Dr. Roald Schrack recently released his analysis of the city council election based upon a statistical breakdown of each voting precinct in the city. His observations include:
- About 17 percent of registered voters actually voted, continuing the trend of a low participation rate. [or to put it another way, less than 10 percent of the population (6,240 voters) decided the fate of the entire city (66,000 residents)] Kudos to District 9 (College Gardens and Woodley Gardens) for a highest participation rate of 23 percent (and what’s happening in District 6 (Montrose, North Farm) with only 8 percent?).
- Hot topics were the Red Gate Golf Course and resistance to urbanization.
- State officials associated with political parties actively joined campaigns for the first time, breaking the non-partisan nature of city elections.
- Endorsements by the Gazette, forums, and mailings were probably the tactics that most influenced voters.
- Absentee ballots were much higher than usual, perhaps due to the televised forums and the introduction of the City’s effort to assist residents in nursing homes with voting.
- Formal slates or informal allies among candidates are a clear advantage.
- Negative campaigning is effective in Rockville.
- Well-informed campaigns are much more effective in Rockville than in the county.
Roald provided a charts to compare the Mayoral races in 2009 and 2011, but didn’t provide any analysis. Comparing Marcuccio’s performance in both years seems to show that she maintained her appeal in the same precincts except for significant gains in districts 2 (West End) and 5 (Twinbrook) and significant losses in districts 4 (Twinbrook Forest, Silver Rock, Burgundy) and 7 (Potomac Woods, Fallsmead, Rockshire).
You’ll find more details (and lots of charts) in his 2011 Rockville Election Analysis (pdf). Thanks, Roald!