National University System Institute Analyzes Key Dynamics in Mayors Race

Vince Vasquez Vince Vasquez 5 Comments

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Report: Few Voters Will Cast Ballots in San Diego Mayoral Special Election

Absentee Voters, Republican Voters Will Play Larger Role in Mayoral Race

SAN DIEGO – Less than half of all registered voters are expected to cast ballots in the San Diego mayoral special election scheduled for November 19th. That is the conclusion of a new report authored by the National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR), a regional economic think-tank.

Following the resignation of Bob Filner, the San Diego City Council approved a November 19th special election to fill the vacancy in the Mayor’s Office. Using GIS software and data from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters and the United States Census Bureau, NUSIPR analyzed voting behavior and turnout patterns from prior citywide elections. Today, 19 days before voting begins in the mayoral election, NUSIPR has released its findings.

We forecast that:

  • Significantly fewer voters will cast ballots. Based on voting patterns and prior election history, less than half (46%) of all registered voters in San Diego are expected to cast ballots in the mayoral race.
  • Most votes will be cast absentee.  NUSIPR forecasts that more than 65% of votes will be cast absentee.
  •  The “Filner voter coalition” will not be a driving force in November. Latinos and young voters, which strongly supported Filner’s candidacy last November, are unlikely to participate in high numbers this year. However, LGBT voter precincts will generate high turnout rates.
  • The special election will favor the GOP candidate.  While Democratic voters outnumber Republicans history has shown that Republican voter turnout remains high across primaries and special elections while Democratic voters are much less likely to participate.

“With the Filner voter coalition unlikely to make a large impact on the race, this will be a competitive election,” remarked Vince Vasquez, author of the report. “New voter coalitions and campaign strategies will have to be developed to win the support of an electorate that is increasingly voting earlier in the election calendar.”

The complete copy of the report can be found here.

About the National University System Institute for Policy Research

The National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that formulates and promotes high quality economic policy, and public opinion research so as to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of local governments in San Diego County and to improve the quality of life enjoyed by the region’s residents.

NUSIPR publishes regular independent research and analysis for the public on a range of topics, including unemployment, business growth, and the San Diego housing market. The Institute also works collaboratively with clients to develop high quality research products that are tailored to their policy needs.

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Comments 5

  1. Hypocrisy is right. It IS obvious.

    But Most of us find that, when we speak with disappointed conservatives about the upcoming mayoral election, they are pleasantly surprised and energized when we simply point out this crucial difference in the special election voter demographic.

    But don’t get smug, Republicans. The unions will make an UNPRECEDENTED attempt to get low information (easily gulled) voters to vote by mail.

    In addition, there have been rumblings that the unions want to put a city of San Diego minimum wage hike proposition on the ballot (or is that for the November, 2014 election?) to give the the economic illiterates a reason to go to the polls.

    Eternal vigilance . . . .

  2. Well…..One thing that isn’t at all obvious hypocrisy is that the LGBT heavy districts are likely to turn out at just as high of rate as they did in 2012. The other parts of the Filner coalition will not be there but this group will.

  3. Erik,

    Actually that part is also obvious to anyone who has paying attention over the years. The LGBT Community is made up of predominantly high propensity voters and I would expect that most will vote in this election as well.

    Quick question for you: Do you think this demographic will vote overwhelmingly for Alvarez? I do not.

  4. A) Many have “not been paying attention” ….or at least I sometimes thing that things are not obvious to everyone. Though admittedly I have a low bar for being surprised 😉

    B) I would think that the LGBT precincts will split between Alvarez and Fletcher…..or put another way David will underperform D registration there and it will not be because Kevin overperforms.

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