Steven Lee won the District 5 race with 59.4% of the vote as compared to his opponent Mary Palmer who received 40.6% of the total votes cast in this past Tuesday’s runoff election. The voting patterns indicate that Lee was very successful in getting his supporters to the polls which resulted in his strong margin of victory.
In the November general election, when Lee and Palmer qualified for the runoff, the candidates were in a virtual tie with Lee garnering only 45 votes more than Palmer. Put another way, if we look only at the votes they each received and exclude the votes the two other challengers received, Lee had 50.4% to Palmer’s 49.6%. So the runoff was going to hinge on who could most effectively get their vote back out and who could garner the votes from the two unsuccessful candidates. To this last point, both candidates that did not qualify for the runoff subsequently endorsed Palmer. With the endorsements in hand, Palmer seemed to have the strong hand going into the election. However, as we know, Lee won decisively.
Below is a detailed chart of the voting patterns in D-5 and it tells the story of how Lee, who was the apparent underdog going into the runoff election, ultimately won the race decisively (click on chart to enlarge).
The chart is broken down into the precincts each candidate won – Lee won 20 with 68.2% of the votes and Palmer won 8 with 68.0% of the votes. This was a complete reversal from the general election in which Palmer won 16 precincts to Lee’s 12. And the chart is clear that the race results came down to one thing – which candidate could get their supporters in the general election to the polls for the runoff. In total, Lee was able to get 60.5% of the votes he had gained in the general election while Palmer was only able to get 41.9%.
No further analysis needed, but the lesson is quite simple – getting your supporters to the polls simply wins elections. Lee was very successful at doing so and won handily.
Mr. Lee – congratulations on your victory. We look forward to seeing you at future Board meetings, and based on your experience as a community activist working with troubled youth, we also eagerly look forward to hearing your views and recommendations on how to solve the dreadful dropout rate at APS.
Also for those of you that want to see all the nitty-gritty details of the vote, see the chart below.