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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Last Night's Winners in Asheville Determined by Get Out The Vote Efforts of Progressive Campaigns

I've been crunching the numbers precinct by precinct and have found some interesting things, the foremost of which is the success of the Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts by the Progressive Community in Asheville.

There were 7,113 ballots cast (almost 1 in 6 of them in early voting via One Stop).

Every voter had the opportunity to select from three candidates from a field of ten, with the top six vote getters advancing to the General Election. With the addition of Robin Cape's Write-In Campaign, this will make it seven people competing for three seats.

Cecil Bothwell and Gordon Smith received votes from more than half of those voting yesterday, and Esther Mannheimer was close to breaking that Fifty percent barrier. Carl Mumpower barely scraped by with just under one in three voting for him, and J. Neal Jackson getting votes from just over one in six voters.

Here is a simple table demonstrating these numbers, and some other comparisons:

# Votes
% Votes
% Ballots Cast
% Registered Voters
Cecil Bothwell
Gordon Smith
Esther Mannheimer
Kelly Miller
Carl Mumpower
J. Neal Jackson
Ryan Croft

Turnout was very light, with only a little over 11 % of voters bothering to vote. With such a low turn out, the campaigns with the better GOTV efforts cruised to the next round. I've included Ryan Croft, who didn't make the final cut, as an example of how just a tiny GOTV effort could have changed the results of yesterday's elections by the conservative candidates.

I see Mumpower as being in serious trouble in this re-election bid despite the spin put on it by the BCGOP on their website that touted his strong showing in several precincts. Those precincts he did well in were small precincts that will mean little in the General Election. Mumpower has said that he won't spend more than $3,000 on the election (as has the other conservative, J. Neal Jackson) so...unless they have an army of volunteers hidden away that I am not privy to...we will see the strengthening of the already strongly progressive Asheville City Council.

Here is Carl Mumpower on last night's results:

I wanted to drop a note of thanks to my supporters and the good folks who did step out to vote. I appreciate the consideration I received and am comfortable with the outcome.

It is interesting to note that we came in first in more precincts than any candidate (15) but placed 5th in the overall standings.

What’s next?

I will not be doing anything different over the coming month. As I said early on - after 8 years the people of Asheville know my name and what I stand for. I will return for a third term with enthusiasm or depart with gratitude per their decision.

In terms of campaigning forward, I will participate actively in all forums, respond to surveys, be available for questions, and come anywhere to meet with any group of citizens. I will not be spending any money on my campaign - either my own or anyone else’s. I am not interested in purchasing a seat on Asheville’s City Council.

The question has come up about my needing to campaign harder. I have been campaigning hard - by serving my office in a principled, energetic, creative, and persistent fashion. As the only conservative member of the Council (as measured by voting records) I have been given generous opportunity through the media to illuminate my positions. No one could have asked for more and no one has had more visibility on political matters in our community.

My standing in the vote outcome comes down to voter turnout and voter choice. Although I have a demonstrated unwillingness to seduce voters, there is no issue with name recognition or visibility - the things that most candidates are spending money on. The voters of Asheville have quietly said that they may want other leadership - either with their vote or by staying home.

Looking back, my consistent stance has been toward being careful with other people’s money, supporting traditional values, and resisting the expansion of socialistic governance at the local level. I would not change a thing and will not change a thing going forward.

Source: BCGOP (read the whole thing there)


I am dismayed by Mumpower's decision. I remember how well the non-campaign worked in his "campaign" for the 11th district congressional seat. 

The Buncombe County Republican Party has been through a rough few years with leadership that has not focused on building the voter registration rolls locally in favor of getting involved in regional and state politics, and it has come back to bite them pretty hard. 

I am confident that the new leadership is seeking to correct those mistakes, and will emerge, in a few years, in a stronger position.

**1.19pm** Welcome MountainX Readers!