Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Election Number Crunching

Note: To those who challenged the math in my Nov. 10 column, I should have more clearly explained two reasonable assumptions I made in estimating the so-called “fringe element,” a term I loathe.

The first assumption is that it was represented by those who voted a straight ticket of LaFollette and Leary — who cast two of their three possible votes for those two candidates. Many people I know personally who voted for Klaif would not meet the criteria for being "fringe" by any means. Nor, for that matter, would those who voted for the two L candidates. But bear with me on this.

The second assumption was that local turnout will turn out to be around 50 percent, which we don’t know for sure. Ventura County turnout was a little more than 43 percent, and Ojai’s turnout has historically been higher. It will almost certainly be around 50 percent and we will print those numbers as soon as we receive the actual precinct hard counts, by the end of next week, we hope. Lots of interesting data mining to be done there - which neighborhoods voted which way, and so forth.

I stand by that 10 percent figure - it represents the votes those two candidates received among the votes they could have received. But if you count actual turnout - the votes they received among the people who actually showed up and voted, the number essentially doubles to 20 percent. Pardon the confusion.

The possible universe of votes for the city council election — with 100 percent turnout among the 4,887 registered voters and all voters casting all three votes — would be 14,661.

Recent updates have boosted vote totals for both of the “fringe” candidates. Given a generous assumption, then, that people who voted for Leary and LaFollette also voted for Klaif, that’s more than 1,500 votes — just over 11 percent. My point, which I could have made more clear, was the difference between the unfortunately termed “fringe element” and the "mainstream" or status quo candidates represented a mere 400-vote swing.

Between Steve Olsen's 1,461 votes and Pete LaFollette's 544 is a difference of 932 — a 466-vote swing from top to bottom, which is only 3 percent of the possible votes cast, if everyone turned out and everyone voted for three candidates. Another update is due within an hour or so - check the OVN website. The numbers will change but we won't be sure about the third seat until late Friday, if then.

That's the true lesson of this election, imho. No mandates to be found here.

15 Comments:

Anonymous bret bradigan said...

Another update from the VC elections office - DeVito has widened his lead over Klaif to 80 votes.

11/15/2006 5:55 PM  
Anonymous Lisa Snider said...

It's a real nail biter. Between this and Dancing with the Stars, I'm not getting much sleep!

11/15/2006 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like you used some Fuzzy math there, Bret!

11/15/2006 8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like you used a bit of Fuzzy math there, bret!

11/15/2006 8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuzzy math, spin, and rhetoric aside, the results say it all: Steve Olsen, an Ojai native who insulted no one during his campaign, maligned no one, and never engaged in a second's worth of grandstanding won by a landslide.

11/15/2006 9:47 PM  
Blogger Kenley Neufeld said...

Just in case you were wondering who/what Bret was responding to, you can see the editorial over at the Ojai Post

11/16/2006 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bret, you've got to be kidding. You're assumption is that the approximately 50% of voters you assume did not vote at all count as votes against the so-called "fringe". Thus, 10% of Ojai is represented by these candidates. Might as well assume that all those non-votes would have been votes for the "fringe". Hey, that gives them 60%. The "fringe" is a clear majority. Yayy!!

11/16/2006 11:19 AM  
Anonymous R. said...

Apparently the "my" in myovn.blogspot.com refers to Bret, and not to the people who post or comment here.

After happily printing the Thumbs Up (in Wednesday's OVN) congratulating the OVN for printing the letters and opinions of those who felt that the City of Ojai had attempted to quash free speech, Bret also happily erased all of the OVN Blogs posts back to day one.

And the Award for Unwitting Irony goes to.........

11/16/2006 10:44 PM  
Anonymous R. said...

Oh, looky -- The rest of myovn.blogspot.com is back.

Fancy that.

11/17/2006 12:04 AM  
Anonymous Todd Miller said...

"Math Safari," a response to the OVN editor's post, can be found at the Ojai Post

11/17/2006 7:36 AM  
Blogger Ojai Valley News said...

Sorry, whomever you "r." but Bret Bradigan did not delete any posts from myovn.blogspot. He, as a contributor to the OVN Blog, does not have that ability. I do, and did not erase posts and make them reappear as you are alleging. I tend to question the credibility of people who make allegations and hide behind anonymity.

Lenny Roberts
Managing editor
Ojai Valley News

11/17/2006 7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You tell 'em Lenny!

11/17/2006 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all those critizing Bret and the OVN: give it a rest already. These folks are seasoned professionals with a high degree of ethics and integrity. Get over the conspiracy fear and give them the benefit of the doubt here.

11/17/2006 10:54 AM  
Anonymous R. said...

Lenny:

The only thing that was available at the OVN Blog yesterday from about 6:00 p.m. until around midnight was the Election Number Crunching thread. The rest of the threads were still available on the server (with the exception of Lisa Snider's Take a Hike thread, which was completely untouchable), but were not visible on the home page, nor were there any links to those threads on the home page.

Not long after I posted my first comment, everything returned to normal.

I might have been born at night, but not last night. Still, if you want the benefit of the doubt I'm sure I can afford to give it to you.

I'm wondering, however, if anyone else noticed what I noticed last night....

11/17/2006 9:56 PM  
Anonymous Todd Miller said...

I want to acknowledge that OVN published “Math Anxiety” in its November 17 issue. Having been beat up a time or two on Ojai’s blogs, I can appreciate how it feels to take public criticism (or derision). I think it takes a special person to be willing to consider and publish dissenting views. I want to acknowledge that Bret Bradigan is that sort of person, and I am very appreciative of that.

11/18/2006 9:48 AM  

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