I post unscientific polls for a variety of reasons including to gauge the intensity of support for a candidate. In the election for Clerk-Recorder my poll wasn't widely off from the official election results:
Here is my analysis of why Mark Lunn won:
1. Low Voter Turn Out Among Democratic Voters.
Republicans had two statewide primaries of consequence, the gubernatorial primary and the senate primary. Democrats didn't have tough choices to make nor could they go out to defeat major Republican candidates. Barack Obama won Ventura County but those same voters didn't have as many reasons to show up to support Jerry Brown when he was the only candidate running or to vote in races like Clerk / Recorder.
2. He ran a great campaign.
He was able to get early endorsements from people like former Ventura County Democratic Central Committee Chair Hank Lacayo and other impressive figures. He didn't identify Lacayo as a Democrat on all of his materials but his name does appeal to some people. Mark Lunn was able to attract support from a Democratic Chair and from Tea Party activists that think Barack Obama was born in another country. That is impressive for a candidate running for a nonpartisan seat. I wonder if they asked him if he will be checking birth certificates?
3. Name ID.
Mark Lunn had many more signs across Simi Valley than Jim Dantona did. Signs don't win many elections but in a contest with so little interest from average voters they can be very effective. I wouldn't advise candidates to rely upon them at the expense of other more important tools but they do help.
4. He had a better ballot designation.
Running for a position that many voters cannot properly identify the responsibilities forcs a candidate to either spend money and time explaining the position or as Mark Lunn did effectively work on building trust. His ballot designation lets voters know many people trust him.
5. A weak Ventura County Democratic Central Committee.
The VCDCC didn't draft a candidate early nor did they all rally around Jim Dantona as their candidate. For those committee members that did rally around him they didn't have the same financial resources or organization that the Ventura County Republican Party is able to use to help their candidates. The VCRCC might rely upon toxic interest groups like tobacco companies but they have money to support their candidates.
6. The backgrounds of the candidates.
What I like about Jim Dantona is he is willing to work hard when everything isn't given to him. Other candidates only run for safe positions but Jim Dantona ran against an incumbent supervisor and a powerfully connected Chief of Staff to a supervisor. That said he does have weaknesses that make it harder for him to get his message out. Although he has explained factors that contributed to his bankruptcies they obviously cost him more votes than he gains back from his explanations. And those explanations require resources from the campaign.
7. An early start.
Mark Lunn started his campaign earlier. That allowed him to build up a strong list of people endorsing him before Team Dantona could either ask the same people to endorse him or at least stay neutral. That's a tip for a novice candidate. If you can't get someone to endorse you then you can ask them to stay neutral. It flatters people to think they are so important they could tip an election and it is sometimes less risky than endorsing a candidate.
Both candidates ran strong campaigns and I appreciate them putting their name on the line for us to have a choice. I don't like to vote for a candidate when there is only one choice. I almost always skip voting or write-in a different candidate. I am thankful Jim Dantona gave us a choice.
What are your explanations for the outcome of this election? Which of my observations do you agree with?
For months I have been questioning why Mark Lunn didn't include increasing voter registration and participation in his platform but I am glad to see this in a recent article:
Turnout in Tuesday's primary election was about 27 percent, something he wants to see improved. "I will continue to work to do my best to get people to come to the polls," he said.
Click on continue reading for Mark Lunn's thank you to his supporters.