Tuesday, November 02, 2010


These little beauties are authored at around five p.m. on Saturday.  They will pop up @ five p.m. on Election Day so nobody can say Your friendly bloghost cheated.

ADAMS COUNTY TREASURER:- The stakes are very low (I know many fourth graders who could do this job adequately) but this is probably the most interesting race here and the most difficult to call.  Ankrom is  bright and technologically able.  He has almost too much personality.  Occasionally, while what he has to say is almost always worthwhile, he lacks an "off" button.  His ground game has been much better than Asher's.  Asher has all the personality of a radish.  He has the endorsement of the dearly-loved outgoing treasurer and a little experience working in the office.  He clearly has no idea how an assessment results in a tax, but he doesn't need to.  As he correctly says, the job is to deposit the checks and send the money to the entitled taxing bodies.  So he is a good fit for the job.  It takes not much talent and that's exactly what he seems to have in this area..  As I see it, Asher has three advantages: He was born here; He's a Republican and He's in that office now.  Ankrom has two:  He's smarter and more presentable than Asher and he's a Roman Catholic (yes, it is OK to talk about demographics when you're talking about politics--I don't work for NPR.)  In my book the guy with three advantages beats the guy with two.  Asher 52%  (It should be noted, I got Donahue and Sullivan wrong so don't call your bookie on this one)

ADAMS COUNTY TURNOUT--We have just under 40 thousand voters.  A decent off year turnout would be 22,000.  People were already really disinterested in politics.  Then along came the McCoy/Schilling/Munzlinger approach of pounding the airwaves with "Vote for me because the other guy's a puke!"  This clever ploy has resulted in a massive gag reflex that is sure to induce voters to have about 256 other things to do on election day.  Adams County Turnout 20,450 (but there still won't be enough parking at my polling place)

CIRCUIT JUDGE--Two nice guys.  Two adequately funded campaigns.  Slight edge in Ground game to Scholz.  Large edge in TV production to Scholz.  It's almost like Bob's TV producer was out to sabotage him.  Nobody wants a pugnacious judge and that's what Bob's TV makes him look like.  Very difficult Circuit to campaign in with three different TV Markets and influence of four metro daily newspapers.  In a non-presidential year, the reliable voter Circuitwide is softly democrat.  Scholz wins Adams, Pike, Calhoun, Cass and Mason.  Adrian wins Brown, Schuyler and Menard.  Scholz 53%

COUNTY CLERK--While the other races feature a good bit of partisan bickering, this is the opposite universe. Neither party seems to want to own either candidate.   Schaefer's request to be placed on the ballot was met by the guys in the Republican Central Commitee with all the joy of an adult mumps diagnosis.  He's a really good guy but he has all the speaking skill of a hockey puck.  Volm is efficient, effective and presentable but, and some of this is not her fault, has a gift for annoying the people in her own party.  So this is a "cringe and cross over" contest.  The bottom line is that Schaefer has no discernible talent for the tasks of this office.  Volm leaks five hundred or so Democrat votes but 2500 Repubs cross over.  It's the correct result.  Volm 55%

PHIL HARE OVER/UNDER--Not all of Adams County is in Hare's District (yes this is the last year for this abomination of a district and there is no reason for it to continue to exist.).  This race is probably gonna be decided by the slivers of Sangamon County and Macon County that are in the District.  There are just not enough people here in Adams to make a difference.  Having said that, Phil cut his own throat here by exposing himself to an open forum and that set up the now-famous video-editing.  The Chance Score any elective proposition is 20%.  I think Phil has been damaged enough that he goes under the Chance Score.  Also, Schilling has done an excellent job of remaining in the Witness Protection Plan when it comes to any actual issue that matters to the district so no one here is pissed off at him.  Hare in Adams County 18%

REGIONAL SUPERINTENDENT--Two very nice women here.  Democrat has run a somewhat innovative campaign.  GOP candidate has run the standard GOP Cookie Cutter Campaign (see, "Wallace, Loren").  With the Repub the appointed incumbent and well connected in the biggest school district in the Region, the challenger's only viable gambit was to try to cancel out an Adams County disadvantage with an overwhelming Pike Co. Majority.  Unfortunately for her, the Pike Co. GOP seems to be pretty well organized and she got started a little late on her "Southern Strategy".  Most people I talk to see Niederhauser in a walk.  I think it will be closer than that.  Niederhauser 52% Overall, by winning Adams and losing Pike.  Take note that Veile is an attractive candidate in every way and we may not have heard the last of her.  After redistricting and John Sullivan goes to Congress, she would, for example, make a mighty fine State Senator.  I guess it should be added that pretty much the only folks watching this race closely are maybe a dozen educators looking to add a pension.  Even the most sophisticated of citizens cannot identify how anything the ROE does impacts the quality of their lives.

MCCOY OVER/UNDER--It's difficult for me analyze this race because both men are such valued friends.  The question is not "who will win?"  Fischer has not pissed off nearly enough people to lose the office yet (there is always a critical mass for a Sheriff, but we are far from that.).  McCoy thought he would be running against a non-incumbent and that Fischer would be off to be US Marshall.  When that didn't happen, he was left with a campaign he didn't want and a pack of advisers who foam at the mouth and bay at the moon.  Since his '06 fairly civil campaign didn't get any traction, he decided to adopt a drive-by accusation campaign.  The whole thing was kind of "charge du jour" with no unifying theme and poorly explained positions.  You'd be hard pressed to find a taker for the other side of a straight-up "who will win" bet on Fischer.   So the question becomes does McCoy do better than '06? That looked something like this  

Brent A. Fischer (D) 12,763
Jon McCoy (R) 9,636

This would be 56.5% for Fischer last time.  Does McCoy's scattergun, angry campaign this time do any better for him than his ability-based campaign last time?  Can he pull any better than 43.5% by accusing people of "stealing"?  Normally, I'd say "no".  No question that carefully placed, well document attack ads have traction.  But Jon's were neither.  On the other hand the environment this election is a little differentThe few people who are active are active mostly because they are angry.  By and large, they are not angry at Fischer, but they are more susceptible to a quasi-populist, miserly approach, simply because they are already angry over things financial.  On the other hand Fischer has maintained good will with the rural community and other law enforcement in general.  The people who are already angry are mostly Republicans anyhow and the people who are political independents are unlikely to have been able to follow the rather convoluted bouncing ball that was McCoy's electronic campaign (Besides, a candidate has to be careful that his radio effort actually mentions his own name more often than his opponent's.).  I'm gonna guess that McCoy vaults the "over" mark and goes from 43.5% last time to 45% of a smaller sample this time. 

McCoy upgrades to 45% 

Three Quick Gut Hunches:  Brady (close) Lexi (close) and dems lose one Illinois Congress Seat and it's not Hare.

Finally, an observation:  The multiple polling places and the edgy nature of some of the newer judges has changed, not for the better, the atmosphere of our polling places.  What used to be a community greeting exercise has become a series of churlish grunts.  No wonder turnout is not on the upswing. 


At 4:33 PM, November 02, 2010, Anonymous FRED said...

This Repub agrees with the Asher/Ankrom and Shaffer/Volm synopsis and relishes voting for Volm because she does a fine enough job and the fact that she does rankle her own party, although I'm not sure I understand their problem with her.

I hope Hare loses and although I have no real problem with Brent Fischer I know he has a couple of lose cannons in high positions that he seems reluctant or unable to rein in. Because of that I voted for McCoy.

Excellent write up.

At 8:40 PM, November 02, 2010, Anonymous FRED said...


At 9:53 PM, November 02, 2010, Blogger UMRBlog said...


As soon as I saw I had the turnout wrong, I knew Hare was Hasenpfeffer. Several other surprises that I will discuss in detail as the days go by. I intend to drill down on this for a while.

But not tonight.


At 6:41 AM, November 03, 2010, Anonymous Jason said...

When you do drill down, please leave the bright pink font drill bit in the tool box. My eyes hurt now.

At 7:12 AM, November 03, 2010, Blogger UMRBlog said...


It's permanently rotated out of the toolbox. I had planned to do it during October for Women's health month and rolled it over into November. In the end, scorched optic nerves are probably not good for anyone's health.


At 5:07 PM, November 03, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sure won't be accused of cheating.

At 9:05 PM, November 03, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...


November 2nd is radish appreciation day, must not have gotten the memo. Guess Terry had a better ground game than first thought...

At 9:52 AM, November 04, 2010, Blogger UMRBlog said...


Ground game had little to do with it. Asher ran slightly behind the atmospherics (look at the contested Co. board races.). But I like the "Radish appreciation day" comment.



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