Handicapping the local ANC races

Ok, we all know they’re coming in seven days and it’s pretty clear where a lot of regular readers/posters fall with their preferences…. BUT. What are the odds in these local ANC races? Anyone want to venture, with one week before the election, who’s going to be winning and what the vote split is going to look like?

The two races I’m personally most intrigued by are Kevin Chapple vs Leroy Thorpe (that’s the only website @ Thorpe I’m aware of. He definitely should have launched his own) and Kris Hammond vs Cleopatra Jones (the ANC Comish is in no way affiliated with that movie, to my knowledge). It’s clear that the incumbents are being challenged by individuals with new approaches, abundant energy and a different perspective on things.

I think the results of the election will be interesting because if Leroy and Cleo are defeated, it may have signaled this part of Shaw has already moved past a tipping point, of sorts. If Kris and Kevin can’t quite do it this time, what does that mean for the ‘hood? Well, obviously it means more of the same from the same ANC Commissioners. Which isn’t great. And it probably means that the vocal newcomers’ bark is less than their bite for the time being. Or it might mean that the “old timers” fears about gentrification may have been exaggerated. Or it could mean that the incumbents are the better candidates. Which I personally do not believe.

So, what are your best guesses for any of the local races? Who’s going to win and what is the vote split going to look like?

15 thoughts on “Handicapping the local ANC races”

  1. i predict robert bobb will win because he knows nothing about education, just recently moved here and really delivered on the baseball deal. delivered for the developers and not the taxpayers.

    m. vose

  2. As Mr Chapple’s volunteer webmaster (who is also his 40 yr old peer, a proud black man, happy Shaw resident, and a friend) I can tell you that one of the nice things about establishing a such web site (for well under $100, near to the one-time cost of handing out one-page black and white xeroxed letters to all ANC2C02 residents) is the ability to track the IP addresses of unique visitors to the site. Like campaign yard signs, such stats do not predict or dictate votes, but they do reveal interest in the web site, it’s subject and his campaign messages.

    Think of stats as monitoring guests voluntarily coming to Mr Chapple’s home to ask questions about his campaign. Now, of course, this is the world wide web, and it is accessible to anyone with an internet connection, but it’s difficult to imagine that visitors, who are not stakeholders in this local campaign, as residents of ANC2C02, do not make up the bulk of those visitors.

    That said, since ChappleANC.com went up in Aug., it has received 1043 unique visitors as of today. It’s had an average of 400 visitors each month. Many visitors come back repeatedly, but there are from 5 to 10 new guests strolling over to stop by each and every day to say hello.

    The City Paper article helped push and set the site record for unique visitors last month to over 500. Blogs, emails and campaign materials have also driven traffic to the site. But, given that Commissioner Thorpe discourages his loyal constituents from accessing the web — as a PSA that will protect them from developing debilitating physiological and life threatening symptoms that mirror the use of crack cocaine, instead of the educational benefits for which the web is more often valued — one might assume that the site isn’t reaching some folks. With this reality in mind, Mr Chapple has been fiercely adamant about the institution of an extensive print campaign to reach those on the other side of the digital divide so that everyone in our community has an opportunity to get his message.

    But to return to the original analogy, let’s say only half of the inquisitive guests to Mr Chapple’s home (ChappleANC.com) are voting members of ANC 2C02. If just half of those visitors were subsequently convinced to vote for Mr Chapple, then at about 250 voters, Mr Chapple would have enough votes to be in the running for the ANC2C02 Commissioner seat. This takes into consideration the numbers from the last competitive ANC2C02 race in 2002 when Mr Randy Wells lost to Mr Thorpe by only 31 votes (Wells 211 v. Thorpe 242).

    If Mr Chapple wins, these stats, which can in no way whatsoever reveal a person’s identity or personal information, can also be used to monitor neighborhood interest in community issues, blog posts, featured events and other items displayed on his web site. And as such, they will aide Mr Chapple in serving the community better.

    Sorry for the length. Don’t kill me, Mari. I’m clearly a web geek, not a writer.

  3. Martin, that’s interesting. So, people are estimating a total turn out of 500ish people.

    I think it’ll be interesting to see if, and how many, supporters of Leroy and the old guard quietly jump ship in the voting booth and keep their votes quietly to themselves. Maybe none. But that’s another interesting aspect to ponder, post Nov 7.

  4. I just bought in Shaw and have been reading this blog for months during my home search process. I wish I could vote in the election but haven’t moved into the neighborhood just yet. Without having researched the candidates extensively, it seems that the incumbents are pretty terrible judging from the conspiracy fear they (or their supporters) are preaching to the long-time residents of the neighborhood. Fresh ideas and new faces are good, especially in a town known for beurocracy and corruption in local politics, so I would support the challengers.

  5. Is it fair to say that the stakes continue to rise in holding elected office in the District at all levels, and thus in holding an ANC seat? My presumption was that this is the case as the city continues growing in number of residents, size of the economy and economic spending.

    And as such we can expect voter turnout to be higher than in 2002 (another mid-term election year)?

    Also, in terms of measuring interest levels in Kevin and the ANC2C election…

    Google kevin chapple. No fancy advanced boolean logic searching, use of quotes, formal case – just search for the words kevin chapple.

    Note that in your results chappleanc.com pops up as the number 2 result. Then almost every other result on the first two pages is a blog entry or local media article on the election.

    This tells me there is a bunch of interest – though less quantifiable – in both the race and particularly in Kevin’s site.

  6. Its hard to give predictions right now because this is the weekend that will make the difference. I would say each candidate has 150 or so votes in the bag.

    Most residents do not actively care about their ANC commissioner. It is these “swing voters” who will decide and most of them will decide based on who bothers to stop by their door or greet them at the metro or even before voting.

    Whoever works harder between now and 8pm Tuesday wins.

  7. In 2004, over six hundred folks turned out to vote (presidential election year) and 85% of them voted for LT in 2C02. The comparative number of write-ins does reflect a somewhat higher level of dissatisfaction with the ballot choices than other SMDs in 2C.

    Do electronic ballots force voters to select a candidate to close out the electronic voting session whereas paper tickets might allow for leaving all choices blank?

    ANC 2C02
    Leroy Joseph Thorpe, Jr. 541 (85.60%)
    Write In, If Any 91 (14.40%)
    Total: 632

    ANC 2C01
    Mary A. Sutherland: 211 (30.85%)
    Alexander M. Alex Padro 462 (67.54%)
    Write In, If Any 11 (1.61%)
    Total: 684

    ANC 2C03
    Doris L. Brooks 475 (63.67%)
    Paul B. Thorpe 257 (34.45%)
    Write In, If Any 14 (1.88%)
    Total: 746

    ANC 2C04
    Lydia Goring 259 (46.25%)
    Barbara A. Curtis 290 (51.79%)
    Write In, If Any 11 (1.96%)
    Total: 560

  8. So the 30 vote margin cited here and elsewhere was incorrect, then? That’s a substantial difference from the 81% cited above. Why the different interpretations I wonder?

    –Jennifer

  9. 2002 National Midterm Elections
    ANC 2C02
    Randy Wells: 211 (45.87%)
    Leroy Joseph Thorpe, Jr.: 242 (52.61%)
    Write In: 7 (1.52%)
    Total Voters: 460

    2004 National Presidential Election
    ANC 2C02
    Leroy Joseph Thorpe, Jr. 541 (85.60%)
    NO OPPONENT
    Write In: 91 (14.40%)
    Total: 632

    http://www.dcboee.org/information/

  10. From the Blagden Alley list, …

    “… on the leeward side of the Convention Center … [t]here is a race involving a candidate whose name must not be mentioned, but it’s time that HYPER RETOOL be replaced.”

    … I almost plugged those “words” into the Urban Dictionary … : )

  11. Leroy mobilized more than a quarter of the folks in his ANC to vote for him last time and many newbies think his THIS doesn’t stink. But treating this race as if any amount of last minute campaigning is going to make a difference is balderdash. Everyone knows where they stand with or against the incumbent in our small little neck of the hood. Web stats are inflated by the obvious interest outside the electorate in this race by those who have wealth and internet access but little influence over the outcome. And all things aren’t equal; an almost 2 decade incumbent v. a new jack coming out of nowhere. Name recognition is king; a Jack is always trumped by “the King.”

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