Thursday, October 06, 2011

Was anyone really surprised at the election results?

I wasn't; AC Wharton got 65% of the vote, but I am really curious to see what his percentage was in primarily African-American precincts; I suspect Ed Ford Sr. did a lot better than any of us expected in those precincts.  He might have gotten 50% of the African-American vote. 

ALL Incumbents won in the Council races; Paul Shaffer was out raised in 9-1 by a 2-1 margin, and he lost by a 2-1 margin.  Of course, it can also be successfully argued that SD 9 contains one part Midtown, one part East Memphis and one part Cordova, and that favors more right-leaning candidates like Conrad.  So, sadly, Mr. Real Estate was returned.

The fun part of the night for me was watching Kemba Ford lead in District 7 for all but the last part, trailing presumptive favorite Lee Harris by a mere four votes at the end but ensuring that they will face each other in a runoff.  Harris, who had supporters ranging from Mayor Wharton to County Commissioner (and fellow UM law professor) Steve Mulroy, did not do as well as expected.

Indeed, the main question for many of us was whether Harris would avoid a runoff.  Now, he is in a runoff with someone with higher name recognition, which is critical in an election that will have an even lower turnout percentage than this one.  Both Ford and Harris need to spend most of their time between now and the election day knocking on doors and pleading with their people to turn out.  That will determine the Council's 13th member for the next four years.

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