Tuesday, November 3, 2009

JNS EXCLUSIVE! This Blog Declares Don Samuels and Barb Johnson Winners!

Guest post by the Hawthorne Hawkman, photo by an anonymous contributor

There are obvious risks in declaring a winner preemptively. And IRV does indeed bring in new variables. But Jeff Skrenes, mortgage guru and overall number-cruncher, has calculated that these races are all over except for the hand count.

And this deserves a "top of the fold" mention: Lennie Chism received sixteen fewer first choice votes than Roger Smithrud. There's a smarmy comment in there somewhere, but I'll let JNS readers make it. For now, here are the numbers...

Both Don and Barb won roughly 47% of the vote on the first round. 50% plus one vote is what is required to win outright. So we're going to at least a second round of counting. Since I have access to the 3rd Ward tallies, I will use them to demonstrate what will happen.

Don needs about 50 more votes to win. Lennie's sixty votes are eliminated first. Oh, I just love saying that. Lennie is eliminated first. Typically in IRV, about 1/3 of a candidate's supporters vote for him or her as their ONLY choice, and that's a conservative number. So we can assume that 20 Chism supporters will not have a second vote, and their ballots will be discarded from the total.

In this case, even if no Lennie Chism supporters voted for Don as their second choice, Don's percentage goes up slightly because the total number of ballots counted decreases. When Roger Smithrud is eliminated next, he will have roughly 1/3 of his supporters removed from the vote total as well. Furthermore, anyone who voted for Smithrud and Lennie as their first and/or second choices AND did not vote for a third candidate has their vote removed from the total.

The total number of ballots cast decreases again, and since Don's votes do not decrease, then his percentage goes up as well. This process continues until Don is officially declared the winner.

But what if this were a fifth ward beyond that which is known to man. A ward with an election as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. The middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the election of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Ward.

In this odd circumstance, we assume that Don STILL isn't declared the winner. Don received a large number of second-choice and third-choice votes. So, the ONLY way Don loses is this: virtually every person who voted for Natalie as their first choice voted for Don as their second or third choice. In that scenario, Don's second and third choice voters never get their votes allocated to him because Natalie keeps them all. (Oh yes, that's right: Natalie Johnson Lee is the only contender with even a remote chance of winning.)

Furthermore, we have to assume that almost everyone who voted for Lennie or Roger or Kenya voted for three candidates. Almost none of those ballots could have votes for Don and almost all of those ballots would have to have a vote for Natalie. This is a virtual mathematical impossibility. So while it is possible, it is extraordinarily unlikely that Natalie might overtake Don. However the chances of this happening are far too remote.

The same math presumably plays out for Barb Johnson as well. Congrats to our returning incumbents Barbara Johnson and Don Samuels!


Anonymous said...

How can this be? Don Allen predicted this a few weeks back:

Chism 45%
Samuels 22%
McKnight 15%
Johnson-Lee 18%
Smithrud - no factor


Guess he was off a tad...

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Kenya McKnight for defeating Don Samuels - 3 to 0 - in the number of times being escorted from a polling place for ILLEGALLY campaigning; and for no-showing at their own campaign party, 1 to 0.

You would think that she would figure it out that you can NOT legally campaign at a polling place after the first removal, but she showed that she's "short-term memory" challenged by doing it again and again.

You can stop campaigning now Kenya . .

MeganG. said...

Here's something from a poli-sci guru who posted on the Mpls issues list:
"...Instant runoff voting seems to not be a factor in the major races. A real test of IRV would have been in 1993 and 2001 when large numbers of serious candidates ran (or in just about any of the elections before 1979). Counts will take place in the 4th and 5th wards, but the incumbents are nearly certain to win. In IRV simulations I run as a political scientist, including those for a paper I presented at the Canadian Political Science Association this year, I don't even bother with contests where the leading candidate has more than 45% of the vote and leads the second-place candidate by more than 15 points. It is simply no contest. In the instant cases in the 4th and 5th wards, the margins are 19 and 17 points, respectively."

Someone relieved said...

The irony of Lennie Chism 'GIVING' votes to Don Samuels is poetry. Haman hung by his own gallos.

There is justice.

Anonymous said...

Councilmember Hofstede also won reelection by a comfortable margin.

Margaret said...

"the ONLY way Don loses is this: virtually every person who voted for Natalie as their first choice voted for Don as their second or third choice."

OK, so if Natalie's voters all voted for lesser candidates who are eliminated or for nobody at all, Samuels win is assured because of the reduction in the number of total votes. That is the most likely scenario. I agree, case closed on 5.

We got a door knock at around 4pm on election day by somebody claiming to be MFD who said MFD had endorsed Kenya McKnight. In general though, my block, which I think went Natalie last time went Samuels this time, judging from the lawn signs. Only one Kenya sign.

Anonymous said...

So when the votes are certified, that will make Lennie Chism a CERTIFIED LOSER.

Anonymous said...

I guess the Insight News endorsement isn't what it used to be, huh?

Jordan Neighbor said...

Some Data to think about.

The win number is 1085(half of votes cast)

Don needs 70 votes to reach this number.

Natalie is 366 votes behind Don.

The combined votes of the other 3 is 488, so up to 488 voters will have their 2nd OR 3rd choice re distributed to Don or Natalie. (Remember, only after a candidate is dropped- Lennie, Roger and Kenya, who cannot catch Natalie, - does their 2nd choice votes matter).

If ALL these voters had Don or Natalie as their next choice, Natalie would need to receive 427 of 488 to overtake Don-87.5%. So Natalie needs to get 366 more 2nd choice votes than Don.

Currently, 66% of ward 5 voters made a 2nd choice. That would mean that 325 of the available votes were cast have a 2nd choice, not enough to catch Don.

These are just projections, but based on these facts, DON IS THE WINNER!!!

Anonymous said...

good article about why/how Samuels and Johnson are likely to prevail:


Anonymous said...

DON SAMUELS 1015 46.99%
NATALIE JL 649 30.05%


I think it's AWESOME that Roger received more votes than Lennie. Just freakin' awesome. It makes me love my 5th ward neighbors even more. For all that *flash* that Lennie brought to the debates - freakin' awesome!! Now Lennie can take his road show on the road somewhere!

Anonymous said...

Don Samuels was embarrassed by Lennie Chism again and again at the debates. Don is a dead horse. All the money he spent to not even get 51% of the votes. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Lennie Chism is the joke here. Coming in behind the pot head garden gnome is an amazing accomplishment.

How much did Lennie Chism spend campaigning? Did he report yet?

Pond-dragon said...

To Anon @ Nov 5, 09 7:00
Evidently you are a very disgruntled, delusional and confused person:

To interpret embarrassment as only getting 47-48% of the vote in a 5 way race, and praising Lennie for 2.8%, coming in DEAD LAST, behind, who am I and what am I doing here! i.e the last is first and the first is last!

Anonymous said...

Anon: 7:00pm-
Lennie Chism couldn't win a debate if he was the only one in the room.
His words might have resonated with you and 59 other people- fine.
Let him act as a consultant for your business, or give him your money and let him invest it. Then wait a year or two and come back to us with the results.
Until then... quit whining and pick up the trash in front of your house.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bitter Anon @ November 5, 2009 7:00 PM,

Candidates need 50% + one, not 51%. Also, its funny to think that someone though Lennie was embarassing anyone other than himself in the debates with his "Shallow Hal" type answers, and pending criminal charges for DOMESTIC ABUSE. Really, think about it, Lennie got beat by two high school drop-outs. Gez, talk about embarassing.

Hey Anon @ November 4, 2009 12:38 AM -- Do you know if Lennie showed up to his own campaign party?

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget this one:

"Minneapolis City Council candidate faces assault charge: A candidate for a Minneapolis City Council seat says he is a victim of a setup involving his girlfriend last summer."