Election Analysis, Part 1: Measure A was Confusing to Voters

By Robert Haugh

Yesterday, I wrote that Measure A lost because people were happy with the city and satisfied with the status quo. That’s not a difficult concept to understand. If voters like things the way they are, they don’t want to change things. And Measure A was a pretty big change.

But a comment yesterday from one of our regular readers, Mike O’Halloran, suggests not everyone understands this simple concept.

So I decided to spend part of my Wednesday talking to people around Santa Clara. I talked to about a dozen people in my Catala Court neighborhood, at War Memorial Park and near Buchser Middle School.

Here’s what I heard and learned:

  • About half the people said: “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”
  • Almost half found ranked-choice voting confusing.
  • Many didn’t understand the reason for change because they like the direction at City Hall. That’s the point I tried to make yesterday.
  • Only one person mentioned the lawsuit and the push for diversity.

This was not a scientific poll or focus group.  But I’ve been covering Santa Clara politics and elections for 13 years. I have a solid understanding of Mission City voters. What I learned after the election, confirms my initial thoughts. I’m sure exit polling would come to the same conclusion.

Election Analysis Part 1


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