District 3 Special Elections Message

Sometimes voters send clear messages to one political group or another as in the cast of the 2006 and 2008 elections being clear messages to Republicans that people were sick of the wars and the 2010 election to Democrats that people were sick of Obama's liberal agenda.

There are other times when a political party is so desperate to believe people support their views that they read too far into things as is the case we're seeing with the results of the special election in District 3.

Most people already saying, "there was an election?" should be the sign but our leftist friends don't always see things that clearly.

Ray Buckley declared the Democratic party candidate's victory "a complete and total rejection of Republican House Speaker Bill O'Brien's reckless job killing agenda."

Of course in typical Blue Hampshire fashion they got their facts wrong in their story as they bragged of their victory.

They posted the following results:

Town    Free Stater   Perry
Barrington    40% 60%
Farmington 45% 55%
Middleton     52% 48%
Milton        45% 55%
New Durham    45% 55%
Strafford     35% 65%

Right off the bat those results are wrong.  Perry lost New Durham yet Blue Hampshire reports it as a win, to their credit though they do state that these numbers are "unofficial".

The second thing worth noting here is that they show the results as percentages instead of actual numbers.  Politically this is a smart move on their part because claiming their side won 60% to 40% sounds a lot better then saying they won by 727 to 485 in a town of 8,576 (Barrington population from the 2010 census).

Looking at the actual voter turn out would mean they couldn't make a claim like the one Ray Buckley made:

"Bob Perry's victory tonight is a complete and total rejection of Republican House Speaker Bill O'Brien's reckless job killing agenda.  In a historically Republican district, New Hampshire voters turned out in the middle of summer to send a loud and clear message to the out of control Republican majority. Its relentless attempts to make cigarettes cheaper but college more expensive, slash women's health care, and kill jobs by taxing hospitals must stop immediately.  

"New Hampshire voters have seen enough of the radical Free State agenda this year with bills that would allow guns in schools and courts, would remove support for our United States' Constitution out of the oath of office, and would eliminate public kindergarten.

Winning over 727 voters in a town of 8,576 is hardly a "complete and total rejection" of anything.

Here are the counts as reported by Fosters.com:

Perry gained a total of 2,102 votes to Puterbaugh's 1,507, giving him a margin of victory of 595 votes, or 58.2 percent of the total votes cast. Puterbaugh actually won two of the six towns — New Durham (171 to 139) and Middleton (95 to 86) — but Perry won the more populous communities of Barrington (727 to 485), Farmington (359 to 299), Strafford (493 to 267) and Milton (266 to 222).

Look at the total votes cast compared to the last regular election.

New Durham had 310 votes, in the 2010 election they had 1,055 votes cast.

Middleton had 181 compared to 556 in the 2010 election.

Barrington 1212 compared to 3221 in 2010

Farmington 658 compared to 1778 in 2010

Strafford 760 compared to 1638 in 2010

Milton 488 compared to 1394 in 2010

In the case of the largest group, Barrington, they had a turn out of 4764 in the 2008 election of a population of 8576 based on the 2010 census.  Having roughly 1 out of 8 people actually show up and take the time to vote is hardly a sign that people are rejecting anything, if anything that's a sign of voter compliance.  People vote in larger numbers when they are upset or see a vote as important.  If they don't they don't show up.

When numbers are small those who favor big government and who benefit from larger government and thus have more reason to vote tend to show where as regular folks don't.

Given all of this as much as Ray and his fellow liberals would like to believe this to be a "loud and clear message" it is actually nothing more then a faint whisper of those who bothered to show up.