Some Brief Thoughts on Tuesday’s Election Results

Monster win for Pressley: She topped the ticket unequivocally. In the last at-large race, 354 votes separated the two ticket-toppers (Connolly and Murphy). This time around, Pressley beat her closest competitor (Arroyo) by more than 2,000 votes with closer to 50,000 fewer voters to work with.

City-wide for Pressley?: Pressley ran strong citywide, with the notable exception of South Boston. I’ll take a deeper dive into those numbers later this week and draw some conclusions about the results, particularly who gained votes where.

Turnout Variation: I’m always fascinated by the difference in turnout between different city council districts. More folks (3,129, to be precise) neglected to mark their ballot in the District 6 race (which Matt O’Malley won handily with 7,431 votes) than voted in the affirmative for Michael Ross, who also won easily with 2,631 votes.

Bullets?: The role and tactics of bullet voting is also one of those whispered secrets of the campaign. The average voter in this election cast 2.78 votes (out of a possible 4), which is actually more than the last at-large race where the average voter cast just over 2.5 votes.

Vote Decay and Growth: This election only had 57 percent of the turnout of the last election in 2009 (which also had a competitive mayor’ race to draw voters). Based on a proportional smaller group of voters, who grew their share? Obviously, Pressley excelled at this — retaining 90% of her voters (41,879 in 2009 to 37,506 in 2011) — and Arroyo did well too, retaining 79 percent of his voters.

Connolly improved as well to 64 percent. While Murphy suffered a bit, retaining only 52 percent of his voters, a loss of over 24,000 votes from one election to the next.

Michael Flaherty: He missed out on 4th place by a mere 922 votes. Part of the reason was his failure to retain many of the voters who supported him for Mayor in 2009, when he got 46,768 votes despite losing by 15 percent. This time around he got 25,760 votes, or 55 percent of his former total (against a 2011 turnout of 57 percent of the 2009 race).


Crossposted at Pioneer Institute’s blog.