2014 Boyle County Exit Poll: additional trends in Danville Mayoral election

Here are additional cross-tabulations of voting patterns in the Danville Mayoral race from the 2014 Boyle County Exit Poll. Cross-tabulations with partisanship, city commission approval, Mayor Hunstad approval, Fairness Ordinance approval, and age are found in the previous post here.

“What is the SINGLE most important problem our local area (Boyle county/Danville) needs to solve?

  Stevens Perros  
Crime 42.90% 57.10% 100.0%
Education 62.50% 37.50% 100.0%
Jobs 51.50% 48.50% 100.0%
Economic development 62.20% 37.80% 100.0%
Prescription drug abuse 70.10% 29.90% 100.0%

Looking at it another way, of those who voted for Perros, 31.7% said that “jobs” was the single most important problem facing our local area, followed by 26.2% who said it was “crime.” Those who voted for Stevens similarly claimed “jobs” as the most important issue (28.1%) but were about 10% less likely to report “crime” as the most important problem (16.5%).

Male or female?

  Stevens Perros  
Women 57.30% 42.70% 100.0%
Men 51.70% 48.30% 100.0%

Note: several people declined to answer this particular question on the survey, which skews somewhat the patterns that we observe here which show Stevens winning a clear majority of both groups.

Political ideology:

  Stevens Perros  
Liberal 71.10% 28.90% 100.0%
Moderate 55.90% 44.10% 100.0%
Conservative 40.20% 59.80% 100.0%

Education:

  Stevens Perros  
High school 51.30% 48.70% 100.0%
College graduate 48.30% 51.70% 100.0%
Postgraduate 64.10% 35.90%  

There were no statistically significant differences on family income or frequency of church attendance in predicting voting for Perros vs. Stevens.

Summary:

In general, the two mayoral candidates drew their support from different constituencies. Mike Perros supporters were more likely to be slightly older, conservative, Republican men who are a little more worried more about jobs and crime and who were less supportive of the current city commission (of whom Stevens was a member) and also more opposed to recent important decisions like passing the Fairness Ordinance.

Paige Stevens, on the other hand, drew support from slightly younger, more liberal, Democratic women who were a little more concerned about jobs, education, economic development, and prescription drug abuse. She also tended to be supported by those who were more supportive of the current city commission and by those who supported the passage of the Fairness ordinance. (That being said, it should be emphasized that these are only general trends and patterns and not absolute 1-to-1 relationships.)

Given these patterns, it may be the case that Mike Perros’s victory may be at least partially attributable to the structural advantage of having Danville Mayoral elections coinciding with national midterm elections every four years (2014, 2010, 2006, etc.). In general, midterm elections tend to see lower levels of turnout than national presidential elections, and those with higher socioeconomic levels (in terms of income, education, race, etc.) tend to represent a larger share of the electorate in midterm elections. Thus, the same factors that give Republicans a demographic advantage in national midterm elections may also have advantaged Mike Perros to a minor or moderate extent as he was more likely to receive support from more traditionally conservative demographic groups.

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