Monday, November 5, 2007

Handicapping Prop. 1

(1) The signs in Lake Highlands are not promising for the Vote Yes side. They lean heavily in favor of Vote No. Not sure about other parts of the city. Jeff Siegel at the Advocate blog has reported that the Park Cities are also heavily in the Vote No camp – which is hilarious because they will not vote on the issue. Yard sign advantage: Vote No (at least in my 'hood).

(2) Vote Yes should be more motivated to come to the polls tomorrow, and the expected low turnout should help our side. It’s easier to get motivated to preserve our green space than it is to pave it, at least by my rationale (but as the Mad Priest sayeth, of course I could be wrong). The Vote Yes side does have more popular support as witnessed by their PAC donations - lots of small donors versus fewer big donors for Vote No. I think the PAC contributions are a good sign of motivation. Also, between 50,000 and 90,000 voters signed those petitions. If most of those people come to the polls it will be an easy victory. Advantage: TrinityVote Yes.

(3) Vote Yes has the easier to understand argument: “Do you want a tollroad in your park/floodway?” The Vote No argument usually is some version of “it’s complicated, but trust us.” Advantage: Vote Yes.

(4) The Vote No side has a huge advantage in that one of their biggest supporters is Robert Decherd, publisher of the Dallas Morning News, the paper of record in Dallas. And the paper is pulling out all the stops with their drumbeat of editorials and big splashy front page stories about why we need a road in the floodway. But the daily newspaper is not the force it once was and the alternative press and the blogosphere have been 9 to 1 against the road. Not sure how big a factor that plays here, but it’s an interesting dynamic. Advantage: Vote No.

That’s two points for Vote Yes and two points for Vote No. Matt Pulle at the Dallas Observer has predicted a small margin of victory for the road building coalition. Jeff Siegel at the Advocate predicts a healthy margin of victory for TrinityVote Yes. I’m calling for a Vote Yes victory based primarily on point 2 above. I am prepared to eat crow if incorrect, but I'm not plucking feathers just yet.

And in other news, my wife is excited about the vote tomorrow, because she believes I will be able to talk about something else after the election returns.

UPDATE: Yeah, I did previously say that I wasn't going to make a prediction, but on the eve of the election I can't help it. Makes it more interesting.

Here's some national media coverage from the NYT and the WSJ.

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