UFT Election Results Later Today – Five Things to Look for
Turns out, I will be at the count. I will blog/tweet about results later. I will be at the New Action/MORE celebration around 6.
#1 Least important in the long run, but most immediately interesting – Who wins the high school division? Unity’s totals over the last four elections have ranged from 1600 to 2900. The combined opposition (though never before actually combined) from 1800 to 2100. I really have no idea who will win, but expect it to be close.
#2 Most important in the long run: Will turnout stop falling? Will it begin to rise? Teacher turnout has run from 32%, 23%, to 20%*. Will the decline continue? The union did a reasonable job of generic get out the vote e-mails to chapter leaders. I would consider anything from 20% and lower to be extremely concerning, and anything from 25% up to be a good sign (though the higher turnout, ironically, might make it less likely, this go-round, for MORE/New Action to take the high schools.)
#3 Will the combined opposition vote, now that New Action and MORE are running together, see an uptick? The last four rounds, including 2010, the teacher vote for the opposition has been between 4400 and 4600. That’s dead flat. MORE’s outreach on Opt Out, the combined campaign, with coordination and minimizing duplication, and some enthusiasm generated by a decade-long divide being bridged, that should make a difference. I would be disappointed with no increase.
#4 Has Unity halted their collapsing vote? Unity’s raw vote fell 25% or more in all divisions from 2004 to 2007 and 20% or more in all teacher divisions from 2007 to 2013*. I think they will stop falling – their remaining voters are more hard-core. But I’m not sure. They really don’t have a rational appeal, aside from the incumbency. But they benefit from generic GotV, and they have operatives who lean pretty hard on members.
#5 Will the middle schools be close? Unity in the last few years has devoted some effort to reaching out to our most-neglected division – but the numbers involved are so small, and the 6 – 8 test pressure so great, there is a slight chance they have pushed this division into play.
* I exclude 2010 from trend numbers. There was a large uptick for Unity, and a switch from ICE/TJC to New Action – pretty clearly a result of teachers being excited for the fresh face replacing Weingarten.
Postscript? Will the write-in candidates’ votes be low enough to expose their irrelevance? Portelos got himself on the ballot, but didn’t make slate status because he couldn’t be bothered to help the rest of his team collect signatures. This is not an organization but an ego with followers. Over 1000 I would be worried. 200-300 is about right. Less than 200 and the “emPORer” has no clothes.