Local results

Not suprisingly, every Democrat up for election in Orange County won handily. Here are results from the News & Observer (with my addition of party affiliation):

County Commissioner (2 Seats Available)
Valerie Foushee [D] 18,516
Moses Carey [D] 16,652

Jamie Daniel [R] 12,021
Artie L. Franklin[L] 3,446
43 of 44 precincts reporting

NC State Senate District 23
Ellie Kinnaird [D] 18,869

Whit Whitfield [R] 10,727
43 of 44 precincts reporting

Soil And Water District Supervisor
Roger Tate [D] 13,848

Will Shooter [L] 5,742
Write- in 144
43 of 44 precincts reporting

US Congress District 4
David Price [D] 20,582

Todd Batchelor [R] 9,355
43 of 44 precincts reporting

Anyone care to analyze or interpret these results?



How do folks interpret the Foushee/Carey win with regards to the school merger issue? Its essentially a split vote where I was hoping for a much clearer message to be delivered.

I would like to weigh-in on the County Commission election, and my point relates to the issue of School Merger. But more specifically, to answer something that has bugged me recently - - - the spin some local politicians and columnists have played on to support school merger. Specifically, some have said that Moses Carey's win in the July Democratic Primary was a "mandate" for his work regarding school merger. At best, in regards to the schools, his re-election is a reflection on the need to rectify the funding disparity with the County Schools, hardly a merger endorsement.

Let me back this up.

First, in the Democratic Primary, Val Foushee, a first time candidate for Co. Commission was the HIGHEST vote getter for the Democratic Party nomination, based in part on her anti-merger position.

Second, in the general election on Nov. 2, Val got 36.6% of the total vote compared to 32.9% for Moses, a big gap, and what was the biggest difference in the two's platform? Merger. Additionally, the Republican candidate received 12,021 votes, one of the higher Republican vote totals for Co. Commission in recent history, I believe. This was fueled in large measure by an "oust Carey" sentiment from many. Based on the local vote for John Kerry, one can hardly say that there was a Republican surge in the County pushing up Rep. Daniel's numbers

If the will of the people be known in regards to the school merger issue, it does not rest in Carey's viewpoint, but a view much different. As far as many are concerned, the referendum has been held, and Merger lost.

Val is the leader of tomorrow, the one with the mandate.

There are a lot of factors that need to converge for a 'mandate.' In this case, you should also look at the figures by voting precinct. Is the 32.9-36.6 reflective of the difference between CHCCS district vs Orange Co district votes? What role did race play? What was the demographic profile of those who voted for the republican candidate?

Personally, I didn't notice mandates for any candidate or any single issue either locally or nationally.

I agree with all of Bobby's comments, particularly his observations on the bad spin.

I think that the electorate chose Val because she stated in interviews and forums that there is a difference in operating funding that needs to be worked on with a solution that does not include merger, in addition to working on a process where citizens are included and heard. An 11% margin for a non-incumbent is pretty big.

I think that some voted for Carey because he was also clear on his position that something needed to be done, even if they disagreed that merger is the solution. Some surely voted for merger. Many voted based on name recognition. Others care about education may not have been comfortable with the Rep. & Lib. choices, but felt compelled to vote for 2 candidates. Others voted the straight Dem. ticket. (How many people voted a straight ticket? Do they count/publicize that? What about single shots and no-votes?)

The next interesting thing to watch is going to be how studies due in Nov/Dec that were not really intended nor charged properly to be input for a merger discussion are going to be turned into that. This is when any perceived voter "mandate" is going to emerge. Hopefully we can find a solution that starts with a set of problems and moves toward a solution to those problems rather than the other way around.

In necessary things, unity;
in doubtful things, liberty;
in all things, charity.
Richard Baxter (1615-1691)

I think the most interesting race was Soil and Water District Supervisor (SWDS). How many people went to the polls with an opinion about that race?

Not many.

But Roger Tate's victory is truly decisive. Presumably this can only be explained by the Orange County Democratic Party (OCDP) volunteers who handed out sample ballots endorsing Tate over Will Shooter.

What is notable is not that we helped Tate win, but rather that OCDP volunteers were able to tilt the results to a 75%+ majority for OCDP's candidate - and in a race that would otherwise have been a toss-up.

So we tipped about 8,000 votes in a non-partisan race.

Mark Peters ask about straight party voting. On each printout in the precinct there is the straight party numbers. That is not reported but can be reaserched. When I ran for County Commissioner in 1996 we went back and looked at each precinct and got those numbers. Orange County as a whole voted 4 to 1 democrat vs republican straight party. I was the Chief Judge in Cedar Grove on Tuesday the numbers were 179 democrat and 106 republican straight ballots casted.

Another way to look at this is to compare the votes for Burr vs Daniel. Daniel has about 900 more than Burr which is due to ticket spliting in my opinion. When I ran in 96 I had almost 1200 more than Helms.

As for why Val topped Carey she is new and new candidates general do better than incumbents. This is a factor in multi seats races. After all Carey has been around for 20 years.

Is there any concern about the elitist comments Ellie Kinnard recently made regarding the electorate? I have my own reasons for NOT supporting Ellie Kinnard (one easy one is the contrast I make to a strong leader like say David Price). Her recently expressed sentiments regarding ignorant voters (i.e. non-Democrats) just drive a wedge between the "left" (sorry, I hate labels) and moderates and many unaffiliated voters. We complain locally about a devisive national political scene, and here it comes up through her elitist speak in our own back yards.

I don't know what comments you are referring to, but I would choose Ellie Kinnaird over David Price for any elected office you can think of. She has been a courageous leader and an outspoken advocate for many progressive cuases.

Here's the salient part her letter in Tuesday's CHH:

"Could it be that the more educated a person becomes, the more information they acquire about history, geography, other countries' people and cultures, the more they learn languages and about science, and understanding global concerns, the more likely they are to be closely aligned with the Democratic Party's philosophy?"

Ellie Kinnaird
November 2, 2004

I object to this on so many levels, and deeply, even though I'm a Democrat with a Ph.D.

What if all the big business centers were in 70% Bush cities, and progressives just chose other jobs rather than work with Republicans and live in towns dominated by them? That wouldn't make Democrats less intelligent and less able to be successful in private business. The inverse is true of academia, at least for the past few decades. It's a self-selecting bunch.

And that's not to mention other forms of higher education, such as MDs, MBAs, who are not as (or at all) Democratic/progressive as PhDs.

Here's the full text of Sen. Kinnaird's letter to CHH.

"The report in Oct. 24's paper on the lion's share of campaign contributions from area universities going to the Democratic Party ["Campaign gifts tilt to the left"] poses an interesting question.

Could it be that the more educated a person becomes the more information they acquire about history, geography, other countries' people and cultures, the more they learn languages and about science, and understanding global concerns, the more likely they are to be closely aligned with the Democratic Party's philosophy?"

Here's a link to today's editorial in the CHH:


What's the problem? She poses an interesting question that I've heard many times before.

I don't think this conversation is going to go very far (if you gotta ask....), but here's the problem. Kinnaird is implying that higher education yields a greater tendency to be a Democrat. By extension, she's implying that the average Republican is less educated than the average Democrat, that is, that voting Republican is more ignorant.

This premise is offensive (even though I believe some very educated Republicans are being pound-foolish when they think by their preferences they are being penny-wise). And it happens to be counter-productive, by furthering the view that Democrats are a bunch of condescending elitists.

The question is thoughless and arrogant. It's disappointing that she posed it in the first place.

You don't need a college degree to know what you believe in. She insults her uneducated constituents, many of whom probably voted for her.

It reminds me of the idea some people have that uneducated people shouldn't sit on juries, as if you need a degree to make an unbiased decision or know the difference between right and wrong. I said that in my letter which was published in the CHH on Thurs. A writer in yesterday's paper expressed disappointment because he has been a supporter (so have I, by the way).

I thought Representative Kinnaird's statement was politically irresponsible and just as narrow-minded as the Rep's claiming that they won because of "moral values." (As if we Kerry voters HAVE no moral values.) The Dems wonder WHY they lost the center of the country? Kinnaird's statement tells it all. NO ONE likes to be patronised. (sp?)

And y'all gave ME a hard time for blogging "Perhaps, if you aren't bright enough TO READ AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS, you oughtn't to be voting? " I wasn't entirely serious, but I got (verbally) back-handed. I would contend that Ms. Kinnaird's statement is AT LEAST as problematic--and some might say more so--because it was carefully thought out and sent to a newspaper for publication. Blogging is more like a conversation.

I know plenty of educated people (some of them EVEN have PhD's!) who voted for Bush. (Im originally from Ohio.) I know plenty of people with mere BS's or Masters that voted for Kerry.

Patrick wrote:

On each printout in the precinct there is the straight party numbers.

Thanks Patrick!

Do new (primary-surviving) candidates always do better in the general election of Orange BOCC? Seems like it would vary more on the circumstance than generalizing in this manner (though you likely have more experience studying these past races than do I).


I did not want to argue Price vs. Kinnaird, although I do not support Kinnaird, and I support Price. I'll admit that. The reason for my post is that I found her comments OFFENSIVE! And likely, intended as they were written.

From a more practical standpoint, as was recently alluded to in the C.H. Herald editorial, those folks on the same idiological page as Kinnard need to realize that they are an "island" unto themselves. Not ideologically, but geographically. Kinnard's political viewpoints have actually lead the legislature to district in a way that Kinnard will always win because the district is drawn around her consitutuency (she's in a box). What does that do? Well it gets Kinnaird elected each time. But, it marginalizing her constituency - - - basically, they don't have influence over a broad voter base, and ultimately more representation.

To add to Melanie See's anecdotal evidence of well-educated Bush voters, exit polling from Tuesday showed that those with post-grad degrees went 47% for Bush-Cheney, up from 43% in 2000.

Ms Kinnaird apologized today. Here is the entire text of her letter to the Editor of the Chapel Hill Herald:

"My sincere apologies to all for my over-the-top partisan letter in response to the article on university donations in the Durham Herald-Sun."



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