Friday, October 19, 2012

The 2012 Playing Field in Howard County (Friday LINKS)

I was recently having breakfast with a friend who also happens to serve in elected office and we were talking about registration numbers in Howard County.  I said, quite confidently, that Republican registrations had kept pace or exceeded Democrat registrations.  He seemed surprised.  I felt insecure.  The conversation moved on.

It turns out I was very wrong.  I don't know what department of my brain that idea came from, but it is about to get a restructuring.  The links for Voter Registration records from 2010 on the Board of Elections website are all broken, so I'm basing this review on January 2011 numbers.  I don't expect too much of a change (that Election to Christmas period sure is a boom for registrations), but thought I should put that out there.

Overall, active registrations have increased from 180,054 to 184,641 (4,587 or 2.5%).  During that time, Democrat registrations have increased from 86,834 to 88,128.  Notably, despite the increase of over 1,000 voters, Dem's ceded half a percentage point, going from 48.2% of the vote to 47.7%.

Meanwhile, Republicans have lived out the quip "If you're not moving forward, you're moving backward."  In 2010, there were 55,493 registered Republicans, which has increased by a mere 196 voters (0.3%) to 55,689 over the past two years.  They've gone from being 30.8% of all registered voters to 30.1%.

As you can expect, the bounty was left for unaffiliated voters, who increased in registration from 34,815 in 2010 to 37,708 in 2012, an increase of 2,893 or 8.3%.  The unaffiliated share of registered voters increased from 19.3% to 20.4%.

So the current mix of registered voters in Howard County breaks down 47.7% Dem, 30.1% GOP, and 20.4% Unaffiliated.  The last time we saw a general election, the breakdown was 48.2% Dem, 30.8% GOP, and 19.3% Unaffiliated.  There are 456 members of the Green Party and 658 Libertarians (both showing significant increases).

There really isn't much to take away from this, other than the fact that you shouldn't trust my breakfast statistics.  The real interesting thing to watch is the percentage of the vote President Obama is able to capture next month compared to what he did in 2008 (59.99%).  As Frank Hecker has tirelessly pointed out for us, unaffiliated voters are not blank slates.  They come in shades of purple.  Whether or not they are more red or more blue is yet to be seen.


(The Baltimore Sun paywall is giving me fits this morning, so we're going to go outside our comfort zone)

Howard County police are looking for this creeper who secretly video-taped two young women in Ellicott City.  If you recognize him, turn him in.  OR if you live next to a guy who is frantically packing a U-Haul, call the police.  

The Flier picks Gertler, Giles, Scott for their Board of Education endorsements.  I like that.  Easy to remember.  Easy to say.  Gertler, Giles, Scott. 

The RCP Electoral College Map has given the lead to Romney after moving North Carolina into the "Leans Romney" group.  Meanwhile, polls from Ohio show it tilting further toward Obama.  This election very well may turn on who has the most resources down the stretch. 

New Hampshire's four electoral votes are turning out to be relevant in a tight race to the finish.

Thankfully, the Election is distracting us from the true terror that is the "fiscal cliff" waiting for us on the other side of 2012.  Currently slogging through The Price of Politics, which primarily focuses on the debt ceiling negotiations, it is troubling to see the desperation that set the stage for "the cliff" and not particularly encouraging in terms of seeing things resolved.

Featured Blog Post of the Day: HowChow goes back to Restaurant Alley (aka that Strip Mall off Hopkins Road) for a reader's review of cobbler at Smokin' Hot.  I can't say I'll be putting hot sauce on my desserts anytime soon, but Smokin' Hot is one of my guilty pleasures and this review made me want to get back there soon.

Thank you for the recommendations regarding voter resources yesterday.  I've posted links on the upper right hand side (if you are reading this on your phone, you can't see it, but I promise the links are there).  I apologize for the formatting, but for whatever reason, Blogger was being difficult.

Have a great Friday doing what you love!  Let's go Ravens!