by Ron McNinch, for KUAM News
Guam - Our student exit poll showed 13 out of the 15 elected and had an overall placement rank of +/- 3.15 ranks for the top 20 places and a +/- 2.5 rank for the top 15. In general, both Senators named Judy dropped nine places due to limiting voting effects. Judy Won Pat dropped from 1st to 10th and Judy Guthertz dropped from 10th to 19th. Exit polls are samples of voting behavior and are unlikely to detect bullet voting. In two person or head to head races, bullet voting does not work.
There are a few surprises in this election. Mike San Nicolas, a democrat newcomer, had a very good finish at fifth place. With a strong drop in the two Judy democrats and a strong increase for Duenas (+6) and Tony Ada(+7), is indicative of about 2000 more republicans than democrats voting only in their column for 7-9 republicans. This allowed for the strong drop in the Judys (-9), Ben (-5), and Rory (-5) and a strong increase in Aline(+3), Tony Ada (+7), Brant (+3) and Duenas (+6).
Both sides engage in this limited voting practice, it was just more pronounced in this election on the republican side. On normal indicators, the highest voter getter was Dennis Rodriguez with 61%, the normal limit is about 60%. Senator Respicio received 43% and the lower limit is about 40%. The parameters for this race were fairly normal.
Additional Comments on Fallen Incumbents: (All are good people, this is just commentary)
Bullet voting was enhanced by several political realities:
Mana Taijeron: No question the Untalan School drama lost this race for her. (Her husband yelled at the school staff on Halloween following a bullying incident.) She was very steady and stable leading into the election. She would have finished probably at 9-12th on average.
Adolpho Palacios: He left a pending traffic ticket open. He was accused of driving off after hitting a car in a parking lot. Instead of dealing with it directly, he left it up to voters to discuss. He also angered firemen and police men in September over pay concerns. These groups were his base.
Sam Mabini: She overplayed her regional ties and alienated her general base. She emphasized her family's home island too much and this split her support base in the Filipino community.
Judy Guthertz: Instead of backing away from military entanglements in this last term, Guthertz's staff kept reminding the public of these items to her deteriment. She should have asssigned the military buildup committee to another senator and cooled off on this issue. On a side note, Guthertz is very pro-US and pro-military, but she was defined by her self inflicted press releases.
On a final note, the public likes new faces and this election allowed 4 fairly young newcomers in thier 30s to 40s to enter into the legislature. Tommy Morrison, Mike Limtiaco, Brant McCreadie and Mike San Nicolas are a group of fresh young faces. Hopefully, the legislature wont jade them too quickly.
Ron McNinch is KUAM's political analyst