Final Turnout M66/67: 60% possible statewide, unlikely in Multnomah

Paul Gronke

Here is my final posting on turnout trends on Measures 66 and 67.  There may be a lot of voters in Multnomah County who are holding their ballots, but the current trends don't indicate that turnout will exceed 60% in the county.  The county figures are currently 3.5% behind Measure 30 (Feb 2004) and nearly 10% behind Measure 28 (Jan 2003).  Statewide figures are tracking Measure 30 much more closely but the reporting dates don't line up as precisely as they do in Multnomah.

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  • Greg D. (unverified)

    This is going to be a very interesting election. Multnomah County has been a reliable source of votes to preserve and protect progressive causes and candidates, but it is also the home of a signficant percentage of Oregon households earning above the 125K/250K benchmark that will be affected by the income tax rate increase. I wonder whether Multnomah County progressive voters will continue with their progressive pattern and pass the measures by the anticipated wide margin, or whether self-interest voting among higher earning households in Multnomah County will change the pattern somewhat.

  • Christian (unverified)

    Paul, haven't more recent elections shown a trend in urban areas toward people dropping their ballots off late in the day? I seem to recall conversations with elections officials in Portland and urban Washington County where I was told to expect lines at drop boxes, etc.

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    Thanks for these updates. Don't typically have much reason to comment, but I follow

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    Yes that trend has been evident. I haven't done enough work with the county-county comparisons to say whether this is an urban trend or statewide ... but hey I am happy to show you how to crank the numbers! ;-)

    I'd believe the state and county officials on this one. I would add that I have seen campaign effects in the past, and as I noted in a previous thread, have found that Republicans have voted earlier during previous tax measures.

    Nonetheless, I'll be surprised to see the MC county figures jump sufficiently to get to 60. I could be wrong--look at the 2008 presidential where a huge number came in the last day. This is not a presidential contest, though, and I don't expect if you or I went down to 11th and Morrison that we'd see lines out the door and cars backed up at the drop box.

  • Jeremy (unverified)

    Christian: lines at drop boxes? That would be awesome if true, but seems unlikely (for no other reason than that it doesn't take very much time to put your ballot in the slot once it's been filled out).

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    Something tells me you haven't experienced an election day at the Multnomah County elections building. They call it the vortex for a reason. If you accidentally try to pass through in your car, you will get caught up in election traffic. So yes, there may not be a traditional line of people, but there certainly will be a line of cars.

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    Paul --

    One challenge in doing day-to-day comparisons on a year-to-year basis is that the counties are entirely inconsistent about their practices. It's big things, like the fact that yesterday they released their final update at 4:15 p.m. (probably based on ballots in the doors around 2 p.m.) And it's little things, like whether particular drop boxes are delivered on a particular day.

    The overall trend is probably a reasonable enough comparison (since the errors probably slide ballot counts only one day in either direction) - but I'd be skeptical about comparisons made between single days across years.

  • Matthew (unverified)

    Working sucks - TAX THE RICH! I suppose we needn't ask whether self-interest voting among unionized state employees in Multnomah County will change the pattern somewhat.......

  • Zarathustra (unverified)

    At least the weather is decent.

    They call it the vortex for a reason.

    Easier to navigate in a TARDIS. They keep a low profile, lest the pro-car factions begin a "tax the TARDISes" movement.

    Posted by: Matthew | Jan 26, 2010 11:26:55 AM

    Working sucks - TAX THE RICH!

    Why do I get this niggling feeling that you're unemployed?

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    of course, the silver lining to MultCo is our size: our 55% is a lot of damn voters with statewide turnout of 60%. the whole state needs to work the Yes, but MultCo more than anyone else. we can win this here.

  • Christian (unverified)

    It'll be interesting to see where the turnout stats land. I've heard that there's an urban/rural divide on late turnout, partly it could be transportation/built environment stuff (it's easier to drop your ballot off if you work downtown than if you live in Lake View) but it could also be ideological (Rs vote first, followed by Ds).

    I'd love to know how to get the data, Paul! E-mail me if you get a chance: csgaston @ gmail

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    Absolutely, this is why I've tried not to read too much into the figures. If I was a pro-66 / 67 organizer, the party breakdowns I posted last week would cause me greater concern.

    Christian, just google "Oregon state elections" and when you get there, click on "elections history" and scroll all the way down to the bottom to the document titled "ballot return history."

    The state office may also provide this to you as a non-PDF document so it would be easier to put into Excel or a statistical program, but I obviously can't speak for them.

  • Snooki (unverified)

    Maybe but its just an estimate. It might be right but there is a possibility that it is wrong. True! There is an interesting thing regarding this year.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)

    So, TH got the turn-out right, and the verdict, 3 weeks out?

  • ikeonic (unverified)

    Hey Professor Gronke! Didn't realize you were an official contributor to Blue Oregon until I happened to glance over at the right nav bar.

    I can't match your cool charts (nicely done!) or sharp wit with my color between the lines James Carville type analogies (JC and I are more alike than you would think) but I definitely enjoy hearing you pontificate on politics.

    Though I must say I'm slightly disappointed that you're not hiding your partisanship, but I guess I can't complain too much since I don't really hide my partisanship at my own blog.

    I'll make sure to become a regular reader of your work here on Blue Oregon. I'm neither a liberal or a Democrat, but I'm glad to see they value your wit and wisdom here at Blue Oregon. Great people are found on both sides of the political spectrum and you're a person I'd have a friendly beer summit with anytime, anywhere.

    <h2>Keep up the good work!</h2>

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