Saturday, November 06, 2010

Analysis: Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo County Republicans cleaned up in the November election, at least outside of the city and township of Kalamazoo. There was a stark divide between those two jurisdictions ("the Kalamazoos") and the rest of the county (ROC). Turnout was fairly low, typically 30-50% in conservative areas and 15-35% in liberal areas. The results cited in this analysis are available at Election Magic.

Rick Snyder racked up 59.4% of the vote in Kalamazoo County. In the Kalamazoos, Snyder won only K Township 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11 (all but 9 narrowly) and Kalamazoo City 16, 17, 18, 25 (all narrowly). In the ROC, Snyder lost only Cooper 5 and Oshtemo 5. Republicans swept every other statewide race in Kalamazoo, though by smaller margins. Congressman Fred Upton got 57.8% in Kalamazoo County against Don Cooney. Upton won K Township 6, 7, 9, 11 and Kalamazoo 6, 17, 25 while losing Cooper 5 and Oshtemo 5.

In the state senate race, Tonya Schuitmaker racked up 58% against Bobby Hopewell. Robert Jones got about 2000 absentee votes, or 2.5%, which did not affect the outcome. He would have lost had he not died before the election. Tonya won K Township 9 while losing Comstock 3, Cooper 5, Oshtemo 5, and Portage 1, 2, 7. Tom George won this seat with 57% in 2002 and 52% in 2006.

In the 61st district, Margaret O'Brien beat Thomas Batten with 61.6% of the vote. This is the sort of margins Republicans won in this district in the '90s, before it dropped to the high 50s (early 2000s) and low 50s (2006, 2008). The only precinct in Kalamazoo Township that Margaret won was #9. The only other precincts that she lost were Oshtemo 4 (townhouses, apartments), 5 (low-rent apartments) and Portage 2 (trailer park).

In the 60th district, Jeff Fernandez lost to Sean McCann, who got 63.3% of the vote. Jeff won Cooper 1-4, and lost every other precinct. He did improve on the Republicans who ran against Robert Jones, who won 70% (2006) and 75% (2008). There was never any reason to think that this district was winnable, yet somehow every two years local Republicans delude themselves into thinking it is and waste money on it. Jeff Fernandez would be well-served to run for Kalamazoo City Commission, where he would have a real chance of winning and doing some good.

In the 63rd district, future state house speaker Jase Bolger won every Kalamazoo County precinct in his district except Comstock 3. He also won all of his precincts in Calhoun County.

Republicans picked up two seats in districts 10 and 12 on the Kalamazoo County Commission, winning a 10-7 majority. Here are the results of contested races.
7. (Milwood) Kai Phillips 33.8%, David Buskirk 66.2%
9. (northern Portage) Nasim Ansari 59.1% Chuck Vliek 40.9%
10. (central Portage) Phil Stinchcomb 56.4% Michael Quinn 43.6%
11. (Texas) Tim Rogowski 66.8% Barbara Hammon 33.2%
12. (Oshtemo) Brandt Iden 53.5% Scott McCormick 46.5%
13. (Alamo/Cooper) Deb Buchholz 67.2% Harvey Hanna 32.8%
15. (Comstock) Ann Niewenhuis 61.9% Leroy Crabtree 38.1%
16. (Pavillion/Climax) John Gisler 54.7% Thomas Post 35.2% George Henderson 10.1%
17. (Schoolcraft/Brady) David Maturen 68.7% Jerry Rudolph 31.3%

In past election cycles, this blog has been critical of Republicans who refused to campaign for their seats and lost them to the democrats. Thankfully, this trend was reversed this time. Tonya worked very hard, and Margaret worked hard even when she didn't have to. Stinchcomb worked hard for his win. Iden didn't work as hard as he should have. Democrats will come for this seat again in the future.

In other local races, conservatives in Allegan County failed to unseat a Granholm-appointed judge a second time after beating him in 2008. Allegan voters said no to a new jail for a second time, and by a larger margin. A Republican beat the only democrat on the Allegan County commission.

The Calhoun County commission went from 6-1 democrat to 5-2 Republican. The Cass County Commission went from 8-7 Republican to 12-3 Republican and David Taylor, father of Kalamazoo County commissioner John Taylor lost his reelection. The VanBuren County commission went from 5-2 Republican (in 2009) to 7-0 Republican.

No comments: