Last week I wrote about some of the circumstances surrounding the challenge of incumbent Percy Dougherty by his own party leadership. I was personally challenged to make the case for why I believed that the respectable Dr. Dougherty was in trouble.
Well, you asked for it, so here goes:
I did a comprehensive analysis of Republican turnout in the primary elections for years that Dr. Dougherty ran for office. I concentrated on precincts in the 2nd Commissioner district cross referencing results from precincts that were in the district and are now out, and those precincts that are now in.
To boot, All 6 Emmaus precincts and Macungie borough are out of the 2nd district, and now in the 5th.
To balance that, all of South Whitehall's 8 precincts are now in the 2nd district,with 3 precincts (the 2nd,4th, and 5th) moving in from Dan McCarthy's old 4th district.
The new 2nd district, as of Nov 2012,has 21,916 Registered Republicans. In 2009, that district would have had 21,111 Registered Rs. By checking individual precinct turnout data from 2009, only 3,276 Republicans voted in those 24 precincts.
That would be 1815 in Lower Macuncie, 843 in South Whitehall, 539 in Upper Macungie, and 79 in Alburtis. That means there was only 15.4% turnout by Republicans in those districts.
I don't want to give out to much information on my personal electoral algorithm, but I would tell people to look for clues in the average price of homes in Emmaus/Macungie compared to South Whitehall. There is a distinct correlation in poll results to the average household income. I would argue that there are more farther leaning right R's in South Whitehall than in Emmaus, and a few 100 votes here or there can make a big difference. The people in Emmaus knew Dr. Dougherty, but there are precincts in South Whitehall that have never seen his name on the ballot. They have been voting for Dan McCarthy for the last decade.
That's what the numbers tell me, argue with them if you want.