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Friday, November 08, 2013

Muller's Margin

In the chart below, you can see the votes by municipality/township in the Lehigh county Exec race between Tom Muller and Scott Ott. Muller's margin of victory came from Allentown and Bethlehem, which gave him a very big cushion. Political consultant Michael Fleck concentrated resources on increasing turnout there. It does not sound complicated, but a failure to do that in Northampton County resulted in a Democratic loss.

Muller also did better than expected against Ott in the outlying areas. For example, he won South Whitehall and came within 133 votes in Lower Macungie.

In the meantime, Lehigh County party boss Wayne Woodman is blowin' oil. He refused to go on a taping of Business Matters about the local races unless host Tony Iannelli would agree in advance to play a tape of a Fleck phone call to him the weekend before the election. In it, Fleck had told Woodman he was looking forward to kicking his ass on election day.

Fleck's call was prompted by a radio show that Woodman had broadcast that weekend, in which the supposed positivve campaign of Scott Ott claimed that Fleck is a "thug" and that Muller is corrupt.

Iannelli refused to get into the tape game, and Woodman went on the air, but apparently insisted that Fleck could not participate.

Then, instead of talking about the local races, Woodman began talking about Virginia.


Anonymous said...

"Muller's margin of victory came from Allentown and Bethlehem, which gave him a very big cushion. Political consultant Michael Fleck concentrated resources on increasing turnout there."

Except that's not what happened.

Turnout in Allentown was abysmal.

In 2005, 16127 people cast votes in Allentown in the Executive Race and Cunningham won by 5407 vote margin.

In 2009, with Fleck running GOTV for Pawlowski, only 10549 people in Allentown cast votes for Exec. Cunningham's margin was 3695.

Tuesday, only 9413 people voted for Exec in Allentown. This was a 11% decrease from 2009 and a 42% decrease from 2005. Despite the decrease in total voters, Ott received 91 more votes in Allentown than he did in 2009.

Muller's margin of victory in Allentown was only 2377 votes, 36% smaller than what Cunningham had managed against Ott only 4 years earlier.

A Democrat will always need to carry Allentown big to win in Lehigh County. Fleck's incompetence cost Muller a third of the cushion (1318 votes!) Cunningham had in Allentown. If not for moderate Republicans crossing over to vote for Muller in places like Lower Macungie (where Muller got 565 more votes than Cunningham did in 2009 and Ott got 156 fewer votes than in 2009), this easily winnable election would have been squandered.

Let's not forget Fleck was managing Pawlowski's campaign, too. When your huge GOTV effort produces fewer than 6000 votes for your future gubernatorial candidate's third term, something's very very wrong.

Anonymous said...

Here's the net change in votes by region for Muller on Tuesday versus Cunningham in 2009. Notice, Muller lost ground in both Allentown and Bethlehem.

Fleck's such a buffoon that he doesn't even know where or why his candidate won.

Alburtis 33
Allentown -1318
Bethlehem -55
Catasauqua -32
Coopersburg 52
Coplay -13
Emmaus 195
Fountain Hill -7
Hanover 3
Heidelberg -6
Lower Macungie 721
Lower Milford -19
Lowhill 48
Lynn -14
Macungie 67
North Whitehall -13
Sailsbury 182
Slatington -3
South Whitehall 375
Upper Macungie 74
Upper Milford 191
Upper Saucon 151
Washington -26
Weisenberg 2
Whitehall 86

Anonymous said...

Fleck beats it, just glad Ott lost

Bernie O'Hare said...

This post is primarily about Muller's margin of victory, although i do credit Fleck. I would be more persuaded by your data if you did not simultaneously call Fleck names. It makes me think you are more interested in discrediting him than in actually looking at this honestly. It makes me think you are one of his competitors.

My understanding is that the turnout was somewhere between 2009 and 2011.

My point, and it's one you can't refute, is that it would have been far worse without his ground game.

Proof? Look at this election. Forget 2009 or 2011. Look at the Bethlehem results in BOTH counties. The turnout in West Bethlehem, where Fleck worked, was pretty good. The turnout in the rest of Bethlehem, where Fleck did not work, as much worse.

Anonymous said...

So what Wayne Woodman wants to show the public is that Mike Fleck follows through with his threats and indeed did what he promised to do.

Anonymous said...

Just an observation to anyone comparing 2009 numbers....Fleck was running a campaign in Allentown that year with a similar GOTV strategy in that year as well. The only reason Don got re-elected is because Tony Phillips was on a ballot in Allentown.

Anonymous said...

Muller loves black children, too. And as we learned here, Ott is a vicious Teatard racist. Fuck tea. Fuck Tards. Let's go Bernie. Give us some more race-baiting red meat. Our grandkids of all colors deserve a shittier world left by you. Ott hates black kids and wants them to die in agony. Go Bernie. Go!

Anonymous said...

The comparison between 2009 and 2013 is completely irrelevant. Different candidates and completely different dynamics with voters. For example, in 2009 Republicans had a mayor candidate in Allentown, two city council candidates in Allentown and county commissioner candidates in the two districts that encompass Allentown. They had no candidates for any of those positions this year so comparisons are difficult. And this time around you have the government shutdown and the Obamacare roll out fiasco.

The relevant point is that Fleck did what he needed to do for Muller to win. He got the needed turnout in Allentown and W. Bethlehem and he did the messaging to make Muller a viable option for a sufficient number of Republicans in the rest of the county to vote for.

Setting aside Ott's boneheaded campaign strategy, the bigger issue is why did Woodman back the Ott horse? What made Woodman think that an extremist loon like Ott with absolutely no experience could win and then effectively function as County Executive? And what about the other elected State Committee people that serve on Woodman's Executive Committee? They either drank the kool aid or sat on their fat asses and let this happen. The net result is that the position of Lehigh County Executive is in Democrat hands heading into the 2014 race for Governor.

Time for Woodman to go.

Anonymous said...

Woodman went with Ott because he could control him 100 % on the $1.00.
Totally payed for.

Bernie O'Hare said...

A good reference point is W. bethlehem turnout v. the rest of bethlehem. It was much better in W bethlehem, where Fleck was working.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:15 As an FYI, Ott used to rent a house in South Whitehall before he suddenly bolted from there to another rental in Lower Mac. If you talk to the real estate agent for folks who owned the house in South Whitehall, he'll tell you Ott was a horrible tenant, always late with his rent and always with a story about why. The same pattern repeated itself when Ott moved to Lower Mac. Ott's neighbors there will tell you he was ready to be evicted at the end of 2012. But suddenly in January of 2013, Ott is a candidate for County Executive and his rent problem went away. I wonder if Ott found a rich uncle and aunt and I wonder if there are tax implications with the largesse received from that rich couple.

Anonymous said...

Any D who runs for office in the Valley who does NOT hire fleck is foolish. Period. He has become the Nick Saban of campaign consultants.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am aware of these allegations, but that is all they are. There are no names named and no hard proof of anything, except that Ott moves a lot. I refused to write about this during the election bc I did not want to get accused of being hateful. I got accused anyway.

Anonymous said...


You're right, turnout out in Bethlehem was up slightly versus 2009. 229 more voters on Tuesday than four years ago.

For his part, Muller got 87 more votes than Cunningham did there in 2009; Ott, however, got 142 more votes than in 2009.

So let's again look at the places where Fleck's mythical GOTV effort occurred.

Allentown: 1136 fewer voters than 2009, 6714 fewer voters than 2005, and yet Ott's vote total there increased by 91. Between Ott's gains and Muller's losses, Ott reduces his margin by 1318 votes versus 2009.

Bethlehem: 229 more votes cast than in 2009, but Ott got nearly two-thirds of them. Overall, Ott reduced the 2009 margin in Bethlehem by 55 votes.

"My point, and it's one you can't refute, is that it would have been far worse without his ground game."

I can easily refute that: turnout out was down in Allentown, up in Bethlehem, and in both areas, Ott gained significant ground versus 2009.

Fleck's turnout effort, whatever it was, was exaggerated and clearly ineffective. He claims that they hit 120,000 doors on Tuesday and 80,000 doors the weekend before the Election. For Election Day, this means Fleck's 220 people would have had to hit 45.5 doors per hour, every hour, for 12 hours straight. That's impossible.

There's a concept in this business called "walkable doors," doors that can be reached by a canvasser on foot in areas dense enough for canvassers to average 10-15 doors per hour. Even if Fleck's crew hit every walkable door (every Republican, every Democrat, every Independent, regardless of voting history and frequency), there are only 97K walkable doors in all of Lehigh County. Even so, do you really think Fleck's crew was doing knock and drag in places like Lynn, North Whitehall, and Weisenberg? So, another impossibility.

And again, we know for the areas that Fleck was doing some kind of GOTV work, like Allentown, it simply didn't work. Fewer people voted, more people voted for Ott than they did in 2009, and far fewer people voted for Pawlowski than in 2009, despite being crossfiled and receiving the vote of every lever puller in the city. Let's say that Fleck hit every door in Allentown on Tuesday. Ed got 2000 fewer votes than he did in 2009; Donovan, with limited resources, next to no press coverage, and not a single lever puller vote, got 750 more votes than Philips did. How is that in any way indicative of a good GOTV program?

Anonymous said...

re: 7:39 am

People used to say the same things about Mike Solomon that you are saying about Fleck. Remember what happened? Solomon (like Fleck) spent so much time working on his self-promotion that his candidates suffered and he (like Fleck) believed he was so above everybody that he could get away with stealing. As I recall his hubris cost him a lengthy jail term. That is exactly where Fleck is headed. Fleck is a big puffer fish in a very small bowl.

Anonymous said...

11:03 is dead on.

I thought Mullers campaign was run terribly. This election was about mod r's in the burbs rejecting Ott's brand of extremism. That was the wildcard above and beyond a simple GOTV game of the bases.

Personally I was actually turned off by Mullers mailers but I voted for him anyway.

Anonymous said...

Fleck really isn't all that smart. Muller won based on the fact many moderates were turned off by Ott. Time for Woodman to finally own up, he put on his chips on the table with Ott. He wanted to control how things worked in Lehigh County, he lost. Time for him to take responsibility for his desire to use Lehigh County as his science fair project. Had Browning been the nominee, Republicans would have won. Bottom line, cya later Woodman.

Anonymous said...

Personally Muller was a terrible candidate, he didn't win based on who he was. He won based on who his opponent won. I was told by a huge Democrat player was "I'm so glad Browning lost the primary." He would've won hands down. Woodman hates Browning and anyone who won't listen to his every command. This election was about power hungry Woodman.

Anonymous said...

Hey, at least the Cunningham hacks don't have to find a real job. Musty Muller can keep them safe.

Anonymous said...

If fleck was that good of a mgr his other client wouldn't have lost.

Anonymous said...

and the point is if they had turned out Allentown like it should have been the race wouldn't have been this close

Anonymous said...

The stupidity continues to flow from Fleck.

Today's press release:

"His win on Tuesday shows the large base of grass roots support that he has in Allentown, and the momentum that started on election day in Allentown will only grow stronger as he now turns his focus on his run for Governor of Pennsylvania."

Shouldn't he be focusing on being Mayor?

"Pawlowski, who back in September announced that he was running for Governor, pointed out that his 24% margin of victory was larger than many of his gubernatorial democratic opponents in past races."

Who's the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination? Allyson Schwartz.

What was Schwartz's margin of victory in 2012? 69-31, a 38% difference; makes Ed's 24% look paltry.

How many votes did Schwartz get? 208,000. Ed? 5853. A 202,147 vote difference.

There you have it, straight from the mouth of Fleck and Pawlowski, Allyson Schwartz should be the Democratic nominee. Campaign genius at work!

Just for shits and giggles, lets look at the vote totals from some of the other candidates in Allentown.

Davis, Joseph 6477
Hendricks, Daryl L. 6476
O'Connell, Ray 6460
Mota, Cynthia Y. 5962
Guridy, Julio A. 5902

Pawlowski, Ed 5853

So, after Davis, Hendricks, O'Connell, Mota, and Guridy, King Edwin is the 6th most viable candidate in Allentown by Fleck logic. Heckuva job, Mikey.