The picture is clear this morning, and looking at the numbers, I think I had it about right in earlier posts from last week and the week before: "Check my Math," and "Updated Math on Maffei - Buerkle." After election day, the math was always tilting against Maffei's campaign.
The surge Maffei enjoyed at the beginning of the Onondaga County vote--which for a day made it look more possible for him to win (though I still wrote that things were tilting against him)--seems to be the result of the question that always gets feverishly asked in party command centers on election night: Where are the results coming from? Maffei had his best areas counted early.
The one aspect of this absentee count and vote-challenge process I'm most left with is that in the end it went totally according to Hoyle. The numbers were about what you'd expect them to be, given the election day results. And the challenge process didn't change the course of things.
That's in stark contrast to the election day results themselves, which did not match the pre-election day polling, or the expectations in this race, at least among the politicos I talked to (a similar though less dramatic pattern held in the 23rd and 24th districts). I think a local factor that Ann Marie Buerkle kept talking about during the campaign--and pointed to on the day after the election--explains a part of this: the difference in the ground game, right from the start.
I plan to write something more generally on this campaign, and will come back to that issue when I do.
Note: This blog draws in part on my experiences and observations interviewing political figures, writers, and analysts for "The Campbell Conversations" on WRVO. To hear past interviews I refer to in these posts, please go to the show's website. The views expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent Syracuse University, the Campbell Institute, or the WRVO Stations.
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