Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sterling comes through for Naughton, Flanagan, and...Feuer?

Congratulations to Senator-elect Jennifer Flanagan and re-elected Hank Naughton, each of whom won fairly comfortable victories in Tuesday's primary. Let me take this opportunity to pat myself and others of us who worked for the two campaigns on the back. The winning candidates carried Sterling by incredibly large margins.

In fact, Sterling was Naughton's best town by percentage. Here are the numbers for Naughton:

Similarly, Flanagan also outperformed in Sterling:

Breaking it down a little further, she did so well in the four Southeastern towns, that she would have won the election even without Leominster, Lunenburg or Townsend:

Southeast: 2,410-604
Northwest: 2,956-4,370
Total: 5,366-5,004 (52%-48%)

Or to put it another way, the four small towns to the southeast went so heavily for Flanagan that it more than neutralized Knuuttila's advantage in both of his hometowns and the two other towns he represented in the house.

Obviously Flanagan's hometown of Leominster was her base, and she got the most votes there, but it's interesting to see that she was more popular in all four towns to her South and East than she was in her hometown.

One inescapable conclusion is that at least in Clinton and Sterling, many voters essentially voted a Naughton/Flanagan ticket. Here are the raw numbers from the precincts in those towns where both candidates were on the ballot:

Sterling (Precinct 2)
Naughton 374-86
Flanagan 359-97

Clinton (Precincts 1, 2)
Naughton 844-292
Flanagan 860-216

I imagine Senator-elect Flanagan will take every opportunity to remind Representative Naughton that she was more popular in his town than he was. All kidding aside, my sense is that Flanagan was helped greatly by Naughton's presence on the ballot. Naughton's people were also aggressively touting Flanagan as they campaigned across the district--by election day, nearly every home or business with a Naughton lawn sign out front also sported a Flanagan sign.

One note about Congressional challenger Bob Feuer...he was trounced and I imagine he expected to be trounced, but his result can be instructive in this sense: when he got a chance to present his case, he did much better than in other towns. Feuer came to Sterling for a forum that was broadcast on local cable. Looking at the 100+ towns across the first district, Only three four gave Feuer a higher number than Sterling:

Oakham 45%
Blandford 40%
Charlemont 38%
Stockbridge 36%
Sterling 35%

Of those, Sterling had by far the largest turnout, with 632 votes cast in the race, the other three four towns combined to cast only 260 504 votes.

Edit (9/19): Bob Feuer wrote in to report that he earned 36% of the vote in his hometown of Stockbridge. I had incorrectly calculated Stockbridge at 34% and left them off the original list.

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