I continue to delve into the financial support for the mayoral race to determine how it reveals the sentiment of the community (and perhaps the outcome of the election tomorrow). Voters who contribute to campaigns are typically “true believers,” especially as the amount increases, and often actively campaign for their candidates and are rarely dissuaded by any contrary information or facts. Newton has many of them as can be seen in the chart above, but will it be enough?
By plotting the residence of contributors on a map (thanks Google Fusion Tables!), it appears the choice for mayor is a difference of opinion mostly between College Gardens (Mark Pierzchala’s neighborhood) and West End (Bridget Newton’s neighborhood). What’s unclear is how the other neighborhoods will go and indeed, I suspect they may be the determining factor. In the 2011 mayor election, if 208 people had voted for Piotr Gajewski rather than Phyllis Marcuccio, it would have changed the outcome. That’s three percent of 6,240 votes cast and about half a percent of all registered voters (36,840). I suspect this race will be much, much closer and the key will be getting people out to vote from the underrepresented precincts (Montrose, Lincoln Park, Thomas Farm, and Twinbrook). Some local wonks have speculated that Newton and Pierzchala may split the West End and College Gardens, which leaves the decision to the other neighborhoods. My sources tell me that Newton has concentrated her efforts on the precincts with high voter turnout rather than the entire city. Pierzchala, on the other hand, has visited every precinct. Both are filling the mailboxes of voters who consistently vote. We’ll find out tomorrow which strategy was more successful.
If you never thought your vote counted, I predict this election will prove you wrong. Remember to vote on Tuesday, November 5 from 7 am to 8 pm. If you’re unsure of your voting location, the City website has a handy map. If you forgot to register to vote, you can register and vote the same day on November 5 at City Hall, 111 Maryland Avenue (downtown Rockville, next to the new District Courthouse and old Red Brick Courthouse).