore some balance to our political system. A big dose of post-election Farrell-apologia does little for me but to reinforce this view. Many that I know who volunteered for Farrell or gave her large-dollar donations are glad she lost. That (or the undervote) should tell you something.

Could the Lamont campaign have done things differently? Certainly, and while a lot of it's hindsight, there's a lot we could have done from a field perspective to get more - and maybe even "enough" - votes. (Look at the results in the 140th, for example, where we did things somewhat differently and held Lieberman to under 20%.) However, I'm pretty sure that even robust cooperation between the campaigns probably wouldn't have been enough to deliver a win for Ned -- and I know better than to blame everyone else for our failure to get a win on Election day. But I'm not writing this to describe why Ned lost, I'm writing to describe why Farrell lost -- and to express my surprise that the Farrell folks have such a different accounting of their problems. And that such an accounting seems to primarily point the finger elsewhere. Whether it was possible for Lamont to win or not is debatable -- but Farrell certainly could have, if only her campaign's tactics weren't so repellent.

Matt said...

Anon 2:49:

ROY O is now 0 for 6

Depends. I might say 1 for 7, if you count the CT-Sen general as a mulligan for the O-dog. If at first you don't succeed...

turfgrrl said...

matt: Of course Farrell had weak DTC support in Norwalk and Bridgeport. So for that matter did Lamont when you think through it. Your example of the 140th speaks loudly on this issue alone. The total vote cast in the 140th comes nowhere near the Democratic vote in any other Norwalk district. The Democratic candidate the DTC handpicked for the 140th is a hack who apparently doesn't even bother to live in the district amongst other highly irregular things that will play out over the next few weeks. You don't think that the bitter 140th primary, the insults generated by certain DTC members towards to primary challenger (a sitting council member) and the ensuing legal debacles perpetrated by the chair, all didn't contribute to the lack luster turnout? This is the only district in Connection that during the primary had more votes for Governor primary than the Senate primary.

Bridgeport had its own issues too, much along the same line. Local internecine turf wars over party unity.

Matt said...

Turfgirl- The Bridgeport DTC was pretty strong for Farrell, they ran a hardcore Farrell-Finch operation.

As for Norwalk, I was describing the 140th because even though we had to deal with a lot of people saying that good Democrats should vote for Joe, we held him under 20 (a 45+ point spread for Lamont), which I'm not sure happened anywhere else.

Norwalk had its share of people who wanted "Farrell only", and others who wanted "Farrell-Lamont," but that doesn't seem like a really big split so far as Farrell would be concerned. I know that you are personally invested in fighting with the Norwalk DTC, though, so I'm not going to toss any more live ammo onto the fire here. Other than to say that if you want Hilliard on the Republican side, you can have him :)

bluecoat said...

Finch and Fabrizi both backed Lieberman. Who is fooling who here on what went on in Bridgeport?

turfgrrl said...

matt: The Bridgeport DTC was pretty strong for Farrell, they ran a hardcore Farrell-Finch operation.
The problems in Bridgeport stem from Fabrizzi cocaine fiasco and the turmoil within the DTC over that. I wasn't sure how that was going o play out, and the results of turnout lag speak for themselves.

As for Norwalk, I was describing the 140th because even though we had to deal with a lot of people saying that good Democrats should vote for Joe, we held him under 20 (a 45+ point spread for Lamont), which I'm not sure happened anywhere else.

Since I know the 140th, and can look back on turnout, I can tell you that the turnout this cycle was awful. You are missing about 3k in votes that should have come out, like they came out for other Dems who ran in previous elections. To say you held Joe down, is to miss the historical turnout baseline, and thus what you should be asking is what happened. It's easy to pick on the 140th because the turnout trend line is so obvious, but the only gains that the Dems got in Norwalk were because of the hard work that Lex Paulson put in his campaign effort.

I know that you are personally invested in fighting with the Norwalk DTC, though, so I'm not going to toss any more live ammo onto the fire here. Other than to say that if you want Hilliard on the Republican side, you can have him :)

I'm personally invested in making Norwalk a better place. That means I call incompetence where I see it. I care that smart people get nominated by both parties for political office and that the agenda of the parties is to get people involved in the community and by extension politics. When people stop acting in Norwalk's best interest they become part of the problem.

bluecoat said...

Instead of doing Get Out the Vote, the Bridgeport and Norwalk DTC's did Suppress the Vote because they both wanted Lieberman for Connecticut not the Democratic party endorsed candidate, Lamont.

bluecoat said...

And there is no fallout over Fabrizi's cocaine abouse going public thanks to Kevin O' Connor. It was widely known for years he was a user and his supplier had a position on the DTC. Give me a break TG.

Anonymous said...

No one mentioned one thing that I see on the map. Shays seemed to increase his lead in Shelton, Trumbull, Oxford, and Easton. I wonder why.

turfgrrl said...

bluecoat: Norwalk DTC's did Suppress the Vote because they both wanted Lieberman for Connecticut Au contraire. The Norwalk DTC very much wanted Lamont to win, they just miscalculated what the Norwalk voters wanted. Just like last year btw.

turfgrrl said...

anonymous 3:20: Yes the maps show that, but then historically those are GOP leaning anyways. The bigger surprise is the ground lost in Democratic leaning districts. Bu again, Shays ran a good campaign. He succeeded in getting out his vote in the places he was expecting to.

Anonymous said...

The Dems discount the updistrict towns foolishly

Shays ran a harder edged campaign this time and as a result got more votes from the more conservative areas of Shelton, Monroe and Oxford, which had been in Rowland's old district.

In fact reapportionment saved Shays. It's pretty apparent he would have lost in the 1990's version of the district

Anonymous said...

the Club for Growth types stayed home in 2004 becaue of Shays. they came out for Shays in 2006 just to keep the Congresss GOP but to no avail.

Matt said...

My impression is that the Norwalk DTC was very solidly for Ned -- if there were individuals that weren't, I don't think they were an especially influential factor in how the Lamont campaign interacted with the DTC.

bluecoat said...

It was the Norwalk Common Council Memebers that went for Liberman - right? And they signify what the DTC wants to most outside the inner circle.