Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Fewer Than 23% Participated In Indianapolis Mayor's Race

Mayor-elect Joe Hogsett won election with an impressive 62% of the vote, or a plurality of about 25,000 votes, in yesterday's Indianapolis mayor's race, but the candidates failed to excite Indianapolis voters, who stayed away from the polls in near-record numbers. Fewer than 23% voted in yesterday's municipal election. That's down from the 30% turnout four years ago, or a difference of over 31,000 voters, and the 26% turnout rate in the 2007 election. Hogsett received 92,834 votes yesterday, which was a little more than 300 votes more than the 92,525 votes Mayor Ballard received four years ago when he was re-elected with just 51% of the vote.

In the 2011 election, Democrats turned out 61,570 straight-party voters. Yesterday, Democrats turned out 60,329 straight-party Democratic voters, a difference of more than a thousand voters. The key difference was the large fall-off in the number of straight-party Republican voters between the 2011 and 2015 elections. Republicans received 49,423 straight-party votes in 2011 but only 34,996 in yesterday's election, a difference of nearly 15,000 votes.

Low turnout among Republican voters cost them control of the council, particularly when you look at the loss of incumbents Ben Hunter and Robert Lutz in council races on the far east and west sides of the City where Democrats weren't focusing their efforts. Lutz' opponent, Jared Evans, defeated the slated Democratic candidate in the primary to earn the right to run in yesterday's election. Republicans won three of the four most-contested races with Colleen Fanning's win over Kip Tew in District 2, Christine Scales' win over Pamela Hickman in District 3 and Jeff Miller's win over Emily Schrock in District 16. Incumbent Democrat Frank Mascari easily defeated Republican Anthony Davidson in District 21.

Republicans could easily be looking at a 14-11 majority on the council today instead of its 13-12 minority if it had just turned out a little more than 500 of its voters in those two council races it lost yesterday. Hunter and Lutz lost their re-election races yesterday to their Democratic opponents by 260 and 286 votes, respectively. The Republican party's failure to run a candidate for mayor with established ties to the community, and who was willing to articulate traditional Republican principles and distinguish himself from his Democratic opponent didn't help in giving Republican-leaning voters a reason to participate in yesterday's election.


Anonymous said...

Pathetic. And they call this a democracy.

Eric Morris said...

"It is accepted as democratic when public offices are allocated by lot; and as oligarchic when they are filled by election." Aristotle

Josh said...

This exemplifies how easy it is to take over an apathetic "democracy".
Also, a "vote of no confidence" would be nice to have.
In the end, even in local elections, it seems we get to "vote" for the candidate of their (nwos) choosing.

Anonymous said...

There's much to be said as to why, with the gerrymandering of districts and the elimination of the four at-large seats, the Republican Party could not attain control of the CCC. Is it because of local candidates or is the MCRP now the caboose on the national clown train? It is difficult to win and control the agenda with 44.46% of the vote. Is there just a lack of voter interest or are Republicans giving up on the brand?
Watch the state legislature for the next trick in the bag. Being that in the last general election straight-ticket voting in Marion County favored the Democrats by 136,286 to 71,101, it was discussed this January on how to end this method of voting. This should clog up the polls in traditional Democratic heavy voting areas but a bill of this nature would have to be applied statewide.

Downtown Indy said...

Much is made of alleged voter suppression. Any actual suppression pales in comparison to the huge problem of voter apathy.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:09 In a free society, a voter should have the right to vote a straight-ticket. Republicans and conservatives love to find ways to disenfranchise voters when they can't seem to win on the ideas they propose.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:09: "Watch the state legislature for the next trick in the bag." Bingo. I am terrified but also fascinated to see what they come up with next. One thing is for sure: it won't be ideas on how to make life better for lower and middle-income Hoosiers.

Sir Hailstone said...

"This should clog up the polls in traditional Democratic heavy voting areas"

No. It won't. Illinois abolished straight ticket voting roughly 16 years ago. It's still a bluer-than-blue state (Rauner is a RINO and Springfield is 2/3rds Dems). Chicago voters can still vote two and three times or more. Not an issue. The low information voters will vote top-of-ticket and probably leave the rest blank.