Politics is constantly, whether its local, regional or national, involving special interest groups. You could, for all practical purposes, call them ‘voter blocks’. Any one running for an election must take seriously these sectors of the electorate; and make sure, that whoever they choose to side with, will show up in force.
That is because, in most elections (except one’s that coincide with the presidential runs); it’s not what you run on, or on your personality or even on why you are running; it’s who is going to actually vote. For example, the registered Democrats in Newburyport outnumber the Republicans; but the independents outnumber both! Invariably, only a percentage of citizens registered in either party bother to show up. And most unregistered citizens just simply don’t “do” elections. (regardless of their political views as loudly annunciated at dinner parties!)
So if anyone is going to win a seat, they must get everyone on ‘their’ side to show up and vote. The Democrats would all have to come out as a force to ensure the vote. Likewise, the Republicans were to do the same, they in turn could win. But only if the opposing party has lousy attendance numbers and the un-enrolled are not challenged to even show up.
That is why, on election day, many races are determined by one side or the other going out and literally cajoling, dragging and persuading their side to enter the voting booth.
Now to complicate and blur this scenario, local elections that we are about to have in Newburyport are non-partisan. And so are the issues!
Just the other day, I, a conservative Republican, read the platform of some of our local candidates that I know are center-left to left in their politics. It read like a conservative candidate was writing it! I’d be proud to have that candidate representing me locally.* (of course, if they try to run beyond Newburyport, I’d probably fight them tooth and nail.)
Why? Because you can’t put party before the people! People want real nitty-gritty, local problems to be resolved. One side says it should be resolved one way based on a uniquely Newburyport viewpoint and the other side says it should be resolved another way based on an equally unique viewpoint. And no big party bureaucracy is going to get themselves involved in areas where locals need to decide on their own.
So, granted that; it won’t be party blocks voting in November – but we will still have groups of voters who will vote in a particular way. So, in my next post, I will outline them.
Let’s see if you fit in any of these categories – and more importantly, will be motivated enough to even show up in November!
* I try not to be gullible. I do know the old Neo-orthodox trick of redefining words so a person sounds conservative but is actually going to do the opposite when elected.