Monthly Archives: November 2014

2014 Boyle County Exit Poll: patterns in Danville City Commission voting

Here’s another way of looking at the results of the 2014 Danville City Commission election. The following table presents the percentage of voters who selected one candidate for mayor/city commission who also voted for another commission candidate.

To interpret: find the name going across and then another name going down. The number indicates the percentage of people ACROSS who also voted for the person going DOWN. So for example, 64.1% of Terry voters also voted for Caudill. Another example: 51.9% of those who voted for Perros for mayor also voted for Terry for commissioner.

Perros Stevens Serres Terry Caudill Mann Atkins Graham
Serres 60.1% 53.6% 100.0% 59.2% 57.1% 57.1% 53.1% 56.9%
Terry 51.9% 48.4% 52.2% 100.0% 49.2% 50.5% 47.9% 46.0%
Caudill 59.2% 68.7% 65.7% 64.1% 100.0% 64.2% 71.8% 61.9%
Mann 46.3% 34.4% 39.5% 39.6% 38.6% 100.0% 30.3% 39.8%
Atkins 49.0% 71.2% 58.2% 59.5% 68.4% 48.1% 100.0% 54.4%
Graham 51.3% 39.2% 45.5% 41.7% 42.9% 46.0% 39.6% 100.0%

The strongest relationships seem to be between Atkins and Caudill. About two-thirds of voters who chose the one also chose the other.

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%


  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.


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.

2014 Boyle County Exit Poll: Preliminary Results

The 2014 Boyle County Exit Poll was jointly administered by Benjamin Knoll of Centre College and Ryan New of Boyle County High School. The survey sample consisted of Boyle County voters on November 4, 2014. Respondents were randomly selected by interviewers to participate in the survey. Centre College students enrolled in Professor Benjamin Knoll’s POL 205 (Introduction to Political Analysis), POL 210 (Introduction to American Politics), and POL 330 (Parties, Campaigns, and Elections) courses participated in designing and administering the exit poll surveys. They were joined by students from Boyle County High School’s AP U.S. Government course in administering the surveys.

Students were on-site from 6:00 AM through 6:00 PM surveying voters as they left the polling locations on Tuesday, November 4th, 2014. In all, 1,684 Boyle County voters (including 1,141 self-reported from Danville) participated in the exit poll. The Kentucky Secretary of State’s website reports that 9,720 individuals voted in Boyle County on Election Day. The following statistics therefore have a margin of error of ±2.2% for questions given to all Boyle County voters.

It should be noted that this is an exit poll of voters only. In this election, only about 42% of all adults in Boyle County voted. Therefore, these figures should not be interpreted as fully representative of all adults in Boyle County, but rather less than half of all adults. Given the sample size, however, these figures should be considered representative of all adults who voted on Election Day in 2014.

Figures presented here are also statistically weighted by gender, race, and age.


Generally speaking, do you believe Danville/Boyle County is heading in the right direction or heading off on the wrong track?

  • 73.6% heading in the right direction, 21% off on the wrong track, 5.3% DK/no opinion

What is the single most important problem that our local area (Boyle County/Danville) needs to solve?

  • 25% Jobs
  • 19.8% Crime
  • 11.9% Prescription drug abuse
  • 11.1% Economic development
  • 9.1% Education
  • 12% DK/no opinion

Do you approve of the way that the following political leaders are handling their job?

  • President Obama: 36.4% approve, 59% disapprove, 4.6% DK/no opinion
  • Senator Rand Paul: 45.8% approve, 41.1% disapprove, 13.1% DK/no opinion
  • Judge Harold McKinney: 67.1% approve, 15.5% disapprove, 17.4% DK/no opinion
    • Of those who approve of Judge McKinney, 78% also voted for him and 22% voted for challenger Lynn Harmon. (excludes DK/no opinion)
    • Of those who disapprove of Judge McKinney, 10% voted for him and 90% voted for challenger Lynn Harmon. (excludes DK/no opinion)

Some of the strongest predictors of voting for Harold McKinney vs. Lynn Harmon for Boyle Judge Executive are Democratic partisanship, levels of education, and whether the voter felt that Danville/Boyle County is on the right track or wrong track:

Harmon (R) McKinney (D)
Democrat 14.4% 85.6% 100%
Independent 37.3% 62.7% 100%
Republican 64.4% 35.6% 100%
  Harmon (R) McKinney (D)
High School 48.3% 51.7% 100%
College Graduate 43.1% 56.9% 100%
Postgraduate 21.5% 78.5% 100%
  Harmon (R) McKinney (D) TOTAL
Right direction 33.7% 66.3% 100%
Wrong direction 52.1% 47.9% 100%

Would you prefer that Rand Paul:

  • Run for president in 2016: 22.5%
  • Run for reelection to Senate in 2016: 46.8%
  • DK/no opinion: 30.8%
  • AMONG REPUBLICANS ONLY: 33.5% run for president, 53% run for reelection to Senate
  • AMONG DEMOCRATS ONLY: 12.8% run for president, 35.1% run for reelection to Senate

Generally speaking, do you think students in your (Danville/Boyle) school district perform:

  • 52.1% better than state average, 34.7% about the same as state average, 6.7% below state average, 6.3% DK/no opinion
  • DANVILLE VOTERS ONLY: 52% better than state average, 39.5% about the same as state average, 8.3% below state average (excludes DK/no opinion)
  • COUNTY VOTERS ONLY: 66.5% better than state average, 29.8% about the same as state average, 3.5% below state average (excludes DK/no opinion)
  • PARENT/GUARDIAN OF STUDENT ONLY: 61.1% better than average, 31.5% about the same as state average, 7.4% below state average (excludes DK/no opinion)


Do you approve of the way that the following political leaders are handling their job?

  • Danville Mayor Bernie Hunstad: 29.1% approve, 55% disapprove, 15.9% DK/no opinion
  • Danville City Commission: 52.2% approve, 28.3% disapprove, 19.2% DK/no opinion

Do you approve or disapprove of Danville City Commission’s handling of the following issues:

  • Fostering economic growth: 50.4% approve, 32.7% disapprove, 16.8% DK/no opinion
  • Fostering a good quality of life for residents: 61.5% approve, 21.1% disapprove, 17.2% DK/no opinion
  • Management of the city budget: 48.9% approve, 31.7% disapprove, 19.2% DK/no opinion
  • Management of the water plant project: 58.5% approve, 21% disapprove, 20% DK/no opinion

Regarding Danville’s new “Fairness Ordinance,” do you:

  • 29.4% strongly approve, 26.2% somewhat approve, 13.9% somewhat disapprove, 17.8% strongly disapprove, 12.6% DK/no opinion (63.7% approve, 36.3% disapprove when excluding DK/no opinion)
    • DEMOCRATS ONLY: 82.5% approve (excludes DK/no opinion)
    • REPUBLICANS ONLY: 39.1% approve (excludes DK/no opinion)
    • INDEPENDENTS ONLY: 62.2% approve (excludes DK/no opinion)
    • FREQUENT CHURCH ATTENDERS ONLY: 53.4% approve (excludes DK/no opinion)
    • CHURCH NON-ATTENDERS ONLY: 80.4% approve (excludes DK/no opinion)
    • EVANGELICAL PROTESTANT ONLY: 48.8% approve (excludes DK/no opinion)
    • MAINLINE PROTESTANT ONLY: 68.6% approve (excludes DK/no opinion)
    • CATHOLIC: 67.8% approve (excludes DK/no opinion)
    • RELIGIOUSLY NON-AFFILIATED ONLY: 71.8% approve (excludes DK/no opinion)

Mike Perros beat sitting Commissioner Paige Stevens 51%-49%. Some of the strongest predictors of voting for Mayor-Elect Mike Perros are Republican partisanship, disapproval of the current Danville City Commission, approval of Mayor Hunstad, and disapproval of the Danville Fairness Ordinance, and age:

  Stevens Perros TOTAL
Democrat 64.8% 35.2% 100%
Independent 64.8% 35.2% 100%
Republican 42.1% 57.9% 100%
  Stevens Perros TOTAL
Approve of City Commission 64.2% 35.8% 100%
Disapprove of City Commission 39.0% 61.0% 100%
  Stevens Perros TOTAL
Approve of Mayor Hunstad 43.0% 57.0% 100%
Disapprove of Mayor Hunstad 61.1% 38.9% 100%
  Stevens Perros TOTAL
Approve of Fairness Ordinance 64.7% 35.3% 100%
Disapprove of Fairness Ordinance 39.1% 60.9% 100%
Stevens Perros Total
Under 35 63.9% 36.1% 100.0%
35-55 61.1% 38.9% 100.0%
55-75 53.0% 47.0% 100.0%
Over 75 47.0% 53.0% 100.0%

There were also some interesting patterns in voting for Danville City Commission members:

  • Those who voted for J.H. Atkins were also moderately likely to vote for Kevin Caudill and against Kent Mann and Buck Graham. They’re also fairly approving of the City Commission’s handling of various issues and approving of the Fairness Ordinance. They’re also likely to be Democrats and have more education.
  • Kevin Caudill drew support from similar groups as J.H. Atkins, except there’s no clear partisan support one way or another. He also draws more support from those with higher incomes more education.
  • Those who voted for Buck Graham were likely to moderately disapprove of the City Commission’s handling of various issues and to disapprove of the Fairness ordinance. He also drew some support from older voters and Republican voters.
  • Those who voted for Rick Serres were slightly more likely to also vote for Denise Terry but against J.H. Atkins. He also drew some support from more conservative voters and those with higher incomes and more education.
  • Those who voted for Denise Terry and Kent Mann were also likely to have slightly higher approval ratings of Mayor Hunstad but slightly more likely to disapprove of the Commission as a whole.


Do you consider yourself: Liberal: 22.7%, Moderate: 36.9%, Conservative: 37.4%, 2.9% DK/no opinion

Do you think of yourself as a (an): Democrat/leaner: 47.3%, Independent: 5.3%, Republican/leaner: 43.2%, 4.2% DK/no opinion

Additionally, 53.4% of survey respondents were female, 46.5% male; 61% report an income over $50K/year while 9.9% report an income under $20K/year; 13% report never attending church, 29% report attending sometimes, and 55.1% report attending once a week or more; 10.3% report being a “Tea Party supporter”; 93% report white ethnicity with 5.1% reporting African-American ethnicity; 32.6% report a high school education or less, 36.9% report college level of education, and 29.1% report a post-graduate level of education. 10.7% reported being under 35 years old, 31% reported being between 35-55 years old, 40.3% reported being between 55-75 years old, with 17.7% report being older than 75. Evangelical Protestants make up 38% of the sample, with 27.5% Mainline Protestants, 9.9% Catholic, 8.6% religiously unaffiliated, 5.7% “other” religion.

2014 BCEP results to be posted

This year dozens of students from Centre College are teaming up with Boyle County High School’s AP US Government course to field the surveys for the 2014 Boyle County Exit Poll.

The topline results from the Exit Poll will be posted here late Tuesday/early Wednesday and follow-up analyses will be posted throughout Wednesday and the rest of the week.

Updates will also be posted to my Twitter feed: @benjaminknoll28