Back a few days after the election, Ken Balsley had this to say:
I’ll be honest, I really doubted Ken’s assessment of the election of two party-independent conservative candidates over two Democratic ones. I was looking at the graph below, and I saw something totally different in the election returns:
What I saw was voter confusion, a thick-enough layer of voters that wouldn’t vote for a Republican but would vote for a party-independent conservative across every precinct, from the most conservative ones to the most liberal.
But, that chart doesn’t deal with voter turnout, only percentage of vote across a precinct.
I had to wait until the precinct level turnout data was available earlier today, but I was able to put together this map (based on this spreadsheet) that compares ballots issued against votes returned for conservative candidates.
And, if you do that, this is the map you get:
Just a quick word of warning: this is the back-of-the-napkinest of back-of-the-napkin maps. Because precincts have changed a lot since 2008, I did a lot of deleting of precincts because they didn’t match up anymore. That said, think the analysis stands.
This isn’t a map about winning percentage, but rather conservative turnout compared to possible turnout. And, it really shocked me. It really does show that conservative turnout really did increase this year when there were two independents on the ballot and that turnout was centered mostly in south county.
If I had been right, the colors would have been much less stratified across the map, much more dark in the north county and much more bright in the south county. But, the pattern here is clear. Conservative voters were much more active this year in the south compared to the last four commission cycles.