Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Analysis: Weaker KCK numbers hurt Kultala


Having looked at some of the numbers comparing the 2008 election to the 2012 election, one interesting thing is noticeable.

Kansas Sen. Kelly Kultala (D) received less support percentage wise in Wyandotte County this year than she did in 2008.

One of the interesting dynamics of the Kansas Senate District 5 race each year is the Leavenworth County and Wyandotte County vote split. More often than not, the conservative candidate in the race wins Leavenworth County, while the more liberal candidate wins the Wyandotte County portion.

That held up this year - but it was a weaker victory for the Democratic Party in Wyandotte County.

Let's compare the Wyandotte County votes:

2008 - Kultala defeated Fitzgerald 7,919 votes to 5,688 votes - or by a 58-42 margin percentage wise. This was enough to tilt the win for her in 2008.

2012 - Kultala again won Wyandotte County, but this time by just a 54-46 margin. Numbers wise, she won 5,636 to 4,794.

While eight points is still a nice win, it wasn't enough to win - and you could argue the weaker Wyandotte County performance was the sole factor in the Fitzgerald victory.

Here's why.

Combining the final vote in both counties, Fitzgerald won by 823 votes.

If you apply Kultala's 58-42 2008 Wyandotte County victory margin to this year's total amount of voters, she would would have 6,050 votes to Fitzgerald's 4,380. The Wyandotte County margin would have been a 1,670 vote victory - or an 828 vote increase.

Simple math - the difference between 828 votes and 823 (Fitzgerald's winning tally) is just five. We would have had a recount for sure and who knows what happens in a recount.

I have no clue who would have won, but obviously a strong KCK performance for the incumbent helps her path to victory.

For years, the Wyandotte County Republican Party has taken a beating at the polls in KCK.

For one election night, some of KCK's Republicans had the last laugh.