Sam Hall: Takeaways from Election Day

Fitch was top vote-getter

Treasurer Lynn Fitch won the most votes of any candidate in the general election. She topped 500,000. It didn’t hurt that she was running against a Reform Party candidate most people had never heard of. Nevertheless, this is a notable accomplishment.

Treasurer is not a “top ticket” race. You generally see a good bit of drop off by the time you get to that office, which generally results in the winner receiving less votes than say a governor, secretary of state or attorney general. But not with Fitch. While there was a sizable drop-off in the total number of voters, her total shot way up.

You could argue that she’s popular among Republicans who decided not to skip her name or that women who might be skipping down the ballot voted for her because she is a woman, but I don’t think either is the case. For one, all of the incumbent Republicans are well known and liked. Too, Fitch was not the only woman on the statewide ballot.

In my opinion, she drew more crossover votes than any other Republican. That could be because there was no Democrat running against her, or it could be that she has genuine crossover appeal, much as Hood does. The former is the simpler explanation, but the latter can’t be discredited out of hand.

ClarionLedger
11/7/15