Wednesday, August 04, 2010

MI-01 - The Amazing near tie between Allen and Benishek

This is one of the most interesting races in one of the most interesting congressional districts in the country. Troll vs Yooper. A "Troll" for those who don't know live below the Mackinac Bridge. A Yooper is someone from the Upper Penninsula. In this primary, Two trolls faced four yoopers. The candidates are:

Dan Benishek - A doctor from Crystal Falls in Iron County. (Yooper)
Jason Allen - A state senator who moved from Traverse City to Emmet County (Troll)
Tom Stillings - A township trustee and activist from Eastport/Torch Lake in Antrim County (Troll)
Linda Goldthorpe - A frequent candidate and attorney from McMillan in Luce County. (Yooper)
Don Hooper - A frequent candidate from Iron River (Yooper) in Iron County.
Patrick Donlon - A candidate from St Ignace in Mackinac County (Yooper)

Yoopers took 54% of the vote. Trolls took 45% of the vote.
Benishek - 38.12% - leading by one vote before possible recount.
Allen - 38.12% - trailing by one vote before possible recount.
Stillings - 7.63%
Goldthorpe - 7.03%
Hooper - 5.59%
Donlon - 3.57%

Geography was a major factor in this race. Allen did very well in his state senate district. He did poorly in the UP - except for three counties in his state senate district. Alger. Mackinac. Chippewa. They voted for the troll. This continues Allen's state senate strength in his district. Benishek did very well in the Central/Western UP and it carried him to a one vote lead. Allen won the other lower peninsula votes, but by a smaller margin. I wish I had the inland/coastal breakdowns in places like Antrim and Charlevoix counties, but I don't have the time to go into that detail yet. I divided the area up into three areas with almost equal populations.

Here's Allen's District:

Allen's District Allen Benishek Donlon Goldthorpe Hooper Stillings Total Allen Benishek
ANTRIM 2,549 910 134 232 176 793 4,794 53.17% 18.98%
CHARLEVOIX 2,282 907 153 198 150 534 4,224 54.02% 21.47%
CHEBOYGAN 2,228 1,293 114 219 120 228 4,202 53.02% 30.77%
CHIPPEWA 1,788 921 109 223 131 176 3,348 53.41% 27.51%
EMMET 2,634 1,186 121 184 111 319 4,555 57.83% 26.04%
MACKINAC 763 591 55 206 49 92 1,756 43.45% 33.66%
PRESQUE ISLE 845 828 41 77 36 61 1,888 44.76% 43.86%

13,089 6,636 727 1,339 773 2,203 24,767 52.85% 26.79%


It's a whooping there. 53% to 27% Interesting enough, much of that is also Gary McDowell's district and he's the opponent. The question is this. Who did Tom Stillings and Linda Goldthorpe take votes from? Stillings took 16% in his home county of Antrim, , 13% in Charlevoix next door, and 7% in Emmet just north of there. He also took 5%+ in Cheboygan and Chippewa. Goldthorpe took 12% in Mackinac County, next to her home. She took 5%+ in Cheboygan and Chippewa counties. Nobody else broke 5% in this area. Presque Isle has always been Allen's most hostile county in the district.

The competitive northern lower outside of Allen's district was also interesting. Nobody ran away with this:



Allen Benishek Donlon Goldthorpe Hooper Stillings Total Allen Benishek
ALCONA 559 545 107 165 86 112 1,574 35.51% 34.63%
ALPENA 1,293 1,424 104 171 91 125 3,208 40.31% 44.39%
ARENAC 498 450 133 149 117 122 1,469 33.90% 30.63%
BAY 904 776 141 328 253 211 2,613 34.60% 29.70%
CRAWFORD 834 376 69 221 89 195 1,784 46.75% 21.08%
GLADWIN 941 624 128 313 208 160 2,374 39.64% 26.28%
IOSCO 721 988 163 280 169 265 2,586 27.88% 38.21%
MONTMORENCY 803 365 78 135 70 113 1,564 51.34% 23.34%
OGEMAW 679 644 95 253 102 167 1,940 35.00% 33.20%
OTSEGO 1,769 1,022 175 223 124 480 3,793 46.64% 26.94%
PRESQUE ISLE 845 828 41 77 36 61 1,888 44.76% 43.86%

9846 8042 1234 2315 1345 2011 24,793 39.71% 32.44%

Allen won here too, but not by the 2-1 margin in his district. He ran 13% here behind his district numbers, and Benishek ran 6% ahead of his numbers in Allen's district. About 28% here voted for a different candidate than the top two, compared to 20% in Allen's district and 21% in Benishek's yooper base. Interesting enough, Goldthorpe, a yooper, broke 10%+ in 7 counties here. Benishek won Alpena and Iosco on the sunrise side. Donlon's three best counties are all in this area as well. Stillngs did his best in the Standish area it seems, but his best area was by his home.

The UP outside of Allen's district made its choice very clear.

ALGER 527 469 42 99 54 43 1,234 42.71% 38.01%
BARAGA 159 497 23 50 84 39 852 18.66% 58.33%
DELTA 568 1,892 74 165 290 210 3,199 17.76% 59.14%
DICKINSON 533 2,322 34 76 146 133 3,244 16.43% 71.58%
GOGEBIC 146 523 32 57 88 52 898 16.26% 58.24%
HOUGHTON 422 1,883 40 121 304 113 2,883 14.64% 65.31%
IRON 165 897 27 29 150 43 1,311 12.59% 68.42%
KEWEENAW 26 223 9 32 39 13 342 7.60% 65.20%
LUCE 219 337 17 157 28 17 775 28.26% 43.48%
MARQUETTE 1,101 2,351 75 273 320 211 4,331 25.42% 54.28%
MENOMINEE 248 708 41 64 123 61 1,245 19.92% 56.87%
ONTONAGON 133 321 27 42 126 94 743 17.90% 43.20%
SCHOOLCRAFT 278 541 38 156 77 49 1,139 24.41% 47.50%

4525 12964 479 1321 1829 1078 22,196 20.39% 58.41%






It was almost a 3-1 margin. Benishek took an impressive 58% to Allen's 20%. Goldthorpe did well in Luce (home) and Schoolcraft counties. Hooper did well out west near his home. Stillings did well in Ontonagon for some reason. Allen did win Alger County near Marquette, although Benishek took Marquette itself and all the other counties there. Dickinson was his best county, getting 70%+ there. That's Benishek's neighboring county. Iron, Houghton, and Keewenaw are his other best areas.

All this adds up to a near tie. 1 vote. 31 counties. I don't the final result because of the recount. The two sets of questions for the general are this:

1. Can Dan Benishek carry his area in the general against McDowell? Can get get the votes out of Allen's district, normal base areas. Can he match or beat McDowell on the sunrise side?

2. Can Allen survive his UP loss to McDowell in the general with his district? Can Allen get the big numbers out of Emmet needed to win? Can he win the sunrise side?

I think Benishek is the stronger candidate in the general, but Allen's Mackinac, Luce, and Chippewa County wins are significant. I think he has a shot in the general, and that's more than I thought before.

Good luck to the winner.

2 comments:

Chris said...

There is just so much great news for conservative Republicans right now. It truely does suck to be a Progressive/Democrat right now. I'm sure we will see the left come unhinged even more so now that they are losing power.

Chris said...

I know I'm energized.