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« Booyon Ray | Main | Hope and change »

Nov 07, 2012


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Tony Wilkins

Farther down the ballot?

If you get an answer to that question, Ed, please let me know.


A combination of independents swinging both ways and minority voters not voting on down ballot races. I don't have the time at the moment to look at the number of ballots cast in minority majority precincts minus the number of votes for governor and commissioners, but I'll bet you'd find some significant differences. Some people only wanted to vote for president, in other words.



Joe Killian

I'll be going deep into it in an analysis piece for the N&R.

But anyone who didn't see this coming hasn't been paying attention very closely. I won some friendly bets last night, calling this a ways off.

The GOP redistricting was going to make it much easier for Republican candidates in these races. But they also outspent the Democrats by startling margins - twice as much money, three times. Some of that was candidates financing their own campaigns partially or largely out of their own pockets, but it helped that the state GOP poured money into targeting two sitting Guilford County commissioners with negative mailers, which is...unusual in county politics here.

The local and state Democratic parties didn't get behind the commissioner candidates on the same level, either monetarily or with coordination.

And frankly, the two sitting commissioners didn't raise anywhere near as much money as I think they could have had they taken the threat more seriously. Neither of them campaigned against their actual opponents and their ideas but chose instead to say, essentially: "People know me. I think they'll vote for me."

This in the face of some pretty aggressive negative campaigning by their opponents.

Also, the incumbents' online and organizational Kung Fu was, by comparison, very weak. Very old-fashioned mentality and vibe about their campaigns.


If the strippers could establish a PAC of left wing whackjobs, they could control all of local politics.


No mention of not firing Brenda?


Steve Arnold.

The Brigman Real Estate Deal.

I believe this was one of the most corrupt class in the history of Guilford County.


Joe Killian

That'd be a great argument except that both Perkins and Gibson (but especially Gibson) did push to fire the county manager at and they (again, Gibson especially) were instrumental in getting a lot of the things you mention out in public and made noise about them when they were happening.

Among those who were defending the manager most strongly are commissioners who are leaving without another election (Alston) and Republicans (Shaw, Arnold, even Winstead staying neutral on the whole thing).

Could the public have been punishing Perkins and Gibson as incumbents for the behavior of the board in general in those cases, whatever the specifics of their feelings or comments on them? Sure. But if that was the case these races were awfully close. And if public sentiment was against them from the beginning I'm not sure the Republican candidates would have had to re-district and spend two and three times as much to win this narrowly.

More context, for those who want it, here:


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