Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Analysis of the GA06 results

Current predictions indicate that GOP contender Karen Handel has beaten Democratic party nominee Jon Ossoff by about 7700 votes (3.7% of the total vote polled). The voter turnout was about 60%.  This is between the extremely low turnout in the first round (43%) and the extremely high turnout in the 2016 election (73%).

The campaign was extremely hard fought, a very large amount of money came from outside GA to fund both parties. External observers characterized this election as a referendum on the Trump brand.

While it is clear that Ossoff failed to seal the deal and win the seat, the numbers speak for themselves.

Jon Ossoff secured almost the exact same number of votes that Rodney Stooksbury secured in 2016. As Jon was brought in as an outsider in the hope that he would do better than a local candidate, the numerical parity between the two results suggests there is a hard floor to the political reach of the Democratic party in GA06. I wonder what the floor is? is usually race or age that limits things like this.

The difference between the 2016 turnout and the recent turnout - ~ 13% of the GA06 VAP(Voting Age Population) is rough gauge of how many voters do not feel compelled to return to defend Donald Trump's agenda or to negate it.

One could read this shift as a sign that the Democratic Party didn't move the needle with this 13% of the voters, so Trump's agenda has prevailed, but another way to read this is that 13% of the people that turned out to vote for Trump didn't return to support his agenda even though they were repeatedly told that Trump's legitimacy was at risk.

It is even more interesting to note that while Secy Price had originally polled 201,088 votes - despite having 10x the money thrown at her campaign Karen Handel only polled 134595. She lost 66493 votes about 15% of the VAP.  When you consider the money spent per voted *lost* - the GOP comes out really badly.

Add this to the earlier shift in turnout and we are looking at a ~ 28% shift away from the GOP and Trump. This will get drowned out in wave of GOP self-congratulation that will fill the air in the week ahead.

While the total fraction of the polled votes that Karen Handel secured is now comparable to the kinds of numbers Democratic representative John Flynt would have in the late 70s, there is no comfort to be had here for the GOP as the Democrats lost this constituency in the 80s and never got it back. GOP reps have been polling over 60% of the vote in each election since then.  When it flips GA06 did so completely.

My guess is that if the GOP attempts to leverage the GA06 victory towards anything, the stark facts posed by the numbers above. I anticipate that there will be a lot of celebration in the GOP ranks - they have staved off a complete embarrassment for Donald Trump.

As the GOP attempts to use this development as fuel for its Obamacare repeal, it is likely that there will be back action in the form of accusations of vote rigging from GA06. You see regardless of what the actual outcome of the Obamacare repeal or GA06 election are, the Democratic party benefits by making this the most expensive victory or defeat possible for the GOP.


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