Sunday, September 13, 2015

5 takeaways from Nashville Mayor Vote and How Megan Barry became Nashville mayor, as told by The Tennessean

The Tennessean has had a post-election analysis of the Mayoral election on each of the last two days.  The Saturday story was 5 takeaways from Nashville Mayor Vote and Sunday's was How Megan Barry became Nashville mayor. If you subscribe to The Tennessean you probably have read the articles, if not then you may not want to clime over The Tennessean's paywall to do so online. For a long time non-subscribers could get all of The Tennessean content on line for free, then The Tennessean limited free access to eight items. Now you can still get eight free pieces of content a day but you must first answer a survey. I don't blame the Tennessean for trying to figure out a way to make money, but it very annoying. I will summarize the two pieces.

The five takaways are: (1) That the race being perceived as partisan really helped Barry.  Democrats even carried Davidson County when Gordon Ball challenged Lamar Alexander for Alexander's Senate seat. In the General Election there were six Democrats running for mayor and one Republican, with the Democrats splitting the Democrat vote. Fox could make the run-off but in the run-off a Republican did not stand a chance in Democrat Davidson County. (2) In a really red state, the Democrats needed to keep their strong hold in Nashville if they were to remain a viable party with a chance for future successes so Democrats rallied around Barry. (3) The election may be viewed as a referendum on Karl Dean's governance and apparently voters are pleased with the last eight years.  (4) The attack adds did not carry Fox over the top. Dave Boucher, the author of this piece, conveniently fails to mention the vile attack ad that implied Fox was a segregationist bigot. Maybe that reporting bias is why The Tennessean continues to shrink no matter what they do. Maybe instead of concluding that the so-called Fox attack ads failed, one could conclude the Barry attack ads worked. (5) The fifth point, doesn't really have much of a point except to say conservatives had an impact on the race. 

 The "How Megan," piece is some good basic reporting explaining where the votes came from for the two candidates. Barry carried the Black community heavily and won everything within the I-440 beltway, while Fox won the wealthy parts of town and the ring of suburbs.  The online version provides an interactive map that allows one to see the vote totals for each candidate down to the individual precinct. No wonder newspapers are disappearing- you don't do that in the print edition. For real political wonks, you will want to study that data and see where we lost where we thought we would win.  If you do go to the online version, turn off your sound first. An annoying  loud advertisement starts playing as soon as the page opens.  

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