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Lawrence unofficial winner in 14th Congressional District

by: Eric B.

Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 11:00:47 AM EDT

Considering last night's failure by the media in the 4th Senate District race, I'm hesitant to say that anything is settled until it's settled, but...

DETROIT, MI - Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence defeated State Rep. Rudy Hobbs and former Congressman Hansen Clarke to win the Democratic nomination in Michigan's 14th Congressional district, according to unofficial results.

The unofficial tally has her up by 2,500 votes. Have absentee ballot's been counted? Is there going to be a recount?

Eric B. :: Lawrence unofficial winner in 14th Congressional District
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Brenda Lawrence Wins!
Michigan - 386 of 386 Precincts Reporting - 100%
Lawrence, Brenda Dem 26,500 36%
Hobbs, Rudy Dem 24,007 32%
Clarke, Hansen Dem 22,869 31%
Foster, Burgess Dem 830 1%

The celebration last night was amazing. The mood was hopeful, but uncertain for most of the duration. As the percent reporting kept going up and her lead was holding, though, the excitement kept growing.

Brenda Lawrence gave her victory speech after the clerks reported the results and Rudy Hobbs had called to concede. She gave a powerful speech. The room was electrified!

In the end, Brenda Lawrence won both Oakland County AND Wayne County. She carried Detroit (!), Southfield, Pontiac, Oak Park and Royal Oak Township. There may be others, too, but I haven't seen municipality-specific results for Wayne County yet.

One takeaway from this congressional race: Just because one campaign claims to have walked more doors and made more phone calls (and supposedly outworked) doesn't make it so.

Every time the other campaign would tout their number of doors and phone calls as unsurpassed and a reason why they should be nominated, we'd look at our numbers from the doors and phones, shrug at their false presumption, and pound the pavement with even more resolve.

I mean, we're talking upwards of triple the number of phone calls and doors. I've never seen anything like the field operation of the Brenda Lawrence for Congress campaign.

Another takeaway from this congressional race: Chris Jensen is an amazing talent and she deserves high praise for all of her skilled efforts as Campaign Manager.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

Lawrence did indeed narrowly carry Oakland County (it looks like by fewer than 500 votes), but Clarke won Detroit (and therefore Wayne County).

Looking at the numbers from the county clerks, Hobbs received more votes cast at the polls on Election Day in both counties than Lawrence did.  Lawrence's margin of victory came from the absentee vote, and virtually all of that margin came from Wayne county absentee voters.  What this says about the relative strengths of both campaigns' field efforts isn't clear to me.

What is clear is that Hobbs surged dramatically in the last 8 weeks.  In June, the Lawrence campaign released info from a poll they conducted in the first week of that month.  In that poll, Lawrence was at 35% and Hobbs was at 6%. So if you believe the Lawrence poll, Hobbs more than quintupled his share of the vote over 8 weeks while Lawrence stayed pretty much where she was (she finished with 36%).

Hobbs had all of the momentum -- probably largely due to his ability to be on TV the last 2 weeks -- which is partially reflected by his narrow "win" among Election Day voters and is better reflected by his jump from 6% in June to 32% in August. That momentum didn't prove to be enough, as Lawrence was able to hold on to the vote share she had two months before the primary.

[ Parent ]
I typed too hastily about Detroit
I was going off of what was relayed to me on Election Night -- they were speaking of how we did in relation to Hobbs as the votes were coming in and I misinterpreted it to mean among the field in general. I apologize for writing before looking at the numbers first-hand (I had only seen the Oakland County results).

The ability of Brenda Lawrence to earn substantial support in Detroit, despite running against the former Congressman who two years prior pulled down 70% or so of the Detroit vote (I believe she got 4% of Detroit's vote in 2012), remains noteworthy in my estimation. It proved to be a key component of her winning coalition.

The campaign made a tactical decision to heavily court the absentee universe and, as far as we could ascertain, had the most mail and voter contact into the absentee voters compared to the other candidates. The Hobbs campaign and GOALPAC had the option to expend the time and resources toward that end as well. They apparently trained their fire more so on the election day voters and, according to your assessment, it resulted in a second place finish.

To be considerably outspent and have most institutional players going against a campaign and still be able to come out victorious is a testament to the candidate, the campaign (especially the volume of voter contact) and outside supporters.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Brenda's e-mail: "We did it! Together."
E-Mail sent out at 2:25 a.m.:

The results are in from every precinct, the votes have been counted and I'm proud to be your Democratic Nominee for Congress from the Fighting Fourteenth!

Thank you for being with me every step of the way since the beginning of this campaign.  

I am in awe of you -- my volunteers and supporters -- who have come out day after day to knock on doors, dial the phones, stuff envelopes and support our campaign with any amount you could afford, from $5 to our biggest contributors - every single one of you made this happen.

As we head into the general election, I hope that you'll continue to stand by me and by our community as we fight for so many who have the decked stacked against them. In Congress, I'll fight to make sure that Michigan workers are paid a fair wage and that those seeking work can find good-paying jobs right here at home.

Tonight, we're celebrating, and I hope you are too.  

But tomorrow, we've got to keep working hard to make sure Michigan has a voice in Congress that will fight for the people -- not the powerful special interests.  

Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, for all of your time, support and hard work.  


Great Lakes, Great Times.

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