Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Monday
Sep242012

Liberty Express Focuses On Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

 
Not since the old days when the show was titled "More Politically Alert" have I spent as much time going through numbers, pure numbers, as on this week's edition of "The Liberty Express" which airs Monday at 10 p.m., Thursday at 9 p.m., and Sundays at 6 a.m. and noon on Manchestertv23 (always available on vimeo.com/channels/libertyx).
I spent many hours over the weekend reviewing primary voting totals and prepared a couple dozen numbers sheet for this week's show and actually managed to get through most of them.
I would have got them all in, but I just had to run the Bass commercial of Annie running once or twice...or truth in blogging...four times!
We also went to Idaho and Mesopotamia, thanks to the B-52s concert which I had filmed July 4, 2011 in Montreal.
"Six or eight thousand years ago, they laid down the law...in Mesopotamia"...great stuff and a fitting break from all the numbers.
For example.
There's a graphic showing that while each of Manchester's wards has about 9000 people, there are 6100 registered voters in Ward 1 and only 3303 in Ward 5 (3552 in Ward 11 and 3564 in Ward 3).  5, 3, and 11 are all highly Democratic, but people there just don't bother to show up as in the more Republican wards (5415 in my own ward eight; 5187 in Ward 6).
The charter question passed in all 12 Manchester wards...most in ward 1 (62.3 percent), least in ward 11 (50.9 percent).  58.1 percent overall.  I was among the 41.9 percent!
How about this one.
After uncontested primaries, I often compare total votes cast to number of votes received.
In Senate district 18 (Manchester Wards 5-9 and Litchfield), Republican Gail Barry outpolled Democrat Donna Soucy 2911 to 2614, but before Republicans start celebrating, consider this.  Barry received 74.1 percent of the 3926 Republican votes cast; Soucy received 85.0 percent of the 3077 Democratic votes cast.
Similarly in District 20 (Manchester Wards 3,4, 10, 11, and Goffstown), Republican Phil Greazzo outpolled Democrat incumbent Lou D'Allesandro 3053-2696, but while Greazzo received 76.8 percent of 3974 Republican votes cast, Lou tallied a phenomenal 90.7 percent of 2971 Democratic votes cast (almost unheard of for a race not at the top of the ticket)!
Both Ovide and Maggie did much better in Manchester than statewide.  Ovide tallied 77.4 percent of Republican votes cast in the city while Maggie took 63.4 percent of Democratic votes.
Aren't numbers fun?
Yes, but not nearly as much fun as watching Annie run (four times) or the Bs in Idaho or Mesopotamia!
"There's a lot of wooing going on..."
Thursday
Sep202012

The Week In Polls--Sept. 20--NONSENSE!


 
Note that in recent weeks, I've refrained from the weekly look at polling data.  Nate Silver, of fivethirtyeight.com, best sums up the reason why in his blog today.
THE POLLS HAVE STOPPED MAKING SENSE, he writes.
Actually, that's been the case for a while now.
Silver juxtaposes an improbable poll which shows Obama up by 14 points in Wisconsin at the same time Rasmussen has him trailing by three in New Hampshire.
That's just one of many indications that the polls are wackier than ever.  It all depends on the sample and whether the pollsters are looking at likely or registered voters.
Karl Rove last night made the excellent point on Fox last night that many of these pollsters anticipate as much as a 13 point Democratic advantage in turnout.  That simply isn't going to happen, and we should discount any polls which are so skewed.
In 2000, Democrats enjoyed a three point edge in turnout when Gore beat Bush (he really did, you know!).  It was virtually even in 2004 but went up to a seven point Democratic edge in 2007.  I suspect it'll be close to even again this year...or maybe Democrats will have a slight edge.
Ideally, we should be looking for polls of likely voters with samples evenly split between Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.
Marist, Pew, and PPP tend to especially tilted in favor of Democrats, and since averaging outfits like Real Clear Politics tend to include those polls, even the average of polls leans heavily in favor of Democrats....Obama is up 3.1 in today's average...see, I just can't get away from these numbers.
The best thing to do today is simply look at the daily tracking polls from Rasmussen and Gallup.  I know, some pundits advise you to forget national averages and concentrate on swing states, but I continue to believe that swing states at the end of the day will follow national averages, no exactly buy fairly closely.
Let's look at New Hampshire to explain how what appears to be a polling mess really isn't so messy.  Rasmussen has Romney up three here after the Granite State Poll (WMUR/UNH) had Obama up five (45-4-) last week.  However, note that pollster Andy Smith pointed out that among those extremely interested in voting, Romney was actually ahead by four points (48-44) in New Hampshire.  Thus, it all goes back to who shows up to vote on November 6.
I suspect turnout will be very good if not great.  Thus, Obama could have a slight advantage here, but then you have to keep in mind that undecided voters usually break for the challenger, not as much as Dick Morris contends but something in the two to one range.
Since I like to look at State Rep and State Senate races, the part of the UNH poll I find especially helpful is geographic distribution.  Remember, top of the ticket matters a great deal!
Here's how it breaks down in the UNH poll--
North Country--Obama plus 11 (50-39); that means trouble for Republicans in Senate district 1, but Obama was even farther than that ahead up north in the last poll
Central/Lakes--Romney plus 4 (43-39)
Connecticut Valley--Obama plus 32 (62-30)--no surprise; Republicans should lose reps in Sullivan County
Mass Border--Romney plus 9 (48-37)--again no surprise; don't look for many Democratic gains in Rockingham County
Seacoast--Obama plus 16 (49-33)--does anyone doubt that no Republican need apply in Portsmouth, but if this carries over to Hampton, Republicans could be in trouble.
Manchester area--Obama plus 7 (46-30).  This is much closer than in the last poll.  Of course, we can extrapolate that since Romney must be up big in places like Bedford, Hooksett, and Goffstown, then Obama must be up by more than seven points in the city itself.
UNH has Romney up five with men, down 14 with women.  Among those who watch WMUR, it's virtually a dead heat, but among those who listen to NH public radio, Obama leads by 41 points (65-24). 
In a world of nonsense, that certainly makes plenty of sense!
Author
Thursday
Sep202012

"This American Life" Not Yet Ready

After posting yesterday about "This American Life" coming to New Hampshire for a special report on the political situation here, I learned today that the show will not be airing this weekend.
I'll let you know when it's ready and is scheduled--Saturday at 1 p.m. on WEVO.
As I expected, apparently it's highly edited.
I have verified that reporter Sarah Koenig, formerly of the Concord Monitor and Baltimore Sun, got the Speaker on tape.  I recall that when she interviewed me, she asked what I would ask the Speaker if given the chance.
My answer was simple.  "Why, Mr. Speaker, do you treat people you agree with differently from those you disagree with?  Should not all people be treated equally on the House floor?"
I suspect, if he was asked, he would deny special treatment, but then we have the streaming audio to prove that simply is not true!!!
How many exclamation points (are they still called screamers by the media?) does it take to make a point?
Thursday
Sep202012

Primary Numbers From Manchester


 
Sad to say, the Secretary of State's web site is not the most user friendly one on the planet.  To get primary information (including how many undeclared voters took either Democratic or Republican ballots), several clicks are needed.
That's a long-winded explanation that I don't have numbers for the entire state, but I did get numbers from city hall in Manchester today, and they're about what one would think.
Of the undeclared voters who opted to vote last week's primary in Manchester, 58.7 percent took a Republican ballot; 41.3 percent a Democratic ballot--2069 to 1456.  More undeclared voters opted for Republican ballots in every Manchester ward except the highly Democratic (and low turnout) Ward 3. 
This was to be expected, and my guess is that the pattern was replicated throughout the state. 
Why?
Simple.  Because contests drives turnout, and there were more contests on the Republican side.  Even fewer would most likely have requested Democratic ballots had it not been for the race between Maggie The Dog Torturer Hassan and Jackie Cilley at the top of the ticket.
In fact, Secretary of State Bill Gardner had predicted a wider spread between the number of Democratic and Republican votes cast.
As is usually the case, a very high percentage (more than 90 percent in Manchester) of undeclared voters opted to revert back to their undeclared status prior to leaving the polling locations.
Remember how Republican leadership (Bill O'Brien, David Bates and others who hoped to kidnap voters into their party) failed last year to pass legislation which would have prevented undeclared voters from reverting back to that status for three months.  I opposed that legislation (and won) largely because I knew most undeclared voters want to revert back to that status.  To hold them hostage so either party could gain bragging rights by adding a few more voters to its ranks...well, it's just plain insidious, but altogether typical of the O'Brien/\Bates regime!  It also would have been a nightmare for town and city clerks.
When we check to final numbers from the Secretary of State, expect to find slightly more Republicans than prior to the primary since a small percentage did not revert back.
Interestingly in Manchester, Republicans now have more registered voters (albeit only slightly) in four of the 12 wards--(18 more in Ward 1 which used to be extremely Republican; 38 more in Ward 6; 11 more in Ward 12; and most significantly, 223 more in my own Ward 8, most likely due to the suburban nature of new development in the ward).
Five of the 12 Manchester wards (4, 8, 9, 11, and 12) now have more Undeclared voters than either Democrats or Republicans.  Since Manchester was the last city to go to non-partisan municipal elections, the city was the last place where undeclareds were not tops in registration, but that's changing slowly.
Overall, Manchester now has--
53,996 registered voters
19,292 Democrats--35.7 percent
18,434 Undeclared--34.1 percent
16,270 Republicans--30.1 percent
Note, however, that your typical Manchester Democrat is not nearly as liberal as your typical Democrat statewide.
One other note...the only tie in the state was in Ward 5 for the second State Rep position on the Democratic side election night.  Word is that Tim O'Flaherty (a good Irish name for a good Irish ward) won by one vote (it was 127-127 election night in this extremely low turnout ward; Rokas topped the ticket with 251 votes) over former Rep, African American Richard Komi.  Remember Komi...he's the guy who decided to run for mayor after serving one term as State Rep...of course he got blown away, then he lost in the Democratic primary two years ago, and now has lost again this year.
Holy upward mobility Batman, can that be true?
It sure is.
Ward 5 is the city's most Democratic ward, but Republican Norma Champagne snuck in with a win two years ago, and Republican Daniel Garthwaite polled very strongly in this year's primary--he got 243 votes.  An upset in the making against O'Flaherty?  Perhaps. 
Author
Thursday
Sep202012

An Invitation And A Restatement Of Rules

State Reps not running again for re-election and with some having been eliminated in the primary, I have received requests to remain on my mailing list.
I will honor all requests (from those who maintain civility) and will add not only Reps, but anyone else who emails me.  I will add you to a special list of people who automatically received everything I post on this blog.
My email address is steve.vaillancourt@leg.state.nh.us.
Anyone who reads something here and desires to automatically receive everything I post, this is a good time to drop me a line.  I'm updating the list.  In fact, as I was sitting in the Manchester library the other day, a former Rep asked to be added to the list.  He was. 
I also struck up a conversation with a woman holding an Al Franken book in her hand.  She said she missed my column in the old Manchester Mirror, and I told her about this blog.  (She needs to send her email address along to me, and I'll add here to the list).  By the way, I'm not a fan of Al Franken (politically speaking), but I had actually read the book and liked it.  He has a great line about Barbara Bush telling him on an airplane, "I'm through with you!"
Speaking of being through with people...
I should note that rules apply to this blog.  Your responses are welcome only to the extent that ad hominem attacks not be posted against me or against anyone else who chooses to post here.  Of course, your post will go through but I will immediately erase it when I see it.  This applies to two State Reps, both from Londonderry by the way, who were previously deleted from the master list I send out to all Reps.  Now that  Reps Baldie and Tambie cannot get my opinions and insights automatically, they insist on coming to this web site and responding.
I doesn't work that way, gentlemen.  Consider yourself banned.  As I have explained in the past, participating here is like being a guest in someone's home.  If you whipped it out and began urinating on the living room floor, as a guest, you would most assuredly be asked to leave.  My rule here is that once you have been banned, you are never welcome back.  Baldie and Tambie have been banned and are not welcome here.
That goes also for someone who claims to be Silas.
Fortunately, the number of people banned here in small.  Fortunately, most people so civil that they do not whip it out and start urinating on the floor.