How were YOUR election stats? Here are mine

On Tuesday, I almost, but not quite, posted a list of exactly how I voted on everything. Blogs are confessional in nature, and now that I no longer have a newspaper to embarrass, why not let it all hang out?

But then, my latent respect for the confidentiality of the voting booth kicked in. It’s one thing to be honest with people, and to tell them ALMOST everything. But to go all the way? I don’t know. I’m still pondering.

When I was at the paper, by the way, I generally voted a straight editorial board ticket. (This is NOT the same as voting a straight-party ticket, a sin for which the punishment should be immediate, permanent loss of the right to vote. A straight-party vote means the voter has surrendered his right to decide to another entity. The paper’s endorsements largely reflected my own careful discernments, aided by interaction with other smart folks.)  Not always, though, because I didn’t always win the endorsement arguments (and despite what they say about me, I DID sometimes bow to a consensus, even though my colleagues were, of course, wrong). And sometimes I’d do quirky things like decide to vote for a write-in, whereas I had insisted that the board choose the lesser of two undesirable candidates who had a chance. But usually, a straight ticket.

I was conscious of that in the booth on Tuesday, and made note of the degree to which I agreed with my former colleagues this time. And I ran other dichotomies as well — Democrats vs. Republicans, won-lost, etc. I sort of got into the habit of doing this with The State’s endorsements several years back at the paper. And then each year, I’d add new stats to the running totals. One grows tired of people spreading the canard that one’s candidates always lose (when close to 75 percent of the paper’s endorsees won), or that one “always” endorses Democrats, or “always” endorses Republicans (the cumulative over 12 years was almost exactly 50-50, with the Democrats slightly edging out Republicans, but with the paper never breaking its string GOP endorsements for president — although we came very close in 2008). You can see a discussion of those stats back here, and here is my simple little spreadsheet.

So here’s what I found:

  • Here are The State‘s endorsements. Among the very few candidates they endorsed, I agreed on three and disagreed on one. So congratulations, Cindi and Warren, y’all were 75 percent right.
  • Ditto with the four constitutional questions. The paper went “no, no, yes, no,” and I went “no, yes, yes, no.” More about that in a moment. Of course, I agreed with the paper on the sales tax referendum, but since I live in Lexington County, I didn’t get to vote on that.
  • I voted for four Democrats, and seven Republicans. None of the Democrats won. Of course, one was a write-in. All but one — also a write-in — of the Republicans won. (The paper went with one Democrat and three Republicans.)
  • Not counting the two write-ins, which wouldn’t be fair to my stats, five of my choices in contested races won, and three lost.
  • I didn’t vote for either treasurer, where Loftis faced no opposition, or for secretary of state, where I knew nothing about Mark Hammond’s opponent (but knew he would win). I DID vote, however, for Gen. Livingston even though he had no opposition, because I’ve heard many good things about him.
  • About the write-ins… I voted for Joe Riley for the U.S. Senate. Hey, if he’s not going to run for governor, I might as well vote for him for something. Then, trying to think of a Republican (to balance out Mayor Riley) in the 2nd Congressional District as an alternative to Joe Wilson and Rob Miller, I went with Nathan Ballentine. (He does live in the district, right?)
  • Finally, a confession. And don’t tell Cindi Scoppe about this. But I did something I would never have done as an editorial page editor… I voted on a constitutional amendment according to my own political attitudes, rather than in keeping with the larger principle of not cluttering up the constitution with political statements. I voted “yes” on the amendment to make union-vote ballots secret. Yeah, I know it will be invalidated by whatever Congress does, and the constitution is not the place for empty gestures. But I agree with Lindsey Graham on this, and I said so with my vote. Maybe I was influenced by that “Johnny Sack” video I saw a year or two back. I’m kinda embarrassed about it — it smacks of voting my “gut,” which is unseemly — but there it is.

Mind you, I was keeping track of all this stuff, making little notes to myself, having little internal debates on several of the candidates and issues, even while being distracted by that little drama going on in the next booth. So I was in there awhile. I always am. I take my franchise VERY seriously.

22 thoughts on “How were YOUR election stats? Here are mine

  1. Phillip

    I think I had a perfect record…zero for everything, except maybe a few of the unopposed people…oh wait, I did vote for Hugh Weathers for Ag Commissioner based on the Conservation Voters of SC endorsement—yippee! Voted against all four constitutional amendments. Voted for the penny tax. Voted Brad Warthen for adjutant general but that write-in campaign didn’t quite reach Murkowski levels, I’m afraid.

    Oh well, life as a liberal in the south. Well, to modify the bumper sticker popular in the mid 2000’s…”H: Still the President.”

  2. Kathryn Braun Fenner (Mrs. Stephen A.)

    In contested races, Susie Dibble (school board) and Jim Clyburn. Nobody else and not even the transportation sales tax. Sheesh.

    Y’know, most of the time I vote a straight ticket BECAUSE I PREFER ALL THE DEMOCRATS, and it’s simpler. I don’t vote for them all because they are all Democrats, but because I happen to prefer them.

    Now when Lindsey Graham comes up for re-election, I’ll have to vote individually, unless his opponent is a really awesome candidate. I couldn’t vote for him before because the whole Clinton impeachment grandstanding still left a bad taste in my mouth, and the first time, wasn’t the wonderful Alex Sanders his opponent?

  3. SusanG

    I voted for 5 Dems and 5 Repubs. (I guess I value symmetry). All but one of the Dems lost, all the Repubs won. But I knew the Dem votes were losing ones (the one win was because he was unopposed), so, sadly, no surprises.

  4. Mark Stewart

    I really thought more people would go Green for the US Senate seat – in protest to the other two ____ – I won’t use the other “R” word here.

    While I was bummed about Haley, I was SHOCKED about the number of Greene votes. Come on people, I hope that was just humor or something!

  5. Doug Ross

    I’m still waiting for all the votes to be counted but I’m afraid my write-in vote for Mark Stewart for Governor will not be enough.

    The only votes I really cared about were against the sales tax (won it) and against all the incumbents on the Richland 2 school board (they’ve all been there FAR too long). All the incumbents won, I believe.

    The rest? Libertarians mostly. Write in vote for Emile DeFelice for Ag Commissioner.

  6. Tom Fillinger

    Brad – you could have called me and got them ALL CORRECT! Appreciate your disclosure of WHY you did or did not even if I DO NOT agree with that raionale. So many people have no rationale – they just ‘hit the button.’ Call me next year BEFORE the election and I will for free fill you in!!

  7. Brad

    Doug, I appreciate the vote for Emile. Very cool. Even though I voted for Weathers, whom I also like.

    You know, the UnParty needs to get more organized next time around. These random votes for Mark and me are just not winning elections — much to everyone’s surprise, I’m sure…

  8. Norm Ivey

    Not counting the unopposed races, I was:

    4-6 in federal and statewide races
    4-0 RSD2 School Board (@Doug–Manning defeated Neal by 74 votes)
    2-2 on amendments
    0-2 on sales tax

    I had only one county race on the ballot with a challenger. I abstained.

    I first voted in 1980. I am 1-7 in picking presidents.

  9. Joanne

    Once Vincent lost, I blurred.

    I’ll wait for The Chronicle to come out about the local races.

    Yeah, we have a three-times-a-week paper, and I don’t listen to the radio.

    I know I got dog-catcher right.

  10. Mike F.

    I’m telling !

    >>> And don’t tell Cindi Scoppe about this. But I did something I would never have done as an editorial page editor… I voted on a constitutional amendment according to my own political attitudes, rather than in keeping with the larger principle of not cluttering up the constitution with political statements.

  11. Kathryn Braun Fenner (Mrs. Stephen A.)

    I love Emile DeFelice, and voted for him when he ran.

    We need to get more organized about these write-ins, folks.

  12. Herb Brasher

    Not a good night for me, but I skipped just about everything on the second half of the ballot–mainly because I voted a month early and didn’t have nearly enough info to make any informed vote. Wish I had thought of writing in Brad, though. Would have upped Phillip’s vote by 100%.

    I’ve always been impressed with Lindsey Graham–even more so now by being able to sit in his office chair a few days ago. OK, OK, I know it’s politics, but I appreciate it when people are nice to me, and his aides were–even after we said that we’d already voted. They took us down to the catch the train over to the Capitol. Then they called to get another aide to come down and get our backpacks and take them back up to the office. We had our lunches in them–I’m a cheapskate–and food isn’t allowed into the Capitol building–don’t ask me why. I guess my turkey sandwich might be used to blow up something.

  13. Karen McLeod

    I wrote in Natalie Dupree for govenor. I think my only Republican vote was for Eckstrom. I’m still not sure if the penny tax for public transportation was approved. (I thought I knew, but I’ve heard both since).

  14. Barry

    Alan Wilson
    Frank Hollemon
    Eckstrom (held my nose)

    Spratt (because of his pull – but i knew he would lose)

    Clements for Senate (knew Demint would win)

    Voted Yes on fishing- although I wanted to vote no because it was silly

    voted no on both cap reserve amendments

    voted for the 1% sales tax increase in Kershaw County.

    voted for Mia Butler over Few for State House 79.

  15. Phillip

    @Mark: I too was amazed how many votes Greene got, I was seriously hoping Clements would get 2nd place. That had to be due to a lot of straight party voting. In many ways, there is no better proof of the idiocy of pushing the straight-party button nor a better argument for doing away with it.

    And I still don’t really trust these machines.

  16. Shannon aka Scout

    I didn’t vote for anybody unopposed and the soil and water people and probate judge took me by surprise. I hadn’t researched them so I didn’t vote on those either.

    Otherwise I voted for mostly democrats, except for one Republican and one Green candidate. I refused to vote for Kenny Bingham.

    So my successes were 1 statewide office, 1 amendment, and 3 school board members.

  17. bud

    Voted straight Dem except for US Senate. I choose the Green candidate over Alvin Greene. Would have oppossed bus tax had I lived in Richland County. Otherwise I was pretty much shut out. At least Governor Moon Beam won.

  18. Mark Stewart


    Yeah. I’m not into conspiracy theories, but if someone can shut down an Iranian nuclear facility through a software virus, then they could really swing an election.

    I think the system is about as safe as, well, hmmm . . .

    It’s only a matter of when, not if, and that will make old school Chicago voting mischief look like absolutely nothing. What happens when Alexander Haig gets more votes than there were voters (putting aside that he’s passed on – he just made an amusing example)?

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