Analyzing the numbers

The Avalos campaign pulled off a near miracle

I keep looking at the election numbers, trying to make sense of it all, and the more I look and count and add, the more a couple of things become clear:

1. The absentee vote wasn't just about Ed Lee. Clearly, the Lee forces got their troops out and did an absentee drive, but the total absentee votes for mayor (62,446) were about the same as the total votes for district attorney (63,354) and most of the propositions.So the people who voted early voted the entrie ballot.

2. The election-day votes were so dramatically different from the absentees that several factors had to be at work. One of them was the phenomenal campaign for John Avalos, which moblized thousands of people and demonstrated how much of a force progressives can be. Keep in mind -- Avalos, who had no independent expenditure groups and less money than many of the other candidates -- actually came in first on election day. His team worked hard and smart and pulled off a near miracle.

3. The drop-off in support for Lee between the absentees and election day suggests that his popularity was, indeed, declining fast in the past few weeks. The voter fraud scandals had something to do with it, but so did the attacks on Lee by the Herrera and Yee campaigns and by IE groups supporting those two candidates. If Lee hadn't been so far out in front a month ago, he might not have won. As it is, if he holds on, it won't be with the kind of mandate he would like to claim.

When the Department of Elections runs the first pass at ranked-choice voting, we'll get a better idea of how much Lee's support has fallen; RCV won't be such a big deal with the absentees since Lee got so many of those first-place votes. The election-day votes will be more telling; when Adachi, Yee and Chiu are eliminated, where do those seconds go? How many will go to Lee -- and how many will go anywhere but?


It got Lee's support almoste xactly right, even tho you and others claimed it overstated it.

BC poll showed an easy Lee win and that's what happened.

Getting over 60% under IRV is tough to do, yet Lee did it easily.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 10:32 am

No. You just blatantly both, got it wrong, -and- contradicted yourself in your own post.

Look at the poll again. It ran a projected IRV for the race.

And notably, this supposedly well polled IRV run showed Herrera in second place with Avalos and Yee the two third place candidates far behind him; when in the -actual- IRV run Yee came out fifth -behind- Herrera and even Chiu and Avalos was the real second place finisher.

As I rightly pointed out the day it came it came out, the Bay Citizen poll was a joke. It was totally off.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 10:57 am

Lee had an easy win.

How the losers ended up isn't that interesting. No prizes for being second.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 11:17 am

What did Avalos have to offer? Nothing that I could tell. He was a slightly less smug version of Matt Gonzalez. There's really not much to fall back on other then whose city? Our city.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 7:53 am

In his Guardian interview he said he wanted to raise more money for the city. That seemed to be his number one plan, also complaining that people from outside the city come here, like he did.

How that resonates outside the bubble of SEIU employees and non profit flunkies is a mystery. Avalos offered his world view, which is higher and higher taxes, with the money going to his narrow base. Progressive have an acute sense of not being able to judge the mood of people outside their little club.

So called principle around Avalos's campaign is interesting, that principle is, "you have something and I am entitled to it."

That he lost so much ground in the second round is interesting.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 8:35 am

you've probably got 20% of the voters in the bank, given the shallow, kneejerk response such bumper stickers evoke in many here.

But the other 80% can parse that slogan into "tax me much more so city workers can enjoy far betetr health and pension benefits than I get" and turn away.

You cannot ignore the middle and the silent majority and expect to win any election. So the obvious conclusion is that Avalos didn't want to win. He wanted to make a statement.

And if there had been the usual 3 to 4 left-wing flunkies standing, they'd each have gotten 5% and we wouldn't now be discussing his alleged "success" in losing by far more than Matt did.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 9:20 am

Si, Se puede? no, no podía

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 9:18 am

Let's see how the Bay Citizen Poll turned out, shall we?

Predicted (and Actual) Finish
Lee - Predicted 1, Actual 1
Avalos - Predicted 3, Actual 2
Herrera - Predicted 2, Actual 3
Chiu - Predicted 9, Actual 4
Yee - Predicted 4, Actual 5
Adachi Predicted 6, Actual 6
Dufty - Predicted 5, Actual 7
Hall - Predicted 8, Actual 8
Alioto-Pier - Predicted 7, Actual 9
Rees - Predicted 10, Actual 10

So, the poll got 4 out of the top 10 places exactly right, another 3 were off by 1 place, and 2 were off by two places. The only candidate they got seriously wrong was Chiu - who's actual vote was significantly higher than predicted. That's pretty darn accurate.

Let's recall that Eric's main beef about the poll was his view that it understated Yee's West Side support. And also recall Eric heavily shilling Yee as the consensus #3 RCV pick.

Again, please face reality, people. There is no evidence of fraud here. There is no evidence that a higher turnout would have changed the outcome. There is no evidence of a majority "Anybody but Lee" electorate. Lee got the most votes in Round 1 and his raw vote lead grew when the #2 and #3 choices were counted.

This election pretty much the way this poll predicted.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

^ Good post.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

See Below...

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

The very numbers you just displayed, show how utterly useless the poll was for a ranked choice election, and political and marketing strategy toward that election. You just showed clearly yourself that it was a total joke.

And the core weakness I cited in the poll was its low sampling size for a very complex ranked choice election. Again, the results you show above make clear that my core criticism was spot on.

If you look back at my comments, you will see that I cited the Westside voter issue as only an illustrative example of the many flaws of the poll.

Here's the rub. Only getting the winner right in a ranked choice election poll is like only getting the top flavor right in a poll on consumer ice cream preferences.

Bogus and useless.

Would you do your first order for your ice cream shop based on such a poll?

Of course not. And you would even question if the poll got the number -one- flavor right...

Nor could political analysts get any real value out of the Bay Citizen poll. It was crap. It predicted 40% of the voters choosing strawberry, when they actually chose mocha almond fudge in real life...

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

Poll had Lee as easy winner. Lee was easy winner. Poll was spot on.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 10, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

Of course it wasn't. Now you are just seeking to get in the last word even though it is obvious to everyone that you are completely full of shit.

How long shall we keep it up this time, troll, prick-face, idiot...

Posted by Aragorn on Nov. 11, 2011 @ 12:00 am

As noted above, the Bay Citizen poll correctly ranked 7 out of the top 10 finishers within one place. That's pretty spot on.

In addition, in terms of RCV predictions, the poll was also remarkably accurate. Looking at who they forecast for the top 2 RCV distributions, it was 100% accurate for David Chiu and Bevan Dufty, and within one place for Tony Hall, Jeff Adachi and Alioto-Pier.

David Chiu RCV distribution-
Bay Citizen forecast: Ed Lee would get the most 2nd votes, followed by Dennis Herrera.
Actual result: Ed Lee got the most 2nd votes, followed by Dennis Herrera.

Tony Hall RCV distribution-
Bay Citizen forecast: Michaela Alioto-Pier receives the most 2nd votes, followed by Ed Lee and Jeff Adachi.
Actual result: Alioto-Pier eliminated. Ed Lee received most 2nd votes, followed by Jeff Adachi.

Bevan Dufty RCV distribution-
Bay Citizen forecast: Dennis Herrera receives the most 2nd votes, followed by Ed Lee.
Actual result: Dennis Herrera received the most 2nd votes, followed by Ed Lee.

Jeff Adachi RCV distribution-
Bay Citizen forecast: Ed Lee receives the most 2nd votes, followed by Dennis Herrera and John Avalos (tied).
Actual result: Dennis Herrera received the most 2nd votes, followed by Ed Lee. Avalos was 4th.

Alioto-Pier RCV distribution-
Bay Citizen forecast: Ed Lee receives the most 2nd votes, followed by Leland Yee.
Actual result: Ed Lee receives the most 2nd votes, followed by Dennis Herrera. Leland Yee was 3rd.

Would help your credibility if you actually looked at the facts. And it never hurts to admit when your wrong. Polls are never 100% accurate, and it's true that this one missed the last minute voters who went with Avalos. But then again, the poll took place between Oct. 7 and Oct. 13, 2011, so it was never going to capture the late deciders.

Posted by Paul Noe Valley on Nov. 13, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

That reply was even more ridiculous than your usual nonsense. The poll was clearly crap. Being off on several candidates by a full rank or more in a poll on a ranked choice election, is horrendous inaccuracy. For you to selectively find a few points the poll got right while ignoring its failure on most of the major factors, is laughable.

Don't you have some employees to fire or something?

Stop wasting our time and go post on Rush Limbaugh's blog, where you belong.

Posted by Aragorn on Nov. 13, 2011 @ 9:28 pm