|2009||15,800||15.056||744||2,251||rs sweep at-large|
Aside from the fact that they get more votes, I really have no idea why Republicans are winning in Northampton County, despite a Democratic voter edge. But I do have something better - a table showing the patterns in the last four municipal races.
The last four elections
In 2007, Democrat Steve Barron upset John Shimmel in the Controller's race, winning by 414 votes. In the other races, the incumbents prevailed, although in Lamont McClure's case, it was only by 91 votes.
In 2009, Democrats Leonard Zito and Michael Koury captured two judgeships, with the third going to Republican Craig Dally. Democrat John Stoffa was unopposed in the Executive race. Republicans managed a clean sweep of the at-large Council seats.
Just two years later, in 2011, Democrats managed to not only make a clean sweep in the district council races, but also ousted incumbents Mike Dowd and Ron Angle. Steve Barron also retained his seat as Controller.
Most recently, in 2013, Republicans won every race, including a judgeship, the Executive and five at-large Council seats.
What are the patterns?
First, it is clear that independents are a factor. Their numbers have increased by 35% since 2007, much more than either of the major parties. My guess is that they are anti-incumbent.
Second, there is an ebb and flow. When there's an Executive race, Republicans become much more interested. They are less likely to vote in races when just district Council seats are in play.
Third, Gracedale was definitely a factor in 2011, when only 13,846 Republicans voted . The larger turnout in Easton doomed Mike Dowd. Ron Angle was condemned by his stand on Gracedale, along with disputes over his father's will and a fraud verdict in a business dispute.
Fourth, in 2013, well known Democrats were defeated by unknown Republicans, suggesting a desire for something new.
Fifth, Democrats are obviously splitting their tickets.
Things look bad for Democrats, but the tend to do better in races where District seats are in play.
Do you see any patterns?