Frank Caprio was #1 among mail ballot votersNovember 4th, 2010 at 1:48 pm by Ted Nesi under General Talk
Now here’s an interesting data point for you, courtesy Twitter user Mario.
RI.gov’s election results page lets you break out absentee ballot results from regular votes cast at a polling place. And among those who cast a mail ballot, Frank Caprio – who won just 23% of the total vote – came out on top, ahead of both Chafee and Robitaille. Here’s the breakdown for absentee voters:
- Caprio: 3,912 (34%)
- Chafee: 3,749 (32%)
- Robitaille: 3,365 (29%)
The deadline to apply for a mail ballot was Oct. 12, three weeks before the election. Thus mail-ballot voters can be quite different from those who turn out at the polls on Election Day, since they’re not necessarily representative of the broader electorate and – importantly – may make their choices before events late in a campaign.
That, of course, brings up the question of how much impact Shoveitgate had in the end. Matt McDermott, a Rhode Island Democrat studying at the London School of Economics, estimates that Caprio won mail ballot voters in Providence by 11 points – then went on to lose the city by 20 points. Judging by the figures above, McDermott thinks Shoveitgate cost Caprio 11 points in the end.
The only note of caution I’d add there is that – as I’ve mentioned repeatedly – our last WPRI 12 poll showed Caprio was already sinking fast in the days before Shoveitgate, so it appears his candidacy was already being damaged by Robitaille’s surge even before the controversial remark. But I have no doubt “shove it” is what helped push the Democrat’s final total all the way down to the low 20s.