“Republicans put together candidates that persuaded the persuadable better,” said Kyle Veazey to the Midtown Republican Club members Tuesday night.
The politics reporter form the Commercial Appeal shared with us his analysis of the August vote, in which, as he said, “You guys did pretty well.” Veazey added, “we all have our opinions on why Republicans won, but I wanted to examine the actual geographic data and find out where it was and how it happened.
“I got the precinct by precinct data,” Veazey said. When he did, he saw that Republican Amy Weirich beat Joe Brown for District Attorney handily in Democrat districts. Yet, Property Assessor and Democrat Cheyenne Johnson did much better than Brown in districts Amy Weirich won. Five Midtown precincts demonstrated this elasticity better than the other 214.
For instance, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 85% of the vote went to Weirich; 65% for Johnson. Similarly, Central Christian, Open Door Bible, Lindenwood and Vollintine-Evergreen polling places gave big wins to Weirich and Johnson. “Amy Weirich did a tremendous job of persuading people who might have gone either way to vote for her.” She did it in the bluest of blue districts.
Probably Johnson, one of the few Democrats who didn’t call attention to herself in negative ways, got the Democrat base.
Veazey also looked at the vote for Steve Cohen. Although “Ricky Wilkins did better than others up against Cohen, Cohen didn’t lose a single precinct,” Veazey found. “Since 2008 Cohen has lost only one precinct” and that one was in a tiny precinct with a very narrow loss.
As for the November election, Veazey doesn’t foresee any great upsets. He did say he believes all four amendments will pass. He sees Republicans as doing more outreach, particularly to the Hispanic community, but he bemoans the lack of interest young people have in elections, as well as citizens in general. “Once they get more vested in a community, say when they buy a house or have kids who need to go to school, they do somewhat,” he said.
“You guys know what’s going on in politics. It’s a little intimidating. But 72% of people don’t know.” Veazey would like to see that change for the good of the city.
“The Commercial Appeal is trying to be more engaged in this and in making people accountable.” Veazey said he started covering politics in February, after a stint at sports.
Will the next local election favor Republicans again?
Veazey doesn’t know, but he did find that 2014 was “strikingly similar to 2010.” Asked whether the Democrats can get their act together, Veazey believes that Rep. Cohen, who is the highest ranking Democrat in our area and therefore the real chief here “doesn’t have faith in the leadership of the Democrat party here. The Democrats see the numbers are in their favor and say ‘we have to amp up turnout here’ but the candidates have not been good.”