B y E m i l F r a n z i
A TOTAL OF 73,193 Tucsonans voted in the recent city election-- merely 27.44 percent of those eligible. Only 65 percent of those voters participated in the presidential straw poll, partly because nobody knew it was there.
Nobody knew it was there because none of the candidates wanted anybody to know it was there. The candidates feared embarrassment. They were right. Now that the results are in, it's obvious nobody won.
President Clinton led with 23.49 percent of the vote. Pathetic for an incumbent Democrat running in a Democratic city where the incumbent Democratic mayor was getting 53.47 percent, particularly when the only other person listed as a Democrat was wacky Lyndon LaRouche. Other Democratic choices like Bill Bradley and Jesse Jackson were listed as independents, as was the now irrelevant Colin Powell. Bradley got 1.45 percent and Jackson a miserable .86 percent. Party's over, Jesse.
That doesn't leave anything for the GOP to crow about. Powell garnered 12.54 percent, meaning the rest of the GOP hopefuls got beat by the guy who just pulled out. Finishing next was Steve Forbes with 8.33 percent--mildly impressive until you realize he was the only guy who campaigned. Forbes' Tucson media budget exceeded the combined totals of all the city candidates. For that he got to beat Bob Dole, who came in next with a measly 7.14 percent.
Other Republicans were way back in the pack. Phil Gramm had a paltry 1.91 percent. After several trips to Tucson, which he mostly spent raising money and ignoring voters, Gramm merely proved how little real support he has here. Likewise, Lamar Alexander's .40 percent, Dick Lugar's .43 percent, and Arlan Specter's .44 percent compare to Pete Wilson's .42 percent. Meaning if Alexander, Lugar and Specter quit like Wilson already had before the vote, nobody would have noticed.
This cavalcade of stiffs continues with Pat Buchanan at 1.65 percent, Bob Dornan at .30 percent and Alan Keyes at .57 percent. All of which adds up to the hardcore right-to-life vote in Tucson. Remember, according to the pundits, these folks are supposed to be so dedicated that they show up in greater numbers than everybody else.
It wasn't a happy day for Ross Perot, either. With 1.91 percent, he just lost 90 percent of the folks who actually voted for him in a real election three years ago. The bloom is off the rose, Ross.
Even Libertarian Harry Browne looked comparatively stupid. Libertarian registration in Tucson is about 6,000 voters--3 percent. If Libertarians turned out at the same 27 percent as other voters, even most of them didn't vote for their own guy--he garnered only 1.01 percent. Likewise, Natural Law Party candidate John Hagelin, who was one of the few to get any recent local media coverage, got a whopping 61 votes, for a big .08 percent. More people than that screwed up and punched out the wrong hole on their ballots.
And there was a Republican named Art Fletcher who actually drew 25 votes--.03 percent. Who in the hell would vote for Art Fletcher? Maybe they thought he was a TV game show host.
All this proves voters don't really like anybody. Of course, 50,000 or so Tucson voters are not a scientific sample, but they are a big indicator. All those other national polls really tell us is how one guy nobody really likes stacks up against somebody else voters like even less. People--even hardcore voters--are generally turned off by all the candidates and the process.
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