Monday, July 02, 2012

Upton Botches Election Data Again

In my analysis of the debate between Congressman Fred Upton and Jack Hoogendyk, I pointed out that Upton made several mistakes in his analysis of election data.

Upton/Hoogendyk Debate
Upton: Well, I don't know if he could win or not. Voters will make that decision. I do know as I watched his career in the House and watched him run for nine offices in nine years, a career candidate on a host of fronts, governor, U.S. Senate, I watched him as a state Rep take what I considered a safe Republican district in Portage and make it awfully close, in fact, it had a recount to make sure he crossed the finish line as a Republican. When he ran for U.S. Senate, in that same district, Carl Levin beat him. What we saw with Jack in the state house was a steady decline in terms of support from the people that knew him best. Those that live in the same precinct.

[Me: I'm not sure what "district/precinct" means. I'll Assume Upton meant district. It's true that Jack's percentages declined. They were 57%/55%/51% in 02/04/06. (See But Upton doesn't mention that his own percentages declined, winning 69%/65%/61% in those same years. Thus Upton lost more support than Jack did over the same period. Julie Rogers wasted taxpayers' money with a recount, even though she clearly had no chance of success.
Carl Levin was an entrenched incumbent and Jack had no money, so it's no surprise he didn't win. He did easily win his own precinct, Texas 6, though. Upton could have taken on Levin in 1996, but he passed. It's a flat-out whopper to say that Larry DeShazor won handily. Larry got 51.06%.]
But another statement that Upton made slipped right by me at the time.

Transcript of Fred Upton, Jack Hoogendyk debate on Sunday
We have a diverse district. It went for Obama and President Clinton twice, particularly with Kalamazoo. It is diverse, that gives us strength, but it is one district where people don't care if you have an 'R' or 'D' next to your name.
It is true that the 1990s version was won by Clinton in 1992 and 1996. But the 6th district has changed since then. The 90s version had only a small part of Allegan County. The 2000s version had about half of Allegan. The new (2010s) version that Jack and Upton are running for this time has all but a tiny sliver of staunchly conservative Allegan County.

Running the numbers for 1992 and 1996, we find

County Bush Clinton Perot
Allegan 19077 12823 8742
Berrien 29252 25840 14056
Cass 7391 8047 4756
Kalamazoo 38035 43568 21666
St. Joseph 9836 7817 6209
Van Buren 10357 12466 7255
Total 113948 110561 62684

County Dole Clinton
Allegan 20859 14361
Berrien 28254 24614
Cass 7373 8207
Kalamazoo 40703 45644
St. Joseph 9764 8529
Van Buren 11347 13355
Total 118300 114710

(The numbers are slightly off due to the tiny sliver of Allegan missing, but this would not change the outcome.)

Thus Bill Clinton never won the CURRENT 6th district. That's even with Ross Perot taking a significant number of votes, more from the right than the left. The only democrat presidential nominee in recent decades to win the current 6th district is Obama. And that was after John McCain, who Upton endorsed early on in the primary, publicly abandoned the state of Michigan.

At least when it comes to election data, Fred Upton just can't get his facts straight.

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