Understanding the Durham PAC endorsements
The math is a little complex, especially in regard to the Commissioners race. For the School Board, with three candidates, and the DA, with four, if the leading votegetter has a substantial plurality, generally defined as 40% or more, they win. If none of the candidates has 40%, there will be a runoff election in June. As i've noted in the past, there are no Republican candidates for DA (or for BOCC, for that matter) so whoever wins the Democratic primary will be essentially unopposed on the November ballot.
Kevin's done some of the heavy lifting in analyzing the impact of endorsements on the BOCC race, using what i call the Frank Hyman Theory of Durham Politics. Basically, Frank says you need endorsements from two of the three PACs to win. By that logic, the three incumbent commissioners (Heron, Page, and Reckhow) and newcomer Don Moffitt are in, while the fifth seat will be a scrap between Josh Parker (Friends), Brenda Howerton (PA), Fred Foster (DCABP), and former Commissioner Joe Bowser (DBACP). Tracey Cline (PA and DCABP) should win the DA position. Leigh Bordley (Friends, PA) is in the driver's seat for the at-large School Board position.
Here's the wild card in all this, however. Voter registration, at a little over 150,000 as of March 31, is not quite at an all-time high (it topped 164,000 in the 2000 general election), but turnout is expected to exceed 60%, and possibly reach 65%. Those are staggering numbers for a primary election, and pretty impressive for a general election as well. The assumption that i'm making (and i don't think i'm alone in this) is that a lot of people are preparing to vote in the Democratic presidential primary, where North Carolina matters for the first time in, well, probably forever. As far as the downticket races go, a lot of those folks, especially the newly registered, are what people in the trade call low-information voters. I think it's a mistake to assume that this election will automatically play out the same as previous elections. The local races aren't getting a lot of media play. The Herald-Sun is running a series of brief candidate profiles, but that's probably not enough to familiarize voters with everyone running. I think the local elections especially are going to be unpredictable this year, except maybe for Michael Page, who was endorsed by all three PACs, retaining his seat on the Commission.
By the way, if you didn't register before last Friday's deadline, you're not completely shut out of the system. You can still take advantage of North Carolina's modified same-day registration. Beginning Thursday, April 17, and continuing up through Saturday, May 3, you can register and vote at the Board of Elections Office at 706 W. Corporation St. Call 560-0700 for details.
I'll post who i'm voting for, and why, later on in the month. And i'll try to post information about as many candidates as i can between now and election day (May 6), but hey, i'm just a guy with a blog. This democracy thing is hard work, so go inform yourselves on who's running, and what they say they'll do if they're elected.
Labels: 2008 elections